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Hey all, new guy here. I was vegan for two years in my early twenties, gave it up for a couple years for some inexplicable reason, and am back at it again more enthused than ever.


I'm currently 5'11" 218~ pounds. I weighed over 270 in high school and even after focusing on a more regimented workout routine, I couldn't get below 240. The weight started melting away with a switch to a vegan diet unsurprisingly, but I'm still not where I want to be physically. I have Popeye forearms and decent traps but could stand to improve a lot everywhere else. I'd ideally like to get down to the 205 range with more toned overall musculature.


My current regimen could probably use some fine-tuning. I have a pretty basic setup at my disposal with a bench (which doubles as a squat rack which I neglect for the most part), an EZ curl bar and some free weights. As of now, I do chest/upper-back/shoulders alternating with biceps/forearms every other day.


I run several miles at least four times a week. Because of that, I'm apprehensive when it comes to leg extensions/curls and squats because I want to maintain lower-half endurance for runs. My legs are actually developing a nice tone from running alone, though my glutes could use some work.


I've always heard that lots of cardio can limit gains when it comes to lifting, but fat loss takes precedence at this stage.


Nutritionally I eat a lot of whole grain cereals with almond milk or water for breakfast and lots of brown rice plus a decent blend of vegetables for lunch and dinner. Lots of avocado too! I take a really nice once-daily multi that picks up any nutritional slack plus a B-spectrum supplement. Though I have lost touch with flax (used to be a staple) and wonder if I'm missing out on any benefits there.


For additional protein I eat a Clif bar after lifting, though I'd like to go soy free eventually. I wish Lara bars had more protein. I'd love to know about any user experiences with Pea Protein as that route intrigues me.


Well, apologies for the lengthy intro, but I look forward to learning all I can!

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Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Sounds like you've got a gr8 beginning with the right focus for now...dropping the fat. A gr8 way to help is add more protein...such as the pea protein you mentioned. Below is an excerpt from Flex magazine that pretty much sold me on making pea protein a staple in my diet. BIG DISCLAIMER:(Please disregard the non-vegan references in the article)

The taste isn't the best but goes well with brown rice protein and/or hemp protein.


Powerful protein: how pea protein can boost size and strength

Flex, July, 2009 by Jordana Brown

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We don't know about you, but when we think protein, we think about cuts of beef, chicken breasts on a grill or even dairy with its whey and casein. One thing we do not think of is peas. With 21 grams per cup, those green spheres are among the carbier of vegetables, and although we enjoy the way they add a little pop to dishes, we tend to avoid them. But science has shown us the error of our ways, and we have already introduced pea protein powder to the masses.

Regular FLEX readers may remember that we discussed the unlikely protein powder made from peas in the October 2008 issue. Its main benefit is that it's loaded with arginine. In fact, per every 100 grams of pea protein, you get 9 g of arginine. An equivalent amount of whey contains less than 2 g. Now, science is proving the power of that arginine.


A recent study, presented at the American Chemical Society's 2009 national meeting, found that rats fed pea protein experienced a 20% drop in blood pressure as compared to those fed a placebo. This was apparently an unexpected result, because scientists were positively stumped when it came time to explain it. They admitted that they didn't know why the pea protein worked to reduce blood pressure, and mused that perhaps a compound called cyclooxygenase-1 might be involved. We may spend more time in the gym than in the lab, but we can still explain what these scientists can't.

Stop us if you've heard this before. In the body, arginine is converted into nitric oxide, a gas that relaxes blood vessels, thereby widening them. The wider the blood vessels, the easier it is for a greater volume of blood to pass through them and the lower the blood pressure. Ta-dah! Scientific conundrum solved.

Because pea protein is so high in arginine (which also, of course increases the amount of protein and other nutrients getting tunneled to muscles), we recommend adding it to your supplement regimen. Try mixing a little into your prework-out whey protein shake.

Reference: R. Aluko et al., "Effects of a novel pea protein hydrolysate on hypertension and chronic kidney disease," American Chemical Society's 2009 National Meeting.

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