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theVeganInitiative Training Journal

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quick intro:

I finally signed up after stalking for years!

This site is awesome and I've learned so much from reading the articles, forums, and training journals.

I'm very excited to get involved and participate.


My background:

31 year old male

5'11", ~140 lbs

vegan for 4 years, vegetarian for 6 years before that

lifting for last 2 years (SS, SL, RPT, Lyle McDonald's Generic Bulk)

current program is all pro's beginner program from bb.com (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=4195843&page=1)



to be healthy and feel super awesome every day

to have a strong lean muscular appearance along with strength gains



I have had digestion problems for the past 5 years (maybe my whole life).

It got so bad that I had candida overgrowth, leaky gut, undigested food in stools, high stress, low body weight, elevated hormone levels, low gut immunities, etc.

I was in a real bad place and tried "everything".

I finally found good info about the raw diet (80-10-10 by Doug Graham and Self Healing by David Klein) and tried this. I have been doing much better ever since (March 2011).

However, I am not fully recovered and struggle with maintaining this lifestyle as well as my health.

I have had many ups and downs in the past 2 years with regards to my training due to my health issues.

My body weight has fluctuated and my training has seen gains and losses in this time.



I've been generally consistent with my training and eating.

I will continue to improve and stay consistent.

I will work towards my goals.


Last workout:

Squat: 23.8 lbs x 10, 52.4 lbs x 10, 102.2 lbs x 10 x 2

BP: 23.8 lbs x10, 43.6 lbs x10, 81 lbs x 10 x 2

Rows: 23.8 lbs x10, 43.6 lbs x10, 81 lbs x 10 x 2

OHP: 15 lbs x 10, 23.8 lbs x 10, 48.6 lbs x 10 x 2

SLDL: 102.2 lbs x 10 x 2

Bicep BB Curls: 48.6 lbs x 10 x 2

Calf Raises: 102.2 lbs x 10 x 2


I'll be back to post up my next workout!



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Recovering from a head cold...taking longer than I'd hoped...

Needed to get some training in:


Pushups: 5x10

Chinups: 5, 5, 5, 5, 8


I've been tracking my food intake occasionally with Cron-o-Meter.

Yesterday I hit 3400 cals without much effort:

32 oz. Smoothie w/ 4 leaves kale, 5 dates, 2 bananas, 1/2 cup of raspberries, 16 oz. water

32 oz. Smoothie w/ bananas and water

32 oz. Smoothie w/ bananas and water

32 oz. Smoothie w/ bananas and water + 10 Dates

Chopped Romaine, Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans of Chickpeas


The holidays are going to mess up my training schedule. Oh well. I usually train Fri, Sun, Tues but I have guests visiting Friday and I'm going away Saturday until Monday night. So I can get something in tonight if I feel ok and then next Tuesday. The following week I'll be away from Friday through Tuesday so I'll miss that week as well. I guess I'll just try to fit in smaller workouts like I did yesterday and restart my program where I left off in 2 weeks.

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Chopped Romaine, Diced Tomatoes, 2 cans of Chickpeas


I started the 80-10-10 diet in March of 2010. I stayed on it for 7 months. I felt awesome on it - though I did tweak it to have a little more fat at times (my skin was so dry during the detox period). I know chickpeas (I am assuming that they are in cans, and thus cooked) are not good according to Dr. Graham, so I was going to suggest to you my salad dressing of raw tahini and lemon juice. The tahini (sesame seed paste) is high in protein and good fats, and the lemon juice is great to keep your immune system sharp and help in getting over and preventing any more colds that may try to invade your body.

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Thanks for the comment Gaia.


I am still transitioning and struggle to be all raw.


I feel it is most likely best for me but I guess I'm not so committed as I want to be able to eat whatever I want. I also have digestion issues with all foods but have been feeling my best in 5 years after doing 80-10-10 100% for 2 months in the spring and now adding some low fat cooked dinners.


I do feel I am still healing and need to find the right things for me.



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all pro's beginner program Week 4 Heavy Day:

Squats: 23.8 lbs x 11, 52.4 lbs x 11, 102.2 lbs x 11 x 2

BP: 23.8 lbs x 11, 43.6 lbs x 11, 81 lbs x 11 x 2

Rows: 23.8 lbs x 11, 43.6 lbs x 11, 81 lbs x 11 x 2

OHP: 15 lbs x 11, 23.8 lbs x 11, 48.6 lbs x 11 x 2

SLDL: 102.2 lbs x 11 x 2

Bicep Curls: 48.6 lbs x 11 x 2

Calf Raises: 102.2 lbs x 11 x 2



~2000 cals

32 oz. Smoothie: 1.5 cups kale, 5 dates, 2 bananas, 1/2 cup raspberries, 16 oz. water

32 oz. Smoothie: bananas and water

32 oz. Smoothie: bananas and water

32 oz. Smoothie: bananas and water



Feeling a bit better though still coughing and getting headaches from my head cold.

Inspired by the 12 days of VBB so I went for the workout!

It was tough but I got through it...I'm not really on a proper schedule and the next 2 weeks will not be consistent due to holidays and travel.

I was really hoping to finish the 5 week cycle of this program appropriately but now I'm just trying to get in the heavy days which might be a mistake but I picked some decent weights for myself and think I can get through it even if I skip a couple workouts. I'm not sure if I'll continue with this program or switch to something else if I end up working with a mentor on VBB.com. This program has been good for me and I think I'll use it in the future. I like the rep ranges and not having to worry about adding weight to the bar, just reps. My food intake as you can see already is inconsistent. I am really working on my health and keeping my GI tract in good shape. I'm not trying to push the calories too hard or worry about macros or anything besides feeling good. It felt good to go to sleep not being so full and waking up with a light feeling. I was in bed by 10pm too and got 8+ hours of sleep but still feel like I could've used more rest. Does anyone like waking up?

I will most likely not get to lift again until next Tuesday. I'll probably try out one of Robert's sample workouts from the 12 Days of VBB while I'm away as they use body weight exercises.



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No workouts...busy at work and last minute holiday stuff...



~3500 cals


32 oz Smoothie: 1.5 cups kale, 5 dates, 2 bananas, 1/2 cup raspberries, water

32 oz Smoothie: bananas and water

32 oz Smoothie: bananas and water

bag of red grapes

32 oz Smoothie: 1.5 cups kale, 6 dates, 3 bananas, water

10 dates

2 small sweet potatoes, 1/2 head green leaf lettuce, 1 tomato


Feeling a bit better today...good energy but still a nagging cough.

work, groceries, band practice, clean up for guests arriving tomorrow night...busy day ahead.

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Long run trying to keep up with GF's bro's wife...

About 30-40 minutes.

Lower calves are tight and hurting!

My cardio level was good and I kept up but my body was hurting.

I don't think I ever ran that far...ha!

It felt good.


Just drank as much fresh squeezed orange juice as I could.


Chillin for now and driving home later.

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Hotel Workout:


Goblet Squats: 50 lbs x 15, 50 lbs x 15, 50 lbs x 20

DB Flat Bench: 20s x 12, 30s x 8, 25s x 10

DB Rows: 20s x 12 both sides x 3

DB Shoulder Press: 20s x 12 x 3

DB RDLs: 50s x 12 x 2

DB Incline Bench: 25s x 12 x 2

DB Bicep Curls: 20s x 12 x 2, 25s x 5

DB Calf Raises: 50s x 20


...not used to dumb bells...tough workout.

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Just back from a short vacation over the New Year.

Been staying mostly raw, always low fat, as this is the best I've felt in 5 years or maybe ever!

I still have a long way to go to feeling super awesome all the time and looking super awesome taboot.

2012 is going to be my best year ever!


So I was getting tropical sun, swimming, walking all over, relaxing on the beach, eating lots of fruit, and spending time with my beautiful girlfriend. One of the best times of my life and it will keep getting better.


I also just found out that VeganEssentials will be my mentor as part of the VBB new year program so I'm stoked to work with him and continue on this journey.


I'll be back to training real soon.


I'm recovering from little sleep due to a flight delay last night and back at my day job early today so I'm resting tonight and am traveling with my band to Rochester, NY for some shows this weekend. I'm working on staying healthy and eating well during this time as well as bringing the heat to the performances and rocking the fuck out. I'll be ready to get into training next week and looking forward to switching it up based on whatever VeganEssentials comes up with for me.


I'm really excited.



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Thanks VE - you're awesome!




Went to bed early last night after only getting 3 hours of sleep after a delayed flight and having to go back to 9-5 work.

Feeling better today but I have some long days ahead with band rehearsal tonight after work and traveling upstate for gigs right after work on Friday.

I need to rest and sleep more.


Today I have 3 date smoothies with me and I'll hit the market during lunch to pick up some more fruits...I hope I can get some sort of ripe bananas as the case I got yesterday will take like a week to ripen in this weather. Sucks that I was just eating tropical fruits for the last 5 days and now back to this crap.


I got out for a walk yesterday and will do the same today.

My training will recommence on Sunday night when I'm back from the mini tour.

I'm formulating a plan with VE so I'm getting excited to implement it.


I miss the sun and the beach but I'm feeling really positive about this year and everything going on at VBB.com is getting me inspired. It's a great community and I'm seeing more and more people on here looking towards their health this year as sometimes training can get people caught up in results to the detriment of health.

Veganism is all about ethics but it really can be all about health as well.



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Will not be able to train until Sunday night.

Hopefully I will be all rested and healthy to start up again.

I got some new ideas from my mentor, VE, and looking forward to getting going.


Been all raw, 80/10/10 for the last 2 days.

Lots of dateorade and some mini bananas.

My body/digestion/GI tract is feeling good and I have been getting about 9 hours of sleep a night.


My band is bringing the rock to Rochester, NY tonight for an acoustic house show and an electric show at the Bug Jar on Saturday night. Can't wait!



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Staying raw on my trip to Rochester...brought a lot of dates.

Looks like dinner will be oranges and salad.

Last night's show was awesome...acoustic at a house party...lots of cool people.

Took a walk on 38 acres of property at my friend's house and road on a 4 wheeler.

Going to rock an electric set tonight...can't wait!



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I'm feeling very inspired and motivated.

Since reading all the 12 days stuff and now working with VE on training and talking through some stuff I feel I'm in a good head space with my goals.

I have been smart and not pushing anything too hard which has been a problem in the past.

I am eating 80/10/10 all raw fruits and veggies.

I am sleeping well.

I am extra chemical free.

I am taking it slow.

I am healing.

I am learning about/focusing on my top priority of perfect health.


So I didn't get back to training yesterday as I'm feeling the need for extra rest so I can heal and recover. I have been feeling good and my energy level is very good.

I am still having trouble having enough ripe fruits and eating enough calories but I am back to my blender after being away all weekend so I'm able to get in more calories with smoothies.

I'll be hitting up the market today and hopefully get a good assortment of ripe fruits.

I need to really work on fruit management, rest/recovery, healing, and staying focused on my goals.


I will start my training again when I feel ready...could be today, tomorrow, or a week from now but I'm totally dedicated to all this right now and feel good with where I'm at.



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Still resting up and focusing on healing/recovery to attain the health I desire.

Still all raw 80/10/10 style eating things like:

smoothies of dates and water

smoothies of bananas and water

fresh valencia orange juice with lots of pulp

salads with romaine, tomatoes, cucumber

spiralized zucchini spaghetti noodles with sauce made from blended tomato, mango, celery, lemon juice, dates - this is an awesome savory option!


I'll be lifting weights again soon.



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still feeling a bit crappy but i know i will recover soon and feel better than ever!


sticking with my lifestyle choices and getting good rest.


yesterday i ate:

2 date smoothies

2 banana smoothies

32 oz. fresh squeezed valencia oj

16 oz. veg juice w/ kale, celery, carrot, lemon

~2800 cals


20 minute walk to get the last rays of sun for a while (cloudy, rainy, sleety).

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so cold here...still a bit sick.

keeping my head up and trying to stay positive.

back at work and brought 4 smoothies + a bunch of bananas.

i need to start eating more as i have not had a good appetite since becoming sick.

i have to get through this and get back to training!

i'm still motivated and this is only a minor setback.

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still feeling better but not quite 100% yet.

just put my food intake into cronometer from yesterday and happy to see i'm up over 3000 cals again (~3300), all raw, and getting all my vitamins/minerals:

1 cantaloupe

2 date smoothies

2 banana smoothies

6 bananas

16 oz. fresh oj

baby spinach, cucumber, celery with tomato/mango dressing


i'm still aiming to start training next week.

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Feeling pretty good.

I think I'll be all set to start training next week.

Ate about 3000 cals again yesterday!:

2 date smoothies

2 banana smoothies

1 banana/spinach smoothie

baby spinach, 2 tomatoes, celery, and lemon juice salad


I'm getting a case of organic valencia oranges today and hopefully a case of almost ripe bananas...they take so long to ripen in my house this time of year.

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On my way to perfect health.

Doing better still. Just about completely over my head cold.

Eating over 3000 cals is becoming routine...hope to keep it up but am worried about my stock of bananas as I could only find green ones yesterday and they won't ripen at my (cold) house. So I'll be searching the markets today. Here's what I ate yesterday:

2 date/blueberry smoothies

3 banana smoothies

5 oz. baby lettuces with tomato, celery, lemon juice.

1 brazil nut


My digestion has been good and I have good energy.

I would like to be able to eat more at one sitting and not eat so much throughout the day but I'll get there.

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Finally back at it!


Flat Bench: 72.2 lbs x 10 reps x 4 sets

Rows: 72.2 lbs x 10 reps x 4 sets

Chinups: 6/3/4/3

Incline Bench: 63.6 lbs x 12, 52.4 lbs x 12, 43.6 lbs x 12 x 2

Shrugs: 43.6 lbs x 15 x 4


Tough getting back into it but I'm stoked.

Been able to stay all raw and incorporating more greens and green juices.

Today I had a banana smoothie, 2 date smoothies, half a small watermelon, 4 mangoes, and baby spinach.

I'm going to make some fresh oj and eat more greens with some tomato and maybe an avocado.

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