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While writing my upcoming nutrition book(s), I got somewhat distracted during my research phase. Drawn into the world of industrial meat production, a corrupt self-regulating industry where profits are placed above nutrition or health, I became conflicted.

On one hand, I’m a Modern Viking leading over 12,000 men towards an improved definition of modern masculinity and self-improvement. A manly man. A warrior. A fucking beast!

But on the other hand… I’m an intelligent academic who has been recently blessed with the luxury of making my personal health into a full-time profession. Privileged with the extra time, both in research and lifestyle, to pursue alternative diet lifestyles, I don’t need to make the same health compromises of a typical stressed-out white-collar worker.

So fine. I’ll risk reputation, ridicule, and gains to switch to a vegan diet. 

(I slept better immediately, just so you know.)

First thing I had to learn a LOT about is protein. Damn fucking plant protein.

I originally mocked plant-protein eaters in earlier editions of my book. I said vegans were weak and would have diet on the battlefield in minutes.

Honestly – I still stand by that, in part. Most vegans I meet are much smaller and weaker. Because despite what anyone might tell you, finding high concentrations of plant-based protein is harder!

That doesn’t mean you can’t be just as strong on a vegan diet! It just means many vegans do it wrong. It’s possible to get it wrong on a meat-eating diet, and still gain muscle and strength. But a vegan needs to do their homework!

People told me I’d get “protein deficiency”… Haha don’t be fucking stupid! Do you know how much protein a human needs to get by each day? Around 50-70g. That’s easy. No one in the Western World get’s protein deficiency unless actively trying to starve themselves.

“2g of protein per kg of lean bodyweight” is an infamous protein guideline that only really applies to people trying to gain new muscle mass. The average person is not. The average person can kinda just stumble through their days and accidentally eat enough protein.

I’m not talking about medical protein deficiency. But finding the obscene amounts of protein that a warrior needs? A strongman, a bodybuilder, a powerlifter… yeah that’s harder.

Death Is High In Protein

I currently hunt for 300g of protein a day… that used to be 4 simple meals of steak or chicken breasts a day. If I’m out of the house, I could call into any nearby supermarket, regardless of which city or country I was in, and easily find some rotting animal flesh on a shelf and consume it. Low carb, medium fats, high protein.

If it had a face, it’s extremely high protein. I never appreciated just how high in protein a chicken breast was (31g per 100g) until I started getting excited by discovering a vegan product that was 10g per 100g in protein!

I have to kill a LOT of plants to find protein. In fact, I’d have to kill too many plants. It’s just not an acceptable lifestyle to be a 114kg / 251lbs athlete, training to gain weight to 140kg / 309lbs, on a wholefood diet as a vegan. 6,000 cals and 300g of protein doesn’t happen on hummus alone!

Refined Protein / Protein Isolates

During an interview with Men’s Health magazine for his latest movie, I heard an extremely famous actor refer to protein powders as “toxic protein powders”. What a dumb fuck. He went on to discuss all the meat he ate instead…

There is nothing inherently toxic about isolating the protein from a food. Whether whey protein (a product of dairy) or vegan protein powders (brown rice, hemp, soy etc.) nothing is added, only taken away. The small exception is an emulsifier to help to mix, and flavourings, which are usually cocoa or vanilla. Nothing necessarily toxic?

Here’s the truth, and I challenge any vegan bodybuilder/strongman to prove to me otherwise:

As a vegan athlete, you will need to consume protein isolates.

Accept this, move on. And it’s no huge deal if you’re switching from a carnivore diet anyway – I’d estimate over 90% of successful bodybuilders rely on a minimum of 2 Whey protein shakes a day. I used to use 4, sometimes 3 if I was eating a lot of meat that day.

Now as a vegan, on training days I use 4 shakes of 50g-70g of protein, totalling 200-280g of protein. Non training days I’ll use 3 shakes. I eat maybe another 50g-100g of protein from food. My current favourite protein is Vivolife’s blend (with BCAA’s) here, or MyProtein sell a few vegan proteins.

Tofu, Tempeh, Seitan

I’m fully aware of the 12g-30g per 100g of protein available in these refined protein foods. But honestly, and this is just personal, I think they taste like crap. I mean Tofu is OK from time to time when I’m eating out and it’s in a curry or something…

But I’d rather just eat enjoyable plant based meals with beans, lentils, pulses etc. and be content with getting 15g-25g of protein in the meal and not have to eat anything uncomfortable.

Protein shakes are far more palatable (to me) than eating rubbery refined cubes.

Fake Meat

I’m always open minded and try fake meat products. Some taste OK. I’ve found a rand of sausages in UK that taste pretty damn good and remind me of a childhood in the North Of England (sausages, mashed potatoes, gravy).

But for the most part, fake meat products have an long ingredients list I can’t pronounce (quite necessary mind you: tricking the tongue, nose, eyes that you’re eating meat is difficult science!). And I’m just not that fucking bothered. At 29 but feeling like I’ve lived an extra lifetime, I’ve already learned that there are so many important things in life. Being too weak to give up something as inconsequential as a food is weak as shit and sad as fuck.

I need water, sustenance, purpose and love. I don’t need meat.

Them Amino Acids Though?

“Plant proteins aren’t complete though!” A valid issue… but in practice, irrelevant. Most people who said this to me didn’t even know what amino acids were, how they worked and what type of concentrations different foods had anyway.

The reality is, soy protein and hemp protein (2 popular products) are both complete protein sources in that they contain all 9 amino acids, like meat and fish.

But diet doesn’t work in isolated meals, or even days. As long as your grocery shopping is varied and you’re consuming all different plant proteins throughout the week, you will be eating the equivalent amino acid profile of a complete protein!

This is why most vegan protein powders are blends – different ingredients with complimentary amino acid profiles.

Worried about your BCAA supplements? Finding plant-based BCAA’s is easy and tastes just as good as animal-sourced ones. Vivolife is my favourite, and also contain coconut water for extra electrolyte goodness.

Making Vegains!

After I got my recent modelling job out of the way, I decided that was my last cut I would do. Cutting for small modelling jobs has been distracting me from my main goal. At the end of the day, I’ve still been training for under 2 years. I’m never going to be the best fitness model (especially at 29 years old already).

As I described to a friend recently, there’s no point carving the statue out of stone if the block of stone is too small to begin with.

I’ve committed to a huge bulk. And I’m doing it all vegan. After-all, I’m a Modern Viking. Take a trip to Stockholm or Oslo and you’ll see organic plant-based restaurants and fast-food everywhere. I’m around 7 months in (there’s always a grey switch-over period) and I’m still making strength gains and physique gains.

It’s because of this new experience that I’ve decided to break up the book I was writing into a few smaller books – I know not everyone will be ready to read about plant-based nutrition, so I pulled it all out of ‘Food Is Fuel’ and left that book focussed 100% on Food Mindset. Stay tuned over the next few months for new books, courses and products coming soon if you want ot learn more or subscribe to my Youtube channel!

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