I knew eventually I’d have to face the realization that just because something was vegan, it didn’t mean I could eat as much as I liked with no consequences. Sure, that rule may apply to things like dark, leafy greens and zucchini, but it’s not so flexible with Ben & Jerry’s vegan ice cream flavors or gigantic, multi-layer burritos.
And that time, Ladies and Gentlemen, is now.
Almost a year into my transition (anniversary is in May) I’ve tried, tasted and fallen in love with literally hundreds of new, vegan foods. Now that the immediate rush of discovery is over, I needed a reset to help implement a more disciplined way of eating. Enter Team Conscious Muscle.
What is ‘Conscious Muscle’?
‘Conscious Muscle’ is built while living a compassionate, vegan lifestyle. Whereas most weightlifters and bodybuilders will tell you meat is key to improving your physique, members of this movement are dedicated to disproving the myth. You may have seen Jordan on Instagram. It’s immediately clear that living by the motto ‘killing workouts, not animals’ has in no way prevented him or his followers from building muscles on top of muscles. Jordan offers several different programs via his website but I’d already resolved to go big so after a few days of consideration, I bit the bullet and went all in with a one-on-one coaching program.
As part of my package, I received a personalized, macro-based meal plan, a workout plan, and bi-weekly check-in schedule. I can also reach out to Jordan throughout the process with questions and concerns. I’ve followed meal plans before, but nothing this precise.
Macros, or macronutrients, is another way of looking at and measuring proteins, carbs, and fats aka the nutrients that calories come from. Everyone knows that in order to lose weight we have to create a deficit, i.e. take in fewer calories than we burn. And, technically, that is true and will work – to a point. The problem with that approach is a calorie is a calorie is a calorie on paper, but in reality, our bodies treat them differently depending on their original source and our bodies need a combination of fuels to meet our fitness goals. Counting calories doesn’t actually tell you how balanced your diet should be: for 1,500 calories a day, you could eat four slices of red velvet cake or 375 strawberries, neither of which is really ideal. In many ways, it allows for more flexibility throughout the day or week.
So What Now?
Lots and lots and…lots of measuring and weighing foods…and potentially a fundraiser to buy vegan protein powder because it feels like I’m inhaling it by the truckload. To be honest, I meal prepped 4 days worth of meals last week and though I haven’t weighed in yet, I definitely feel less bloated and my boyfriend, who was out of town for a few days, noticed a difference when he got back. So I am optimistic. The lifting is a little intimidating because he’s mapped out more sets than I usually do and some exercises I don’t normally gravitate towards. I’m not looking forward to mean-mugging meatheads off the equipment at the gym but I’m willing to do it if it means reaching my goals. I’m also looking forward to straight flexing on anyone who asks me about protein in the near future. 💪🏾
In the next few weeks I’ll document my meals/menus here and list out both calorie and macro counts so any interested parties can start getting an idea of how it works, so stay tuned!