Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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I'm Tired of the Protein Myth!

I was like other weight lifters over the years. Yeah, I used the protein powders, thinking they would help me achieve the muscle mass that I worked hard for. I mostly used vegan based powders but did try whey protein once or twice. Whey protein never digested well for me which is why I didn't use it for too long.

Anyway, I believed the same myth that I still hear over and over again... that you need a lot of protein to gain muscle. Before I continue with the article, please note that I am not debating animal versus plant protein here. I'll save that for another time. Rather, I want to focus on this myth that have gotten all too common, about how much protein we need.

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Weight Gain Not An Issue... When It's Muscle!

When I started this vegan weight lifting challenge over 13 weeks ago, I weighed about 192 pounds. Today, when I weighed myself, the scale read 204. Normally, this would be a time to panic and up the cardio, cut back on foods, etc. Except this time, I'm building muscle and I know that the weight gain is not because of extra fat.

For one thing, my waist size hasn't changed. Everything fits the same. The only way to know for sure is to get my body fat checked again. I had it checked a few weeks ago and found out the extra weight then was muscle. In anther few weeks, I will find out if the other extra weight is indeed muscle growth.


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Shred It! Challenge Update... Vegan Bodybuilding In Progress!

When I started the Shred It! challenge, I thought it was supposed to go 13 weeks. However, I discovered that the journal I've been using for the challenge will last a few weeks after the 13 weeks. I think the reason for this is that the author planned for the users to write in it 7 days a week and I only kept track of the 5 days a week that I worked out. In any case, I'll keep going as I can't wait to see the results of the challenge.

I have been doing strength training, really focusing on my muscle, for the past 3 years or so in an effort to tighten my loose skin after weight loss. However, the Shred It! challenge marks the first time I've seen this kind of progress. It really amazes me that the results I'm getting are without animal products. I had turkey and eggs a few times a week before going completely vegan at the start of the challenge. I used to think those animal products were necessary for muscle building but it did not yield the kind of results that I'm getting now with plants only.


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Shred It Challenge... Week 6 Update 10 Pounds of Muscle!

Well maybe not 10 pounds, but I definitely have been gaining some weight. Checking the body fat analyzer, my body fat is around 14 (which means around 12 or so), so this would mean I gained muscle. I am over 200 pounds for the first time in over a year.

I never thought I'd be happy to gain weight but this weight is necessary to build muscle. As long as I didn't gain fat, I'm happy! I am focusing on muscle growth and lifting 5 days a week. It can be a grueling schedule but I think the hard work will pay off.


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Shred It... A 13 Week Challenge

I am still working on my pull-ups, but that challenge will coincide with a 13 week challenge that I started last week for Shred It.

Shred It is the name of Robert Cheeke's book and companion workout journal. Cheeke is a whole food, plant based body builder who proves that you can build muscle without overloading your body with protein. He's been vegan for over twenty years and the muscle he shows on his arms... many body builder would wrongly assume he's having a ton of protein. Nothing could be further from the truth!


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