Rich's Corner

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Shred It Challenge... Week 8 Update New Foods

I'm week eight of the vegan muscle building challenge. I may not get as shredded as I want after the 13 weeks, but I feel great! I still want more muscle to fill up the skin on the lower part of my arm so I'll keep going, even after the challenge ends.

This challenge not only got me to eliminate any animal products, I also have been starting to incorporate new foods in my diet.

There are many fruits and veggies I still have yet to try, including dandelion greens, starfruit and leeks, to name a few. But some of the new foods I tried this week included fennel, which I love! It adds a fresh licorice flavor to my smoothies. I get really creative with the smoothies... adding a wide variety of foods.

I also just purchased nutritional yeast. I was reading about it and found out it's a complete protein, contains a lot of iron and vitamin B-12. I haven't tried it yet but I plan to use it on top of my salads. It supposedly has a cheese like taste and some people use it as a substitute for cheese.

But back to my strength training. I think I need to lift heavier than I've been, with fewer reps. Muscle growth has always been challenging to me, even when I was having animal products. I like the Shred It challenge because it challenges the belief a lot of people share that you need animal products to build muscle. Judging from the pictures I've seen of bodybuilders that are vegan, nothing could be further from the truth. But the way I want to look, it's obvious it will take longer than 13 weeks.

I still hope to see more improvement after the 13 week challenge is over. I know I did have some muscle growth as I gained 7-8 pounds following the diet and exercise plan. I also feel stronger. the only way to know for sure is to get my body fat percentage checked in a few weeks, just to make sure it was indeed muscle growth and not fat.

Here's the latest photo. Like I said, not much difference from a few weeks ago, but I'll keep working at it.

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