Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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Building Muscle Has Health Benefits!

As a bodybuilder, I made a decision to not overload my body with extra protein. Every single American unless they are starving has more than enough protein. I didn't want to build muscle if it meant compromising my kidneys or liver with excess protein. This is part of the reason why I went plant based... the protein in plants won't raise my IGF-1 levels, or insulin-like growth factor 1, which increases one's risk for cancer and other diseases.

The vegan bodybuilders like Robert Cheese, Will Tucker and countless others really inspire me and show me what's possible without meat. I'm on a mission trying to prove to my whey protein powder friends at the gym that there's a much healthier way to build muscle.



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A Healthy Plant Based Approach

Did you know Oreo cookies are vegan? Did you know a lot of processed foods are vegan as well? Vegan foods do not necessarily mean healthier choices. That is why I consider myself to be plant based, although admittedly, I use both terms interchangeably.

I know some vegans are not early the way they do for health reasons, which is why they have no problem eating the junk food. I do love animals, but I became plant based for health reasons too. the amount of protein I would need to build muscle by eating meat would cause too much damage on the body. At least plant protein is good for the body... and plants offer lot of nutrients that animal products don't have, like fiber.


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Six Months Since Going Plant Based!

Six months ago, I started on a plant based journey. I had done week long vegan challenges, even two week challenges, but have never gone so long without any kind of animal products before now. What started out a 13 week challenge based on Robert Cheeke's "Shred It!" book has become an important part of my daily routine.

Here are some things that many people need to be aware of... plant based people are not depriving themselves in any way. I eat more variety now than when I ate meat. What do typical meat eaters have? Most likely chicken, turkey, beef or pork. What do plant strong people eat? Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, black beans, chick peas, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, berries, sweet potato, almond butter, peanut butter, quinoa, oatmeal... you get the idea. There are a lot of choices.


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The Shred It! Challenge Works! The Results Are In!

I began the "Shred It!" challenge with a lot of confusion. I did vegan challenges before where I would give up animal products for weeks at a time. I never imagined I would go this long without any turkey or eggs and feel good in the process. All I have to say is that the challenge works!

I may not have perfect muscle definition yet, but I'm closer than I ever was. Yes, 13 weeks might be enough for some people, but for me it will take a while longer. However, I can feel the muscle growth, especially in my arms and chest. A lot of the loose skin I had there is now covered with muscle. There is still some loose skin left on the arms, but I know I'm on the right track.



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Shred It Challenge Update... A Work In Progress

I'm almost done with the Shred It! workout journal, just a few more workouts. As this challenge winds down, I've come to realize that everyone is a work in progress. It's not like once I finish the challenge, that goals will have been reached.

I'm still evolving and learning a lot about muscle building along the way. This challenge has been a real eye opener though. When I think of how much money I wasted on protein powders before this, it's so unnecessary! They were plant based protein powders so they were less damaging to the body than whey protein, but still, I could have achieved netter results over the past few years just eating whole plant based foods. But that's why challenges are so important, you hopefully learn how to better yourself.





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