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.
I'm amazed that I can get better results without animal protein. When I read about Robert Cheeke and other bodybuilders, I thought I wonder what would happen if I tried it. Then, I got Robert's 13 week journal. I thought to myself, I can be vegan for 13 weeks. I've never regretted the decision... in fact I found out I don't miss the poultry or eggs at all.
I also don't miss spending all that extra money on protein powders that are not necessary. I learned from "Shred It!" that you can get more than enough protein just from plant based foods alone. You don't need to spend all the extra money on protein powders that are overly processed and puts extra stress on your kidneys.
So what will my workout routine be now that I completed the challenge? I plan to continue the plant based eating and workout 5 days a week, just as I did in the challenge. By sticking with the routine, I'm hoping to be closer to my goal of increased muscle mass.
One last thing to note. By not having any animal products for over 4 months now, it shows in the lab work. I just had lab work done last Friday and found out that my numbers, which were already good last year, are even better.
You hear it all the time that vegans can't get enough iron. Not true! My iron, which has never been an issue, actually went up slightly from last year. My total cholesterol is an incredible 136. Most people's LDLs don't eve get that low. I'm really proud of those numbers. As Dr. Greger has stated on his "how To Not Die" book, the ideal protection against coronary heart disease is anything below 140! Last year, having minimal animal products, my total cholesterol was 151... there's definitely an improvement.
I wouldn't want to go back to the way I ate before the challenge as I feel so good on the new eating plan. I get tons of food and it tastes great too! Plus, I know that my protein is more than covered!
Thanks to Robert Cheeke for writing "Shred It!" and for all his help in my fitness journey.