Here is what I eat in a day when I train hard at the gym, the recipes will be below:
Have you ever been worried about how much protein you’re getting, or what is the perfect vegan bodybuilding diet that will help you gain muscle, lose weight, and feel amazing on a plant based diet?
These are great questions for anyone exercising while eating a vegan diet, and in this blog post, I will give you an example of what I eat in a day when I train hard, and the important nutrients to cover, as well as how much protein you need to gain muscle on a vegan diet.
With each meal, you will learn why it helps you build muscle and what elements of it are important to incorporate for your overall health when you are exercising.
For in-depth tips on gaining muscle on a plant based diet, check out this post: https://www.soulintheraw.com/vegan-bodybuilding-diet/
Vegan Bodybuilding Diet: How Much Protein Do You Need?
There is a huge misconception out there that protein is the most important element in your diet for muscle gain. In this section, you’ll learn about how much protein you actually need.
The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance, a value commonly used to create nutrition labels and recognized throughout the health field) for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, but for athletes you can go up to 1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
For me, this means my maximum would be 108 grams per day, and the minimum is 48 grams per day. These are both numbers that are extremely easy to reach on a healthy vegan diet.
When you exercise, your general caloric needs go up anyway, so you can easily reach a higher protein requirement effortlessly.
To read more about protein requirements for athletes, check out this paper.
As you’ll see in the breakdown of my daily food intake, my diet is relatively low in protein, and most importantly, does not include any protein powders, which are highly processed and completely unnecessary for your health and muscle building. I am still easily able to build muscle without these.
On this day, I had about 75 grams of protein, which is actually on the high end for me! You can read more about protein, and your needs as an athlete in this really well-written article.
What I do emphasize is anti-inflammatory foods, which help your body recover much faster after workouts, and help you gain more strength and muscle much more quickly.
My Vegan Bodybuilding Diet: Breakfast Bowl
For breakfast, I start with a green smoothie bowl. Its most important elements are flax seeds, leafy greens, fruits, and turmeric. These are highly anti-inflammatory foods that fuel my body really well after a workout, and assure that I am not only building muscle and recovering well, but also that I’m maintaining great health! This is my first meal of the day, right after my workout.
Post-Workout Breakfast Bowl
- Add flax, turmeric, black pepper, ginger, kale, passion fruit seeds, bananas and soy milk in a high speed blender, and blend until smooth.
- Top with blackberries, buckwheat, mulberries, and peanut butter, or anything else you like!
My Vegan Bodybuilding Diet: Lunch
For lunch, I had several oroblancos, a delicious, juicy fruit.
These are rich in carbs, and give me great sustained energy. If you’d like to get slightly more protein, you can choose oatmeal for this meal instead.
My Vegan Bodybuilding Diet: Pasta with Soy Curls
This delicious pasta with soy curls was absolutely heavenly. It was the first time I cooked with soy curls, and I’m really excited for you to try them because they tasted truly amazing.
I chose soy curls for this meal because they are a very-little processed form of soy beans. Soy curls are made from whole non-GMO soybeans that are cooked, and then broken into strands, and then dried at low temperature.
I recommend eating soy several times per week as it is packed with beneficial phytonutrients, protein, and micronutrients like calcium, iron, and magnesium. For more on my stance on soy, please check out this post where I explain my scientifically-backed opinion about whether soy is good for you or not: https://www.soulintheraw.com/baked-tofu-recipe/
In addition, this meal contains broccoli, which is an incredible cruciferous vegetable to include in your meals for nutrients like vitamin A, C, and B6, as well as anti-cancer fighting sulforaphane and protein, too.
This is a very simple meal made by re-hydrating the soy curls, blending up the tomato sauce, and cooking the soy curls in tomato sauce.
Then, cook a serving of whole-grain pasta of your choice, and steam the broccoli at the same time. Add the pasta and broccoli to a bowl, and mix with the soy curls in tomato sauce. Sprinkle with a seasoning of your choice (I love this one), add a drizzle of tahini, and enjoy this heavenly meal!
For added nutrients, I also had mixed greens with a delicious tahini salad dressing: https://www.soulintheraw.com/tahini-salad-dressing/
Vegan Pasta with Marinara, Soy Curls, and Broccoli
- Place soy curls in a bowl of filtered water, covered, to dehydrate for about 10 minutes, or while preparing the rest of the ingredients
- Cook pasta according to package instructions, while steaming broccoli a steamer basket for about 8 minutes, or until soft when pierced with a fork.
- Blend up marinara sauce: https://www.soulintheraw.com/spaghetti-squash-moroccan-style/ (leave out ras el hanout for a classic marinara)
- Place blended marinara in a pot.
- Squeeze water out of soy curls, and add to the pot with marinara. Mix together and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add drained pasta, broccoli, cooked soy curls to a bowl, and top with tahini and seasoning (toppings are optional).