guest post: vegan fuel.

by Janetha on July 23, 2012

in guest posts

Hey meals & moves readers! Janetha put out the call for guest posts, and after seeing her post about training her vegan friend Nick, I thought I’d email her with a suggestion. Low and behold, she liked it, so here I am!


My name is Georgia, and I blog over at Georgia Trying Something New. My blog is all about my journey into the health and fitness world. I wasn’t always healthy, and in the past year and a half I’ve completely changed my life by following a vegan diet and committing to working out 4-6 days a week. Those lifestyle changes helped me lose 50 pounds, gain a butt-load of confidence, and I’ve finally got the body I’ve always wanted.


Like I said, I follow a vegan diet, and when I tell people that I also like to lift heavy and workout most days of the week, not everyone understands how I can do it. Well friends, it is not as hard as it seems. Actually, I’m lying. It’s really hard. I had to do a lot of research and quite a few hours “soul searching” (i.e. crying at my favorite restaurant when I realized they didn’t have any vegan friendly foods). But it’s been one of the best and most rewarding changes of my life.

So how do you train as a vegan? I’m going to skip the obvious points about making sure you’re getting enough protein (but seriously, make sure you do!!!), and give you some inside tips on how I do it (or how NOT to do it!)

  • Beans are a great source of protein, but trust me when I say you should not eat them 15 minutes before the gym. You know the good old saying “beans, beans, are good for the heart. The more you eat, the more you fart?” Just imagine being in the middle of a squat, with a barbell weighing almost as much as you pressing down on your shoulders, and realizing you’ve got to let one rip. It will be the most stressful squat of your life, and you’ll sweat more trying to hold in a fart than you will trying to push through your workout.
  • Make sure the protein powder you’re consuming is clean. A lot of vegan protein powders contain lots of unnecessary additives, like high amounts of sodium or too much sugar to make up for the lack of cow (or whey, as some people call it). Make sure that you know what the ingredients are, or buy a protein powder that is completely natural, like pumpkin seed protein powder.
  • Along with your protein powder being clean, make sure that your diet is as well. It might be easy to buy fake vegan meats and eat those morning, noon and night, but they also contain too many ingredients and should only be eaten in moderation (say, once a day).


Look for your protein from natural sources, like beans (black beans, chickpeas) and lentils, plus sneaky protein sources that you wouldn’t think of, like hummus and peanut butter.

  • Constantly fuel yourself. Lots of bodybuilding sites recommend eating every 3 hours, and this goes for vegans as well. Not only does it help keep your metabolism working hard, but this allows you to get in as much protein throughout the day instead of just for breakfast, lunch and supper. Try snacks like apples and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, trail mix or roasted chickpeas. All of those snacks are high in protein, and will keep you satisfied and prepare your body for your next hard workout.
  • Don’t fear carbs! I see way too many people switch to a vegan diet to lose weight, and then they won’t eat carbs because so many weight loss programs tell you to avoid them. Trust me when I tell you trying to maintain a carb-less vegan diet should be considered a form of torture. It’s next to impossible, and very dangerous. So as a vegan, fill up on clean carbs, like sweet potatoes, quinoa and brown rice.


I understand that most of you reading this aren’t vegan, or even considering it, but why not try one vegan recipe a week? Or a day? It’s super easy to make vegan snacks, and I happen to have found one of my favorite protein bars on Janetha’s blog (the apple cinnamon protein bars) and simply substituted the whey protein for pumpkin protein. Super simple and super delicious!

I hope you guys enjoyed my post :) If you did, come on over to my blog and let’s chat! I always love hearing from new people, and love spreading my passion for eating vegan and working out.



If you’re a vegan, what’s your best tip for training?

If you’re not a vegan, would you consider eating vegan snacks? Or going meatless one day a week?

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Bridget B. July 23, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Great post…and you have gorgeous hair! What a beautiful red.

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner July 23, 2012 at 6:32 pm

What an amazing post! I’m not vegan, but I do avoid dairy and I love eating and baking vegan. It’s just as delicious! :) This is such a great post — thank you so much for sharing it! :)

Kim@hungryhealthygirl July 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Great informative post! You look great…keep up the good work. I’m not vegan, but I do eat vegan sometimes. Exploring many healthy living blogs, I come across lots of vegan recipes and I love trying new things.

Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’d never consider going vegan or vegetarian (just wouldn’t be the right choice for me) But I’m always intrigued by vegan baking! I had a vegan whoopie pie the other week that might have been the best one I’ve ever had.

If that can count as my something vegan – I would happily do that often :-)

Brittany @ Delights and Delectables July 23, 2012 at 7:26 pm

I eat vegan 90% of the time. I do enjoy eggs and salmon some! :) I have never tried pumpkin seed protein powder. where do you get this?

Georgia @Trying Something New July 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm

I found mine at my local health food store, but I’m pretty sure it can be found in the health section at most grocery stores.

Alta July 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Is it smooth or is it kinda gritty? I’ve made pumpkinseed flour by grinding pumpkinseeds before (which is awesome for baking) but I somehow worry that this would be similar to hemp protein powder, which I can’t handle due to the gritty grassiness. But I’d love to expand my protein powder horizons! I love me some Vega already.

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance July 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm

Great post! My husband and I aren’t vegan, but will eat vegan a couple of times a week. And omg, the best cookie I’ve ever tasted was a vegan cookie I found in Colorado–I just blogged about it the other day. So delicious. :)

Katie @ Talk Less, Say More July 23, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I’m not a vegan but I am a lactose intolerant vegetarian so I’m pretty close to it! And I would have to agree 100% about eating clean and eating small meals and snacks everyday to keep your metabolism going.

Funny thing is, I’m actually working on a meal plan for my friend who is supposed to go vegan for a week.

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table July 23, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Love this post, and your story. I’m training for a figure competition and trying to do so on a pescatarian diet. I tried vegetarian, but had a hard time getting enough protein from varied sources (we have a really strict plan, so eating a tone of beans/quinoa isn’t an option.

However, I feel best when I am eating as plant-based as possible. I’ve come up with all kinds of veggie protein-filled dishes – from carrot cake shakes to Indian tempeh sitr-frys. Focusing on plant based fuel has really helped me be fore creative (not to mention devise some delicious meals) in the kitchen!

Kelly @ No Sugar Sweet Life July 23, 2012 at 10:02 pm

My hubby and I are trying to eat more plant-based meals because of his recent high cholesterol diagnosis and doing some research on how the current meat, meat, and more meat American diet isn’t really all that healthy. And I am trying to do less dairy b/c of allergies / sinus issues I’ve been having. Sooooooo, I’m very interested in the vegan diet! Thanks for this post, and I can’t wait to spend more time on your blog :)

Meg July 23, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Love your post! I have had MAJOR digestive issues my whole life. Switched to a Vegan+fish diet about 14 months ago and it completely changed my life! Went from throwing up at least 2xweek to only twice in 14 months. (and my husband lost 30 lbs ha!) It was definitely a game changer for both of us :)

I have struggled finding a protein powder that doesn’t give me a stomach ache so I really appreciate your advice :)

hellonheelshon July 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

Loving the idea of going meatless one day a week! :)

Paige @ Your Trainer Paige July 24, 2012 at 7:07 am

I was vegetarian for a couple years – and definitely dabbled with veganism. Now I eat meat again – and just try to limit my meat consumption to one meal a day, just because I’ve found it works better that way for me :)

kendra July 24, 2012 at 9:25 am

Great post!

My husband and I are vegan weightlifters. The transition for him was pretty easy, he loves to cook and swapped out meat, butter and milk for beans, oil, and coconut milk in his favorite recipes. He says his dishes taste better without meat and he hasn’t lost any strength in his lifts with out meat, eggs or whey.

We eat a wide variety of beans, seeds and grains to complement amino acid profiles. The complete proteins at meals theory was tossed years ago. You can eat adzuki beans at lunch and brown rice at dinner and your body figures it out.

We do take a b-12 supplement a few times a week. Other than that, sleep well, stretch and hydrate. Rest is as important as training.


melissa July 24, 2012 at 10:56 am

congrats on your lifestyle change! You look fabulous!

PS, you have great skin and hair!

Annette@FitnessPerks July 24, 2012 at 11:08 am

I’m not a vegan, but I eat a lot of beans, lentils, and quinoa!

Great post!

Heather @ Better With Veggies July 24, 2012 at 12:03 pm

It’s great to hear your story and you shared lots of good tips. I think the one I would add is you don’t need nearly as much protein as you think. Just eat a varied diet (not salad greens 3x per day) and you are likely getting plenty to fuel an active life! :)

Bria @ West of Persia July 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Oh, I def eat lots of vegan meals, though I’m not a vegan myself. Great post!

corrie anne July 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm

you look fantastic! congrats on your accomplishments. we go meatless probably 3-6 nights a week, and i’m a fan for many reasons. and i’m always up for a new vegan meal or snack.

Janetha July 29, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Georgia, YOU ARE A STUNNER! i said it before, but it had to be said again :) Thank you for this post and these great ideas for fueling yourself the vegan way. I know there are so many people out there trying to eat less animal products (myself included) so these tips are very useful!

Anna@ActiveFingers August 4, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Thank you for the tips/reminders! I love the idea of hummus and carrots. There are several kids at the school that are allergic to nuts so I can’t keep them in my office as a snack. Several years ago my parents switched to a modified vegetarian diet for health reasons. I also have several friends that are vegetarian or vegan. I try to incorporate vegetarian or vegan food into my daily diet because I know it gives my body more energy and allows me to function even when I am stressed out.

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