The Worst Way To Workout, An Easy Way To Get More Vegan Protein, and One Habit That Could Change Your Life
Date: October 20th, 2023
Read time: 5 minutes
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Everything happens at the right time.
I was concerned to drive from New York to North Carolina with our car.
Although, our car was cleared to drive the 11 hrs down, my driver's intuition told me something was off with our car.
However, we couldn't put off the trip.
We had to be there last Friday to sign our lease before doors closed for the weekend.
So on we went.
Yet, the sense of unease still remained.
Whether by divine intervention or just sheer luck, we arrived safely in Asheville late Friday afternoon.
We started to lovingly call our 2004 Honda Civic 'Hondachica' (spanish for honda girl) after two cross country trips from New York to Washington state a few years ago.
She's taken us far.
After unpacking over the weekend and having a chance to pop into the Asheville VegFest on Sunday (plus meet the vegan community here too), we pulled back into our new home and parked our Honda.
The brake lights weren't turning off.
After struggling for an hour, I decided to lock the car and check in the morning.
Completely dead by the morning.
Here's the tow truck coming to pick her up.
$1,621.35 and 3 days later, she's all fixed up.
The trip paired with the enormous amount of boxes we took pushed her over the edge.
But whether by divine intervention or sheer luck, she still managed to get us home safe and even gave us the weekend to explore before signing off Sunday night.
Someone is always looking out for you.
Lesson: Always listen to your intuition. While you may not be able to explain things logically, your heart always knows what's the right path forward.
Here is your 5 Minute Friday:
1). The Way Worst Way To Workout
Doing excessive cardio before lifting weights is a fast way to get poor results.
I speak from experience.
Most of my life I've trained like an athlete.
My favorite sport has been soccer since a young age.
Soccer is a predominantly cardiovascular sport.
While strength and muscularity are important for the game, as a young teen and in my early 20's, I was convinced that I needed to do 30 minutes of cardio BEFORE I started to lift weights.
I was wrong.
According to this study, 'The findings here demonstrate that simultaneously training for strength and endurance will result in a reduced capacity to develop strength, but will not affect the magnitude of increase in VO2max.'
In other words, strength & muscle gains can be impacted negatively (which ruins your chances of keeping your muscle tone) by doing excessive cardio training before lifting weights.
If you want to lose weight or inches, the most effective way is to start lifting weights FIRST and then increasing sets, reps, or intensity over time paired with a caloric deficit.
The caloric deficit drives fat-loss.
The weights preserve lean muscle.
There's also the concept of the 'interference effect'. Essentially, this means that when the body receives two conflicting signals, it will adapt to the easier signal.
If you have two signals hitting your body from weights and cardio, your body will prefer to adapt to the easier cardio signal (which strengthens your heart but doesn't drop fat effectively).
However, it's not as scary as it sounds.
As long as you setup your cardio and weightlifting sessions correctly, you can see maximum improvements in both body composition AND heart health.
Plus, I love cardio.
If you can, space out your weight lifting sessions and cardio sessions by 6-12 hours (for minimal interference effect).
If you can't space them out due to time (like me), then do your cardio AFTER lifting weights but have a quick protein shake and piece of fruit (banana works great) to replenish your glycogen stores (energy) and protect lean muscle mass from being lost.
Work out smarter, not harder.
2). An Easy Way To Increase Your Vegan Protein
One of the biggest challenges I hear almost everyday is how to get more protein as a vegan.
Let me preface this with this quick framework:
If you're working on your HEALTH (not weight loss or muscle building), protein needs do NOT need to be high.
In fact, the average American (and human for that matter), is consuming WAY too much protein and fat.
Protein is massively overrated when it comes to HEALTH.
Now, fitness is another topic.
Ideally when working towards fat-loss or muscle building efforts, protein needs can and should be higher.
For fat-loss, I recommend anywhere from 1.0 - 1.5 grams per pound.
For muscle building, I recommend 0.8 - 1.0 grams per pound.
You'll notice that for fat loss or weight loss efforts, the needs are higher.
This is because while dropping weight and fat tissue, your body will also be inclined to drop precious muscle tissue.
Getting sufficient protein paired with lifting weights will be the signal to your body to preserve your muscle tissue.
So with that in mind, here's 2 easy ways to get more protein:
a. Aim to start your day with protein.
Whether it's oatmeal bowl with protein or a smoothie with protein, start your day strong.
Ideally, a good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 25 grams of protein per meal.
For a 170 lb male, aim for 35 grams per meal.
For a 120 lb female, aim for 25 grams per meal.
Split up your meals with smaller targets rather than getting overwhelmed at the end of the day when you're 100 grams short.
b. Plan your meals ahead of time
Hands down, this is one of the simplest ways to get more protein without feeling stressed.
- Plan out your menu for the week before the week starts.
- Choose high protein vegan meals (click here to get free access to our VFR High Protein Meals with low-calorie & low-fat meals)
- Create time blocks on your calendar to eat your meals (if it's not scheduled, it's not real).
*The last point is important. As a busy high achiever, I know how easy it is to get stuck in the office working on your next exciting project or pushing forward your next initiative.
Create time to eat.
It makes a difference.
3). One Habit That Could Change Your Life
I've been practicing meditation for almost 8 years.
During these 8 years, I've learned a lot about myself.
About my emotions. How I think about myself. My unconscious patterns.
How my ego operates.
The list goes on.
Meditation is a popular topic and well-known enough that I won't preach it's benefits here to you.
What I will share is a slightly different style of meditation called 'zazen'.
Meditation at it's core is about following your breath and coming back to your center.
It's not about stopping your thoughts (which only happens when you pass away).
Nor is it about trying to rip out destructive or limiting beliefs (since what you resist, persists).
Zazen is a common meditation style within Zen circles but not as well-known especially in 'New Age' meditation groups (where the primary focus is about 'feeling good' and 'elevating yourself').
Rather zazen is about sitting quietly on a meditation mat (if possible, it can be done seated or even standing) and observing your breath.
Breath in. Breath out.
When your mind wanders, you come back to your breath.
Over and over again.
Most of my life I've struggled with being present with myself or others.
I've constantly searched outside of myself for something to keep me entertained, busy, or occupied.
That's no longer the case.
From the perspective of Buddhism, the mind (or better said, the ego) is filled with countless desires.
It's only when you come back to your center that you can start to see clearly as you let your mind and heart be at ease.
Consider sitting for 1 minute a day and just focus on your breath.
It's exactly where I started 8 years ago.
And my life has completely transformed from this one practice.
Here's a great guide on how to practice zazen and study your mind from the first Zen school I've learned my practice from.
Client of the Week
Brittany is a busy manager. Leading her staff and juggling life caused her to put her health on the backburner. 23 lbs overweight, she was tired, out of shape, and lost her confidence at work.
Our strategy: Focus on lifting weights 4 days a week, 12,000 steps per day, 2 mobility sessions per week, and moderate caloric deficit.
We also worked on her mindset and emotions by layering in deep breathing when she felt stressed out and vizualization of how she wanted her new body and health to look like.
She's dropped 25 lbs, 4 inches off her waist, and rebuilt her confidence, energy, and health even in the midst of moving to a new home.
In fact, because of her consistency and adherence she even regained definition in her abs while significantly shredding body fat off her body.
If you're a busy vegan professional or entrepreneur who wants to get lean, build muscle, and build a high-performance body while fueling your vegan impact, click here to apply for a free gameplan session.
One Quote To Finish Your Week Strong
Everything that we need is already within us.
Just turn your awareness around and look within.
We need more humans who realize who they truly are.
Whenever you're ready, there's 3 ways I can help you:
1. Join our free high-performance vegan fitness FB group to get access to dozens of live trainings recorded to get lean, build muscle, and regain energy even with a busy lifestyle.
2. Are you a high-performing vegan who wants to get lean, reclaim strength, and lead by example? Apply for private one-to-one coaching here.
3. Want to fuel your fitness curiosity and follow along with latest findings, insights, and evidence-based practices as I learn along the way?
(feel free to send me a DM anytime - I love connecting with new vegan friends worldwide).