I officially finished my meatless challenge! I was strictly lacto-ovo vegetarian for 20 days straight! Very proud of myself. Before I get into the details, I wanted to let you know that I released a new series on my YouTube channel called “12 Minutes to Toned”!
These are intense 12 minute workouts that are timed, and also set to the beat of the music. They are fun, intense, and will make you die. I mean, it’s Jan 2020 – of course we’re gonna go hard!!! This week we are focusing on arms! And omg – your triceps, biceps, chest, shoulders, and traps will burn. Like SERIOUSLY.
It’s 6 weeks of brand new 12 minute workouts that will challenge you and change you. C’mon. Let’s go HARD.
Also – totally obsessed with the decor for my new set. I love love love interior design and had so much fun designing this one to feel fresh, semi boho-y, and semi havana-y. Do you LOVE!!???? Cuz I LOVEEEEE.
Now…onto to the findings from my meatless experiment! I went lacto-ovo vegetarian for 20 days straight, meaning I could have anything I wanted except for actual meat. So eggs and dairy were ok. In general, I tried to be as grain free and dairy free as possible. This experiment was inspired by the controversial Netflix movie The Game Changers which tries to prove that plant based athletes are stronger than meat eating athletes.
20-Day Meatless Experiment Goal:
To see if going meatless would increase my fitness performance and my energy levels!
20-Day Meatless Experiment Results:
|Day 0||Day 20|
|Weight||116.6 lbs||114.8 lbs|
|Body Fat %||20.1%||19.6%|
|Abdominal Muscle Tone||Some definition.||Light to no definition.|
|Cardio performance||Good||Good – no difference.|
|Strength ability||Good||Good – no difference. Lifted the same weights.|
|Energy Levels||Good||Good – no difference.|
|Mental Clarity||Good||Good – no difference.|
|Quality of Sleep||Deep||Deep – no difference.|
|Skin||Normal||Had a 2 week rash on my face. Still on my face.|
|Digestion||Normal||First week I was bloated and had slow and blocked digestion. The next couple weeks, it became normal.|
I went down in weight and body fat a bit, but nothing too significant. The one thing I noticed the most was that I started feeling softer all over. I began noticing a loss in muscle tone in my abdominal region, which is the most difficult place for me to see any definition.
Overall, I did not see a difference in my fitness performance or my energy levels, which was kind of a bummer! But at least it did not decrease. I purposefully did not want to time myself doing a sprint on Day 0 versus Day 20 because I wanted to be extra conscious and attentive of how my body FELT. I did not feel a difference in my cardio performance or in how much weight I could lift. Everything pretty much stayed the same.
Mental clarity was on point before and stayed on point after. No changes.
With sleep in general – I just don’t sleep enough. It has everything to do with the amount of work I need to get done daily. I averaged about 5-6 hrs of sleep a night on my 20 day experiment, which is about the same as what I was doing before. I’m tired by the time I get to bed, so I knock out immediately. Quality of sleep? Really good/the same before and during the meatless challenge.
Ok, I have no idea if this has anything to do with me being meatless but I developed a terrible red rash on my left upper cheek that has been on my face now for over 2 weeks. Usually weird face stuff goes away after a couple days, but this one is still here. I am not exactly sure what this is caused by and I am surprised that it hasn’t gone away yet.
The only thing I did differently during this time period was I tried using a derma-roller on my face the first week of the challenge. It’s a little rolly device that has mini spikes on it. You’re supposed to roll it on your face and it’s supposed to poke your skin so that your face will want to produce more collagen to repair the pokes. It is indeed a modern day mini torture device for beauty. Ha!
Once I saw the red rash come in, I stopped using the derma-roller. And now it’s been 2 weeks and the rash is still on my face. Not sure what happened, but I hope it heals soon.
The first week or so of the challenge, I was having terrible digestive issues. I was bloated, constipated, and my stomach hurt. I believe it was due to the fake meat I was eating. A lot of times fake meat has wheat gluten in it, and in general, I eat pretty much gluten free. So – that was bad. Once I stopped ordering fake meat from restaurants like Veggie Grill and focused on getting my protein more from eggs, tofu, and the occasional Beyond Burger, things got better and my digestives returned to normal.
My goal was to see if going meatless would increase my personal fitness performance and my energy levels. My results show that everything stayed pretty much the same.
In The Game Changers, they really tried to paint the picture that vegan athletes are much stronger than non-vegan athletes. They did a wonderful job showing how very specific vegan athletes excelled in their sport. But, what they did not do was look at the bigger picture to give the audience a fair understanding of how the top athletes eat. They never laid out the best athletes in each sport to examine what their diets were. It would have been interesting to see what % of them were vegan vs non vegan and to correlate their diet to their ranking in their sport.
So, what now?
The 20 day meatless experiment allowed me to get super creative with my veggies, and I enjoyed cooking so much on this challenge! I will continue to cook and eat with a much more plant-based focus, but I am not going to continue eating vegetarian for now. It was difficult to be a low carb vegetarian whenever we ate out at restaurants and I would often leave feeling hungry. Almost anything vegan or vegetarian had bread or grains in it, and those things make me bloat intensely. Additionally, my blood test results confirmed that the best diet for my body would be low carbohydrate, and I have found that to be true.
- Eat more vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts and seeds in general.
- Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods, meaning things that have a ton of added sugar, are fried, or have ingredients that sound chemical.
- Realize that your body is unique. We have different genetics and biochemistry, so what works for me may not work for you, and vice versa. You need to do your own experiment.
- When watching documentaries and reading things on the internet, don’t believe everything you’re being told. Do your own research – ALWAYS. Read articles from both sides and come up with your own truth.
Should you try going meatless?
YES! You should. Sam went meatless with me for 20 days and he survived, so I know you can too! I’m a huge believer in committing to something new, different, or difficult, and learning something you didn’t know about yourself. You may discover something that could change the rest of your life. Or maybe not – but at least you’ll know what your limits are!
Yesterday’s Day 20 Food Log:
Tofu with cauliflower fried rice and a side salad of butter lettuce and cilantro dressing.
A snack of plain greek yogurt. I added in some monk fruit sugar to sweeten it up!
A fun middle of the day drink.
Sweet strawberries for snacks!
OMG it looks like the seaweed is on fire – haha.
Dinner! Went to a restaurant called Gjelina in Venice! It was really good. I ordered a bunch of veggie appetizers and shared with our table. This was the kabocha squash! There was a lot of olive oil, pomegranate seeds, and some green leafy thing on top. Super good.
Japanese sweet potato.
Maitake mushroom! So crispy and good. I also had some roasted cauliflower but forgot to take a pic of that.
I was really craving some ice cream, so Sam took me to Target to get some Oatly. OMG. It was perfect. The original plain flavor is my favorite!
Alright you guys! That is all for today! I hope you enjoyed reading my 20 day meatless challenge posts. I will write to you again soon.