August 12, 2015

Vegan gains: How to body build on a vegan diet


CHICAGO Bears defensive lineman David Carter maintains his 136kg frame eating a vegan diet.
The 1.96 metre tall 27-year-old has swapped his protein shakes and steak meals for an entirely plant-based diet and feels more powerful and healthy than ever before. 
Suffering with pain in his shoulder and hands, he had tendinitis and had lost feeling out of three fingers on his hand. At the time he thought dairy was the answer and he proceeded to add a series of ice cream shakes and litres of milk to his already heavy diet. Through continual health research, David stumbled along a documentary on veganism, which claimed dairy contributes to some forms of tendinitis.
“So the next day I went vegan. The first thing I ate was a bean burger and haven’t eaten meat since,” Carter told GQ.
“People ask me if I want to get a steak and I tell them I actually don’t eat that, or any meat or dairy. They’re usually thinking, ‘Wait, you’re supposed to be small and weak.’ But of course they can’t say that when they’re looking at me.”
David lost more than 18kg in the first four weeks of going vegan. He claims his strength in the weights room increased significantly almost immediately and so did his endurance and speed on the running track. The pain in his joints disappeared a few weeks later.
Despite his health improvements, David needed to increase his mass to continue as a strong force in his NFL position. The climb back to the 136 kilos was more of a challenge as a vegan.


David Carter says he’s in the best shape of his life.
David Carter says he’s in the best shape of his life. Source: Twitter
Health organisations recommend average adult men who exercise regularly consume around 3000 calories a day. Since going vegan, Carter has started aiming for 10,000 calories a day and more than 540 grams of protein. A standard day includes five sit-down meals and another four 568ml shakes, made up of cannellini beans and sunflower seeds.
He credits the diet for why he was recently signed by Chicago after being cut by Jacksonville Jaguars before the 2014 season.
GQ lists his diet as:
BREAKFAST
Oatmeal with hemp protein, bananas and berries.
SNACK
568ml ounce smoothie made with cannellini beans, banana, strawberries, and spirulina.
LUNCH
Brown rice and black beans topped with avocado and cashew cheese.
SNACK
Another 568ml smoothie.
SECOND LUNCH
More of the brown rice and black bean combo.
SNACK
Another 568ml smoothie.
DINNER
Couscous with onion and garlic, and spinach salad with bell peppers.
SNACK
Another 568ml smoothie.

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