Routine break-up

Thanks for all the worrying messages regarding my little fitness ‘breakdown’, I promise I will be fine! Even though it can be considered a bit personal, I think it is important for you to know that life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows for everyone. You think I’m this gym machine who can do everything, but I’m not. We’re all human, and I’m not gonna portray myself as someone who never struggles.

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I went to bootcamp yesterday and it was great, my body did however feel heavy and there was no chance of pushing beyond any limits – but the point is that I did it and enjoyed it. Waking up by myself at about 7 is kind of annoying when I can’t go to the gym though. My plan said ‘walk’ today, but because my routine is to wake up and exercise before breakfast, I forced myself to break that routine, and left the walk for after lunch. I have, in other words, had plenty of time to make breakfast, and what’s better than pancakes? Even breaking up my breakfast-routine. Good little Norwegian.

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I have made a colourful little plan where I count down the days until my rest is over, and I’ve promised myself one hell of a vegan chocolate-cheesecake (healthy of course) once I’ve managed to fully rest. I’m easy to bribe.

My friends have this thing where they all go ‘let’s grab a coffee’, and I’m like… I don’t like coffee. And as much as I love my green/herbal tea, I feel a bit lame not being able to partake in the fun coffee-drinking. When I have to get up at 5 am, all I do is wish I liked coffee. But I don’t. I’ve tried, but every attempt sends me right back to that one time 12 year-old Marita thought she ordered a chocolate ice-cream which turned out to be a coffee ice-cream in France. Yeah, scarred for life.

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People have been drinking chai-lattes around me for ages, but after I had it in India 3 times a day for about two months, I just haven’t been able to let it tempt me. Until last week. I tried a soy chai-latte and was sold. Absolutely amazing. Thinking to myself it was only chai-tea and steamed soy-milk I was drinking, I’ve been having it a bit too often. But I have this annoying habit that makes me a googler, I google everything. Turns out, most places use chai-powder and syrups which are packed with sugar. They also use honey (not the raw kind that actually comes with nutritional benefits, but the processed kind), and guess what you guys – soy-milk contains added sugar too! As I learned this, I realized I might as well could’ve had hot chocolate topped with whipped cream all this time. So I’ve given making my own a go. Almond-milk chai-latte. Steamed almond milk, spiced chai tea bag, hot water and cinnamon/raw cocoa. Definitely not as tasty as the real deal, but no shit Sherlock, removing sugar from things tend to have that effect. Our milk-steamer doesn’t even make it any better.

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But I still drink it. At least I feel kinda grown-up and all that. My mom has taught me that black tea and coffee stains your teeth, and as I’ve had a VERY painful encounter with bleaching my teeth, I can’t justify drinking things that will possibly make me have to do it again (it is not worth it, just no way), so I’m using a straw. Lame, I know. So here I am, learning all the chapters I skipped in Biology Higher Level when doing the IB. Amazing how things turn around and how much you’re willing to learn if it interests you.

I’m also a milkshake kind of girl, and this weekend I made one inspired by Green Kitchen Stories. Blend frozen raspberries and lime juice. Pour in the bottom of a glass. Blend two frozen bananas, 2 tbs nut-butter, raw cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder (optional) and almond milk/milk of choice, and pour on top of the raspberry mixture. Use a straw to drink it (important – the flavours go so well together with a straw), it’s amazing.

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But where do you get your protein from?

Meet Luke Tan. Bodybuilder, strength and conditioning coach and NLP Mindset/Life coach within the Australian Strength Performance. Luke has represented ASP in the International Natural Bodybuilding Association (INBA) Victorian Championships, where he placed second runner up in his category and won ‘Best Routine & Poser’ (read the story here).

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Surely this guy must be devouring red meat, dairy products and other suspected sources of protein on a daily basis. Yeah, not really, Luke is a vegan. You heard me – a guy with muscles who eats his vegetables, and he has even inspired a few of his clients into relying less on meat and dairy.

Having previously lived by the paleo principle and consumed up to 1kg fish/meat/poultry a day, Luke has noticed a massive change since turning vegan.

“I was always binging on nuts and never felt satiated. I craved lollies, cakes and chocolate during the day and felt guilty because of the amount of carbs when I ‘succumbed’ and had a small block of chocolate or fruit. Every once or twice a week, I looked forward to my ‘cheat meal’ having whatever I wanted in one sitting. Since turning vegan, I’ve found that my diet is a lot more varied and not to mention colourful. I absolutely love eating organic apples, bananas and dates.”

The bulk of his calories come from starches (rice, quinoa, sweet potato, pumpkin) complimented with a large volume of salads and fruits. Always being ‘carbed up’ has left Luke more energetic, his digestion has improved, and the cravings of processed food has disappeared. Why you ask? Well.

  1. His glycogen stores are always full
  2. Most of these processed/refined carbohydrate sources (eg: cakes, chocolate, lollies, ice cream) contain animal products/ by-products.

Being a vegan allows Luke to stay lean, and he has found an increase in both strength and performance in the gym. Due to the alkalinizing effect of a plant-based diet, his pre-existing shoulder issues and brittle teeth with re-occurring cavities are barely existent.

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I was once told, that before bears hibernate, they put on 100 kg to survive the winter simply by eating blueberries. Not meat. Not fish. Not some ridiculous amount of bread. Blueberries, guys. Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese AND in the world, and also the highest amount of people enjoying a plant-based diet.

So where does Luke get his protein from?

“Rice, beans.. There is protein in everything”, he says. He supplements this with pea/ rice protein isolate shakes and Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs) intra/ post workout. “I love doing what I do the vegan way, knowing that I am progressing a step at a time while serving my highest purpose, which is to make a difference to the world”.

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When Germany occupied Norway during World War II, they confiscated nearly all of the farm animals to feed their own troops, leaving Norwegians with no choice but to eat a diet mostly based on plants. The peak of of the Norwegian death rate due to heart attack and stroke was in 1939 very high, and as a result of Germany arriving, it began its decline. By the end of the war in 1945, the rate had gone back to nearly what it had been 15 years prior. But from 1945 and into the next decade, when the people again had meat and dairy available, the rate went skyrocketing back up to nearly where it had been before the war.

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I am not trying to convince anybody to go vegan or vegetarian, mostly because I cannot pride myself of being that (though my diet consists of more vegetables than meat/chicken/fish as I am a hopeless cook), BUT I am trying to convince you to nourish your body with the nutrition already provided us naturally. Eat a rainbow. Eat what is natural. Don’t claim that meat and dairy is the only way to get your protein. And why not give Luke’s 30 Day Vegan Challenge a try, and see what difference it makes for you?

For more information on the vegan lifestyle and a positive way of living, check out ‘Luke T Evolvedstrength’ on Facebook and stay tuned for his blog ‘evolved generation’.