Meat is murder…on my digestive tract.


For the last 4-ish years I’ve been mostly vegetarian.  I cook and order vegetarian meals 98.2% of the time, but I’m not about to turn down a bite of my father’s venison sausage or turn my nose up at a meat based meal that has been graciously cooked by someone else.  I do eat eggs, a lot, we even raised chickens for a while.  And seafood makes an appearance about once a week.  Born and raised in Louisiana, it’s a rite of passage.  I’m pretty sure there are actually laws demanding the consumption of crawfish, shrimp & oysters somewhere deeply embedded in the Napoleonic Code, probably right next to the law that prohibits bathing your mule on the front steps of the courthouse on Sundays.

The choice to eliminate meat was not an attempt at activism, but if you’ve ever seen an anti-meat documentary or been stuck behind a Sanderson’s Farm truck on the highway, it will make you cringe.  I do care about the treatment of commercially raised animals, but you won’t see me with a picket sign outside of a slaughter house.  Voting with my dollars is about all the activism I can handle at this point.

The primary reason for adopting a plant based diet came from being fed up with all of the confusing nutrition information in the media and even the fitness industry. I needed to cut through the crap and find out what worked best for me so that I could better educate my clients.  If I was confused, as a trainer, how did my clients feel?  I decided that eating as close to God’s intended design was a good place to start.  Gluten, dairy and processed foods had already been cut, so the next step was eliminating meat.  Soon I felt the positive changes in my body and didn’t feel deprived at all.  In fact, I was experiencing a whole new world of plant foods! At the time, I was leading 20+ group fitness classes a week, so getting enough protein was an initial concern, but I actually had more energy!  So maybe I was especially gas-y those first few weeks (shhhhh!), but it got better.

All that to set the stage for the first few weeks of competition prep.  Since this is all new to me, I thought it would be smart to do what the pros do.  Going against my gut (figuratively and literally) I created a meal plan with chicken or turkey 3-4x a day that fit my macros.  There were lots of veggies too, but holy poultry!

Getting Started

Week 1 I meticulously planned and tracked my macros, increased my water and killed it in the gym.  (Side note: I realized that I had not been eating nearly enough, I had to increase my calories by more than 50%.  More on that later.) There was a little change in my weight and body fat %, but I was miserable… stuffed to the gills, tired and sluggish.

Week 1 Overview

11/1      Wt. 132.4      BF% 20.4      BF lbs 27    Waist 29.25″     Hips  35″      Thigh(s) 21.5″

11/7     Wt.  131          BF% 20.2      BF lbs 26.5   Waist  28.75″   Hips   35″    Thigh(s) 21.25″

I felt yucky, but there were positive changes. The goal is to lose 1/2 lb of fat each week… nailed it!  Then came week 2…

Week 2 Overview

11/14    Wt. 132.2    BF% 21.4     BF lbs 28    Waist  28.75″   Hips   35″    Thigh(s) 21.25″

Not only did I not lose inches, but I gained body fat and I was still miserable.  WTH?!?!  With 9 weeks to competition and no coach, there was no time to waste.  The meal plan got a complete overhaul and I went back to eating the way I have these last few years (just a lot more!), the results have been great.

file_001-10 file_004-5 file_003-4

These were taken in Week 2 (10 weeks till competition)… I procrastinated 😦





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