Category Archives: DIETS



IFBB Pro Alex Carneiro knows that going low(er) carb can be rough. Not only do you have to limit your bread intake, but childhood favorites are off limits—crustless peanut butter and jelly, anyone? Well, there’s good news. It turns out you can have your protein PB&J and drink it, too!

  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp raspberry preserves (Stevia sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Blend all ingredients together.
  2. Enjoy your super shake!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 347
Total Fat9.5 g
Total Carbs38 g
Protein32 g


Mornings can be rough. You wake up late, head into work flustered, and spill your morning cup of Joe on your new shirt. Follow Alex’s suggestions: Lessen the blow and nix the caffeine with a sweet protein treat.

  • 1 banana (medium size)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Strawberry Banana
  • 8 oz almond milk
  1. Blend all of the ingredients together.
  2. Slam it!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 394
Total Fat8.6 g
Total Carbs37.5 g
Protein29.8 g


Athlete Stephanie Toomey makes this shake every morning. The combination of coconut and almond milk makes for a silky smooth base, while peanut butter kicks the flavor profile up a notch. Go nuts with this flavor combination!

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2)
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  1. Blend and freeze.
  2. Remove from freezer five minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 350
Total Fat21 g
Total Carbs7.5 g
Protein29.3 g


National bikini competitor Lindsey Renee prefers her protein in pancake form. Who could say no to a sizable stack of flapjacks first thing in the morning? Forget the tasteless, frozen variety and dig into these freshly baked hot cakes instead.

  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free syrup
  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl. If needed, add a bit more water.
  2. Cook over medium heat.
  3. Plate and spread 1 tbsp almond butter on top of the pancakes.
  4. Sprinkle with 1 packet Splenda and drizzle with maple syrup.
  5. If desired, add a few strawberries and bananas for deliciousness!
Serving Size (2-3 pancakes)Yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 145
Total Fat1.3 g
Total Carbs3.6 g
Protein34.8 g


Need a powerful morning punch? Noah Siegel has just the recipe. Peanut butter? Good. Berries? Good. Oatmeal? Really good! Really, what’s not to love about this shake? With a healthy dose of healthy fats, vitamin C, fiber, and protein, it’s a well-rounded meal in a glass.

  • 16 oz. almond milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 scoop natural peanut butter
  • 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 small cup oatmeal
  • Optional: 2 scoops ON Essential AmiN.O. Energy Blue Raspberry
  1. Blend ingredients together.
  2. Enjoy!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 599
Total Fat12 g
Total Carbs46 g
Protein57 g


Why limit banana flavor to bread? Try this recipe by Jaquelyn Kastelic, Optimum Nutrition athlete and owner of Crossfit Unrivaled. Break the standard baking mold by serving up a batch of these fruit-flavored pancakes.

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1-2 scoops Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 6 whole eggs, 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 whole banana
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Sugar-free maple syrup, to taste
  1. Preheat your pan to 300 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix eggs, 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 of a mashed up banana, and 1/2 drop liquid Stevia.
  3. Melt coconut oil in microwave and add to mix.
  4. Stir in flax meal and protein to a desired creamy consistency. Add cinnamon.
  5. Pour on pan and cook a few minutes on each side.
  6. Once all pancakes are made, slice up the remaining 1/2 banana and top the pancakes with zero-calorie maple syrup.
Serving Size (1 pancake)Recipe yields 8
Amount per serving
Calories 127
Total Fat6.5 g
Total Carbs5.5 g
Protein11.7 g


Power-up on protein with these tasty bars! Spices like cinnamon and clove will awaken your flavor palate while alternatives to butter like applesauce spell a lower fat content while still providing the moisture necessary for a delicious cake.

  • 1-2 tsp of Stevia powder
  • 4 oz. jar baby food applesauce ( or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla or White Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients and mix together.
  5. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool. Then cut into 30 squares.
Serving Size (1 square )Recipe yields 30
Amount per serving
Calories 41
Total Fat0.5 g
Total Carbs6.2 g
Protein2.9 g


Breakfast doesn’t have to come in the form of a protein shake. Serve up healthy slabs of French toast for your next brunch with this recipe from Noah Siegel.

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread
  • 3 egg whites
  • Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Cinnamon Graham Cracker protein
  1. Spray pan with non-stick spray and place on medium heat.
  2. Combine egg whites, protein powder, and cinnamon together in a large casserole dish.
  3. Place a slice of Ezekiel bread in mixture and let each side sit until thoroughly saturated with mixture.
  4. Place bread in pan, turning so both sides get done before the center is completely cooked. Make sure temperature is low enough to cook thoroughly without burning.
  5. Remove from pan and let cool for about 2 minutes. Add toppings.
Serving Size (2 slices)Recipe yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 334
Total Fat2 g
Total Carbs34 g
Protein45.7 g


Get your coffee fix in protein brownie form with this recipe from IFBB Pro Bikini competitor Anna Starodubtseva.

Brownie Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 8 oz fat free Philadelphia Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 4 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Mocha Cappuccino
  • 3 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 4 tsp Truvia
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp Optimum Nutrition Fitness Fiber
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 shot fresh espresso
Sauce Ingredients (optional)
  • 5 oz raspberries
  • Stevia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Blend egg white separately from yolks until they become foam.
  2. Add yolks, Truvia, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder, Fitness Fiber, and protein powder and mix in a blender.
  3. Manually mix in cream cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  1. Heat a pan with coconut oil.
  2. Mix berries with Truvia in a bowl. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 min until the juice comes out of the berries.
  3. When the brownies are ready, place them in a fridge for two hours. Serve with warm berry sauce on top.
Serving Size (1/5 of batch)Recipe yields 1 batch
Amount per serving
Calories 204
Total Fat3.9 g
Total Carbs14.4 g
Protein 31 g

Bodybuilding The Vegan Way, Part II: Eating To Maximize Muscle Gains

I will go on the record in saying that nutrition is the most important part of the muscle building equation. What you put into your mouth will determine the gains that you make from intense workouts in the gym and how you recover and build muscle away from the gym.

Nutrition is important for every bodybuilder and especially for vegan athletes and trainees. Building an impressive physique is possible while adhering to a Vegan diet and lifestyle, but careful planning is necessary to maximize testosterone and insulin production and to maximize recovery.

If you are currently following the workout program that I created in Part I, then you are doing all you need to in the gym to stimulate new muscle growth. With your workouts well underway, it is important to maximize your time away from the gym and your training table (meals for the week).

I will admit that there certain benefits as far as testosterone release and absorption that occur with meat and whey protein consumption. As a vegan, I do not eat any of these products or any product that comes from an animal source.

My reasons are based on my own morals and ethics which is not to say that I look down upon those who do not follow my lifestyle, it is just that I personally feel that abusing and killing animals for personal gain is not something that I want to be affiliated with.

Even if you do not believe in my lifestyle choice, I still believe that the principles and base for my nutrition program can be taken and used for your benefit. Again, my goal is to promote a vegan lifestyle and to show that it is possible to achieve great gains while holding to a vegan lifestyle.

I am not making judgments, just creating an awareness and providing a resource for those who are vegan, are interested in becoming vegan or those who would like to learn how I build my physique while living a vegan lifestyle.

Eating Vegan has become simpler in recent years with the increase in awareness and a more mainstreaming of Vegan lifestyles. Most commercial-chain supermarkets have Organic sections and there is an increase in the amount of natural and organic markets throughout the United States. Everyone Vegan or non-Vegan can reap the benefits of eating natural and organic foods.

Soy is my staple protein source. Much has been researched on soy and its effect on estrogen levels and it has been concluded that soy is healthy for males and will not effect estrogen levels to a drastic degree.

With that said, I also use Rice protein. Hemp protein is another great protein source, and in the near future Hemp protein shakes may soon replace soy protein shakes in my diet.

Nutritional Principles & Guidelines

Just because I am Vegan, does not mean that I do not follow the same guidelines as champion bodybuilders when it comes to nutrition. In fact, just the opposite is true. I still eat the same way that professional bodybuilders do, the only difference is that all of my protein sources are non-meat and non-dairy and do not contain any animal, or animal by-product.

Also, all of the food in my diet is organic and contains only natural ingredients. I follow the following basic guidelines in setting up my nutrition plan and I suggest you do the same in yours.

/ Eat Small, Frequent Meals

I eat 6 to 8 times per day which equates to roughly every 2 to 4 hours. It is important to keep a constant influx of nutrients (protein, calories, healthy fats, complex and low-glycemic carbohydrates) in your body to maintain a positive nitrogen balance.

Not only will your metabolism and fat-burning capabilities increase, you will have the nutrients needed to fuel muscle growth and recover so you can workout harder the next time you hit the gym.

/ Eat Your Bodyweight In Grams Of Protein

I strive for 1-1.5 grams per pound of bodyweight in grams of protein. For example, in the off-season I weigh anywhere between 180 and 185 pounds. This past off-season I was in the 180 pound range which equates to 180 grams of protein per day. This is spread out between the 6 meals that I eat in a day which comes to an average of 30 grams of protein per meal.

/ Carbohydrates Are Crucial To Muscle Growth

The great thing about a Vegan diet, is the fact that I eat organic foods. When it comes tocarbohydrates, I only eat organic whole-grain breads which provide plenty of fiber and low-glycemic carbohydrates that keep blood sugar levels even. When in a mass building phase, I strive for 2 to 3 grams of carbohydrates per pound of bodyweight which comes out to 360 to 540 grams per day. I usually aim for the lower amount.

/ Eat Enough Calories

This is the biggest problem of most hard-gainers and can be especially tricky for Vegans. The reason is not a lack of meals, but the fact that are diets are high in fiber and low in overall calories, due to the abundance of fruits and vegetables.

It is important to take in 15 to 20 calories per pound of bodyweight. Start at the lower number and adjust up or down based on the progress that you are making. If gains are coming well and your body looks to be gaining muscle with a minimal gain in body fat, maintain or even slightly up your caloric intake. If the opposite is occurring, lower the calories until the desired effects are occurring.

/ Fat Should Comprise Roughly 30% Of Overall Calories

The positive to a Vegan diet is that the fats consumed are of the healthy kind; mainly Omega-5 from nuts.

The Nutrition Plan

Now that I have addressed the 5 guidelines that I follow in creating my nutrition plan it is time to see what it looks like. I have laid out a typical off-season meal plan for me. I usually eat roughly the same each day, but I do change things up occasionally and my overall calories may vary slightly from day to day.

Meal One: 8 a.m.
Meal Two: 11 a.m.


Meal Three: 2 p.m. Pre-workout


Meal Four: 4 p.m. Post-workout


Meal Five: 6 p.m.
    • Tofu


      6 oz

      mixed with organic vegetables



  • Salad

    Soy Cheeseburger Patties

Meal Six: 10 p.m.
    • Peanut Butter

      Peanut Butter

      2 Tbls.

    • Soy Shake

      Soy or Hemp Shake

      20 grams

      mixed in 8oz of soy milk


Cheat Meals

In the off-season I do not deprive myself of any foods that I crave or feel like having. Soy ice cream is my biggest vice and when not dieting for a photo shoot or bodybuilding show it is not uncommon for me to have a few scoops around 8 p.m.

The key is moderation and taking the time to enjoy your cheat food. Take the time to savor each bite and enjoy the flavor; doing so will allow your brain time to find comfort in the taste and by eating slowly your body will have time to tell you that you are full and do not want or crave any more.


With the exception of protein shakes and my post-workout organic soda, I have not listed what I drink throughout the day. This is because how much fluids I drink depends on how thirsty I am. I only drink when I am thirsty. My choices are water (I flavor my water with lemon) and green tea from tea leaves.

I drink roughly 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids each day. This number includes water, soy milk, green tea and soy protein shakes. I gauge my hydration by the color of my urine. I make sure that my urine is pale yellow to clear in color. As long as it is and I am not thirsty, I drink only when I feel thirst.

Meals On Non-Training Days

On my off days I still eat the same type of meals. The only exception is that I do not have organic soda. The times of my meals after 2 p.m. changes as well in the following way:

Meal Three: 2 p.m.
Meal Four: 6 p.m.

On my training day Meal Four is eaten at 5 p.m.

Meal Five: 8 p.m.
Meal Six: 10 p.m.

This is how I eat on a typical day. This plan has allowed me to gain quality muscle while still being able to stay fairly lean during my bulking phases. The foods taste good and at no point do I ever feel like I am missing anything.


There you have it. You are now well on your way to building a great body the Vegan Way!!! Be prepared to feel great, have energy you never had before and make the best gains of your life!!! Thank you for taking the time to read my articles.


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Bodybuilding The Vegan Way, Part I: The Workout

Vegan Lifestyle

Vegetarianism, more specifically a vegan lifestyle has gotten more mainstream attention in recent years and I am writing this article in an effort to show how it is possible to adhere to a vegan lifestyle and still make great gains as a bodybuilder.

It is my goal to show how a vegan lifestyle can still help bodybuilders make great gains but in no way am I attempting to push my beliefs and lifestyle on anyone. This article is for anyone who is interested in a vegan bodybuilding lifestyle and those who would like to know more about being a vegan bodybuilding.

This article is the first of many installments that I will be writing over the course of the year. In this first part I will highlight workouts that will help vegan bodybuilders build muscle.

Vegan Workouts

It is tempting to try the workouts that are listed in many of the muscle magazines. However, it is important for vegans to realize that their lifestyle and nutrition programs do not support the recoverynecessary to train with high volume and frequency. I can vouch to this from experience.

It does not take much to stimulate muscle growth, heavy weight and low reps will get the job done. It is important to keep workouts under 45 minutes. Most of my workouts last only 30-to-35 minutes. Later on in the year toward “beach season” I will highlight workouts and routines to help shed body fat and cut up but the main point of this article is to build muscle.

How much, if any cardio to be done is based on the individual. When I bulk up I do not do any cardio at all, but I would say that those who would like to do cardio, do 2-to-3 sessions of 15-to-20 minutes at a low intensity per week. The bike, elliptical or walking or jogging on the treadmill are great choices.

Keep the intensity, frequency and duration low. Also, make sure to have a vegan-friendly protein shake (soy, rice, hemp) 20 minutes before doing cardio to prevent any muscle loss during the cardio workout.

Weight Lifting Guidelines

  1. Work each body part once per week.
  2. Keep workouts under 45 minutes.
  3. Lift heavy weight and low reps.
  4. Perform 3-to-4 exercises for large muscle groups and 2-to-3 exercises for smaller muscle groups.
  5. I keep my repetitions between 4-and-6 for core lifts (Bench Press, Deadlift and Squats) and 6-to-10 for all other lifts.

The Workout Split

The following is the way that I split my workouts up. If I have time and my schedule allows for it, I do two separate workouts with a workout for the first body part of the day in the morning and the workout for the other muscle group to be worked that I perform later in the evening.

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: Chest & Triceps
  • Tuesday: Back & Biceps
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Legs & Abs
  • Friday: Shoulders & Traps
  • Saturday: Off

The Workouts

I used to have workouts set in stone and I never varied from them, but after having seven years of training under my belt, I have become more aware of my body and in-tune to how I feel. Now I go into the gym with a plan and goal of what I want to achieve but I listen to my body and adjust the sets, reps and exercises that I perform based on how I feel on that given day.

For example with chest I may have planned to do the barbell bench press, incline dumbbell presses and dumbbell flyes, but for some reason my body tells me that the flyes are not going to happen today, I switch to the cable cross-over or pec-deck flye instead.

With all of that said, here are my typical workouts with each body part with the substitutions that I use for certain exercises.

Monday: Chest & Triceps
Tuesday: Back & Biceps
Thursday: Legs & Abs
Friday: Shoulders & Traps


There you have it. This is how I work out and this workout will definitely help you to maximize your gains, minimize your time in the gym and maximize your recovery potential which leads to the growth of new muscle tissue.


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