To visit the Vegan Bodybuilding website click here

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Pumpkin soup with potato dumplings

If you are feeling all skin & bones this Halloween, then it might be time to have a go at a seasonal favourite meal with a little twist.  I created this dish simply because I wanted to try & make pumpkin soup (I have never done it before) & a friend told me about a thing called a potato dumpling (which I had never heard of before).

I'll split the recipe in 2, that way you can have all the details for the 2 recipes & calorie breakdowns of each so you can try adding them in different ways if you prefer.

 This recipe serves 2 people

Pumpkin soup ingredients

300g pumpkin (Approx 400g with skin & seeds in) 
cal 60
P 3
C 15
F 0

125g carrot 
cal 52
P 1
C 12
F 0

50g Parsnip 
cal 35
P 0.5
C 8
F 0

30g Red pepper 
cal 9
P 0
C 2
F 0

1 Medium celery stick
cal 6
P 0
C 1
F 0

25g walnuts 
cal 137
P 4
C 4
F 16

200mL unsweetened soya milk (if you prefer to use other milk alternatives that is fine)
cal 80
P 6
C 5
F 4

Seasoning (calories not counted)
Black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon parsley
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato paste
Optional yeast flake topping (to taste)

TOTAL PUMPKIN SOUP CALORIES 379 (190Kcal per person) 15 grams of protein (7.5g per person)

Potato dumpling ingredients

250g Potato 
cal 233
P 8
C 53
F 0

50g Rice flour 
cal 183
P 3
C 40
F 0.5

Seasoning (calories not counted)
Black pepper to taste
Half a teaspoon of sage
Half a teaspoon of parsley

TOTAL POTATO DUMPLING CALORIES 416 (208Kcal per person) 11 grams of protein (5.5g per person)

Overall meal total
795 (398Kcal per person) 26g of protein (13g per person)


Pumpkin soup

Cut all the ingredients for the soup into chunks & add all the seasoning except the optional yeast flakes, do NOT add the soya milk. 
Cover with water & simmer for 30-40 minutes. 
Once all the vegetables are soft & the flavours have mixed put the soup into a blender, add the soya milk & whiz up until creamy.
Serve with an optional topping of black pepper & yeast flakes.

Potato dumplings

Steam or boil chopped potatoes until soft enough to mash (I keep the skins on, but you can skin them if you prefer). 
Mash the potato & add the seasoning. Mix in the rice flour until the mix forms a dough-like consistency.  
Boil some water in a pan, then remove from the heat, immediately add the potato dumplings, leave them in the pan for only a minute or so, then remove.
Add them to the pumpkin soup before you sprinkle on the yeast flakes.

That's it. It is simple & pretty quick. So, don't lose your head this Halloween, just knock up some soup & enjoy something a little different.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Creative Nature - Sublime Seed bar

These bars contain cold-pressed seeds & hemp protein. I picked up a couple at the London Vegfest to try out.
The nutritional details per bar are:
6.5g protein
16.7g carbs (11.2 is sugar)
9.7g of fat (1.4g saturates)

There is also some fibre & some sodium in there.

This bar may not fit everyone's macro-nutrient profile, especially bodybuilders at certain times of the season, but for most other athletes it is a reasonable fit as part of a snack (or a whole snack for a smaller athlete).  If you are looking for a 'sweet treat' then this isn't the bar for you. If you enjoy a more savoury, nutty taste, then I think you will like this bar a lot. Personally I prefer a less sweet bar, so it worked well for me.  Also, I found it more satiating than the 170Kcal suggests, so it might actually work in a diet situation as I'm guessing the fat & fibre keep it in the stomach longer than that small amount of calories would normally stay there & so it keeps you from getting hungry too quickly, it does this this without making you feel 'full' in a bloaty, slow way, so it could be useful to eat one (or two if you are a larger, or hungrier, athlete).
The bar had a quite moist, dense feel to it that made you think you were eating something fairly substantial, I think the mouth texture may have helped with feeling of satiation.
Generally I'd recommend the bar if you like a nutty tasting bar that isn't too sweet. One may be a little small for the bigger athlete as a stand alone snack, but as part of a snack it is easy to carry & great in an emergency.
You can find out more about creative nature here they have several other flavours of bar available & I will be giving them a go when I get the chance.
I do recommend you give them a try though.

Monday, 29 September 2014

London Vegfest 2014
To check out our weekend at the London vegfest click here...

Monday, 18 August 2014

London Vegan Festival 2014

London Vegan Festival write-up is here, just click & enjoy :-)

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Vegan diets & financial cost by Julie Bowen

A common misconception about the vegan diet is that it severely lacks protein and, as we all know, protein is the building blocks of muscle and therefore essential to building them. However, any vegan will know that nuts and soy are equally good sources of protein and good fats. Many diets are aimed at those willing to spend vast amounts of money to make the problem – their fat – disappear. However, for most, these prices are extortionate and unnecessary. Finding the cheapest diets to burn fat, while maintaining muscle is essential to getting the chiselled body you want.

The Paleo – or Caveman – diet is a regime that’s being talked about excessively in the weight loss community. Although at £2.60 per meal there are probably cheaper ways of losing fat, the method is actually incredibly sensible. The ethos of this diet is to eat only what you would find in the wild, in theory, like our ancestors used to. This means no processed sugars or fats, mainly nuts, grains, fruit and vegetables. If weight lifting on this diet, as soy traditionally needs to be processed before it’s consumed, it might be sensible to also use a vegan protein powder as insurance so that you don’t have to rely on the protein in the other sources alone.

Additionally a vegetarian diet without the animal products – a well-rounded, clean vegan diet – is excellent for weight loss in itself and very cheap at only around £1.40 per meal. Non-processed, simple foods like nuts, fruit, rice, non-starchy vegetables, beans, pulses and grains are all excellent for your body and when portion controlled in exercised, can help your body shred fat and retrain muscle at a low price.

[Editors note:  Just so you know, the editors of the blog do not consider the paleo diet as "incredibly sensible" as there appears to be links with cardiovascular disease & a host of other problems with the diet, as well as the ethic issues of course]

Sunday, 20 April 2014

REVIEW: Viridian Liquid vitamin D, Cherry Night, High potency magnesium

I have recently been trying out a few products from Viridian Vitamins.  These aren't like caffeine or other stim-type products, they won't really create huge differences, but if you have issues in that area help create an environment where you get slow, steady improvement over time, so do not expect to take these & have the workout of your life, but you could be getting better recovery, better performance over time, less sickness & improved mental well being. With all that said let's crack on with the reviews.

Liquid vitamin D

This is a change from many vitamin D products as it comes in a liquid form with a dropper.  This means that you can take as much or as little as you need without the hassle of gulping down tablets or capsules.  The liquid is also flavoured with a really fantastic tasting natural orange flavour.  It goes well with shakes if you prefer to mix it into that, but is also fine to pop straight into the mouth (if you like orange it is pretty awesome just swilling it around the mouth on its own).  It is also a vegan D3 form of the vitamin.

Cherry night

This was a totally new product for me.  It is a cherry-based product with magnesium & date extract in it. Cherries have been known for a while to aid in reducing inflammation & this product is a recovery, sleep aid product.  With better recovery you will perform better so if you are likely to have stress in your life or recovery could be an issue then this product could be one to try out, you take it before bedtime & then reap the benefits as your recovery improves.

High potency magnesium

Magnesium is an important electrolyte, it is also involved in everything from bone health to muscle synthesis, so it is an important mineral.  Viridians product is unusual as it contains no fillers.  All it contains is magnesium & a capsule.  It is tasteless as you swallow a capsule, but it is good to know that you are only taking in magnesium & a little cellulose (the capsule is made from cellulose).


So, that is my view on these supplements.  If your recovery is going fine & inflammation is low you may not cherry night, if you get out in the sun & live towards the equator then maybe vitamin D isn't necessary, or if you eat a load of magnesium-rich foods then you might not need the magnesium pill.  But if you feel you may benefit from any of these, then check out Viridian Vitamins.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Sabina Skala personal trainer

Profile of vegan personal trainer Sabina Skala can be found here...

Brighton Vegfest 2014

Check out our day at the vegfest here...

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tom Taylor - Powerlifter

At the beginning of this year I finally decided to take the plunge into a sport I have been following and training for over the past few years. So at the end of February I attended and competed in my first Powerlifting competition, whilst on a completely plant-based diet.
I’ve been involved in sports for as long as I can remember. Beginning with swimming competitively as a kid, I moved on to a few different martial arts in my early teens, and then inline skating. I was always drawn towards more individual based activities, and when I was 14 I discovered Parkour and Freerunning. I was completely consumed by its practise and the culture that surrounds it ever since. I’ve now been a Freerunner for almost 10 years and have worked professionally both as a coach and performer. However, as with any sport practised for this long, I have suffered injury and had to take periods of time off to recover as a result. This is where I first discovered weight training, and later Powerlifting.

At first I saw lifting as purely a means to an end. To recover for my sport. But soon I discovered the massive performance benefits it afforded. I came out of injury stronger, faster, and more confident. I was bitten by the Iron Bug and quickly weight training became an end in itself. I was always chasing a bigger squat, bench, or deadlift.
Powerlifting is a sport itself based around an athlete’s ability to perform those three big lifts. In a meet you are afforded 3 attempts to lift the heaviest weight you can within each exercise. This means that a Powerlifter will spend a lot of time focussing on developing the strength and technique for these movements in particular, however they will also utilise bodybuilding techniques in order to work on weaknesses and build supportive musculature for the exercise.

When I first began weight training in any serious kind of way I followed dietary advice from a lot of the top strength coaches within Powerlifting, which basically amounted to; eat a lot of calories, get a lot of animal protein, drink loads of milk, try and fit some veggies in. So when I first was converting to Veganism I was still stuck in this paradigm, thinking that converting to veganism was going to lead to a drop in performance. This wasn’t so important to me however, as I was converted due to the ethical arguments of Gary L. Francione. Despite my initial doubts, when I became vegan I got leaner, but continued to get stronger and more muscular.
There is an initial learning curve with veganism, changing from the animal-based paradigm (especially if like me you have no clue about cooking), but it is easy and just takes practice. The main staples of my diet are Soya, Peanut Butter, Lentils, Split Peas, and Kale. In terms of Macros I use the guidelines set out by Noah Hannibal from Melbourne Strength. These seem to work great for my goals.

In terms of programming, I have always seemed to respond best to linear periodization based models. I have followed programs like 5/3/1 and Westside but they didn’t seem to garner as effective strength gains as basic progression from higher volume to higher intensity. In the run up to my competition I had 9 weeks to prepare and chose to follow the ‘Russian Extended Peaking Cycle for Powerlifting Competition’ on Joe Skopec’s website. This is a pretty standard program, it builds volume at 80% of your training max for 4 weeks and then begins to taper down the volume and increase the percentage. I did this for all but the final week, which I took off as it that Sunday was the date of my competition. Additionally to the three lifts in the program I did one assistance exercise for each lift, these were Front Squat, Board Press, and Block Pulls. The idea was to overload within the movements to get used to handling heavier (or what felt like heavier) weight.

This was my first competition, I had decided to join the British Powerlifting Union and competed at their South-West and Wales Regional Qualifier. This federation seemed the most organised and put together. I didn’t expect to place at all, however I managed to place second in my weight category 82.5kg Open. I Squatted 170kg (a 10kg PR on my training max), Benched 100kg, and Deadlifted 180kg. I missed a bunch of lifts due to first time nerves and some errors in preparation, however I was happy with my performance on the day overall. I totalled 430kg in the end and took home a silver medal. I really enjoyed the competition, everyone was very supportive and welcoming. I would recommend competing in this sport, and specifically this federation, to anyone interested. It’s such a great way to track progress and get the most out of yourself, compare to an objective standard, and meet other determined and inspiring people. 

I plan to compete again next year and am aiming to make nationals!