I’m finally back in the city in Cambodia after nearly 2 very busy months in Mexico, where eating a healthy, balanced, entovegan diet was extremely challenging, as was the time and opportunity to do more than just bodyweight exercises and cardio.
And for the next 3 months, I’m going to be putting the Entovegan philosophy to a hardcore test, because I’ve found over the past 5 months that it definitely has made me healthier and feel better, but I’ve also lost a lot of weight, and it seems like muscular strength as well.
I’m not a bodybuilder, but I want to regain muscle tone, definition, and definitely strength. I still consider myself an athlete, and want to improve my physicality and stamina for playing sports and engaging in other active adventures. And I want to really put this idea to its hardest test yet, to see if it’s valid or if I’m overly optimistic.
Because I truly believe now that the combination of Entomophagy with the Vegan diet maximizes the best aspects from both the plant and animal kingdom, while doing so in an organic, sustainable manner that is ethically acceptable. But is it the healthiest way to eat, and is it possible to be in great physical shape eating this way?
And more, can I actually gain muscle? That may be the biggest question of all.
I’ve spent the past 2 months in Mexico, where I found it quite difficult to eat enough calories that weren’t fried in vegetable oil. I ate more corn tortillas over that time period than the rest of my life combined, I think, and despite Mexico’s world-beating 549 different types of recorded edible insects, the astronomical costs for those bugs made getting enough insect protein in my diet kind of a fools errand.
So I lost weight and muscle mass, while at the same time losing tone and getting a bit flabby. I’d guess all the fried tortillas and potatoes I ate did not help my overall health, either. And while I did eat a lot of veggies, it wasn’t in large enough quantities to make a real positive impact.
I also ran out of SportMulti after about a month, so during September I did not supplement with anything.
Even so, I still feel better overall in terms of energy and mental clarity, than I did at the beginning of this year when I was working out hard but eating a lot of meat, chicken, and dairy products. I don’t believe that’s a placebo effect, either – I really do feel ok, despite having gotten skinny-fat the past couple months.
But now it’s time to bounce back, and find out just exactly how beneficial Entoveganism can be for my body.
THE 90 DAY CHALLENGE
My goal is to get in the best shape of my life by the end of the year, eating a plant-based vegan diet boosted by entomophagy.
That’s the idea behind Entovegan in the first place, but I haven’t been able to fully turn on the jets and really work out hard and consistently. The ability to have a routine here will allow for this.
To get in the best shape of my life though would be a huge challenge no matter how I was eating – I played college and semi-pro football (American football), and in my mid-20’s I worked as a sports model, followed by a decade of traveling the world as an extreme athlete basically swimming class V rivers.
So I’ve been in pretty good shape most of my life, with some definite peaks of physical strength, conditioning, and muscularity.
Considering that now the extent of my physical exertion is playing in a semi-pro basketball league in Cambodia, I haven’t really pushed the past couple of years to those previous levels of being in shape. So the goal is to get back there, and even more, to exceed it.
If Tom Brady can be in the best shape of his life at 40 years old and having one of the best starts to the NFL season of his career, all thanks to his body coach / nutritionalist Alex Guerrero’s raw diet and training methods, then I believe this is a challenge worth undertaking with a high likelihood of success.
I’m planning to eat simply, and I’ll be detailing this as I go along. Fresh vegetables, fruits, natural supplements like moringa, maca, sacha inchi, etc, and of course insects! In short, it’s the entovegan diet.
My morning shakes will be supplemented with cricket protein powder, which we’ll be making ourselves. Salads, quinoa, pasta, and other dishes will have a large helping of insects included as well.
I’m also going to measure portions, something I’ve never done in my life, preferring to “eyeball” things. Having spent the past 2 months shadowing Chef Melgarejo in Mexico, spending more time in kitchens than I ever would have dreamed I’d spend, I’ve learned a few things, and one of them is the importance of measuring.
Who woulda thunk it, right? I know, I know…I’ve never claimed much love for the kitchen though, this is new for me haha.
While Tom Brady doesn’t life weights, part of that is to keep him as nimble and flexible as possible for on-field performance. Resistance bands are great, and I plan to continue using them, but I want to get back in the weight room.
The only sports performance I am currently concerned about whatsoever – beyond having fun in nature – is playing basketball. And considering I’m usually tasked with banging around with guys taller and heavier than me, strength will be a critical factor – and the only way to truly get stronger that I’ve found is with weighted resistance – aka lifting, brah.
I’m planning to continue my morning cardio on an empty stomach, which will include running stairs and hills at the stadium, swimming, and the occasional track workout when I can sneak in there.
Getting back in the gym to lift will require some study, as being a whitewater athlete didn’t lead me to spending much time lifting the past decade, so I’m out of touch with the latest workout trends for sculpting the perfect rear-deltoids in 2017. I’m sure google will provide some quick answers…and my guess is that nothing has really changed since the days of Arnold Swarzenegger, and that HIIT is probably still the most effective training system known to man.
I’ll also be playing basketball a few times a week, along with regular shooting workouts.
Nothing too special or complicated – lift, do cardio, lots of stretching, do some yoga, swim, and play basketball.
This would all be pointless without a specific goal, so just saying “get in great shape” doesn’t really work.
Photos are one easy way of comparison. Can I reach and exceed the level of rippedness I had a decade ago? Wrinkles aside, that’ll be pretty easy to compare visually. I was about 7% bodyfat then, and about 180lbs.
In terms of stamina, I’m not sure that’s realistic to compare – in my 20’s I could play basketball – hard – for 4 or 5 straight hours, and then do it again the next day. Now, 2 hours takes me 2 days to recover from, including ice baths and massage. I think that’s just age and I’ll be pleasantly surprised if that’s something that improves with the Entovegan system.
A better measure I think would be to compare the me after a couple months, with the me of the past few years, in terms of energy and endurance on the basketball court. Running around chasing guys 10-15 years my junior is a challenge, one that I’ve been up for, but one that has also taken a massive toll on my body after the fact and for a day or two following.
If I can improve my overall performance (strength and energy) along with recovery, that’ll be easy to measure in comparison to previous years, since when it comes to gamedays I’m a creature of habit.
Overall mental clarity, sleep quality, and productivity in other areas will also be considered.
READY, SET, CHIRP CHIRP CHIRP
While I’m off to the races today, it’s going to take a couple days now that I’m back to round up enough crickets to make my protein powder. Fried insects are plentiful on the street, but they’re cooked in vegetable oil, so while it’s better than nothing (or is it?), it’s not the same as pure oven-roasted insects.
Over the next week though I will get everything dialed. I wish Chef Melgarejo was here to help me out with putting together tasty dishes, but thankfully we’ve got whatsapp and I now know enough to be dangerous in the kitchen haha. So this should be interesting.
Insects are the future of food. I’m betting on that in more ways than one, and I’m embarking on 3 months of intense testing to find out just how realistic the entovegan diet is for an active lifestyle.