Friday, May 6, 2011

The Nutrition Program

P90X comes with a nutrition program, that people who have had the greatest transformations, have followed to the the letter. Now, if you're a vegan and want to try it, that poses a problem, because this diet relies heavily on animal products. So let me break down for you how we have veganized it.

I WANT TO START OFF BY SAYING THAT WE DO NOT THINK THIS IS THE HEALTHIEST DIET. Will it get you to your goal faster? We will see. And we will make adjustments as we go, but right now we see that this diet lacks in the overall health department. Just a little disclaimer so no one thinks we are saying "this is the ideal diet" or anything like that.

P90X is broken down into three phases, each lasting 30 days. And each phase has an accompanying diet.

Phase 1- FAT SHREDDER. This is the phase Giacomo and I are in now. It is very high protein, low fat, and low carb. As far as I am concerned, this is the "crazy-making" diet. Any time either of us do this sort of diet for a prolonged period of time, we both go nuts, get angry easily, and basically it is just no fun. Physically however, you will see changes, and likely see them fast, which can be a great motivator when you move on to the following phases.

Phase 2- ENERGY BOOSTER- This is still pretty high protein and low fat, but with some complex carbohydrates added back in. This is what they call a maintenance diet, but I don't like this idea. However, you can maintain this diet for the rest of P90X if you are happy here.

Phase 3- ENDURANCE MAXIMIZER- To me, this is the most well rounded of the diets, its a good mix of proteins and carbs, while still maintaining fairly low fat. I would say that this is how Giacomo and I were eating pre-P90X. They say you have to "earn" this diet....we'll see.

P90X was never intended to be a weight-loss program, therefore the nutrition guide, doesn't include a calorie deficit (which is necessary to lose weight). It splits people up into "levels" based on the number of calories they burn per day (which is estimated).

If you weigh:
100-149lbs, you are LEVEL 1
150-199lbs, you are LEVEL 2
200lbs or more, you are LEVEL 3

As an example of the traditional plan, In Phase 1 (the first 30 days), as LEVEL 1 eater, you are required to eat per day:

5 servings of lean protein
2 servings of low fat dairy
1 serving of fruit
2 servings of vegetables
1 serving of fats
1 serving of carbs
3 "snacks" (will explain later)
1 condiment
and a crap load of water.

Now, the only spot that really needs changing, is that pesky dairy category, and really, all that low fat dairy is, is protein, so all I am going to change is to add 2 servings of protein, and subtract the dairy category altogether making this:

7 servings of lean protein
1 serving of fruit
2 servings of vegetables
1 serving of fats
1 serving of carbs
3 "snacks" (will explain later)
1 condiment
and a crap load of water.

10 servings of protein
1 serving of fruit
4 servings of vegetables
1serving of fat
1serving of carbs
4 "snacks"
2 condiments
and a crap load of water

13 servings of protein
2 servings of fruit
4 servings of vegetable
1 serving of fat
1 serving of carbs
6 "snacks"
2 condiments
as much water as you can stand!

As you can see, phase 1 is pretty unbalanced and crazy inducing. And like I said, I hate this diet. Yeah, yeah we own Vegan Proteins, so you think I would love it, but no. I love food, and I love it more when it tastes good and has variety. We carry the best protein supplements around, but I don't think it's reasonable to expect anyone to drink 13 protein shakes a day. Also, lets not neglect the fact that there are only 2 servings of veggies a day (for me anyway). That is just not enough... HOWEVER, it is only for 30 days, before we move onto the next phase. And if by week 3, we really feel wonky, we will adjust this further.

PROTEIN (100 calories)
1 scoop of protein powder (roughly 20 grams of protein, so Sun Warrior is 1.5 scoops)
3 oz tofu (we use wild wood high protein tofu)
4 oz tempeh (many brands of tempeh are high in fat, if it has more that 8 grams, count it as a fat too!)
1 gardein "chicken" breast.
1.5 boca burgers
2 cups of light, unsweetened soy milk

VEGETABLES (50 calories)
1 cup cooked veggies
2 cups fresh veggies (we really pack 'em in those measuring cups!)
50 calories worth of veggie soup

FRUITS (100 calories)
1 medium banana
1 medium apple
1/2 a mango
1/4 of a medium cantaloupe
6 oz juice
2 cups of strawberries
1 cup of other berries (blue, black, rasp)
1 large orange

CARBS (200 calories)
1 cup beans
1 cup pasta (cooked)
1 cup rice (cooked)
1 cup quinoa (cooked)
1 medium potato
1 medium sweet potato
3 corn tortillas
1 large whole wheat tortilla
1 cup oatmeal (cooked)
2 slices whole grain bread
1 bran muffin (2.5 oz)
2 whole wheat waffles
1 medium bagel

FATS (120 calories)
3 oz avocado
4 oz olives
1 Tbl any oil
1 Tbl nut butter
.5 oz to 1 oz nuts depending on the nut

Condiments (50 calories)
2 Tbl Barbecue Sauce
3 Tbl ketchup
2 Tbl fat free dressing
2 Tbl Jam or Jelly

P90X is pretty weird when it comes to these "snacks". They say that a "snack" is 100 calories, but then try to push their shakes and bars as snacks even though they contain way more calories than that.... SO, you could just make all of your snacks 100 calories worth of a healthy food you want, like trail mix, or air popped popcorn, or a frozen fruit bar, or what have you. But they recommend both a recovery drink and a protein bar every day. I definitely agree with the recovery drink (roughly a 4:1 ratio of fast digesting carbs to protein), because you will need it after those workouts. The bar however, Giacomo and I have been eating a clif builder bar, because the macros ratios on the clif builder bar, and the p90X bar, are nearly identical, plus I get to pretend that I'm eating a candy bar. :-) We will probably stop eating the bars at some point throughout this because, frankly, we both get sick of them fairly quickly.


I (Dani) am a level 1 eater, and Giacomo is a level 2 eater. Here is a sample of what we have been eating so far.

Dani, Phase 1, Level 1:

8 AM-1 cup almond milk, 1 Scoop Vega Performance Protein, 1 medium banana
11:30- recovery drink, which is 8 oz pineapple juice, and 3 tsp Vegan Proteins+
1:30-A medium salad with baby greens, onion, cabbage, tomato, carrots (all together roughly 2 cups packed), 2 Tbl Vegan kalamata Olive dressing, and 2 servings of tofu.
4:00 - cliff bar
6:00 - 1 scoop Sun Warrior Chocolate, with water.
8:30- 2 servings of tofu, 1 cup of brown rice, and one serving of broccoli. There is usually a liberal dose of hot sauce all over this bad boy.
9:30 - a frozen fruit bar if I feel like it.

Giacomo, Phase 1, Level 2:
8 AM - 3 scoops Sun Warrior Vanilla, with water.
11:30- recovery drink (8oz pinapple juice, with 3 tsp Vegan Proteins+)
12:30- 3 scoops Sun Warrior Vanilla with water, 1 servings of steamed veggies
3:45 - 1 scoops Vega Performance Protein, with water. Clif Builder Bar. 1 serving of tofu.
6:45 - 1 scoops Vegan Proteins+, 4 oz avocado, 1 apple, 1 serving steamed veggies
8:30 - 2 servings tofu, 2 servings of broccoli, 1 cup brown rice, 4 Tbl Barbecue Sauce

To explain all of Giacomo's protein shakes, he works at a desk and can't eat at his desk, so he drinks a lot of proteins shakes. If this were me....I'd go nuts.


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