Admittedly, I get lots of emails asking about how to eat to build muscle as a vegetarian. And, as a confirmed meat-eater, I am not the one to be giving advice in that area. Jason Ferruggia to the rescue… As he states he also gets the question frequently and, with him being a vegetarian, he actually has something to offer up. Below he shares a full day on his vegetarian muscle-building diet plan.
Whether you are vegan, a carnivore, or something in between, Jason has a lot more to share with you. His Muscle Gaining Secrets program is about as thorough a muscle-building program as there is and it has helped 10s of thousands put on serious muscle weight. If you are struggling to build muscle, definitely give it a look.
Vegetarian Muscle Building Diet by Jason Ferruggia
One of the most frequent email requests I get is for a description of my vegetarian muscle-building diet. Since there is such great interest in this topic I thought I would share it with you today.
My day always starts with a shake. This will normally consist of rice, pea, or hemp protein, or some combination of the three. I blend 30-40 grams of protein in 8oz of organic coconut milk and 8-12 oz of water. I also blend in a banana, mixed frozen berries, a tablespoon of cacao nibs, and 2 tablespoons of maca powder, which is tremendous for increased testosterone production and virility. This shake is absolutely delicious.
Sometime a few hours later, I will have a few tangerines and some pistachios/cashews or a couple of apples with almond butter. The freshly ground almond butter from Whole Foods is one of my favorite things and I could easily eat an entire container in one sitting. Sometimes for a treat at night, I mix it with organic honey and kill the entire container, washing it down with a cup of hemp or almond milk. I am a big fan of high sodium intake for strength and energy production so I always have a few pickles every day and add sea salt to my food.
This usually consists of some kind of legumes or beans, which are a mainstay in any vegetarian muscle-building diet, with organic brown rice or quinoa. I will sauté black beans with peppers, tomatoes, onions, and garlic and mix that in with the rice. I top it with salsa and some fresh avocado. That is my Mexican-style rice and beans. Sometimes I just mix the beans and rice or quinoa with marinara sauce. I always cook enough for two days. I will sometimes have a salad with that or eat some raw veggies or mix some steamed kale or spinach into the whole thing. Occasionally I will have a couple of almond butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. I have cut out peanuts and peanut butter completely due to the deadly toxins that they contain, along with wheat because of its inflammatory properties, so these are not eaten as much as they used to be. I get some brown rice bread for the times I do eat these.
Similar to the above. When I’m not near food I always carry Raw Organic Food Bars with me and a variety of nuts. If I am home and have had fruit for my first snack I try to make this snack with raw veggies and hummus along with a decent amount of nuts. I also drink another shake sometime during the day which is usually right after I train. It is similar to the shake above except that I don’t include the coconut milk or cacao but I do use maca powder. I blend banana, almond milk, water, frozen spinach (you don’t taste the spinach at all so this is nowhere near as gross as it sounds) with Vega and some extra protein. During my workouts, I drink coconut water or regular water. I try to drink at least a half gallon of water throughout the day out of a glass or my Sigg bottle and do my best to avoid plastic because of the estrogenic effects. I also drink a couple of cups of green tea each day.
I normally cook some kind of stew consisting of a large variety of vegetables and some kind of legumes. For example, the other day I got home and all that we had was squash, onions, spinach, and garlic. I threw it all in a pot with vegetable broth, salt, pepper, and yellow peas, which have 10 grams of protein per ¼ cup (you would have to eat a lot of meat to equal the protein in two cups of yellow peas). I let that cook for 2 hours and then mixed in some quinoa. It was absolutely delicious. Other times we will mix brown rice in with a variety of other veggies and lentils. If I was trying to get lean I would probably skip the brown rice. Adding potatoes (even just one) to the stews makes them creamier and even more delicious. I severely limit my soy consumption because of its estrogenic effects but for the occasional cheat meal, I will have some tofu with brown rice or some kind of meat substitute with brown rice pasta. I also eat soy and wheat-free veggie burgers one or two nights per week and always have a huge spinach salad mixed with tomatoes, broccoli, olives, peppers, onions, carrots, apples, berries, nuts, seeds, avocado, and whatever else I can fit in there. I top that with olive oil, Vega oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Occasionally, when I am going to cheat I will have some organic coconut milk ice cream. This is, obviously, made with coconut milk and not cow’s milk. It is delicious and pretty healthy. Coconut milk contains healthy MCTs and has none of the dangers of cow’s milk. It is sweetened with organic agave syrup. I highly recommend it. The only other cheat dessert that I will regularly eat is organic, dark chocolate. This has been shown to have a variety of health benefits. The brands I buy are those that support slave-free, fair trade practices. These include Newman’s Own, The Endangered Species Chocolate Company, and Green and Blacks.
So that’s my vegetarian muscle-building diet. It’s very easy to follow, and a whole lot healthier than eating pounds of red meat and saturated fat.