I am not a vegan, but for the next 44 days I will be on a vegan diet.

I am an Orthodox Christian, and during Lent we do not eat any meat or dairy products.  I have been doing this fast for years and have never had issues with the diet, however I recently started lifting.  I am only 5 days into fasting, and notice that my strength is greatly decreased.  Tonight I tried benching, and had to drop 30lbs off from my last workout, and didn't even have the energy to do most of my workout routine after that.

Are there any tips from vegans on here, or perhaps personal trainers that work with vegan?  Whey protein is derived from milk, so that is out of the question.

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Without being flippant, which is more important to you, lifting or your faith?

If you aren't taking in enough calories to support the physical work load, you will get weak.

Should no vegans write in, you may wish to check out a Seventh Day Adventist grocery store.  Can't recall about the dairy (it's been years since I shopped the one near where I grew up) but there definitely weren't any meat products in the place.

The faith is more important, especially since I am studying to be an Orthodox priest.  Great thing about the Orthodox Church is that our priests are allowed to get married.

Good for you!  

I've never gone vegan, but conventional wisdom is you keep up the protein with beans.

I'll leave that alone, since that's all I have to say.  I will say a few things that my wife and I do during Lent (vegetarian but not vegan):  korma; chili; fried rice w/ lots of veggies; pasta w/ marinara.

It's also possible that something else is going on with your body.

...now, you call it a fast.  Is it?  Or is it just a change of the type of food?  If you went with the Roman Catholic fast-day plan of only one big meal and no meat, you'd be reducing calories, and you can't do that with heavy exercise.

It is fasting.  While we do change our diets, that is not the only aspect.  We are also supposed to eat only what is required to sustain us, which is very minimal.  Obviously if I am lifting, it will require more of a calorie intake, but I still have to keep that to a minimum.

I'm certainly not vegan, but I have done my homework.  And, recently, I've added sprouts to my diet.

 

Alfalfa sprouts are ridiculously easy and quick to grow, and contain up to 35% high-quality protein.  Quinoa contains all 8 basic amino acids, in terrifically high quantities.  Etc.  Look into sprouts and microgreens.

 

I have several containers of alfalfa growing on my windowsill, spaced several days apart.  This represents 3 days of growth between the two containers...the photo was taken on Wednesday, and the glass on the right is now stuffed full of sprouts, all the way up, and topped with tiny green leaves.  The first batch is ready to harvest...on Friday, only 2 days later.

 

I'm not on a dairy free diet, so I throw in a little parmesan.  But this is one of my favorite side dishes...sauteed mushrooms with sprouts and parmesan.  Delicious, and very nutrient dense.

 

Get creative, and you can eat very well, indeed.  There's probably a sub-reddit for vegan weight lifters, if you look around, which could provide even more targeted information.

There is no recipe...I just saute about a cup of sliced mushrooms in a pan, throw in between 1/2 and 1 cup of sprouts for the last 2 or 3 minutes until they collapse, and then stir in some parmesan.  Simplicity itself.

 

I just made an omelette with cheese and a 1" thick layer of alfalfa sprouts, for dinner.  They're pretty good!

If you lift without protein your body will burn muscle as well as fat, you will not recover very well either. Take a break from the gym and do body weight circuits until lint is over.

Eggs count as meat?

Lucius, for the really rigorous European Lent,  NO meat, poultry, dairy, eggs, or sugar until Easter.  In the OP's instance, he's going vegan, so yep, eggs count.  My original, if flippant sounding question stands, which is more important to the OP, his religious beliefs or weight lifting?

Wow... I knew there was more to Lenten fasting than no red meat on fridays... but damn.

I have done aerobic and weight training much of my life.  A few years ago I became a vegan (for health reasons) but I haven't noticed any difference in my training results.  Here's a short video that might clear a few things up:

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-bodybuilding/

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