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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I am not Catholic, I am Orthodox.  For most of Lent, fish is also off limits, but not all fish, and not all the time.  It isn't a question of replacing animal protein with animal protein.  We do not eat any animal with a backbone, or products from animals with red blood.  Many of our fasting rules originated with Judaism as that was the root of Christianity.  Although on certain days, fish is permitted, usually it is shell fish.  Mind you these rules were established, when these items were considered poor man's food, and lobster wasn't $5-10 a lb.  The only reason this was allowed was because fasting seasons are so long, and most people cannot go without it.  However I know some monks that go the whole 40 day only on bread and water, and minimal levels of both.  In the end, it is about personal sacrifice, and how much you can personally take.  There are rules to be used a guidelines, but they alone will neither benefit you, or hurt you.  However, I am not going into the spiritual aspect of this on a discussion about lifting.

I get it. I just find it difficult to reconcile saying you want to make yourself vulnerable for spiritual reasons by abstaining from meat but then also essentially saying that you want to compensate for the absence of meat with plant products that are of similar caloric and protein value or, in other words, negating your vulnerability by bringing you to the same nutritional levels you would have if you were still eating meat.

I don't think the sacrifice is necessarily supposed to be nutritional, I think its supposed to be taste.  Its not the absence of dietary protein ... its the absence of protein that people actually like to eat.  In that regard, switching from steak to soy is a major downgrade.


My understanding is that the idea is to sacrifice something you personally enjoy, not necessarily to make yourself vulnerable health-wise ... at least for Protestants that observe Lent (I don't, but my wife does).



Well said JB.  

Religious fasting is always seen as odd from the outside, whatever the rules the faith sets.  This particular question is about maintaining nutrition while adjusting one’s diet as per some set of rules.  

Except that the original poster specifically stated that part of his denomination's lent fasting was specifically for vulnerability . . .

However, I am not going into the spiritual aspect of this on a discussion about lifting.


Actually, the spiritual side is precisely what is important.  You said it yourself, it's about the sacrifice.  Lent is about sacrifice...about giving something up.


You said, much earlier in this thread, that your religion is much more important to you than the lifting...and BRAVO for making that choice.  So, I'm not going to help you rationalize it out.


Lifting is about gaining...gaining muscle, gaining definition.  I think the best you should hope for is maintenance, not losing ground.  Because if you intend to stick to the theme of sacrifice, THAT is the sacrifice.


It's only 40 days.

Old fashioned pretindustrialy ground bread is very rich in nutrition because it is whole seed ground.  I can see how it could be sustaining.


Sprouted grain breads are even more nutrient dense.


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