August Experiment – Week 1 Recap

Well, here we go. I haven’t transparently documented my daily meal plans and workouts since December, more than a week after the completion of my November Project. When I completed 4 weeks of documentation of everything I ate and drank and every form of exercise I completed through November, I continued for another 10 days, ending on December 8, my 21-year vegan anniversary. I figured at that point, I had learned enough about myself and my behaviors and preferences to carry on moving forward. Since then, I have been writing, revising, editing, proofreading and rewriting parts of my new book, Plant-Based Muscle, which is in production at the moment of this writing. I also tweaked my lower back a couple of times, something that helped spur my decision to create the November Project in the first place, having taken 5 months off from training in 2016, only returning to the gym just before November. Now, here we are in August, and once again my training has been impacted by some stress-induced missed workouts, a byproduct of writing and completing a new book, and some lower back irritation. But just like in November, I’m not going to let it be all or nothing and just stop training and eating well because of one limiting factor. I did that for a short period in 2016 and it didn’t go well. I became the heaviest and most out of shape I had ever been in, taking a break from both training and healthy eating, as I was frustrated with lower back injuries and lack of forward progress.

As a few undesirable habits (such as many days in a row of missing the gym) have climbed back into my current lifestyle, I took it upon myself to have a self-awareness audit. I realized it was time to get back on track and document my daily actions again, to help me develop better habits, and inspire readers who struggle with consistency and transparency. I figured this experience would allow me to share some lessons learned that others can benefit from as a result of following my journey.

This isn’t an official science experiment, nor is it research data. I don’t have a specific goal or agenda in mind, other than being transparent and learning from my own transparency. Realizations and self-awareness will likely lead to changing habits to help me improve my overall health and fitness, but habits are hard to overcome, so I can’t even say with certainty that even a heightened awareness of undesirable habits will lead to change. That’s part of the experiment. This is just me sharing my daily meals and workouts, along with some extra information such as body weight and body fat percentage I will check occasionally (but not obsess over), and the amount of sleep I get each night.

Some background information:

Name: Robert Cheeke

Age: 37

Height: 6 feet

Weight: 191-195 pounds, fluctuating throughout the day

Vegan: Since 1995 (22 years)

My general goals over the next four weeks are to maintain or build muscle, burn fat, consume fewer processed foods, and to consume more whole plant foods.

A few specific goals that are of personal interest to me include a desire to consume fewer bottles and cans of yerba mate, to get back on the Stairmaster on a fairly regular basis, to spend more time outside hiking, to get to bed earlier, and to lower overall stress, perhaps through diet and exercise, combined with quality sleep.

Additionally, I have a true desire to show a behind-the-scenes look at how a vegan athlete of more than 20 years eats and trains. I know the last time I did this it was of great interest to many, and it helped me make a lot of positive changes too.

I am using Cronometer to track my calorie intake and expenditure as I explained in my initial August Experiment blog post. I will make my documentation as accurate as I can.

Without any further delay, here is my recap of the first week in August:


August 1, 2017

Slept 11:15PM – 5:30AM + 90-minute nap from 2:30-4:00PM = 7 hours, 45 minutes

5:45AM

6 ounces water

 

6:00AM

3 peaches

 

6:15AM

6 ounces water

 

6:30AM

6 ounces yerba mate

 

9:15AM

Larabar

 

11:30AM

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes with ketchup

16 ounces water

 

1:30PM

Spicy lentil wrap from Trader Joe’s

 

4:40PM

13 ounces water

8 ounces yerba mate

1000mcg Vitamin B12 methylcobalamin

 

5:25PM

10 pieces of vegetable sushi

 

5:45PM

Handful of blueberries

 

6:45PM

Vegan potluck food

3 slices of vegan cheese and vegetable pizza

Bowl of potatoes and chickpeas with curry

Small bowl of salad greens, noodles, cucumbers, and tomatoes

IMG_5545

8:30PM

6 ounces watermelon water

1 slice vegan chocolate cake

Small bowl of watermelon, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries

 

10:00PM

4 ounces yerba mate

 

10:30PM

1000mcg Vitamin B12 methylcobalamin

Handful blueberries

 

11:00PM

Exercise: Push-ups: 20, 20, 20, 20, 20, 20

 

12:00AM

6 ounces sparkling water

 

1:00AM

3 nectarines

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 3,473

Carbohydrates: 635.3g (72%)

Protein: 73.6g (8%)

Fat: 78.1g (20%)

Water: 53 ounces

Calories burned: 2,856

Net: 617-calorie surplus

Exercise: 15 minutes of push-ups

Notes:

This wasn’t necessary a typical day for me, but it happens to be the first day of the August Experiment and we’re rolling with it. In fact, I don’t know that it is all that atypical, aside from my wake-up time and the fact that I ate some sweets at a birthday party. I started my day in Colorado, waking up about 4 hours earlier than usual, and caught a morning flight back home to Phoenix, landing before I typically wake up. Due to the very early start and knowing I had a birthday party to attend later, I even managed to take a nap today, which is also fairly rare, but it felt great.

One of my goals for the August Experiment is a continuation of a habit I created during the November Project, but promptly discontinued in December – a habit I wish to start again, which is to begin each day by drinking water. I typically don’t drink as much water as I probably should, and I live in the desert in Phoenix, Arizona, and it’s summertime, often more than 110 degrees outside. I also think starting my day with water will help me avoid sugar-laden and caffeine enhanced tea or food being the first things that touch my lips upon waking. It will also help me get my day started with hydration rather than eating something and filling up on calories upon waking. Starting my day with water will hopefully help set the tone for the rest of the day, week, and month, ensuring I increase my water intake during this very hot summer weather. Even when it is not summertime, I tend to fall short on my desired fluid intake daily, and I hope this new habit helps.

Another goal is to eat more whole plant foods. Obviously, today was not a glorious start, and it would be nice to hit the reset button and just not record today, but that’s not how life works and that’s not reality. I want to be as transparent as I can, and sometimes parties come up, travel days happen, or junk food is in the house and it gets eaten. My stress is fairly high right now, as I’ve been working on finishing my new book, Plant-Based Muscle, for weeks. I actually officially submitted the final manuscript for production from Colorado yesterday on July 31st. Now I anxiously await the layout, production, and design. I spent two years working on this new book, and it’s a big weight off my shoulders that it is now in production, but there is still a great deal of stress regarding the uncertainly of production timeline and other book launch details. Balancing out my time managing my current business and tours, with the anticipation and promotion of this new book, my biggest project to launch in three years, is another challenge.

Something I am proud of today: I am proud of the fact that I completed 120 push-ups today, even though I didn’t make it to the gym, and my plan is to perform over 100 push-ups per day during the entire month of August.


August 2, 2017

Slept 2:00AM – 9:15AM = 7 hours, 15 minutes

9:15AM

8 ounces water

 

10:30AM

8 ounces water

1000mcg Vitamin B12 methylcobalamin

 

11:03AM – 12:08PM: back workout

 

Warm-up

Hip raises:

30

30

30

 

Arm & leg lifts:

20 each side

20 each side

20 each side

 

Push-ups:

20

20

20

 

Arm circles:

50 forward, 50 backward

60 forward, 60 backward

60 forward, 60 backward

 

Workout

High rows:

140 x 15

140 x 20

160 x 13

160 x 12

180 x 7

180 x 10

160 x 11

140 x 14

 

Wide grip pull-ups:

5

5

5

 

Narrow, neutral grip pull-ups:

8

6

5

 

Machine narrow grip rows:

80 x 16

100 x 16

120 x 8

 

Burnout sets of machine rows:

Wide grip rows 80 x 14

Narrow grip rows 80 x 24

 

Level of focus 1-10 = 6

Level of effort 1-10 = 7

Notes:

I’m in the middle of book layout and production for my latest book, and that has me a bit distracted. I found myself checking email on my phone, looking at social media websites between sets, and texting with my co-author, Vanessa, discussing topics, and I didn’t focus as well as I should have. I still gave it a fairly good effort when I completed reps and sets, but the in-between time had me a bit distracted. Coming off a full week away from the gym, I took it easy today in general, to ease back into it, training one of my favorite muscle groups. I have a video shoot later on tonight, so I’ll be back in the gym to complete more reps and sets. I also sat in the sauna for about 15 minutes following this morning’s back workout, and that felt good.

12:50PM

2 nectarines

4 ounces yerba mate

 

2:00PM

1 slice vegan cheese and vegetable pizza

1 bowl of potatoes, green peas, corn, and curry sauce

16 ounces yerba mate

 

3:15PM

Handful of grapes

 

4:00PM

8 ounces sparkling water

 

5:25PM

2 tofu spring rolls with peanut sauce

 

6:15PM

4 servings of Rainier cherries

 

7:25PM

2 slices of vegan cheese and vegetable pizza

A few apple slices

6 ounces of sparkling water

 

8:37PM – 10:18PM workout + video shoot

Workout

Machine back rows:

70 x 15

70 x 15

90 x 12

90 x 12

100 x 12

 

Cable biceps curls:

70 x 15

70 x 15

 

Push-ups:

20

20

20

20

 

Narrow-grip bench press:

135 x 5

135 x 6

 

Level of focus 1-10 = 8

Level of effort 1-10 = 9

 

11:05PM

2 apples

4 ounces sparkling water

 

12:00AM

Large salad with mixed greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, dolmas, artichoke, sunflower seeds

6 ounces sparkling water

FullSizeRender

1:25AM

Bowl of brown rice, broccoli, carrots, tofu, curry sauce

4 ounces sparkling water

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 3,476

Carbohydrates: 521.3g (59%)

Protein: 113.4g (12%)

Fat: 111.9g (29%)

Water: 44 ounces

Calories burned: 3,287

Net: 189-calorie surplus

Exercise: 3 hours, 1 minute (which includes 15 minutes in sauna and some standing around at the gym during the video shoot)

Notes:

I had two exercise sessions today and primarily focused on training my back. The second workout and video shoot was a fairly late evening event. There were five vegan athletes there: Will Tucker, Vanessa Espinoza, Jake Mace, Milan Ross, and me, and we filmed some training videos that are now on Jake’s YouTube channel. I didn’t actually leave the gym until 11PM, so I typically would have dinner a bit earlier than having a large salad at midnight, followed by a heavier meal at nearly 1:30AM. Truth be told, I was actually creating meals to take the final photos necessary to submit to the designer for my new book, Plant-Based Muscle. I debated whether to go to bed and wake up early to make the meals, or to just stay up since I was fairly wide awake and just get the photos done and emailed to the design team and then sleep in. I chose the latter and ended up with a fairly late night, but I got the final photos taken and just had one meal to prepare and take photos of the following day.

Today I ate a lot of leftovers. I really didn’t want to have my first two days of this August Experiment to contain foods like cake and pizza, but that’s precisely what happened after attending a birthday party and bringing home some leftovers. Like my friend Chef AJ says, “If it’s in your house, it’s in your mouth.” Sure enough, I had leftover pizza in the fridge, and leftover curry potatoes, and when I was looking for something to eat between workouts and wanting heavy foods to fill up on before being away from home for hours in the evening to film videos, those are the foods that I consumed.

It’s a long shot, given my current habits, but I’m going to try to avoid eating heavy foods late at night, and I will make an effort to get up earlier and to the gym earlier too, to avoid these super late night dinners and meals.

Something I am proud of today: Overall, I am proud that I worked out twice today, proud that I made my own meals, and proud that I met some work deadlines I was striving for.

IMG_4868


August 3, 2017

Slept 3:00AM – 9:30AM = 6 hours, 30 minutes

10:15AM

12 ounces water

 

11:00AM

3 servings of Rainier cherries

16 ounces water

 

11:30AM

2 apricots

 

12:30PM

2 burrito bowls with brown rice, black beans, pinto beans, avocado, tomato, lettuce, jalapeño, pepperoncini

16 ounces yerba mate

FullSizeRender_3

2:00PM – Workout

20-minute swim

 

2:30PM

16 ounces water

 

4:00PM

1 apple

 

4:45PM

1 apricot

1 serving of Rainier cherries

 

5:30PM

2 bananas

1 apple

 

6:15PM

2 apples

 

7:00PM

Large bowl of brown rice, potatoes, tofu, broccoli, carrots, curry sauce

FullSizeRender_4

8:29PM – 9:45PM Leg workout

Warm-up

Hip raises:

30

30

30

 

Arm and leg lifts:

20 each side

20 each side

20 each side

 

Push-ups:

20

25

25

20

20

20

 

Plate-loaded calf raises:

100 x 35

100 x 40

100 x 50

100 x 50

100 x 45

 

Leg extensions:

70 x 30

70 x 30

70 x 30

100 x 25

100 x 25

110 x 30 (switched to a different machine)

150 x 25

170 x 22

150 x 25

130 x 30

 

9:50PM-10:50PM – Sauna

Level of focus 1-10 = 6

Level of effort 1-10 = 6

 

Notes:

I was super bloated for this workout, and it was painful to have that much discomfort while trying to train legs. I kept it to just a couple of exercises with long rest periods tonight. It’s no surprise, really, when you look at what I ate before the workout. I ate pounds of cherries today and then, just a little over an hour before training, I had a huge curry bowl with potatoes, broccoli, carrots – all foods that can upset my stomach from time to time. I didn’t think it would be a big deal tonight, but it certainly accumulated and gave me a lot of discomfort. I had already determined that I was going to use the sauna for a full hour after my workout, because I was trying to see how much water weight I could lose during that time. I was doing an experiment for a friend to give an idea of how much water weight we can sweat out in the sauna – a project to drop water weight quickly. Even though I use the sauna often, I couldn’t make it past 15 minutes, and then for the next 45 minutes I was in and out a dozen times. I took cold showers and poured water on my head during the hour I was in and out of the sauna. I didn’t drink any water until after I got back home and weighed myself. For those interested in the result, I dropped 5.2 pounds of water weight from when I left for the gym and when I got back home after the easy workout of mostly sitting on a bench + an hour in and out of the sauna.

 

11:15PM

12 ounces sparkling water

 

12:25AM

2 nectarines

 

1:50AM

3 apricots

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 3,208

Carbohydrates: 619.1g (75%)

Protein: 98.8g (11%)

Fat: 52.4g (14%)

Water: 56 ounces

Calories burned: 3,506

Net: 298-calorie deficit

Exercise: 2 hours, 36 minutes, including an hour sweating in the sauna

Notes:

Today was my first calorie deficit day of the month. Even though I trained twice yesterday, I still ate a calorie surplus, which speaks volumes to the calorie density of processed foods. I’ve been eating more processed foods in recent months than I would like, which is one of the compelling reasons why I decided to do this August Experiment. Not that I want to have a calorie deficit every day – I still want to see a nice balance of calories consumed versus expended to maintain muscle and maybe even gain some muscle in the coming months – but it is nice to put myself in a position to lean out a bit as well, which a calorie deficit combined with exercise helps with. I counted the sauna experience toward my time spent “exercising” due to the amount of calories burned through sweating in extreme temperatures. I also did a lot of walking in and out, some arm circles in the sauna and a bit of stretching. I’m still staying up later than I would like, but as I continue to work on meaningful projects, I tend to just work until fatigue kicks in enough to send me to bed.

Something I am proud of today: Even though I didn’t get to bed until 3AM, I am proud that I spent a couple of hours at the gym this evening and that I created a nearly 300-calorie deficit, something that I wanted after a week away from the gym, following some high calorie intake days this week.


August 4, 2017

Slept 2:45AM – 9:45AM = 7 hours

10:15AM

16 ounces water

 

11:15AM

Apple

Handful grapes

8 ounces yerba mate

6 ounces water

 

12:30PM

8 ounces yerba mate

 

1:20PM

Large bowl of potatoes, tofu, broccoli, carrots, and curry sauce

IMG_5186

2:30PM

1000mcg Vitamin B12 methylcobalamin

4 ounces sparkling water

 

3:45PM – Workout:

20-minute swim

 

4:40PM

Handful of red grapes

6 ounces sparkling water

 

5:15PM

2 apples

8 ounces yerba mate

 

5:30PM

16 ounces water

 

5:40PM – 7:10PM Workout:

90-minute hike

7:15PM

17 ounces water

3 oranges

 

7:30PM – Workout

15-minute swim

 

8:15PM

Bowl of brown rice, black and pinto beans, broccoli, carrots, romaine lettuce, and curry sauce

6 ounces sparkling water

 

9:36PM

Bowl of brown rice, black and pinto beans, broccoli, potatoes, jalapeño, pepperoncini, romaine lettuce, and curry sauce

IMG_5369

11:55PM – Workout

Push-ups:

20

20

20

20

20

20

 

12:18AM

12 ounces chocolate almond milk

6 ounces blueberries

 

12:45AM

1 large peach

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 2,747

Carbohydrates: 512.3g (72%)

Protein: 73g (9%)

Fat: 60g (19%)

Water: 71 ounces

Calories burned: 3,551

Net: 804-calorie deficit

Exercise: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Notes:

Today was a really enjoyable food and exercise experience. Any time I get out and hike on the beautiful trails behind my house in Tonto National Forest in Northeast Mesa, AZ, it is a great day. Aside from my absence from the gym for a weight-training workout, today was what I kind of picture as more of a typical day for me. I slept in after a late night, started my day with water, tea, and fruit. I went for a swim, hiked in the national forest, ate a couple of burrito bowls, and performed push-ups at home, while getting a lot of work done today. That’s what I call an awesome day, even if the gym was absent from my routine. Even without going to the gym, I had a massive calorie deficit today because I hiked for an hour and a half, swam twice, and performed my daily 100+ push-ups. Furthermore, my breakdown of 72/9/19 of carbohydrates, protein, and fat, most accurately matches the averages of the entire month of November when I recorded my meals and workouts during my November Project. I am interested to see what my averages look like for this week and for this month. I don’t look at any numbers until well after a week following the actual day that I am totaling data for.

Something I am proud of today: I am proud that I was able to set stress aside for a moment and enjoy a super peaceful and incredibly rewarding 90-minute hike this evening. It was so awesome to get back out in nature after weeks of sitting at a computer screen 10-15 hours per day, most days.


August 5, 2017

Slept 1:45AM – 9:30AM = 7 hours, 45 minutes

10:30AM

6 ounces water

 

11:00AM

6 ounces yerba mate

 

11:50AM

Banana

16 ounces yerba mate

 

1:15PM

Handful of red grapes

Nectarine

Peach

6 ounces sparkling water

 

2:55PM

Large bowl of brown rice, potatoes, broccoli, and curry sauce

8 ounces sparkling water

 

3:50PM – 5:30PM Home workout

 

Dumbbell hammer curls:

25s x 15

25s x 20

25s x 15

25s x 17

25s x 16

25s x 16

 

Standing overhead dumbbell press:

25s x 15

25s x 15

25s x 17

25s x 16

25s x 16

25s x 20

 

Alternating dumbbell curls:

25s x 14

25s x 15

25s x 12

25s x 12

25s x 10

25s x 13

 

Dumbbell triceps kickbacks:

25s x 15

25s x 15

25s x 15

25s x 15

25s x 15

25s x 15

 

Push-ups:

20

20

20

20

20

25

25

 

Level of focus 1-10 = 8

Level of effort 1-10 = 8

 

Notes:

I had a nice workout at home today. I have a number of pieces of equipment at home, but for today, I decided to just use 25-pound dumbbells and perform a bunch of exercises for 24 sets followed by another 7 sets of push-ups. My fiancée, Karen, has a birthday tomorrow, and she is flying home from Colorado tonight. She’s not due to arrive until midnight, so it will be another late night, and I am picking up vegan Thai food before she arrives. One of my favorite post-workout meals is Thai food, so that is something I am looking forward to, along with her return home, of course.

IMG_5575

5:40PM

12 ounces sparkling water

 

5:50PM

2 peaches

IMG_5501

7:55PM

6 tofu and vegetable spring rolls

Large plate of vegetable fried rice

12 ounces chai tea

FullSizeRender

10:36PM

16 ounces yerba mate

6 ounces blueberries

 

11:22PM – Workout

 

Push-ups:

20

20

20

 

12:30AM

1 serving of vegetable fried rice

 

1:00AM

2 servings of almond milk ice cream

6 ounces sparkling water

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 2,358

Carbohydrates: 468.5g (77%)

Protein: 43.5g (7%)

Fat: 43.1g (16%)

Water: 38 ounces

Calories burned: 3,092

Net: 734-calorie deficit

Exercise: 1 hour, 50 minutes

 

Notes:

Even with many servings of Thai food, including an entire plate of fried rice, a plate of spring rolls, and some iced tea, I still had a major calorie deficit, following my long workout at home and additional sets of push-ups before bed. Happy Birthday to Karen! We have a fun day planned for her birthday tomorrow.

Something I am proud of today: Though I didn’t make it to the gym today, I am proud that I had a solid workout in my living room, and that I continue to perform more than 100 push-ups every day.


August 6, 2017

Slept 3:00AM – 9:45AM = 6 hours, 45 minutes

10:15AM

12 ounces water

 

11:15AM

Banana

16 ounces yerba mate

 

11:50AM

Peach

3 ounces blueberries

 

12:30PM

3 servings popcorn

6 ounces Gatorade

 

3:00PM

Bowl of noodles with vegetables and tofu

6 ounces sparkling water

 

5:00PM

3 servings of popcorn

6 ounces of Root Beer

 

7:50PM

Cucumber salad

12 ounces water

 

8:30PM

24 pieces of vegetable sushi

11:15PM

6 ounces sparkling water

 

12:00AM Workout

Push-ups:

20

20

20

20

20

30

 

12:30AM

2 apricots

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 3,036

Carbohydrates: 509.4g (67%)

Protein: 65g (7%)

Fat: 91g (26%)

Water: 36 ounces

Calories burned: 2,849

Net: 187-calorie surplus

Exercise: 15 minutes

Notes:

Today was no doubt my most abnormal day, as far as food goes. As I celebrated my fiancée’s birthday, we took a boat tour and ate popcorn, went to a movie and ate popcorn (and had some root beer), and we were on the go a lot, so I didn’t do my usual grazing of smaller meals at home. We celebrated Karen’s birthday with a group dinner at a vegan-friendly sushi place in Tempe, AZ called Sushi 101. They have an entire vegan menu, and I believe one of the co-owners is a long-time vegan. I ate about 24 pieces of vegetable sushi, and not just avocado rolls (though I LOVE plain avocado rolls), but a wide variety of creative plant-based sushi using foods such as sweet potatoes, mango, tofu, and more. I had a slight calorie surplus today, not nearly as much as I thought given my popcorn, soda, curry, and massive amount of sushi. Time to get back in the gym tomorrow!

Something I am proud of today: I am pleased with how today went for Karen’s birthday. I focused on her, taking her on a boat ride, to a movie, to dinner, and we almost had time for pedicures, but couldn’t quite squeeze them in between the boat tour and the movie. When I run my own brand and write books and train myself and even write this blog, a lot of my work is focused on me. I am proud that I took a step back for a full day and celebrated Karen, something I will continue to do more often than just on her birthday.


August 7, 2017

Slept 1:30AM – 9:30AM = 8 hours

10:30AM

8 ounces water

 

11:25AM

Bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and walnuts

16 ounces yerba mate

IMG_5890

12:45PM

Banana

 

1:10PM

Banana

 

1:55PM

3 Yukon gold potatoes with ketchup

3 dill pickles

16 ounces water with electrolytes

 

4:00PM

12 ounces water

 

4:22PM

Larabar

4 ounces yerba mate

 

4:50PM

Large bowl of 3 Yukon gold potatoes, 1 serving of romaine lettuce, tablespoon of jalapeños, 1 pickle, and mustard

6 ounces sparking water

 

6:30PM

2 apples

 

7:33PM

PureFit bar

 

8:15PM – 9:50PM Leg workout

 

Warm-up

Hip raises:

40

40

40

 

Arm and leg lifts:

20 each side

20 each side

20 each side

 

Push-ups:

20

20

20

20

20

20

20

 

Leg extensions:

70 x 50

90 x 36

110 x 30

130 x 25

150 x 20

130 x 25

110 x 30

100 x 28

120 x 30

125 x 33

 

Lying hamstring curls:

50 x 20

65 x 12

55 x 14

55 x 12

55 x 13

60 x 11

50 x 11

50 x 16

50 x 12

50 x 18

 

Plate-loaded calf raises:

100 x 40

100 x 45

110 x 50

120 x 50

120 x 55

 

Seated calf presses:

145 x 50

175 x 40

205 x 40

220 x 35

250 x 30

 

10:00PM-10:30PM Workout:

30 minutes on the Stairmaster

 

Level of focus 1-10 = 8

Level of effort 1-10 = 8

Notes:

It was nice to be back in the gym and complete a solid 1 hour, 35 minute leg workout, followed by 30 minutes on the Stairmaster. When I started the August Experiment, I really though I would be using the Stairmaster a lot, like 3 or 4 times a week. This is the 7th day of the month and the final day of Week 1, and it was my first time on the Stairmaster. I truly hope to get on it a lot more in the future.

 

11:00PM

Plate of homemade vegan mac ‘n’ cheese with broccoli

FullSizeRender

11:36PM

2 apples

 

12:04AM

4 ounces water

 

Totals:

Calories consumed: 3,047

Carbohydrates: 627.9g (80%)

Protein: 82.6g (9%)

Fat: 39g (11%)

Water: 46 ounces

Calories burned: 3,359

Net: 302-calorie deficit

Exercise: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Notes:

It was also a really nice day nutritionally, now that Karen is back from a weeklong vacation in Colorado. She makes most of our meals, so following her birthday, she made oatmeal with fruit and nuts today, prepared a homemade vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, and in general, my nutrition program is more supportive of my overall health and fitness efforts when I am eating the healthier meals she prepares compared to processed frozen foods I tend to eat more of when I’m home by myself.

Even though I consumed more than 3,000 calories today, I had a significant 300+ calorie deficit resulting from the long leg workout. I had a really nice nutritional breakdown too, which was essentially 80/10/10 on 3k+ calories. I’ve got to be happy about that, and a lot of credit goes to the 6 Yukon gold potatoes I ate and the 7 servings of fruit.

Something I am proud of today: I am proud of the fact that I incorporated lying leg curls into my leg workout for the first time in more than a year. Ever since I tore a disc in my lower back in May of 2016 and had to take a full 5 months off from the gym, I have yet to return to exercises such as leg curls, leg press, lunges, or other exercises that target hamstrings. For the past year my leg workouts have focused on leg extensions, calf raises, and when I’m feeling optimistic and determined, wall-sits too. Today I incorporated hamstring curls into my training, and I think that is a positive step forward.



 

Well, that does it for Week 1. Let’s check out what the totals for the entire week look like.

Week 1 totals:

Total calories consumed = 21,345

Average calories consumed per day = 3,049

Average percentage from carbohydrates = 71.71% (556g per day)

Average percentage from protein = 9% (78.56g per day)

Average percentage from fat = 19.29% (67.93g per day)

Total water intake = 344 ounces

Average water per day = 49.14 ounces

Total calorie expenditure = 22,500

Average calorie expenditure per day = 3,214

Average net calorie/expenditure = 165-calorie deficit per day

Total time spent exercising = 12 hours, 22 minutes

Average time spent exercising = 1 hour, 46 minutes per day

Total amount of sleep = 51 hours

Average sleep per night = 7 hours, 17 minutes

 

Notes and Summary:

As I look over these numbers for the first time, after just calculating them on August 16, more than a week after this week completed, I am inspired to see that I averaged a net calorie deficit over the course of the whole week. I wasn’t necessarily expecting that outcome with a fairly stressful week, and missing a couple of days in the gym. I am pleased to see that my protein intake is less than 10%, which is even lower than I would have expected, given that fact that I consumed beans and other protein-rich foods daily. The large quantities of potatoes, fruit, brown rice, leafy greens, carrots and broccoli clearly offset the beans and tofu in relation to my macronutrient percentages.

My water intake is lower than I would like, but it’s actually a little higher than I would have predicted, given that I still consume too much yerba mate tea and other beverages. This hot Phoenix, Arizona summer will have me consuming more liquids soon, especially as I incorporate more hiking into my training and lifestyle.

I am pleased that I averaged nearly seven and a half hours of sleep per night, even with these very late nights writing, working, and winding down from evening workouts. I look forward to seeing the Week 2 totals. The second week of the August Experiment just finished a couple of days ago, and I should be totaling those numbers very soon too.

Thank you for reading through my first week of plant-based nutrition and training documentation. I look forward to sharing my next blog entry with you.

All the best!

Robert script

5 thoughts on “August Experiment – Week 1 Recap

  1. Hey guys! It was a yellow curry — actually leftover curry sauce I got from a Thai restaurant. The sauce was already made by the restaurant, and I cooked up some potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onion, tofu, and rice to go with it. It’s from a place called Chon Thai in Chandler, AZ and they just came out with an entire vegan menu that is quite extensive. Two of my all-time favorite words in used sequentially are “vegan” and “Thai”. 🙂

    Like

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