If there’s any sporting industry veganism has struggled to penetrate – it’s bodybuilding. Football has seen some of its talented athletes praise veganism, namely Argentinian superstars Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero. The boxing world has seen British heavyweight champion David “Hayemaker” Haye convert to a vegan diet. Bodybuilding, however, is shrouded in an omnivorous myth: meat is the only way to build muscle mass and gain strength.
Barny Du Plessis, winner of 2014’s prestigious bodybuilding competition ‘Mr Universe’, set out to challenge this trend in 2015, converting fully to a plant-based diet. Du Plessis consumes a hefty 300 grams of plant protein a day, and consumes around 6,000 calories per day during his off-season training. Let’s dive into the go-to recipes Du Plessis’ claims to rely on during a regular day in Vegan Bodybuilding: Barny Du Plessis — 5 Vegan Meals He Loves to Eat!
1. Breakfast: Seeded Porridge with Protein Powder
Before kicking out the meat, Barny’s breakfast consisted of 10 egg whites and cornflakes! It must be said that Barny’s new breakfast sounds much more appetising. Oats pack a decent amount of protein, and possess slow-release energy power. Moreover, the glory of a bowl of porridge is the fact that it’s a culinary canvas to be painted on with whatever nutritious brushes you desire. Seeds and protein powder turn porridge into a muscle-building superfood.
2. Post-Workout Shake: PERFORM Protein, Creatine & Banana
You guessed it – this shake is fit to burst with protein. Creatine is a substance found in muscle. It’s often used as a supplement to increase performance in particularly heavy weightlifting, and intense exercise, since it increases the body’s stores of phosphocreatine (a form of energy in the cells). PERFORM Protein is a vegan, yes vegan protein powder!
3. Lunch: Rice, Lentil & Quinoa Mix
It’s testimony to the power of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, and, of course- vegetables, that the sheer mass of Du Plessis’ mountainous muscles have been maintained. As he stresses in his interviews – it doesn’t matter where you get your protein from, as long as it’s protein – although, he concedes, bodybuilding on a vegan diet often means eating more in order to reach the protein levels required to build muscle. Rice, lentils and quinoa are powerhouses of vegan protein.
4. Mid-Afternoon Snack: Rice, Lentil & Quinoa Mix
You read it right: it’s time for another rice, lentil and quinoa mix! Perhaps it’s the leftovers from lunch? It’s also hard to guess exactly how Du Plessis is serving this dish. Is it a lentil dahl? Is it a delicately spiced coconut and jasmine rice? Is the quinoa stirred through with finely chopped courgette? I truly hope so.
5. Dinner: Rainbow Bean Chilli
It’s dinner time, and this one really does sound tasty! Du Plessis sings the praises of the bean, and its not hard to see why. Beans are a great source of, well – a lot. They pack protein, fibre, vitamin B, amongst other vitamins and minerals. They’re also naturally tasty. Each bean possesses a distinct enough flavour to make a rainbow bean chilli worth it. Black beans add a saltiness; kidney beans add an almost nutty creaminess and edamame beans offer a sweetness dressed in bright or darker ‘Hulk’ green; overall this bodybuilding recipe packs a culinary superhero punch!