Today’s prompt is a strange one; it instantly stood out as one of the most fun ones, but I just couldn’t seem to think of a well-known person whose diet I could veganise.
As I was talking through the prompts with/at Ben, as I mentioned this one I said “Dunno what I’ll do with this one… I vaguely thought of Arnie…”. Ben immediately exclaimed “I was gonna say Arnie!” – and thus, unwittingly, the idea for this prompt was born.
So, today Arnold Schwarzenegger is going vegan! Hooray! (Sorry, whey supplement industry… Actually, no I’m not)
It’s a little hard to find trustworthy information on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s diet as every supplement company and fitness magazine out there wants to tell you their own products and beliefs. So my diet for him is based very loosely on what common threads I find, combined with what I have seen omnivorous and vegan bodybuilders consume, with my own flourish to make it super delicious and nutritious.
Apparently, Arnie aims for 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight, so we’re going to aim for approximately 235-260g of plant-based protein (based on his competition and off-season bodyweight figures). He also prefers to eat about five to six times a day, so we’re going to rely a lot on high-protein snacks. Thankfully, Schwarzenegger reportedly does not hate on the carbs, so he can enjoy some healthy phytonutrient-rich plant foods!
For breakfast, he likes to keep it simple with something like eggs and bacon, tomato and onion. For his vegan breakfast, I’d dish him up:
- Tofu scramble (200g tofu)
- Shiitake bacon bits (100g mushrooms)
- Tomato, onion, and spinach salad with a tahini-cider vinegar dressing (1 tomato, 1 onion, 1 cup/30g spinach, 1tbsp tahini)
- Sprouted grain toast (2 slices)
Calories: 511 // Protein: 33g
For convenience, the base of the mid-morning/pre-workout snack can be a protein shake, and we’ll throw in some extra carbs and fats for a more complete meal:
- I’d recommend Nature’s Whey Ignite Ultra-V for maximum protein content and bonus ingredients like creatine, glutamine, and maca (60g)
- Dried apricots (20g)
- Raw almonds (20g)
Calories: 395 // Protein: 45g
For lunch, also known as Meal 3:
- Blackened tempeh (150g)
- Grilled portobello mushroom (100g)
- Baked sweet potato fries (150g)
- Avocado, cucumber, sprouted pulse and mixed leaf salad (1/2 avocado – of the Californian variety, duh – 100g sprouts)
Calories: 597 // Protein: 41
Sorry whole-foodists, but we’re going to have to throw in another protein shake – and no, it’s not because we’re vegan but because omnivores do it too for convenience.
- I would could go with Vital Pea Protein Green Coffee this time because it’s another one of my favourites (30g)
- Blended with unsweetened soy milk (300ml, or about 1 1/4 cups)
- And if using a blender we could throw in a few dates for creamy sweetness, fibre, and carbohydrate (2 medjool dates, or about 40-50g)
- And a pinch of cinnamon to help with that blood sugar and yum factor
Calories: 331 // Protein: 40
Dinner, or Meal 5:
- Grilled extra-firm tofu marinated in a chili-ginger sauce (200g tofu)
- Quinoa (1 cup cooked)
- Stir-fried pak choi and broccoli (100g total)
- Cashews and sesame seeds (10g each)
Calories: 637 // Protein: 28
I’m going to slip in a sixth meal because I’m not convinced two protein shakes can count as two distinct meals, and because everyone needs dessert:
- Homemade soy cashew yoghurt (180g, based on Miyoko Schinner’s recipe in Artisan Vegan Cheese and Savvy Vegetarian’s calculation)
- Chia blueberry jam (1tbsp)
- Dark chocolate: I would suggest Madécasse Toasted Coconut (20g)
Calories: 406 // Protein: ~20g
Which brings us to a total for the day of 2877kcal and 207 grams of protein – which was a little shy of what we set out to do, but with a few extra nuts and seeds, slightly bigger helpings of quinoa or sweet potato, and some more veggies thrown in, you’d hit the numbers you’d hit no problem! Though 207g of protein for a 250lb individual is certainly nothing to sniff at.*
*I didn’t count other macronutrients or micronutrients because, frankly, I was short on time – but to give you an idea, I wrote this vague diet plan up in my lunch break at uni and simply worked out the calories and protein content this evening. In other words, with no tinkering whatsoever, it was pretty easy to hit the desired energy and protein intake with a simple, whole-foods, plant-based diet – anyone not looking to consume over 200g of protein could easily omit the two protein shakes and still have a 2,500kcal diet full of about 130g protein. And I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t struggle to eat like this every day!
Thanks for being so open-minded, Arnold, and trying this out! We should do this again sometime!
And thanks for bearing with me, readers, despite all the numbers and severe lack of photos. This MoFo is catching up to me – I’m ready for bedtime and the weekend!