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Transitioning to a Vegan Lifestyle – 3 Useful Hacks


Currently, the Vegan movement is stronger than ever, and the number of people transitioning over to a vegan lifestyle is growing every single day. This is extremely promising, though in terms of health and fitness, making the initial transition over to veganism can be difficult. The good news however, is that it certainly isn’t impossible. This essentially means that, with a few lifestyle and diet tweaks here and there, you can easily make the transition over to a vegan lifestyle without hindering your workouts and your gains in the process. If you’re thinking of making the switch, here are 3 useful hacks to make your transition that little bit easier.

Make sure you know your protein sources – If you’re looking to continue with your training and are looking to make some solid gains in the gym, protein is vital. Now, there are people out there who claim that vegans can’t build muscle because they can’t get enough protein in, but this is complete nonsense. There are many great sources of vegan-friendly protein, including nuts, legumes, seeds, beans, and lentils. On top of that, there are vegan-friendly protein powders like hemp, brown rice, or pea protein, plus there are all-in-one vegan protein blends. Make sure the majority of your protein comes from whole sources, and finish things off with one or two vegan-friendly protein shakes per day and you’ll be well on your way to Gainsville one again.

Use ingredients you enjoy – Even if you’re currently not a fully-fledged vegan, there’s a good chance that many of the ingredients you eat and enjoy on a daily basis are indeed vegan-friendly, which already gives you a great head start. When you make the transition, look for vegan-friendly recipes which contain ingredients that you know you currently enjoy. For example, if you enjoy broccoli, look for vegan-friendly broccoli dishes and try your hand at making them yourself. It very much is a matter of trial and error to begin with, but if you are using ingredients you know you enjoy, there is a much stronger chance of you actually enjoying the foods you’re eating.

Fuel your workouts and never skip meals – When you’re training hard, you of course need energy, protein, and nutrients to not only fuel your workouts, but to assist with the recovery process as well. For this reason, choose the right foods based upon your training regime. If you train early in the day, a bowl of natural oatmeal with almond milk, mixed nuts, fruit, and seeds, will provide energy by the bucket load, and you’ll smash your workout like never before. If however, you’d skipped breakfast, or simply grabbed a small piece of fruit, your energy levels would have sucked, and you wouldn’t have gotten all that much done in the gym. As a vegan, you need to ensure you are getting the right nutrients in at the right time, so either prep your meals in advance, or allow enough time to prepare them when you need them.

Vegan Macro Friendly Granola: Plant Based Personal Trainer

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With our online clients, we recommend eating mostly high volume foods. What are high volume foods, you ask? Well, high volume foods have relatively low calories and macronutrients for their weight. Therefore, you can eat a lot of these foods for fewer calories and macros, and this will help provide energy and contribute to feeling satiated. Leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, and berries are great examples of high volume foods.

But, we get it, sometimes, you want a ‘treat’ or ‘something different,’ and you are committed to your nutrition plan at the same time. You’re just not up for staring down another salad or big bowl of kale. So what do you do? How do you satisfy the urge for something different without going completely off your plan?

After much research and tinkering, we have your answer! Meet our newest recipe: Vegan macro-friendly granola. We’re also calling it Conscious Muscle Granola. What so special about it? Well, in addition to being tasty, this granola is perfectly formulated to fit within Conscious Muscle clients’ macros. For those of you following Conscious Muscle Macro+Menu plans, one serving of this granola will satisfy your Meal 3 requirements. Not following a meal plan? Click here to learn more.

Now, keep in mind, this is a low volume recipe. This granola contains ingredients that have more calories in a smaller amount of volume. As a result, have this as an occasional treat or when you desire a different taste. This granola should not be your go-to when you’re feeling very hungry. Go high volume for those times!

Vegan Macro Friendly Granola (i.e., Conscious Muscle Granola)


  • 66 grams cooked lentils (weighed after cooking)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1.5 tsp coconut sugar
  • 26 grams Vega Sport vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅕ tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 grams seedless raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Place cooked lentils in a medium-sized bowl. They should be moist so the dry ingredients stick to them but not very wet.
  3. Add the oil and stir to evenly coat.
  4. Add the sugar, protein powder, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir well.
  5. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread to a thin, single-layer of the mixture.
  6. (Optional step) Lightly spray with oil such a pan-release spray.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven, stir and re-spread mixture to single layer.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven, add the raisins, stir, and re-spread mixture to single layer.
  11. Bake for 3-5 minutes. (If lentils become very brown, use less time)
  12. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in airtight container at room temperature. Use within 2 days.

Vegan Online Trainer

Calories: 301

Protein: 25 grams

Carbohydrates: 30 grams

Fat: 11 grams

NOTE: For oil-free, replace oil with 22 grams of hemp seeds, and subtract 6 grams of protein powder. This will change the consistency to more of a ‘cereal’ than a granola and will change the macros very slightly.

The inspiration for this recipe came from Vegan Richa and this cookbook. All her recipes are wonderfully delicious, and she is a lentil ninja. Thank you Richa!


The Best Way To Lose Weight: Vegan Macro Coach

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‘How can I lose weight on a vegan diet?” ‘What’s the best way to drop body fat?” “What do you think about Intermittent Fasting?” “Are you a fan of ketogenic diets?” “What macro percentages should I eat to lose the most weight?” “How can I carb cycle?”

And on and on and on. Everyday, I’m asked nearly every iteration of every question about weight loss, Fortunately, and perhaps unfortunately, the answer is simple: The best weigh to lose weight is to be in a caloric deficit. In other words, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. It’s really that simple.

I was so excited when I saw this research article that supported this idea that energy balance (i.e., eating less than you spend) is the most important factor in losing weight. Additionally, other dietary approaches often help people reduce weight because they put people in a caloric deficit, likely not because of any other special properties of these approaches. To quote the abstract of the article: “Diets primarily focused on fat loss are driven by a sustained caloric deficit.”

At Conscious Muscle, we adhere to this simple approach. We provide people with a balanced, plant-based approach without gimmicks or fads. If people want to lose weight, we put them in a sustained caloric deficit. It’s really that simple. The study also validated our approach of using a higher protein approach when losing weight to help maintain muscle and reduce feelings of hunger. That’s really our only ‘trick,’ if you would call it that.

So why do these other approaches get so much attention? We’re not really sure. It could be that the real answer is, well, boring, and not likely to generate much hype. I mean, everyone knows you need to eat fewer calories than you burn to lose weight. Who’s going to click on an article that says ‘Lose weight by eating fewer calories than you burn?’ versus ‘More people are dropping weight fast using [insert latest diet fad].’ But, hey, our approach may not be glitzy, our results are, and we’ll gladly have those over the new fad approach! Check out our coaching packages on our website to learn more.


vegan weight loss coach

Vegan Superfood Spotlight: Chlorella: Vegan Nutrition Coach

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I regularly eat what I call ‘vegan superfoods,’ or foods that provide a multitude of benefits: nutritional multi-takers, if you will. People often ask me for lesser-known nutritional tips or foods that I found most valuable. As a result, I’m starting this feature to shine the spotlight on some of my favorites. I’m starting with Chlorella because it’s one of my absolute favorites and because it’s a bit of an unknown powerhouse.

Chlorella, a freshwater green algae, contains more chlorophyll than any other known plant and is replete with protein, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. Talk about a multi-tasker. Additionally, chlorella contains vitamin B12. As B12 is not often found among plants, this makes chlorella especially important for plant-based eaters. Indeed, chlorella truly earns its status as a vegan superfood.

Chlorella contains 19 amino acids, including the 10 considered ‘essential.’ This amino acid profile combined with chlorella’s ease of absorption is one of the main reasons I’ve added chlorella to my diet.

But, I’m not yet done preaching the benefits of chlorella! It also contains detoxifying properties by reducing free radical damage we all experience in our modern world. Chlorella also helps build the immune system and enhances recovery by speeding the rate of cell regeneration. As such, Chlorella may be particularly  important during times of high stress and intense training.

To ensure you purchase a high-quality chlorella supplement, look for a product with high levels of protein (around 70%) and chlorophyll (around 7%). I like this powdered variety and add one teaspoon per day to my smoothies. Chlorella mixes will with tart fruit flavors such a lemon and berry. You also can take chlorella in tablet form.

If you aren’t supplementing with chlorella, I encourage you to give it a try. Let us know in the comments below how you like to incorporate chlorella in your vegan diet!

vegan macro coach



Brazier, B. (2007). Thrive: The vegan nutrition guide to optimal performance in sports and life. Da Capo, Philadelphia.

Cardio Done Fast and Right: Vegan Online Person Trainer

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One of the most common questions we receive from Conscious Muscle coaching clients involves options for cardio when you’re short on time or when you are bored of your routine. My solution for both of these questions is the same: a special blend of high intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT involves repeated intervals of hard efforts followed by recovery intervals. Research on the benefits of HIIT is very impressive, with HIIT resulting in improvements in cardiovascular health, insulin sensitivity, and abdominal fat. Additionally, HIIT is not associated with muscle loss like other types of cardiovascular activity. HIIT also provides something called EPOC, Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. This means that, after a HIIT exercise session, you consume more oxygen and, hence, burn more calories.¹

I learned one of my favorite HIIT workouts from the book One Minute Workout. Yes, the name is enticing but a bit of a misnomer. Sorry to say, the workout will take you longer than one minute, but not too much longer. This book also presents some very impressive scientific evidence to support the benefits of HIIT and a number of HIIT protocols. My favorite involves 10 repeats of a 1-minute hard interval followed by a 1-minute recovery interval.

I pick 5 cardiovascular / monostructural movements: stationary bike, running, jumping rope, stair climbing, rowing, burpees etc. After a proper warm up, I do 10 rounds of 1 minute hard effort followed by 1 minute of active rest (e.g., walking). I do each of my 5 movements twice to make up the 10 rounds. After I complete all 10 rounds, I do a general cool down, and I’m done!

Here’s one workout I recently completed using the protocol above when I had access to some gym equipment. I alternated between a ‘fan-style’ bike, rower, jump rope, ski erg, and running up and down stairs.

Vegan macro coach


Here’s another workout I completed with access to no gym equipment. Really, the only limit is your creativity!

vegam personal trainer

We encourage you to give HIIT a try next time you’re pressed for time to workout or need a change. We’d love to hear the combinations you try!


American Council on Exercise (2014) Personal Trainer Manual. Fifth Edition. San Diego, CA. Author.

Vegan Strawberry Cheezecake Smoothie: Vegan Macro Coach

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Finally! It’s finally strawberry season here in the United States. Team Conscious Muscle members know we are big fans of berries. They pack a huge macronutrient and micronutrient punch providing lots of nature-made vitamins and fiber for relatively few calories. Strawberries contain high amounts of folic acid, flavonoids, iron, and Vitamin C.¹ On top of that, they taste so incredibly delicious. While we love all berries, strawberries have a special place in our hearts. Many of us grew up loving strawberries so they have a nostalgic tendency to bring out the kid in us. Additionally, strawberries are incredibly versatile. We love them on salads, in smoothies, and all by themselves. Yum!

With the abundance of fresh strawberries in local stores, we could not resist the urge to create a delicious smoothie recipe celebrating this delicious aggregate fruit. Yes, it’s true! Strawberries aren’t botanically berries but often are lumped in with other ‘official’ berries. Mind-blowing, right? We added some plant-based cream cheese to make a dessert-like, macro-friendly, rockin’ vegan shake!

Vegan Strawberry Cheezecake Smoothie

41 grams Vega Sport berry-flavored Performance Protein

8 ounces cashew milk – We used this one

14 grams plant-based cream cheese – We used this one

400 grams strawberries – We used fresh organic; frozen organic work too

1 tsp organic lemon juice

Optional: 2-3 drops liquid stevia extract

Directions: Put all ingredients in a regular or high-speed blender container. Blend on high or on smoothie preset until well-blended. Add 3-4 ice cubes  for a thicker consistency.


Vegan macro coach

Calories: 336

Protein: 34 grams

Carbohydrates: 38 grams

Fat: 8.9 grams


Team Conscious Muscle Macro and Coaching clients may use this recipe as their ‘Meal 1’ macros, making this a perfect breakfast shake! Not a Team Conscious Muscle client, click here to sign up or learn how we can help you.

Please note: Strawberries and most berries are on the dirty dozen list of the most ‘sprayed’ produce. For that reason, we strongly recommend purchasing organic berries.


  1. Fuhrman (2005). Disease-proof your child. New York, St. Martin’s Griffin.

Conscious Muscle Donation Recipient: Rancho Relaxo

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Followers of Team Conscious Muscle know we donate 10% of proceeds from all products ( apparel and supplements) to animal rescues and sanctuaries. Since day one, our mission included giving back to others who help animals and who work to stop animal cruelty. We also strive to weave gratitude and abundance into our work at Conscious Muscle, and it is an amazing experience to share our success with awesome organizations with similar missions. Yes, Coach Jordan is continuing his efforts to expand his current animal sanctuary. But, on top of that, we believe it is important to give back and help the collective community of animal activists out there.

As a result, we are starting a regular feature on the Conscious Muscle blog to highlight the organizations that have received a Conscious Muscle donation. We’ve been watching these organizations do such wonderful things and realized we want others to know about them too. Our first highlighted recipient is Rancho Relaxo. We’ve been involved with Caitlin her organization for a few years, and wow, do they work hard and do incredible work for animals. After you read this feature, head over to social media and give them a like and a follow!


vegan macro coach


Name of sanctuary / rescue: Rancho Relaxo

Location: Southern New Jersey


Date of origination: September 2015

Why was your sanctuary founded? It was truly an accident. A beautiful accident. But our sole mission at this point is to give every animal a voice.

online vegan macro coach

Number and types of animals: Multiple. And it changes every day. We rescue horses, pigs, goats, sheep, chickens, dogs, cats, … you name it.

Favorite story about one of your animals: Britney Spears is a mini horse! She came from a severe abuse and neglect case in PA. She was a big score of 1/10 – which is close to death. She was 23 years old when we rescued her and she surprisingly made a miraculous recovery.

What have you done with the Conscious Muscle donations? We have been able to do SO much. We have paid off thousands of dollars in emergency vet bills!!!

What is one simple way our vegan audience can do more to help animals? Get involved! Volunteer at a farm sanctuary. REPOST SANCTUARY PICTURES AND VIDEOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Donate!!!

Where can people find you on social media?


vegan diet training coach

Thank you Caitlin and all the volunteer and donors at Rancho Relaxo. We are proud to support you and have enjoyed watching you grow and save increasingly more animals. Keep up the great work!

And, thank you, supporters of Conscious Muscle. Because of your support, we are able to help others committed to a cruelty-free lifestyle. Together we are changing the world!

Drop It Like It’s Hot: Why This Vegan Training Coach Uses Drop Sets

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Members of Team Conscious Muscle know we are big fans of drop sets, a weightlifting technique where, after doing an exercise to near-failure, you reduce (i.e., drop) the weight you’re lifting and continue doing the exercise until you cannot continue. Talk about intensity! Arnold Schwarzenegger often completed drop sets when doing bicep curls. You can use drop sets when training nearly any body part such as deltoids, calves, triceps, back, etc.

While drop sets have been around for decades, a recent study showed support for their use to build muscle. The study was spearheaded by Brad Shoenfeild, PhD, a well-known exercise scientist and researcher who has authored several popular fitness books and countless peer-reviewed articles on exercise. In this study examining the use of drop sets as a technique to build muscle, young men trained their tricep muscles using either drop sets or a traditional ‘one-set’ method. After six weeks, the people in the drop set group showed nearly double the muscle growth in their tricep muscles compared to the people in the traditional one-set group. The researchers attributed the increased muscle growth to the increased stress placed on the muscles due to the drop sets. Makes sense! The sample size for this study was quite small, and more research is needed. However, this study provides positive initial support for the use of drop sets to accelerate muscle growth.

Indeed, the study showed no negative impacts of using drop sets so why not give them a try? Even better, sign up for a Conscious Muscle training package, and we’ll help you incorporate drop sets for maximum results.

Coach Jordan’s newest training video shows how to add drop sets when doing shoulder presses. Give them a try next time you’re seeking to change up your routine! What are your favorite exercises for using drop sets? Let us know in the comments.

Good vibes and gratitude!


Why Vegan, Why now?

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Its a valid question with a multitude of answers. The answers vary from person to person and here are mine.
For those whom are ever curious my information or “reasons” listed below are conclusions I came to as well as facts/information I have absorbed over time. If your curious about the validity or are interested in substantiating any of the information listed below you can give google a whirl, tis a fine tool for ascertaining desired information. This write-up isn’t about convincing, its about sharing.
Am I Vegan for my health? Am I Vegan for my planet? Am I Vegan for the Animals? The answer: All of the above and then some! Will keep this relatively short and sweet. It all started for my health and health alone. Being in the fitness and health industry this has always been an area of interest and self betterment, if you will. Once I found out a Vegan lifestyle could reduce chances of cancer and disease by upwards of %70 it was a no brainer. Not to mention learning the plethora of homeopathic/natural cures for countless diseases. If your body has the wherewithal to create dis-ease it certainly has to ability to create “ease of disease” if cells are properly nourished. Thats the short and sweet version, I could sit here and reel off study after study and case after case but again thats what good ol google is for.
Vegan for the planet, that came next. I keep hearing how there are clean water shortages worldwide and now theres a big one happening in California right in our very own US of A! Although its not our first brush with water scares its our most recent. So simply put once I found out these little factoids below going Vegan for the planet was a no brainer.
1.Factory farming consumes the majority of ALL clean water and ending factory farming today could end global water shortages worldwide TODAY.
2.The majority of grain that could be used to feed all the starving/dyeing men women and children of the world is used to raise factory farmed animals for slaughter. We could quite literally end ALL WORLD HUNGER TODAY!
3.Fuel shortages, oh my! We use more fuel in the process of factory farming then all automotive use worldwide. If we were to stop factory farming there would be no shortage or even projection of shortage in the near future. Electric cars are great and all but far from the answer we need.
4.We are quite literally destroying our planet. One example is we hear about the rainforest being chopped down and slowly disappearing, its not for lumber folks its for land to factory farm cows, SURPRISE.
5.Green house gases are causing global warming as well as having many other devastating effects on our planet, yes gasses emitting from factory farming trump that of all auto emissions world wide.
Thats as good start as to why Im Vegab for my plant.
Lastly Vegan for the animals? Yeah for the animals, those big ,dumb, living, breathing, feeling sentient beings with central nervous systems much like ours. If your not ok Jamming a meat hook through a golden retriever and watching it struggle cry and suffer to death you should not be ok with it being done to  cow, pig or any other animal….i made sure to say “being done to” because I  was going to say “seeing it being done to” but lets be honest we don’t kill our own animals we hire others to do our dirty work for us, thus we never have to see it so that verbiage went out the window. Once one sees what truly happens in slaughter houses meat is quickly given up unless your one of the few that blocks it out because the compulsion for eating cooked rotting flesh is so strong. .  All creatures feel a sense  of love/peace and pain/fear. Indeed their brains cannot rationalize their mortality and analytrically contemplate there imminent death but they can sure feel that heart wrenching sense of fear and extreme stress as death surly approaches an they watch there own being bloodied and butchered before there very eyes. I don’t know who told you that you were meant to be a carnivore because your not, like all creatures we are geared for survival at any cost and at one point eating meat was a necessity and now it is surly not.
 I don’t know how told you that the divine spark that lyes within you does not lye within all things because it does. Regardless of your religious belief they all point to this.
Please understand because your are socially and culturally conditioned to think this treatment of other living beings is ok does not make it so. Not long  ago a it was sociably acceptable to own, breed and torture other human beings we called slaves ,not so much now. I hear this line all the time “but meat is so yummy” Guess what sex feels good also but it doesn’t make it ok to rape someone because your enjoy it…Perhaps one would consider this an extreme example but to those living feeling beings that are being slaughtered in the BILLIONS I’m sure its not so far fetched of an example…….
I hope this gives those whom are curious some insight as to why I’m Vegan. Once you know you cannot un-know. Once the light of consciousness has shined upon your heart there is no going back to that place of cold dark ignorance. Find your humanity, find your love and be the change. What you do matters and makes a difference. Every choice you make will echo throughout this planet and effects us ALL one way or another. Please, I implore you…… if you won’t slash the throat of a baby calf in front of your children don’t allow someone to do it behind their back .