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Vegan cookies and P90X

January 6, 2011

Hello and happy new year, everyone!

Though I miss the 105degrees Academy already, it does feel good to be back home in good ol’ Kansas City.

After graduation, I indulged in some much-needed time off. I ate as non-raw as I pleased, including this pad thai at Noodles & Company.

(Matt ate a Mediterranean veggie flatbread sandwich with a cup of tomato bisque.)

I set aside all the packages I had waiting for me when I got home (boy, am I behind on reviews!), to be dealt with at a later date.

Well, except for one. When I saw I’d received a review copy of Kelly Peloza‘s new book The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur: Over 140 Simply Delicious Recipes That Treat the Eyes and Taste Buds, I couldn’t resist going on a Christmas cookie baking spree.

On Christmas Eve, I baked three big batches of cookies, including these jam-filled Vanilla Thumbprints (page 144)…

…iced Eggnog Cookies (page 18), which I think were my favorite!…

…and big, maple-sweetened Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Cookies (page 208), though I used chocolate-caramel swirl chips.

I’d thought that Isa and Terry’s Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar was the vegan cookie bible, but it looks like I may have been wrong. Kelly’s Vegan Cookie Connoisseur might just take the cake! (Or cookie.)

I balanced out my high doses of sugar with meals like these Singapore Curry Noodles from Bo Ling’s, an excellent local restaurant.

And then…2011 hit. January 1st came and went. Now, I’m not the resolution-making type, but Matt and I had formulated and solidified a plan before I’d returned from Oklahoma City, and the fact that we aimed to start it the first week of January was just a coincidence. But hey, the overall “fresh start” approach can’t hurt, right?

See, here’s the thing. I haven’t been terribly happy with my body ever since returning from my crazy European adventure. That was quite awhile ago, but a nagging knee injury developed shortly thereafter which has left me unable to run to this day. I haven’t even been able to comfortably complete a 5k, let alone continue running marathons. Although I still work out daily, it’s hard, if not impossible, to match the calorie burn of running. Attending raw chef school, though it’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself, and eating a higher-fat, higher-calorie diet for two months left me with a few more extra pounds (more about that in an upcoming post). All in all, I’m fed up (literally and figuratively), and ready for a change.

So what is it we’re doing? P90X!

I’m sure you’ve all seen the infomercials. I actually did about 6 weeks of P90X last winter, and I enjoyed it, but I took a break when Matt and I went to Los Angeles, and never resumed it. But when Matt expressed interest a couple months ago, I started pondering the idea of giving it another go, with the goal of completing the full cycle AND tweaking my diet accordingly—something I was unwilling to do last year. But when I heard that Tony Horton recently went vegan, and that Beach Body has now released a vegan-modified version of the P90X diet plan, I was in.

So Matt and I wrote out daily and monthly schedules. We brainstormed meal plans. We bought a weight set on Craigslist…

…aaand we pigged out the whole last week of December. I admit it.

Little-known fact about me: I used to be a personal trainer. For about a year after college, I worked at a 24-Hour Fitness, and it was the only time in my life that I’ve eaten a high-protein diet. Though I was not yet vegan at the time (I was “almost vegetarian”—more about my “food journey” in an upcoming post, too), I still only rarely ate meat, and it just so happens that that summer, I was at the lowest weight of my adult life.

Long story short, although I’m now leery of higher-protein diets (China Study, anyone?!), I agreed to try it, and to coordinate Matt’s and my meal plans according to the “official” vegan P90X diet guidelines. This means that for the next month, we’ll be getting 30-35% of our daily calories from protein (which is SO much better than the carnivorous version, which recommends eating a ridiculous 50% protein, mostly from animal sources—no way!). In month two, the protein percentage will drop a bit, and month three will take it down to a more reasonable 20%.

This means that cereal for breakfast has been replaced with scrambled tofu, and spaghetti marinara for dinner has given way to shirataki noodles with “meat” sauce.

This is a huge change from my recent almost-all-raw diet. But so far, I feel good about it. Hooray for being a human guinea pig!

Not that I’m excluding raw food—certainly not. I’m a raw chef, for crying out loud! At the very least, I’m consuming green smoothies and raw fruit every single day. My nut intake is what I’m temporarily cracking (no pun intended) down on, though I still haven’t completely subverted my appetite for raw treats. In fact, this week I made raw mini cinnamon rolls (shown here ready to be cut) with vanilla icing, yum! Don’t fret, there is PLENTY more raw goodness to come on this blog.

QUESTION: What do you guys think of this vegan P90X stuff?
Does it interest you, or bore you? I’m trying to figure out how much to talk about it during these three months. Do any of you want to hear about my meal plans (which have taken a ton of work to plan and execute!), or how I’m progressing in the program, or anything like that?

94 Comments leave one →
  1. January 6, 2011 11:55 am

    I have heard a lot of good things about P90X and was almost tempted to get it but I am such a group class and gym person (in order to keep me mmotivated) that I would los interest quickly. I hope you all have fun with it!

    I AM excited to know more about how this vegan modified version goes for you.

    Looking forward to your reviews!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 12:05 pm

      Although I’m not as much of a group exercise person, I think “lack of motivation to continue alone” was part of why I quit after 6 weeks last year (it wasn’t the workouts—I love ’em!). Doing it solo started to feel to repetitive after awhile, so Matt wanting to do it with me this time is what re-spurred my interest! I’ve never had a workout buddy, so it’s exciting to me 🙂 It’s kind of fun to cheer each other on and help each other stay on track!

  2. January 6, 2011 12:06 pm

    I think posting about your experience always helpful, people like to see other people doing the things they wish they would do, it motivates them. Plus, it will be a great record for you!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 12:09 pm

      Good call! I’m pretty self-motivated, so historically, accountability hasn’t been an issue with me…but it might actually motivate me even more! Add to that motivation for other people, and I think you’re right, it could be very helpful all around.

  3. January 6, 2011 12:08 pm

    I’ve heard great things about P90X! My boyfriend and I are actually about to start P90X too! We’re both in grad school so this planned-ahead schedule of eating and working out will hopefully work well! Good luck! 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 12:11 pm

      That’s awesome! Way to go on committing! 🙂 All the required planning-ahead is tough (and sort of a time-suck), but seems to be working out for the best. Best of luck to you two—be sure and keep me updated on your progress!

  4. January 6, 2011 12:12 pm

    I’d actually love to hear about it as I’ve decided I’d like to do either P90X, Insanity, or both this year! Great idea to get a weight set on Craigslist, we need one and don’t want to spend a fortune. I’ll be very interested to hear about your vegan meal plans during P90X, should be different and interesting.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 12:19 pm

      I’ve heard really good things about Insanity, too. I may look into doing it in the future, if I can ever get my knee sufficiently rehabilitated =/ From what I’ve seen, it’s a tough-on-joints workout!

      We found our weight set, with everything from 2.5 lbs to 25 lbs, PLUS the rack, on CL for $175—a fraction of retail! We’ll have to buy some 30 and 35 lb dumbbells soon, but still, more than worth it.

  5. gidgetnfroggi permalink
    January 6, 2011 12:49 pm

    that looks really interesting I’ll have to read more about the P90X.

    how does tofu scramble taste? remember I’m not a huge tofu eater.

    I’m going vegan so far so good. I got to review inspired cookies and brownies the brownies are so yummy!!! wish they had some around here! 😦

    great picture of the city

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 12:58 pm

      Tofu scramble is deliciousss, and actually WAY more filling than eggs. I’m partial to my version, but as long as you use refrigerated EXTRA-firm tofu (here in KC, look for Central Soyfoods’ organic tofu), and enough salt and nutritional yeast, you can’t really go wrong.

      You mean The Inspired Cookie?! Oh wow, it’s been awhile since my review, but I still remember the taste and texture of that luscious brownie like it was yesterday!

      So happy to hear that your month of veganism is coming along well! Keep up the great work!

      • gidgetnfroggi permalink
        January 6, 2011 3:49 pm

        where can i get nutritional yeast? I wonder if green acres would have it??

        Ok I’ll take the tofu plunge next week I’ll let you know how it goes 🙂

        Yes I meant the Inspired Cookie oops! those brownies were so good I was so sad when they were gone I gotta figure out a close to them recipe that is my goal!!! 🙂

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 6, 2011 4:00 pm

        Yes! Green Acres will have both nutr. yeast AND Central Soyfoods tofu. 😀

        Ooh, as soon as you figure out that brownie recipe, you MUST share!

        • January 7, 2011 3:13 am

          Hy-Vee has nutritional yeast (and 2 different brands of tofu)….love my 24-hour grocery store!

          OK, I just freaked out thinking I went nuts and posted (see the Hillary below me), I read the comment and thought, “Why would I say THAT?” It was a funny moment here at work (I’m having a lot of those tonight, actually).

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          January 7, 2011 6:42 am

          Hy-Vee is the best!

          Haha! I guess all your late nights at the hospital will do that to ya? 🙂

  6. January 6, 2011 1:09 pm

    First of all I love your blog!!! I have enjoyed reading and seeing your journey through 105! Congrats! I just had to stop by and say this post has inspired me! I need to drop almost 60 lbs and get in shape. Although we have been mostly vegan for a year I need to incorporate exercise. It has gotten to the point that I was about to hire a personal trainer (which I have had in the past and I know they work, but are not always cost effective) and then I saw this post today! Hooray for the infusion of Veganisim into things!!!! My problem with home plans has always been that I cannot follow the meal plan being a mostly vegan. Anyways enough rambling, I have just ordered a copy of P90X for my husband and I to start asap!
    Thanks for the idea and the push!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 1:58 pm

      Hi Hillary! I’m so happy to hear you read and enjoyed my 105degrees saga, but I’m even happier to hear that I’ve inspired you to bite the bullet on P90X!

      I’ll tell you a little secret – a little over 6 years ago, I lost 45 lbs. (It was actually all weight I had just gained a couple years prior, but it’s a long story…I’ll blog it someday :)). So when I say “You can do it!” you know I mean it!

      You’ve already taken a huge step for your health by going vegan – congrats on that alone! But I understand all too well that a vegan diet does not necessarily keep the pounds off. Exercise IS essential, as you note, so P90X will be perfect! I’d recommend looking for a weight set and/or a set of resistance bands (the latter is more economical) as soon as you get a chance 🙂 Keep me updated on your progress!

  7. January 6, 2011 1:10 pm

    Welcome back! Good to see a post from you and I’m glad you took a break. I know nothing at all about the P90X stuff and would love to hear more about it. I had no idea that you’d ran marathons in the past (and from what I’ve been reading lately, they’re not the best thing for longterm health, so good for you for trying other things). The China Study is a great idea but I think it has some pretty serious flaws also.

    I’d love to hear more about your meal plans. I have you pegged as a much more allowing and giving than obsessive-compulsive type, so I’m hoping that when you do things to plan and to the book, it’ll be in a sane and relaxed way!

    Good luck with it, at any rate!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:10 pm

      Thanks so much for the warm welcome back, Ela!

      I’ve always been a cardio fiend, even when I was a trainer, so that’s going to be MY biggest change with P90X. Lots of strength and resistance training, plus cardio, plyometrics, and yoga (which, try as I might to like it, just bores me to death!).

      I’d be very interested in hearing your thoughts on the China Study – have you blogged about it? Ironically, just this morning Matt sent me this article, which was sent to him by someone else. Both the article and T. Colin Campbell’s responses are interesting…

      It’s so funny to me that my online persona comes off as “allowing.” I’m actually very OCD in many ways. I’ve been described as “rigid,” “anal,” “inflexible,” “overly scientific,” “self-control freak,” “unforgiving,” and even “heartless” – and that’s just by my own mother! Not so much in my dealings with other people, but rather to myself – for better or worse, I am ALWAYS hardest on myself. I too have a history of disordered eating, and when I finally did sort it all out and lose weight several years ago, I tracked every calorie every day for 7 months, ate exclusively “healthful” (or what I thought was healthful at the time) foods, and I only “cheated” ONCE – a mini Almond Joy on Halloween. It took me years more to break the cycle of needing something to count each day. I guess it makes sense, now, to see me as being “allowing” as I HAVE revised and relaxed my diet stances quite bit over just the last couple years – though, clearly, not all of it has been for the best! So here I am, revamping my diet once again…we’ll see where this one takes me. 🙂

  8. January 6, 2011 1:28 pm

    I just bought P90X too! Actually, Thanksgiving helped egg me on. I like it a lot, but I need to stretch more before each video cause it makes me way sore. I like it, but I love going to the gym, so I usually just do the p90X when I’m on a stay at home day. I use the My Fitness Pal diet tracker on my iphone to watch my calories and nutrients. Though I’ve been thinking about giving the P90X diet plan another look.

    Anywho, I’m completely interested in your vegan P90X journey! Keep it coming!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:17 pm

      Jess, that’s fantastic! Matt and I are just on Week 1 right now, so not surprisingly, we are SORE 🙂 in a GOOD way, though.

      I’ve always preferred dealing with numbers when it comes to diet – counting calories and macronutrients, etc. – but the P90X plan is portion-based. Totally new for me. But I have weird anxieties about not knowing how many calories are in something, heh (it’s like I either have to count everything or nothing at all), so I’ve been calculating some of my food on the sly. I’m working towards being a little less number-oriented, though. 🙂

  9. January 6, 2011 1:37 pm

    I love being a human guinea pig, too. 🙂 I tried P90X for about 4 weeks before giving up– not really sure why, but I guess it just didn’t “click” with me at the time. I have a couple friends who are thriving with it, though! They’re on their second 90 days as we speak, and love it. So I know the results can be great!

    Personally, I can’t follow a higher-protein vegan diet, because I have to seriously watch my soy intake (history of thyroid issues in my family). Instead, I like to pick and choose from diet plans that I like to create a more customized plan for myself. But I love hearing about other people’s meal plans and workouts, so I’d love for you to keep posting about your food, workouts and progress!

    Good luck!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:23 pm

      It was kind of the same for me! I don’t know why I didn’t pick it back up last year, but I just didn’t feel like it. I think having Matt as a workout partner will help me stay interested this time around.

      I’m usually like you; I design my own diet plans. But I’m taking this as a sort of challenge – “Let go of control, Amber, just for 3 months, and follow someone else’s lead.” It’s tough!

      I understand about watching out for soy. For me, though, soy is like gluten – I’ve never, ever had a problem eating it. That said, those are just two of hundreds of components of my weekly diet, so it’s not like I overdo it, usually – although I do kind of have to up the soy this month!

  10. January 6, 2011 2:08 pm

    What a change! I think you can use aspects of your training for whatever food you make.

    Chris has done P90X without the diet part. I didn’t even know there was a diet part. 50% protein does not seem healthy at all.

    I’d love to hear about it, but I do get bored with really specific fitness reports people blog about like 15 sit-ups, 2 minutes of this or that, etc.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 2:28 pm

      SO true. My 105 training is applicable in so many things I do and make in the kitchen – not even just 100% raw foods. Plus, it’s not like “I was raw, and now I’m not” – diet and health is just not that black and white (though it’s easy to think of it that way!).

      How did Chris like P90X? I didn’t do the diet when I did some of it last year, and maybe it’s part of why I quit – it was “just another workout” for me. I’m trying this year to think of it as more of a program, or even an experiment – like “let’s see what happens when I control as many variables as possible.”

      Oh man, I know exactly what you’re talking about with “workout recaps”… ::SNORE!:: You definitely do not need to worry about that from me. 😉

  11. January 6, 2011 3:21 pm

    Welcome back! I definitely want to hear all about your P90x workouts and meal plan. It’s something I’ve considered doing before but I hesitate because every single person I know who has started it didn’t finish, which leads me to believe that maybe it’s not sustainable for the average person. Keep us posted!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:24 pm

      Having done a few weeks of it before, I don’t think it’s the difficulty of the workouts that makes people quit. Yeah, they’re challenging, but not impossible for most people. I’m betting a lot of folks – me included – just got bored after awhile. Videos can be repetitive. I feel like having Matt as a partner this time around, though, will help me stick to the program!

      • January 7, 2011 2:17 pm

        I got bored after my first cycle through too so I’ve started setting the videos on “silent with cues” and now I just listen to my music while I workout – much better!

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 7, 2011 4:40 pm

        I’ve done that too, and enjoyed it! 🙂

  12. January 6, 2011 3:45 pm

    I don’t know anything about it, but would happily read about it 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 3:46 pm

      Hehe, fair enough! I’m sure I’ll talk more about the food than the workouts…food is more universal, anyhow. 🙂

  13. January 6, 2011 3:49 pm

    OH MY GOSH. I’m so glad I read this! I’m so glad you wrote this. I did p90X when I was a vegetarian and had no idea what I “should” be eating with the nutrition program provided since it was high meat, high dairy, blah, blah. I’m eating meat again but I am definitely interested in this vegan supplementation for the nutrition portion! I’m actually a little angry that I don’t have it. lol

    I would RATHER be vegetarian, to be completely honest. When I ate (for 10 or so month) completely raw, I was 10 lbs lighter and felt way better. Now I’m tired and feel full all the time…

    Anyway, can’t wait to read about your P90X adventures- I LOVED the program. You will love it. And I’m a bit jealous of your weight set. 🙂

    Oh, one more thing: Those cookies look amazing- as does your tempting (not very nice of you…) raw cin-roll!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 4:09 pm

      Lori! I’d be happy to share with you the ins and outs of my vegan P90X! There was never any chance I’d try the original diet plan – I wouldn’t even consider it – but this vegan version seems solid. Definitely doable as a vegetarian or vegan!

      I really like the P90X workouts, especially Core Synergistics. I was always skeptical of workout videos, thinking they wouldn’t “do enough” for me, but these feel sufficiently challenging 😛

      Haha, it was a little cruel of me to show you that cinnamon roll, wasn’t it? Even crueler – I can’t post about them, because my camera went to la-la land right after that, so it was the only photo I got! 😦 I sorry!

  14. January 6, 2011 4:37 pm

    I did P90X and loved it!

    What a great program (although by the end I thought I’d like to wring Tony Horton’s neck!)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 5:15 pm

      Haha! Lisa, I can’t even tell you how often during the videos Matt and I look at each other and roll our eyes. 😛 That said, the man knows how to work out!

  15. Val @ Balancing Val permalink
    January 6, 2011 6:51 pm

    Yeah so . . . I used to be a personal trainer too. I liked it for a bit but it just wasn’t my passion and it was so much more of a sales position . . .

    I’m glad I decided to follow my passion by going to culinary school!

    Food is where it’s at!!

    Ps. I think were secretly sisters or something lol

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 6, 2011 7:52 pm

      SAME HERE! It was practically ALL sales, and I am just not the salesperson type. I lost interest after several months.

      Haha! Metalhead food bloggers who used to be trainers and then later ended up in culinary school…what are the odds?! 😛

  16. January 6, 2011 8:38 pm

    Great info! I’m a Beachbody coach and I’ve been vegan 5+ years (with occasional journeys to raw and high raw). I’m also partial to this post because I’ve been craving cinnamon rolls lately and I was thinking about raw ones – yummy 🙂 Nuts hate me though 😦

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 9:59 am

      Hey Sarah, thanks for following me on Twitter! It’s nice to hear from another vegan P90Xer!

      Eek, sorry if I spiked your cinnamon roll craving! 😛

  17. January 6, 2011 9:49 pm

    Amber darling, you know that I think you’re so incredibly gorgeous and kinda my ideal (and that nothing outwards could change the beloved and kind and amazing person you are inside), but I’m also proud of you for working on something that I know has been a niggling sadness for you in the past year or so. I shall be here rooting for you on the sidelines, but also encouraging the raw treats for both our benefits 😉

    I haven’t actually heard of P90X so can’t really comment on that side of things, but must admit that I kinda wish I had something similar (and someone to do it with!). I’ve never done any kind of strength training and, as you know, have been out of commission-exercise-wise for over 18 months. The thing is, now that I can get back to it, I’m kinda scared and finding motivation hard. I did go for a 15 minute run today, though?! That’s all I could manage 😛

    Anyway, yes, I’m so proud of you. But then again, that seems to be my default position 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 10:02 am

      Aw, I know you think that, but psh! Nonsense 🙂 Still, I am a bit apprehensive about this, i.e. worried that it won’t work out the way I want it to as far as fat loss. So thanks for rooting for me 😀

      P90X is an “extreme home fitness” program which has become wildly popular in the past couple years here. I feel like the change (from monotonous cardio), at least, will be good for me.

      A 15 min run is fantastic! Especially after such a long layoff. It’s funny how the longer you DON’T work out, the less you WANT to…

      • January 7, 2011 5:26 pm

        Don’t you psh me, lady! I know all, and shall not be contradicted! 😉 The last thing you said is so true though – I’ve never been big into exercise but when I was at UVA, I went to the gym 6 days a week (only for 35min on the elliptical, but still…) and wouldn’t have thought of stopping! And now it’s so hard to even do anything 😛

        And, erm, seeing as we’ve both used this word without making our standard jokes about such things, I can’t help myself. Root! *snicker*

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 7, 2011 7:31 pm

        The good thing about that is that you know all you have to do is START. Then, once you’ve got it underway, the motivation will take care of itself. 🙂

        HAHA! You’re so right, how did I not see that?! 😛

  18. January 6, 2011 9:56 pm

    AWESOME. My dad has been trying to get us to do PX90 as a family hahaha… it’s been put on the shelf until later which is probably way telling about our collective work out ethic.

    Where did you find the vegan PX90 workout diet plan? I would love to see what that looks like. Also, if you’re going to document your progress, would you mind also including info on the progress your boyfriend makes? The fitness goals of men and women are a bit different, and it would be cool if he could do another “guest post” to review how PX90 is working for him.

    This is so cool and I appreciate you posting about this! Best of luck and keep it up!



    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 10:08 am

      You (and your family) should totally give P90X a try!

      I found the vegan diet guidelines here. But it’s just a portion-based plan, so it doesn’t tell you what, or even necessarily how much (volume-wise), to eat. That’s been the bulk of the work. Food planning and prep takes far longer each day than the actual workout does! For example, I calculated that during month one, Matt and I combined need 84 servings of protein per week. How the hell do you make a shopping list for that?! That’s what I’ve had to play around with and figure out…and it’s actually going well now 🙂

      I think it’s a great idea to share Matt’s thoughts and results along with my own. You’re right, stuff like this is so different for men vs. women. I mentioned your guest post suggestion to him, and he seems up for it!

      • January 7, 2011 9:37 pm

        Oh man… just looking at that plan seems so complex… and i thought raw food was tough hahaha

        Please post up what your diet looks like during all of this. I would be fascinated to see how you and Matt do during the P90Xness. Sounds awesome!

        I’m glad Matt is up to do a few guest posts on the blog. I’ve suffered from my family’s curse of “permanent tall and lanky frame disease.” Muscle has never been a reality for me or my two brothers. Who knows… maybe P90X is the answer!

        PS… you’re so nice to answer everyone’s comments. Talk about dedication! Your blog seriously kicks ass though. I aspire to get to this level!

        Happy Year of the Rabbit!


      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 8, 2011 1:23 pm

        Tell me about it! It made my head spin at first, but now that we’re a few days in, I think I’ve got the meal planning bit down…mostly.

        I’m thinking I’ll post every Sunday or Monday what I ate during the previous week. Not sure I’ll post all of Matt’s stuff too, but it’d be pretty accurate to say he’s eating almost the same stuff as I am, just 30-50% MORE of it. Haha, Matt may have a mild case of “lanky frame disease,” too! I think he’s going to get great results from this, though.

        Thank you so much for your “PS,” Cliff 🙂 That really means a ton to me. You’ve made my day!

  19. January 6, 2011 9:59 pm

    hey hun!
    so sorry I havent commented in a while, for some reason Bloglovin stopped sending your updates to me 😦
    anyways…good for you for trying a new exercise routine! I’ve been dealing with knee pain myself recently….but I’ve found lots of ice and advil helps!!
    I also know what you mean about needing to up your protein intake…when I’m not eating enough beans I can always tell!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 10:10 am

      I wondered where you’d gone! 🙂 No worries.

      I can empathize with you on the knee pain! I know I need to ice mine more often than I do.

      Same with me! I ❤ beans 😛

  20. January 7, 2011 12:27 pm

    Hi, I’m new to your blog and quite intrigued. I have had the p90x program lying around for some time but the first time I put on a dvd, I hated it to be honest. I am used to pumping and fast paced workouts, like bodyrock and Insanity (have you tried either one?). But that vegan diet plan sounds interesting. Not that I plan on following any plan to a T, but I am looking for ways to incorporate more protein in my vegan diet, as a sort of test. Could you tell me where I could find that plan?

    thanks, and I’ll be reading!

    x sabine

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 12:48 pm

      Hi Sabine – welcome! I’ve heard of Bodyrock (but I don’t know much about it) and I’ve seen a bit of Insanity (though, like I said in my post, my bum knee is preventing me from doing anything high-impact for the time being :().

      Here’s the link again to the vegan diet plan. I rarely follow anything to a T myself (unless it’s MY T! :P), but I’m trying to stick to this program just to see how it’ll actually work. Like I told Cliff, it’s just a portion-based plan, so it doesn’t tell you what, or even necessarily how much (volume-wise), to eat. So food planning and prep have actually been the bulk of the work! I’ll be sharing things about it here these next few months. Thanks for reading! 🙂

      • January 7, 2011 1:22 pm

        Oops I see now that you already linked to it on your post, thanks anyway!

        I too would love to hear all the ins and outs of you guys following the plan! Is your boyfriend vegan too? If so I’m jealous! 😉

        I love Insanity but heck yes, it’s a lot of high impact plyo routines!


      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 7, 2011 4:28 pm

        My boyfriend Matt is, for all intents and purposes, vegan 🙂 He’s slowly gone that direction more and more since we started dating, and at this point he seems pretty much as “almost vegan” as myself! I’ve never dated another vegan, so to me, it’s just the greatest thing in the world. I’m so proud of him! 😛

  21. January 7, 2011 1:35 pm

    Sorry to bother you one more time Amber, but I can’t find for the life of me the article about tony horton going vegan. I searched vegan on his own blog and in 2008 he wrote a fullblown post about the DOWNsides of going vegan (with some very awkward mistakes in it- like plants containing some cholesterol-WRONG). could you tell me where you found the info?


    • January 7, 2011 2:23 pm

      His personal chef is Missy Costello, a vegan chef. It seems as if he still eats fish sometimes but the bulk of his diet is vegan. I found some info about Tony’s favorite snacks online – the list is here – – from an earlier newsletter.

      • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
        January 7, 2011 4:34 pm

        Great info, Sarah. Thanks for passing that along!

      • January 8, 2011 4:12 am

        To me it seems he is cutting out meat (with the exception of fish?) but not eggs, dairy, honey, and the likes, which would mean he might be vegetarian, not vegan. Or do I miss something?

        x sabine

        • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
          January 8, 2011 9:40 am

          Sorry, Sabine – I can’t find the place(s) I first saw that he’s now vegan, but I do remember hearing that he cut out animal products entirely. This little interview (with the Old Spice guy, a client of his) does seem to suggest that by “anything with a face,” he also means “nothing that COMES from anything with a face.” This thread confirms that his personal chef is completely vegan. And I noticed that he points out in #4 here that Probars are “100% vegan,” presumably because that’s what he looks for in a protein bar and rarely finds, and he also mentions using rice milk in his smoothies in #5.

          If/when I do rediscover a link that definitively says Tony went vegan, I will pass it on to you! 🙂

          • January 9, 2011 3:01 am

            Thanks a lot babe. Ugh it annoys me to no end though that 2 years ago he went around bashing veganism, like SO many people do. Oh well, as long as he realises now he was wrong.. 😉

          • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
            January 9, 2011 11:03 am

            Yeah, I re-read his old anti-vegan diatribe this week, actually. But as long as he’s turned over a new leaf, AND he makes sure to “spread the word,” all’s forgiven, right? 😛

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 4:34 pm

      I first found it here. Looks like Sarah has some good info in her link there, too. 🙂

  22. Celina permalink
    January 7, 2011 5:19 pm

    I just got P90X for christmas too!
    The onlt problem is I am vegan and I got the program with the ‘meat’ nutrition guide 😦
    It would be a huge help for me if you posted your vegan meals along side you P90 workouts!
    It would almost be like a had a virtual workout partner! haha
    Im excited for you to start…and congrats on becoming a raw chef…thats sooo amazing!
    Let us know when your (un)cookbook will be out 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 7, 2011 7:39 pm

      Great X-mas gift! 🙂 Maybe someday, they’ll include the vegan plan info in the nutrition guide, but for the time being, I’ll be happy to help out in that department! I’m thinking of maybe posting my daily food intake at the end of each week. We started this past Monday, so on this coming Sunday or Monday, I’ll post my Week One eats. Hehe, I’d be honored to be your virtual workout buddy! 😛 Thanks for the congrats, too!

  23. Silvia DS permalink
    January 7, 2011 9:27 pm

    Just stumbled upon your blog a couple of days ago! I LOVE it! I’m almost vegan as well and loooove hummus!

    Love the tone, style, and unique voice you bring to the veganish blogosphere!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 8, 2011 1:25 pm

      Awesome! Welcome, Silvia 🙂 High five for hummus!

      Thanks so much for your sweet compliment ::blush:: That means a lot to me!

  24. January 9, 2011 9:09 am

    I would LOVE to hear more about your P90x journey–the food, the workouts, everything! I think it’s interesting stuff, and I’m always motivated and inspired by the health-living experiences of others. I’m impressed that the program developed a vegan adaptation–that’s so rare when you see fitness-paired diet plans.

    Your raw cinnamon roll looks wonderful–any chance you’d share the recipe? 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 9, 2011 11:05 am

      Awesome! You’ll be hearing more about my P90Xness in the coming weeks 😀

      I adapted the cinnamon roll recipe from this one. I halved the recipe, used replaced half the buckwheat with almond flour, cut out the raisins, and made my own icing. The verdict? They were good, but not great. It makes me want to develop my OWN recipe soon 😉

  25. January 9, 2011 7:55 pm

    I don’t blame you one bit for taking some time off for yourself after getting home from school. That was some much needed time…I’m sure

    Wow…those cookies look yummy!

    P90X….funny thing is we own it ourselves. The sad part is we gave it a shot a year ago when we both were badly out of shape and couldn’t hang…ha We just got a bowflex for Christmas so my hopes are to get back into the groove of working out and then hopefully try the P90x again this summer. It’s goo to know that Tony is now vegan. I will have to look that up and make a meal plan for myself. Any suggestions you have, please send them my way.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 9, 2011 8:41 pm

      Oh, the time off was VERY much needed! I spent it well 🙂

      Good call on the Bowflex! With a little work on that, you’ll be P90X-ready in no time. I’ll be posting my weekly vegan meal plans as I’m doing it – Week One just went up!

  26. January 10, 2011 3:45 pm

    Love P90X! I got about half way through twice and had to quit because of injuries. Would love to try it again, and would love to see your meals and P90X info.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 10, 2011 3:47 pm

      Hi Susan! Sorry to hear about your injuries – that sucks! Hope you get a chance to give it another go someday soon 🙂

  27. January 10, 2011 7:52 pm

    I am going to try insanity but I havent attempted P90x!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 9:56 am

      I’ve heard good things about Insanity too! 🙂

  28. January 10, 2011 8:17 pm

    P90X is pretty intense. I hope to hear even more about it soon when we get together. I’ve tried the P90X yoga and that was too much for me. After about 10 minutes I couldn’t move a muscle!
    That weight set is pretty cool as well. Did you get a good deal on it? You should show me some weight lifting exercises I can do. I use the weight machines at the gym while I watch others use the hand held weights and think I should be doing that as well…

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:00 am

      Yeah, it is intense…I think that’s why Henry gave up on it! 😛 Yoga is my least favorite. Not so much because it’s hard (I have pretty good strength and balance), but because it’s so BORING! =/

      We got a pretty great deal on the weights – $175, rack included. That’s a fraction of what it would cost in a store.

      You should definitely try using free weights; they do far more for your body than machines do!

  29. January 10, 2011 9:39 pm

    All of your food looks great! I have never done p90x but would love to try it! I think its awesome they have a vegan food plan.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:01 am

      Thanks Kate! I’m hoping to get through a full round of P90X unscathed 😉

  30. January 11, 2011 10:23 am

    Good luck with P90X! We did three weeks in November. I wanted to continue, but we were traveling for a week, then I had a relentless cold, and then of course there was all the holiday craziness that takes place in December. After stopping for a month, we decided to start over from the beginning. Just finished week two! I don’t like to measure my food or worry about this nutrient and that nutrient, so I’m not following the diet portion–but I LOVE the workout program. I’m definitely interested in reading about your experience on here and learning more about the meals you are making.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:26 am

      Too cool! Matt and I just STARTED week 2 🙂 I usually eschew fitness-diet plans, but I’m going through with this one in the spirit of experimentation. I’m kinda OCD about food, so weighing and measuring is “fun” for me, in a messed up sort of way, haha. It’s been a long time since I’ve eaten high-protein AND lifted a lot of weights…we’ll see how it goes!

  31. January 11, 2011 5:36 pm

    I just found your blog, and I am so glad I did!! I did P90X last spring, and would LOVE to start it up again, but I need a new weight set. I never thought to look on Craigslist, but I’m on it now. I didn’t do the diet plan, since I’m not a big meat eater and I can’t have dairy or gluten, but this new vegan plan is intriguing. I still doubt I’d be able to hang because of the gluten part, but I am going to have a look at it.

    I also did Insanity right after I finished P90X, and I didn’t miss a single workout in either of them! I got super toned and cut too. Careful if you do decided to do Insanity – the plyo moves are crazy intense, and I’ve had two friends who had to quit because of their knees.

    I’m definitely going to add you to my reader and follow along! Good luck!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 11, 2011 6:07 pm

      Hi Katie! We got a great deal on our weight set, $175 for the whole thing (rack included). Craigslist ftw!

      I didn’t do the diet either last time I tried P90X, so that part is new to me this year. Clearly, I don’t eat meat or dairy either 😉 so I had the same skepticism as you. Honestly, though, the plan is so low-to-moderate in carbs that making it GF shouldn’t be too big of a deal. As long as seitan is excluded from your protein sources, and the few grains you do get to eat are GF, then I think you’d be good to go!

      In fact, in looking over my meal plan for the past week, I’m now noticing that outside of seitan, I only ate gluten twice: half a pita bread, and one mini cupcake. Cool! I don’t go out of my way to avoid wheat, but I do give myself a little gold star when I go without it for awhile 😛

      Matt and I have talked about doing Insanity, but you hit the nail on the head when you warned about knee strain – that’s what I’m most afraid of! Are the super-plyo moves modifiable at all? It’s awesome to hear that you got such great results from doing the two programs consecutively!

      I’ll add you to my Reader, too! 🙂

  32. Mary Crouch Young permalink
    January 12, 2011 12:20 am

    Seriously…where is the raw cinnamon roll recipe?…

  33. Jen permalink
    January 31, 2011 9:34 am

    Omg awesome! 🙂 I just started P90x and I was really wondering what to do as a vegan… I will be following your blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      January 31, 2011 10:19 am

      Jen, that’s fantastic! Keep me updated on your progress 🙂

  34. Ana permalink
    May 19, 2011 1:36 pm

    YES YES! Please keep posting Vegan meal plan ideas. I’m loving it! I’m also a guinea pig type at the moment with modified P90x diet/vegan/vegetarian/raw food lifestyle. I haven’t started p90x YET, I’m just preparing diet ideas, because I know that’s going to be the toughest part to keep in check, especially after a long, hard workout. so yes! Please keep posting!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      May 19, 2011 7:10 pm

      Aw, I’m sorry Ana, but that post was from the first of the year! I wrapped up P90X in March. However, I did post plenty about it along the way, so please feel free to browse through my archives – I tagged them all P90X. 🙂

  35. Gwen permalink
    June 3, 2011 1:23 pm

    Hi VC, looks like you might have had some self-made recipes for the vegan/vegetarian P90X version… did you ever come up with anything you would like to share, or find any good sites? I’m trying right now. I use Quorn and dairy a lot.

    Are you still doing it now? How’s it all going?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      June 3, 2011 10:34 pm

      I actually finished the program in March, but I wrote about it all along the way: check out all my posts here. Hope you find some good ideas to help you. Best of luck with the workouts! 🙂

  36. November 17, 2012 2:43 pm

    This is great! Thanks you!!!!!

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