Ep. 32: Nimai Delgado - Building Muscle Without Meat
Welcome to the plan strong podcast I'm your host. Rip Aselton. We took a little breather last week because we were still recovering and reeling from the overwhelming success of our first ever virtual plan stock weekend. Over four thousand. People Tuning in and committing to improving their health and the health of their families. We truly couldn't be more thrilled with how the weekend went and behalf of my entire family. Thank you and I think you'll all agree even though we couldn't be together in person this year our global community. Felt stronger and more connected than ever. Now. I've said it before and I'll keep saying it real men eat plants. If you recall I I said that when I was climbing the fire pole with just my with just my arms. With. My legs in A. L.. SHAPE. in. Forks over knives. And with the smashing success of the game changers documentary, we've proved that it is possible actually no make that optimal. To build muscle on a plant based Diet if you still have to see it to believe it, you'll WanNa feast your eyes and ears on today's guest. Is None other than me my delgado professional bodybuilder who get this? has never eaten meat his entire life? That's right. Knee my was raised vegetarian since. And in two thousand. Fifteen. While in peak training for bodybuilding competitions when all in and became a hundred percent plan strong. And guess what. He's been out muscling his competition ever since. What started as Neem is personal mission to stay fit and healthy has quickly morphed into a career and powerful myth busting fitness and nutrition platform. Of Spreading the benefits and possibilities of a plant based lifestyle. I hope you enjoy this conversation with a true game changer and hero. Knee my doug. With the end of summer drawing near. Its natural the head back into the kitchen. And to seek comfort foods that remind us of fall and the hopeful return to schedules and. Routines. We love hearing all the great feedback from folks who use our plan strong MIA planner to stay inspired. And satisfied while on the plan. Strong. Did. You know that you can search by ingredient to find recipes to help you use up what you have on hand And with the click of a mouse, you can scale any meal to make enough leftovers. So you can cook once and enjoy twice. We love providing solutions to make plans strong living easier joined the meal planner today. It's just a buck ninety a week when you sign up for a year visit planned strong dot com today and click on meal planner. Okay here we are season two of the plant strong podcast. I'm here with Nima Delgado, I pronounce that. Perfectly. and. The theme for Season Two is the heart of a hero. Obviously with you, you have more than the heart of the of a hero you have the APPs of a hero you have quads of a hero. But it's people that are really changing the game. And no no doubt about it. You are. You're changing the game you've taken a completely different path than the traditional path. the last eighteen months have been incredibly impressive for you. You're on the cover of muscle and fitness April two, thousand eighteen. You obviously one of the stars in the, game? Changers. You. Or, your social media influence over four hundred, thousand followers on your on your I. Pretty. Pretty impressive. Are you happy where you are right now? Yeah. Happy. But never satisfied like a true athlete right I think. I have big goals and ever since I started this, I didn't have those goals when I first started. This was kind of something I just ended up on this path and once I, was in it it felt right to me. So I ended up pursuing it but. Since I've seen what's Possible, to accomplish. Whenever I started I now, my goals are set really high so we'll. We'll talk about that. Yeah of course before we do Tell me how old are you just turned? Thirty thirty years old so I mean you're you're you're still a spring chicken. That's really exciting when I think about where I was when. When I was thirty, I wasn't even a firefighter yet I mean I was I was doing triathlons. It's exciting. And so. When people say you know what you do? Are you a professional bodybuilder? What's your description? That's a really good question sometimes, I don't even know what to say Because I although I am a professional bodybuilder, I've never competed in bodybuilding for income if that makes sense. So it's not something that you really pursue for money because there's not much money in the sport as more money like making businesses around what you do in maybe sponsorships and everything like that. So I wouldn't say I'm a professional body just like A. Hobby. Bodybuilder. Well. But. I mean. To me re the first Vegan to ever get on the cover of muscle and fitness. Yes to my to my knowledge and I asked them their knowledge as well at the first Vegan to ever be on the cover and how did that come to pass Funny Story I was actually competing two thousand eighteen for the Arnold Classic and even just to compete at the Arnold you have to get invited. So it was like a really big accomplishment for me to even get invited because that's like the top thirty guys in my category. So I got invited and I was training really hard up for that show because I wanted to make a big impact and just like every time I step on stage it's not just stepping onstage for me. It's like. Almost, like stepping onstage for the entire being and movement, everybody's looking to me to use me as an example. So that adds a little bit of added pressure for me but. I take that with you know what I mean. It motivates me a lot. So I was prepping for that show and Muslim fitness had reached out to me because we had done a shoot in the past and they reach out to do another shoot for them, but it was more for was more for like a workout and I was going to be the model and I had done that before and this time around. I just straight up ask the editor I was a hey, is there any way I can share my story of what I'm doing because I feel like your listeners might be really interested in it like I'm the only Vegan in my league competing the Arnold Blah Blah Blah and told him my story and they really loved it and when we went to do the photo shoot. They basically pulled me aside and hey, we're going to do a cover try and I was like what's that and he's like well, we're GONNA try to get you on the cover, but we're just gonNA take some some shots if we're doing a cover shoot and I was like okay cool. But I really try to keep my expectations really low I was like that's not going to happen never going to happen and yeah, a few months later maybe a month later two months later. A friend of mine actually sent me a text message of the cover with me on it and I'm like, what is this joke in me right now like photoshop this and send it to me. He's like I just got the email in my inbox and it's you on the cover and I was just like you do a backflip no, I just I was just sitting in disbelief and I remember looking at it I was like there's no way this just happened and because I knew Mike. What a personal accomplishment it was for me but like a victory for this movement and everything that I've been trying to do because, I knew that there hadn't been one before. So for me to be the first one kind of door for for other athletes because I'm sure there's going to be plenty in the future or you have been since but yeah, it was just like a really good moment that I'd like to just take in huge. Yeah. So You keep using the term Vegan how would you describe your lifestyle? Lifestyle. Vegan I wear the badge. You know I'm not afraid to say the word. Vegan I'm not afraid to be labeled as a Vegan because it is who I am and I really think that. There's been a misconception about around the word Vegan for a while now, and it kind of is getting better I feel. But I think it's about rebranding the word and. Changing the way feel whenever they hear the word Vegan instead of feeling like judged they should feel excited or feel inspired or feel empowered or however they feel I think we should just kind of shift that a little bit. So seeing people that are calling themselves Vegan and doing things that other people are inspired by I think it's a really good way of. Rebranding. So you. Think it's important to understand how you got to where you are today, we got to kind of explore where you came from because you you were raised in the deep south. Yeah. Right around by you. Yeah. Where where exactly in Mississippi's out south. Mississippi. So. South Mississippi. Which is not I think known as a hotbed for vegetarianism or vegans right? Not Quite now. But so obviously, you're just your parents must have been outliers. Much and raised you is vegetarian. Correct. and. I mean. So tell me about your family and how you grow up. Yeah. Definitely gotta go back. You know my my parents are from Argentina and the emigrated to the United States in nineteen, eighty eight or something right before I was born. So they had two kids my brother and sister, and my mom was pregnant with me and they came here with absolutely nothing basically under the. Pretenses of being religious workers. So they they are Hindu and that's they found their faith in followed their guru who told him about an opportunity in the United States. So they said there was a community in this in Mississippi that they would have free housing and they basically made their journey there and that's where I was raised in a farm like community in South Mississippi but purely. Hindu like people that believed in Hinduism, we had a temple, we a cow sanctuary like a rescue cow sanctuary. We had a garden was looking back was really beautiful place to grow up, but in a very challenging surrounding environment. So in that in that Hindu Community, was at the way everybody eight. So you didn't you didn't feel necessarily like you you were standing out from the crowd in. Southern Mississippi eating this way now I mean. I grew up there until I was about seven years old. So I didn't really have those too many of those thoughts and feeling different but. Once. I ventured out and went to public school. That's when I realized that. Well, I was raised really differently than than other kids my age and They let me know right away how different I was. You know kindergarten first grade second grade through even all the way up until high school people I was kind raised different and it was just apparent because of my name and also whenever I eight. So like you mentioned there aren't very many vegetarians in Mississippi that time and I felt like I was I knew I was the only one in my school. So every time I'd bring my lines, people would give me you know. Give me crap for a Vegan bringing arabuna vegetarian bringing my lunch and not eating burgers and they would always like you know hey, take take take a bite of this burger. Let me know if you like it and I was just like I'm good I'm good. So that must have. That must have shaped your kind of your resiliency and your ability to kind of do what you're doing today. I looking back definitely helped because even on a bigger scale, just being Vegan in like a regular community you feel kind of ostracized like outcasted like you are different than everybody else. So I kind of have been going through that my entire life, and ironically it was for very much of the same reasons. You know people not understanding my lifestyle choices not really understanding how I was eating and y always eating that way. So I would get asked these questions quite a bit growing up and for the philosophical or ethical stance of why our vegetarian it didn't really resonate with my peers. So I just kind of stopped saying it. and. I just went this route of being like, yeah. I'm allergic to meet or you know it's not healthy for like I always kind of had an excuse that didn't end up talking about. Ethics because people get very defensive. And that was my way of navigating those conversations for a long time. Yeah. So you're a vegetarian up to a certain age, and then you decided to go all in When did that happen and what kind of? Initiated that. That leap to the next level. So that was when I was twenty, four, twenty, five So about five years ago and I had moved to California after Aa graduated college and got my my degree accepted a job out here. And just got very much into health into going to the gym more and really like putting effort into going to the gym because I was bored outside of work there wasn't much else to do out where I lived in California. and. I decided maybe a day or two before I'd when Vegan but. I. Decided to do a bodybuilding show and just commit stepping onstage and getting out of my comfort zone that was something like a personal goal of mine. But two days later, I, was on facebook and my mom of people share this video about the dairy industry and what goes on behind the dairy industry, and that is what prompted me to go vegan because at the at the time I was working as a mechanical engineer and a gas plant and I. Dealt with dealing. Like all these different operating systems and processes constantly, and it was my job to. Refine them and make them more efficient and make sure they were safe and the risk was low and everything else. But. After I saw what was going on behind the dairy. It was very similar to what I was doing and I just thought in my head I was like you know there's probably another engineer that is doing my exact type of work but. To maximize their efficiency for these dairy farms and it's at the expense of these living creatures that are put in these horrendous conditions and they're just looked at as dollar bills and not living creatures. And it really made me sick. That was paying that guy's salary and I was supporting companies. So I just decided to give up dairy altogether. So cheese way protein cottage cheese mean yogurt all the stuff that was really relying on for my bodybuilding because those are all the high protein foods and I just decided I was like I'm GonNa find a way around it. So. Okay. Let's talk. Protein. So we know that eating plant based. You'RE GONNA get all the protein you need as long as you're consuming enough calories right it's a slam dunk no problem. But when you're trying to build muscle I would imagine the requirements a little bit different. So were you at all worried at first that you would have trouble? Building enough muscle eating a let's say a Vegan Vegan. Diet. Yeah definitely. Definitely I was. It was kind of like, okay. Well, this is my new set of conditions and I just have to see if it can work I. had no idea about any of the health benefits. I didn't research all the like the health benefits until much later. It was just kind of trial and error for me. So I cut out all the dairy, all the way protein everything else and then I was like, okay. Well, I can replace the way protein with a base protein shake and then if I stop eating all of this the, the like these Greek yogurt and stuff maybe I can replace them with more beans and lentils and whole foods, and maybe even some mock meats at that time there was a few brands that were still you know fully Vegan. a ravine even back then and I just kind of like made it work but I was still following this really high number of protein because this is the information that I was fed and when I was researching about like you know on bodybuilding dot com or these different fitness magazines even in the gym everybody was telling me the same thing they hey, you gotta get one to two grams of protein per pound of body weight. So at the time I was like one fifty. So I'm shooting for three hundred grams of protein, but on a vegan diet getting three hundred protein is it's you know it's pretty hard unless you're like. Eating all this. May Be, processed food or supplementing with protein shakes. So it was really a struggle for me sounds like maybe like I can just eat as much as I can, which is like a lot lower than three hundred grams and see if it can work and what I found is that it was actually really easy to get like. Between one hundred and fifty to two hundred grams of protein per day like it wasn't that hard for me and over time that number has slowly come down for me as well. So as I continue to train, I realized that I can do without so much protein now get like one hundred and fifty grams fifty. Yeah. Okay. So you're not having to do like. Two grams per per pound no. Not at all your Morales join eight point eight point five somewhere around there right? Right. Okay so are you able to do that eating all whole food plant based or do you have to supplement with any kind of shakes or stuff like that? I do I do Too Shakes. But is purely for my convenience, it's not necessarily because I need. Is My only way of getting protein I just like waking up and having a smoothie or having a smoothie after my workout. Those are the two times I I have protein shakes, but the rest of my food. So that's probably fifty grams from from supplements the of the other hundred grams or more all comes from whole foods so. You know you're talking about lentils, legumes, beans, tofu tempe you know occasionally a Veggie Burger or things like that. But nowadays, I'm pretty much predominant whole food plant base and oil as well. Right? Right you've gone oil. Yeah. I've been oil for a few years now right? I suppose that probably helps you really like lean and mean consistently yeah. Yeah. Of course I mean most guys struggle to get fats low whenever they do bodybuilding contests. But for me, it's sometimes have to add in fats to my diet because I'm not getting. Any right. I mean, do you do you? Log. Everything you're eating like chronometer or something like that. So you know exactly what you're getting only when I prepped for shows only one I prepped for bodybuilding shows are like really big photo shoot or something like that because I'm a numbers guy I go by data. So I'm very data driven I know it works for me if I do this macro ratio and these. Amount calories in my weight will drop by half a pound per week I'm five weeks out that'll put me right where I need to be for the photo shoot I just kinda reverse it, reverse it all out. So just like go a little deeper into that. So if you WANNA get to your ideal, let's say wait look feel and all that you start five weeks out. Depends it depends where you start right because he could have been a great winner and. You may have gone gone really hard on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner in all his family functions. So maybe you gain a little bit more body fat than you normally start at. Yeah. So you'd have to look at it a little bit longer. So maybe I'll do eight weeks or something so was so give me an example so. How much do you weigh right now right now about maybe one, seventy, five, seventy, five to one, eighty, one, seventy, five to one eighty, and then what do you like to be at when you're doing a photo shoot or competing So there was a point. I'm I'm a lot smaller than what I was when I was competing because my training style and eating regimen has changed a lot. But whenever I was competing, I was stepping on stage at about my weight right now. So about one, seventy, five to one, eighty So I was almost ten pounds heavier on like just before prepping for a show but like on stage I was a good five or six pounds heavier than I am right now So about one, seventy, five, hundred, eighty. Well. Yeah. So it's not a matter of necessarily going down and wait. It's a matter of kind of. Going up a little bit well at that time before when I was. Like one, eighty, five, one, ninety, the walking around. But then when I prep down, I would lose about ten pounds okay and be ready for stage. So well yes. Oh, definitely you lose weight you know if you're prepping for a show that's two two months away and you're one hundred, eighty pounds by the time you step on stage you may be one, sixty, five, seventy, one, seventy, five so like. Ten pounds less right. So So if if I'm a traditional bodybuilder. what am I relying on to get to where I wanna be the you aren't even thinking about because you're doing the vegans. Yep. Protein number one most guys really up their protein whenever they put themselves in a calorie deficit start to train for shows. So. Most guys will go to grams per pound of body weight starting their prep. So that means it. You know I'm a light bodybuilder like compared to some of these other guys some of these other guys step on stage at two thirty. Or. Two hundred pounds. So that's that's a big difference when you're talking about pure muscle and those guys get like forty to fifty percent of their calories from meat as that means they gotta eat and eat and eat to get that much. So you're talking egg whites for breakfast maybe throw some whole eggs in there to than away protein shake after that. Then maybe eight ounces of chicken breasts. Then another eight of chicken breasts then another eight ounces of Sirloin and then another eight ounces of like salmon or something like that before they go to bed. So that's like four or five different animals right there. Again different animals yeah. They're not even not even the amount of protein but just different animals that are supporting this one being right. So as a Vegan, you don't have that type of. You don't need the same type of resources. So you can just go straight to where the animals get their calories and protein and amino acids and everything and get it directly from the plants. Cut Out the middleman cut out the suffering cut out the death and then. You know increase your recovery time increase your performance like increase your cardiovascular health. There's just too many reasons to count as to why. At least being open minded to the idea of a plant based Diet could be beneficial. Well, said I've noticed that you do a really nice job on social media especially with all the comments and all the people that are the naysayers and and all that. What do you say to people that that may be say there's no way that NEOM I can be that big and not be doing steroids or something like that. Yeah this is like Again. It's hard for people to grasp that there are people that. You work really hard and a really disciplined but then you know making that circle even smaller. There's even fewer examples of vegans better doing that. So obviously now people are aware because the game changers is came out and they're like their mind has been blown and they're seeing these guys that have been doing it for a while but you know previously there weren't many examples. So you see a guy that's muscular and you think, wow, that's impressive. But then to a normal person seeing a guy that's muscular and wait a minute, he's Vegan he doesn't eat all those foods I just listed there's no way he could do this like it must be steroids or something like that but. The reality is that like some media has greatly lowered the bar for what people consider to be possible what people consider to be impossible. So nowadays, there's people that edit their photos. There's there's just so much. Other stuff that's going on social media that makes you believe that everybody's on drugs because it just doesn't seem realistic. But I've been lifting for ten years. Or. Maybe more I always eat healthy I trained really hard in the gym I analyze every single thing that I do when it comes to how I lived how I'm spending my time in the gym. I mean I'm a numbers guy. So if people don't believe me I I stopped trying to convince them essentially like if they don't believe me, I take it as a really like it's a compliment. They think that something I'm doing is impossible but in reality what they're just saying it's impossible for them because they don't believe it's they could do it. Yeah. They already limited themselves to ever being able to accomplish that. So my responses like. You guys are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit. So you don't have to resort to those drugs. You don't have to resort doing things that are bad for your health in order to reach a certain level. So that's what's beautiful about like. Talking about being planned basis that like you don't have to sacrifice your health. In order to look good because most of these guys on stage, they look really good. But their health is really bad. Yeah. You lift up the hood and it's probably pretty dramatic you now you. Know. No there's more people that look like Ferraris on the outside but. You pick peek under the hood and it's a, it's a mess. How well do you know Meka from pretty well yeah. Did you meet them like during the game changers you knew him before that. So Funny Story I was actually scrolling through old photos and before I ever moved to like the L. A. Area, I used to come down to golds gym from Bakersfield just as like weekend treat for me just like spark my motivation and I just love going a Goals. Gym. 'cause it's like every bodybuilder's dream and in two thousand sixteen I went down there on a weekend trip and I hadn't got some workout videos and who do I see in the back Meka and who who else is with them the game changers crew and they were filming Michel, and I had no idea that that was me or who he was or what they were filming for and then About a year later after I filmed or maybe a year and a half later after I, filmed for the game changers and we go to this event is like the first time I him And he's just like a good buddy of mine now and he's like Yeah Great Guy I. Love Me to death. Yeah I. Mean that was to me In. A lot of people you may not have seen this. But at the One Day World Premiere on September Sixteenth, they had some bonus footage after the film. Yeah I did see that and it was twenty minutes and there was a lot of James Cameron in there and then they followed up with some some different. Kind of zeroing in on some different the athletes in the movie but they they did media and they showed him being tested for drugs and taking a lie detector test and and so there's different categories right I mean is there clean. Clean category and then. Anything goes like it's more. It's more like a tested federation versus a Non Tested Federation. So you compete in the tested federation you have to go through that protocol every single time you compete. To make sure that people aren't using drugs in the in the in the Federation that I compete in it's not the case and the the reasoning for that in my mind was when I first started off I was on, I was doing natural shows and I want and I did great. But I saw the response that people were telling me is like, yeah, you look great for natural guy but you could never compete against these guys organization and I was like I think I can like I really think I can and the very first show that I did in the non caused, you deal up your game it did well, the other thing is that there's a lot more. Pub- publicity in league that competed because Arnold was in it you know it's the Mr Olympia contest. There's a lot of good publicity around it and I was like man if I'm going to reach the most people, I should probably compete in the league that gets the most publicity. So I did my first show and I, I won the whole thing I won the overall and I was like, all right. Now, I can sue it. So this is let me just repeat. You won the whole thing and this is a league anything goes up even guys that are that are doing Roy Oh yeah. Okay. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. So that was and. That's what that's like. One of the proudest moments that I've that I've had in bodybuilding was stepping onstage. Winning that overall knowing that there was eighty guys behind me that they could or not could not be doing exotic hormones and they're also eating meat I was the only Vegan. Probably. One of the few natural guys up there and I had one and. That proved everything that needed to be proved proven to me that it's possible. Yeah and after I won that I when I was like, oh now there's no question in my mind that I could get to the next level, which would be the professional level and Four shows later, I ended up getting my professional status. That's that's pretty exciting stuff right there. The single most important pet health decision we can make each day is what to feed our furry friends while science backs at a plant based Diet as better for the planet. and has significant health advantages. What you feed your pet. Should be a decision you take seriously and give considerable consideration I also encourage you to. Think beyond the bowl into the impact that your pet food has on the world around us. For these reasons, it's easy for our family to feed our dog jade wilder it checks every one of the boxes and is incomplete alignment with our family values. Try It today visit the episode page at plan strong PODCAST DOT COM to claim up to fifty percent off your order. One of the scenes in the game changers that I love is when you're talking about how you know. All these guys backstage. I I. Don't know where their minds are but you you're eating a banana you're doing what you want and they're kind of marveling marveling at you going Oh my God. How is this guy able to do it? I mean that must. How much of bodybuilding competition is is the mental game and do you think by doing what you're doing? It's given you an actual mental edge on these guys. Do they know what you like what you're doing and they are Vegan. Yeah for sure they know. A lot of. Chatter, behind stages is pretty mutually respective like a lot just to you know to be a professional athlete and get to a certain point. There's a certain level of respect that everybody gives because no matter. What if you like the guy or not? You know he's a hard worker he's dedicated he's really driven so you can respect that. The difference is whenever you see somebody doing different. So most of the guys backstage, they really are curious. Of how I'm doing it or what I'm eating because. Again base they follow me online or they hear about me they us as being guy, what is he doing and they see the food that I'm eating up until my show and it's totally different than what they're eating and my my. Prep time is significantly less to some guys trained twelve to sixteen weeks out before show. Some guy shorter but normally, my prep time is six weeks, which is like really fast. And they're just curious. You know I. It's it's a good thing because. How many? Go ahead. No I was just gonNA say just opens their mind just opens her mind and most of the time these guys asked me questions and I answer like always and you know there's a shift there which is good and so do you know of any of these guys that have been curious and ask you questions that have actually come over to the? Side Yeah. Yeah definitely definitely a time really a time Oh. Yeah. Some guys that are big to six I can think of one guy particularly six, five, two thirty and he didn't think it was possible. He's a bodybuilder competitor and he went Vegan. So I mean. It's and what's crazy. What's even crazier? This is the part that I love is that I always lead health and performance and you know kind of leading the ego because the EGO speaks to everybody and everybody wants to look good. Yeah. Everybody wants to be sexy everybody wants to be confident they wanNA feel good and. Talking about this lifestyle from that angle really makes people's ears perk up. If you come out with another angle when you're like, Hey, what you're doing is terrible for the environment is terrible for animal welfare it's you killing yourself. I WanNa to hear this stuff like get away from me right But what's crazy is that that mindset shifts just from talking about it from a health perspective. So these guys that are going Vegan and try it for like three or four months. All of a sudden I see them posting on social media, some lake stuff about animal rights and And being ECO friendly and like there's a shift there and I'm like, wow, like he wasn't talking about those things or you didn't even care about those things when he first started. But now he can see that since he doesn't need those maybe it is kind of wrong or maybe there is some changes could be made. Yeah. Well, maybe it was me Sha that said it in the film but sometimes. Especially, I think men they need somebody to kind of them what's possible and to lead and and and and then they're able to kind of. Embrace something that they think is impossible right? I mean so I mean. Kudos to you me. Back and back in the day bill. Pearl. Borough of rice. Yeah? And even like Arnold Recognizes Bill Pearl is a good friend. You know he considered him one of the best bodybuilders in the world and even our new back then he was purely vegetarian. Yeah. Yeah. I think there was some stuff in the In the extra twenty minute footage. Arnold and Bill Pearl. Stuff like that. So. What some of the craziest Bro. Science stuff that you've heard in the gym that guys are doing these days. Yeah. Yeah. The the gym rhetoric is always It's always fun to listen to because normally I mean. There is a bit of like I, understand why this happens because normally there's a really big guy in the gym who how he got there how long he's been working out or what he did to get to that point but. Normally, it's just from personal experience and these younger guys walk up to the bigger guy and be like, Hey, what do you do like? How do you train? What do you eat and this guy will give his personal experience which may or may not be healthy and again I call it like Jim you know Bro Science or like Jim Rhetoric like the Bro Bible you know what? I mean like the Bro Gospel essentially like this just the same message keeps getting passed down generation after generation and guys tend to just take it as how it is. So proteins one of the biggest one. Even nowadays still. Trainers will tell their clients that you cannot be Vegan Bodybuilder, and there is no way that you can get enough protein in. There is definitely You will definitely develop some type of deficiencies. I know this because people send me messages of screen shots from their trainer. WanNa Watch a game changers and they're like, Hey, I talked to my trainer about it but he told me it's impossible and he's certified and. Yeah and I mean maybe certified in training not nutrition but. They believe him and that's where I get like a little bit upset because like people are talking about a subject that they don't necessarily know about. The depth. To speak on it and make that call. But here, there are many other people do know about an in depth and can clearly you know break it down how it is possible and show you that it's possible and that's where I get a little bit aggravated with. Bro Science will totally and I think that. So many of these These these guys in particular maybe women as well. It seems like they'd be willing to do anything that can get them big and strong, and you know if somebody said, hey wanNA drink two leaders of. Horse Piss like every day they probably be thinking about it. Yeah. Kind of ridiculous but on the on the same yeah, they think they won't look at their diet. Willing to do all this cut out me and dairy. That's that's extreme. Yeah, right? Yeah. Yeah. Yes. It's kind of a little bit ass backwards you're a mechanical engineer. You. Hated it right you feel felt like a slow death. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. It was a voluntary jail. I would go to the same sell every day you locked the door behind me and then think of why couldn't be outside living my life like it was miserable as sole suicide. So you're outlet. If I'm not mistaken, you're out lit was going to the gym now building right? It's where you felt free and like allow you to soar GAM in so it. At what point were you like? All right I'm I can't do this any longer and I am going to take this leap of faith. Yeah. That was it was tough. It's it's tough when you try to leave and they keep throwing money at you. I mean the like an almost ashamed to say it. Now by working in the oil and gas industry is one of the highest paying industries and that's one of the reasons why I went into it you know even though I consider myself environmentalists and cared about the planet and everything but growing up poor you you know and when money's always an issue like stability is something that's very like highly sought after in now. What I wanted I wanted something stable mean that would give me a good paycheck every month and you know utilize my engineering skills and that's why I went into it but I never went into it from the place of this is what I wanna do like I feel enjoyment and fulfillment from walking into work and doing these projects. I've never felt that once and that should have been a really clear sign for me but. You, know I had the. You know the blinders on because I I was getting paid very handsomely and that. Kept me there for a while because I kept thinking like, what can I, what else could I do like? What else could I possibly do and I never looked at the gym as being something that could be capitalized financially or even especially being a Vegan like nobody was really caring about what I had to say and I was like I I don't really know and then. as I got more into attending Veg fests and giving speeches and things like that. That's when I really noticed that people were listening and people were really valuing what I had to say and link walking up to me and telling me their personal stories about how I may have helped him or inspired their journey to go play base and they feel healthier. But yeah, one guy in particular. Really. Was the straw that pushed me that you know broke my back essentially like he made me look at myself and question what I was doing and whether or not I was spending my time purposefully or not, and he basically told me that I helped save his mom's life in very short story and it really touched me and I thought I went back home that day. Or and I thought like, what am I doing like I'm spending ten hours a day in a place that I really hate and then on the weekends I'm living my life to my fullest and getting so much fulfillment in meeting these people and showing and seeing the difference that I'm making like, why don't you just take a shot like what's going to happen like I, don't like my job anyway there's always going to be another shitty engineering position that will hire me if I don't if this doesn't pan out but why not take a shot at like really pursuing what makes me happy and really let let that drive my direction Bravo Bravo. Yeah Yeah it's amazing. How many people? Are Doing. Are Stuck in jobs that they can't stand right and they're not fulfilling their. You know their passion and their destiny. Yeah. They think they're stuck and that's where I was. I thought I was stuck because I didn't think that there was any way out but. You know I i. think if you let your heart lead you and you give your energy one hundred percent to what? Drives you in what brings you happiness. Then you're going to get really good at it. Right. Aw and if you're good at something, people pay you to do it. Whatever it is you can make it into some type of sustainable business and again, money isn't isn't the definition of success with in my version. It's like what brings you happiness and joy and. You're super happy and joyous all day and doing what you love and I would consider that a really big success not just financially. So you may be even okay with making less money which. You know had to make that choice like, can I be okay with making less money in black be this much happier and I was like it's worth it for me very wise. Man Just thirty one years old. That's impressive. What what kind of? So when you're in. These competitions. What kind of high is it is it is it like pretty pretty cool. It's it's. Nobody's ever asked me this question but. I think the high comes whenever. Mike. You reflect back. It's not necessarily when you're on stage like when you're onstage, you're still focused and like I'm still like thinking all my cues like, okay. backpost feed out flair my lattes rotate my shoulders back, squeeze my my ron void. You know like I'm thinking all those cues very much like focus I'm not really allowing myself to. BE PRESENT IN Like Bask in the glory you know what I mean. It'd be an stage it's more like execute, execute ex you. But then when I get offstage regardless of the placing I look back and I'm like, wow, I did it and then I'll. Think about like the journey it took to get there. So prepping every single day going to the gym every day you know working out with my friends. Seeing a slow progress of my hard work in like that's where like the high really comes like I feel accomplished and inspired because as soon as I'm done like, all right, listen to another one. Yeah. Do you get nervous at all before competitions Nah Nah I thought I would but I was never nervous it's it's fine. You can't really see anybody that's the other thing that people don't realize the lights are so blinding you can see like the first two or three rows of people but beyond that, you don't really see anybody. Tell me what you've had eat today today. Today's been a different day for me. I didn't eat. It's I fasted. Up until I worked out and then I came back home and had, which would you do for your workout? Would you work part? So I worked out twice today. So I had a session in in the morning with a friend and we did just biceps because we were filming for his Youtube Channel and just people always WanNa workout biceps with me and then. I went to the gym and did legs with my with my buddy. Okay and then I came back and the first thing I did was have a big moody so that boys consisted of almond milk. Banana, some frozen blueberries once cooper protein powder a little bit of mockup powder and a little bit of creating so. That was what I had for the first thing and then I ate little while before you got here and I had Some jasmine rice with. Some lentil doll dollars. Yeah that's IT Gotcha yeah. What do you consider your strongest body part? My brain. That's awesome. Yeah. Okay. How about outside of your head out of my head? Yeah. My to biceps for sure to buy. So yeah. All right and I call them my moneymakers. And you've name them. Yeah. Evening them is the right one grapefruit or. Loved. Ones Grapefruit. JP. There's like a split down the middle and IT KINDA resembles A. Like a chick visa. So that's awesome and what what would you say is your Most challenging body part the to work working on. cavs right Cavs for me I'm just don't have the genetic gifts that other people do when it comes the cavs and I've been working on him and people tell me Oh man people are vicious online. They're like, what about your calf I'm Mike Rowe listen I'm hitting them just not. Funny. cavs adducing to be extraordinarily kind of genetically either gifted or gifted. Yeah. Body part you never see calf transformation pictures. No because either have your don't like never see somebody like, oh, two years ago. This is my calves look right now they're like this and they're huge just doesn't happen I'll give you half my right calf. My calf I got a good right calf To. Soy not the soy to soy. Okay boy. Yeah and when you when you do so are you doing like whole soy like at a Mommy Tofu? I do all I do those three versions of soy right do so Just because I don't prefer I prefer pea protein powder but I do F-. Organic Soy Inorganic Tempe. and. Those are pretty much. I, mean occasionally when I do like mock meats like alternative meets most of the time they have some soy in there and I'll eat it there too. But apart from that. Yeah that's about it. Yeah. Me Me too I. I'm not. I'm not afraid of soy. Yeah. We know the go ahead. I've been eating my whole life as a vegetarian right I had like the it's called TV, which is like texture is vegetable protein eating that since I was a kid because my parents would buy in bulk from the Indian stores and they would come home and soak it and make these little granules and then they would flavor it and it was like. Yeah, it was awesome. I've been eating it my whole life and people are always yeah it's it's going to be hard to. Convince people to it's okay to eat soy. But. I think the game changers does a pretty good job of explaining how the fighter estrogens in. In Soy, actually can block those. Those estrogen receptors that we have and kind of regulate. The amount of estrogen. It's a good thing and it's funny because like you guys are so afraid of soil like especially the fitness guys and then they're still drinking cow's milk right or they're drinking beer and they don't realize all the FIDO estrogen that's in like beer and all these other things but. Gets the bad rap but united don't understand why I know the lactating dairy cow estrogen levels go up thirty fold not. Percent Thirty fold. It's it's it's crazy. Yeah. Let's like come on. Let's get a clue and you think about the hormones it takes to grow a baby cow versus the amount of hormones. It takes to grow a baby human. Yeah. There's a couple of hundred pound difference there of muscle mass. So. Obviously you know which one's going to have dietary hormone, right? You know. People are just quick to. Believe what they've been told. So. Do you do you have a a hero or somebody that you look up to? You know my my mom, and dad for sure hands down there. My superheroes, they're my rocks, their their whole reason. I'm here in the whole reason I am the way I am is because of them my oh, my life to them but there are two of the hardest working people I've ever met in my life and. Two of the most selfless people that I've ever met in my life and that's something I always try to remember to be a servant like give like be of service to people because not everybody has that. So the more you give it like. It's better than receiving. You know it's much better because. People need it people need that and especially when it comes to this type of information because it really can save your life and I feel like all all all everybody that promotes a plant based diet is a light worker in a sense because they are providing like a really good service to people. Their method it differs from person to person. But for me is just how can I help people live longer healthier and happier lives and I really believe that it's through. Looking at what we're eating and thinking about how we move and how we spend our day. You know not just in the gym, but outside of the gym and how getting rest and how you know how fulfilled are you? Are you feel? Do you feel like you're in alignment with your purpose or are you may be misaligned in doing something that you don't like because that has an effect on your health too. So just kind of this full holistic holistic approach to being healthy. Yeah. Beautiful. Beautiful. speaking of being I think you said light light workers is that right? Yeah. What is your? Fall one of the translations to my name means inner light. The light from within yeah. Yeah Where your parents living today? They are still in the south they're still they bounced back and forth between Louisiana Mississippi. They have two properties and they're trying to go back to you know our roots where I where I grew up and go back to the farm and just spend the rest of their days there and Are they now Vegan as well? I can't say for sure because I'm not down there. But since the last time I visited they both told me that they were going to. Go. Fully Vegan my mom always been trying she's just needs assistance like sometimes she forgets that you know butter isn't Vegan. No mom you can't do that like no butter for me nobody for you either and the last time I was down there my my dad actually. Shared with news of me that he was on the verge of becoming type two diabetic because of his blood panels were just way off and I was like, what are you eating and turns out he was eating at the temple every day in the food of the temple love to have saturated fats from G, which is almost pure saturated fats. So I told him you know be careful how many fats are eating just shift your die and went dramatically down he does like a little test like every day after he eats and he sends me his his level. So it's Just like getting healthier yeah? they must be so incredibly proud of. Of what you're doing and where you've landed and all the light, the you're spreading. I E yeah. They tell me all the time you know. I don't. I don't I don't know if they know everything that I'm doing because. I. Just kind of like you know talk to them and like I don't try to overwhelming because I feel overwhelmed sometimes with like I'm doing this and this and this. But like things like the game changers have you seen the movie? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah I, let them see it before it ever came out because James had sent me a copy. So I was like you've gotTA, watch it and we all sat down together and watched it but. They're really proud. Even my niece she sent me a video like re like my aunt recorded my knees watching me. For the first time in game changers and she was like Whoa that's uncle knee my and then she was like look how strong years and she's like telling my aunt she's like, did you know that he only eats plants and then she's also telling my an and that he's traveling the world telling people to eat plans to become healthier and I'm just like. It melted my heart because. I remember being a kid at that age and not really having somebody to. Look up to and be like, Hey, that guy's eating like me you're like. Look where he is you know like some type of. Role model you know. So it really makes me happy that my kids are seeing it too Well. Fantastic stuff Well, I'm going to wrap it up there. But I appreciate you let me come by your place course you're in marina right outside of La and Just want you to know how great it is. To have METCHA, since Sundance in two, thousand eighteen and how much how much joy it gives me. To know that we have you know young people like you that are spreading this message and reaching a lot of people that wouldn't otherwise be receptive to this message. So thank you knew my. For having the heart of a hero going against the grain and doing all this fantastic word. Thank you so much. The world engine to keep it plans draw always. Thanks Nima for everything you're doing to inspire people to live move and. Eat with purpose and compassion. You have the biceps of a bodybuilder and the huge heart of a hero. Most importantly. You are the bearer of truth in a sport that is full of misinformation. Keep spreading the light my plan strong brother. To learn more about name is fitness and nutrition coaching visit vegan fitness, dot com, or our show notes that plant strong. PODCAST DOT. com. Thank you for listening subscribing to our show I want you to know that we read each and every one of your reviews and we appreciate each and every one. If you. WanNa learn more about this season or today's guests in sponsors. Please visit plan strong PODCAST DOT COM The plan strong PODCAST team includes law record which Amy mackey Patrick Gavin Wade. Clark and Kerry Barrett I, want to thank my parents, Dr Kabul the elston junior and Kreil s Liston for creating a legacy there will be carried on for generations and being willing to go against the current and trudge upstream to the causation we're all better for it.