Can this man make you go vegan? This guy claims it’s all thanks to a vegan diet!
A vegan fitness coach is on a mission to extol the virtues of a plant-based diet – and he insists he gets all the nutrients he needs from fruit and veg.
Vlogging star Jon Venus, 26, has been dubbed one of the ‘world’s hottest vegans’ with his virtuous lifestyle earning him a staggering 83,000 Instagram fans and 225,000 YouTube subscribers who follow his every meal.
Jon, who is half Brazilian, half Norwegian and currently lives in Barcelona, Spain, insists plant-based protein is better than whey when it comes to hitting the gym – and he’s got the muscles to prove it.
The heartthrob is so proud of his vegan physique he even convinced his wedding photographer to shoot some topless pics when he tied the knot with girlfriend Kathrine, a nutritionist, this summer.
YouTuber and Instagram star Jon Venus shares topless snaps of his virtuous vegan lifestyle with his 83,000 Instagram followers – and he says plant-based diets are the future
The social media maven, who once took part in a 10,000 calorie fruit-eating challenge, says he decided to go vegan after watching a ‘shocking’ documentary on the agriculture industry – and has never looked back.
He began by documenting his new diet on YouTube which quickly turned into a successful online coaching business.
Jon, who runs coaching website jonvenus.com with Kathrine, says he immediately noticed a range of ‘surprising’ benefits from more energy and strength in the gym, to a stronger immune system and better digestion.
He told MailOnline: ‘I have also been able to build a large amount of muscle completely naturally on a vegan diet, and I think this is why I have gotten so much attention on social media.
‘So if someone thinks that you can’t build muscle on a vegan diet, I hope I can prove them wrong.’
Jon says he was a ‘hardcore gamer’ before he discovered lifting. He now runs a fitness channel, a coaching website with wife Kathrine, and works as an ambassador for Vivo Life
Jon tied the knot with Kathrine last month in Norway where the pair endured a three-hour photo shoot in the mountains to get the perfect shot – and Jon couldn’t resist stripping off
‘My natural habitat’: Jon is vying for the crown of world’s hottest vegan after his virtuous lifestyle earned him a staggering 83,000 Instagram fans and 225,000 YouTube subscribers
Jon, who used to subsist on a ‘boring chicken and rice diet’, added: ‘I used to eat meat every single day, like most people do. I would have at least 300g of chicken breast or any other kind of meat per meal, often having multiple meat-based meals per day.
‘I grew up having family barbecues every weekend with loads of rump steak, chicken hearts and sausages.
‘I would always eat so much meat that I felt horrible for the rest of the day, but up until I went vegan a good barbecue was always my favourite meal.’
And when it comes to pumping iron, Jon, who was a ‘hardcore gamer’ before he discovered the gym, says that while meat is just as good for bulking up as a vegan diet, the vitamins and minerals in plant-based food can speed up muscle recovery.
The way forward: Jon, who lives in Barcelona, Spain, insists plant-based protein is better than whey protein when it comes to hitting the gym – and he’s got the muscles to prove it
Lifestyle change: The social media star says he decided to go vegan after watching a ‘shocking’ documentary on the agriculture industry – and has never looked back
Brains AND braun: The heartthrob he even convinced his wedding photographer to shoot some topless pics when he tied the knot with girlfriend Kathrine, a nutritionist, this summer
Worth it: Jon says he immediately noticed a range of ‘surprising’ benefits from more energy and strength in the gym, to a stronger immune system and better digestion
Convert: Jon says he has ‘built a large amount of muscle completely naturally on a vegan diet, and I think this is why I have gotten so much attention on social media’
Dedication to the cause: The social media maven took part in a 10,000 calorie fruit-eating challenge in February this year (pictured)
Jon says: ‘I used to eat meat every single day, like most people do. I would have at least 300g of chicken or any other kind of meat per meal, often having multiple meat-based meals per day’
Speaking of his YouTube channel – which is ‘more of a hobby than a job’ – Jon said: ‘I barely make any money from my videos but I really enjoy providing information and helping people become healthier and happier.
‘Hearing peoples stories about how their lives changed because of what I do is what keeps me motivated to film more videos.’
Jon, who also works as an ambassador for plant based product company Vivo Life, tied the knot with Kathrine last month in Norway where the pair endured a three-hour photo shoot in the mountains to get the perfect shot – and Jon couldn’t resist stripping off.
But Can You Get Big Muscles Being Vegan?
If there’s one thing that most vegetarians hate, it’s having someone talk about their dietary system like it’s a problem that needs to be solved. So let’s get this out of the way: Vegetarians can build muscle and strength just like meat-eaters. Got that? Good.
There are hundreds of millions of vegetarians in the world, and people choose to embrace this lifestyle for countless reasons—from religious, to nutritional, to simple personal preference. As anyone who has embraced this lifestyle can attest, it’s not as simple as “don’t eat meat.”
Everyone from your grandmother to your favorite whey manufacturer is a potential threat to sneak animal products into your food, meaning you have to be diligent about doing your research in addition to minding your macros.
Need a roadmap? Here are four simple rules that vegetarian athletes should keep in mind in order to maximize their nutrition. Heed them, and you’ll have the fuel you need to grow like a weed.
Rule 1: Know Your Whey
Meat-eaters may classify the world in terms of carnivores and herbivores, but vegetarians know it’s not so simple. There are several types of vegetarians including:
- Lacto-vegetarians (dairy is allowed)
- Pescatarians (fish is allowed)
- Lacto-ovo vegetarians (dairy and eggs are allowed)
- Vegans (No animal products of any kind are allowed)
Each variation presents its own set of unique challenges, as the people in these respective categories are well aware.
But one thing they all need when they’re training is sufficient protein. Without it, they put themselves at serious risk for subpar results and just generally feeling like a wilted piece of celery.
What about whey and casein powders? Both are milk byproducts, so they’re clearly off-limits to vegans and to strict pescatarians. But they should be A-OK for lacto- and lacto-ovo vegetarians, right? If only it were so simple. To separate milk into its component parts of curds (where casein and cheese come from) and whey, producers add an enzyme called rennet. There are vegetable and microbial sources for rennet, but the most common source is the stomachs of slaughtered veal calves. In other words, not so veggie-friendly.
One easy way to tell if your protein is vegetarian is if it’s kosher, because milk and meat products can’t mix in a kosher diet. Unfortunately, most proteins don’t include this information on their labels or websites. So if you want to know where a certain company stands, the best bet is to do your homework: search around, or call them up and ask.
Rule 2: Explore Plant Protein
If the rennet dance sounds a little complicated, which is understandable, consider exploring other vegetarian protein sources. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from, most of which line up nicely against their animalistic competitors. Some of the most popular sources include:
- Egg protein, egg white protein, and liquid egg whites. All three offer a protein punch similar to whey protein, but are far simpler and more predictable when it comes to ingredients.
- Soy protein. Perhaps the most prominent vegetarian alternative to whey, soy proteins are similarly protein-packed but are incredibly low in fat and cholesterol. Soy generally offers more flavor options than other vegetarian proteins, but read your labels carefully, because some soy proteins contain milk and/or fish products.
- Pea protein. The lowly pea is riding high these days due to the “Dr. Oz Effect,” but the TV doc was only stating what savvy vegetarians already knew. Pea protein is high in protein, easy to digest, cholesterol-free, and has a solid branched-chain amino acid profile.
- Hemp protein. Hemp seeds are packed with Omega-3s and high in magnesium and iron, to say nothing of their solid protein content. Plus, a serving also contains almost half your daily dose of fiber—remember that stuff?
Some manufacturers like Vega Sport, Garden of Life, and MRM also offer their own designer veggie protein blends that mix various plant and grain proteins. There are plenty to choose from, so a little research can go a long way.
Rule 3: Eat Well
I know it seems obvious, but most of us know at least one vegetarian who seems to magically survive on ramen noodles, fries, and sweets. Men’s Health recently coined a term for these people: obesatarians.
Your vegetarian allies are begging you not to become one of these. Aside from the damage you do to yourself, you give the whole plant kingdom a bad name.
What’s the alternative? Strive for balance! Include a barrage of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. These form the cornerstone of a healthy diet for herbivores and omnivores alike, and they offer incredible health benefits. Don’t always fill up veggies and fruits (which is hard to do, by the way); most of your calories should come from dense foods—especially if you’re trying to build muscle.
Hearty vegetarian protein sources that mix well with veggies:
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
If you’re the type of vegetarian who gets full on things like brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, legumes, beans and lentils, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and avocados, you’ve given yourself a good chance to build some muscle. On the other hand, if you’re a vegetarian who feasts mostly on salad, stir-fry, fresh fruit, and other vegetable-based dishes, you’re likely falling short on your macro needs. For every vegetable you eat, pair it with a healthy fat and protein-packed side. This provides the balance of nutrition you need!
Rule 4: Watch Out For Deficiencies
If you’ve been a vegetarian for a long time, then someone has doubtlessly already tried to warn you that an iron deficiency is likely to kill you in a matter of minutes. Is this a reason to give up and attack the nearest cow? Definitely not. But don’t underestimate the degree to which micronutrient deficiencies can impact your health and well-being.