We’ve all seen them: the endless Tupperware boxes filled with sweet potato, broccoli and mountains of chicken, the gym bro starter packs that are just as important as the gym itself. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Jon Venus, bodybuilder, YouTuber, Vivo Life ambassador and all-round Adonis, is living proof that a plant-based diet can get you just as ripped. Better yet, there’s real science behind the vegan hokum, too.

Speaking to FashionBeans, the Barcelona-based trainer revealed what kickstarted the healthy living. “I used to eat tonnes of meat everyday and never understood why anyone would eliminate animal products – meat was necessary to maintain health and build muscle, after all.”

That quickly changed thanks to a documentary he saw called Earthlings, which details the treatment that farmed animals receive at human hands. “We sat through the whole thing and couldn’t believe what we saw. So, I decided to explore an alternative way of living that didn’t cause unnecessary damage to the environment and animal welfare.”

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Which may sound like a lot of effort for a bodybuilder, but it was easier than expected. “Plant-based diets only take 20 minutes or so to prepare enough food for the entire day, and you’ll save a tonne of money while improving your health.” Instead of chicken and red meat, Venus consumes beans, lentils, tofu, tempeh, bean pasta and quinoa, and since such foods deliver high levels of protein, portions needn’t be supersized.

It didn’t affect the post-workout protein boost, either. “Many make the mistake of only focusing on protein after a workout, when in reality, carbohydrates are even more important to refill depleted muscle glycogen stores for optimal recovery,” says Venus. Instead, the 26-year-old opts for a smoothie containing one or two ripe bananas, 300g of frozen berries, fresh spinach, hemp seeds and a scoop of Vivo Life Perform protein powder.

Of course, naysayers will always proclaim meat to be better. But if you’ve still got doubts about a plant-based diet, we’ve got a bowl of lentils that says Venus has a far better body you do.

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