I had been hearing a lot of buzz about veganism in the endurance community and was very curious if it would work for me as an endurance athlete too. (Scott Jurek’s book “Eat and Run” is a great read if you’re interested.) I was a vegetarian and pescatarian for 15 years before I decided to give it a try. In doing so, I decided I would not go 100% vegan, at least not right away, because I wanted the flexibility to eat something vegetarian when I would go to a dinner party or work outing, or be able to eat the occasional buttery baked good, etc. This has been going on since July, and it has gone really well!
The reasons I decided to try it:
1. I wanted to see if it would make me feel better. (Less tummy aches, increased energy, enhanced endurance performance to name a few.)
2. I knew it could lead to a healthier lifestyle. (Does less cheese mean lower cholesterol and less cancer?)
3. I had been thinking about trying it for a few years; it was time. (The movie “Forks Over Knives” pushed me over the edge.)
1. Fewer tummy aches, more energy, and an Ironman finisher! (Ok, that last part also took a lot of training, but I did it on a vegan diet!)
2. Less cheese and more veggies! (Did you know you can eat “cheese” made from cashews, and all sorts of other crazy tricks? Thank you, Pinterest!)
3. More cooking at home! (This was one of my goals for 2013.)
I’ve been eating approx 90% vegan since July and have been very happy with the change. Even Jeremy decided to join the ride with me! Survey says he’s about 75% vegan. I am so proud of him. My family and friends have been incredibly supportive as well. I’ve given them new recipes to try when they have me over for dinner (pad Thai, pasta, chili), and I”ve cooked for them as well. My BFF Nicole and her beau are mostly vegan too, so that has helped tremendously. New vegan restaurant? It’s a date!
Whenever I’m in a bind or am seriously craving a slice of cheese pizza, I know I can still eat vegetarian and be OK with it. There is no going back to fish or meat, but sometimes I’ll eat something that was made with eggs or real milk. I’m not perfect, and I’m also not trying to be too high maintenance…Yet. I might just decide to go all the way with this vegan thing one day because it has impressed me so far.
I’ve really been enjoying my vegan journey and can’t wait to continue down this path! I’ve found tons of new recipes on Pinterest and started following vegans on Twitter and bloggers that share great vegan recipes. I plan to share a few of mine with you too. Overall, I feel amazing and am proud to be a part of this community. If I can encourage 1 person to eat vegan or vegetarian with me once a week, I know I am spreading some hearty healthy love! <3 (Can you say cheesy?)