Hi everyone. I'm new to being a vegetarian. My wife and I made the transition about a month ago. My greatest challenge may be getting enough calories because I'm a tall guy with a fast metabolism and I'm into endurance sports. Right now I'm reading Eat and Run by Scott Jurek. He's one of the greatest ultrarunners who is completely fueled by a vegan diet. If he can run 100+ miles without meat protein, anyone can thrive without meat protein.
Hi nater77, welcome (officially) to the forum! Congratulations to you and your wife on making the transition to vegetarianism. What was it that inspired you to change your diet?
We do have a running thread here on VB and I know there are a lot of members who are athletes and can offer good advice re: calories etc.
Fiona Oakes is a shining example of a vegan athlete as well as an incredible spokeswoman for animal rights. She runs Tower Hill Stables animal sanctuary and combines it with her amazing success as a marathon and endurance runner.
My biggest reason was the environmental footprint of a meat based diet vs. plant based. My wife's biggest reason was ethical. A documentary I watched called Vegucated opened my eyes to a lot. The stats on the lessened rates or cancer, heart disease, etc. for vegetarians really sealed the deal for me on the health benefits. Environmental, ethical, health - those are the three factors in the decision (probably in that order for me).
Hi nater77, welcome! I'm glad you've joined us.
A plant based diet is definitely better for endurance sports; high protein and fat diets are heavy, and not really great for that kind of thing. A steady trickle of carbohydrates is an ideal energy source for intensive long-duration activity like that, though I'm sure carrying enough fuel could be tricky.
What have you been eating lately to keep your energy up?
I've discovered that I love avocados, so they have become a staple. I make smoothies with a scoop of vega (a vegan powder created by Brendan Brazier, a vegan triathlete) and a mix of berries and flax seed. I eat a lot of kale, bananas, and root vegetables (potatos, carrots, beets), yogurt and granola.
I'm still recovering from some knee problems so I haven't run any major distances yet on my new vegetarian diet. I'm mainly doing strength and flexibility exercises at home.
That's a good idea.
I've heard of vegan athletes drinking vegetable oil, but that's a little disturbing (not because drinking oil is gross, but from a nutritional perspective it's a bit concerning). If you got some good cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, that might be a fair option for a marathon.
I hate to imagine putting that much stress on the body, though, when sugars are so much easier to use as an energy source. They probably know what they're doing though.
I love vega!
I don't have it often, though, because it's a little expensive.