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Hello all....

Well, I did it. Starting 5 days ago, I became a vegan after 26 years as an omnivore. I work as a fireman in South Florida, and my choice largely rotated around health. I have always been a workout fanatic, and I compete in Triathlon regularly. A good friend of mine and co-worker is a much better triathlete than myself (he competes nationally), and has been on a plant-based diet for 6 years. He credits it with a lot of his success and training methods, lack of injury, and energy.

Contrast this to myself of a few months ago....I was eating huge amounts of meat, taking weight gainers, trying to put more muscle on in order to NOT get my lunch handed to me on the bike. I was training harder than I ever have.

But even with all of this, I was reliant on 2-3 espressos a day, having heart palpitations from it, all to get past my huge energy crashes of my old diet. I had trouble sleeping, and even the muscle gains were very modest. In May, my co-worker and I participated in a Tri in California, and sure enough, I got destroyed. I ran out of gas halfway through the run, and finished pretty dismally. My friend told me, "you can't eat dead animals, cow milk, pig fat, and then expect to beat world-class athletes"...then the idea was born.

So I started on my research. I read the Engine 2 Diet (written by a firefighter in Texas that my friend has the cell number of), found a lot of online recipes, etc. I am very grateful that I will no longer live with the guilt of what my diet put animals through, and I feel that over time that will become more paramount, but the idea began on a road in California, watching my plant-powered, cover-model looking friend jet past me on a bike with a peace sign up as he whurred by.

I told my own crew of guys what I was doing, and have gotten a lot of support. (Fireman are not like they are in the movies. You don't run into burning structures on your own volition by being an insensitive meat-head) When I arrived last week, the fridge had been stocked for me with enough produce to feed an army, and I started.

I even have 2 more guys, both of whom in all honesty need the health benefits more than myself, join me for the next 28 days. I will try to keep updating in the hopes that this site will be my journal for the next few months....I appreciate all input. Thank you.
 

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Hey, that's awesome! Stories like yours are very inspiring and while I can't contribute much fitness-related stuff (I survive on hooping, dance and bouncing to Disney songs...) I wish you the best of luck! We're all here if you need help or a place to vent if something goes wrong
 

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Yay! Have you seen "Forks Over Knives"? I ask because it features a vegan firefighter (like you, he does it for health reasons) who got his coworkers to start eating a more plant-based diet. If you haven't seen it and it is being screened where you live, I recommend it. There's a lot of information about the health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet.

Oh, and welcome to VB
 

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Welcome to VB


My husband is a recent veg*n convert and while he is not an athlete as such I have found this site really helpful:

http://www.nomeatathlete.com/

I'm looking forward to reading how you get on. Please post your blog address when you are able.
 

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Thanks for posting. Your journey to a plant based diet is inspiring. While not a competitive athlete, I do run and I could see a definite improvement after going vegan especially when I cut out dairy products.
 

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shoutout to my fellow firefighter. Engine 2 diet, great book. keeps it simple and doesn't get overly detailed or restrictive - just eat fresh whole foods. Read The China Study too if you haven't yet.

If I have to come clean I was vegan before i read Engine 2 diet, but great to see more and more firefighters get concerned about their health. Hope to see you around the boards and give us a holler if you have any questions.
 
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