When coming back from injury this summer, I decided it was time to put down the margaritas and revamp my diet. Being injured in a small town in the mountains when you have moved there to be running free and fast on beautiful trails and little oxygen…but can’t… lends itself beautifully for sipping margs at the local Mexican restaurant. In case you were wondering.
As I began running again, I started to wonder about Veganism and began watching a few (horribly sad) movies on Netflix about how the animals and animal products we consume are raised and treated. Yikes. Then I started doing some research. One book that I specifically adore and found super informative and inspiring is Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy, Diet“.
This isn’t ‘diet’ in the ‘lose weight to fit into my skinny jeans’ camp, but in the ‘eat for your own health and well-being and for the well being of animals and the environment’ camp. I highly recommend this book. Kris explains many facets of Veganism and how it is better for yourself, the environment, and, of course, for the animals. She also talks a lot about how to take really good care of your body and mind using natural practices. This may sound intense, but her style of writing is humorous and I just devoured the book. (Not from being hungry you jokers, you know what I mean!) More about Kris Here. Her story is amazing.
So around September, Matt and I decided to go cold-turkey (tofu?) Vegan. We never ate a lot of meat anyways, but we did eat lots of eggs, milk, and goat cheese. We began slinging back green drinks instead of margaritas, eating enough cabbage to gas out the cabin, and were having so much fun experimenting with recipes.
We honestly never felt hungry or deprived. Kris has a great cookbook called Crazy Sexy Kitchen that we still cook from every day of the week!
I was feeling SUPER GREAT, starting to ramp up my training again, hitting faster workouts. Until one day in November… I wasn’t. I was dragging. I could feel that my iron was low, I have been there before. In the book, Kris talks about making sure to supplement with Iron/Vit B, especially if you are active. I thought I was doing enough. I was honestly doing everything I could to get enough iron. After a week of feeling pretty awful, I consulted some of my super knowledgeable friends/training partners. They all suggested adding a bit of red meat into my diet to see how I felt. I didn’t want to, that ‘all or nothing’ personality foible of mine came shining through. But, I closed my eyes, tried to ‘unsee’ movie images, and did it.
I began eating red meat 1-2 times per week and I am feeling back to my old self again. It pains me and I don’t like having to do it, but with the amount of running and the goals I have, I am looking at it as part of my training. That probably sounds super selfish, huh? Once running competitively is over, I’ll return to being full Vegan. *sigh* So I guess I am all Vegan except for a bit of red meat 2x a week. I love how in Kris’ book she really advocates “doing the best you can” and not feeling bad about yourself if you are ‘unvegan’ sometimes or you enjoy a special meat or dairy dish on a night out with friends. Each day or switch you can make from eating animal products towards plant based is a win for everyone, even if it’s just “Meatless Mondays”.
So that is my Vegan experiment! Hope it helps you in your journey. Please let me know if you have any specific questions, I am happy to share more of my experiences with being an “almost Vegan” athlete.