The Vegan Experiment?

I picked up one of my husband’s magazines recently (Men’s Journal) after being sucked in by a curious title – “Going Vegan in the NFL”.  Huh?  Then was further shocked to find that the story was based on Arian Foster, a former Tennessee running back.  (Tennessee being my alma mater, and also where my husband played football in the 90’s.)  OK, now I’m intrigued.  How would a serious athlete, especially a man in the NFL that eats about 6,000 calories per day, go Vegan??

Going Vegan in the NFL

As someone who eats a lot of fruits and vegetables, and also experimented with a strict vegetarian diet for a while, I can truly appreciate the commitment it takes, as well as the social stigma.  I mean, can you imagine the stigma fora guy, much less a guy in professional sports?  That basically summarizes the article – guy reads book, goes Vegan to improve his athleticism, gets a lot of  flack from teammates and media, then proves them all wrong with his best year ever.  So naturally, I had to check out the book, The Thrive Diet, by vegan triathlete, Brendan Brazier.  Thank goodness for my Kindle – instant book and only $9.  I’ve skimmed it so far and it looks interesting.  Will continue reading…

I’ve never been a big fan of meat, but only accepted that a couple of years ago after following a friend’s lead, along with the encouragement of several other books (Cinch / Sass Yourself Slim, Skinny Bitch).  I still eat vegetarian about 50% of the team, but to be honest, I found it difficult to stick to since our society is so meat-focused.  Not to mention burdensome for my family.  I felt like every time we had a family gathering we had to focus on what Rebecca isn’t eating these days.  An otherwise very enticing menu is instantly limited to a few vegetarian-friendly items, if any at all.  Heck, in the country even the veggies are cooked with meat.    So I can’t even imagine the added difficulty of vegan – no cheese, butter, yogurt, honey, eggs.

OK, so now I’m feeling a challenge coming on.  Could I go vegan?  I’m not going to proclaim a long-term diet change, but how would I feel and look if I stuck to a vegan diet for say, 30-days?  Perhaps my new diet experiment for 2013?  And January has always been the best time for a diet experiment – no holiday gatherings or parties, a renewed sense or focus for the new year, and the whole country seems to be on a diet too.  Most of my past diet experiments have left me better off, with new menu options and lots of new food lessons.  I still follow the Cinch / Sass Yourself Slim plan of 4-balanced meals every 3-4 hours.   Then there was the movie about Juicing, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead”, which led to a $400 juicer and a whole lot of veggies, plus our (yep, even my husband loves it) new favorite fruit juice, “Purple Power Juice”.  And there’s been others, but those 2 were the most impactful.

So I guess I should get back to reading if I’m starting The Vegan Experiment come January 1.

Thrive Diet

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Another Monday

Well, it’s back to Monday again.  But at least it’s a pretty Monday!  It’s going to be a beautiful week, perfect for outdoor workouts. 

We were visiting my inlaws in Brentwood, Tennessee this past weekend, which is an awesome place for runners – lots of trails and parks.  I ran my 12 miles on Saturday in 1 hour and 50 minutes!  It was a really great run, the kind where I’m just flying along, only partially aware that I’m running as I drift through my thoughts and the music blaring on my iPod.  The trail maps are shown below (or click on the picture) if anyone is interested in more information. 

Brentwood, TN Trail Maps

Brentwood, TN Trail Maps

Despite the fact that we were visiting family over the weekend, I also managed to maintain healthy eating habits and I feel great.  After a couple months of excess sugar intake, I’ve decided to swear off processed sugar until after the marathon, giving myself a couple of breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Sugar is very addictive and I tend to go way overboard, which has a negative impact on my running as well as my waistline!  I’ve also been giving up meat a lot lately.  I’m not turning vegetarian (although I’ve been in some meetings that  make me want to try), but I’ve found that I just don’t crave it or need it in many of my meals.  I tend to get plenty of protein through eggs, nuts, greek yogurt, and beans.

Daily Meal Tracker – Cherry Lara Bar and handful of Quaker Oatmeal Squares for breakfast; spinach salad with light ranch and a 1/2 peanut butter & banana sandwich for lunch; Slim-Fast optima bar for snack… no idea about dinner yet!