Thursday, 18 September 2008

Calling all veggies and vegans

With the fall season just around the corner and after many, many months of training, running and just plain goofing around, I now find myself wanting a little healthier lifestyle.

When I was younger vegetarianism was sort of a fad with the hippy dippy lifestyle we were all living at the time (yes, I'm that old, so button up). I had long hair, sort of Janis Joplin style, worn long embroidered jean skirts and waterbuffalo sandals...ahhh, the age of Aquarius, Jefferson Airplane, Fritz the Cat and hemp....oh and being a vegetarian.

Well, now that I'm much older and hopefully a little wiser, I'm thinking back to how great I felt when I didn't have meat in my diet. Total vegan diet may be a little too strict for me...I love my half & half in my coffee in the morning and I'm not ready to substitute coffee for some lame chicory gorp. For the safety of those around me in the morning they will attest that I need my coffee (only 1 large cup, please).

I have been stealthily stalking Amy, Chia and the Tropical Vegan, reading their blogs and recipes and they run!! They haven't died, they are healthy and kicking! So, I'm going to try it again. I won't be adamantly vegetarian, if a chicken has flown through the broth of something I'm being served, I won't refuse to eat it....

The turning point for me was while reading my favourite archaeology PhD student, Xenia, and her post "A river runs through it", there was a picture of Carne Equina. Well, I had to look away! For those of you who truly know me, I am an avid animal lover, horses have been my passion my whole life, and yes, I do know that many, many of our horses in Canada are exported for meat. But to actually see it (again), well, I had trouble with it. I still *heart* you Xenia, you are and will always be my favourite PhD student !!!

So yesterday I went out and bought enough veggies, sauces, dips and bean curd tofu to sink a ship. I made an incredible dinner last night improvising from what I remembered from my "past life".

I'm even giving up my beloved red wine for awhile, see if that helps too while I prepare for the 2009 Triathlons. While I'm working on my swimming and cycling once the two half marathons are over, I'll be scouring recipes and websites!!


If you see a shadow over your shoulder while you're preparing your meal, it just might be me!

Life's fun if you don't weaken,

Lily

24 comments:

Blog My Runs.com said...

I'm thinking back to how great I felt when I didn't have meat in my diet.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can tell when I eat heavy crappy food I feel heavy and crappy :-(

I am pretty simple on my healthy foods, mostly chicken and veggies or fish and veggies.... eliminated cokes except for right after a race --will treat myself to junk crap food for about a week...

haven't crossed over to vegan land but I can see me getting closer each year.

Frayed Laces said...

Well I eat mainly vegetarian because it's easier on this poor grad student's wallet!

But...it certainly makes me feel better. And lately I've been having cravings for Tofu....gobs and gobs of raw tofu.

Wes said...

Check out Marni's blog! She is a sports nutritionist and Non-meatitarian!! Plus, she puts up some yummy lookin stuff on her blog...

Marlene said...

Good for you for embarking on a healthier lifestyle!

I, too, hate the heavy "meat hangover" but I loves me some meat.

Good luck!

Meg said...

Woohoo! I eat fish but no red meat or chicken. I've eaten like this for most of my life, so I can't comment on feeling any better/worse with limited meat and running, but I haven't had any problems. You'll probably feel great with the increased number of fruit and veggies in your diet. Good luck!

Runner Leana said...

Good luck making the transition! I've been thinking a lot about nutrition a lot too, and while being a vegetarian isn't something I'm up for, I do want to think a lot more about what I'm eating, and not relying on restaurants to do so much cooking for me. I second Wes's suggestion of checking out Marni's blog. There is some good reading there.

Thanks for the compliment on the new banner! I actually threw it together myself with Power Point so it isn't quite as neat as if I would have tried a graphics program, but I figured that it worked!

Marni said...

vegetarianism is easy...you just don't eat meat :)
But when you combine vegetarian + athlete, it is VERY important to focus on protein in the diet. Not protein from bars or bottled drinks but complete protein such as whey, milk, cheese, tofu, beans, etc. I'm sure you will enjoy the "cleaner" lifestyle :)
*I've been a vegetarian for 14 years and I get healthier with it every year.

Sprocketboy said...

Welcome to the Green Side! I would suggest "Becoming Vegetarian," which is an excellent book, by Canadians of course, and a helpful refresher. I will have been a vegetarian for ten years at the beginning of October and am probably in the best condition in my life. Compared to when I began there are a lot of great cookbooks out there. I have a number of vegetarian/vegan links on my blog as well. People make such a big deal out of dropping meat from your diet but I have not given it a second thought for years.

Marcy said...

OMG you're my hero. I could not do that for the life of me LOL I love me some meat (ok I know you're laughing about that you perv :P)

Groover said...

I hope I haven't been a bad influence. :-) Giving up red wine for a while? Are you sure you wanna go to that extend? I mean, you don't need to give up everything at once. It's like: "I've tried to live without alcohol, cigarettes and sex! ... I had the worst 15 minutes of my life!" :-)

The Happy Runner said...

I'm not a vegetarian (although I was during college) but I am trying to move my diet away from meat. Not that I'm going to give it up completely, I'm just eating it less. I posted a vegetarians 100 on my blog: http://justrunningforfun.blogspot.com/

It might give you some inspiration.

Other ideas: I make veggie fritattas about once a week. Same for pasta w/veggies. I add chick peas or kidney beans to salads or veggie pasta, to make sure I get protein.

Good luck!

triguyjt said...

great for you lily...

I can stray from meat for a short while...but once in awhile i like the beef....

however, i love getting the proteins thanks to nuts etc....

Theresa said...

Congratulations on your return to the hippy-dippy veggie life! I know what you mean about feeling better... the turnaround for me came when I stopped eating processed fake meats and focused instead on different beans, veggies, and grains. My skin perked up, my hair got shinier, and my fingernails grow quicker (weird, I know).

I have to correct you though, I've never gotten into running but I do cycle and yoga and pilates and I don't die! If you ever want any recipes or food inspirations, email me.

Theresa said...

PS. I've never been able to get my head around the concept of not-coffees. Miso, chicory, barley....?? If you don't want to drink coffee, just don't drink it! Otherwise, embrace it and love it.

ECrunnergirl said...

Hi Lily! Thanks for following my blog...Im looking forward to following your blog as well and your journey towards triathlons and marathons. Marathoning is my addiction but I love multisports too and I am starting to think more about longer tri distances.

Good luck with the vegan diet...Im not much of a meat eater myself except I do love a little sliced turkey or chicken every now and then. I love fish (sushi yumm)...but I stick mostly to veggies, fruit and Im a bread freak. I look forward to the recipes and food suggestions! Nothing better than fueling a run the healthy way.

Best wishes from the East Coast!

Carly said...

good luck with making the switch. I should do it with you because I am allergic to all the "healthy" meat. Giving up wine? *gasp* it will be a cold day in hell before I give that up.

Marci said...

Hubs and I don't eat beef or pork and haven't for over 7 years. We try to eat less chicken, and mostly vegetarian, but its tough to cut it out completely.
As far as Scotia, I am driving in (its only about 30 minutes from where I live), so I can meet wherever.

Xenia said...

Oh Lily, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to traumatize you. Please know I would never eat horse. I too heart them.

Not that going vegetarian is a bad thing. I tend to cook mostly vegetarian meals for myself because I don't like the hassle of dealing with meat. A good healthy recipe website I visit is Green Lite Bites.

http://greenlitebites.com/

Roni's not a vegetarian but there are lots of vegetarian recipes on the site. I especially love the non-pasta lasagna. Very yummy!

Jess said...

Good luck with the veggie endeavor!

Mel said...

Well good luck to you....if it is something you strongly believe in stay tuff:) I don't think I could give up chicken...but really could do without the other meat!! Keep us posted on your progress and all the advantages of switching over :)

Michelle J said...

Wonderful Lily!! Have you checked out (dare i ask) the raw food movement?? It's quite interesting!!!

Green smoothie and juicing are where its at!!

Michelle

Tri-ing with Twins said...

Wait a minute..... Horse? Am I THAT ignorant that I didn't know people actually ate horse??? Excuse me while I crawl out from under my rock....

Amy said...

Lily, I am honored to have inspired you - I support you 100% in moving towards a healthier diet!

My best advice is: don't make it too hard on yourself, or you won't be able to stick with it. Look at it as an adventure to learn about new foods and don't give up if you can't do it perfectly all the time - any small step in the right direction is still worth it.

Most useful book on a putting together a healthy vegan diet: Becoming Vegan by Davis & Melina (Canadian nutritionists)

Most motivating book as regards the health implications of the traditional Western diet versus a plant based diet: The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

And by the way, you definitely don't have to give up coffee, red wine or dark chocolate on a vegan diet!

Good luck and keep us posted on how it's going!

Viv said...

What a great plan to stick to healthier choices. I so need to get back on that bus in a hurry. I am sure it will make you much stringer. Maybe I will follow you suit with the healthier but I love me some meat.