Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Vegan Experiment?

"Vegans are crazy. They are always so skinny and pale. There is no way they get enough nutrition." Oh how I love to eat my own words. Yes, I have more or less said those things a number of times when  discussing diets. My freshman year of college I was pescetarian for about two months and strait up vegetarian for a month. The reason was in three weeks, my first three weeks of college, I gained five pounds, from about 140 to 145 (although it could have been 135 to 140, my memory is not 100% clear it is probably the former not the later), the heaviest I have ever been. It worked, cutting out most meat while not really changing my activity level (I took a six month complete break from running) did not add a pound to me. I didn't lose any weight, but losing weight was not the goal, the goal was simply not gaining any more.

Given that I read 1-2 books a month it was only a matter of time before I read Eat and Run by Scott Jurek. I am only about a quarter of the way through it, but between the book, a fair amount of Internet reading and my own experience, I'm considering giving vegan a try. I know, even in the month of July this year in Africa, I had the vegan dismissing discussion with a high school girl. "Vegans are crazy," I said.

However, I have really been thinking about it, and I'm not that far away already.

  • I eat steak about once a week, the same for fish, often salmon. 
  • I eat about 3/4-1 pound of sliced deli meat per week on sandwiches at lunch. 
  • I drink 1-2 gallons of milk per week. 
  • I probably have a total of 3-4 eggs per week when I eat second breakfast at work. 
  • I eat about 1/2 pound of cheese a week. 
  • I do consume a fair amount of junk food and I have not done the research to really understand what is out and what is in for a vegan, turns out a lot of junk food is vegan diet legal.
Critiquing those areas where I am not a vegan:
  • The other five nights a week my supper meal is actually already vegan. Some sort of pasta or grain with vegetables. This is the fuel long distance runners need to function.
  • I already have tried lettuce sandwiches and tomato sandwiches which are not that bad. I suppose I could experiment with tofu, eggplant, and mushroom too.
  • Almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, and rice milk are all available in my local Hy-Vee and I know I like the first three. It will cost a little more but is not really a sacrifice at all.
  • I do eat toast and bagels as well. I suppose I could eat more of those with peanut butter instead of cream cheese or butter. Again, this is an area where I know I already like the alternative so I don't expect much suffering.
  • Cheese will be an issue. I eat it on sandwiches, plain, on bagels, it's on pizza, and in a variety of dishes. That being said I have craved it less the last few months, hopefully a variety of grains/pasta and bread can take the place of any desires I have for cheese.
  • I suppose this will come down to reading labels and passing on the home baked goods. I will need a bigger lunch box for sure. Speaking of home baked goods, butter will be an issue, it's everywhere.
  • Another challenge will be eating out. I do not go out terribly often for a full meal maybe 1-2 times a week, that will likely be reduced even farther.
I don't know. I have not decided yet if I will actually try it. If I do it will probably be here in August so that I have time to recover in September if it goes poorly. Why would I try it? To drop just a few more pounds so that I run even faster. I know, I know, I'm already American skinny, but I'm not professional runner skinny. I like my body and weight where it is, but with big goals comes big sacrifice, and attempting being vegan is likely part of that challenge.

1 comment:

  1. Some people eat banana sandwiches. I'm not recommending vegan, but, if you decide to...
    MOM

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