Thursday, 9 December 2010

A fistful of Spinach

Well, I'm as surprised as anyone but for the past few months month I have been vegan. Apart from a wee wobble last week but we won't mention that!
I had been reading the excellent "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall and was intrigued by the section on diet. Scott Jurek, one of the most accomplished ultra runners, thrives on a simple vegan diet and Dr Ruth Heidrich turned vegan after cancer and became an ultrarunner.  The book made me think about trying to eat a little more healthily.
This initially prompted me to try a smoothie as a meal replacement - not to lose weight (as the calories equaled my sandwich anyway) but to increase my intake of raw fruit and veg. To start with I had a pre-workout smoothie (spinach and pear) followed by a post workout smoothie (orange and ginger). This worked really well for my running and I started to feel a lot better generally. I also lost a little weight without feeling hungry.
Then I decided to have a smoothie for breakfast as well (bananas and nut). I felt even better. Although I lost a little more weight I was never starving or feeling run down - in fact quite the opposite. And my running felt much better as well.
At this stage 3 out of 4 meals were vegan so a few months ago I decided to go all the way and see how I felt. It has worked out very well for me - trimmed a little flab, my running is going really well, I feel generally great about everything and I am loving my food at the moment. I have also discovered how to make a wicked curry.
In terms of health it has really clicked with me. I don't feel I'm lacking and don't feel hungry. In fact I feel superb. It has been a great addition to the training I am doing.
An average day looks like this:
Breakfast - large salad with nuts, beans and corn.
mid morning snack=fruit
pre-run lunch = banana smoothie
post-run lunch = pear + spinach smoothie
mid afternoon snack=fruit
tea= large vegan meal
supper = toast and/or porridge with raisins and nuts
plus about 8 cups of tea!

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