Thursday, May 3, 2012

*raw* vegan challenge - lets get started!

*Raw* Vegan Challenge – Starting Up
Veggie / Vegan Background
Growing up, I pretty much ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  Like most children, I loved frosted flakes, pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets.  I always had an affinity for animals as well, I gave up fish in high school because I wanted to be a marine biologist, just didn’t seem right eating sea creatures, ha.  When I got to college, I decided I wanted to try being a vegetarian so I could support animal rights, during this time I wasn’t really all that into veggies so I’d eat a lot of carbs, pasta, bread, etc.  so it wasn’t exactly the healthiest diet around.  I tried that twice and both times, I’d only last about 3-4 months and whenever I’d go home it’d be hard on my parents because they didn’t know what I wanted or could eat. 
I became a typical college student, staying up late, drinking, eating pizza at 2 am and during my first few years regular exercise was a foreign concept despite the fact I grew up playing soccer and ran all throughout high school.  I gained 20 pounds and definitely had a little extra pudge where I shouldn’t.  When I decided to run the 2005 Chicago Marathon, I kicked off my training in January of that year and I knew that I needed to drop some weight so I cut out fried, greasy foods, pizza, snacking after a certain time and got rid of cheese.  I dropped the weight I had gained and started to get hooked on marathon training. 
I was studying animal science at U of I and having to see how the animals (pigs, cows, chickens, sheep) were treated in a farm production setting, gave me creeps and broke my heart, it just wasn’t right.  I couldn’t eat them knowing the life they were living and the effect it was having on the environment.  I also knew there were healthier alternatives. During my senior year (spring 2006), I decided to give up meat for Lent and told my parents that this was their warning and I wasn’t going back on it.
I started exploring the world of veggies a bit more, they’re actually pretty good and eating other things.  I was still addicted to carbs though!  January 2007, I decided to become a vegan.  I read “The Foot Revolution: How Diet Can Save Your Life and Our World” written by John Robbins (the son of the guy who founded Baskin-Robbins, kinda ironic that he ended up vegan), anyways it was about animal productions effect on our health and the environment.  I won’t get into all the details or facts but it made me wanna give up dairy and eggs so I took the challenge of being a vegan.  Its actually not all that difficult, you have to read a lot of labels and sometimes people think you’re strange just by saying you’re a vegan but I like it. 
Since then, I’m still as active as ever and am not eating animal products.  But I still have an addiction to carbs, bread, cereal, oatmeal, bars, etc. At night, I used to snack on nut butters and cereal.  I could take down a box of cereal in like 2 days.  I needed to fuel my running obsession.  But I didn’t like the way it made me feel, my body didn’t react well to unending handfuls of the stuff.  Overall I’m a healthy eater; I eat most fruits, veggies and don’t really eat processed foods except for the above mentioned items.  Haven’t had fried foods in who knows how long, cut out soda in 2005, don’t really eat candy (besides dark chocolate), don’t eat chips/pretzels or snacky stuff like that, no cookies/cupcakes.  I’ve been buying sprouted breads for a while now and eat whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa (a nutritional powerhouse!) and things of that nature.  But I want to change, I want to get rid of that carb dependency and feel better.  I don’t wanna be held down so I’m challenging myself to be *raw* vegan for 30 days.
My *Raw* Vegan Challenge 
My *raw* vegan challenge will consist of eating more raw fruits and veggies (i.e. fruits and veggies that aren’t cooked above 118), green smoothies, big salads, nuts, seeds, sprouted grains, vegan raw bars such as larabars, etc.  I will still be allowing myself oatmeal from time to time especially during post-run breakfasts with my running peeps; I’ll still also be eating quinoa and sprouted grains as well. 

The main thing that will need to change is my nighttime eating / snacking habits, I will no longer have cereal in the house and I’ll have to reach for a larabar or apple instead or make a smoothie.  By doing this, I will also be avoiding gluten and although I don’t really add sugar to anything, my sugar intake should drop as well. 

This diet really isn’t all that drastic from what I’ve been doing but there are a few changes so I’m excited to get started.  I'm hoping that this makes my body feel a bit better and I'm eager to see how it helps my tower running, road running and biking.  It should make me faster, leaner, smarter, decrease recovery time, increase energy, etc.
Follow me on my journey over the next 30 days, I’ll be making posts about what I’m eating, how I’m feeling and my workouts for the week.  Hopefully this turns out to be a pleasant experience :)
My journey starts today and for breakfast I’m having a green smoothie consisting of the following:
-          Couple handfuls of power greens including baby spinach, baby kale, baby chard
-          1 Red pear
-          1 carrot
-          Splash of chia coconut mango drink
-          Flaxseed
-          Honey (yes, I know this isnt vegan but its like a special treat, ha)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Kristin! I'll be curious about how it goes. I've gone fruit only for days at a time, lasting up to 5 days I think it was... but not for any decision, just to lose weight. I've considered trying 30 days of fruits and veggies, but it's rather tough here in Thailand. Not sure I trust the fruit here... pesticides must run rampant here with little oversight. That's my main issue with it. Now, if we had a house with a big yard and I could grow food... that would be a LOT better. We're looking for a place like that now. Hope we find one soon. Best of luck on this! Vern (