My Journey to a Vegan Diet (& Lifestyle) Part 2

Welcome, 

In this part 2 of my story on my journey to a vegan diet and lifestyle I will be going over my actual transition. 

Previously I’ve written about my Pre-Transition Diet. The 3rd and final part of this series I will cover my ideal diet of the future so stay tuned. 

My Transition

I remember meeting a new coworker, Courtney, where I work at Mountain Equipment Co-op. I heard she ran ultra marathons which are races longer than a marathon and can be hundreds of kilometers. This was something I had never heard of, even more out of my consciousness was a vegan diet. 

I literally barely had an inclination of what a vegetarian was! In fact I have one vegetarian friend and had previously never asked why and thought it was weird. 

Note. A vegan diet is one that completely abstains from any animal products for food consumption.

A vegetarian diet is typically one that abstains from meat and poultry but still contains eggs, dairy, and fish. 

Lacto-vegetarian abstains from all animal products for diet except for diary.

Pesco-vegetarian abstains from all animal products except for fish. 

And finally, ovo-vegetarian abstains from all animal products except eggs (chicken periods). 

Even less known is a raw vegan or fruitarian diet which contains simply and only fruits and vegetables. Yes, a raw vegan/fruitarian diet is also inherently vegan. 

I of course wanted to know about theses races Courtney was running and just as naturally as people ask me, I asked what she ate which is when I learned she has been vegan for 6 years all while completing these races. 

This literally blew my mind. I wish she took a polaroid of my face when she said she doesn’t eat any animal products haha

At this same time I was training to complete my first triathlon, just to say I did one. But, I remember about a month leading up to the race my performance during training was getting progressively worse. My energy was plummeting, especially after swimming.  I was determined to complete this race though but I secretly hid the fact that I was feeling borderline lethargic at times. 

I remember on mornings that I had to remember to eat toast and jam instead of peanut butter because if I didn’t have that sugar from jam I was gonna be falling asleep at work. Literally, at lunch time sometimes I’d finish eating my turkey patties, feel full, but ABSOLUTELY no energy and especially had no idea how I was going to go on the work to floor help members. 

If this is what the Atkins, The Zone, or Paleo diet feel like then I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy! 

The problem was that I was restricting carbs and now I feast on carbohydrate rich plant foods and have ran/hiked for 10hrs over Revelstoke Mt. in B.C. Canada for 55km and will cycle 5500km across Canada under 30 days this summer on fruits. 

Moving on, I finished the triathlon knowing that something was wrong with my diet and it needed to change, but how? 1947843_10153923379517646_5528479915708150612_n

After telling Courtney this she challenged em to go two weeks without dairy. I used to drink 3-6 medium/large glasses a day. I didn’t tell her at first but I decided to take it on. I began researching it and could tell that there was something to this diet and lifestyle. Testimonials from youtubers such as Durianrider & Freelee the Banana Girl got me interested, science from nutritionfacts.com got me intellectually reasonable, and animal welfare from the film Earthings got me compassionate.12079471_10154197878302646_3188347098311797273_n

I recognized health benefits and decided that it was worth making the rest of the switch overnight. Which mark the day of a vegan diet July 20th, 2014.

Upon consulting Courtney on what to eat I began eating comfort foods to fill me up. Reading that most people fail on a vegan diet because they don’t eat enough calories I began eating more toast with jam, rice crisps with peanut butter, wedge fries, and more rice with tomatoes sauce or white pasta. Whatever I could get my hands on I would eat but I still didn’t like avocados. These habits lasted for about a month. Why-should-you-eat-a-Full-Ripe-Banana-with-Dark-patches

I continued and began to learn more food options to which I began buying bulk bananas and making banana smoothies. This was a milestone. The rich hydrating carbohydrate has had a big effect on my energy and awareness in a way that  has allowed to me grow in other positive ways. To this day I feel so much better starting the day with a fruit smoothie. 

I was fortunate to do science based research from the start and knew that even though some of the foods I was eating had more fat a predominately carbohydrate rich diet was healthier. I was feeling better too. images20160120_164050.jpg

Today img_20160209_183921.jpg

After being vegan for almost 2 years at this point my diet is predominately fruits, but I also eat a variety of other plant foods such as grains, vegetables, legumes, starches, and juices, milks, and sometimes more processed bread spreads, snacks, and junk foods.  I find these do change in proportion to each other from day to day and a bit season to season. 

Conclusion 

Well thank you for reading my story. 

This was a long one but probably the most revealing. I look forward to telling you what my ideal diet of the future would be. 

Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. 

Thank You,

Carson McQuarrie

 

 

 

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