TOP 3 Inspiring Female Vegan Professional Athletes

It’s that time again! 

Time for 3 more inspiring stores of incredible woman in athletics and veganism. 

Lets get to them! 

1. Steph Davis, Pro Vegan Rock Climber

Steph is an incredible rock climber, base jumper, and vegan!

She has completed some of the most difficult climbs in North America. A climb called El Capitan in Yosemite National Park is a famous climb that she championed in 2003. This is a 900 meter vertical climb. She climbed in one day, only one other woman has done so ever! 28-e1384997529819-550x537

She went back and free climbed the route called Salanthe Wall. She was the first woman to ever free climb (no harness or ropes).

Among accomplishing a number of other difficult climbs around the world she went vegan in 2002 (except for organic milk in her coffee). But, she later gave that up in 2008 to which after she testifies she was feeling…

Stronger and healthier than ever before…. overall feeling more fit than ever.

She initially went vegan for the health benefits as she calls herself…

Endlessly interested in nutrition and performance effects.

Now though she says she’s conscious of animals and tries to cause as little harm as possible.

Note. She is on the cover photo of the Vancouver Plant Powered Athletics Facebook Page I creates. Check it out! www.facebook.com/groups/vancouvervegan.athletics/

2. Christine Varderos, Cyclocross Pro & Vegan Advocate

A healthy vegan diet consisting of whole plant foods has profound benefitsA happy girl cropped head by Hesham Sweed for endurance athletes because of the low fat, high carbohydrate, nutrient dense qualities of whole plant foods and this is no exception for cyclist Christine Varderos.

Christine has been competing at the top levels of road and cyclocross racing at a national and international level since the early 2000s. She went completely vegan in 2000 and since has been making a statement for vegan athletes.

InstagramCapture_d9ea0a15-2df9-4e9e-ba03-70ed15cb0b29In 2004, as a member of the US national team, won Santa Cruz Classic Criterium. This was the first win since her broken leg plus it was her first criterium win ever. She has placed well in a number of other international races since. Recently, in 2014 she won her age group and finished third overall in the Paris to Ancaster race.

She is also quite the advocate for animals too. Alongside writing for cycling press she is a representative for In Defense of Animals.

“I am a professional athlete so I may prove by example that top sport can be successfully accomplished on a completely plant-based diet…. It is especially important to me that everyone knows eating vegan is simple and easy and requires only basic foods that can be found in any supermarket around the world. Go Vegan and No Body Gets Hurt!”

3. Catra Corbett, Ultra-Running Extraordinaire

This woman… just WOW! Catra Corbett

She has run over 250 ultra marathons! Talk about endurance! She has seriously has some big accomplishments that put to rest of whether any other endurance athlete can go vegan. 

In 2013 she place 1st overall, beating out all male and female competitors at the Razorback 100 miler. This was her 86th 100 mile race. 

She holds the womans record for the fastest time completing the John Mir Trail out-and-back. A total of  424 miles. She also has the second best womans time completing it one-way, 212 miles.

Her counted total record is 65, 914 miles as of the end of 2011, that being her biggest year with a total of 4, 154 miles.

A very important note is the hasn’t always been active, nor did she always eat extremely healthy. She actually come from a alcohol and substance abuse background. Perhaps this is why she is known to be the most colorful character in ultra running. 

She using her example to inspire others to believe they can achieve what they don’t think is possible. 

“I am not fast but love to run I love motivating others to attempt what they believe is impossible. I believe anything is possible as long as you want to do it. “

Thank You

Thank you for reading and allowing me the time to share these incredible stories with you.

If you enjoyed this read don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.

Carson McQuarrie

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Determining Coronary Heart Disease Risk with Cholesterol Levels and Ratios.

This is my second post on cholesterol. 

I’ll link my previous post about the basics of cholesterol here.

In this post I’ll cover cholesterol in more depth, including the important of ratios, total cholesterol, and more. 

The last post included the more widely recognized cholesterol numbers as they relate to risk factors for atherosclerosis, an indicator for coronary heart disease (CHD). The Editor and Chief of the American College of Cardiology said over a decade ago that he recommends an upper total cholesterol of 150 mg/dl or 60 mg/dl of LDL Cholesterol (average vegan) and that all other factors aren’t as a accurate of predictor of CHD as total cholesterol. 

What’s the importance of HDL Cholesterol as it relates to LDL Cholesterol?

Well High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol is thought to be the “good” cholesterol. This is because while HDL and Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL), “bad” have a relationship, HDL acts as a cleaner by moving through blood vessels and sticking to the LDL and carrying them out of the body.

You may have heard that in the past, but even this has hidden truth. That is, while HDL is better it is not necessarily “good” because even it acts to increase the risk factor of developing atherosclerosis. You see, there are many different sizes of the HDL and LDL Cholesterol. Larger soft LDL is thought to be better because it is more easily transported by HDL, while this may be true, with a more in-depth look at the science, soft LDL increases CHD risk by %44 compared to 63% of the small dense LDL Cholesterol. As for HDL, well even it increases CHD risk by up %54.

Me? I want zero risk personally. 

The Optimal Ratio of HDL to Total Cholesterol

One predictor used to measure CHD risk is the ratio of HDL to total cholesterol. This is thought to be a better predictor of CHD risk factor than HDL/LDL cholesterol ratio. The recommended minimum ratio of HDL total cholesterol is below 5, optimal being below 3.5 according to the American Heart Association who aren’t known for their strict guidelines.

What’s the Best Predictor of CHD? 

There are a couple other suggested tools for predicting your risk factors of CHD. Along with cholesterol as a tool, triglyceride levels are commonly used, and a test to review your C-reactive protein are all useful indicators of your bodies level of overall internal health. C-reactive protein gives you an indicator of the overall inflammation in your body and the triglycerides tells you how much free flowing fat there is in your blood stream. 

The two best tools that require short test from you doctor are you total cholesterol levels and the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol. 

Optimally, a cholesterol level below 150 mg/dl and a total to HDL cholesterol ratio of below 3.5 are our best known guarantee to make you heart attack proof. The reason both should be used together as predictors of CHD risk is because even HDL cholesterol isn’t harmless and as your total cholesterol rises it’s impossible to escape declining heard disease risk, even if your ratios are optimal. 

Cholesterol is Important

Our bodies make all the cholesterol we need. It serves important roles in the body; creating hormones is the commonly known one. When we don’t eat cholesterol we still have some in our bodies and this is the same for when we are born at birth as is for our fellow primates too. Though cholesterol is important it’s good to remember that the worlds #1 killer around is coronary heart disease and the #1 predictor of heart disease is atherosclerosis a cause of cholesterol.

Thank You 

Choose foods without any cholesterol. It so happens that plants don’t contain cholesterol and the only “food” that has cholesterol is animal products.

The top food groups are:

  1. Fruits
  2. Vegetables
  3. Starches – Potatoes, whole, and sprouted grains
  4. Legumes
  5. Nuts & Seeds
  6. No oil
  7. Lots of water

I hope this information finds you well and if it doesn’t consider talking to your doctor to get checked with a simple blood test. 

Please like, share, and subscribe! 

Thank You!

Carson McQuarrie

dr-kim-cardiologist-vegan-quote

nutritionfacts.org/video/does-cholesterol-size-matter/

nutritionfacts.org/video/cholesterol-crystals-may-tear-though-our-artery-lining/

nutritionfacts.org/video/optimal-cholesterol-level/

nutritionfacts.org/video/heart-attacks-and-cholesterol-dying-under-normal-circumstances/

nutritionfacts.org/video/heart-attacks-and-cholesterol-purely-a-question-of-diet/

http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(10)01954-5/abstract

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747394/

http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/finding-the-ideal-cholesterol-ratio?page=2

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/cholesterol-ratio#2

http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/making-sense-of-cholesterol-tests

archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=752318

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2747394/

Update: Cycling Across Canada

The time is near. I thought I’d update you all on how my training and planning is going for my trip of cycling across Canada on fruits.

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I’m planning on leaving for this adventure on Monday July 18th. I’ve planned out all my days and currently planned to be cycling for 25 days with 1 rest day but the goal is to complete the cycle tour in under 30 days so I’ve got more rest days I can take.

I can even take up to 34 days because there’s still a gap between the planned finish of my tour and the start of the festival I’ll be cycling to, the Woodstock Fruit Festival. It August 21st – 28th.

The Itinerary

Day #1: M.E.C. Langley – Hope. 137km

Day #2: Hope – Merritt. 124km

Day #3: Merritt – Kelowna. 151km

Day #4: Kelowna – Sicamous. 127km

Day #5: Sicamous – Glacier National Park. 137km.

Day #6: Glacier National Park – Lake Louise. 164km.

Day #7: First Rest Day

Day #8: Lake Louise – Calgary. 188 km

Day #9: Calgary – Medicine Hat AB. 297 km

Day #10: Medicine Hat – Swift Current SK. 226 km.

Day #11: Swift Current – Regina SK. 240 km

Day #12: Regina – Whitewood SK. 185 km

Day #13: Whitewood – Brandon MB. 191 km

Day #14: Brandon – Winnipeg MB. 215 km

Day #15: Winnipeg – Kenora ON. 211 KM

Day #16: Kenora – Dryden ON. 145 km

Day #17: Dryden – Upsala ON. 211 km

Day #18: Upsala – Terrace Bay ON. 177 km

Day #19. Terrace Bay – White River ON. 167 km

Day #20: White River – Agawa ON. 175 km

Day #21: Agawa – Bruce Mines ON. 196 km

Day #22: Bruce Mines – Nairn Center ON. 195 km

Day #23: Nairn Center – North Bay ON. 182 km

Day #24: North Bay – Pembroke ON. 224 km

Day #25: Pembroke – Cornwall ON. 287 km

Day #26: Cornwall – Camp Walden Trout Lake NY. 252 km

I’ve pre-planned 1 rest day but I can take 5 more to reach Cornwall by the 30th day and even an additional 4 days rest encase things come up. I’ll try to just take 1 rest day a week if I’m feeling pretty. I’ve planned the destinations with cycling 8 – 10 hours a day on average in mind.

The elevation varies from city to city but generally there’s more in BC and Ontario. I’ve started the trip through BC with less distance to ease into it and work out any bugs and hopefully by the end I won’t have too much of an issue completing longer days. BC has the most elevation.

My Gear

I’ve got all my gear except for a couple small things like a 1 liter water bottle cage.

The list:

  1. Ridley Carbon Fenix Road Bike. Approx. 17.5 lbs
  2. ThermaRest X-therm sleeping mattress Regular.
  3. M.E.C. Merlin -3 800 Down Sleeping Bag
  4. Outdoor Research Molecule Bivy Sack.
  5. Arcteryx Pack lite WP Pants
  6. Outdoor Research Helium WP Jacket
  7. Mavic WP Shoe Covers
  8. Porcelain Rocket Top Tube Frame Bag, Medium
  9. Porcelain Rocket Seat Bag 12-17 liters, Large
  10. Galaxy S3 Phone
  11. Headphones
  12. Solar Panel, undecided
  13. 1 liter water bottle cage, undecided
  14. Mini Pump
  15. 3 Tubes.
  16. Maxis Refuse 700/25c Tires
  17. Sunglasses
  18. White Arm Sleeves for sun coverage
  19. Custom Jersey
  20. Mavic Aksium Shorts
  21. 1 liter water bottle
  22. 750 ml water bottle
  23.  M.E.C. thin white gloves
  24. 50ml bottle for suncreen
  25. Passport
  26. Mavic cycling shoes, new pair
  27. Stages Power Meter, 105 crank arm
  28. Garmin Edge 520 Bike Computer

I think that’s everything! I won’t be taking any clothes but will try to get some extra clothes ready for me when I get to the Woodstock Fruit Festival.

My Resources

  1. A charged phone at all times.
  2. Detailed trip itinerary emailed to me and downloaded to my phone.
  3. Camp sited phone numbers on hand.
  4. Air B&B bookmarked throughout the cities for quick contact.
  5. Two days worth of dates and bananas for food stored in my top tube frame bag.
  6. Water
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Increased phone data for the month of August.

My Final Training

There’s only about 3.5 weeks left of training. In the past few weeks I’ve been doing shorter rides of under 150 km and many workouts of high intensity efforts with intervals of 10 – 30 seconds, and even some 5 minute ones. Some workouts would consist of a 30 min warm-up and then 5 – 7 intervals separated by 5 minutes rest followed by a 20 minute cool down.

The next few weeks I’ll just be riding as many long days as the weather and work permit me. This means 150 – 200 km rides. I’d like to get in some 200+ km ultra long rides.

I’ll be trying to get out for some practice overnight trips to Hope, Manning Park, & Whistler. These will provide some good practice and a good bearing on what I do and don’t need. At this point, the less I need the better and any way I can realistically reduce my weight I will.

My Diet

The initial plan was to eat strictly fruits during the whole trip, and this is still the goal but I’ve found that if I don’t eat the right proportion and variety of fruits Dates give me a headache, but remember at times I’m not eating an amount that’s natural nor am I training an amount that’s natural. So when I eat 1-2 bags of Dates a day without much else other foods I get a headache, I’ve tested and it’s all part of the learning and personal experience.

What I’m getting at is the goal is to eat a balance of Bananas, Dates, juice, some avocados, but if I find myself where it’s very difficult to get a balance then I’ll probably eat a cooked high carbohydrate low fat, moderate sodium, low protein meal in the evening at a restaurant.

I of course will absolutely be cycling this route on a vegan diet. Some things may come up that will be out of my control but I will only eat foods that come from plant sources and don’t have a face or a mother.

How To Follow

I will be posting written and photo updates to Facebook and more photos on Instagram. I’ll try to make video uploads to YouTube depending on WiFi accessibility.

That’s Everything, I think.

I think that’s everything and if you have any questions make sure to write them below.

Thanks for reading.

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Carson McQuarrie