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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My Journey to a Vegan Diet (& Lifestyle) Part 1

Hi There,

I’m glad to share this story with you. As part of a series of 3 posts I want to share bits of my story in posts on my Pre-Transition, My Transition, and My Ideal Diet of the Future.

This first edition will be focusing on my Pre-Transition Diet.

Pre-Transition Diet

My diet the year prior is something that I don’t often think about but I can sure be reminded by my coworkers what I used to eat. I’m sure they’d say I’ve gone from one extreme to the other.

I remember just a couple months prior I was training to race my first triathlon. As most people think, I will admit that I thought my diet of mostly turkey burger patties was healthy. They were a good price so they must have been right?

Yes, that’s right! I would get turkey patties by the 12 pack from Coopers Foods.

I can’t even believe it!

I would eat toast with jam and peanut butter in the morning, turkey patties in the afternoon for lunch and for dinner was sometimes more turkey or whatever my mom made. At the time dinner could be ribs, soup, chicken, or again turkey burgers.

All meals were very animal based, unfortunately.  And I just didn’t know better or much at all about nutrition.

I did end up finishing that triathlon, thankfully. But I knew my diet needed changing because I was feeling tired all the time, fatigued, and borderline lethargic at times. I remember  thinking that I needed jam as opposed to jam or peanut better because if I didn’t have that little bit of sugar I was going to have trouble functioning at work.

I just didn’t have that mental alertness and overall life passion I have right now!

Reflection

So I hope that was interesting. I’ll give a more detailed chronology of what my transition was like and what my diet is like now in those future posts, so keep your eyes out.

I wanted to share this with you in hopes that I may not forget where I came from and to confidently say that if I can make the change you can to!

Thanks for reading! Please share and subscribe!

Carson McQuarrie

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3 Inspiring Male Vegan Pro Athletes

Well the last related post was so popular! And I’m hoping this is even more like by You. If you haven’t read the previous popular post 3 Inspiring Female Pro Vegan Athletes then you can click hear:

 

The athletes in this post get me even more excited and inspired because they’re truly talented plus I’ve read one of their books.

Let get to these great short stories!

1.Carl Lewis, Multi Olympic Gold Medal Running Phenomenon & Vegan tumblr_me45uaIwyW1qm9rypo1_1280

Well I’ve been reading about him and listening to interviews. I am actually listening to a really interesting interview between Dr. John McDougal and Lewis right now. Here’s the link: 

http://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/podcast/carl-lewis/

I’ll first list his accolades. They’re truly incredible:

  • Career includes 9 Olympic Gold Medals in 100m, 200m, long jumps, and 4 x 100.
  • He was voted World Athlete of the Year in 1980
  • Olympic Athlete of the Century
  • 65 consecutive wins over a 10 year span which has stood as the record since 1984.
  • Named “Sportsman of the Century” by the International Olympic Committee
  • Named “Olympian of the Century” by Sports Illustrated

Did Carl Lewis Really Struggle with Weight? carl-lewis-7

What I’ve learned that’s interesting about Carl is he too was concerned about keeping his weight down. I know the he was trying to keep his weight down for sport but it still exemplifies that if he can’t keep weight down with all the running how does anyone else stand a chance.  He tells that when he was in his teens and 20s his weight was under control but as he turned 30 he needed extra help to keep his weight in check and says the McDougal Diet of starches, fruits, and vegetables made it possible.

What exactly did Carl eat during in season training?

Well after listening to him personally talk with Dr. John McDougal talking about this I know that his diet revolved around starches, fruits, and vegetables, with added juices when he wasn’t getting enough calories.

Does Carl Eat Vegan all Year and after His Career?

Yes! He says that he feels great and likes the way he looks from eating this diet and because of that, he’ll continue to eat this way.

Here’s a final quote from Carl Lewis:

I’ve found that a person does not need protein from meat to be a successful athlete. In fact, my best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover, by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look. (I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look.) I enjoy eating more, and I feel great.

2. Scott Jurek, Vegan Ultra Running Phenomenon Scott-Jurek-ultram_2702740k

Scott is another incredible athlete and one I’ve had the joy of meeting. I met him a couple summers ago in August at a trail race at Whistler B.C. I came ready with my book to get signed!

I’ve read about his running history and accolades but like most pro athletes I can only try to grasp what level of fitness their at. Here’s some of his running resume to give perspective:

  1. Western Sates 100 Mile race winner 7 times, 1999 – 2005
  2. Course record breaker at the 135 mile Death Valley race, Badwater, only 2 weeks after completing his seventh consecutive Western States race
  3. Won Millwok 100 km 3 times
  4. Set 10 ultra marathon course records
  5. First American winner of the 246 km Spartathon race, 2 time winner
  6. Set the American 24 hour record by running 165.7 miles
  7. 2007 course record at the Hardrock (one) Hundred (miler)
  8. Appalachian Trail record holder. A 2189 mile run.

When did Scott go Vegan?

Scott went vegetarian in 1997 and adopted a vegan diet consisting of whole plant foods. It’s wasn’t until after he went vegan that he accomplished these amazing feats!

Here’s a finishing quote from Chris McDougal, author of Born to Run (Great book):

The top ultrarunner in the country, maybe in the world, arguably of all time

3. Patrik Baboumbian, Vegan Strongman Vegan-strongman-David-Cooper-Toronto-Star

I found out about this guy about  months ago. He is a different breed of athlete as he competes in Strongman competitions though he started out body building.

He is more well know for his records in completing the Yoke Walk. He recently broke his record in 2015 at the Toronto Veg Fest, since being vegan for 2 years. The video is here:

http://www.greatveganathletes.com/content/world-record-yoke-walk-veg-fest-vegan-patrik

Encase you can’t hear him he says,

This is a message to all those out there who think that you need animal products to be fit and strong. Almost two years after becoming vegan I am stronger than ever before and I am still improving day by day. Don’t listen to those self proclaimed nutrition gurus and the supplement industry trying to tell you that you need meat, eggs and dairy to get enough protein.  There are plenty of plant-based protein sources and your body is going to thank you for stopping feeding it with dead-food.  Go vegan and feel the power!

Some of his other lifting records include:

  1. Bench Press: 210 kg
  2. Squat: 360 kg
  3. Deadlift: 360kg

Why did Patrik Go Vegan?

I just found myself thinking that if I would have to kill the animals I ate with my own hands I couldn’t because I was to compassionate. I felt that I was fooling myself eating meat considering my inability to kill an animal so I just thought I’d better be honest to myself and stop eating meat.

What Does Patrik Eat when Training?

Patrik eats a fruit and vegetable smoothie with some added plant protein powder.

Conclusion

I’m sad to say we’re going to end this post here.

I know I left out some more incredible vegan athletes such as Brandan Brazier, Rich Roll, Barney Du Plessis, and more. I’ll be sure to write bios of them in the next Inspiring Male Vegan Pro Athletes post in the near future.

Until then, I appreciate you reading this and hope you’re educated and inspired.

In the words of Patrik Baboumian,

Go vegan and feel the power!

Carson McQuarrie