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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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