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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3 Inspiring Female Vegan Pro Athletes

It isn’t very known that just like regular people living normal lives athletes can be vegan too. I’m not only talking about the person that runs the community 5k or 10k but also serious record breaking professional athletes. 

I’m going to show you some incredible stories of people that have transformed their lives to get what they want out of life. 

They’re 3 female athletes that stick out to me: 

1. Jannette Murray-Wakelin, Record Endurance Runner & Raw Vegan

Jannette is an amazing and accomplished woman. As a brief history before her running accomplishments she was diagnosed with an aggressive breast cancer at the age of 52. She was given 6 months to live. 

Fortunately, she’s a believer in the power of intention and says, 

“However, the power of intention is far greater than that of fear, and I had every intention of staying around for a long time!”

She has been vegetarian for 25 years and vegan for the previous 15. Unfortunately, Jannette had experienced two toxic experiences in her life increasing her chances of cancer. One being a scaffolding accident where she got toxic anti-fouling paint on and in her, and two, she somehow got some exposure from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. She’s convinced this had a role in her cancer.book-runningOutOfTime-510x597

She responded to her cancer by working with a Naturopathic Doctor. Among other holistic therapies, she began a raw vegan diet. Within 6 months of her cancer diagnosis she was given a clean bill of health without any cancer cells in her body, among other obscure health benefits she describes. 

She has always been a runner but now completes extraordinary accomplishments as a raw vegan runner with her husband Allan. 

They are most known for their incredible feat of running 366 consecutive marathons (15,782km) around Australia for the whole year of 2013. It’s a published book called Running Out of Time. You can find it here: http://rawveganpath.com/product/running-out-of-time/ 

2. Samantha Shorkey, Bikini Pro Competitor & Outspoken Vegan 

A local living in Vancouver British Columbia, Samantha Shorkey is a vegan bikini competitor and an outspoken vegan.

Samantha_MG_1271cropped-258x300She’s been in writing and marketing for years which came to really benefit her career as she was competing and coaching (vegan only) clients.  Shecropped-fave-wnbf-pro-e1422069957301 used this skill to shine an even brighter spotlight on a couple of her big wins that have put her on the map as a notable bikini competitor.

The first to mention is her win in 2013 at an untested show where she placed first in the bikini tall division against other woman with omnivorous eating habits.

This was not a fluke. Afterwards, she won first overall in Texas at the 2014 INBF South Western Natural Championships. 

This made her the first ever vegan WNBF Bikini Pro! BOOM! 

3. Heather Mills, Vegan Entrepreneur & Gold Medal Skier

Heather has always been an entrepreneur to solve global issues such as raising funds to clear 20 million square meters of landmines and getting 400,000 amputees fitted with prosthesis. She has donated $1 million worth of plant based foods to underprivileged children in Bronx, New York. 

Her Olympic accolades came after she was involved in a car accident which left her to have some of her leg removed in 93. She healed her wound after attending Hippocrates Health Institute where they gave her a raw vegan diet to heal. Heather Mills_mini

During her healing process she was inspired to send 22,000 limbs to Croatian amputees. 

She says she appreciated the vegan diet during her healing process and has campaigned for a vegan diet on several occasions including playing an important role in banning the import of cat and dog fur from China to the EU. She also walks the walks when shes travelling, always taking responsibility for eating a plant based diet. 

In 2012 she took 4 golds while competing in the Adaptive Alpine Skiing National Championships World Cup. And, in 2015 she quickly continued to make statement by taking  five world records in snow sports. 

Heather was the first woman to ski 167km/hr with a prosthetic leg, matching the previous world record. 

Heather now runs a world wide fake animal product food company and is the owner of a growing number of UK vegan restaurants called V-Bites. 

“My plan is to improve the world with Veganism and that includes showing that healthy Vegans can be the best in sport. I plan to win a gold medal for downhill skiing in Alpine sports in Korea 2018 at the age of 50.”

Conclusion

I hope you’re inspired at least a little bit.

Great! My job is done for today! 

I will be showing more female and male pro vegan athletes in the future. All of which will be added to a new page on my blog to highlight them. 

To find more information about the athletes click the links below: 

http://rawveganpath.com/about-us/janettes-story/ http://www.heathermills.org/ http://www.jackedonthebeanstalk.com/veganbikinicompetitor/

My Overnight Cycle Tour to Chuckanut Washington

Hey Everyone, 

Some of you may have seen some photos of my first overnight cycle tour to Larabee Park a few weeks ago from my social media posts. I wanted to give you a more formal story of what that small adventure was like, an adventure used as training for the real deal of cycling across Canada on a  fruit based diet.

This will be fun! It’ll have photos, provide do’s and don’ts, and some extra tips on what else to do in the area.

My Gear Set-Up

The Route

So the week of this trip was a recovery week of training meaning I didn’t want to pick a place too far for my first overnight cycle tour. After contemplating a couple of options I decided to take a co-workers suggestion of Larrabee Park.

I started from where I work, M.E.C. Langley and the finish was Larrabee Park Campground. Google Maps said it was 68km but it turned out to be about 76km.

I won’t focus too much on directions from the Canadian side of the border.
To keep things familiar I’ll use some photos of directions from Google Maps. This is a photo of the Google Maps route.

Tip: I do recommend using Google Maps the find the route that matches the one I used. I would also zoom in and take screen shots that you can later refer to when you’re in the US so you don’t have to use your phones data. You may need to download an app to take screen shots.

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Tip: Instead of taking your first left on the map to head towards Hannegan Road I recommend continuing about 10 – 15 minutes farther down the 539 and taking a left on Front Street because down Front Street there’s an open public washroom, great for cycles passing through. Yes, those are bike locks if your buddies aren’t willing to take turns 😉

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Tip: Now, if you like fueling with fruit like me and you got all your stash confiscated from the border officials then you can pick some more up at the grocery store on your left hand side, about 5 min past Front street on the 539. You’ll just have to turn back and take a right on Front street.

The rest of the route is nice and like almost all the time I’m quite happy with the route Google Maps chooses.

The 539 is the fastest option but the taking Hannegan road is quite a bit nicer and not really out-of-the-way. It was still fairly busy when I went but it at least took me through some countryside.

When you get closer to crossing the I5 (the big orange line/road on the map) you’re right down on busy roads. Just follow the directions to Fairhaven (the small town before Larabbe Park.

When you get to Fairhaven you’ll get to State street which turns into 11th street. 11th street takes right through the town. This isn’t bad because you can see any restaurants you may want to visit that evening. 2016_3_8_7_58_40_905_pm.png11th street will turn into 12th street which will take you out of the town. Once you get out of Fairhaven you’ll take a left onto Chuckanut road which will take you all the way to the Campground. This road is a bit narrow and can be busy but there are laws against big trucks. Plus, I think you’ll enjoy the ocean side views.

Tip: If you need one more place to take a break from cycling then there’s Fairhaven Park just after you turn onto Chuckanut Drive. It’s quite nice and offers a good place to sit at pick nick tables.

After cycling along the rolling ocean side you’ll see the park campground on your right hand side. It should take 10 – 15 min from Fairhaven Park to arrive at. It’s got a big gate and you can’t miss it.

The Campground

You’ve Arrived!!

I found the campground at this time of the year to be quite nice. There were other campers there, mostly in RVs.

The campsite was a good size with a fire pit and pick nick tables. There’s enough space for a truck to drive in and park encase someone wants to meet you there instead of cycling with you.

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Fairhaven Town & Amenities

Dinner

Well as you will see from cycling through the town on 11th street there’s a lot of small shops and restaurants. On this adventure I had a family member meet me down there and later we went out for dinner. We stopped in at one place and asked if there were any vegan friendly places to eat at for dinner. There wasn’t much but one option cam up.

We had dinner at the Paper Sister, A Mexican-style restaurant. I thought the menu was a bit limited for being a Mexican-style restaurant because there weren’t as many simple bean and rice dishes. The service was ok, a couple of times I thought the waitress could be more pleasant.

We got one free bowl of chips and salsa.

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I had an Enchilada. It was pretty good! But I wouldn’t absolutely rave about it.

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We were happy with overall food but thought the service would’ve been better. It was still a good time out after a long 🙂

Breakfast

The second place we went was Town Cafe for breakfast. The staff was friendlier here but you could tell the waitress was a bit stressed when we were asking for vegan pancakes. Plane and simply, the cooks weren’t willing to accommodate a request for vegan pancakes even though they are so simple. I ended up getting a vegan burger which was really good!

(sorry no photo)

Interestingly, two of the waitresses had been vegan for a while, but weren’t anymore. One had a child and craved ice cream, the irony.

The Parks

After going to Town Cafe on Harris Ave you’ll be able to get the idea that there are spots to go for a walk all along the  town side. If you continue down Harris Ave there’s the Marine Park. This is a small spot with a green belt, washroom, pick nick tables, and a great view to relax by.

The End

I would like to thank you for reading.

I hope you enjoyed this read and motivated you to think about doing this trip yourself. I quite enjoyed it and will certainly do it again at some point.

Please share and subscribe.

Thank You!