As soon as I started getting serious about running, I came across many different books, movies, and blogs that promoted better running via a plant-based diet. I read, watched, considered, even added one meatless day to my meal plan every week as I was convinced that giving up meat and dairy would be completely impossible! Plus, “I don’t want to.” was reason enough for me to keep up my guilt-free bacon-cheeseburger eating tendencies… until 2 weeks ago.
I watched the documentary Vegucated in absolute interest, shock and horror. Then I watched Forks over Knives and was more than compelled to start living a vegan way of life. I’ve always known that veganism is healthier, better for the planet, and more humane yet these 2 films put my blissful ignorance to shame- if I truly consider myself a foodie and an athlete, how can I possibly continue to damage my body as well as the environment by taking my meat and dairy intake for granted? The more I read on the topic, the more I was convinced to finally change my eating habits.
And so far so good- just over 2 weeks into this new lifestyle and while it’s been a lot easier than I thought, it’s also been harder in ways I didn’t anticipate. Continue reading →
When it comes to eating meat, I live by the “it’s an instinct, not a choice!” school of thought. I love meat, poultry, fish, dairy- as far as I’m concerned, PETA stands for People Eat Tasty Animals. I seriously drool at the thought of a good steak or tasty hamburger- I love hamburgers so much, I started another blog just to document my goal of trying every single burger here in Oakland! On long car rides, when we see cows grazing, I taught my kids to say “Hamburgers!” and to baby cows, “Sliders!” (I highly doubt my vegetarian friends appreciate that joke- sorry!)
You can’t really get away from all the press surrounding meat in the past few years and I’ve read my fair share of articles warning of the ill effect of eating too much red meat- high fat content leading to heart and cholesterol problems; cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s risks; and of course Mad Cow Disease, just to name a few. Yeah, I get it. Everything in moderation, the leaner the cut the better. I even joined a meat/poultry and fish CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) just to ensure that I’m only buying local meat and fish that has been farm-raised ethically, sustainably, and humanely.
I also read a lot of articles about runners powered by nothing other than vegan food– they claim it fuels their bodies better than any meat ever could and have basically turned super human as a result, running hundreds of miles without injury, with minimal recovery time. So in my attempt to stick with my New Year resolutions this year, I’m dabbling in a bit of flexi-vegetarian-veganism not just to lose weight but to also become a better runner (the “flexi” part promising a burger every now and then!). Continue reading →
While on a brief trip to our cabin a couple weeks ago, I finally got further into ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek‘s recent book, Eat And Run, in which he touts his vegan diet as the key to his success in winning and setting records in countless ultra-marathons- and we’re talking 50 and 100 milers here! Having grown up in the mid-west and raised on the typical meat-fish-eggs-based type of diet, Jurek explains his hesitation and then steady transition to a no-meat-no-dairy lifestyle while accomplishing amazing running feats.
Given that I of course want to improve my (albeit novice) running as well as overcome the digestive issues that seem to almost always arise for me during races, I figured I would give it a try and incorporate a few of Jurek’s recipes into my everyday diet. While I can’t really imagine going vegan 100% of the time, I can tell that my body certainly functions better eating this way- I feel lighter, I sleep better, and my digestion issues have vanished. Continue reading →
Yesterday I was super duper hungover, and I… oh, wait… that’s a HORRIBLE way to start a post that has the word “health” in the title! Geesh! Oh well…
Anyhoo, as I was saying, I was basically laying down all day yesterday and reading lots of blogs and catching up on Twitter and saw a bunch of people writing and hashtagging #elf4health. I clicked around and found bloggers Elle at Nutritionella and Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean and their Elf For Health holiday challenge so I signed right on up!
I am partnered with a buddy and every day we are presented a new health challenge- we will exchange emails and tweets about our progress and help motivate each other as well share recipes and workout tips. Today is the first day of the challenge and we are tasked to go meatless. And after the indulgences of the holiday, I am oh so ready for that! Continue reading →
It’s Day 9 of our family vacation and Hubby will join me and the kids later this week, so in the meantime, I cook for one. Already feeling the effects of too many hamburgers and not enough running, I’m trying really hard to keep up with my goal of vegetarian eating at least on Mondays as the rest of the week demands a turkey sandwich for lunch and some form of grilled slab-o-meat for dinner.
Inspired by my friend Erica’s post on breakfast grains (check out Erica & Abbie’s blog– great recipes, great reading!), I attempted my own version with quinoa and it turned out super delicious and very filling. Quinoa is nutritional perfection: a gluten-free, whole grain, complex carb, and a great source of fiber to boot- perfect for giving you the energy you need pre-run, and with the addition of the fresh fruit, also provides much needed vitamins and valuable antioxidants.
One bowl will do ya right!
Laura’s Breakfast Quinoa
Follow package directions, be sure to rinse, and prepare quinoa. Take 2/3 cup cooked
quinoa (hot or cold, whatever you prefer!) and sprinkle with 2 hefty pinches of light brown
sugar and your desired level of cinnamon. Top with about a 1/2 cup fresh, organic blueberries (or strawberries or raspberries), about a tablespoon of chopped roasted almonds (or walnuts or pecans), and enjoy! Continue reading →
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I sure did… a little too much fun that I sorely paid for at the Divas Half Marathon yesterday. (recap coming tomorrow) but, that’s okay- it’s Monday and I’m starting fresh and meat-free.
The weather is GORGEOUS in the Bay Area right now, beautiful but pretty warm by 9am leaving my motivation to cook very low. So, after my grocery shopping this morning, I stopped by my local Noah’s Bagels to pick up a quick breakfast- they have a new line of Bagel Thin Eggwhite Sandwiches (under 350 calories and 15g of fat). I opted for a asparagus, mushroom and swiss sandwich on a honey whole wheat bagel and paired it with a side a fruit- a perfect way to start the day!
Just as easy to re-create at home but today I’m lazy and not too proud to admit it!
With just a little less than 6 weeks to go until my second marathon, I am determined to get my body running like a fine tuned machine and am eating vegetarian this entire week while paying close attention that my intake of protein, iron and zinc remains adequate. (Well, I’m really shooting for just Monday through Friday as Saturday is a 16 mile run so I’m certain I’ll require a big fat bacon cheeseburger after that!)
For breakfast most mornings, I plan to keep it very simple- getting myself fed post-run while wrangling the kids out the door and to school on time is a challenge so the simpler, the better! I also find that I yearn for protein after an early morning run and found the best delivery of that to be in a delicious and filling smoothie. Easy enough to throw all ingredients in the blender (with a little help from my cute little sous chefs), hit Liquefy, pour into a glass and go!
Laura’s Easy Flax Berry Smoothies
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup frozen berries of your choice (if using fresh berries, add 1 cup ice as well)
1 over-ripe banana
1 tablespoon flax oil
Put first 4 ingredients in blender. Blend. Stir in flax oil. Put smoothie in cup and GO! Doesn’t get simpler than that! Continue reading →