Monthly Archives: December 2013

Vegetarian for The Long Haul?

For the past few weeks, I’ve really felt that the 90 days, the end of the challenge, was insignificant, that when it was over I would naturally want to continue on the same path, pushing my  personal limits where diet was concerned.

Now that it’s over though, I’m not so sure.  I feel like I need a break.  Like I went too far, too fast.

I’m vegetarian and I’m comfortable with that.  That was the original challenge anyway so nice job.

I do question how bad could it really be to eat a little meat now and then.  A couple of days ago I had an incredibly intense craving for a cheeseburger.  I’ve dreamed of roasting a chicken.  I do miss eggs.

However, it’s been nice not having meat in the house – not worrying about cross-contamination makes working in the kitchen a lot simpler.  The trash smells better.  I’m enjoying discovering new foods.  I’ve learned that I like a lot of vegetables, a lot more than I expected.  Or maybe allowed before because meat was always the priority.

So.

I’m still eating cheese, but I’m “Vegan before six”.  Just because I can and because the foods that I’m enjoying for breakfast and lunch are vegan.

Any of us can benefit from giving plants a much higher priority in our diets.  You don’t have to take it to an extreme to significantly improve your well-being.  I have a tendency to take things the the extreme sometimes though.  Sometimes you have to go there to reset.  To shake off the facade of your current reality.

Without a doubt, trying to adopt a ‘vegan slow-carb’ diet was one step beyond.  I can see that it could be incredibly effective, but it was too much too soon right now.  And followed immediately by Thanksgiving and a business trip to Texas. I’ve been on a bit of a reactionary binge ever since.  Not with meat, but sugar – my true weakness.  At least for now, I need to keep enough fruit and grain in the program to keep me from going overboard for sugar.

I also have to find the right training schedule.  I’m not sure how to keep sharp on the bike while improving at running and still managing to be a good husband, father and an effective manager.

I’m thinking of trying some lunch runs. I’m already running instead of riding one day on the weekend.  Running to and from work one day a week is an option.

Balance is an important concept for 2014.  Healthy, vegetarian, but not obsessed.  Boston 2016 remains the big personal goal on the horizon, so I have to stay focused enough, put in enough miles to make that happen.  And I still want to do it on mostly plants.

Ethically, Environmentally, Economically it just makes sense. Meat is not necessary, there are so many tasty and appealing vegetarian options and the health benefits are worth the effort.

One of the ideas behind doing a 90 day challenge was that 90 days can make a habit.  I do have to say that buying meat at the supermarket seems like an absurd idea right now.  Why would I do such a thing?

 

Day Ninety One…

Saturday, December 7, 2013

So I lost a week in Houston.  A road trip for work and so much end of the year work to be done that I did not get the last few days of posts done.   A shame in a way, just for continuities sake and also because of the challenges presented to maintaining a vegetarian diet with traveling on business to Houston, Texas.

I did it though and it’s never really as hard as you might think. Vegan on the road, at commercial establishments would be a little more diffi..cult, but vegetarian is just not that hard. The trickiest meal I had was lunch at Papas BBQ.  I had a massive baked potato and some barbequed beans.  delicious, actually.

I had an unbelievable vegetable stuffed pablano chili at Don Ramon’s Fine Mexican Restaurant.  The veggie wrap at the hotel was good, there were tons of vegetables at the local, well above average Chinese buffet and lots of Mexican options means lots of guacamole and beans, so it’s not that hard, but there is definitely an abundance of meat on offer in every direction.

I didn’t get a lot of exercise this week – just a few squats and some pushups in the hotel room.  Maybe that was OK, considering I’m still not completely over the recent crash and I just completed my 1st half marathon last Sunday.  I drank way too much beer in Texas and ate a considerable amount of M&Ms from the company candy jar.  Still weighed in at 138 Friday morning so the damage could have been way worse.

It was freaking cold and raining when I got up today so I took the morning off, but I did get in a 6 mile run this afternoon.  Averaged an 8:49 pace and still have a little pain in the butt.  Everything else is feeling OK.  I’m a little surprised by how much I’m enjoying the running so far, but I’m digging it and it’s a lot easier for most people to relate to.  I’m anxious to do more.  It’s also cool that it’s more transportable because it looks like I will have a few more trips to Houston coming up between now and the LA Marathon.

By the way, here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • The Real Deal Oatmeal
  • Lunch:
    • Curried Lentils, Sauteed Kale and Spinach

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Day Eight Five

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ran the half marathon today at Woodley Park in 2:06:05.  Not so bad for my very first foot race ever after only a few weeks of training and the fact that I am still nursing a tweaked knee and a sprained butt from the bike crash.

I was still a little nervous last night about how things would work out, but once I got to the park this morning and did a couple of warm up runs in the parking lot, I knew I had it.  The knee didn’t really bother me too much today, maybe that’s starting to heal finally and the butt sprain was only a problem on the few little downhills on the course.

The course was 2 circuits of a 6.55 mile loop.  A barefoot runner passed me early the first time around and I kept him in sight almost to the turnaround then he got a little too far ahead.  My wife said he finished maybe two minutes before me.

I’m feeling really good about coming so close to my 2 hour goal while running injured.  I’d like to find another convenient half to run before the Marathon in March.

I was moving around pretty well most of the day today, too, but I expect to be a little stiff in the morning.

Here’s what I ate today:

  • Breakfast
    • Real Deal Oatmeal
    • Banana
  • Post Run:
    • Green Smoothie, banana, small granola bar
  • Lunch:
    • Beans & Greens, Potato Pancakes
    • More birthday cake
  • Dinner:
    • 2x Anchor Steam Beer
    • Feta Cheese with crackers
    • Portabello Mushroom Burger
    • Sweet Potato Fries
    • Glass of Cabernet

I really relaxed for the holiday weekend…it shows on the scale and in the mirror.  The week coming up with also be challenging.