Side note below, you don't have to be an endurance athlete to benefit from this lifestyle.
How does an endurance athlete maintain energy and protein on a vegan diet? It is being done over and over, here is a short clip on Rich Roll - Ultraman-
Nick to the Plus has been vegan for about a month now and here is the report. I was in the contemplation stage of change for about a year or so. I knew going into 40 I wanted to be as fit as I have ever been. I knew going vegetarian or vegan was one of my best options to being more healthy. Over the year I made small sustainable changes and stuck to them. Through this process I have learned so much and want to share with everyone!
1. It is unhealthy
2. You won't have any energy
3. You won't get any protien
4. You will get too skinny... on and on and on
5. Eating healthy is expensive
What I have felt-
1. I am the fittest I have ever been, at 40. I even went to get blood work and had no issues, no medication, a clean slate. I have learned that there is a big difference between being healthy, fit and in shape (a future blog). I do not have the speed I did when I was younger (yet). But I am healthier and working to be more overall fit.
"I am an athlete, I can eat whatever I want", "I deserve that burger and beer after the race"
In the past I would eat whatever I wanted. Thinking back, I would feel sluggish, sore after hard workouts, it would take me a while to recover after long runs, I would have achy joints... If you read back to some of my other blogs, you will know I have been struggling with muscle imbalance and nerve issues for over 20 years (because of car accidents). Since I have been making the changes in my life to eat plant based and focus more on strength/mobility VS. volume and punishing my body, I am relatively PAIN FREE! (I say relatively, because I still know my issues are there and I have to stay on top of them, but they are much less there)
2. My energy is through the roof! A normal day for me is waking up at 5am automatically and I go full blast until about 11pm. If you want to know what full blast is, follow me around for a day... At the drop of a hat I can go do a three or four hour workout anytime, without issue of energy and minimal recovery time... I don't get full, bloated, sluggish from eating. I don't bottom out or get hypoglycemic like I use to. My energy stays pretty consistent.
One more point on energy; This past weekend I won my Alma Mater Run, White and Blue 5k for the Spirit Teams. I won overall with a 6:14 mile pace. The second place was a USAT Triathlete half my age and I beat him by over a minute. This felt really good :-)))
3. The protein myth, "you have to get protein from meat or you won't get enough or the right kind"
This myth was dispelled for me when I was listening to a podcast with Rip Esselstyn. He said it best, "How do you think animals get their protein?" All protein and nutrition starts with plants.
Most people focus on Macro-Nutrition- Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fats. Do you know the side effects of when you don't have enough Macro-Nutrition? HUNGER! This is pretty easily remedied in most cases in America, right? In america we don't have a food problem, we have a nutrition problem. The SAD Diet- Standard American Diet...
Micro-Nutrition- Do you get your phytonutrients? There are 10s of thousands of phytonutrients. These are natural chemicals in all fruits and vegetables. The more we get of these the better our body functions.
Article- Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits
Do you know what the side effect of when you don't have enough Micro-Nutrition? Illness, Disease, Inflammation, Behavioral, Mental and Social Challenges...
Even though I am vegan, I know I don't get all the colors of the rainbow everyday by eating fruits and vegetables. It is extremely hard to get a wide range of more than 5-7 fruits and vegetables everyday without getting too expensive. This is why I still invest in the insurance policy to protect my health with Juice Plus. I will never stop taking this power plant.
To test how much protein I am getting in my system I am also starting a playground calisthenic strength program to experiment how much muscle I can put on while being vegan. Picture progression in future blogs.
4. So far I have lost about 4lbs over a month. Even though I am Vegan, I still sneak in some sugar and breads (carbs) more than I should. I am trying to limit those as well. It is simple, I am trying to eat whole food plant based, minimal possessed, minimal sugars and empty carbs, no dairy, no alcohol, minimal caffeine (one coffee a day if that), a gallon of filtered alkaline water a day, 6-8 hours of sleep and quality exercise. If I evaporate from that, I'll let you know.
5. The topic of eating healthy and being expensive is a little complex. The short answer is yes, it may cost a bit more to eat a whole food plant based meal compared to McDonald's. But the big question is what is eating fast food and processed food costing you in the long run?
Article- Time- Why Paying for Nutrition Saves Money on Health Care
The short answer is if you plan out your meals and budget you can eat healthy fairly inexpensively. If you would like a guide to do this here is a link to the 7-Day Rescue
Email me if you would like a free recipe book for cooking healthy.
I mentioned earlier that buying a wide variety of fruits and vegetables to get more phytonutrients can get expensive. Every day with Juice Plus, I get the nutrients of over 30 F&V for $3.50 / day. Ask me how.
Other things I have noticed in my health after lifestyle changes over the past 3 years-
1. I don't get sunburned as easy. I used to get rosacea after swimming a bunch, it is gone.
2. This might be TMI, but I used to have hemorrhoids, they are gone.
3. No more fever blisters.
3. I have only been sick one or two days in the past 5 years.
4. Regularity, no stomach issues
5. Better mental focus, better memory, no fogginess.
6. I am happier, don't have mood swings, having a stronger faith and less stress that everything will work out. This may sound simple but huge differences in my life.
Other Related Articles- 3 Vegan Athletes Blowing the Protein Myth Right Out the Water
Engine2Diet- TIME TO MEET JEFF MAYER
If you want to know more about going vegan or need help making healthy lifestyle changes, let Nick to the Plus help you! Text, call or Email 210.843.4130 firstname.lastname@example.org