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    Old 09-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #1
    Charliegumkeb
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    Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Hi!
    I am a three sport athlete and I just recently decided to research going vegan/vegetarian. Is it going to be hard? Is it healthy for someone at my athletic activity level to do it? I am really serious and I was wondering if anyone who is vegan/vegetarian to give me some tips to make the transition as well. Did you have any complications? What was the hardest part? Is it worth it? If anyone could help me that would be fantastic!
    Thanks!

    Last edited by Charliegumkeb; 09-20-2013 at 10:38 PM.

     
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    Old 09-21-2013, 05:31 AM   #2
    SoundsFamiliar
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    Cool Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    I'm a vegan (well, except for a daily 1/2 portion of fish fillet for heart health reasons, but I could readily drop that with no other potential ill effect over years as I get plenty of protein).

    I took it slow in changing over and had no difficulties at all. The only shortcoming is that you'll likely want or need to take B12 supplements (unless you're willing to eat yeast for that). I can't imagine such a change in diet having a negative impact on a marathoner.

    What foods would you use to substitute for dropping all the non-vegan types of foods you're presently used to? [Just wondering how much you've read up on it.]

    sf

     
    Old 09-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
    Charliegumkeb
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Hi!
    Thank you for the response!

    Foods to replace meats: I was definitely going to get fake meats to have around, but also I will eat more beans, more nuts, I'm not really sure about tofu, eggplant, this is all I can remember at the moment, but I have a grocery list somewhere for when I decide to just do it. What else would you recommend?

     
    Old 09-21-2013, 11:54 AM   #4
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    Cool Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    animal product replacement:

    Well, my approach was very simple (& cheap), with minimal consideration for appearances and gourmet tastes. Basically, I dropped all animal products and consume a lot of 'legumes' in the form of split, dry peas (soaked, rinsed, simmered for 1.5 - 2.0 hours), several portions done at a time (as that's pretty tedious going). They're only $0.29/100 grams (about $1.32/lb).

    Quote:
    beans, more nuts, I'm not really sure about tofu, eggplant,
    Beans are fine (bulk, split peas are simply cheaper is all). No clue about tofu and eggplant. Nuts are incredily rich, you'd not want more than a thumb's worth/day. (I think Westerners use of soy's been overblown, to be properly digestible it ought to be fermented imo.)

    Other staples: brown rice (I buy it in 20 lb sacks, ferment and cook the result [simmer for 45 min.], fermenting is highly recommended btw), regular rolled oats, simmer for 25 min. (again in 20 lb sacks). Both of those I precook enough to last several days (cooking's a pokey process, the less of that tedium the better imo).

    If you're becoming health conscious you might consider 'green tea' as a beverage (I drink 6 cups a day).

    sf

    ps. Now, once you drop animal products you'll be looking around for other fat/oil sources. My staple's extra virgin Olive Oil. Spices are pretty much just salt and pepper.

     
    Old 09-21-2013, 10:32 PM   #5
    Charliegumkeb
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Awesome thank you for your help!

     
    Old 09-22-2013, 06:07 AM   #6
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    Cool Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    If you're going the fermented (for 24-36 hours, not more than 48 hours) brown rice route, it takes about three batches before you're sailing along really well. Fermenting works best with distilled water, but tap water's fine (even better, if you let it sit overnight in an uncovered container so most of the chlorine can evaporate)

    What you do just before cooking is decant (pour off) some (~6 oz.) and save that in the fridge to add next time to get the fermentation process started better the next time. The fermenting breaks down the phytates in the brown rice's coatings (those inhibit calcium absorption and you don't want that, you want as much calcium and other nutrients as practical). You cook the whole lot. btw, I'm into distilled water (for drinking, cooking), but that's an extremely fussy step that's not worth the bother for most imo.

    If you're really keen, you might explore 'spouting' the brown rice before the fermenting step, but I've only had indifferent success with that approach. I'm getting on a bit and used to have a shoulder problem and try to walk rather then ride whenever possible, so for me, since 20 lb sacks are too big for my backpack, I use a 'carry strap' (2" nylon web with a buckle, made to order for ~$10) so I can have most of the weight of heavy, awkward stuff on my shoulder that the bag rests on.

    sf

    ps. My problem at times is I forget to save some of the 'liquor' just before cooking and have to start over again.

    The cooking odour and taste are fairly 'rich'/ripe from fermented rice. For the green tea I cook up a strong batch in the morning so it'll fit into a thermos and last the whole day (well, I've an appreciable anxiety problem, so no caffeine after 4pm for me, else it may affect my sleep). (by now you ought to rightly figure I'm more than a bit lazy and try not to make more 'work' for myself)

     
    Old 09-27-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    I have been vegan since January and it has not been difficult. The hardest part is eating out because cheese, butter or eggs seem to be in everything. There are quite a few professional athletes that are vegan, most have web sites. Many will have sample diets that show what they eat to compete. Do a lot of web browsing.

    I would stay away from too many fake meats. They are just processed foods with a lot of ingredients you may not want. Tofu, tempeh, seitan and quinoa are great sources of protein. If you are smoothie drinker, there are at least 3 brands of vegan protein powder. Chia seeds or flaxseeds added to smoothies can give you Omega 3's. You will need a B12 supplement, but everything else is in foods. You just need to eat a good variety of fruit, veggies, beans and grains.

     
    Old 01-24-2014, 11:32 AM   #8
    holahanson
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Congrats on going vegan!
    Honestly for me the two hardest (really, only hard) parts of going vegan have been the social aspect and learning what is and is not vegan. There are a lot of things you slowly learn and you kind of just have to go with the flow and realize that sometimes you will accidentally eat something that is not vegan. For example, gelatin is not vegan; a lot of miso soup has fish broth; Caesar dressing isn't vegan, most beers and wines are not vegan, some orange juices aren't vegan if they have vitamin D added to it, etc etc etc. Depends on why you are becoming vegan - I am vegan for ethical/moral reasons so a non-vegan wine or non-vegan orange juice is a big deal to me. If you are doing it for health or other reasons that might not be your main concern, and definitely when you first start out you probably don't want to overwhelm yourself, but in time you will come to learn what is and isn't vegan and what you should watch out for.

    I totally think it's worth it. I don't have digestive problems anymore while I used to have stomach problems after eating meat or dairy. Except for some B12 and vitamin D low levels my blood work is the best it's ever been. I don't feel restricted in the slightest with food choices and honestly have been oped up to a ton of new foods that I didn't eat before changing over.

    I can't really comment on the vegan diet for athletes but if you are a UFC fan I know there are a few UFC fighters who follow vegan and in some cases raw vegan diets (Nick Diaz and Mac Danzig come to mind).

     
    Old 01-27-2014, 06:22 AM   #9
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Charliegumkeb View Post
    Hi!
    Thank you for the response!

    Foods to replace meats: I was definitely going to get fake meats to have around, but also I will eat more beans, more nuts, I'm not really sure about tofu, eggplant, this is all I can remember at the moment, but I have a grocery list somewhere for when I decide to just do it. What else would you recommend?
    There is a viable argument out there that you don't need protein, you need amino acids. It is less energy intensive to gain amino acids from plant based enzymes than whole constructed animal/bean/nut proteins. You may try juicing raw vegetables/fruits as well as partially raw vegan diet to more than accomplish your protein macro requirements. Keep in mind masticating juicers are far superior to centrifugal juicers.

    cheers.

     
    Old 03-03-2014, 07:29 PM   #10
    changedforever6
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    can anyone recommend a book on "how to" for vegan cooking and menus?

     
    Old 03-04-2014, 06:33 PM   #11
    justbegin
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    Re: Going Vegetarian/Vegan

    Hey there!

    The only thing I'd ask is for you to please be aware of how nutritionally deficient so much of our food is now. I read recently where they'd done some testing of spinach grown in the US back in the 70s, and they were able to compare the vitamin/mineral content of that against spinach grown in exactly the same spot in the early 200s. It turned out that to get the same amount of nutritional value as you would have from one bowl of spinach in the 70s, you'd need to eat 30 bowls of what's grown today.

    Stick with your supplements, and you'll be grand!

     
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