Monday, December 3, 2007

Where I'm Coming From

Hi everyone,

I also wanted to post a little introduction, though most of you know at this point know me from the VegTriathlete blog.  I'm a back-to-middle of the pack age group athlete who's been vegan for about three years now.  

I've been so committed to making my training and vegan nutrition visible online because the primary reason that it took me so long to go vegan was my mistaken belief that a vegan diet couldn't fuel an active lifestyle.  I'd always admired the ethics of the vegans I knew, but I believed veganism was impractical. While I've never been an athletic superstar by any means,  I used the fact I was a long distance runner as an excuse to continue to eat meat and animal products.  It wasn't until I started dating a raw vegan that I learned anything about nutrition.  He introduced me to books like The China Study and Eat to Live; they debunked a lot of the myths I had bought into about protein and calcium sources.  

I also learned about professional vegan athletes who were achieving remarkable results-- people like Brendan Brazier and Scott Jurek.  I thought, well, if they can accomplish what they're able to do, then surely I can fuel my relatively meagre athletic pursuits on a similar diet.  Elite athletes like those two are powerful role models for veganism, but I think it's also important to make visible the non-professional age-group athletes--the everyday people with average genetics who are balancing full-time jobs/school/life and athletic training.  Because, really, once I made the switch to veganism, the thing that most surprised me was how good I felt.  I have to say, from a physical standpoint, the transition was really quite easy.  I feel healthier and stronger as a vegan than I did as an omnivore, and I hope our collective example will be useful to others who considering choosing a vegan lifestyle.

That said, questions about nutrition and training do arise from time to time. I'm envisioning this blog as a way to share these questions and then draw from the value of our collective experiences.  Among us so far we have athletes ranging from short & long-course triathletes, cyclocross racers, and runners; in addition to our athletic pursuits, we work in fields including diet & menu consultations, cardiology, music and writing (to name just a few).  There's a certain kind of power in numbers, and I look forward to making our presence known!

I hope people will feel free to post and respond as frequently as they'd like.  There's no set format - write about whatever you want.  As I mentioned before, if you know other vegan athletes, invite them to join the discussion.  Thanks everyone for the initial positive response to the idea :-)



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