INDULGING THE SALT TOOTH!
A MARATHONER’S GUIDE TO FOOD AS FUEL!
As a runner who has been around the block a few times, I have often heard the phrase…”I want to start running to lose weight but I hate running!” And that’s when I quickly reply, “then if you hate it, don’t do it!!!” I say that because although runners, no matter the distance, seem to develop a love/hate relationship with the sport, at the end of the day, the love, passion and dedication are at the core of every successful runner. It is indeed possible that this strenuous activity can grow on you, but if you haven’t caught the running bug at a certain point, chances are, you may never fully embrace the sport to the extent of seeing noticeable results and worse, you run the risk of resenting it altogether.
VEGANS HAVE NO ENDURANCE? SAY, WHAT…?
As an endurance athlete (VeGAL!), I am proud to say that a whole foods (with the exception of French fries), plant-based diet has contributed greatly to my success over the years. Not loving to toot my own horn, I feel it necessary to make my point. As a ranked runner in my division in the state of Florida, I have recently completed my 31st full marathon. In addition, I have done 2 ultra marathons (another in 2 weeks) and countless shorter distances like half marathons, 10k and 5k races. I ran the both the Boston and the NYC Marathons twice! I also earned a black belt in Northern Shaolin Eagle Claw Kung Fu. All utilizing plant fuel! Not too shabby, huh?!!! So, for anyone to even question my endurance would be absurd. Yet, surprisingly, I still encounter skeptics from time to time. My hope is that through my accomplishments, I am able to touch the lives of fellow athletes, or even just one, perhaps even enough to inspire them to make the leap to a plant-based lifestyle as well.
HIDDEN AND FORBIDDEN:
ANIMAL INGREDIENTS IN THE UNSUSPECTING FOODS WE LOVE!
In a perfect world, everyone would follow a strict plant-based diet. Struggling to find a vegan-friendly establishment would no longer be an issue. Stressing out about animal ingredients in our veggie foods would be a thing of the past! All the guesswork would be taken out!!! Vegan restaurants would abound! The most difficult choice we would face would be WHICH one among so many! Ahhh…. a girl can dream, can’t she?
Fortunately, the word “vegan” is not so esoteric anymore. In fact, veganism is becoming more socially acceptable these days. Heck, the word is even being recognized and pronounced correctly for the most part by our non-vegan counterparts. Thanks to healthier trends, celebrities and famous athletes around the world, veganism is growing steadily in popularity and is here to stay!
It’s true that there are more and more dedicated vegetarian, vegan and raw restaurants popping up but overall, they are relatively few and far between. Thus, when dining out, we must rely on mainstream restaurants, especially when our most of our friends and family remain omnivorous (they have yet to evolve). It is important for all parties to be flexible and keep an open mind in order to arrive at a destination that will accommodate everyone satisfactorily while avoiding the cliché garden salad/baked potato combo that vegans often get stuck with. It’s impressive to see items marked as “V” on many menus but that could mean vegetarian and NOT vegan. DON’T assume that veggie dishes are “safe” using descriptions and common sense alone. DO assume that all potential dishes contain animal ingredients unless proven otherwise. Food prep peeps LOVE, LOVE, LOVE throwing animal ingredients into the mix to “elevate” the flavors. They just can’t help themselves. I say nonsense! For these so called flavor enhancers only mask the subtle, earthy flavors found in foods from mother nature from herbs to vegetables, soups to grains. Be proactive: Calling ahead or checking menus online is always a plus! (more…)