Why I have gone vegan

Undoubtedly, choosing the way of the vegan is gaining momentum. Each person will have their reasons. Here are mine.

There’s little doubt in my mind that I have chosen a vegan diet over the past couple of months to test the effects in me. It is likely I have been influenced by notable ultrarunners such as Scott Jurek and Capra Corbett.

(Being slightly philosophical for a moment, any decision that we make is the culmination of a range of beliefs, most of which are hidden away from our conscious awareness).

So how has it gone? It’s been interesting, that’s for sure, including other people’s responses. All in all, I can summarise by saying that I feel more energised, my running times appear to have improved (maybe I’m pushing harder?) and my digestive system seems to be working better (less bloating, discomfort, lighter). It is early days.

At the end of the blog are some of my favourite vegan things to eat

Initially being vegan meant a very different shopping experience. I had to really think about what I was going to eat and hence what I needed to buy. It has become easier with new habits of where to look, such as knowing where the oat milk is located.

Vegan mince pie

Then there is the challenge of being vegan and eating a healthy diet. The two do not have to co-exist. It would be easy to go for processed vegan food, all neatly packed at the end of one aisle in my local supermarket. When you look, there are plenty of vegan options, replacing day to day foods: cheese, sweets, biscuits, chocolate, bacon, sausages etc. I have had some scrumptious vegan sausages!

A recent trip to Liverpool meant finding places to eat. I was pleasantly surprised to find that this was rather easy, with plenty of vegan options. I even saw a vegan chicken burger ad on a huge billboard from a well known fast food company — not my thing, but an interesting shift.

Beyond being curious and seeking to build wellness, there is also the positive effect upon the planet. Each person doing what they can adds up. This could be reducing plastic, easing back on animal products, or less travel.

From a scientific perspective much more research is needed. The recent film Game Changers provoked controversy with opponents claiming that the studies used were poor quality. However, if the reaction is to reduce the consumption of meat, this can only be a benefit. Many of the people who adjusted their diets subsequently were probably ready for change for different reasons. Whilst some of the quoted research may be inconclusive or lack certainty, it is pointing us in a particular direction.

Veganism is growing. And with the increasing numbers of people choosing this approach, there must be further research to understand the consequences. For instance, are there risks that need countering with vitamin supplements?

Only a couple of months in, I am unable to make any concrete claims about my case study of one. However, I will stick with it for now. Besides, much of the food is so delicious!

Beetroot juice

RS


Some of may favourite dishes so far…

Vegan Indian food with jackfruit, soya, tofu and vegetables

Roasted vegetables with tofu

Coffee with oat milk

Sauerkraut

Avocado & green vegetables

Fruit smoothies with chia seeds

Granola with oat milk or soya

Vegan sausages for breakfast with beans and mushrooms

Bean burritos with home made guacamole and salsa, plus vegan cheese

Lentils — spiced and seasoned

Quorn chilli and rice

Peanut butter on toast

Sweet potato and carrot soup

Green soup — beans, peas, broccoli and more

Humous as a dip or in a sandwich

Beetroot

And there’s so much more to try!

#upandrun ambassadors

26th June 2019 NEWS

UP has two ambassadors joining #upandrun

As the UP story gathers momentum, in particular the #upandrun project (ultrarunning, marathon running and the UP education programme), we are delighted to welcome two new UP ambassadors: Chris and Jeff. Both will be running for #upandrun so keep an eye out for blogs, pictures and always the hashtag!

If you see #upandrun hashtag, give us a shout out! Take a pic and post it on Twitter or Instagram.

Chronic pain affects so many people for so many reasons. The measure of our success will be how many people we can inspire to move on to live their best lives.

This week look out for…

Richmond running along the Thames Path tomorrow (Thursday) from Hampton Court to the Thames Barrier

Next week look out for…

The UP talk and workshop on Weds 3rd July at 2pm at The Groves Medical Centre. Get your place here >> tickets

On we go!

Next challenge: Race to the Stones

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For some time I have been eyeing up the idea of ultra running. Having spent the past few years training for and completing several marathons and half-marathons, the urge to take it onto another level overcame me. I booked myself a date with Race to the Stones.

An old friend completed the 100k run this year. I went down to collect him and watched the runners coming in. There was such a great vibe! Much like a mini-festival; relaxed, encouraging, inspirational and lots of smiles…in amongst some pain of course!

The course follows an ancient path. We will be running and walking in the footsteps of Vikings, Romans, dragons and Kings — not in fancy dress I hasten to add!

Journey from the Chilterns to the mystical North Wessex Downs past mighty iron age forts, ancient monuments and through some of Britain’s most stunning landscapes

As ever, the run will be for Understand Pain, #upandrun. You can keep an eye on progress and other running events here and on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.

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Race to the Stone 2019

On we go!

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Beachy Head Marathon 2018