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.
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!
Some of may favourite dishes so far…
Vegan Indian food with jackfruit, soya, tofu and vegetables
Roasted vegetables with tofu
Coffee with oat milk
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
And there’s so much more to try!