Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Ramblings of a Vegan Triathlete

Word of caution:

Sometimes I just rant about random things. My thoughts come out and I try to formulate coherent sentences, but that's not always the case with the way I think. So bare with me as I try to relay my ramblings.

Lately, I've been listening to conversations about healthy eating. Funny how easily influenced people can be. They read it on the internet and automatically assume that it's fact. I'm a firm believer that everyone has different results when it comes to their diet. For me, I find eating a strict plant based diet really works. Mind you, I started out primarily worrying about animal welfare, but it would later blossom into something much bigger.

Let me talk about that for a second. My experience with people is that they assume that because I'm vegan that automatically I'm eating healthy or better yet that all vegans are healthy. Come on now, so not true. I can remember being on tour with a band living off of wheat thins and top ramen and occasionally eating at chinese buffets. That is a horrible way to live, but at the time there was little information out there on a healthy way of being vegan. Come to think of it, I'm sure that's why so many people who tried being vegan got sick and stopped living that way.

There are plenty of vegan options out there these days and more than half of them are cruelty free, but are loaded with processed garbage. I've said it before and I will keep saying it, if you can't pronounce the word or even read it for that matter, why are you putting it in your body? No really, I challenge everyone to go read the label and tell me when each ingredient is and where it comes from WITHOUT using Google. I promise you that most of you will fail. So again, why put it in your body if you don't know what it is?

It's easy for me to live a plant based lifestyle because of my devotion to the animals. I wasn't always this way. In fact, I stopped being vegan for some time while I was married. I can look back now and say that I was using food to cope with my onslaught of mood swings, good and bad. People often use drugs, alcohol or other self destructive addictions to deal with things going on in their lives. Me, it was food.

When I got into the sport of triathlon and began eating extremely clean, there was a ton more information out there on a clean plant based life. There were more vegan athletes out there, performing at the top of their class. So started researching more and more, educating myself and in a sense, relearning a ton of material I learned years before when I was more active in animal rights/welfare.

I started eating clean, losing weight, improving my mood, gaining sustainable energy and ultimately gaining self respect and love for me as a person. Yes, my mental stability really improved because I wasn't eating to cope, I was eating to live. Let me say that again, "I was eating to live." I'm not saying I was killing myself, but the food I was putting into my body wasn't helping live a healthy life.

I can see my potential as a person and as an athlete.

Here's the point of my post:

Educate yourself before you make any abrupt, on the spot decisions regarding a change in your life. Know that everyone's body is different and you may not have the same results as the person next to you. Any time someone says "You should be eating this," I urge you to question that statement and really really really educate yourself!!!

There's more I wanted to say, but my thoughts still aren't coming out the way I want them too.