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PCRM Vegan Kickstart Week 2: Keep the Momentum!

I was very pleased Lani Muelrath, a plant based educator and coach, took a forum post of mine and turned it into a blog post on her own website. It was a wonderful reminder that we all make mistakes, and that no single mistake is really the end of the world. Well, I suppose a few world leaders could make a mistake with the red button and actually end the world, but for the rest of us we can bounce back. My post’s aim was to show mistakes can be corrected and encourage those who are new to this sort of lifestyle to never give up.

IF YOU FALL DOWN, STAND UP!

That’s it. That’s the secret. Keep moving forward. Don’t wallow in any negativity about what went wrong, just do what’s right, right now. I’m inspired by a few things whenever I’m faced with a challenge like this. (which happened last weekend with a restaurant FAIL)

  • The number one factor determining whether a smoker quits or not? Whether they tried before.

Taken another a way, it means they failed. BUT, they have the desire, so they come back to it., again and again, until they make it stick. It’s the desire that matters.

  • Every action you do strengthens the HABIT of that action.

So you blew it? So what! The very next moment get back to the habit you’re trying to ingrain. Wear the groove in deep for what you want. If you fail at a meal, make sure the next one is 100% on plan. You’ll bounce back.

  • An object in motion…

Tends to stay in motion until acted on by another force. So you got bounced off track? Bounce back! Counter-intuitively, the more you do this, the easier it gets. The mistakes make us stronger and smarter.

IF YOU MAKE A MISTAKE:

DON’T DWELL ON IT

MOVE FORWARD

DETERMINE YOUR NEXT BEST ACTION AND EXECUTE.

RUMINATE LATER

Rumination is useful, and analysis can help you understand where the traps are to avoid in the future.

But first you must …

KEEP THE MOMENTUM!

Best of luck to all the Kickstarters and anyone else trying to rewrite their own story.

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Vegan Athletes in the Mainstream Press

Can Athletes Perform Well on a Vegan Diet? – NYTimes.com

Of course they can!

Elsewhere on-site, an inspiring story by an amateur athlete that I can relate to well:

My Vegan Marathon – NYTimes.com

With recent plant based athletes like Brendan Brazier, Scott Jurek, and Rich Roll sharing their success stories, it’s a great time to represent this lifestyle. While none of them follow the starch based McDougall diet that I feel is best, they all attribute nearly all their success to their nutrition.

But it is interesting to see  more exposure and discussion of plant based lifestyles and high level sport. What was mocked by many, including so-called “experts” a few years ago now gets fairly balanced coverage. I thought the interview article with professionals was good. It explains that just because a diet is vegetarian or vegan does not necessarily make it healthier. There are plenty of plant based junk foods, and basing your caloric intake on oil, refined flour, sugar, fake meats and cheeses will not promote health.

Here are few quotes I found particularly interesting:

“You do have to be diligent about protein intake if you’re vegan. I have clients, especially women, who say, ‘Oh, I put a few chickpeas in my salad.’ But that’s not going to do it.”

Perhaps. If you’re not eating enough whole plant foods, I can see this happening. But that’s not a healthy diet. If you’re eating intact starches and vegetables with enough calories, protein will not be a problem. Look at the Kenyans. The comment also reflects a bias many of us have where we pigeon-hole certain nutrients into certain foods and forget about the big picture. In this case it’s beans for protein. Whole starches average 10% of calories from protein, and green vegetables have more protein per calorie than most animal foods. I will concede that some research indicates that an absolute value of protein of 1.2g/kg of body weight maximizes recovery. For some, that may take a little extra effort.

“The one issue is vitamin B12, which is found only in meat; B12 is important for endurance athletes, since it affects red blood cell production. “

True. But we already know that, and it’s easy to fix. And it’s probably not nearly as dangerous as people think, especially when it also affects omnivores as well. Dr. McDougall explains the research quite well in his article.

“My feeling is that hard training trumps everything. Diet, if it’s healthy, isn’t going to make that much difference.”

Yes and no. Consistent training is the most important thing. The body adapts gradually. Time out due to injury, illness, or overtraining stall progress. But I firmly believe only a healthy diet allows for that long term progress. Without proper nutrition, the body won’t recover well.

Diet is certainly key fro me. I have raced the last three weekends consecutively for 4-8 hours each time. With plenty of time for reflection at the back of the pack, I realized that 10 yrs ago, eating the Standard American Gourmet Foodie Diet, there was no way I could have done even one of my recent races. Now I love racing, and as soon as my legs aren’t sore, I’ll be back training for the next one. Without my whole foods, starch based diet, I can’t be active.

Waiting for Rich Roll

I decided to be a good neighbor and pre-order Rich Roll’s new book, Finding Ultra. I didn’t realize until he reminded everybody that pre-orders on Amazon mean a lot to authors. And since I’m a big fan and love his plant powered message, I complied. Now I’m waiting, and I can’t stand it!

I’ve listened to two great podcast interviews with him in recent months:

Both interviews are really inspiring since Roll comes across as very approachable, regular guy. His story of resisting middle age is one many can relate to. He has the usual encumbrances of a demanding job and kids, yet he found a way out of it. Hearing how down to earth he is is contrasts a bit with his uber athlete photos! I liked in particular his response to dealing with time issues on a plant based diet. He really makes it sound much simpler and easier than many people think. It often seems to me that most people think we spend all day in the kitchen chopping vegetables. Not really. Maybe half a day.

I’ve skimmed the free excerpts of the book since I don’t want to spoil it competely for myself, but now I’m really hungry for more. Thwe world needs more plant based, athletic heroes and their stories. Now we have Rip Esselstyn, Rich Roll, and soon Scott Jurek.

C’mon Amazon, give me my Rich Roll!