Sunday, January 17, 2016
Day Nine: “Why is it that the people who seem to have the most to say aren’t doing anything at all?” - Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
I guess I hadn't intended to write on the blog every day, but I also didn't expect to slip more than a week. Oh well, life happens (until it doesn't).
I've been exercising pretty much every day and still haven't touched sugar, coffee or booze so that's a big achievement already. I'm feeling pretty amazing actually and I'm hungry LESS often that I used to be even though I've cut out a pretty huge amount of shit from my diet.
I had a mate of mine request that I write about my veganism and, for some reason, I'm uncomfortable about it. I'll do it anyway, because the point of this whole thing is about getting out of my comfort zone. Thus, in an effort to open up to my friends about my own experiences without having to stand on a soap box, I've decided to be bolder (and no doubt, the butt of at least one steak joke) and chat about the topic and how it impacts the challenge and my training on a whole.
There's a bunch of reasons why a vegan diet seems to be working for me. I eat a lot of crap as a vegan, but you should have seen the amount of rubbish that I put in my pie hole when I ate everything. I was a bin. A human bin. More relevantly, I'm not vegan for the sole purpose of a mad detox. I really love animals, and I don't see the need for me to eat them. I figured out, thanks to some pretty great influences, that I can do just fine as a human without consuming the flesh of the cows and the pigs and the chickens that I love. I saw an article floating around social media the other day saying that Veganism is a first world luxury because there are so many people going hungry around the world. Veganism is an option? No-duh, Einstein. I know that the realities of true poverty would lessen my ability to make these food choices, but the purpose of Veganism isn't to stop world hunger, it's to protect innocent animals and protest against the everyday cruelties against them. In my opinion, the writer just gave it a good go to reverse the guilt about eating meat that they were pissed off about copping onto those that decline. I am aware that many people are not as fortunate as I am, but I live in a reality in which the food on my plate does not have a magical effect on the plates of those in need of more. In fact, ACTUAL MONEY via donation helps them, and I can say that my grocery shop costs less now than it used to pre-vego (excluding fucking soy milk for a café coffee but I have no idea why the assholes actually charge more because it's the same price per litre at the supermarket)....thus, in a roundabout way, this actually leaves more money in the pocket to donate to those in need than if I personally was to blow $20 - $50 a week or however much meat costs on steaks and sausages.
Anyway, I got a little off topic there. Sorry.
I've always struggled with my own feelings of passivity, or the belief that I let my political responsibilities slip. Veganism felt like the one thing that I could easily exercise, using the autonomy of my own body and the compassionate choices that I made for it, and I have found a new joy in listening to what it telling me. Soon after I went vegan I noticed that I was craving more and more fresh and raw foods, and far less cooked foods. I'd never liked tomato, mushrooms, celery or spinach and all of a sudden my taste buds came alive and my body seemed to sing out for more and more nutrient rich plant food.
People often wonder how the diet effects my training, specifically because I go to the gym most weekdays and it varies from medium - high intensity work. The protein myth is an easy one, in that anyone that eats a rich variety of whole foods probably gets enough protein. I source mine from lots of leafy greens (spinach and kale) and vegies, kidney beans, tofu, cashews and almond. I also have a smoothie every day using Prana On protein powder supplements (they taste AMAZING and you can wang them in a blender with some berries, frozen bananan etc and away you go).
I also supplement B12 with an oral spray as I have been low to test low on that, but other than that my body has been kicking on pretty well. The challenge has made me super aware of my caloric intake, so I've been monitoring that without feeling that I need to go hungry. Half the difficulty is making the fat count without going over in sugars etc. For this, I'm eating some good sources of healthy fats and omegas in nuts, seeds and avocado and well as having Udo's Oil available (although I'm slack with supplementing).
I don't ever want to be a member of the Vegan police because I've even be bullied by them for not being 'vegan enough'. I just like plant based meals, I can veganise any traditional food, and I'm doing the best I can one day at a time. There's heaps of info on the internets about Vegan powerlifters and body builders out there, but if you ever want to have a chat with me about it please feel free to pat me on the shoulder.