Run Vegan Primer Excerpt

The following is just a quick, unedited paragraph excerpt from the Run Vegan Nutrition Primer I’m working on. I took a break from it during the holidays, but am back to plugging away towards the end. 

“There are also great mental and emotional rewards to indulging that help combat more detrimental ways of looking at food and eating habits. The majority of runners are conscious about what they put into their bodies already, and I’ve found that vegan runners are that much more conscious due to our ethical parameters, but I’ve also noticed that runners have personalities that draw them to extremes, which can result in unhealthy perspectives when it comes to eating and nutrition. As an ethical vegan, my only concern is making sure I’m removing myself from the industrial animal agriculture process of supply and demand, but the wider vegan community often finds itself succumbing to the trend of, if not outdoing one another, then seeking a mythical sense of higher and higher purity through increased food restrictions. Veganism becomes Whole Food Veganism becomes Raw Veganism becomes Fruitarianism becomes….I don’t want to know what comes next. Couple the runner’s mentality of refining eating habits for optimal athletic performance with the purist mentality of the dietary vegan community and you have a potential recipe for compromised athletic performance at best and a full on eating disorder at worst. This type of eating perspective does no one good, not runners and not vegans. And this is where indulgence can have a grounding and positive effect. Indulging has the potential to throw a wrench in the machine of hyper-refined eating. Trust me, when you’ve reached something of a peak with your running and you’re trying to find any edge to push the glass ceiling a little higher, it is very easy to fall prey to purist mentalities of eating while falling into an overly concerned outlook on calorie consumption, fat consumption, etc., but if indulging isn’t just seen as a periodic reward and instead becomes a beneficial component to healthy eating, you’ve done a great service to both your athletic performance, running longevity, and overall eating perspective. When you’re putting in significant training miles, building and breaking your body on a repeated basis, it REALLY is ok to eat that entire bar of chocolate, that 500 calorie cookie, that extra piece of pizza (or entire pizza!), or that sandwich made up more of processed gluten than anything else. Don’t worry about an excessive commitment to whole food eating, baseless perspectives on “origins” diets, or any other dietary fear mongering that mars the landscape of eating culture today. Eat well, run often, follow your intuition and indulge. You have my unsolicited and unnecessary permission.”

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7 responses to “Run Vegan Primer Excerpt

  1. Kalle Petersson

    Love it 🙂

  2. This is perfectly written. As a vegan runner myself, I once fell into that deep dark place of calorie restriction, and watching everything that went into my mouth like an obsessed vulture. I ended up getting too thin, unhealthy, and for the first time in my life, had to figure a way to pack on a few more pounds. But I have a question for you… have you ever found yourself putting on a few extra ( unwanted) pounds while not changing how/ or what you eat? This seems to be happening to me now, and I wonder if it is my stress levels/ raised cortisol levels at play here perhaps. Any advice? I do tend to eat avocados quite often and although extremely healthy, I wonder if I should half them for less fat consumption or not. Just trying to get to the bottom of it is all. What is your take on HEALTHY fat consumption? Should it be limited regardless, or not focused on too much? Would love to hear your valued opinion my friend… Peace always, Pat

    • Hey Pat,

      Unfortunately I don’t have much to offer you in regards to your question. The thing is I run high mileage every week (70 miles at a low point, 100+ high), so it’s quite difficult to put on any unwanted extra pounds. I’ve heard of the connection between stress and weight gain, but I don’t know enough to offer any legitimate advice.

      As far as fats go, there are so many conflicting ideas, reports/studies out there that it’s difficult to weed through. I’ve found that most foods I eat tend to be relatively low in fat and those foods I eat that do have fats (healthy fats or not) are nowhere near the levels that generally cause concern with “Standard American Diets”. A helpful answer would rely on knowing more about your eating and active living habits, to determine if it’s diet related, lack of physical exertion, or a combination thereof.

      Sorry I’m not much help. I hope you can find something! Try searching through http://www.theveganrd.com for more info on fats.

  3. And I wonder if my cortisol is raised due to a bit of overtraining… I tend to run anywhere between 85- 110 mpw at the moment… thanks brother!

    • sorry…just read this comment after I wrote my previous response. You obviously don’t have an issue with lack of physical exertion! I suppose the answer would then rely on eating/dietary habits and/or other factors.

      As another aside, my coach specifically does not address weight loss with us. His perspective is this, “If you are improving and running at your goal levels, we don’t even touch weight loss. If for some reason you’ve peaked though, and weight is a legitimate issue, then we deal with that.”

      I offer this for a little more perspective. If you are running well…don’t even worry about it. If, however, you have LEGITIMATE “dead weight” and have peaked or are struggling with running performance, then you might have a consideration.

  4. Brilliant. Hope this gets a wide readership.

  5. Nice teaser Scott. Keep pluggin away 😉

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