I thought it might be interesting, if not down right appropriate, to document my transition from a meat eating red blooded American triathlete to a vegetarian American triathlete. If this stuff doesn’t interest you, come back later :-) I may actually do something soon (in the next 5 weeks of so) other than maintain my running base.
Transitioning to no (red) meat has been pretty easy. As a matter of fact, over the last 7 days, I have only had chicken once, going practically meatless that entire time. Giving up beer at the same time has been “interesting”. In general, once I cut myself off from beer, it takes 2-3 days to restore my sleep pattern and feel well rested. The first night is particularly bad. I’m usually dehydrated and suffer from insomnia. Once that passed, I started to feel pretty good, at least my body did. My brain has been in some kind of fog. Again, I think the beer/alcohol is mostly to blame. If you don’t believe that alcohol has a negative effect on you, let me be a witness. It does. My brain, over the past 25 years, has gotten quite used to the flood of carbs/sugars and alcohol.
Around day 6, I felt better. Just in time for me to eat some chicken :-) Truth is, I wanted the chicken to help me in my transition, but I probably didn’t need it.
Finding no (red) meat recipes to eat has been relatively simple, and I have been enjoying the taste of new dishes. Some of the things I have prepared include:
- A lentil based marinara sauce
- sautéed cabbage
- black bean burger
- black bean fajitas
- sautéed collard greens and tofu over rice
and I even ate vegetarian at the Mexican restaurant last night.
Everything they say about eating vegetarian has been correct, so far. The food has been tasty. I haven’t felt stuffed, like I’ve over eaten, and while at times I have found myself hungry, I have always managed to make it to the next meal or snack.
In order to ensure that I’m meeting my nutritional requirements, I’m taking a multivitamin, fish oil, and tracking my calories on a popular web site. I am attempting to keep a proper 20/20/60 ratio, but so far, it has panned out, more often than not, that my fat content has been in the 30% range. After perusing my food log, I realized that I am not taking in enough fruit! Brilliant. Fruit is all carbs, no fat and no protein. My dedication to my digits is already paying dividends! For the most part, I’m not having any problem taking in between 80-110 grams of protein per day. My target is 114.
Through all this, I have definitely been running. There has been no change to my schedule. I’ve even run twice in one week in my Vibrams. I really need to get one of my Vibrams runs up to 5 miles, and that is the next step in that process. In the mean time, I’m going to keep my base long run where it is now (10 miles), and let that carry me through the half marathon in March and my first tri at the end of April.
So, in a nut shell, that’s where we’re at :-)