Rebel Race Confessions

Rebel Race beer reward!

It’s the morning after, and I’m not feeling too bad. I have a few scrapes and bruises and my triceps are a little sore but I made it through Rebel Race! It actually wan’t as bad as I thought it would be. The hardest part wasn’t the mud (because there was very little mud to be found!), it was the dust.

We started the race in a crowd of 50-75 people. It was impossible to run without stepping on the heels of the person in front of you. The Pine Barrens were so dry, the dust we kicked up was noxious. It felt like my nasal passage and lungs were coated in sand.  We had to wait in line, as if we were at Disney for the first 3 and last 3 obstacles of the race.

The scariest part of the race was the last obstacle, the wall climb.

We made it over!

We waited in line a good 5 minutes for our turn up the 15ft. wall and it seemed like every other person up the wall froze on top. Once I got to the top I realized why! It’s not so scary on the way up, but once you’re there and have to hoist your legs over and climb down it seriously intimidating. Fear conquered! Running this race definitely built my confidence and made me realize I do have what it takes to make it through and I realized that it’s necessary to step up my game if I’m going to make it through Tough Mudder in October!

After the race we were thirsty and starving. Thirst was quenched by 2 bottles of smart water and a few beers. The hunger was a bit more of a challenge. Everywhere I turned people were noshing on smoked turkey legs.  It was grossing me out and driving me crazy at the same time. We made our way to the food vendors in hopes of finding suitable (vegan) nourishment. Veggie burgers sold out. Corn on the cob dripping in butter and “fruit” smoothies made with sugared fruit syrups and energy drinks.  I ate a bag of chips. Totally disappointment. And that’s where my fall from grace began.

Good vegan food is oftentimes hard to come by. After a 5k in the dust with scary obstacles I was driving myself crazy thinking about a juicy burger. Not a veggie burger. Not a turkey burger. A char-grilled beef burger. I caved and got one at the pub down the street from Tracy’s hotel.

I was riddled with guilt making the decision to order it. I was riddled with guilt when I took my first bite and I was riddled with guilt when I took my last bite. I ate 1/2 the burger. The taste was delicious. The physical and emotional effects of eating it were terrible.  It’s a fight between the taste on my tongue and the feeling in my body. Even now, knowing how bloated and awful it made me feel, I am seduced still by the taste buds.

There are thousands of vegan athletes of every kind from body builders to marathon runners. They have no problem refueling after their workouts and races. I need to figure out how they do it, because I couldn’t even think straight. Every thought was consumed with animal protein.

If you have any ideas, lay them on me!

Food, Health

Food Updates and the Processed Vegan Trap

So it’s day 4 of our own little vegan challenge and and I must say that I am insanely proud of the Hubs. He’s still going strong and even starting to get excited about vegan cooking. The Hubs loves to cook and he loves to cook meat so it’s pretty amazing that vegan cooking is getting him excited! I’ll be honest, I had my doubts that he would even last 24 hours!

Day 1 of the vegan challenge started with Sunday morning breakfast. Sorghum flour pancakes and tofurkey breakfast sausage.

The Happy Hubby Cook

I topped mine with a little organic peanut butter, fresh sliced organic strawberries and bananas.  Hubs topped his with Earth Balance and Eaton’s Vermont maple syrup. I think VT maple syrup is the Hub’s third true love (next to myself and Stella of course). Thankfully,  we still have more than 30 mini bottles left over from our wedding!

peanut butter, strawberry and banana vegan pancakes

I am not much for eating the processed faux-meats, but the Tofurkey breakfast sausage was really good. Hubs LOVED it. I learned early on in my first vegan challenge in 2009 that just because something is vegan does NOT mean it’s healthy.  I spent the first challenge trying to replace the things in my diet I thought I “needed.”  Of course I really didn’t need them. Eating processed vegan crap is just as bad as eating processed normal crap. After the first 20 days I realized that I had actually gained a significant amount of weight. Since that first challenge I have been extremely conscious about what sort of processed meat/dairy substitutes I choose. Vegan challenge 2 and 3, I eliminated the processed stuff entirely.

The Hubs is making it a bit more challenging for me this time around. This is his first time attempting a vegan diet, and he feels he needs the substitutes (just like I felt I needed them!) so I want to support him in any way I can!

Dinner on night one was my vegan stuffed peppers. Recipe here. I love these peppers and could eat them more than once a week. Hubs? Not so much. He doesn’t even like regular stuffed peppers. (I don’t get it. But there are LOTS of taste differences that we have that I don’t get – and that’s another blog entirely). Night 2 I compromised and we had veggie burgers on sprouted grain english muffins with Daiya cheese. I could have made healthier veggie burgers from scratch, but we all lead busy lives and we wanted quick and easy. Frozen it was.

Southwest Organic Sunshine Burger on a 7 grain sprouted english muffin with Daiya cheddar cheese and honey mustard accompanied by a fluffy garden salad.

Hubs had his veggie burger with chips and apple sauce (such a kiddo!) and I had a leafy green salad (boston lettuce, mesclun mix, cucumbers, tomatoes, red bell peppers and carrots). The entire meal was delicious.

I am trying to get Hubs to eat more veggies and less processed stuff. It’s not an easy task. We’re taking baby steps. I’m just grateful he agreed to do the challenge with me, it really makes life SO much easier when I don’t have to drool over his Friday night pizza!  This morning I made him drink a green juice consisting of a head of kale, 4 celery stalks, a cucumber, an apple, a lemon and some ginger. If he won’t eat the fruits and veggies, I’ll make him drink them! I can be sneaky about navigating the processed vegan traps! 🙂

Tonight we’re having vegan mac & cheese, sauteed broccoli and carrots and a garden salad. I’m excited to test out the vegan mac & cheese recipe I found. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Any new vegans get caught in the processed vegan trap?  How did you find your way out? 

Environmentalism, Food, Health, Spirituality

Crazy, Sexy, Change

It’s that time of year again… Vegan Challenge, 21 Day Jumpstart, whatever you want to call it….30 days meat, egg and dairy free. April 1st is V day!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, this time around I’m taking a different approach.

I think I may have even talked the Hubs into doing it with me! I know, pick your jaw up off the floor. My former junk food vegetarian turned insatiable carnivore husband has tentatively agreed to do this year’s Vegan challenge with me. I am beyond shocked and completely ecstatic. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be vegan with someone who demands meat and cheese not only daily, but with practically every meal?!? Don’t get me started. I am simply grateful and counting my blessings that he’s choosing to join me.

This isn’t my first time in the vegan rodeo, I’ve dabbled and experimented here and there. However this is the first time I am taking a spiritual approach rather than a health coach approach. I have begun to feel more and more that meat is inhibiting not only my yoga practice, but my spiritual growth in general. I have been told by friends that eliminating meat from my diet will improve my meditation practice. I’d like to explore that.

I just reread Crazy, Sexy Diet by Kris Carr (side note, I have an uber girl-crush on her from her infectious energy to the hot pink streak in her hair) I plan on watching Vegucate and sneaking in one more Jivamukti master class to amp myself up for spiritual veganism.

In addition to cutting out meat and dairy I am committing to a daily meditation practice and continued affirmations. I’m going to need support in this

Here are other things I will be doing:

  • Looking to friends and wish-they-were-more-than-facebook-friends for support.
  • Taking it one day at a time.
  • Juicing!
  • Upping my orders from Suburban Organics. Large Fruit and Large Veggie boxes here I come!

While I am approaching this challenge from a spiritual perspective, here are some things I will NOT be doing:

  • Getting all PETA crazy. As time goes by I am developing more and more compassion and trying not to turn a blind eye to the way animals are raised for food in this country. I’ve eaten organic, grass-fed, free-range for many years. I know that its not really enough and I AM getting there. In my own way, in my own time.
  • Turning into a proselytizing vegan. Who knows how I will come out on the other end, vegan or 90/10 (I’m currently about 80/20). I will promise you, and all my IIN alum that I will never turn into a militant vegan. What works for one may not work for another….and it may not work forever, only time will tell. I DO know, this ADK Jersey Girl don’t play dogmatic!

I have day dreams of going raw. I am hoping that timing this challenge and the change of season will conveniently lead me to a high raw diet for the summer. I just need a new dehydrator for that one!

On a side note, I’m running the NJ Rebel Race on April 14th and I’m curious to see how my vegan diet will affect my energy during the race and in post race recovery. Any vegan endurance/obstacle race junkies out there??

Signing off from my IPhone (and in bed!)
Peace and INspiration,