Today, on the holiest of candy days, I thought I could bring up an interesting and sometimes contentious topic in the nutrition/athletic world. Vegetarianism
I am one of those "quasi-vegetarians" in that I don't eat red meat at all but I do eat chicken and occassional pork. It first started in University where I studied health promotion and was also living in student induced poverty so a meat free diet was a financial necessity. In all honesty, my interest in a vegetarian diet is not about the ecological factors or my love of our four legged friends (God love those selfless cows who gave me my fabulous brown leather boots). I simply don't enjoy the taste of meat and I feel much better when eating a "clean" diet with lots of veggies and fruits. On the other hand, my husband is a hard core carnivore and would rather gouge out his eyes with hot flaming sticks than give up meat. I refuse to make seperate meals so this is what keeps me from making the full "veg" committment. My husband travels quite a bit and when he is away, me and our children tend to eat a totally veg diet because it is my preference and I almost always feel better.
However, I wonder how it would impact me as a runner? Prior to being a regular runner, I didn't find a veg diet problematic but with these kinds of distances, I wonder if I might not be getting enough protien. Then I came across a Canadian superstar Brendan Brazier who is triathlete and ultra-marathon champ. He is a strong proponent for a plant based diet for all athletes and he really gave me a good prospective!
I also read a book that really gave me a HUGE push toward considering making the final plunge. It is called the China Study by Dr. T.Colin Campbell.
I strongly recommend anyone with even a mild interest in giving up Sam the Cow to read it. Even my husband had to give some considerations to how a meat eating diet impacts the Earth, the economy, and overall wellbeing of people.
I would love to hear how many of you are vegetarians, vegans or "other" - like me. I welcome your thoughts!