Running on Vegetables: Being Vegetarian and Running

photoTwo years ago today, I ate meat for the last time. Callum and I were in Costa Rica and I had decided that when we got back that was it, I was finally going to be a vegetarian.

For years before that I had not eaten a lot of meat but I always avoided labeling myself as a vegetarian. I was worried about what I would eat when I traveled or inconveniencing people when they had me over.

But I decided that it was more important to me to be vegetarian and I would figure out the rest. I accepted that maybe when I went somewhere, there would be nothing that I could eat and that was okay because this is my choice. And there have been multiple times in the last two years that I’ve had cheese on bread for a meal because that was the only thing that I could eat.

For any inconvenience, I am so happy with my choice to finally be vegetarian. I feel lighter. I’m tired less. I don’t feel lethargic. And I love feeling like I can run anytime, even after I eat. That was never the case when I ate meat.

I have been able to experiment with food in a way that I never did when I ate meat. It’s easy to get stuck in a meat, starch, vegetable for a meal rut and vegetarianism has made me challenge that. We eat lots of beans and lentils and nutritional yeast and many other things that I didn’t eat much of pre-vegetarian.

I eat a lot more vegetables now and I really think that my varied diet has made me a better runner. Being vegetarian forces me to make sure that I am getting all the nutrients I need and forces me to think about what I am putting into my body. I recover a lot faster from a hard workout with the right food!

IMG_1876When I first became vegetarian, it was a lot of asking questions about what is in things (meat hides in a lot of foods!) but now it’s become just part of life.

I always figured that if being vegetarian didn’t work out, I would just start eating meat again. Two years later, I don’t see any reason that I would ever start eating meat again. I feel great!

Does your diet affect your running? Have you made diet changes that have improved your running?

Happy running!

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