Thursday, February 27, 2014

the big veggie experiment: an update!

Hello everyone! I didn't forget about my little blog, just uni and life got in the way! The past few weeks were so stressful and hectic: this term is packed with two big assignments and lots of lectures. Put training and a little social life on top of that= no time for blogging!*end of the apologetic rant*
I baked bread to relieve some stress!

some of you may remember how I embarked in a food experiment, namely the big veggie experiment in which I would give up animal proteins to see the effect of a vegetarian diet on my training.
It was meant to last a month, using Parkrun as a time trial to see any improvement in my running.

Life got in the way, as it often does: Parkrun was called off twice because of the ice and I raced a relay for my club, which was very good fun but didn't get me to do the 5k. On top of that I had a mole removed a week before the end of my trial and was not allowed to run for that week: 7 days of sitting on a chair eating lots of biscuits didn't do any good to my form (that is true of any diet).

I really enjoyed this month and a half of running on plants; it makes me feel lighter, better and generally more focused: once I got the hang of it, it's easy to cook without meat!
Stir fry...
or huge omelette with purple kale and broccoli?
I ate quite a lot of eggs, because I was wary of not getting enough proteins and I don't want to resort to protein powders: if I couldn't do this naturally, then by all means I would have started meat again.
Eggs on toast!
So what's my plan now? Well, as I am feeling this good, I will keep going until I go home for Easter (in a month time), when phase 2 of this trial may start: while in Italy I will follow my mum's diet (as in way of eating) which is called zone diet. It is a high protein-low carb regime aimed to balance all the nutrients in every meal and that rules out every chance of being a veggie. Before going back to eating meat though I plan to get my lean muscle mass assessed so I can evaluate the effect of vegetarianism on my muscles and hopefully give blood so I can see if my iron levels are ok!

Valentine's day pizza: my half and his half (before we added ham)
On a personal note, being vegetarian pushed me out of my comfort zone, because it forced me to reconsider everything I ate: for example, I was so used to come home from training and shove a piece of chicken in my mouth, to curb my appetite until dinner/rebuild muscle. Dinner used to be some lean protein of any sort with a sadly steamed vegetable on the side. Going vegetarian forced me to experiment, be creative, try new food and recipes, which made me discover new flavours. Last week I used quinoa for the second time in my life and cooked it with leeks, peppers and kale: it was so good!
 Tonight's dinner was veggie burgers with salad and parsnips, which was inspired by the dinner my friend Suzie cooked on Friday night. 
Being a vegetarian makes consider what you eat: I was at a conference on Saturday and the lunch provided was a vast array of sandwiches. Before this experiment I would have gotten any that was made of whole wheat bread without much thought...on Saturday, I took my time to try and identify what I was putting on my plate (which is always a good thing).

I never believed I would enjoy this so much to actually looking forward to continue this experiment longer than expected, I guess it's just how life goes, right?

Hummiliciousness: carrot, original, beetrot+walnut hummus (i eat so many chickpeas)!
Good night!!

No comments:

Post a Comment