One of the great things about running is that you can eat a ton and still not gain weight. I’ve talked before about going gluten-free and how that has seemed to have helped my running. I still occasionally eat bread and stuff with gluten, figuring that it won’t hurt as long as I don’t make a habit of it. So I’ve obviously been somewhat conscious of my diet.
I’ve never been a huge meat eater, but have always thought that meat was a necessary part of a healthy diet. I mean, you gotta have protein, right? However, in doing a bit of research, it seems to me that meat and dairy might not be necessary at all. I have to say that during the stretches that I have gone without any animal products, I have felt great, and my running seems easier. That has been surprising, because I always assumed being vegetarian would mean that you felt weak and tired all the time. That is not the case.
I’m in a period of total veganism right now, and will stick with it for a while until I feel a great urge for a pizza or something. I know that most people think that it’s impossible to get enough protein and other essential stuff with this diet, but I don’t know if anyone has ever been admitted to a hospital with a protein deficiency. However, every day, millions of people suffer from heart disease, strokes and untold numbers of other ailments caused by diets high in animal fat. Some of the most healthy populations on the planet are poorer ones that eat mainly rice, beans and other staples, with a bit of meat or fish thrown in occasionally.
I have a couple of free days coming up and I’m looking forward to running. I’ve run a bit during this meatless stretch, and have felt very good. It will be interesting to see if I continue feeling good eating like this. There are a growing number of endurance athletes who are going vegan, without any ill effects. In fact, all of them claim that their performance has improved dramatically without meat or dairy.