DOMS and Vegan Week

The green monster challenge is still going strong!

Today was the coldest day of the week so far. I woke up to 40 degree weather and the high today is only getting up to 53.

I did get a bit chilled after drinking the GM, so I had some hot tea afterwards. Problem solved 🙂

Nerd Alert

I have been studying Exercise Science this semester and I felt like a huge nerd when I got out of bed this morning and realized I had DOMS = delayed onset muscle soreness. This is what you feel usually 12-24 (but sometimes as late as 72) hours after a workout.

I did a killer weight/strength routine yesterday, so I expected it, but this time I was more prepared with how to handle it.

Assuming you didn’t injure yourself, one of the best ways to deal with this soreness is to keep moving. I sit in a chair in a cubicle at work all day and I’ve noticed that if I sit all day (after a hard workout the day before), I’m even more sore when I leave work than I had been before I got there!

So, in order to prevent that, I went for an easy 1 mile walk this morning (from my car to work since I drove today). Then at 10:00, I took a break and walked over to the bank to make a deposit. I also have an errand scheduled for 3:00’ish.

Another good thing to do is gentle stretches. Every hour or so (if I’m paying attention to the clock), I have sat up in my chair and stretched out my arms, shoulders and back. My favorite stretch is to reach your arms behind you, clasp your hands and gently pull back your shoulders and sit up as straight as possible.

I feel better already! And now I should be able to do an easy run later today.

Vegan Week

It’s been really fun to see all the bloggers (like Mish) who are trying eating vegan for a week. And tomorrow is the big day for the ones who are going Vegan-4-a-day. I wish you all much luck!

I first experimented with vegan eating back in September, when Lindsey announced on her blog that she would be eating vegan for a month. She has since continued the diet and so have I, officially since October 1st.

For me, going vegan, although it was a slow transition, was actually easier than I thought. I have said before that my primary motivation for giving up animal products were health-related. Meat has always made me constipated and wore me down, but I thought I needed it for protein. Too much dairy made me bloated and gassy, but I thought I needed the Vitamin D and calcium, so I just went along with it.

I also have extremely long cycles (we’re talking 40+ days, “normal” is 28) and thought perhaps being more aware of what I was putting into my body, where it came from, and what was done to it before it got to me could somehow play a part in getting things back on a semi-normal track. I haven’t been able to find much research on this, but I figured it can’t hurt.

I have always been irregular (and started having periods at 9 years of age) but it has become more noticeable now that I am more aware of my body and since I’m planning to have children one day down the road. I also have two other things going “against” me are that I lost a significant amount of weight and I’m a runner (when I was training for my first half, I would skip periods for 2-3 months at a time).

But most of us know by now that a lot of animals are injected with antibiotics and growth hormones and whenever we eat them, we might as well have been too. Having that in the back of my mind is one of the things that made giving up animal products even easier. I have enough problems with my own hormones, I don’t need their’s too!

My Transition to Veganism

I’ve never really loved meat, so that was the easiest thing to give up. It was easy to come up with alternatives to get protein like beans, nuts, tofu, etc.

I relied on dairy mainly for calcium and protein (and to soak up granola, ha ha) so once I learned all the various ways I could replace that with other foods, I was good to go. I do take a calcium supplement (that contains calcium, Vitamin D, magnesium and zinc) though, just to be safe. Every now and then I like to spread butter on a piece of toast but luckily I have found alternatives that I can use (like Smart Balance Light).

I only really used eggs for protein and even though I thought I would miss omelets, I really haven’t. They never filled me up as well as a hot bowl of oatmeal anyway 🙂 I go back and forth with honey because that is mostly an ethics issue, but since I like to keep things low in added sugars, I do avoid honey when I can.

The hardest thing for me has been reading labels and educating myself about the animal products that go into certain processed foods. However, this has just reaffirmed in my mind that in general, I need not eat so many processed foods. The weeks I stock my pantry with whole grains, beans, fruit, nuts, etc. and my fridge with fresh veggies, it’s so much easier because there aren’t even any labels to worry about!

The second hardest thing has been eating out at restaurants. I know what places have vegan options for me (or at least vegetarian options that can be made vegan). But when I’m at the mercy of other people, or it is my husband’s week to choose a place, that is when it becomes challenging. The worst are places like Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings that have zero vegan options. But I just go with the flow and feel good knowing that at least I tried my best with what I’d been given.

The last hardest thing about going vegan is explaining your diet choices to people and dealing with their reactions.

I have been blessed to have a very supportive husband, who pretty much announces to everyone that his wife is vegan, and my family and closest friends who have been dealing with plenty of my dietary experiments and changes over the past (almost) three years, are always accepting of me as long as what I’m doing is good for my health.

I still occasionally get snide remarks, weird looks, and the like from others, but now I think I understand where that is coming from, and how personal a person’s diet is, and therefore I no longer let those bother me. I chose to be vegan. I feel amazing and I’m happy about it, whether everyone else is or not 🙂

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About Sarah Frankel

I am 29 years old and a resident of Louisville, Kentucky. I've been married to my husband Josh for 6 years and we have a 5 year old beagle named Suzie. Four years ago, I changed my eating and exercise habits, dropping 70 pounds and gaining an entirely new life. I took up running in September 2007 and became vegan in October 2009. I am constantly striving to improve my life so that I can live it to the fullest! I hope you will join me on my life journey.

Posted on November 18, 2009, in Breakfast, challenges, exercise and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. I’m glad you posted this. I want to start eating vegan/vegetarian more often and it’s good for me to see how others have done it. I feel like I could never fully give up ice cream and yogurt but I love rice dream so I know it’s not impossible.

    My periods are 40+ days too. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with PCOS but I am pretty sure I have it. Kind of makes me want to decrease the amount of hormones in my diet.

  2. Love this post! While there are some who make a cold turkey switch to veganism, I think most are like you and I, and it’s a process. I had slowly been heading in that direction for months, and finally decided to officially “try it” for a month in September.

    It is frustrating though, when you go to restaurants you can’t choose or when you find something at the store that has unnecessary non-vegan ingredients. I totally feel ya! It’s all about making the best of every situation though. 🙂 You rock!

  3. I think you might have inspired me to give up meat for lent…I know it is a few months from now but I can’t wait for the challenge and who knows, it might stick

    I started the GM Challenge ayer =)

  4. Hmm, so that’s what it’s called when I ache like mad two days after my killer boxing class! I love that it has a name — DOMS! I’m going to start using that.

    Congrats on sticking with veganism. After awhile, you don’t really have to read too many labels anymore because you establish which products are cool or not cool…and then you just know.

    On eating out: I try not to be a super-vegan when I eat out. I order things that sound vegan and I’ll ask to have cheese left off. But I don’t typically ask the waiter a million questions because it tends to turn off any omnis that I’m dining with…and I don’t want people to think veganism is hard.

    • Me too! There are a lot of times when I know something may or may not be vegan, but if on the surface it doesn’t contain meat, dairy, eggs, etc. or I can ask for it without cheese, than I just do that. And I have had times when I had to send something back that came with cheese on it but I did it calmly and politely, because like yous aid, I don’t want to turn off my omni friends. I want them to see how awesome it is 🙂

  5. I think you are doing a great job. It’s not easy to adjust to a vegan diet. I have my “vegan” days but I’m not there just yet. Maybe one day. 🙂 I also love that your hubby is so supportive. My hubby is very supportive on anything that I do. You need that extra support sometimes. Especially when others don’t understand what or why you are doing certain things. Keep it up!

  6. Stretching DEFINITELY helps me with DOMS (didn’t know it had an official name until now!). I need to do that more, thanks for reminding me =P

  7. Great start on Vegan week !! Looking forward to reading more of the vegan week stories!

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