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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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā 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 ūüôā