The Flaming Vegan

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Powered By Plants: The Veg Athlete
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Powered By Plants: The Veg Athlete

I have loved watching the Olympics since I can remember.  Seeing what the human body is capable of has always fascinated me.  Often you hear stories about what an athlete must eat just to maintain their weight.  The number of calories can be astounding! Obviously, protein is a must since it is key for muscle building and repair.

Lately, I have been reading stories of vegan/vegetarian athletes and I've been amazed and the variety of sports where these athletes not only compete but excel. There are cyclists, MMA fighters, football players, triathletes, ultramarathoners, even bodybuilders.  I saw that Lizzie Armitstead, the British road cyclist who won silver at these Olympic games, is a vegetarian.  It's wonderful that so many are showing the nay-sayers that yes, we do get enough protein, thank you very much!

I started playing roller derby not long after I began my vegan diet.  I also began training for my first 5k around the same time.  I never wanted to call myself an athlete because I never felt like one.  I played some team sports, but nothing too serious.  However, when I started practicing with my roller derby team, I felt like I could call myself one.  We practice three times a week for two hours at a time and that doesn't just mean skating the whole time.  Our coaches incorporate off-skates workouts, along with skating.  We are encouraged to work out on our off days, also.  While keeping this regiment up, I found myself wanting to eat more than I was used to.  I knew protein was key so I made sure to have a protein bar or nuts on hand to eat after practice.  I suppose a veg athlete must be a little more aware of their needs but I don't see that as a bad thing.  You see, it would be more "convenient" to grab a cheeseburger at a drive-thru after practice but is that really a healthy option?  In a way, those on a plant-based diet have somewhat of an advantage.  Talking with other friends who are vegan athletes, I find that we are more in tune with our bodies and their needs.  Generally, it seems we choose the healthier options for a post-workout snack.

While I'm sure omni athletes are eating well-balanced diets, too, I can't help but think about how I felt after eating animal proteins.  I always felt heavy and not energized but the exact opposite.  However, after eating plant-based proteins, I feel refreshed.  My energy levels stay up and I don't feel like I need to lie down!  I would think most want to feel that way while competing, as well.  I never felt like I was tired or needed a pick me up when I played in a bout or ran a 5k. 

With the success of Lizzie Armitstead and countless others. perhaps the perception of strength and what one needs to be strong, will change as well.  I have a feeling it's already begun.

More about olympics, sports, vegan, exercise
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  1. Veganara
    Veganara
    Voted, great blog! Yes, I also feel that the success of vegetarian/vegan athletes and sportspeople is really helping to further the cause. I recently shared a photo of Serena Williams on my Facebook page which stated how she has just won Wimbledon on a raw vegan diet! I really hope she sticks with it.
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    1. Kate Noel
      Kate Noel
      Thanks! I saw that about Serena Williams and was really excited about it. I hope it peaks others curiosty about vegan food and perhaps encourages them to try it!
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  2. evalovesbend
    Great article and absolutely true! Voted. Check out my post vegan churro chips and dip and vote if you like it :)
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    1. Kate Noel
      Kate Noel
      Thanks evalovesbend! I will check out your recipe, for sure!
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  3. Akanksha
    Akanksha
    Its true, there are many good sources of protein in Veg diet. One just needs to be educated..or Vegucated :)
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    1. Kate Noel
      Kate Noel
      Thanks Akanksha! I couldn't agree more.
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      1. Akanksha
        Akanksha
        I absolutely forgot that I read this here...wrote on the same topic today... I didn't intend to duplicate you!
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  4. pentamom
    pentamom
    Voted #4! Great blog! I am also a runner, physical fitness freak and am not just starting to train in bodybuilding. I have to say that I certainly have more energy and I feel my running is so much better since going Vegetarian/Vegan. I remember also how I use to feel like my body was weighed down and tired after eating those fast food places. I hope to be another Vegan success story in town with fitness and Raw Vegan diet. Keep up the good work! :-)
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    1. Kate Noel
      Kate Noel
      Thanks! I've actually been considering adding more raw dishes to my diet. You'll have to let me know how your progress goes. :)
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  5. pftsusan
    pftsusan
    Vote #6. I'm an athlete, CPT and Spin Instructor and into nutrition for healing. Also save animals. Not totally Vegan yet. I love my veggies, clean eating. I like to keep my optimizer ratios at 3), 30 and 30 for my balace. I thought this was good. Welcome to the Flaming Vegan. I added you to my bloggers. Please stop by Peanut Allergies, my new one. If you like it, feel free to vote.
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    1. Kate Noel
      Kate Noel
      Thank you for reading and following! I will be sure to stop by and read your posts. I have a friend who is a Spin Instructor and I took her class once. That's some serious stuff but I enjoyed it. :)
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