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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-21-06, 11:17 PM   #1
Javelina
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Vegetarian Riders

I've become a vegan after spending a good portion of my life eating meat. I missed it for awhile and now I don't really even crave it when my family sits down for dinner to eat their meat while I eat my beans and rice or whatever it is that I am having.

Do many of you eat vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian? Are you feeling as strong and rejuvenated as I have felt in the six months since I quit the meat? I'd like to hear from you.
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Old 01-21-06, 11:44 PM   #2
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I am not a vegetarian but I have switched the focus of my diet from meat to plant based foods. I try have the focus of my meals on non meat, with a side of meat. I have tried to go a week or so without but I can not go longer than that. I find myself craving meat if I do not get any.

Of course I eat alot less meat than I did before and I feel better than I have in a long time. I have more energy and am much sharper upstairs, I even have the marks to prove it. I am hoping one day I will be able to eat without craving meat, but for me it is one step at a time. At least I have reduced my dependancy, and my grocery bill is much lower than before.

Thank you
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Old 01-22-06, 12:00 AM   #3
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I've been vegetarian since 1-jan-05 and haven't had any issues that I can pinpoint to that diet. I'll have eggs, but no dairy (it makes my asthma worse). I've also cut out wheat/gluten as much as I can as well.

Energy-levels for me has really to do with sufficient recovery-meals after rides; sometimes I need to eat up to 5000-calories/day with 30-40% of that coming after the ride. Keeping up with electrolytes and vitamins is critical as well. Muscle-fatigue hasn't really been an issue as I'm a very stocky mesomorph/endomorph that can pile on muscle & fat easily. Nice thing about going from 245lbs to 180lbs is that I'm looking a lot less like a round Jabba-the-hut and more like a built wrestler.
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Old 01-22-06, 12:11 AM   #4
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I was a vegetarian for 22 years up until 2003. I still don't eat lots of red meat, but it sure is easier being an omnivore!

The unusual thing was that my cholesterol dropped after starting to eat red meat again... I would've thought that the reverse would be true.

Az
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Old 01-22-06, 01:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az B
I was a vegetarian for 22 years up until 2003. I still don't eat lots of red meat, but it sure is easier being an omnivore!

The unusual thing was that my cholesterol dropped after starting to eat red meat again... I would've thought that the reverse would be true.

Az
This is especially true if you have to eat out and can't make it to a grocery store. Some places have no choices for vegetarians.
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Old 01-22-06, 08:24 AM   #6
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I went vegetarian for nearly 4 years from 1999-2003 because of weight issues. I stopped living vegetarian because of deployment to Iraq where meal choices were not of my making. Many days I really long to go back to vegetarian because my energy while being a vegetarian was much higher than what it is now. I think that's primarily because of the amount of focus you give your diet as a vegetarian. I was more diet conscious overall, whether it be junk food or meat, than I am now.

It certainly is a more challenging lifestyle, especially when you have a wife and kids that are not partakers of the same lifestyle choice. I still avoid red meat when at all possible, and love my veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and anything else veggie I can get.
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Old 01-22-06, 12:48 PM   #7
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while i indulge in meat about once every couple weeks, and i'm not strict about things like chicken broth in a vegetarian soup, i'm basically ovo-vegetarian. unlike others here, though, i've found that i have a lower energy level and get tired faster than i did before. i feel all-around better, just less energetic. i still eat plenty of protein, so i'm not sure what the problem with my diet is - i'm going to see a dietician soon to see if i can figure out the trouble.
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Old 01-22-06, 01:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javelina
I've become a vegan after spending a good portion of my life eating meat. I missed it for awhile and now I don't really even crave it when my family sits down for dinner to eat their meat while I eat my beans and rice or whatever it is that I am having.

Do many of you eat vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian? Are you feeling as strong and rejuvenated as I have felt in the six months since I quit the meat? I'd like to hear from you.

Ive been a Vegitarian since '77. I do eat Pizza so I guess Im not militant veggie.
Obviously Im biased but but there is absolutely no reason to believe any of the
"you're not getting protien", "you need vitamins" stuff that people say.
I have more energy than most of the 30 year olds I know and dont feel any signs
of slowing down. My fat % is very low for my height and weight and I feel confident
enough in my strenght to ride the hills in Vermont on a fixie Im currently building.
I never get sick and as an added bonus, I never give off body odor. Meat and its
latent toxicities are a source of body odor for carnivors. I rode 14 miles into my job
every day last year and never had to worry about offending people.
Im sure people will disagree with me but there is no other way to eat if you are a
normal persn interested in attaining a higher level of 'bodily concience' (??)
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Old 01-22-06, 03:52 PM   #9
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Vegan biker here. Became a vegetarian in 2000, and a vegan in 2002.

I hear people (who are either omnivores or lacto/ovo veggies) say all the time that being a vegan is so hard.

Uh, it's not. It's actually very easy. You just do things a little differently.

In exchange for that little bit of effort, my energy levels have never been higher and my likelihood of being struck by chronic illness has been much reduced.

In addition to the benefits to my health, being vegan also decreases my "environmental footprint". Seeing as how much water, land, and energy is expended to create animal based foods, I feel better not eating them.

Javelina,

You poor thing, I hope you aren't eating just beans and rice for dinner every night and calling that a vegan diet. The world has so many more vegan options for you. You'd be surprised what foods you can "veganize". If you have ANY questions or want some recipes, etc. please PM me.

Fred
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Old 01-23-06, 12:57 AM   #10
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Yeah, rice & beans gets boring pretty quickly. There's a tonne of veggies you can pick up at organic-foods stores or local farmer's markets. An unlimited numbers of recipes you can whip up using any combinations of stuff you want. Since I'm cutting out wheat/gluten, I've found that baking with a combination of rice and potato flours actually gives darn good results.
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Old 01-23-06, 01:11 AM   #11
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Vegetable and seitan curry, banana bread, and Pike Kilt Lifter for me tonight. Nice road ride and some snowboarding planned for tomorrow.
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Old 01-23-06, 02:25 AM   #12
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I actually just made the choice to turn vegan... ummm...Tuesday? Before hand, I was completely vegetarian the 2nd of this month. Before that, I was converting to completely vegetarian last month. Before hand, I reduce my meat intake a lot for a year, and before that I would reduce my dairy intake since I did not like cheese or milk until I found soy.

Anyway, I find it easier to recover for me. I also find that I a lot more food conscious. I defiantly did not care much about what was going into my body compare to now. I also NEED to plan everything out now for muscle building. I find my energy is about the same.
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Old 01-23-06, 03:33 AM   #13
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Is soy the main protein staple in a vegetarian way of life?
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Old 01-23-06, 05:18 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrider
Is soy the main protein staple in a vegetarian way of life?
It can be, but does not have to be.

Other beans like garbanzo (chick peas), kidney beans, and black beans have a fair amount of protein. Many vegetarians also eat cheese, eggs, and milk. A lot of foods have some protein which adds up over the day. The WHO determined that a person needs only 0.2 g of protein for each pound of body weight per day... a lot less than many people think. Even the starving kids in Asia who eat nothing except rice have been determined to NOT have a protein deficiency.

I've been vegetarian for about a year now, I feel like it's been better for me but it's certainly a lot better for the animals I'm not eating anymore. The longer I am vegetarian, the less it makes sense that people still eat meat.

I'd like to become vegan, but what do you use to replace cheese? I already drink soy milk, but have not found soy cheese (and I'm thinking that if there is such a thing, it might be really gross).
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Old 01-23-06, 05:18 AM   #15
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^^^^ Myth.
Soy is not good for you.
Especially women. It goofs with hormones and other
such unpleasantries. Whey protien is the best.
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Old 01-23-06, 07:59 AM   #16
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Been vegetarian for several years now.
I have no problems with my energy level.....I usually have energy to spare.
I do eat cheese but I avoid drinking milk or eating other dairy products.....including ice cream.
I will eat seafood on occasion though. Fried foods are out too.
+1 on the body odor comment. I have certain friends that eat meat and their breath is always rank.
I really doubt if I'll ever go back to being a carnivore....I don't miss it.
I do supplement my diet with whey protein.
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Old 01-24-06, 07:22 PM   #17
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You get cholesterol from two places: your own liver and your diet. Do you think that when your body saw that it was getting some from the outside that it stopped producing as much as it was? That might explain your drop. (But I am only GUESSING, I am not a nurtirionist)
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Old 01-24-06, 07:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalrider
Is soy the main protein staple in a vegetarian way of life?
For the lazier vegetarians it often is, since it's so easy to prepare and found in so many products. There's plenty of other natural protein options out there.
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Old 01-24-06, 09:30 PM   #19
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I have tried being a vegetarian twice for a couple of weeks, but have had to go back to red meat for fatigue from lack of iron. I tried iron suplements, but non-heme iron isn't as good, and it gives me terrible constipation. To minimize the badness of eating meat, all my red meat is buffalo farmed and killed 40 miles away by a family I know. They don't use antibiotics, they roam freely, and the meat doesn't travel long distances. Are there any other diagnosed anemics out there who can survive on non-heme supplements?
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Old 01-24-06, 09:56 PM   #20
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Way to go new vegetarians and vegans!
Consider keeping track of your food intake on www.fitday.com. I do on occasion and am surprised at how much protein and calcium and everything I get (I'm vegan). The protein in vegatables, fruits and whole grains really add up. Add a few beans or soy here and there and you are easily over 100g/day.

Good vegan cookbooks:
How it all Vegan by Sarah Kramer
Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer
La Dolce Vegan by Sarah Kramer

OVer the past 3 years my wife and I have bought about 20 vegan cookbooks- but most of them were to hard to make. THe ones I cite above are fully of recipes that are pretty quick and easy.
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Old 01-25-06, 08:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Javelina
I've become a vegan after spending a good portion of my life eating meat. I missed it for awhile and now I don't really even crave it when my family sits down for dinner to eat their meat while I eat my beans and rice or whatever it is that I am having.

Do many of you eat vegan or lacto-ovo vegetarian? Are you feeling as strong and rejuvenated as I have felt in the six months since I quit the meat? I'd like to hear from you.
Javelina, I don't remember what my energy level was like when I ate meat, it's been 10 years. Among my friends, I'm the most active. I think that has to do more with enjoying bicycling than it does with being a vegetarian. I don't doubt that I'm carrying around fewer toxins though.

edit: Jennings is right, Sarah Kramer writes good books.
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Old 01-25-06, 03:48 PM   #22
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Lacto-ovo Vegetarian here. Officially cut out meat in April 2005. I haven't eaten red meat in years and only at chicken. I finally gave up chicken and don't crave it at all. My cravings for meat have diminished completely (its a slow process).

My diet consists of high-fiber meals. Tofu, soy milk, lots of veggies, fruits, beans, SALADS, etc...

It's true that being a vegetarian makes you focus on your diet closely. Translation... you don't stuff your face with whatever you see at a restaurant, thus you loose weight.
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Old 01-25-06, 04:14 PM   #23
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I’ve been following the Nutrition Forum for a little while and have decided I’ve come up with the perfect diet. Granted, it may get boring, but if you ate it everyday, you’d get the nutrients you need.

So, (drum roll please…)

Breakfast:

1.5 cups cooked oats
1 pint soymilk
4 pieces whole wheat toast
2 Tbs. Natural Peanut Butter
2 Tsp. Rasperry Jam
1 Banana

Lunch:

1.5 cups Pinto Beans
4 Corn Tortillas
2 green chile peppers
½ ripe tomato
1 Tbs. Onion
1 Tbs. Olive oil
Cilantro
Garlic clove
1 Cup cooked summer squash

Snack:
Apple
¼ cup walnuts

Supper:

1.5 cups Pinto Beans
4 Corn tortillas
2 green chile peppers
½ ripe tomato
1 Tbs. Onion
1 Tbs. Olive oil
Cilantro
Garlic clove
1 Cup cooked summer squash (i like yellow mixed with zuchinni)

Snack:

Orange

This is not the menu, these are the ingredients. It works out to be about 3200 k/cal. For my weight this is a good base menu. As I ride, I can add more good stuff. On days with no riding this would be all I needed to prepare.

Nice thing about most of it is that it can be prepared and will keep very well. The squash should be fried in the olive oil with the onions, cilantro, garlic and peppers just before eating.

I could eat this pretty much 2-3 times a week.
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Old 01-25-06, 05:22 PM   #24
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I can't eat that much in single sittings. I gotta break up my intake into about 5-7 meals a day.
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Old 01-25-06, 05:37 PM   #25
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One of the reasons I became a veggie back in '78 was because I (and some other friends) had noticed that we raced much better on days after eating a large pasta meal than we did after having a lot of red meat, like steak.

That, and I lived with a girl who was a veg and an outstanding cook.

That being said, I think it's part of the reason I got fat. You have to eat a ton of food to be truly satisfied when it's meatless. (Keep in mind I'm a huge glutton) When you incorporate meat into the diet, it's a lot easier to feel satiated after a meal.

At least that's my take on it. I've been veg almost as many years as I've been an omni and I'm pretty old. So I have had a lot of experience both ways.

Az
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