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Food for thought - Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy Options

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Food for thought - Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy Options

Old 01-05-19, 06:39 PM
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TheRef
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Food for thought - Vegan/Vegetarian/Healthy Options

I need to make a major change in lifestyle. Due to a stressful job with long days my eating habits are all over the place. I leave the house at 6am without breakfast and usually stop for a coffee (can't really eat right when I wake up or in a hurry) and get home at 6:30ish to 7pm. At some point during the day I might have a few minutes to eat something and due to convenience it's usually fastfood/unhealthy options.
I started packing better choices so I'm not tempted to eat crap at work but during my weekend rides I usually like to treat myself and stop for some food and it was usually crap to. Maybe a donut, a burger if it's a leisure ride with time to relax or an Ice cream.

I'm trying to adopt a mostly vegeratian/ vegan diet and I'm curios as to what prepackaged/commercially available options people out there are going for during their rides.
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Old 01-05-19, 06:55 PM
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Eat a modest breakfast, a modest lunch, and a modest dinner. Minimize snacks, or if you must munch buy a 3 pound bag of baby-cut carrots and eat them. Drink mainly water.

Most important, make it sustainable.

During rides I like a fig bar but eat real food that tastes good.
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Old 01-05-19, 07:29 PM
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I eat a plant based diet and try to avoid processed stuff. On the bike I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fig newtons, bananas, pecans, wasabi peas, and dark chocolate.
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Old 01-05-19, 10:07 PM
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It is a big leap from not having enough time to eat properly, to then go Vegan.
It is that much more limiting in your options.
If I were you I would go for establishing a healthy "regular" diet and once that is established then think about moving on to Vegan if you still want to.
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Old 01-05-19, 11:36 PM
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Skipping breakfast is a big mistake. I too leave the house at 6am, so I make a nutritious shake the night before and leave it in the fridge so it's ready to go in the morning.
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Old 01-06-19, 12:40 AM
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When someone suggest veganism as a solution to health, weight loss and management one thought comes to mind:






Seriously, forget about vegetarianism, its unhealthy and unnatural. Chose Intermittent Fasting (IF) instead. You'll be stronger, healthier, happier, live longer and enjoy the good things in life rather than unnecessarily abstaining from them
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Old 01-06-19, 03:00 AM
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@TheRef, a plant-based dieet has been proven, time and time again, to have long-lasting benefits. I observe a plant-based diet and my cholesterol and A1c levels have dramatically dropped.

Disregard the naysayers and do your own reseach. Here is a good starting point:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/stayi...d-diet-for-you

As far as snacks for the ride, I use products from this company:

https://www.gomacro.com/

Go luck in your quest for a healthier and more ethical way of eating.
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Old 01-06-19, 03:24 AM
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Another option is to cut the nonsense and take enough time each day to eat healthy.
IMO nobody is that busy 12 hours each day, sorry.
I have spent a lot of time in retail, in sales, and in the restaurant business and at every job I have listened to a lot of co-workers say the same nonsense. It’s just an excuse.
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Old 01-06-19, 05:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Dean V View Post
It is a big leap from not having enough time to eat properly, to then go Vegan.It is that much more limiting in your options.If I were you I would go for establishing a healthy "regular" diet and once that is established then think about moving on to Vegan if you still want to.
I second this, and also agree with @downhillmaster, though he is a little more harsh in expression.

You cannot just “go vegan.” You cannot even just “become vegetarian.” The more you limit your dietary choices, the more each thing you eat matters. Fail to get the nutrients you need and you will get sick.

First off, you cannot eat haphazardly and eat well because too many fast-food places and convenience stores simply won’t have vegetable protein sources readily available.

You have to choose what protein sources you find acceptable too. I don’t stress over dairy and eggs even though eating both does indirectly promote animal cruelty and such.

I would strongly suggest eating less meat, particularly red meat, and adding other protein sources. I would suggest small meals and small snacks, and eating junk food at times like after a ride when empty calories won’t cut into your nutrition as hard. Once you can eat well, you can start playing with veganism.

Also … breakfast is Not essential, but you do have to make sure you keep your blood sugar stable and your metabolism cooking along. For many years I didn’t eat breakfast---coffee with creamer and out the door---but I usually ate late the night before. I didn’t let myself get too empty, because that messes me up.

If you crash your blood sugar you are more likely to overeat, to make bad choices, and to block up your system. You don’t want to get sugar spikes and spikes in your metabolism … you don’t want to feel tired and start snacking, feel great for a few minutes, and then feel tired again and snack more.

Once you learn to listen to your body it is easier to play with different foods at different times, and you can get a sense of how different food affect your specific chemistry.

As for snacks on the road … fig newtons are the classic. I am sure they are full of preservatives and I just don’t care. Almost every convenience store has them, they digest easily, and they have sugar for the quick kick plus carbs and fat for a little lasting benefit.

I usually bring Powerbars (everyone has a sports bar he or she likes best) and a couple gels. If I have been eating right the day before and the day of a ride, I shouldn’t need that many calories.

It depends who you ask, but some sources say you can only absorb about 200 calories per hour anyway, so if you start with some food in your system you could probably do an easy three hour ride without eating, or a spirited ride with just a small snack.But if you get caught .. fig newtons are the easiest.

As for other packaged foods …. I just don‘t, as a rule.

Peanut butter sandwiches rule. Any kind of dried fruit is almost as easy to digest as a gel and provides the same kind of energy at about the same pace. (One thing occurs to me---cracker jack provides some satisfaction with its sweetness and still is mostly popcorn, which is a pretty healthy snack.)

I don’t like to eat nuts while riding as a rule but the Good Old Raisins and Peanuts mix suits a lot of people. Toss in some chocolate chips and then don’t bring much because you Will eat it all.

If you really want to go veg/vegan, you will have to accept that convenience food and fast food is not an option. A “vegetarian Whopper” is a lettuce sandwich---no protein, just highly refined flour. You will need to plan ahead … or buy a burger and enjoy it, and don’t stress. It won’t kill you---and if it does you’ll be dead, so no worries But yeah … you won’t find much that will work for you at most convenience stores.

One further note---baby carrots are a really great snack if you are a little hungry and just want to eat. Not a huge amount of fuel value but not a lot of calories and actually pretty tasty. (Not nearly as satisfying as the high-fat, salt, and sugar snacks most of us eat or ate. But that's part of the point,)

Last edited by Maelochs; 01-06-19 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
When someone suggest veganism as a solution to health, weight loss and management one thought comes to mind:





Seriously, forget about vegetarianism, its unhealthy and unnatural. Chose Intermittent Fasting (IF) instead. You'll be stronger, healthier, happier, live longer and enjoy the good things in life rather than unnecessarily abstaining from them
While I don't think a vegan/vegetarian diet is inherently more healthy than a diet that includes meat, I don't think it is automatically unhealthy either. It takes some effort to ensure that the follower gets the appropriate nutrients (and, to a degree, this is true of all diets), but that mindfulness can be a good thing.

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Old 01-06-19, 09:07 AM
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I have a friend who went vegan and reports it has improved his health and life tremendously. Eliminating all milk products was especially helpful, he said, although he reports that is more difficult to do than one might think. Requires careful reading of all ingredient labels. Personally, I don't have that kind of discipline and I like meat too much. But it does work for some folks.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
Seriously, forget about vegetarianism, its unhealthy and unnatural.
What a ridiculous blanket statement.
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Old 01-06-19, 04:37 PM
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FWIW, I've been a vegetarian for over 40 years. Now age 63, I take zero prescription medications, blood pressure, labs, body mass, and other biometrics are solidly in the "healthy" range, and I have zero chronic health conditions beyond some age-related arthritis.

Is it because I'm a vegetarian? I don't know, but being a vegetarian doesn't seem to have been unhealthy for me.
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Old 01-06-19, 06:46 PM
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Me and my family switched to a plant based diet 2 years ago right when I started to get into cycling. The benefits have been life changing. It was actually easier than I thought it would be as well and it has ended up saving us money.
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Old 01-06-19, 08:12 PM
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Another 40 year vegetarian here. About a year or so ago,my wife and I took up protein powder, and it is serving us well. My morning smoothie contains frozen fruit, 1/2 cup rolled oats, a generous serving of chia seeds, and some ground flaxseeds, and a scoop of chocolate flavored protein powder. When I remember to, I add in some full fat unsweetened chocolate. keeps me going all morning.
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Old 01-06-19, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
What a ridiculous blanket statement.
First, only in modern times and with a sufficient development of nutrition science can your vegetarian diet sustain you. Second, your ancestors weren't vegetarians. If they had been, your lineage would not have survived to this point. Third, if mankind had developed as vegetarian we would not have had the capacity and mechanisms to digest and absorb animal products.

Fourth, the most basic -- and life sustaining -- of all macronutrients required in our daily diets are fats and proteins. Neither of which are naturally occurring in abundance and easily supplied in sufficient quantities through plant matter. However, both are in abundance, complete, and easily satisfied through the consumption of basic animal products. If science and reason are ridiculous then I stand guilty as charged.
Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
FWIW, I've been a vegetarian for over 40 years. Now age 63, I take zero prescription medications, blood pressure, labs, body mass, and other biometrics are solidly in the "healthy" range, and I have zero chronic health conditions beyond some age-related arthritis.

Is it because I'm a vegetarian? I don't know, but being a vegetarian doesn't seem to have been unhealthy for me.
Your example could be true, false or totally unrelated.
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Old 01-06-19, 08:50 PM
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Alternative solution, quit that job. 13 hours a day plus no lunch, why? If nothing else is available rob a bank. You'll get 3 meals a day and plenty of time to work out in prison, can't be worse.
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Old 01-06-19, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
First, only in modern times and with a sufficient development of nutrition science can your vegetarian diet sustain you. Second, your ancestors weren't vegetarians. If they had been, your lineage would not have survived to this point. Third, if mankind had developed as vegetarian we would not have had the capacity and mechanisms to digest and absorb animal products.

Fourth, the most basic -- and life sustaining -- of all macronutrients required in our daily diets are fats and proteins. Neither of which are naturally occurring in abundance and easily supplied in sufficient quantities through plant matter. However, both are in abundance, complete, and easily satisfied through the consumption of basic animal products. If science and reason are ridiculous then I stand guilty as charged.

Your example could be true, false or totally unrelated.
Have another Whopper!

Our earliest ancestors were more likely to be hunted, than to be hunting. And yes, eventually they ate plenty of animals and it played a roll in our development. But who cares what they ate. They only lived long enough to mate, if lucky. They ate what they could find/catch, and often times went without for long periods and even starved. We can easily do so much better than them today, diet wise.

Study after study shows plant based diets to be more healthy for us, while also reducing the risks of the most common diseases modern societies suffer from. And there's no careful counting of nutrients required. Just a wide variety of healthy unprocessed plant based foods.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:01 PM
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This might sound dumb, but I've been really into oranges lately. A big bag is cheap, and they also have them at many of our local convenience stores.

They've basically become my dessert replacement. I learned the hard way last winter that daily giant slabs of cake are great when you're riding 200-300 miles a week, but do not work so well when one cuts way back on miles.

On rides, I tend to eat little solid food. The exception is agave gummy bears from the grocery co-op; they're easier for me to chew while riding, and as a bonus, have less weird stuff than the normal ones.

I'm not a vegetarian, but haven't had meat since sometime in September (there's no good reason, we just haven't felt like meat.) I personally find it pretty easy to get protein and iron from plants and dairy. I know plenty of vegans who do well, but it can be difficult depending on where you live and how much you like cooking. When my vegan stepdaughter visits, there's only two places in town that even know what vegan options are. Where she lives, you can actually eat out - for cheap - and have a filling, balanced, and enjoyable vegan meal.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:28 PM
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Whatever course you pursue, paying more attention to what, when, and how you eat should have beneficial effects.
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Old 01-06-19, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
First, only in modern times and with a sufficient development of nutrition science can your vegetarian diet sustain you. Second, your ancestors weren't vegetarians. If they had been, your lineage would not have survived to this point. Third, if mankind had developed as vegetarian we would not have had the capacity and mechanisms to digest and absorb animal products.

Fourth, the most basic -- and life sustaining -- of all macronutrients required in our daily diets are fats and proteins. Neither of which are naturally occurring in abundance and easily supplied in sufficient quantities through plant matter. However, both are in abundance, complete, and easily satisfied through the consumption of basic animal products. If science and reason are ridiculous then I stand guilty as charged.

Your example could be true, false or totally unrelated.
Why does the fact that vegetarians exist cause some people to froth at the mouth?
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Old 01-06-19, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Why does the fact that vegetarians exist cause some people to froth at the mouth?
I don't know, perhaps the same phenomenon that leads vegan proponent to proclaim that all of mankind worship at the alter of veganism as the savior of humanity? As a counterpoint to this mentality, I consider my arguments to be more informative than confrontational.

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Old 01-07-19, 12:05 AM
  #23  
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Why does the fact that our ancestors ate bugs and small rodents raw dictate that we should too?

As @KraneXL notes, we now have the option (some of us) to tailor our diets to our bodies and minds. Nowadays, if you are lactose intolerant, and you live on a dairy farm, you don't have to drink mil. if you belonged to a cattle-herding culture in the past ... tough luck for you and everyone around you. If you had food alergies in the past, you likely wouldn't know .. . you'd just die. now we can plan or diets.

As KraneXL also notes--he is so wise--- our ancestors did not ride bikes ... so we shouldn't either.

I have lived mostly as a vegetarian for a couple decades after a couple decades of living more as a vegetarian. I don't think it has made me any more or less healthy, but I had a lot of reasons for following that path.

I really don't care what others eat. As @Seattle Forrest notes ... some people get really worked up about such stuff ... but hey, we all have personal problems of one sort or another. One never knows what might threaten another ....

I think it makes sense for me to pay attention to what I eat and how it seems to affect me--mood, energy levels, digestion, whatever. The rest of y'all can eat poison if you like. Some of you, i must confess, I hope, don't.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:36 AM
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That would be “altar,” not “alter.”

And as @Maelochs and @Seattle Forrest pointed out, why do people get all worked up about what others eat or do not eat? I have been evolving into a plant based diet. It works for me. It may not work for others. Who cares?

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Old 01-07-19, 12:40 AM
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I usually start with a smoothie -- whole or sliced frozen fruits, fresh bananas, unsweetened yogurt, protein powder. By the time I'm ready to eat or drink something it's usually been 8-12 hours since my last meal. I take thyroid supplements and they're supposed to be taken on an empty stomach with water, nothing else. Then some instructions claim I'm supposed to wait four hours before eating.

So if I wake at 6 to take that one med it'll be mid to late morning before I can eat. By then I'm ravenous. The smoothie and a cup of coffee usually kickstart me.

If I have a long day away from home and am not sure about places to eat, I'll take snacks with me. Usually favorite snack bars -- Clif, Think Thin others. It's not great or as satisfying as a meal, but it beats bonking and craving sugary junk.

Or just grab a banana on the way out the door to pick up coffee. Pretty good starter fuel.
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