30-Day Vegan Challenge With Vega: Week 1

On December 1st, Shacky and I started a 30-day vegan challenge with Vega.

Vega provided us with one month’s supply of their 3-stage, 7-piece set Vega Sport Performance line to help in our transition and to make sure we had the nutrients we needed to continue racing ultras.

A few weeks ago, we had also tried a 30-day Paleo Challenge, so I’m looking forward to comparing how I feel on these two diets, specifically as I continue racing.

This diet’s main spokesman is Brendan Brazier, who is a two-time winner of the Canadian 50-km Ultramarathon Championships. He’s more widely known as a professional Ironman triathlete. Brendan credits his athletic success to the Thrive diet and encourages others to try Thrive for 30 days.  So that’s what we’re doing.

A few days into the diet, here are 10 of my observations:

1. The one thing that Paleo and Vegan diets do have in common (or should) is tons of vegetables. I very much look forward to our trips to the farmer’s market now, and we’re stocking up on more veggies.

2. I haven’t had rice and beans for a very long time, but we made a whole bunch of it earlier this week as well as a vegan pizza. We’re eating out much less than we did on Paleo, which I think is a positive step.

3. I’ve always been a huge dairy fan and I’ve never once eliminated dairy from my diet. I drool over really good quality cheese and I love raw milk. But a week after being dairy-free, I feel a little lighter and less bloated.

4. Instead of feeling so full after a meal where you have to lay back and loosen your pants, you almost feel like you can get up and run at anytime, even if you’ve just eaten.

5. Similar to Paleo, I’m eating a higher volume of food. I basically need to eat something every three hours or so, but I have a hard time consuming large amounts of food in one single sitting.

6. I don’t like tofu or fake meats at all. This is why I’m not a huge fan of vegan restaurants. Once you eliminate the tofu and fake meats, I feel the menus are very limiting and the things I CAN have would be much cheaper and yummier if I made them myself at home.

7. I’m extremely careful about soy products, since soy is usually genetically modified.

8. I love hummus. I feel that in the next 30 days I will probably perfect my own recipe (the Thrive books have a great one), since beans are so much cheaper than buying ready-made hummus.

9. I read labels on everything now. I always used to read labels, but not for EVERYTHING I put my hands on. Now I do, and it definitely influences what I will buy.

10. Protein was a concern for me at first, but Vega was great at calming my concerns and sending enough protein for us to use, along with tons of great recipes.

I’m really excited about how well supported this 30-day challenge will be for us, and I’m looking forward to reporting the results. We’ll be taking pictures of our meals and the products we use on our races. We have one race scheduled every weekend from now until mid-January. Bring it!