Good morning! Happy Sunday. I hope you’ve had a great weekend thus far. We certainly have!
Saturday morning started off with a double digit run! The first since the trail run back in January. It felt great, challenging but amazing thanks to some gorgeous Charleston views. With the Cooper River Bridge run less than a month away, I decided I should tackle it at least once, right? Adding that beast into the equation took my run from good to A-Ma-Zing!
The rest of Saturday was aimed towards knocking out a few things on my to-do list and relaxing. It was so nice to curl up with a book and a glass of wine on the couch and just chill.
But I really think the highlight of my weekend happened on Friday, with this:
Yup, that would be vegan falafels (with a side of kale chips).
Falafels = no more Pegan Project.
The Pegan Project Outcome
Two weeks ago, I announced that I was going to undergo a new diet challenge: or what I named, the Pegan Project. I wanted to see how the body would react to a vegan high fat, zero grain diet. Basically, I wanted to learn and experience how a vegan and paleo diet would affect my body (and life).
After being a vegan for a year (this month was my veganversary), I knew my body rocks this plant loving lifestyle. I have had more energy, better athletic performances, and overall more confidence living the vegan life.
After doing a lot of research on the paleo diet, based on eating the way our knuckle dragging ancestors did, I was intrigued. I read some great resources on how hunter’s and gatherers from caveman days up until our native Americans lived off a diet of high fat. Because of this diet they experienced less health issues (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc), less cavities, and of course less obesity, etc.
In fact, I even learned that while the indians did have corn in their diet they realized that the more corn (which is a grain) the more health problems that they suffered. So while it was in their diet, it was enjoyed in moderation.
Interesting, right? I had images of Pocohontas all these years eating corn on the cob with a side of deer meat every night. I know that’s awful, but that’s what I thought.
After researching, I decided that for 1 month, I would try the no grain, more fat plan.
Well, it’s been 2 weeks and I’ve pulled the plug on Project Pegan.
Pegan Project Outcome
Because it didn’t work for me. I felt like crap.
I have 4 races back to back beginning next week, and of course the final 2 (Cooper River Bridge Run & Palmetto70) are the ones that I care the most about. Not only do I want a PR but I also want to finish the month of races being healthy and in peak physical shape.
On Thursday, I was worried neither of these would happen.
Since going high fat, I noticed a few changes:
- The first was with my GI, I won’t go into too much detail on this, just take me word for it… things were “different”.
Okay, moving on.
- I have had zero energy. For a week, I have felt as if I was getting the flu or something. My body and mind were just out of it. It took everything I had to do anything. Working out was a chore, typing and staying focused on work was a chore and even having a conversation felt like more work than it should have been. I can’t tell you how many times Dan rolled his eyes at me and said, “I already told you that” or “you already said that”. Seriously, I was in a fog.
- Recovery sucked. Even though I didn’t want to exercise, I did. I had to, it’s my job. What I couldn’t get over was how slow my recovery has been from my workouts and how much each workout has affected me. Now granted, I pushed myself pretty hard this week but the levels of fatigue I felt after and the soreness I felt the next morning were really uncharacteristic for me. I am pretty quick at recovery with both cardio and strength training. Soreness is normal but doesn’t often last long. So you can probably understand my frustration when running just 3 miles felt like 5. Or how my arms were so sore after a push-up workout that I didn’t want to put my hair up.
I understand that it takes the body time to adjust to major dietary changes, I get that. When I went vegan it took about 3-4 weeks to really feel “good” about the decision.
But here’s what I don’t get:
I’m an athlete, I need fuel.
I am a coach, I need energy.
I am a friend and wife, I need personality!
I didn’t have any of these during these past 2 weeks and it has made me realize it’s not worth it.
I need (let’s see how many times I can use the word “need” in this post) to be in tip-top shape for the 4 weeks ahead of me and even though by time the Bridge Run and Palmetto70 roll around I will be done with the challenge, I am worried there won’t be enough time to fully recovery, or worst, I’ll have already burnt out.
So with that, I’ve tried it and this is my story.
I am not saying that the Paleo diet is terrible, there are many, many people who have adopted this lifestyle and do great. Perhaps it just doesn’t mesh well with the vegan side of things. Perhaps if I was eating meat, then this post would have a completely different air about it?
Just like a vegan diet doesn’t work for everyone, it works for me. Each person’s body is different and this girl needs grains in her life.
I can’t tell you how happy eating this pancake made me this morning (and yesterday).
It was an instant pick me up, possibly responsible for the killer awesome run I had yesterday? Who knows, but I’m sticking to it. Thanks oats!
Thanks to those of you who helped me accept my decision to quit this study early… I needed that support. I hate quitting, even if I know my body deserves better. But this was the right decision.
- Have you ever tried a diet or eating program that just didn’t work for you?
- In less than 5 words how would you describe your eating habits?