week 2: drop down and get your vegan on

Over two weeks as a lean, mean vegan machine and I have finally settled into a nice physiological rhythm.  I have not strayed from the path, but there were a few bumps in the road last week before reaching my current, happy state.

Last week I came down with a little case of the flu, which would have been fine with a little bed rest, but as I want to live the total vegan lifestyle, it became slightly more difficult when I tried to find a flu medicine that did not use gelatin or animal skin for the pill casing.  After checking a number of labels and asking a few curious staff members at the local drug store, ‘do you know if these pills are vegan?’, the problem was solved and I was on the road to recovery.

The second bump in the road came as I was going for one of my normal weekend runs.  Usually I wake up on Saturdays and before I do anything else I lace up my sneakers, throw on some dirty gym clothes and my NY Rangers hat and then go for a long run. I tend not to eat breakfast before I run because it makes me feel sick and the longer I put the run off more likely I am to skip it.

However, last Saturday I realized that you cannot skip a meal and work out as a vegan.  Halfway through my normal route I found myself on the verge of collapsing and frustrated beyond all belief. I felt like a car that worked perfectly fine, but simply had no gas.

Immediately after finishing my run I scrambled to eat breakfast and regain my strength, but I felt no better after eating. The day before, I worked out in the gym and felt a little more tired than normal, but thought it was simply the last bit of the flu.

After thinking about it for a while it was pretty obvious that I didn’t have enough protein in my diet to keep up with my workouts.  The first week of being vegan and feeling amazingly refreshed and ‘detoxed’ had ended and now my body was running only on an assortment of fruit and vegetables.

Remember back to when I weight trained in high school, I decided to wander over to the nearest health food shop and buy a tub of soy protein mix to make a shake for after work outs.

The one that I bought had a large ‘Vegan Friendly’ label on it, which made it a little less intimidating then the ones with an image of a torso on it and some guy who hadn’t left the gym or stopped drinking these shakes for about 5 years.

A couple of days and a few less than tasty, but strangely satisfying, shakes later I felt back to my normal self with my work out resuming.

Overall, this past week was an amazing learning experience about how the body uses energy, requires different types of food and what ‘healthy eating’ is all about and has prepared me for the month left of being vegan.

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