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-   -   Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=62847)

Kyle Buresh 11-09-2010 05:26 PM

Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum, but have been doing CrossFit since August. Prior to CrossFit I had never really been in a gym, but have played sports very competitively my whole life. I had been a vegan for 4 years and to this day I haven't had meat in almost 5 years. Anyways, the main trainer at my CrossFit gym said I wouldn't stay vegan very long after I started, and he was right. I was throwing up and completely dead after every WOD. So I started taking in whey protien and eating eggs and finding other sources of protien that I couldn't before. Needless to say I felt a LOT better each day. I had just attended the "Beast of The East" competition at CrossFit New England in Natick, MA last week and saw some of the best CrossFitters in New England compete.

Anyways, after the competition I felt extremely motivated and decided that I wanted to try the paleo diet. My question is, are there any Ex Vegetarians or Ex Vegans here that have any advice on getting back into eating meat? Or anyone in general that have any advice for me?

Meghan Reid 11-09-2010 07:02 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kyle Buresh (Post 865968)
Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum, but have been doing CrossFit since August. Prior to CrossFit I had never really been in a gym, but have played sports very competitively my whole life. I had been a vegan for 4 years and to this day I haven't had meat in almost 5 years. Anyways, the main trainer at my CrossFit gym said I wouldn't stay vegan very long after I started, and he was right. I was throwing up and completely dead after every WOD. So I started taking in whey protien and eating eggs and finding other sources of protien that I couldn't before. Needless to say I felt a LOT better each day. I had just attended the "Beast of The East" competition at CrossFit New England in Natick, MA last week and saw some of the best CrossFitters in New England compete.

Anyways, after the competition I felt extremely motivated and decided that I wanted to try the paleo diet. My question is, are there any Ex Vegetarians or Ex Vegans here that have any advice on getting back into eating meat? Or anyone in general that have any advice for me?

Ex vegan right here. It sounds like you're already on your way. Practically speaking, eggs are a good way to start if you don't like the taste or consistency of meat. Then maybe transition into fish, then go for chicken, and then end at burgers n' bacon. Just take it slow to make sure your stomach is okay.

Also, if you were vegan for ethical reasons, that translates really well into a Paleo-style diet. Read up on sustainable farming and meat and avoid factory farmed food of any type at all costs. See if you can source your eggs and meat from local farms. Fish might be tough depending on where you live.

Ben Kissam 11-09-2010 07:20 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
Do me a favor, and as you go give some updates on what was the easiest for you to eat at first, some tips on making the transition etc.?

My mom has been a vegetarian for over 20 years (she's lost a lot of weight, but still has a lot to go) and I've tried getting her to give me a month with paleo and CrossFit. I understand how hard it is and she literally gets nervous about the thought of eating meat sometimes, so any advice you come across would be great.

Oh, and good luck. Welcome to PR-ville.

Ryan M. Scott 11-09-2010 07:56 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
I was vegan for a few years. My first non-vegan meal was chicken mcnuggets and a double cheeseburger from McDonalds. Just start eating meat, it's not a huge deal.

Michelle Winkopp 11-09-2010 09:12 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
I was varying levels of vegetarian (never "cheated" and had meat but would vary between eating dairy or not, eat eggs or not, etc) and I started out with a little bit of grilled chicken. I didn't want to go straight for greasy burger. That said, I was veg because I was boycotting the meat industry out of frustration over trying to find free-range, hormone- and antibiotic-free meats. I stopped my vegetarianism a couple months ago when I was about a month into my Crossfit adventure.

Edited to add: No stomach issues, either.

James White 11-09-2010 10:29 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
Before CrossFit (or fitness at all had crossed my mind), I was veggie for a couple of years. I like to tell the story that Col. Sanders (of all foods) seduced me. No ill effects after going right back to meat. Re-enjoy! :)

Brooks Laughlin 11-09-2010 11:39 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
I was a vegetarian for 5 years. I started eating fish and seafood, then some chicken, then everything else. No stomach issues at all.

Benjamin Frank 11-10-2010 08:50 AM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
I think the first response you received was on point.

I was vegetarian then vegan (6 years + 4 years) for ethical reasons and partially health reasons. After devoting so much of my time to CrossFit and reading the Zone books and paying attention to people eating Paleo, I felt I could no longer justify veganism for health reasons. Spending XX hours at CrossFit training per week and eating mass quantities of tofu and vegan protein product felt like playing gasso/breako (as Kelly Starrett) would call it. I.E. stomping on the gas pedal while having the e-brake on.

My first priority has become eating for my fitness needs, so that's clean meat for protein, nuts/seeds for fat, veggies for carbs. Following that, I aim to eat cage free grass fed birds, wild caught fish and organic produce. Local is also important.

In my opinion, fast food is not Paleo. My reason for eating meat now is to optimize my fitness and junk food doesn't fit into that anymore than product vegan protein.

That being said, I always aim for the best available option, so I'd probably opt for the fast food burger over the standard vegan rest stop option of peanut chews and coke. But really, I've got like 5,000 pieces of tupperware so I hardly ever travel without food.

I still object to factory farming, mass agriculture and I think trying to source things locally as much as possible is important. Most people in this country have wacked out diets so putting any restriction or extra focus on eating leads to a healthier lifestyle. Before I ate vegan, I'd fallen into eating bagels and pasta almost exclusively, because that's what I could afford. When I went to the vegan diet, I felt much better. I believe people can live 100+ years, healthily and in quite good shape eating vegetables and fruits and nuts and seeds. Meat is only necessary (IMO) for fitness optimization and strength gains.

Scott Stevens 11-10-2010 09:12 AM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
I was vegan or vegetarian for 15 years. Crossfitted on that diet for a year+ and was just getting crushed at the gym. Reading a lot about paleo and thinking about the "whole foods"/paleo movement made me analyze a lot of what I was eating: packaged wheat or soy protein. Started eating a lot more eggs, then decided it was time to branch out into some fish. Felt generally better with this diet. One morning I ate some bacon and it all went uphill from there.

I'm still concerned with food sourcing and factory farming, but I also don't want to analyze my food to death.

I don't know if it has anything to do with it, but I pulled a 50# deadlift PR a couple weeks ago after only doing submaximal loads (during WODs or whatever) for about 10 months. I feel like it's working for me.

Liz Wolfe 11-10-2010 01:24 PM

Re: Ex Vegetarians and Ex Vegans
 
Funny story - my grass-fed beef farmer is an ex-vegetarian. She was raising her cattle using rotational grazing practices and grass-finishing them simply because she thought it was the right thing to do. I am proud to buy my beef from such an ethical farmer!

My mom is an ex-veg. Her transition was slow, but she says the same things with regard to how much better she feels now. I know everybody loves this book, but The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith is an impassioned piece and well worth the read (despite some of the annoyingly femenist rants she's got in there). If you're an Animal Activist looking to expand your circle of ethics to Planet Activist, this is the book for you.

The best resource for finding a great, humane, ethical farmer in your area is www.eatwild.com.


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