Do Vegans Fart More? And Other Diet Questions

By November 25, 2014 Nom Noms, Vegan Adventures
Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving week! The perfect time to talk about plants (this post is sponsored by turkeys).

I’ve been a convenient vegan for almost a year and a half now. Long enough for me to know that while I can never completely give up my overflowing plates of BBQ and mac & cheese, I do prefer eating a plant-based diet.

Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

Pre-Thanksgiving meal from this past weekend, complete with turkey

I get asked questions all the time about why I eat primarily vegan. Most questions are thoughtful and genuine; others are downright hilarious. So once and for all, I thought it’d be fun to compile the best ones for folks to refer to. Here we go:

But why? I’ve learned that the harder or further I run, the more my intestines hate me. Like, a lot. I have Runner’s Colitis, which is like a self-inflicted Ulcerative Colitis. Gross. Through experimenting, I found that eating unprocessed, plant-based meals helps my body handle the miles better.

Aren’t you hungry? Hell to the no! Plants are jam-packed with fiber and vitamins that actually fill me up much faster than regular, processed food. Which, if you know me, is almost impossible to do. I am a bottomless pit.

Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

My all-time favorite recipe – curry tofu rice

Don’t you need protein? Yes. But as my friend and fellow Resolute Runner Kevin says, “where do cows get their protein?” Plants have a ton of protein (check out this article for protein-packed veggies), and most Americans have too much protein in their diets anyway.

Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

Borrowed from Pinterest

Does all your food taste like dirt? No. Because I am a good cook. Does your meat taste like death?

Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

Hello there, you tasty little gourd

How do you have enough energy to do things? Silly person, plants have all the vitamins and nutrients you need to be a beast. By eating vegan and plant-based meals, I don’t get empty calories, chemicals, or filler crap in my food.

Don’t you like meat? Yes. That’s why I’m a convenient vegan and can eat my weight in burgers. Though I pay dearly for it afterwards.

Don’t you miss cheese and ice cream? Yes, sometimes. But you actually get used to not having dairy fairly quickly. It doesn’t even cross my mind to cook with it anymore. Though don’t try vegan mac & cheese recipes—they’re all a huge letdown.

Does your husband resent your diet? No. I make him his own meat and cheese-laden meals every night. Lucky bastard.

Do you fart more? No. Because girls don’t fart. Ever. Even if she eats beans every day.

Vegan Diet, plant-based diet, plant-powered, vegan, vegetarian, Runner's Colitis, ultra running diet, vegan Thanksgiving

Fun fact – every meal in this post was made this morning in less than 10 minutes total

Full disclosure—I will be abandoning vegan-dom for Thanksgiving, but will be right back at it the moment I get home.

Do you have any questions? Or, if you’re a vegan, what do you get asked?

Why I Don’t Care That You Hate My 13.1 Sticker

By November 23, 2014 Running
13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

Oh hey, Brian. Loved your blog post. I know I’m a little late to the game, but I still wanted drop a line and tell you how wonderful it is that you hate my 13.1 sticker (EDIT—he deleted his post! GONE! Wimp.). Or actually, my 50K sticker. Yikes—even worse.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

It even has the distance so you don’t have to math

I feel you. I really do. There are car stickers that I hate (looking at you, Auburn fans) and am more likely to give the finger to or blow my horn at those drivers. But I’m here to defend my 50K sticker, just as those drivers would defend theirs.

I totally agree that putting a sticker on your car with the distance you run is bragging. So is posting about your race on Facebook. And Twitter. And Instragram. Oh god, there is nothing more narcissistic than a selfie post-50K. “Look at me, I just ran more than you ever will in your life, and I’m tired but damn do I still look perky and happy and cute.” We live in a pretty egotistical society, if you haven’t noticed.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

Because 31 out of 50 miles isn’t that bad

Some people enjoy their accomplishments quietly. I have friends who run 100s, and you’d have to drag it out of them that they even run one step. Others are loud and proud about the miles they run.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race, BUTS, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

Some of the most humble ultra runners you’ll ever meet

But at the end of the day, no one should give a fuck about anyone but themselves.

My sticker is not meant to offend you. It’s there to celebrate my accomplishments. It was a proud moment when I put my 50K sticker on my car. I had run 31 miles and earned that little piece of adhesive. And you bet your ass the moment I finish my first 100 and am able to stand without falling down, I will slap that sticker on my car too. And kiss it. Definitely kiss it.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

Coach Al is one of my running heroes.

You brought up a few questions that I wanted to address:

Why do I need to defend my interests with a stupid sticker on my car? Well, if I didn’t, who would? Running is my passion. An enormous part of my life. I blog about it, take pictures of it, and have a sticker on my car. Do you have any clothing with a logo of a company you like? Yes? See, you get it then.

Why do I need to prove my opinion that I’m better than other runners? Uh, hello, I never said that. Ever. My sticker shouts, “I’m a badass!” at the top of her lungs. That’s all.

Where does it stop? Why does it have to?

You brought up a good point—runners can just slap the “Run” sticker on their cars. No distance. And you’re right. I easily could have done that instead. I run all the distances. But I like seeing those numbers. They represent much more than miles.

You also said that I look like an ass because I have a sticker on my car. Why thank you. At least it’s a fit ass. And you can kiss it.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

Boom.

I’m going to speak for all sticker-clad runners and say that we’re not bragging, or think we’re better than anyone else (that’s what my Alabama sticker is for). We do it because we’re proud of our accomplishments and want to shout them from the treetops. Because seeing the sticker makes us think, “holy fucking shit, I actually did that!” Because we are stronger than we ever thought possible.

13.1 sticker, car run sticker, ultra runner, marathon, run car decal, 100 mile race, 50 mile race

This car may scream “obnoxious!” to you, Brian. To me, it screams “Superstar!”

So from the bottom of my heart, I’m sorry that my passion and the numbers on my sticker offend you. To add insult to injury, I drive a Prius. Maybe you should write about that next.

P.S. I’m dying to ask—are you a CrossFitter? Please tell me you are. Please.

Back Doing LSD (Long Slow Distance…Duh.)

By November 3, 2014 Running
LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

The second I got cleared to run, I hit the road for some long distance.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

The miles were intimidating.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

But they flew by.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

As they always do with friends.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

I mourned the missed runs, the laughs, the races.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

But I realized that running requires you to look ahead, not back.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injuryAnd I stopped and just enjoyed the moment.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

With leaps.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

And selfies.

Are your tired, depressed, lacking in energy, feeling disconnected?  Have you added more pounds than you’re comfortable with?  How are your blood pressure numbers?  Do you have diabetes?   Are your children lethargic?  Do you have to coax them to turn off their Mutant Ninja Turtles or Game Boys?  If you answered “yes” to any one of these questions, you or your children may be suffering from “nature-deficit disorder.”  This term was introduced by, Richard Louv, in his book, Last Child in the Woods (2008), and later in The Nature Principle (2011) and is supported by multiple scientific studies.  According to Louv, “Nature-deficit disorder describes the human costs of alienation from nature, among them:  diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, and higher rates of physical and emotional issues.”   Recalling the thousands of interview he had with children and their patents across the country, one in particular stands out in Louv’s mind. He cited a fourth-grander in San Diego who said, “I like to play indoors better, because where all the electrical outlets are.”  And that, in his mind, is the problem; too many of us are staying inside and not nurturing the natural bond between nature and human nature, and thus we are becoming susceptible to a host of ailments, both mental and physical.  However serious, the remedy is free and freely available to all.  Perhaps it was John Muir who first popularized the idea of nature-deficit disorder over a century ago.  	John Muir, the great naturalist and founder of the Sierra Club, recalled Ralph Waldo Emerson’s visit to Yosemite in l871.  Muir was convinced that if he could only persuade him to leave his park hotel to spend a few nights sleeping under the stars, breathing in the fresh, pure mountain air, his health would improve and his spirits be revived.  Emerson’s protective companions said that it would never do for Emerson to lie out in the open air, for they believed “Mr. Emerson might take cold.”  Muir countered that it is hotels, dust and stale inside air that causes the spread of viruses, “not the pure night air under the clear starry night.”   	 	From his own experience, John Muir understood the natural world as the great healer of mind, body and soul.  Tired, stressed, and feeling claustrophobic after months in San Francisco and Oakland writing the first articles of his literary career, John Muir longed to be outside again.  He had eaten an irregular diet of restaurant food,  and his health was beginning to suffer; by his own description, he was “shrunken and lean.”  It was late summer in 1874; the hard city pavement and the urban air were tiring him.  He glimpsed a tender branch of goldenrod struggling for life as it pushed its way through a crack in the pavement.  It was struggling to be free and to breath fresh sweet air, and so was he!  Muir left the city and headed for Coulterville where he got his mule, Brownie, and made his way up to the mountains “where I made my reunion with the winds and pines. How cool and vital and recreative was the hale young mountain air. On higher, higher up into the holy of holies of the woods! Pure white lustrous clouds. We entered, and a thousand living arms were waved in solemn blessing. An infinity of mountain life. How complete is the absorption of one's life into the spirit of mountain woods.” 	As America was moving rapidly from an agrarian to a modern, industrial economy; as more and more people made their livlihood in factories and flocked to cities, escaping, even for short periods, to the mountains and forests was, in Muir’s view, essential. The journal articles he wrote between 1871 and l874 attempted to coax the over-worked, over-stressed urban worker to get outside to experience nature’s therapy.  It’s free, it’s open to all. Getting into the wilderness, they would find their true inner homeland and quiet their souls.  When these articles were collected into Muir’s book, Our National Parks in l901, the first paragraph of the book opened with, “The tendency nowadays to wander in wildernesses is delightful to see. Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity. Briskly venturing and roaming, sauntering in resiny pinewoods or in gentian meadows, brushing through chaparral, bending down and parting sweet, flowery sprays; tracing rivers to their sources, getting in touch with the nerves of Mother Earth.”   	Muir offered  a prescription,  that is just as timely to us today:     “If you are traveling for health, play truant to doctors and friends, fill your pocket with biscuits, and hide in the hills, lave in waters, tan in gold, bask in flower-shine, and your baptisms will make you a new creature. Breathe deep and free.   --Anne Rowthorn.  The environmentalist and Muir scholar, Anne Rowthorn, Ph. D. is the compiler of The Wisdom of John Muir;  100+ Selections from the Letters, Journals, and Essays of the Great Naturalist (Wilderness Press).  All quotations, unless otherwise noted, are taken from that book.

And climbs.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

As each mile passed, I felt whole again.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

Ready to race.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

And make 2015 my bitch.

LSD, long runs, marathon training, ankle injury

A Day in the Life of Fat Foot

By November 1, 2014 Ramblings, Running
fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

Hey, remember when this was a running blog? And I wrote about my running adventures and training and races? Those were the days, huh?

Not running for months sucked. Majorly. Fat Foot and I made the best of it, but boy did I hate that bitch.

Sidenote—does anyone wonder why I name my injuries? It’s actually kind of fun to personify them. And it gives me someone to direct my anger at, like my pesky groin back in the spring.

“But Tanya, what did you do when you didn’t run? How did you not go crazy?” Well friends, Tanya did go crazy, but Fat Foot made her own fun. Let me show you:

Pool partiedFat Foot loved soaking in a beautiful pool with family and an adult beverage

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

Ah…

Sang loudlyFat Foot tapped all the way through The Head and the Heart show

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

“And the memories we make will never be lost”

Broke the rulesFat Foot didn’t always want to be in her air casta girl’s gotta dress up sometimes!

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

Fat Foot looks like she’s cradling a golf ball, but my mint heels are sexy, so…

RanYea…I never said I listened to instructions well

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

7 illegal miles did my mind some good

Celebrated sunsetsFat Foot had no problem sitting with a glass of wine and taking in the sunset instead of chasing it

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

This view.

Played footballFat Foot didn’t need to run much as the snapper for the Tar Heels

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

Touchdown!

Climbed thingsFat Foot couldn’t help herselfshe saw a trail and just had to follow it

fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner, Canyonland,

“Hey! Look up here!”

WalkedFat Foot was just as happy walking and brainstorming how to take over the world with friends

 fat foot, ankle injury, torn ligaments, ultra runner

I always say that I want to be Javacia when I grow up

The good news is, Fat Foot realized she had overstayed her welcome and left town, leaving me to start marathon and ultra training for the winter and spring. Can I get an AMEN!

The Day I Ran a Trail

By October 29, 2014 Birmingham, Running, Trail Running
Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

Yesterday, I came back to the trails.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

It had been months since I stepped foot on Ruffner dirt.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

Everything was the same, yet different.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

The leaves had changed.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

The air was cooler.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

The hills were harder.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

But I was home.

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

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Ruffner Mountain, Birmingham, trail running, ultra running, ankle injury, torn ligaments, Birmingham Ultra Trail Society

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