There are now 150,000 full-time vegans in the UK – so about one in 400 – according to The Vegan Society. Going vegan is becoming more and more popular, as increasing numbers of people recognize the benefits for health, for our planet, and for animals.
Ultra-runner, Scott Jurek, published book ‘Eat & Run’ which explains why he turned vegetarian and then vegan: not for ethics or health, but to run faster! This January some of the TRIBE team jumped on the bandwagon, let’s hear what Rob, Kristina, Tom & Ria thought.
What was the main reason you decided to go vegan?
Kristina: I wanted to begin 2017 with a challenge. Dry January wasn’t an option, so thought I’d give Veganuary a go seeing as it’s one of Britain’s fastest growing lifestyle movements!
Rob: A: The Environment and the issues with antibiotics & hormones in mainstream meat. being vegan you are forced to think about everything that you eat which makes you engage with what you are putting in your body.
Has this plant based diet effected your training?
Guy: I felt fitter and stronger as a result of being vegan. However, I think this is due to focussing more on what I eat and making sure it is made up of high quality unrefined products that are low in sugar as opposed to necessarily the fact that it is vegan.
Tom: I found it had a really positive effect on my training. After a couple of weeks, I started feeling lighter and more energised.
Did you get enough protein, where did you get your main sources from?
Tom: I got slightly addicted to Meridian peanut butter. Seriously delicious!
Kristina: To be honest I thought it would be a real struggle to include enough. Eggs are an important part of my diet, so cutting these out completely was tough. As the month went on I found some great alternatives and was eating lots of legumes - lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans, butter beans etc, and I started adding tofu to meals, which I would never have done before.
What was your favourite vegan creation?
Ria: I made a coconut vegetable curry which was delicious!!
Guy: I fell in love with a recipe from 26 Grains – Chickpea curry with aubergine pickle, coconut yoghurt and sprouted coriander.
What do you think the most positive result of veganism for you was?
Rob: I loved the focus it gave me on what I chose. You have very little choice which means pack lunches / cooking creatively etc. It forced me to really engage, when I would have often grabbed something on the run without thinking.
Guy: Though I don’t follow a strict vegan diet any more. The thing that I enjoyed most and that has stayed with me is the attention I put on understanding the ingredients and provenance of the food that I eat. I prepare many more of my meals and when I do use meat it is not factory farmed.
What did you miss the most?!
Ria: MILK!! Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day and so a proper bowl of cereal was my daily heartbreak!
Kristina:I would have to say eggs and milk chocolate.
Guy:A bacon and avocado bap with lashings of butter on a lazy Sunday morning.
Rob: A: I rarely eat meat, but def roast chicken.
Tom: Dairy and, more specifically, cheese :)