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I am considering becoming a vegitarian and I am considerably active and looking to train for my first marathon and triathlon next summer.
Is this a bad time to be making a change like this? Any ideas for websites that would give advice on sheparding me through the process?
Thanks for any advice anyone might have
You may be biting off more than you can chew - pun intended. It isn't the vegetarianism that concerns me, it is the training for BOTH a marathon AND a triathlon at the same time. For decent marathon performance you need a year of 15-20 mile weeks - BEFORE starting your marathon training. For decent triathlon performance you need one good skill, preferably the swim, and lots of practice at transitioning between swim/bike and bike/run as well as a decent training program. Also, when you decide to do a tri go for a baby one - little distances. I highly recommend the Danskin series. Then try the international distance.
As for the vegetarianism, that depends on how radical you want to get. Many of us concentrate on veggies but will eat fish and maybe chicken. Pure Vegans won't even wear leather let alone eat anything remotely considered meat. There are lots of really delicious recipe books and you will be a lot healthier when you switch over. You must watch to be sure you are getting the right nutrients.
I agree on the tri and marathon in one summer. train for one or the other. I know too many people that have beat themselves to death attempting similar things. The vegetarian thing I can't help, I like meat. Good luck!!
I have been an ovo-vegetarian for 4 years, and have been cycling 3 years, running (incl. a marathon) 1.5 years, and swimming 1.5 years. The key is combining foods to receive a complete amino acid profile, since almost all vegetarians will get plenty of carbs, fats, and vitamins from their diets. For instance, grains lack and essential amino acid, legumes do as well; though, when combined they provide all 8 essential amino acids. This is probably why many nations eat a diet of primarily beans or lentils, and rice. Combining dairy with leafy greens or grains accomplishes this as well. Other considerations are B vitamins, iron, iodine, and carnitine.
The B vitamins are found primarily in meats, though they are also in whole grains and dairy in moderate quantities. I would suggest a B vitamin complex to every vegetarian. B vitamins are water soluble so your body will eliminate the excess. Very large doses of niacin can cause headaches though so don't go overboard.
Iron is found in large quantities in red meats. It is also found in other meats, leafy green veggies, legumes, raisins, and fortified flours. The iron from animals is called heme iron and 10%-15% of it is absorbed. The iron from plants is called non-heme iron and only 5% of it is absorbed. Also, the accompanying phytates and starches bind to a large portion of Fe atoms in non-heme iron further reducing absorbtion. Iron is eliminated through sweat, and it also leaves the body with damaged red blood cells and throught mestruation for women. This is of great concern to runners because runners sweat a lot, and as you run capillaries in your feet are compressed and the blood cells in them are crushed. Citic acid can increase the absorbtion of all forms of iron. I take an iron supplement, but do so under the supervision of my physician since iron can be toxic.
Iodine is found primarily in shellfish, but also in potatoes. Potatoes can't supply your daily requirements though. The simple fix is this: use iodized salt. Some diets prohibit this though (i.e. Kosher, Maker's).
Carnitine is only found in meat. I've never used it and I haven't died yet so I can't say that vegetarians need to supplement it, and I can't flat out advise against it either.
I almost forgot cholesterol. Yes, cholesterol. You need it. Athletes need more than regular folks. Cholesterol is integral in forming new cells. Vegetarians only get it from eggs and dairy so don't be afraid to have an omelette or some overeasies. Of course, if you have high cholesterol disregard this.
All of that being said, I've started eating fish again in preparation for college residence. If you cannot prepare most of your meals, it can be quite difficult to eat an adequate diet as a vegetarian athlete. At least that's how it is where I live. Some areas are better than others for catering to veggies. I don't consider a salad and a baked potato as catering. I love the vegetarian diet though. It's advanced my cooking skills quite a bit, even my meat containing dishes have gotten more inventive (I worked as a saute and sous chef for some time).
I agree with triruth. Expect to work harder to give your body what it needs. More info on food combining and the essential amino acids here: http://wp.me/sOwIM-post31
The human body need all the natural foods and nutrition which the God provide us to get from these
resources , It is a good thing to be vagetarian and taking foods most of the vegetables, but meat and the
others things are also necessary for your body......
Becoming a vegetarian is not as easy as it may, I've known some who have tried it but failed because they lack the determination and they don't have clear reason why they would want to become one. There are some who almost did it but unfortunately their body suffered from it because they forgot to eat balanced and nutritional meal. You have to do some research before doing it and make sure that you take health products when you start with it to cover some of the nutrients that you'll not be getting from vegs and fruits.
If you are willing to be a vegetarian, you need to think of several questions.
What are the food that involves the complete my body's needs?
Can I sustain this kind of lifestyle even if I get married and have a child on my own?
Will be the effect in my body? Emotional and Physical aspects.
Will I need a supplement to sustain those nutrients that only meat can provide?
Those are only several questions but there are still many more. When I switched into being a vegetarian, I think and think and think. What I'm taking now is what are the foods that I really do need and now I'm taking an astaxanthin supplement to sustain a good and better outcome on my diet. I hope this might help those people who are planning to switch on being a vegetarian.
If you are trying to become an athelete and are thinking of going vegetarian, you definitely need to make sure that you have some sort of protein source for your diet. There are a bunch of products that can help you do this, or you can just try to get in more protein from natural food. I like to just take a scoop of protein after my workout and not have to worry about it.
A good site to do some research on would be http://www.veganproteinpowders.net, they have really in depth articles. I'm sure you could be an athelete and be vegetarian . Good luck