So maybe I was a bit hasty in my last No Meat March post to say that turning vegetarian was a breeze, because this last week has been way more challenging.
For the first couple of months of 2016 I hadn’t done much aerobic exercise, I was physical exhausted from moving house and I caught a bad, lingering cold. My only exercise was walking, Tai Chi and yoga. Until last week when I felt well enough to start running again.
My first run back was quite short, just 2.5k but it went really smoothly and felt positive so I was pretty pleased with myself. Until the next day. I could not stop fantasising about mince. Whatever I was doing it kept on popping into my head. It got to the point where during my lunch break I looked furtively at pictures of lasagna on-line.
It was then it suddenly hit me. The veggie diet I had eaten during the first week was fine for a lifestyle of light exercise. I checked out some websites on running and vegetarian diets and realised that as I am running I needed to adjust and add more protein if I hoped to focus on anything other than lasagne. I’m not overly into running, I have no designs on marathons, but I like the way that afterwards I sleep so well and feel good in my own body. It’s something I want to continue doing and build a more regular routine.
I headed down to my nearest Holland & Barrett and picked up a packed of Granose meat free mince. The mince is a dried soy product, and needs to be covered in boiling water before being drained and used pretty much the way normal mince is.
As I looked at the pinkish mush in the bowl slowly hydrating I thought about how unappetising it looked. Then it also struck me that the only reason I find minced up cow flesh appetising is because I have been conditioned by society to do so. I made a bolognaise, and while it was a little on the bland side some smoked paprika and chilli helped it out marvellously.
Over the weekend I’ve also been using a lot more lentils and beans, a scattering in a salad isn’t enough to replace the protein I would normally get from meat. I’m about to go out for a run later today and I’m reasonably sure now I’ve made the adjustments this one won’t result in such a lack of focus.
If you are a runner and you’re thinking about going veggie there are several useful sites and articles.