vegansaurus!

08/01/2012

Veg Olympians have a fine history of athletic ass-kicking  »


London 2012 Olympic cycling road race silver medalist and vegetarian Lizzie Armistead (far left)

Are you guys watching the Olympics? This sports unenthusiast loves the Olympics, despite NBC’s U.S. ATHLETES OR GTFO approach to coverage.

My parents have super-cable, which means Olympics-viewing at their house is all-HD, with a heavy emphasis on cycling. Consequently, I saw Briton Lizzie Armistead win silver in the cycling road race on Sunday, which was tremendous. Then I read this Guardian article on veg Olympians, by Adharanand Finn, and found out that Armistead has been a vegetarian since age 10 and she became my total favorite.

The list is pretty great. Did you know that Australian swimmer Murray Rose was called “the Seaweed Streak” because of his diet? Finn says that Rose ate a vegan diet, but the delightful 1961 Sports Illustrated article he links to mentions Rose enjoying unpasteurized milk, but no other animal products.


[Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!]

You know super-runner Carl Lewis is a longtime vegan, right? Love this guy.

One Olympian Finn doesn’t mention is Venus Williams, who had made it to the third round of Olympic play as of Tuesday afternoon.

Athletics and a cruelty-free diet are an excellent match; just check out all the non-Olympic super-people going vegan! They are the mightiest, and we are proud of them. Learn more about veg Olympians through history at the Guardian.

[photo by anMarton via Flickr]

07/11/2012

Please welcome new vegan athletes Arian Foster and Venus Williams!  »


You’ve heard the news, right? Arian Foster, running back for the Houston Texans, has gone vegan! You should read his Twitter, he’s being totally chill about it, just like any other person on earth who might choose to adopt a vegan diet—except he’s a famous athlete and lots of people are invested in his entire life. So it’s exciting! Welcome to the club, dude, it’s pretty great over here.


Even more exciting news: Venus Williams has adopted a raw vegan diet! Good for you, lady! Remember how Venus and Serena were planning to go raw at the beginning of the year? Of course you do, you love Jenny Bradley’s vegan celebrity news. Recently, Venus has said that she started eating raw vegan after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Sjogren’s syndrome. We are sincerely sorry about that, as she is a tremendous athlete, and we hope this diet helps alleviate her symptoms. Still, it’s a big week for ass-kicking in the vegan-eating world, and we’re proud to welcome another member.

Team Vegan is going to win so many more events at the next Veg vs. Meatmouth Olympics.

[Arian Foster photo by AJ Guel, Venus Williams photo by Pete Edgeler, both via Flickr]

06/13/2012

Book review: Scott Jurek’s “Eat & Run” Plus, run with Scott today!  »


This dude running with his dog is Scott Jurek. Scott Jurek could basically kick your ass any day of the week, including days where he hasn’t slept the night before, has a broken ankle, and already ran 75 miles. See, Scott is an ultramarathoner, which means he’ll run a marathon as a warmup, then run another one, then figure that the race is just getting started. He’ll run over mountains and through lightning storms and never stop. “Hallucinations and vomiting, to me and my fellow ultrarunners,” he says, “are like grass stains to Little Leaguers.” Shit yeah, that shit’s for real. Oh yeah, by the way, just in passing, he’s vegan, and has been essentially the whole time he’s been doing this. (!!!!)

Scott, you’re my new hero, I love you! Thank you for writing this book so we can all learn about how amazing you are!

Scott’s publisher sent me a copy of Eat & Run and I was like, “Hey, I kinda like running, I’ll check that out,” despite David Foster Wallace having brilliantly explained, athlete memoirs are pretty much guaranteed to suck. I was prepared to read two pages, tell y’all the book existed, and move on.

Except the book is good! I kept wanting to read it! I read two chapters out loud in the car and my husband wanted me to keep going, even though I was gonna puke because the road got curvy! (See, right there, you can tell I’m not an ultra-athlete: I avoid things that make me puke). I wanted to read the book so much that I almost posted this review too late because I wanted to finish it first!

Too late for what, you ask? FOR YOUR CHANCE TO MEET SCOTT JUREK! 

Wednesday, June 13 (that’s today!!) in San Francisco:

  • 7 to 8 p.m.: Fun run with Scott at Fleet Feet San Francisco, 2076 Chestnut St.
  • 8 to 9 p.m.: Eat & Run Experience with Scott at Fleet Feet

Check out his full calendar of events; he’s in L.A. soon, and San Diego, and he’s even coming to Colorado a couple times, though on days I can’t be there, BUMMER

Even if you’re not a runner, you should totally go meet this dude. He’s just amazing. And inspiring. I literally got off the couch after reading this book for two hours, put on my shoes, and set off into the sweltering heat the weekend before last, because Scott made me want to.

Oh, one other thing about his book? It’s got recipes. Here’s one that’s also on his website. I haven’t tried any of them, but even if they suck I’m still gonna love him. 


Green Power Pre-Workout Drink

Hippie Dan first taught me the importance of greens like spirulina and wheatgrass. Spirulina is a green algae said to have been carried into battle by Aztec warriors. Used for centuries as a weight-loss aid and immune-booster, it has lately been studied and shown promising results as a performance enhancer for long-distance runners. Because spirulina is marketed as a dietary supplement rather than a food, the FDA does not regulate its production; buy it only from a health food store and a brand you trust.

Packed with protein (spirulina is a complete protein) and rich in vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is an excellent source of nutrition. For a little extra carbohydrate boost, replace 1 cup water with 1 cup apple or grape juice.

2 bananas
1 cup frozen or fresh mango or pineapple chunks
4 cups water
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 teaspoon miso

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for one to two minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth. Drink 20 to 30 ounces (2 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups) 15 to 45 minutes before a run.

09/07/2011

Book review: Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier!  »

You know who Brendan Brazier is, right? He’s a Canadian-born professional Ironman triathlete, international bestselling author, and creator of VEGA natural whole food products and supplements. He’s pretty much a vegan superhero, and he just released a brand new, ultra-informative book called Thrive Foods, which was ever-so-kindly sent to me for review.

The perfect follow-up to his acclaimed vegan nutrition guide, The Thrive Diet, Thrive Foods covers some of Brazier’s original material and delves into much more detail. The first four chapters cover everything you’d ever need to know about the foods we eat and how it translates to fuel and well-being in the body. Chapter one, Health’s Dependence on Nutrition, discusses nutrition’s effects on the body and mind, from stress levels to sleeping patterns. Chapter two, Eating Resources, discusses in glorious detail the effect of our diets on the environment—did you know that livestock production uses 70 percent of all arable land, and 30 percent of all land surface on the PLANET?

Chapter three, An Appetite for Change, explores what Brazier calls the Nutrient-to-Resource Ratio, which analyzes the total amount of each natural resource that goes into a food’s production in exchange for the amount of nutrients it offers. He presents the most beneficial foods based on personal health and environmental preservation. Brazier introduces the Eight Key Components of Good Nutrition in chapter four, and suggests some nutrient-dense pantry essentials for any healthy vegan’s home.

The recipes arrive in chapter six, and they are pretty incredible. Thrive Foods features 200 recipes, from Brazier himself and also a slew of celebrity vegan chefs like Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy), Chad Sarno (Saf, Whole Foods’ Health Starts Here program), and Tal Ronnen. Some of the recipes are straight from the menus of some of our favorite vegan hotspots, like Candle 79, Millennium, and Fresh. Candied grapefruit salad! Baby zucchini and avocado tartar! Wild rice with kabocha squash and sage butter! Chocolate-chip maple maca ice cream! OK, I’m drooling.

Brazier has created a consummate guide to health and nutrition for every human being, regardless of athletic prowess. Thrive Foods is an encyclopedia of well-being and I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from its wealth of information and incredible food. The Thrive Diet caused me to question the effects of my diet in my body, and now Thrive Foods has taught me about its effects on the world.

Wanna get your learn on? Watch the book trailer, buy the book, and like Brendan Brazier on Facebook to download a Thrive Foods introduction and three free recipes! You can also enter to win a trip to Hollywood to meet Brendan at the Alive! Expo on Friday, Sept. 16!

07/01/2011

Meet some vegans who can kick anyone’s ass!

May I present two examples of vegan pro-athletes who could make cauliflower puree out of any skeptic giving you a hard time about your diet? Make friends with them! Ask them to be your bodyguards! Let’s start a set of vegan athlete trading cards!

Exhibit A: WWE superstar Daniel Bryan
When “superstar” is your for-real job title, there’s not much else to say. Bryan shows off his bad acting skills in the above video for Peta, but you gotta love him. Earlier this year, he told peta2 about how he went veg:

“With WWE, just being on the road all the time, your immune system just gets worn down. In 2009, I ended up getting three different staph infections and two different other skin infections. I went to the doctor…. He gave me a couple options of what we could do but one of things he said that helps out his patients a lot is trying to go vegan. I said I’m open for anything at this point….

So, anyway I started going vegan then, and this whole year my energy levels have been great, I haven’t gotten any skin infections. Right now I’m 198 lbs. which is the heaviest I’ve weighed since 2003…. I’m stronger right now than I’ve ever been…. I’m dead-lifting more than I ever have before.”

Exhibit B: Tour de France cyclist David Zabriskie
Starting Saturday, this dude’s going to be the first person ever to try the world’s premiere bike race on a “vegan” diet. [Scare quotes are because he’s going to eat salmon twice a week to “help with iron absorption” which is obviously lame, but I’m giving him points for trying.]

Tour riders need 8,000 calories a day, which is spectacular because think how much FOOD you get to eat! Seriously, close your eyes and imagine that. Here’s what Zabriskie plans to eat on race days, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Breakfast
Oatmeal with black strap molasses; whole food optimizer; cacao nibs; nuts; cinnamon; two tablespoons of coconut butter; an apple; hemp seeds and flax seeds

On-the-bike snacks
Six Clif Bar Z bars (vegan); two Clif Bar shot blocks (vegan); two Clif Bar gels (vegan); dates; six to eight bottles of special team race drink

On the bus, post-race
White rice with maple syrup and cinnamon; vegan protein shake; two bottles of special team recovery protein drink; goji berries

Before dinner
Vegan protein shake

Dinner
White rice or pasta; salad with leafy greens; vegetables—including broccoli, spinach, carrots and beets.

Dessert
Fresh fruit and a vegan protein shake before bed

Wow, no donuts or anything. Dude’s got willpower. I guess that’s what it takes to go pro. I’m off to eat a popsicle now—strictly amateur here. Go vegans!

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