I’ve been cheating…

on my vegan diet.

Some of the cheats have been necessary, being human cheats. For example, after the Wisconsin Marathon we tried a local restaurant in Kenosha. Not being familiar with the area, it was a wildcard for whether or not I’d be able to find something safe on the menu. The only vegan-safe item was a salad. I’m sorry, but after running 26.2 miles a plate of lettuce is not going to do me any good. I ordered a turkey sandwich.

Other small cheats have been at social gatherings, where I don’t want to be the vegan asshole, so I’ll nibble on some Cheez-It crackers, or whatever is offered. A major goal I had going into the vegan diet was not to be a vegan asshole. I’m fairly certain I haven’t been. To be honest, I find it’s often the other people who are assholes with their remarks about it.

I am very, very lucky though. I have some of the greatest friends who do support it. I’m in a book club with some fabulous girls, and for each gathering someone always brings something vegan. I don’t even make a request for it, out of the goodness of their beautiful hearts they give a vegan recipe a whirl. These ladies are just too cool.

Anyway, back to the cheating. Now that I’ve started getting into longer training rides and runs for Ironman, I’m HANGRY. So, so, so ravenous that it hurts. Last weekend I raced a duathlon, swam a mile in open water, and then ran 8 miles. On Monday afternoon I looked at John with fear in my eyes and said, “I need ice-cream”

No questions were asked, he’s seen this kind of hunger before. He took me to Culvers where I got a big frozen custard mixer with Oreos in it. I demolished the entire thing. It was amazing.

On Tuesday I ate the entire contents of my sack lunch and it was not enough. I went to the vending machine and got mint M&Ms, thinking that maybe I wouldn’t finish them all because ewwww mint. Nope, I inhaled the entire bag. Thursday the same thing happened, except this time I didn’t screw around, I went for the peanut M&Ms. For two seconds the bag got stuck, I nearly cried, and then TWO bags fell down. I won the vending machine lottery! I ate a bag and a half, and attempted to save the other half for later. This is where I found myself eating frozen raw cookie dough. Eeeeep. Not good.

My training has increased, I’m hungry, and I’m struggling.  HALP!!


22 thoughts on “Cheating

  1. I wish I had some really awesome advice to offer, but I don’t so you just get mediocre. I’m NOT vegan, but I try really hard to eat healthy. There are weeks where my training and running is more intense, and like your IM training (but on a MUCH smaller scale) my hunger gets out of control. I know this, it always happens, so I have to plan for it. At work, I make sure to bring tons of healthy snacks, like an entire reusable shopping bag worth, so that I have those when I have to just keep eating all day long. Basically I guess the whole point of this is that you have to plan that you’re going to be hungry and need more food. If I don’t have my healthy snacks or extra lunch, I end up going and getting more food, and that isn’t healthy. Failing to plan is planning to fail. 🙂

  2. Eat frequently….every 2 hrs put a little something vegan in your body even if don’t think your hungry. It’ll keep the wild swings in check and of course pre-plan and pack something to have with you after workouts and races b/c you NEED to eat right after as well. As you get accustomed to the bump in volume your appetite should level, but when you cycle up it’ll increase so just always keep that in mind and be ready!

  3. You know, when it comes to training for a 1/2 or full Ironman, nutrition is hard! Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do and if it breaks the “rules” of your vegan diet, so be it. You’ve got to stay healthy & on top of your nutrition. I think you’re doing great!

    • Yeah, I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me that eating breakfast at 6:00 and having lunch at 1:00 is probably a huge part of the problem.

  4. It’s okay to cheat! It’s best that you satisfy your hunger and cravings. You KNOW that overall you are making a huge change and doing something great for yourself. Indulging from time to time is only natural!

  5. I’m an enabler…for the cheating at Culvers!
    I completely understand the crazy hangry that comes with long training hours. As long as you are honest about it and not becoming a vegan asshole I think the energy to train is most important.

  6. I bet it is a challenge to train and fuel properly with a vegan diet. Can you find ways to eat better and stick with it?

    When I was a vegetarian for over a decade, I wasn’t really healthy and didn’t care. Once i lost the weight and started running, I HAD to eat meat. The vegetarian thing just wasn’t working to fuel my body.

  7. I don’t think you should feel bad, or even that it’s really “cheating”. You define the food choices you make – no one else. Your rules. Your body. So if your body needs something to accommodate & refuel your training – eat it. No guilt. That being said – maybe consider PACK MORE LUNCH SILLYHEAD! You’re a 2-lunch girl with all this training.

  8. I packed more yesterday! But didn’t want anything in that bag, just CANDYYYY!! But yeah, I need to pack more variety & things to look foward to eating.

  9. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the candy craving has nothing to do with the vegan diet, but more the healthy diet. Like you said, it’s easy to be a fat vegan (aka vegan healthy) and there are plenty of vegan candy options out there if you want them. I’m totally in favor of the eating more often option – it doesn’t eliminate candy cravings, but it’ll decrease the ability to inhale two bags of M&Ms and maybe even the drive the buy them in the first place. But as for cheating, it’s only cheating if you’re thinking of it as a rule. Which it sounds like you are, so you’re definitely succeeding in the long run.

  10. Not sure if you already do this or not but have your tried adding supplement shakes and bars to your daily nutrition. VegaOne, Shakeology (Vegan flavors available), Jai (Richard Roll – Finding Ultra author) – all are great products and can help add the right mix of calories and any missing nutrients to keep more balanced and still with enough energy to hit your goals.

    • Yeah, I have a vegan shake supplement that I drink most days for breakfast. I’ve read Finding Ultra, great book! I should maybe reread it for inspiration.

  11. Girl, I don’t blame you for cheating. Whenever I complete a race, I just want to eat everything in site. It’s hard to narrow it down to just vegan choices. Plus you’re training for an IRONMAN. You need that fuel! Don’t get down on yourself about’re allowed to cheat every once in awhile. You’re still accomplishing a huge feat by being (mostly) vegan!

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