Monday, June 29, 2009

An Interesting Concept

I get why people become vegetarian on some levels. I mean I can understand people doing it for political reasons, and I can honestly respect that, as long as they don’t push their beliefs on me because growing up in southern MN I grew up on meat, and while I eat much less now than I used to, I still like my burgers, steaks, chops and many other parts of a pig, cow or chicken that can be grilled up and taste yummy! Also, I’m a fussy eater and if it wasn’t for meat, I’d really be in trouble when it comes to getting enough protein as I would not eat tofu, I only like some beans, soy burgers, while I’ll admit I tried a Boca burger once and wasn’t horrified at the taste, it wasn’t bad and I could almost eat a whole one I think, but it’s still not beef…which I really do want once in a while.

Anyway, this weekend I was in Chicago visiting friends, one of whom is vegetarian, and I knew when she went vegetarian she mentioned it in weight loss…which I didn’t really fully understand because meat can be incorporated into a weight loss diet easy enough…but in discussions over the weekend I did discover something I wasn’t aware of. Namely the fact that meat can cause issues for some people. Now I know some people have dairy issues, and there are other foods some people can’t eat. I have a fairly hearty stomach though (except for onions in certain form, usually on pizza and in the form of onion rings and fresh ground pepper) and can handle most things, although maybe my fussy palate makes it so that I don’t eat things that would cause issues (makes me think of the movie Along Came Polly where they eat Indian or some type of food that Ben Stiller’s character has issues with…I’m sure that would be me, sorry if that’s TMI!!). Anyway, I have a friend that eats steak before marathons. Now I don’t do that, but I do usually have pasta with meat sauce. And I have had times when I’ve eaten a burger the night before a long run…or a chicken breast with my pasta…and never have had any issues. But the friends I was visiting, one who went vegetarian because of her problems with meat, and the other who usually doesn’t eat meat the night before big runs because he has issues with it too. I mean I guess I have heard that some people do have issues with meat and digesting it, it is something that some people just can’t handle…or maybe something in their body changes over time and it’s less able? I guess I’m glad that I’m OK and able to eat meat and still do well on long runs! Heck, reminds me that I had chicken parmesan the night before Boston and while 4:14 is far from my best, I definitely could’ve done better even on the lack of training I did had I not been dinking around…so guess for me it works. I do occasionally have my no meat days, today is one of them as I had eggs for breakfast, peanut butter sandwich for lunch and most likely a veggie pizza for dinner before class. So yeah, meat isn’t a thing I HAVE to have everyday, but it’s not something I think hurts my performance either. Considering I had the 3:30 nailed had the weather been more ideal at Twin Cities…I don’t think cutting out meat would make me any faster considering I’m almost at my potential (I really do think I have a 3:25 in me but not much faster than that).

I did find it interesting and enlightening to a degree though, hearing how some people don’t digest it well and it affects them in ways that are less than ideal for running. You read so many things that deny we are meant to eat meat and then the counter of that…as long as you can get a healthy diet, for those that choose to be vegetarian I say more power to them and if it does help you feel better in exercising that’s awesome too. I just know that my fussiness wouldn’t allow me to do it healthfully…I also do think my body informs me when I need something more. I really don’t eat a lot of red meat, but there are times that it just really is something I need/want…and I figure that just means my iron levels are down!

6 comments:

Jean said...

Interesting post! I read an article a while ago that suggested a prerace meal higher in protein and fat might be just as good as eating a meal high in carbohydrates. It was in one of my old running magazine, so I should try and look that up again. But I suppose different things work for different folks.

RunToFinish said...

very true that for a lot of folks they have trouble digesting some of the proteins in meat efficiently so they get an upset stomach.

I really started to move more away from meat when I learned about the processing plants and the hormones, just kinda freaked me out. but I don't push it on hubs and i haven't sworn off meat for life

Full Metal Lunchbox said...

After I dropped you off at Midway, I went a mile down the road for a big breaded steak sandwich at Riccobene's.

teacherwoman said...

I too grew up on meat and potatoes. However, since I have lived on my own, and especially in the last couple years, I don't eat as much red meat as I used to. And, when I do, I usually get an upset stomach. It's the weirdest thing, and if I could figure it out, I would. Because, I too love a good burger once and a while!

Annette said...

Go meat! :) I'm with you. I could be vegetarian, but if I was, I'd never get enough protein. And, before a race, I've gotta have my spaghetti with meat sauce. I need that protein for my long runs. Even though I love my veggies, I've gotta have a good steak once in awhile. :)

Runner Leana said...

I thought I had an iron stomach...but that is turning out to not be the case! Slowly but surely beef has been really starting to bother it, particularly over the last year. When I eat beef now I feel the consequences for at least three days. The good news is pork and chicken is still good (fish is the absolute best), and apparently bison burgers are okay too. Knock on wood!