Why Have I Chosen To Go Plant Based

IMG_4752Why have I chosen to go plant based?

I had to actually take some time and really think how this all began. It wasn’t one day and boom.

For few years I gradually started giving up meat, as it just didn’t suit well with my body, I felt ill after I ate it. Then about two years ago when I saw the documentary “Hungry For Change”, I started slowly but surely cleaning my diet from processed foods and drinks. Then I gave up chicken, and about 6 months ago fish. Cheese has been the hardest for me. I have gone without it for long periods of time but then all of sudden come back to it, only to realize that it really doesn’t make me feel good and that it doesn’t even taste that good. I have always been almost known to eat a lot of cheese, so this was and at times still is a thing for me.

For the past month I have been really getting serious about trying eating only plant based food. I felt that why can’t I just go full on, why am I dipping my toes but not have the guts to really dive in?

The main reason for me to even start this change two years ago was the fact that if I clean my nutrition, my depression and other health problems should get better or easier. What has happened really has surprised myself on the best kind of positive way.

My depression and imbalance in my mind got a lot better quite fast after cleaning my nutrition. These days I have ups and downs but I have never been this balanced. I felt more energized and I was noticeable happier. Those are huge things to someone who didn’t want to wake up anymore because they were so tired of feeling that nothing is good or that everything is just dark.IMG_4996When I started running, obviously I got interested in learning more and more about running and people who run. One of the first I got really into was Scott Jurek, I quickly got his book “Eat and Run”. That really boosted my want and interest in becoming more plant based. His journey from meat eating to plant based was really similar to mine, so it was easy to digest the info. Of course the fact that there are good recipes in his book helps too. And also good answer to that age old question, “how do you get enough protein?”.

The more I studied about the benefits of plant based nutrition has on endurance athletes, the more I was convinced that this is a thing I want to try and see if it works for me.

Breaking old patterns isn’t easy.  And eating habits aren’t from the easiest end of changing things. In the beginning your body might feel sick just from the fact that the new clean stuff you are putting in your mouth is cleaning your body. Basically, the more sick you are the better you are cleaning your insides. Once you start noticing the benefits, it’s easier to keep going.

One of the reasons for me was also, that I’ve had migraines since I was really young, and when I was around 18 I was diagnosed with Epilepsy. The medication for Epilepsy in so awful toxic poop that I really wanted to get it out of my system. Obviously I didn’t stop taking them while I was suffering from attacks, but I had talked for couple of years with my doctor about quitting them.

But I did quit them and started using vitamin E to support that part of my brain, and for me that has worked without any complications. For me, not for everyone, so don’t go and do something without talking first to your doctor.IMG_4786These days I don’t really have any migraines, only after really long period of stress, that’s how my body sometimes releases it. But not those at worse one a week things anymore. Also this cloudiness that I had before, has gone away. That might be a thing that only people with headaches and migraines know :).

After I dropped milk products this weird and consistent joint pain disappeared from my knees, and I’ve had that for so long, since I injured my knees as a teenager.

I think one of the biggest moments with this nutrition has been on this Monday. On Sunday I went for a long run, didn’t know the route and it ended up being 23,3km of steep hills after another. Usually after longer runs my body is sore and my knees especially. This time, I felt amazing! I was dreading how my knees would feel after all those hills, but nothing really. That showed me that okay, this works the best for me and that I really want to keep going.

I’ve also given up using painkillers and such, I wanted to really get to know my body and if it really hurt or how much was in my head. I haven’t missed them. These days I use ginger for this purpose, and I am happy with that, not turning back!IMG_5177It’s not too easy to be a vegan or plant based or how ever you want to call yourself. There are places where it’s really easy to get food and then places where eating out for example can be a pain in the butt… But I think you can always figure something out, if you want to. I’ve decided to try to be positive and ask if there’s not anything on the menu straight away. It’s not too bad.

So, the benefits in my case:

– getting rid of my medication and having less problems with migraines

– getting my depression in a more balanced state, my anxiety is calmer, I don’t have to go from one extreme to another anymore as fast because my mood is more balanced

– having a lot more energy

– recovering from training faster and giving my body the best kind of fuel

– no more crazy dark circles under my eyes

– I sweat a lot less and it doesn’t really smell

– easier period pains

– skin is better and clearer

– no bloating

– digestion is no problems, no hemorrhoids

– no heartburn anymore

– clearer thinking, more patience, no sugar level jumps

– no addictive feeling, to sugar or some other processed foods or drinks

– natural weight loss

– hair and nails are in better shape and shinier

– breath is better

If I have to put something that someone would take as a “bad” thing…

– nails and hairs, yes all the hairs, grow crazy fast.

– graving of kale…

I think those are all I can think, so basically nothing! 🙂

This change in me might started from selfish reasons, but these days it’s partly because I want to be able to live in a World with less pollution and don’t want to cause pain to innocent animals. The more you study and do research the more you open your eyes to what’s going on, and what the World will be if I have kids someday. It makes you think.

Also, once you start thinking how much you have choices in eating plant based, you don’t think it as a chore anymore. You can eat so many things that it’s insane, it’s not what I have to give up, it’s oh my I am gaining so much! 🙂IMG_4275

Bubbling Under

There’s something big bubbling in me and I’m still little lost with what it is. It has a lot to do with running, eating better and dreaming even more about trail running and Ultras.

There’s something about Ultras that fascinate me to so new way and somehow go deeper than anything else before. They have consumed my head and thoughts. Yes, I still want to run a marathon, because I want to do that, but I’ve realized that I’m the happiest when I run in the nature, not on the paved road.

That sounds extremely weird coming from me, because just short time ago, I hated walking bare feet on my parents backyard lawn. I felt that it was yucky, that I was kind of scared of what there might be under or crawling on my feet. I’ve never been the biggest fan of insects, but back then they really creeped me out. It’s not like that part has completely changed but some kind of respect and interest towards nature has risen it’s head in me. I don’t have that much experience with being in the nature, except when I was a kid, I was always in my Grandparents yard and garden, it was huge and filled with all kinds of awesome plants. I remember sitting inside of the raspberry bush and just enjoying the silence and eating them of course :). My grandma used to take me to this forrest close to their house and we had a fairytale forrest there, with stories and snacks and what ever. And some time I spend with my grandpa in his “ateljé” or woodworkshop, one of my absolute favorite places in the world! My grandparents certainly let me be free and try whatever I had in mind. I had good boundaries and if I did something wrong, I knew it, but that felt like safe haven to me. Years passed on and I have totally lost that part of myself, the person who didn’t care at all what others thought of me, I never felt alone even though I never had that much friends, I did have some imaginary friends or companions. Probably many of them, because I don’t remember just one.

I remember when my Mom was here to visit me and we were talking about my childhood and how I was back then, it was awful to hear how free spirited in a way I had been and I could remember that but also noticed that I have totally lost that part and maybe the biggest part of who I am during my late teens, early twenties and now. I’ve been feeling long time like I’m not who I really am. Maybe I’m slowly getting back to who I really am. I hope.

Maybe I like to run, because then I feel free. And I always feel little weird running on a place where there are other people or some “popular” running route. I love to enjoy things free and alone. That’s probably why the idea of Ultra running makes sense to me. It seems to be pretty solitary thing to do.

Sometimes I really would love to run with other people, there is a yearn for that, but I don’t feel like I need it all the time. I would really like to run with my bf, just to see how we do. And that’s something we will try. But there was a time when I was yearning to have a running crew around me all the time. I think it would be nice to have a group that you would feel that you belong and your dreams wouldn’t be weird, because others have them too. And it’s not like I want to be alone all the time, but I like it.

Couple days ago I was running my normal 10k route with my dog, without music, just listening my breathing, my steps and it felt amazing. He’s one of the best running buddies, if he feels like it :). Somedays he just wants to do other things more, just like we all… But I remember thinking that morning that I don’t want to run and that I’m tired and my legs don’t feel that nice. And then I go and run and it feels better than anything else! There was something in me that just unlocked or something. I also watched some clips about Anton Krupicka, amazing trail and ultra runner. He’s such a inspiration to me!! And I realized that the people I admire the most in running world are both or all, trail or ultra runners :D. My super hero, RobinNyc, Anton Krupicka and Scott Jurek!

There’s something in all of those people that spark something deep in me, some peace, some fire and so so so much inspiration and motivation!

I’ve noticed that I feel best when I run more than 5k. After 10k I feel amazing, but if I run 5k, I feel really sore and not so good and it feels that I have to recover more than after a long run. So if that keeps on being like that, maybe I could run an ultra some day! I always feel that after maybe 3 or 4 kilometers I really start to run and the more I run the better I feel. Maybe because the more I run, the more I have to be with my own self and deal with all those doubts or pains or whatever is in my mind. It’s the will part in me that I love to test and what I have never ever done before. That even sounds ridiculous now that I wrote it down, but yes, that is what I love.

There is a part in me, that questions that is this interest only a phase or is this something that will be with me long and grow stronger? I’m almost known for getting into something so fast and so much that my interest drops pretty fast and that’s the biggest reason for nothing sticking with me. But there’s something different with running. Something that is really like I said, bubbling under. Running is in me, some days I notice that it’s what I have been thinking the most…

I’m not doing all that I can at the moment for it, but I think I’m going to the right direction. There’s still huge part of me that is too used to the “old” me and those old habits, but slowly and surely I’m finding the right path towards better Me.

One huge thing that I have been pondering a lot is to eat only plant based food. It’s been a process in me for almost a year. Sometimes it’s still meat or chicken or fish but I know that I don’t need them to survive or feeling better or stronger. It’s been more because I love the taste or just how somethings are. But the more I do research the more I feel interested and willing to try more and more. I already know that I feel better when I don’t eat red meat, or meat in general. It’s not a new thing for me, my stomach just doesn’t really like them that much. I think the biggest thing has been my lack of knowledge in plant based food and how to prepare proper foods. Now I’m gathering more and more info every day, and the encouraging thing is that there are a lot of endurance athletes that are on plant based diets and doing better than ever!

I think I’m going more and more in to this less is more direction. When I was moving to Germany, I wanted to be able to have so little stuff that if I want to move again, I could just do that. I feel all the time that I want less and don’t want to have “mess or clutter” in my life. I don’t have much but I feel that I can strip somethings from that too. Books doesn’t apply on this, you can never have enough books!!

Everything from beauty products to clothes to things that I thought that I need, they just have been dropping away from my mind and made room for better being with myself. I’m not perfect and will never be, but I feel better and I will always dream of those and that running things! 🙂

Now some pilates and then enjoying the rest of my day!