Sunday, October 7, 2012

Day 6 - How This Vegan Fuels for Races

I wasn't really planning on writing about how I fuel for my races, but running has become such a big part of my life and is a constant work in progress that I can't ignore.

I have major anxiety stomach. What does that mean? It means the day of the race (and, depending on the length, the day BEFORE the race) I can't really eat much at all. My go-to breakfast is a single piece of toast with peanut butter and most of the time I can't finish that. I drink ONLY water up to about 2 hours before the race to avoid side-aches. This is really not the best way to fuel your body, especially if it's a longer race or one that I'm planning on going all out on.

So, I take in my calories during the race. Currently, my stomach will allow chocolate Clif energy gels (confirmed vegan on their website!) and some Gatorade (but not much). I take a Clif gel 15 minutes before the race starts, then one hour into it, then about 45 minutes after that. This method has only failed me once (during my second half) and really, it was most likely the humidity that was hurting me. During the Shamrock run last year, my longest distance to date at that point, I didn't pack that extra Clif gel and I was shaking so hard during that last mile.
So what about after? Most races are good at offering the bread + PB + banana combination. Also, beer works wonders for post race cheeriness. I also am lucky enough to run in Portland, where most of the time the food offerings after the race have vegetarian and vegan options. If not, my lovely group of friends will happily hit up a vegan friendly establishment for post race eats.

Please note I didn't say anything about carb loading. Carbs are my favorite. I eat enough of them that carb loading for normal people is a regular meal for me. I do always have a beer the night before the race if my stomach allows it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 - The Baked Potato Shop, Edinburgh

The first time I visited Edinburgh, it was for a total of about 5 hours and since I didn't know where to even start to find this lovely little potato shop, we wound up eating crappy pizza in a hostel bar and getting lost in the narrow streets and alleys. I vowed that someday I would come back to Edinburgh, if only to visit the Baked Potato Shop.
Come back I did. Of course, it wasn't just for potatoes. And it seems like an incredibly vegan touristy thing to do. But you know what? When you've spent the last week in one of the most expensive countries in the world, living off of Lara Bars and instant coffee smuggled from Portland in your backpack and dreaming of your own kitchen, you CHERISH these cheap, ridiculously stuffed potatoes. You become ECSTATIC over the reintroduction of vegetables into your diet, even in the form of a white starch. You decide that yes, curried chickpeas do sound delicious stuffed into a hot potato. 
 You may also come back again for lunch and, stuck between the agonizing decision of a hot or cold filling, you choose both. Couscous and veggie haggis complement each other well.
Happy bellies all around. Oh, and Edinburgh is also incredibly beautiful and fantastic and dreamy.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 - How to Be Unprepared for a Long Day

Yesterday I wrote my post at 11pm, when I got home from my semi-regular Monday working schedule: 9 hours at the clinic, 3 hours on the paper route (plus the extra drive time to change clothes after an unfortunate and smelly spill).

Getting home that late meant my dinner was oven fries and beer. Deschutes Chainbreaker White IPA, to be exact. I am not complaining about this.

However, it's kicking me today. My Tuesdays and Thursdays are spent at school from 10-8:30, so I have to be prepared or at least be willing to pay for lunch. Since my bank account is currently not allowing that, I grabbed what I could from the house that didn't require cooking.

A peach from a fruit farm in Hood River and a super delicious food bar made in the Columbia Gorge. Vegan! Organic! GF! No refined sugars!
I will probably be starving when I get home.

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Time to MOFO!!


So, it's been a little while since my last missive. But I had to come back. It's time to celebrate the Vegan Month of Food! Time to squeeze a little time out of my October days to appreciate veganism and everything this lifestyle has done for me.

Last year I tried to follow a theme and it basically sucked. So, this year will be different. This year will be written in the classic fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants style. You see, I am currently working full time and going to school full time (not complainin' just explainin'). I have zero time outside of the weekends. Cooking has been....half-hearted.

I just got back from a little(!!) trip to Scandinavia and the UK, which I'm dying to share bits and pieces about.

I also know I want to explore Beard on Bread, a book I hijacked from my late grandmother's extensive cookbook collection (just one small part of her massive book collection). Let's face it, bread is awesome.

So, today, I will share a photo of the most amazing food I found in Norway (Norway is amazingly gorgeous and amazing, but it's not really vegan friendly). The Norwegians LOVE hazelnut spread with their toast, but most has milk in it.

Not this private label brand I scored at a grocery store (seconds after fumbling through trying to understand a kid asking me to hand something from a too-high shelf. In Norwegian). You better believe I Google Translated those ingredients twice.