Wednesday, 1 January 2014

#WIAW - 2014 and a 30-Day Vegan Challenge

So the Toronto Ice Storm really did a number on my regular routine. The roads were too treacherous for my regular long training runs. I had no Internet to keep up with my Instagram and Blogging obsession. And we were without power and heat. So in other words I had a lot of extra time to hunker down under the covers with a good book and to plot my next great adventure. 

I revisited a few of my favourite Runspirational Reads and noticed a trend - quite a few of my favourite endurance athletes are Vegan. Scott Jurek, Brendan Brazier, and Rich Roll are the first that come to mind. They are all plant powered, fast, and tackling serious distances including Ultra Racing and Ironmans. Which got me thinking about the year ahead, my next big adventure, and the best way to get my body ready to tackle 70.3 miles.

I have always been drawn to a plant-based lifestyle. I was a vegetarian for over 6 years. And I briefly attempted to go vegan after reading Brendan Brazier's Thrive way back in the day. But I think from a nutrition standpoint I just was not at a place where I could prep and execute the vegan lifestyle properly. I had a meltdown over seed burgers about 6 days in, and have yet to attempt vegan-ism since.

But this year I have learned a lot about nutrition and I think I am in a very different place with my diet now than I was then. My tummy troubles this year and my work with my nutritionist have really increased my food knowledge and awareness. I have also learned a lot about fueling, creating nutrient dense meals, and the benefits of clean eating. (*Especially as a way to manage the symptoms brought on by my hiatal hernia*). So I have decided I am finally in a place where I could actually execute this properly.

I have some seriously lofty goals for 2014...
- Run my 1st Ironman 70.3 and finish 6:30 or better
- Run my 3rd Marathon
- Run a sub-2hr Half Marathon

All of which require a healthy body and proper fueling. I want to train harder, push further, and go longer than I ever have before. So I want to make sure I am giving my body all that it needs to power through my training sessions. Which is why I have decided to take a 30-day Vegan Challenge...well technically a 34 day Challenge.

I started this challenge on Monday, because Monday always seems like a good day to start something new. And I am planning to be all about the Plants and Greens for the rest of January. I initially wanted to announce that I was going Vegan for 2014, but to be totally honest I panicked. I had flashbacks to my seed burger meltdown and I questioned how I would feel with this new diet with all my training - so I thought I should at least test the waters first. Which is what the next 31 days are all about. I will be posting my daily eats on Instagram if you are curious and want to follow along. Also feel free to join the fun. Tag me on facebook, twitter, and instagram and we can go Vegan together!

At the end of January (barring any major seed meltdowns) I will see how I feel and assess the plan for the rest of 2014! This little fail might be going vegan this year?! Time will tell!

Any big resolutions happening in your neck of the woods? What are your goals for 2014?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,


  1. I have to say, you are inspiring me. I went vegan for a month about 3 years ago, and I found I missed eggs, greek yogurt and half & half too much. Now, I eat cleaner than I ever have, so I wonder if I should give it a shot again. I REALLY look forward to hearing how this goes for you, and getting ideas from the meals you post!

  2. I'm down for a vegan challenge! I'm a vegetarian but I LOVE cheese. Are you going full vegan (no animal byproducts in anything at all)?

    1. I am definitely going to try... But like I said this is all new to me so I am even 100% sure what that means exactly?! So we will see how everything goes over the next 30 days!

  3. I have every bit of confidence that you can do this, Krysten! And speaking of 30 day challenges, here's a video that made me think of you:

    I felt so sorry for you guys when the ice storm happened (and totally blessed that I was able to escape it just in time). It looks like you got a huuuuge dose of motivation though - those are 3 of my favourite athletes and authors! Rich Roll's podcast is regular weekly listening for me and I love the variety of guests that he has on the show.

    You've already read all about my goals for 2014, but I think I'm most excited about doing my first duathlon. It's a short distance one, but there are many more I can do in the future if I get hooked! And getting my iron levels restored is key for all my athletic goals this year, so I'm jumping on that one right away. Happy New Year!

  4. I think testing for a month is smart before you jump into anything. I am now fully GF, but after testing for a month first to see how it impacted me.

  5. OOOOOOOO MY LANTA. I COULD NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER be Vegan, I give you a lot of credit for trying and I am so curious to hear about your outcome!!!!!!!

    Happy New Year hottie hot hot!!

  6. So awesome!!! I ran my fastest races when I was 100% plant-powered, it's a great way to fuel your body. Although I don't eat that way anymore, I try to eat plant-based for many of my meals. It just makes me feel AWESOME! I'm happy to help if I can along the way!

  7. Good luck girl! Hope you are nice & warm again ;)

  8. Good on you! I tried being vegan for a while as well but honestly, I can't live without eggs and butter! True story! As for goals this year... to complete the London Tri Olympic distance, and drum roll please... I signed up for Challenge Weymouth 70.3! Meep! You definitely featured heavily in my inspiration so thanks for that! :) I'm not focusing too much on times yet, I figure I'll get a bit of training under my belt and then see where I'm at. I would also love to be running a sub 40 minute 10km but I'm miles off that at the mo so we shall see... :) Let's do this 2014!!!

  9. I'll be following along! I tried vegan a couple of years ago and decided it wasn't for me. But I totally respect the principles and wish you luck with it.

  10. you've got some great resources there! Great recipes from thrive kitchen too. I have a feeling you'll enjoy it.

  11. Hoping for another fabulous year for you girlie!!!

  12. I know you have been looking hard into your food due to your tummy issues so eager to hear how this goes for you!!! Your goals - you always amaze & inspire!!!

  13. Hello there! I'm Krysta. I found you through Peas & Crayons and I just wanted to wish you good luck with your vegan challenge! I'm a vegan myself and I feel amazing about it

  14. I think it's very smart of you to have waited until you were confident that you had the tools to do it!! When I originally went vegan, I did the same thing. I had read a ton of information and had books that made me confident in my decision - for myself and the animals! I hope you have success this month and no burger meltdowns ;)

  15. I'm curious to know what happened with your seedburger meltdown.. I had a similar experience last July, I had gone vegan last year and by July I had an absolute meltdown and quit.
    I went vegan after watching the documentary Vegucated, and also read Finding Ultra. I'm currently reading Scott Jurek's book and it makes me want to get back to eating vegan. I'm incorporating as many vegan meals as possible right now.
    It'll be neat to see how you feel after 30 days of it, looking forward to following it!