I’m taking a break from meat. Perhaps from fish too.

Not that I’m not a huge meat eater – I regularly eat soy products, quinoa, beans, nuts, a wide variety of fresh produce and many other foods that are featured in vegetarian and vegan diets. Sometimes I even realize that I’ve “accidentally” been vegetarian for several days in a row. However, there are also many days that include at least one meal with meat or fish, and I rarely make a concerted effort to cut either out of my diet for any length of time.

Then why am I doing this now?

I simply feel a need to take a break – it’s what my body is telling me to do – not so much from fish, but certainly from meat. I think it was chicken that pushed me over the edge – it’s everywhere, and it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. That elimination may become permanent.

I’m also incredibly inspired by several vegetarian and vegan endurance athletes, especially ultra marathoner Scott Jurek, who races (and often wins) 8-10 ultramarathons per year in addition to his regular training, all on a vegan diet. I find that incredible! I also constantly read and hear about the benefits of plant-based diets, so I can’t help but be very curious as to how eliminating certain foods from my diet might affect my running, as well as how I feel generally.

So is it going to be a vegetarian or a vegan week?

Dairy products and eggs are staying in – I feel no desire to remove them from my diet at the moment. Although given the large quantity of dairy I consume, at some point I would like to try cutting it out temporarily simply out of curiosity, to see how my body reacts.

So what’s been on the menu today?

I’ve kept it pretty simple, and actually, I often eat like this on a normal day.

Breakfast: Plain natural yogurt with pomegranate seeds, sliced banana, cinnamon, honey and ground flaxseeds, plus coffee.

Lunch: Two large slices of rye/quinoa bread with half of an avocado and cheddar cheese sliced on top; a bowl of root vegetable soup supplemented with sliced, steamed courgette (if I buy store-bought soup, I always try to at least add some fresh vegetables); a clementine; jasmine green tea.

Snack: Granola bar, sliced granny smith apple with cinnamon; and, I confess, a couple biscuits from the office kitchen…

Dinner: Mushroom/veg stirfry with marinated tofu and a homemade sesame soy ginger dressing, on top of steamed spinach; a few wholegrain crackers with LOTS of almond butter (that stuff is DANGEROUSLY addictive); some panda black licorice (also very addictive) and a couple dark chocolate truffles with a large mug of mint tea.

Yeah, I like my sweets. A little too much. And I love finishing a meal with mint tea.

Now, if I can manage to not snack anymore (the challenge!), I think today wasn’t too bad…

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