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Forks over Knifes!

So I’ve been contemplating how I wanted to approach this post for quite some time. As being vegetarian is something I’ve been doing since January 1st, and grown quite passionate about over the last 4 months…

A. The more aggressive route: Dishing out more facts than Chris Paul dishes out assits per week in the NBA.

B. The guilt-trip route: How much do you care about your planet and animals anyway? Going vegetarian saves your planet and the quality of life in animals in so many ways you might not even know about. (This would work quite well on the “Boulderites”)

C. Or maybe the performance selling route: Many very successful athletes have been or are still vegetarian/vegan, especially in the endurance sports world (Carol Lewis, Scott Jurek, Dave Scott, etc). 

So somewhere between thinking of these different routes to come at you by or scarfing down this amazing portobello mushroom pita I decided to give you a list. So here it is…

My perfect pita!

Top 10 Reasons to try/go Vegetarian:

1. To reduce your risk of cancer – According to the ADA (American Dietetic Association) vegetarian have lower overall cancer rates. Meat-eaters have a 54% increased risk for prostate cancer and an 88% increased risk for colorectal cancer. 

2. To prevent global climate change – Did you know that raising animals for food produces more greenhouse has emissions than all of the cars, trucks, planes, ships, and other forms of transportation combine?! Research at the University of Chicago calculated that each person who adopts a vegan diet prevents the equivalent of 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions every year! 

3. To reduce your risk of diabetes – The ADA also stated that vegetarian diets are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Risk for diabetes has been proven to be 80% higher in men who ate meat, compared to vegetarian men.

4. To become a better athlete – Recovery times have been proven in multiple studies to be quicker with a vegetarian diet. You can work out more often at a higher intensity by becoming vegetarian, who wouldn’t want to do that?

Many many endurance athletes/ultra runners/triathletes are vegetarian or vegan because of how conscious they must be about their diet, and they’ve done their homework. 

Since becoming vegetarian, I’ve never had anywhere near the energy levels I currently have. It’s pretty amazing how a natural and clean diet combined with an active lifestyle can work wonders in so many ways. I wish I would have converted vegetarian while I was running cross country and cycling throughout my college years!

 5. We don’t have to kill to be healthy – Animals value their lives just as we value ours. They don’t want to be killed. Is it morally justifiable for us to take animals’ lives and force them to endure lifetimes of suffering – simply to satisfy a palate preference? 

6. To conserve land, water and energy – Vegetarian foods take a fraction of the land, water and energy required to produce meat. As Time Magazine notes, “Around the world as more water is diverted to raising pigs and chickens instead of producing crops for direct consumption, millions of wells are going dry.” In a growing world in which over 1 billion people are already malnourished or lack access to clean drinking water, meat is an extremely wasteful food choice. 

7. To keep antibiotics working – Imagine getting an infection that won’t go away, even when treated with antibiotics. The broad scale use of antibiotics on factory farms – fed in mega dosages to animals to promote rapid growth and fight off illnesses  induced by filthy, disease-ridden, and overcrowded living conditions – is creating antibiotic-resistent superbugs, making these same antibiotics less effective at treating human illnesses. 

8. Today’s chickens and turkeys have been bred for pain – Modern chickens and turkeys are bred and drugged to grow so large, so quickly, that their legs and organs can’t keep up, making heart attacks, organ failure and crippling leg deformities common. Many become crippled under their own weight and eventually die because they can’t reach the water nozzles. 90% of chickens raised for meat can’t walk by the time they reach slaughter weight. 

9. To maintain a healthy body weight – Obesity is one of the most pressing health problems in the US, and it will soon become the country’s leading cause of preventable death. Studies indicate that vegetarians have low rates of obesity and on average weigh 3 to 20 percent less than meat-eaters. 

10. You’ll be in good company – Some of the world’s greatest thinkers and humanitarians have recognized the moral and importance of a vegetarian diet, including: Albert Einstein, Jane Goodall, Cesar Chavez, Buddha, Leonardo da Vinci, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. 

“I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals.”– Henry David Thoreau,Walden, 1854

I made a list after doing much research and decided to go with these 10 points as my strongest arguments and to make a case for going vegetarian. But I actually did forget to leave out one more important point that I believe in…

11. Have you tried it yet? If you haven’t tried it, how can you talk against this? Some of the most boring people I know are the ones who don’t try new things in life and stick to the same routine because it’s what they grew up with or it’s what they only know of. This goes for some much more than vegetarianism, but I wanted to add it as a last point to be made for a reason to give it a try! 

 I made a list of some of my favorite “Vegetarian Eats” so click the link and check ’em out! It will help you get started and make the process of your cooking a bit easier and more organized for you. I’ll have some more of my favorites by the weekend. They will all be recipes I use to fuel my training – running and cycling MUCHO DE DISTANCE! 🙂 So don’t even think about asking the question “So how will I get my protein in without meat?!” So many Americans get too much protein in even while doing a significant amount of training – and most Americans don’t do anywhere near a consistant amount of training. There are SO many ways to get protein in and I’d be more than happy to talk to you about that, or any other types of questions you may have about training, diet, anything! Just leave me a comment below or shoot me an email if you want to talk in private at levander.ryan@gmail.com

Just some food for thought…

P.S. Raw Revolution‘s have been HUGE for my training and new vegetarian lifestyle here in Colorado. I can’t thank them enough for their support and amazing bars. Y’all seriously have to try them out, I’m a fan for life!

Tomorrow starts day one of going Vegan for two weeks to access how I feel. Going vegetarian has gotten me in to the best shape of my life; so I can imagine Vegan will do even more for me and my active busy lifestyle! Raw Revs are Vegan, too! 🙂

Raw Revolutions!


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Posted by ryanlevander on May 11, 2012

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