If you are a frequent reader of my website you know that I talked about going vegetarian or maybe even vegan. To recap, I decided to change my lifestyle for several reasons and going vegetarian or vegan fills me with excitement and hope. I am an endurance athlete (well, I run a lot … mainly marathons at the moment though) and my body simply needs a lot more energy compared to someone who sits behind a desk all day. While I work in an office, I use a standing desk but I am also very active in general and I am just not happy anymore with how I feel and about my overall energy levels. While I am not eating junk food or drink sodas there is still a lot of food that I consume that is not as good as it could be and that has affected my overall well-being quite a bit. So, for the next 60-90 days I want to live more like a vegan/vegetarian and stop eating processed foods and meats as much as possible. My goal is to have a 90 percent ratio of eating vegetarian/vegan foods and 10 percent other foods. Those remaining 10 percent are probably bread or contain dairy, but other than that I want to stay as close as possible to a full vegetarian lifestyle as possible.
I also do not want to go cold-turkey and so I am slowly fading out non-vegetarian foods and at the same time increase the amount of vegetarian/vegan foods in my life. One reason of course is that I still have a lot of normal food in my pantry and I do not want to throw it all away. I know that I am eating too much bread and that will be the most difficult thing for me to cut back from. I grew up on (good) bread and that is a habit hard to break. I am now over a week into this journey and things have been working out very well so far.
Anyway, I recently listened to the audio book of Rich Roll called “Finding Ultra” and that literally was an eye-opening experience for me. If you are not familiar with Rich’s story, this book or audio book is definitely worth your time. Not that I necessarily want to attempt competing in the Ultraman competition, but I do take my fitness seriously and I think I have been holding myself back way too much. Yes, I have run several marathons now, but I hurt myself in my last marathon and mostly I am disappointed with myself in regards to the speed I can run at. I am still about 30 minutes too slow to qualify for the Boston marathon and if other people in my age group can do it so should I. I already changed my training up a little bit, but I think it is important to also change my eating lifestyle, too.
So, I started working towards that directions and going on a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is what I feel is the best step at this moment. While I am overall pretty healthy I think I can and should feel even better. I have done a juice fast 2 years ago and also started eating more vegetables and saw good results. As an example I worked myself off a daily (high) cholesterol medication and my blood levels have been very steady since I stopped taking the cholesterol medication. I just never went far enough to address other issues I am concerned about and now is the time.
I have also been reading the “No Meat Athlete” book and the book “The Plantpower Way” which was written by Rich Roll as well and contains many vegetarian recipes specifically for athletes. That’s how I discovered how to make Hemp Milk and so I gave it a try. Hemp Milk has easily turned into one of my most favorite drinks now.
Hemp Milk Recipe: During my weekly Costco runs I had picked up Hemp seeds (Manitoba Harvest) and I am using my trusty NutriBullet for making Hemp milk which works out great. I use one cup of filtered water and about 3-4 tablespoons of Hemp seeds. The NutriBullet gets it all nicely mixed up and after about 1 minute I have a cup of creamy Hemp Milk. I tried it initially and it was Ok, but something was missing for me to really enjoy it. It was too warm and the nutty taste was a bit overwhelming. So, I added a handful of ice cubes from my freezer as well as a tablespoon of honey and that did the trick. I mixed it all again for another 30 seconds and the result was delicious.
I can see this to become one of my favorite recovery drinks. Instead of honey I will mix in a Banana or some Blueberries (or both) and maybe a scoop of Vega Protein Powder depending on the workout. Blueberries have shown in several studies they aid muscle recovery and combined with the protein coming from Hemp seeds this might be worth exploring Hemp Milk as a recovery drink. This would help me to further reduce my dairy intake as I use Lactose-free Chocolate milk as my current recovery drink. So this would be another step towards a more vegetarian/vegan lifestyle.
Are Hemp Seeds safe to eat?
If you have never tried Hemp milk, I highly recommend it. Rest assured – Hemp seeds will not make you fail a drug test at work or so. Hemp Seeds are safe to eat. Hemps seeds are THC free, pesticide free, gluten free, peanut free, and they are extremely easy to digest.
PS: My variation of the Hemp Milk Recipe is based on the Book “The Plantpower Way”.