Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart

April 1, 2010 at 3:37 pm 6 comments

Last summer, when I was blogging, I neglected to mention one major change in my life: I stopped eating meat.

It started in a funny way. I read Skinny Bitch (controversial, I know!), which inspired me to try and be vegan for one day, to see if I felt different. That book is packed with lofty claims about the health benefits of cutting out meat and dairy. I made it through breakfast and lunch, but when dinner rolled around, I needed something quick and I didn’t have the energy to figure out something vegan. So I ate pizza.

But the day after my (failed) experiment, I still didn’t feel like eating meat. And again the following day. Soon it was a week. And then two.

When I began training, and running was still really new to me, I often felt heavy, like I had to drag my body along with me. I tried yoga and pilates and other kinds of cross training to help, to no avail. But when I stopped eating meat, my body changed. I lost a few pounds immediately, and it felt like a more natural order had been restored. It’s hard for human bodies to process meat, so when I no longer had to put myself through it, I had a lot more energy, and I felt a lot lighter. Plus, there was the bonus of being forced to replace meat with new, more healthful sources of protein – dark greens, tofu, and especially the new wonder in my diet: beans!

I know that a vegetarian diet is not for everyone (and, full disclosure: I do sometimes eat shellfish). But I would encourage any runner – especially new runners – to at least explore a flexitarian diet. Just try and be veg here and there. Maybe on Meatless Mondays? Or maybe you can just skip meat at lunchtime? It’s easier than you think, and I promise, the benefits will be obvious.

Here is the awesome new shirt I got from No Meat Athlete, which I’ll be rocking at runclub tonight:



Oh yeah! Did I forget to mention? Runclub is tonight! The weather is glorious and the team is going out for an easy 5 miler in Central Park. If you’d like to join us, please do! We meet at the Columbus Circle entrance at 6:30. We take all kinds, so don’t be shy.


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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tonia  |  April 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Jeremy, the girls and I eat very little meat. I don’t serve red meat in our house. But once a week we do have chicken or pork. Beans, dairy and Peanut Butter make up the large majority of our protein. I don’t think we’ll ever cut it out completely though. I love a good hamburger!

  • 2. Meghann  |  April 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    Oh yes, peanut butter! I eat it every single day! And almond butter and other nut butters too. No meat is the way for me for a variety of reasons, but I think limiting it can be just as good for many people!

  • 3. Pat  |  April 2, 2010 at 3:28 pm

    I think I’m leaning towards trying out some meatless Mondays. More and more I just can’t stomach factory farming. Good for you!

    What is Runclub?

    • 4. Meghann  |  April 2, 2010 at 3:37 pm

      good for you! factory farming is also huge for me. bad news all around.

      runclub is some R2R leftovers and some new friends who run on thursdays at 6:30 (and sometimes on weekends)! do you want me to add you to the list????

  • 5. Mike Fox  |  April 24, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I have kept Kosher for quite some time, but since there are not many Kosher meat restaurants close to me, I have become a “flexitarian”. I will eat fish a few times a week and meat for our Friday night meal – but otherwise it’s pretty much a vegetarian diet for me!

    • 6. Meghann  |  April 26, 2010 at 1:40 pm

      Nice! I like it!


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