Christmas has come early.

I went and got my Christmas present today.

Gary out some money in for a new bike because I’ve been complaining that mine is old, heavy, and the gears and brakes need replacing. It’s more of a mountian bike style, so it’s much more solid and heavier. It was a second hand bike that was given to me a few years ago. It’s served me well, but I was looking for something a little more suited to my fitness goals.

I wanted a road bike, but not a super fancy racing style bike. After a few hours at the bike shop, and trying a bike out with different sized parts on it, I settled on this one

It’s light. It’s fast – much less effort to get up to (and maintain) speed. And it feels good to ride. I immediately rode it home while Gary drove back. Then we went for a 20km ride, over a variety of road, gravel, and bike path surfaces. One of the great things about living in Wodonga is the large number of bike paths and/or bike lanes on the roads. Plenty of paths to zip along on my shiny new bike! I’m glad I picked the one I did and I’m very happy with how she rides. Just need to pick a name for her.

I don’t have any photos but I will try and get some tomorrow. And starting Monday I’m getting back into running training which will be supplemented with cycling for endurance and cross training.

Super excited!


Health update

Thought I might give a bit of an update since I promised to post about our vegan experiment and I basically haven’t.

I’m not very good at this regular blogging thing… I think I might have to set aside one day a week to always do a post…. Anyway, here’s what I wanted to say.

I feel amazing. With the exception of a desperate act when I required coffee at work to get through an afternoon and I had forgotten to bing some soy milk, this has been great. (And let’s just say my stomach was quite unhappy with my desperate choice).

I do not miss meat at all, and I’ve had no cravings for it. I’ve struggled a little with no dairy purely because that means no dairy at all – including small amounts of milk products in sweets. Which is probably a good thing because it automatically cuts out the amount of junk I can eat.

I feel better for not having meat, and the bad reaction I’ve had to even the smallest amount of dairy has reminded me of why I want to cut it out. As for eggs, well I’m still on the fence. I’m currently not eating them for the purpose of the month long vegan experiment, but I honestly believe that keeping our own chickens and allowing then to roam the yard is not an ethical issue. Chickens in the wild do no roam for kilometers, and they feel safer when they have an enclosed space to roost in. If they naturally produce eggs that I can eat then I don’t really see the ethical issue. If they didn’t produce eggs I would still like to have then because I think chooks are wonderful. Plus they help in an organic garden, turning scraps into fertilizer and keeping the pest population down.

In terms of my general health I’ve noted a few things.

1) I can see the muscles in my thighs more. I don’t know if they are growing, or my body fat is reducing, or both. But I can see and feel the difference.

2) this morning I easily ran 3.8kms. I felt I could have made 5 except for the desperate need for a toilet break. Still, I felt pretty awesome and my new garmin GPS watch (which I spent far too much money on but I love it) shows that I ran each km faster than the last.

3) my upper body and core is still pitifully weak, but I noticed on our Mt Buffalo trip at the start of March that its gotten stronger. Scrambling over, under, and through boulders and caves I used my whole body and felt a lot stronger than I did this time last year.

4) my buoyancy has changed. Doing Aqua Boot Camp I have struggled at times during activities, whereas I used to float effortlessly. It’s not that I get close to drowning, I just have to work harder to keep myself in the right position. That’s probably a good thing though.

5) I have lost a total of 11 kgs. It’s been slow, but its going and it’s staying off. Saying I’ve lost it isn’t quite right since I know exactly where I’ve left it. I’m also fascinated by how much a person’s weigh can change throughout the day according to food, water, and exercise.

6) I feel physically lighter after cutting out animal products. Some days I’ve been hungry but its just a matter or making sure I have a good mix of carbs, proteins and fats from plant based sources. It’s not really hard to eat vegan, you just need to vary what you eat and think outside the box a little sometimes.

It’s been interesting the comments I am getting from people. My family seem to have accepted my choice fine. Some workmates seem to show a fascination with the leftovers I’m bring in. I’ve received some encouragement and a lot of “but you need to eat meat…. Don’t you?”

I’ve had questions about cutting out dairy because “where do you get your calcium?” And questions about “didn’t cavemen eat meat, and therefore humans are meant to eat meat?” And also “what do you eat then?”

Now I’m a little frustrated with that last one, given that meat is always one small part of most meals….. What else do people have on their plates? I know there’s more to it than that, but when people say that I kinda feel sorry for them because to me that indicates a lack of thought or a lack of imagination when it comes to food.

These are all the usual questions people get when they chose to eat plant based foods, I guess. Most people have been happy with my explanation that we have been doing a lot of research and we are trying it out to see what the healthiest route to take is. I haven’t even entered into the ethical debate with most people.

I think that’s a discussion for further down the track!

Just to balance things out, here’s a photo I screenshot’d then promptly forgot where I found it. If anyone knows, let me know.