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Forums > Social Discussion > Vegetarian Diet for performance longevity? On the road Vege?

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I've been chatting with a few of my performance peers recently, all of whom went vegetarian (one who went as "raw" as possible).
Now, these aren't just fire peeps. They do circus. magic and sideshow- including fire in their shows.

They are all convinced that these diets will help the longevity and put less stress on their bodies, since we put *alot* of stress on bodies in performance.

Of them, most have been vege for so long, they can't remember feeling any other way.

However, from working in nutrition *and* from being on the road with them I know that in order to keep up with the rigors of being on the road, they have to eat *all the time*. It's unreal.
I know that the aerialists I am associated with have been encouraged away from a vege diet by their coaches.

However, I do not want this to be a debate of vege against meat eaters. We already have those threads. Both have their virtues and our bodies are set up to accept both forms of diets.

So what I'm really curious about are thoughts, especially experiences of anyone who recently went vege.
Opinions or ideas?
Perhaps suggestions as to things that will be filling and healthy so as to keep them feeling full a bit.
Ooooh...and ideas about being a *healthy* vege on the road or travelling. I think that "healthy" part is hard when faced with very few options outside of boiled to death frozen vegetables and an iceberg lettuce salad with fatty dressing. How do you travellers do it?

Here's another one, how do you do it without depending on tofu or soy?

Thanks!


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Pogo69
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

Pogo69

there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo

Total posts: 3764
Posted:hey pele. are we talking vegetarian? or vegan? because they're quite different, particularly with respect to the ease with which one can fulfill their protein requirements.

I was a vegetarian (lacto-ovo; so I ate eggs and dairy) for about 10 years, but I've since (about, ummm... 3 years ago) made a comeback to an omnivorous diet.

good question re: the sans soy, as, while I doubt it will do you too much harm in small quantities, I wouldn't advise basing one's protein intake around it.

I know you're not talking about bodybuilders here (yes, I am going somewhere with this), but most performers at the level you're talking about are athletes. a guy name mike mahler is a guru of vegan athleticism. he's managed to get big, strong and athletic on a purely vegan diet; a large part of what he's "learned" is combining plant-based food sources to form complete proteins; it's tricky, but can be done and like most things, will become 2nd nature when you become accustomed to it.

have a look at:

making the vegan diet work

for starters. there's a few other vegan diet related articles on his site and pointers to more, elsewhere.


--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:I agree, it's all about the building material of the body- protein- easy for omnis, not too hard for vegetarians (eggs are your friend) Much harder for vegans who have to combine amino acids in various foods IN THE SAME MEAL to make 'complete' proteins.

The constant hunger (which can be combined with water retention so people don;t look 'starved' even if they are) is often a sign of protein lack. The body is trying to get its basic repair kit... amino acids.. in sufficient quantities. Trouble is people often shovel in loads of starchy filler instead.. (pasta etc) or water/starch (veges). No amount of which = amino acids. And rarely in the right proportions. Its the equivalent of making concrete with too much sand and not enough cement. Will look OK for a bit, then crumble under any real stress.

This knowledge is implicit in traditional vege diets such as beans and tortillas, rice and dahl, humous and flatbread. Also known to hippie vego/ans in the 70s via a book called Diet for a Small Planet. However, these diets take time to prepare, and don't easily go with our instant satisfaction high speed lifestyles. Hungry/time challenged vegos often just 'skip the meat' and end up eating worse than traditional peasants while thinking they are being new and clever!

For 'normal' vegetarians, eggs are your friend, as are soft cheeses. All vegos need to get a VARIETY of seeds/beans.. aduki, kidney, split peas, mung, sunflower seeds, sesames,nuts. With starches at the same time. Not that easy. There is one diet fad that gets it completely the wrong way round and says never to combine proteins with starch (some furphy about acid/alkali). Tofu and other processed soy products are also problematic, esecially for women, as soy takes a toll on the thyroid- many women have problems with that later in life anyway.


So for on the road stuff... take it seriously and look after yourself.. don't rely on cafes, it won;t work!

Have a small portable camp stove with you, and whenever you can, boil some eggs. They keep well in their shells and you can peel/eat easily. Have bags of cashews, almonds (not peanuts they are not that good for most people) as well as cans of chickpeas and kidney beans. European brands are usually really cheap and just cooked with salt not sugar. Whenever you can, toast some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Mix some soy sauce in with them and a bit of ground cumin when they are golden and smell cooked.. makes them crispy and YUMMY and you can add them to anything for a protein fix.

Frozen peas are also easy protein.. no need to cook them; just let them thaw and put them in salad. Don't be scared of fats... we NEED them. Have some cold pressed olive oil with you and put it in everything you can!
You can make a great quick high protein salad with canned beans or thawed peas, grated carrot and chopped celery. Wrap and eat with soft tortillas/avocado. Get tubs of homous for sandwiches, have a small esky or whatever Americans call portable ice boxes to keep fetta cheese, humous, cheeses, yogurt etc cold in. Also cook up couscous if you can handle wheat. Cooks way quicker than rice and more nutritious. Buckwheat also cooks really fast and is great and tasty to have along with the beans.

As an easy backup, have protein powder-- the sort body builders and athletes use. Its quick, filling and works for a stopgap. Whey based is the best but soy based in available for vegans.

If you have a co-performer who is both a vegan and a raw foodie, swap them for someone who is more likely to go the distance without driving you nuts (pun intended). Or point out to them that learning to use fire was a great advance in human nutrition, not just entertainment.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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burningoftheclavey
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

burningoftheclavey

lurking like a ninja with no camouflage..
Location: over yonder

Total posts: 926
Posted:A couple of my friends went on the raw diet, and only ate whole raw foods, but said they felt completely airy and spaced out, probably because they werent getting everything they needed.
I'd imagine that it would be a thin line between being healthy enough to work hard and being undernourished. I think its really important to have all different areas of foods for your body to work to its max potential, and in the right amounts too, but then you can get all the things you need from seeds and supplements. Probably alot harder as a vegan rather than a vegetarian too.
Originally Posted By: PeleOoooh...and ideas about being a *healthy* vege on the road or travelling. I think that "healthy" part is hard when faced with very few options outside of boiled to death frozen vegetables and an iceberg lettuce salad with fatty dressing. How do you travellers do it?

gathering nuts and berries? or maybe taking a shedload of supplements?


on spam robots - "Burn the robot! Melt him down, and then we can make lots and lots of money from his shiiiny juices!"

Owned by Brenn smile

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:Lovely post there newgabe! I know all the advice about getting a good variety of nuts/seeds into my diet but find it tricky sometimes - I have certain meals I can make them work (lots of pine nuts in pasta dishes :)) with but much of the time I end up snacking on various 'trail mix' type stuff - dried fruits like bannana, apricot, apple etc along with whatever nuts and seeds I feel like eating, or have lying about. Super simple to make, and great for when you start to feel peckish between proper meal times.

Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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Meanie


Snowplow


Total posts: 18
Posted:Recently someone introduced me to Quinoa. It's a rice of sorts from Middle America and it's rich on amino acids, but the hard core vegans probably know this plant. I never heard of it before, and I don't really know how obtainable it is worldwide.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quinoa
br>
Since a month or so I went biologic, which was a huge step for spoiled ol' me to take, but one that was much easier than I thought. One just needs the proper motivation I guess. But I feel soooooo much fitter because of it.


Fire + Idiot * wind - brains = Oops

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:That's alot to think about.
Wow.
Thank you all.

I've been eating Quinoa for years Meanie. It's actually dried seeds but used like rice or couscous. I know some people who eat it like oatmeal, but I can't do it. I like it in soups though.
I also find the fact that it looks exactly like teeny-tiny rolled up condoms insanely funny. Childish, but amusing when I cook it wink
It has a slightly nutty flavour, is a complete protien but the texture is something I had to get used to.

Question.

Do you think that a raw or vegetarian diet will counteract other stresses we put our bodies through?

I should think a healthy diet, vege or otherwise, is beneficial but since I'm omni I can't make an balanced opinion.


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Pogo69
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

Pogo69

there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo

Total posts: 3764
Posted:Originally Posted By: Pele
I've been eating Quinoa for years Meanie. It's actually dried seeds but used like rice or couscous. I know some people who eat it like oatmeal, but I can't do it. I like it in soups though.
I also find the fact that it looks exactly like teeny-tiny rolled up condoms insanely funny. Childish, but amusing when I cook it wink
It has a slightly nutty flavour, is a complete protien but the texture is something I had to get used to.


I've heard fabulous things about quinoa too; but before I had a chance to try it, due to chronic allergies/asthma and the never-ending quest to improve my food intake, I'd managed to eliminate grains from my diet entirely. didn't seem much point replacing it with something "grain-like".

awesome addition, however, to the vegetarian and more-so, vegan, diet.

Originally Posted By: Pele
Question.

Do you think that a raw or vegetarian diet will counteract other stresses we put our bodies through?

I should think a healthy diet, vege or otherwise, is beneficial but since I'm omni I can't make an balanced opinion.


in of itself; no.

will a nutrient rich, calorically restricted while providing adequate nutrition, macro-nutrient balanced diet, assist with counteracting life's stresses? ABSOLUTELY...!! regardless of your vegetarianism, veganism, omnivourism (?) or otherwise.

pair it with adequate sleep (which I fall down on rather badly) and you're pretty much set, IMNSHO.


--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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Meanie


Snowplow


Total posts: 18
Posted:Originally Posted By: PeleThat's alot to think about.
Wow.
Thank you all.

I've been eating Quinoa for years Meanie. It's actually dried seeds but used like rice or couscous. I know some people who eat it like oatmeal, but I can't do it. I like it in soups though.
I also find the fact that it looks exactly like teeny-tiny rolled up condoms insanely funny. Childish, but amusing when I cook it wink
It has a slightly nutty flavour, is a complete protien but the texture is something I had to get used to.

Indeed! I am using it more and more lately. I like putting it in dishes or just eat it with some salt and pepper. You can also experiment with stuff like almonds or other flavour foodstuffs for happier taste buds.

Originally Posted By: PeleQuestion.

Do you think that a raw or vegetarian diet will counteract other stresses we put our bodies through?

I should think a healthy diet, vege or otherwise, is beneficial but since I'm omni I can't make an balanced opinion.

I'm no expert on nutrients, but I would say the healthier you eat, the better the body will perform. Personally I don't think this has to do with eating meat yes or no, but with the amount of toxins we consume daily.

EDITED_BY: Meanie (1227734994)


Fire + Idiot * wind - brains = Oops

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plf
BRONZE Member since May 2008

stranger


Total posts: 14
Posted:I'm not a veggie by any stretch of the imagination so perhaps I shouldn't be posting here but I've spent enough of my life on the poverty line to appreciate the power of a vegetarian diet.

Personally I think you can't beat a good cheese sarnie although that may well go against some of your ideals. However, in response to newgabe:

There are very few of them around, which is a pity, but a couple of years back I was up in Keswick with friends camping, in the middle of a very cold January when we came across a vegetarian cafe which did one of the nicest full English breakfasts I've ever had, all veggie (ok, I didn't like the look of the "bacon", looked too much like the plastic bacon my sisters used to have for their dolls houses but it actually tasted alright).

I really think there should be more of these cafe's around, catering for Veggies. The foods amazing, the atmosphere is a damn sight better than what you find in most cafe's and its a niche market, that cafe in keswick is the only one of its kind I've ever seen.

The cafe in question is (was) at the back of a car park as you come into Keswick off the M6 and advertises as a full veggie cafe. They serve(d) nothing that contains meat at all!


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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:For you question, Pele.. will raw food and veg diet help stress?
Depends on quality of what's IN the diet, not just what's left out, and even more so- the nature the stress.

Lack of sleep stress? Needs sleep, not food.

Too much adrenalin stress.. needs more activity and less stimulation, from ringing phones to interior scary dialogue.

Stress due to demand for cellular regeneration eg due to daily activity? Needs protein as well as enough(not too much) carbs

Stress due to addiction? Needs to quit and return to 'normal' functioning if possible.

Extra demand from high levels of physical activity? Needs more protein
Hormonal stress due to cyclical and life changes? Needs specific micronutrients.

Stress due to dehydration (extremely common and not recognised enough) needs water

Stress due to invasion by bacteria or viruses? Needs immunoboosters. rest. And protein.

Stress due to grief and other emotional factors? Needs time and sometimes talk.

Stress due to obsessing about toxins? Needs education about what really is and isn't toxic to the body. Cigarettes and melamine are toxic. Some bacterial byproducts are toxic. But a lot of 'toxin' talk is leftovers from late 19th century food fads. I have heard toxin obsessors say that protein is toxic because it produces 'mucous' (the other obsession of a certain strain of food pathologisers). Or that melons are 'toxic' if you eat them in the same meal as something else.

Stress due to not understanding something? Needs attention and research. Which is what I'd better get back to because I have 2 assignments and a job application due in the next 3 days. Better go eat some biscuits wink


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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Pogo69
SILVER Member since Apr 2006

Pogo69

there's no charge for awesomeness... or attractiveness
Location: limbo

Total posts: 3764
Posted:awesome post, gabe... so glad to see that you're not afraid of protein too, like so many people are these days.

hopefully, you're ditto for fat, the most unfairly vilified macro-nutrient of them all. sure, you shouldn't be loading up on pounds and pounds of pork crackling, but nuts, seeds, avocados, olives (and olive oil), oily fish (and other sources of omega-3s) are all full of the good kinds of fat, of which most of us should probably be consuming more. can't grow a healthy brain (among other things) without them. grin


--pogo (pat) [forever and always]

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willworkforfoodjnr
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

willworkforfoodjnr

Hunting robot foxes
Location: Huddersfield, West Yorkshire

Total posts: 1046
Posted:Good advice on that vegie cafe - recommended! grin
EDITED_BY: willworkforfoodjnr (1227773963)


Working hard to be a wandering hippie layabout. Ten years down, five to go!

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