Insight Into | Why I Won’t Remain Vegan

As you may be aware, I took the pledge of Veganism this January. Why? Well, why not was my response to most. I wanted to try something different, and see what all the fuss was about. However, I am now taking the pledge against Veganism. Why? For the following reasons:

1. Social Life 
Without a doubt the number one reasons for not sticking to Veganism is the sheer anti-social nature of it. Don’t get me wrong, there are an incredible number of restaurants popping up all over the place serving vegan menus, but do you really want to restrict yourself to 5% of a menu? Do you really want to have to check the menu of every restaurant suggested by friends and family to see if you can actually eat anything before making a commitment? Yes, 2018 is already revolutionary in its Veganism adoption, but for now, I am not willing to question a night out with friends at the thought of not being able to sit at the table and enjoy the meal with them.
2. Cows 
Quite honestly, I just miss cows milk. Ever since I can remember I would drink more than a couple of pints of milk a day, so I knew this was going to be one of the biggest challenges. On top of this, as a huge coffee fiend, no one will ever convince me that almond milk or oat milk comes close to the full-fat stuff in a flat white!
3. Placebo 
Telling myself I was going vegan simply made me want to eat everything that wasn’t. For the past few years I have reduced the amount of meat I have eaten (thanks to a traumatising chicken experience in China!), and this hasn’t bothered me in the slightest. That is until I told myself I couldn’t eat it because I was ‘vegan’. All I did was crave a beef burger and sirloin steak. Whilst just living my life without even thinking about it I was naturally making more health conscious decisions.
4. Cost 
Okay, so whilst many will argue that eating Vegan is not more expensive because you’re spending less on meat la di dah di dah, quite frankly this wasn’t the case for me. Due to buying minimal meat before, the alternatives I was buying were in fact more expensive. For example, coconut yoghurt – comes in at at least £3 a pot, compared to your 99p natural yoghurt – and to be honest, my Sainsbury’s natural yoghurt tasted a whole lot better!
5. Extra Supplements 
For anyone that has done their research, they’ll be aware that there are key vitamins and minerals missing from a vegan diet. Most prominently, vitamin B12. The thought of having to have B12 shots at the doctors, purely because I wasn’t allowing to nourish myself with them in their natural form was quite frankly ridiculous. You’ll spend more on that than a glass of milk so for me it just wasn’t worth it.

Going forward:
Whilst I won’t be continuing with veganism, I am certain that I will continue to eat less meat and most likely stick to a relatively vegetarian diet. My dairy intake will likely be reduced, and I will add more grains and pulses to my diet. No I don’t hate animals or want to damage the planet, so don’t hate me for not sticking to vegan, but I’m just simply not convinced its the lifestyle choice that is right for me. I have huge respect for those that can do it, and preach to continue to do so. But just be aware it’s not for everyone, and preaching like there’s no other choice is neither fair nor responsible. Let people make their own choices on the matter, and do what’s right for you as an individual not for those around you.
The Habit Hunter x

 

Insight Into | Race to the Stones – 100KM Non-Stop

Surreal… the only word that summarises how I am feeling right now. Having completed the Race to the Stones yesterday in 11hours 5mins – and coming home as 2nd Senior Female it’s unsurprising that it hasn’t all quite sunk in yet.

The Race to the Stones has been voted as the Number One Ultra Marathon in the UK and I can totally understand why. The organisation was phenomenal, from picking up race numbers at 6:30am to crossing the finish line 11 hours later everything ran incredibly smoothly. The pit stops were impeccable, from the staff running them, to the choices on offer, there really was nothing to fault! The encouragement from everyone (in particular my support team) was overwhelming throughout, even when the weather was super bleak! So a massive thank you goes out to all those who were on the course!

Now to the nitty gritty… the race itself. Everything became a little bit real before heading to be on Friday night, when it sunk in that just over 15 months ago I had never run a marathon, and now I was about to run two and a half of them all in one day! What was I thinking. I have read many a time that running an ultra-marathon is ‘mind over matter’ and nothing rang more true yesterday, I’d even go as far to say its 90% mental strength that will get anyone through this type of feat.

Apprehension was inevitable, but standing on the start line I was actually strangely looking forward to what was ahead – something I hadn’t quite expected! Surrounded by those planning on completing the race in sub-12 hours I felt extremely out of my depth, and being the youngest female to ever take on the Race to the Stones was adding the pressure. However, 1km in and all these thoughts were banished and the aim of the day was just to get the finish line in one piece.


 

The first 50km brought a great bought of rain, something I was not quite prepared for, and spent most of the pit stops being patted dry and trying to warm up by my support team! (ps.. ALWAYS PACK A RAIN JACKET) — something I read many a time, and continued to ignore. Prior to the race I was expecting the half way point to be the toughest mentally, crossing the ‘Finish’ line, yet knowing I wasn’t heading to the relaxation tent like the majority of the other runners. (In the Race to the Stones you can opt to take on the challenge over two days – the sensible choice. Or you can throw yourself in at the deep-end and take it all on in one day – no surprises as to which option I opted for). But surprisingly the half way point was a blessing in disguise, I took on some fuel and got going again.

It was between 58km – 70km that was probably the toughest battle, the hills were relentless and I was struggling to take on any fuel – truly indecisive over what I wanted (that horrible feeling of complete and utter exhaustion) – however, I plodded along! My dad was a hero for the second part of the course, spending the majority of it on his bike following the route along and supporting me with haribo (the fuel of champions) and water as and when I needed!

Quite honestly, this was where I thought I would hit ‘the wall’. Knowing that this was the furthest I had ever run, and unsure of what would be ahead of me. But much to my complete and utter surprise ‘the wall’ was never hit, and evidently the mental preparation was clearly paying off. Don’t get me wrong, this was the toughest venture I have ever endured – and much to the relief of my friends and family it’s not something I will be entering anytime soon – think I’ll be sticking to the marathon distance!

70km – 85km were a bit of a blur, running up and down over rolling hills that quite honestly felt like Kilimanjaro. But hitting the 85km point was incredible, and something I never thought would be possible. The organisers didn’t make this quest easy, some of the toughest hills and trails came at this part of the course, and it was the sheer concentration of ‘left foot.. right foot.. don’t trip up’ that was exhausting. But then came the final 10km, something by this point I felt I could probably do in my sleep.. until I realised there were runners running the other direction – NOT A LOOP BACK! Anyone that knows me, knows that any race you have to go back on yourself is a big no-no. I can’t stand running in one direction to know I’m just going to have to run that part of the course all over again. Even more disappointing, we were running to ‘The Stones’ (the most underwhelming neolithic stone circle I have ever come across. Once you reached the stones you got your ‘photo opportunity’. and left. To head back down the same path you just ran down.. great.

But then you hit THE SIGN – 1km to go! You’d think this would bring with it a great deal of excitement, but to be honest I was overheating at this point, and just didn’t want to fall at the last hurdle. So the focus turned to counting down from 1000 backwards and hoping by the time I got to the end the finish line would be in sight. I couldn’t tell you what number I got to as the finish line made it’s appearance much sooner than expected! All in all an insane day – with an insane support crew – and something I am still coming to terms with – an insane result!


Back when I entered I had written about hoping to finish in 15hours, to finish in 11hours, as 2nd Senior Female and 50th overall, I honestly couldn’t have asked for anything more! Thank you again to everyone who came out to support. And if you’re thinking of entering – do it! But only if you’re willing to put in the mental training. Being physically fit is one thing – mentally fit is a whole different ball game!

The Habit Hunter x