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What happened when I went raw vegan...

I picked a really non-traditional date to start my raw vegan journey - Thanksgiving Day 2022. As someone who was already vegan for going on four years it wasn't like I was going to be indulging in the typical turkey feast anyways so it just felt like a good time to start.

Going into that week, I did a liquid fast from Sunday through Wednesday. I believe it totaled 95 hours. My running performance definitely took a hit during the liquid fast, with my runs on Thursday and Friday being considerably slower than normal pace.

I did the liquid fast for two reasons. First was to support my wife who was also doing the liquid fast. Second was to start the raw vegan diet with a clean slate. 95 hours was enough for me given my current level of health and high level of exercise. I lost 5 pounds in those 3+ days that I didn't really need to lose for health purposes.

Once I leveled out after a few days on just raw plants (and no, I don't even steam veggies) I began to watch for signs of change with my running. I was initially a little concerned it may have a negative effect on my performance.

What I noticed though was not negative at all. I did gain the 5 pounds back but like I said earlier, weight was not a reason for the change for me. My recovery from my running was vastly better than before, which had already improved significantly when I made the change to being vegan four years earlier. Better recovery meant I could push the pace more frequently and not be concerned about overloading my legs. The average mile pace for a week of training initially dropped by just over 5 seconds. And it's continued to stay faster as a raw vegan in comparison to last year.

Some might say the pace has improved because I'm simply a year further into training. At the age of 49 though, the pace should be slowing slightly every year because that's traditionally what happens as we age.

That is unless eating raw fruit, vegetables, and nuts is the cheat code for the aging process. It very well may be because most people I meet for the first time have a hard time believing I'm over 40 much less almost 50 years old.

Was it simply a really good time of the year for me? To make sure it wasn't just a fluke timing result I tested the theory of training on a raw plant meal plan. After Jan 1, 2023 I started eating cooked vegan food again in some meals. It took about 6 weeks to realize recovery was starting to slow down a little. At that point, I made the switch back to raw vegan and have been so to this day.

The recovery piece is only one positive effect that I've noticed. I also rarely run out of energy - even in the midst of a 50+ mile week of running. My sleep is more sound and refreshing (again a piece of the recovery puzzle). While I was already rarely sick (which I attribute to being vegan) I notice fewer issues with seasonal allergies now.

Not too mention, it's super easy to prepare meals without having to cook anything.

If you are curious about what a vegan or raw vegan nutrition plan might look like, drop me a line.

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