Finding a Plant-Based Diet as a Runner {by Cedric Torres : Part 1}

Hi there! I am Cedric. I have been running for 4 ½ years and have been eating a plant-based vegan diet for 1 ½ years.

image 1 - Cedric

I now live a healthy plant-based lifestyle by eating plant-based food and staying active. In addition to running, I lift weights, bike, practice yoga and occasionally play basketball.


image 5 - Cedric

I am sharing my story of becoming a plant-based runner and some resources that can help those of you who are interested or new to a plant-based diet.

This is part 1 of my story, where I will share how I found and why I chose a plant-based diet.

Like many of you, I grew up eating what my parents bought and placed in the kitchen and on my plate which consisted of animal products at every meal. I did not think much about what I ate when I was a child, but as I grew older, I became curious and aware of the impact that food can have on health. I started read the nutrition facts and ingredient lists on food packages, which is something many people unfortunately do not do.

image 6 - Cedric basketball

Prior to attending university, I developed an interest in science and research. This new interest combined with my awareness nutrition and disease influenced my choice of university major and ultimately lead me on a path towards discovering a plant-based diet. 

In university, I started watching YouTube on my laptop as a means of entertainment since I did not have television. One afternoon in my dorm room, I was searching for videos about what athletes should eat to gain muscle. I randomly clicked on a video about plant-based vegan nutrition made by the YouTuber Vegan Gains. The video caught my attention, because he showed the images of research studies he was referring to, unlike other nutrition videos. I watched more of his videos and soon found and began watching videos from other plant-based YouTubers. I then searched for articles and resources about plant-based vegan and vegetarian nutrition.

Based on my research, I was convinced that I did not need to eat animal products to be healthy and decided to try a plant-based diet for the many health benefits it has. 


image 8 - Cedric

I then discovered more reasons to eat a plant-based diet. One reason is that it extends compassion towards animals that are needlessly killed for food or used for certain products. Another reason is that it can benefit the environment and the planet.

When I made the connection to how my diet can affect other beings and the planet, I became certain that I wanted to stay plant-based in the long run.

Having these additional reasons was beneficial for me, because eating plant-based only for personal health benefits could have caused me to run off the path and makes my eating choices so much more meaningful. 
image 2 - Cedric

 

Finding great reliable resources was very important and helpful to me while I was learning about the plant-based diet and lifestyle.

Through many of the mainstream media sources, like television, internet and magazines, it can be hard to find such information without a thorough search. In those media sources, plant-based eating is often mentioned in negative and untrue connotation like nutrient deficiency, restrictive diet and muscle loss.

Many doctors, dieticians and personal trainers bring up these negative connotations too. Thinking it is true, people naturally spread this false or incomplete information on to others and it becomes widespread. 

image 7 - Cedric running race

If we were to look more closely at the sources of information from which these negative connotations originate, we can find that many are not supported by facts or evidence. We can also find information that is not being as widely shared by the mainstream media sources. With some searching, you can learn about how we can obtain all the nutrients we need, enjoy a wide variety of different foods and be healthy individuals and incredible athletes on a plant-based diet. You will also learn about how eating a plant-based diet affects animals and the environment and possibly make the same connection as I did. 


I want to share with you a brief list of some of the resources that I found to help me when I was learning about the plant-based lifestyle.

It may be good to look at different forms of media, as you may find that one or more form attracts you more than another. Keep in mind that this is just a short list of the resources I have used and there are many others available. 


Websites:


Documentaries/Videos:


Books:


Podcasts (my personal favorites):


Social Media (YouTube, Instagram, Facebook & Twitter):


Simply search “plant-based” in any of these and you will find many channels, groups and pages covering many different topics related to the plant-based lifestyle. My personal favorite Facebook groups are Plant Strong Fitness and Plant Positive by Katie & Gwen.


For more on Cedric, his great Blog, recipes and to follow his training find him on Instagram @StrideToHealthy and on his website here!

https://stridetohealthy.wordpress.com