Friday, September 4, 2009

Vegan Athletes?

I’m sure we’ve all had the questions from friends & family about our diets - “are you getting enough protein?” - “where do you get your calcium from if you don’t drink milk” – etc. I understand that many people don’t quite “get” our diets and how being vegan can actually be an extremely healthy way to go. So, I politely thank them for their concern and try to explain how almost all foods have some form of protein in them and that – contrary to popular belief – cow’s milk is not necessarily the best form of calcium. Some get it, some don’t – but that’s okay.

I can only imagine that when you’re a professional athlete, those kinds of questions increase. Luckily, there are many successful professionals that have proven what one can achieve on a vegan diet. For instance, there’s the Vegan Fitness Team: Robert Cheeke – a professional body builder, Brendan Brazier – a champion tri-athlete, and Tonya Kay – world class dancer. Each has been successful in their respective fields of competition. They’ve even starred in a great movie highlighting their performance within the vegan lifestyle.

There’s also one of my new favorite hockey players – Georges Laraques – NHL tough-guy who recently went vegan after watching a powerful movie. I’ve watched hockey for years hating him while playing for the Edmonton Oilers and beating up on my favorite Stars players, but now I have nothing but respect (although I’ll still root against him when he plays the Stars next year).

And lest we forget (lest he kick all of our butts) about Mac DanzigUltimate Fighter 6 champion.

tell this guy he’s not getting enough protein

That brings me to myself. I started running last year, and I guess you could say after running my first marathon in April that I’m officially a “runner”. I may not be breaking world records any time soon (or any time later for that matter), but I think this allows me to consider myself a vegan “athlete”.


Gans, Allison, Cervando, and myself triumphant at the OKC Marathon

After my first swimming lesson on Wednesday (well, first since Kindergarten) in anticipation of completing a triathlon in the near future, I began to wonder about what other vegan athletes in the area were up to.

One awesome Dallas athlete I’m aware of is Mia Bissette. I’ve been following her on Twitter for a while now, but have yet to have the privilege to meet. She’s currently training for a triathlon raising money for Peta, and rumor has it that Dallas Vegan is in line for one of her awesome recipes when she returns from her extensive travels (maybe her fabulous looking deviled tomatoes?).

So, the bottom line to this post is - who are the other vegan athletes in Dallas, and what kinds of inspiring things are they getting in to? I know that there are more of us out there, so let’s hear from you!


Jen said...

you have inspired me to make an entry about "protien schmotien"--that notion that vegans can't possibly get enough of it and that's why were allegedly so flaky. i find having to defend this all the time using crazy examples like 1/4 c. walnuts=5g protien, and hell- the bread we buy has 4 g. protien per slice, PER SLICE! it's so easy to meet the daily requirements without even blinking an eye. if anything, i think people might get too much of it. good post!

miss v said...

i'm not a dallas girl, but i am a runner. i was training for a half marathon this fall and i ended up hurting my knee. :( what drove me crazy is the first thing my dad said was "time for a diet change!?"

jmj said...

It's funny that you mention this because this person recently contacted us about helping to promote her as a Vegan Athlete:

Jamey said...

Jen: exactly! It's funny when meat eaters give diet advice when most of them have never even researched the subject for themselves.

Missv: sorry to hear about your knee, but yeah, I'm *so* sure it was all those hamburgers and steaks you didn't eat that caused that injury, lol.

jmj: interesting...says she spends time in Flower Mound - that's cool. Looking forward to learn more about her.

Thanks for the comments guys!

bc said...

I can do at least 30 push ups in a row and run a couple of miles when necessary. Did I mention that beer is often vegan?

Maybe I should add "vegan athlete" to my list of goals in 2010...

I do love reading about people who can outperform the competition without subscribing to that "protein overload" mindset so prevalent amongst other athletes!

OpenIntro said...

I'm a runner, but have only been a vegan runner for the past year or so.

You should check out a very inspirational vegan athlete, named Scott Jurek! He is an ultramarathoner, and quite accomplished! He has won some of the toughest races (100miles and even a 162 mile race) all on a vegan diet!

You can learn more on him here:

and on his personal site at

Wildlife Tails from DFW Wildlife Coalition said...

I'm a vegetarian athlete and lift weights, do sprint aerobics, and I'm partially vegan (at home it's easier than when you try to eat out).