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January 21, 2011

Deals on vegan plans

Groupon is offering a pretty good deal on vegan plans today: $49 for a $249 vegan nutrition plan.

I have mixed feelings on this.

While I've seen some fairly strong evidence that do-it-yourself veganism over the long term -- rather than vegetarianism -- can be somewhat risky, I love the idea of having a vegan chef guiding me through a month of recipes. Expanding my culinary toolkit would be well worth it (and probably pretty tasty too).

As with any big purchase, I'll probably discuss this with my wife before hand. It's definitely under consideration.

Speaking of which: Does anyone have any good meatless (or near-meatless) stew recipes? As I get my winter mileage going again, I want lots of hearty food, but I like my meat in moderation.

-- Baltimore Sun file photo by Algerina Perna

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:43 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Nutrition


Patrick - I was considering buying today's Groupon as well. I have done the vegan thing once before, for a year in college, and it was tough! What gave me pause about today's Groupon though, is I wondered if eating vegan while also training for a race would be good for me. Just not sure if a vegan diet would give me all the fuel I would need. I guess I need to do some research. Maybe a future blog post? :)
What do you think?

Good points. It sounds like the program includes some suggested yoga, which makes me imagine that NNC might have specific behavior patterns in mind when planning. I imagine that at the very least, this offer could be a good piece of preparation for people who are thinking of getting more exercise but are not actively doing so yet and have a month of buffer time to spare. And yes, please keep us updated if you try this :)

Anica, have you seen this article on vegan ultramarathoner Scott Jurek? Pretty interesting stuff!

And Patrick, here's my favorite vegetarian chili recipe!

Jackie, thanks for the link! Very interesting story. I started to get curious about running while adhering to a vegan diet and have come up some interesting resources. I think I'll have enough for a blog post on Monday.

Thing is, I don't really know why this is surprising to me. I spent many years of my life as a vegetarian, and was a runner during those years as well, although my running was only high school cross country and recreational running in college :) I suppose it is surprising -- and awesome -- to learn that there are marathoners and ultras who eat plant-based diets. Cool stuff!

I've been vegan for 17 years. For the past 26 years I've been working out most days of the week - weights and cardio. Two years ago I started running, and while my joints are old and creaky, I entered my first 5k last fall. As long as you eat a variety of foods, keep your calories at an appropriate level and supplement your B12 (I recently had some health issues related to low B12), you can exercise to your heart's content - literally and figuratively!

I have tons of vegan stew recipes. Most were found by doing an internet search. One of my favorite recipe/support sites is

Aren't humans amazing? They kill wildlife - birds, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice and foxes by the million in order to protect their domestic animals and their feed.

Then they kill domestic animals by the billion and eat them. This in turn kills people by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer.

So then humans spend billions of dollars torturing and killing millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

Meanwhile, few people recognize the absurdity of humans, who kill so easily and violently, and then call for Peace on Earth.

~Revised Preface to Old MacDonald's Factory Farm by C. David Coates~


Anyone can break this cycle of violence! Everyone has the power to choose compassion! Please visit these websites to align your core values with life affirming choices: &

"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right."
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Another well-known vegan runner is Carl Lewis. (You may have heard of him!) Here is a link about why he chose veganism.

I also highly recommend a cookbook that he wrote with Jonnequin Bennet called Very Vegetarian. It's hands down one of the best out there and all the recipes are vegan. Try the sun-dried tomato lentil burgers, they are my favorite.

There is nothing difficult about being vegan while training, but you can't eat junky processed foods: beans, nuts, seeds, or whole grains at every meal; and leafy greens every day - no excuses.

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About Exercists
Andrea Siegel, a reporter at The Baltimore Sun, covers mostly crime and courts in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, as well as legal issues. She wishes she was more physically fit, and, as she's more fond of chocolate than exercise, fitness is a challenge. Her partner on a one-mile-plus daily walk is the family dog, a mixed breed named Moxie, and she exercises at the gym where the D.C. snipers once worked out.
Jerry Jackson has been a photo editor at The Baltimore Sun for 14 years and an avid cyclist for more than 30 years. Inspired by the movie "Breaking Away," he started racing as a teenager in Mississippi when leather "brain baskets" were still the norm. He regularly commutes to work by bike and still enters several mountain bike races a year for fun.
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Patrick Maynard, who will be writing about running and walking, has been a producer for since 2008. In 2009, he tweeted on-course for the Sun from the Baltimore Marathon, finishing in just under 4 hours and almost managing to run the whole time. He sometimes walks to the Sun offices on Calvert Street.
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Leeann Adams, a multimedia editor at The Baltimore Sun, also dabbles in content for the mobile website and iPhone app and covers the Ravens via video. She did a triathlon to celebrate her 40th birthday and continues to swim, bike and run -- none of them quickly, though. Her biggest fitness challenge is to balance working, working out, spending time with her husband and being a mom to a 6-year-old boy.
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Anica Butler, the Sun's crime editor, is a former high school runner and recovering vegetarian who spent more of her early-adult years on a bar stool than working out. She is currently training (though poorly) for a half marathon and is trying to live a generally healthier lifestyle. She also hates the gym.
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