It all started with a Whole Foods Optimizer in chocolate flavour. I went to Planet Organic looking for something I could take on a road trip for breakfasts that were gluten and lactose free. An employee suggested I take the Whole Foods Optimizer for several reasons: it was gluten and lactose free, it was easy to shake with some almond milk and it was on sale. So, I bought it having never tried the Vega brand before. On the first day of my road trip I shook one cup of Almond Milk with one scoop of the Vega mix. It was delicious! That evening I researched Vega: its products, its creator and the community. I decided to sign up for the Thrive in 30 challenge.
Five years ago I gave up on participating in triathlons. I had a series of setbacks. It started with fracturing my back in a barefooting accident in 2001. Then my parents divorced in 2005, the year I graduated from University. It was also the year I moved in with my Aunt and Uncle and registered for a post graduate certificate program. In the summer of 2006 when I started my career, I was burned by fire and could not work the week prior to the 2005 Rogers Cup. The recovery from these burns took me physically out of triathlons. I started running again in the winter of 2007. My IT band became so tight that I had to stop running. I was now thinking I would never do triathlons again. My psyche and my body was retreating from the sport.
When I made this mental decision to stop triathlons, my body starting getting sick - every week. Every week I seemed to have a cold or flu. I was achy, tired, sore, irritable. Foods weren't sitting the same as they used to. Physicians were telling me I was depressed and needed more fiber in the form of wheat, bran and oats. I was offended. I felt like they weren't listening to me. I ate super healthy, lots of whole wheat, oats every morning and plenty of fruits and veggies. And, I always carried a Nalgene to sip water out of all day long. I did my own research and decided to swap my 1% milk for soy milk and my cereal and bread for gluten free alternatives. I started noticing a change in energy levels and my state of mind. But I still wasn't whole yet.
I sought advice from more physicians on a g-free, lactose-free diet. They didn't condone this diet for me but, they did suggest I stop running and biking. I was diagnosed, without proof that I had osetoarthritis in my knees and most likely was depressed. I reluctantly sold my tri bike - to someone who could do tris. I took glucosamine sulfate as prescribed, but I did not take an anti-depressant. And, I continued to play with a g-free, lactose free diet.
Finally, I found Vega. On my ninth lesson, I had already started feeling a huge difference physically and mentally. I am sleeping more soundly, I am feeling more awake in the mornings, I am enjoying food again because I don't feel bloated and nauseous after my meals. I have eliminated meat protein except for chicken, but even that I am eating less and less of just because of how I feel when I eat it. I am paying attention to my body and its needs and we no longer have an oppositional relationship. It tells me what it needs, I listen and my brain is equally as content for listening to my body.
Last week I joined a triathlon club. I love the feel of the water, the fluidity on the bike and the strength in my legs on the run. I love feeling the blood pump throughout my body, the endorphins making me smile again and the ease of incorporating Vega foods into my day as fuel. Food has now become fuel, something I look forward to, something I enjoy and something I can use to optimize my training, my life and my soul.
Having that first Vega shake was my Ah-Hah moment! I am so grateful for these products and the Thrive Diet. I can't wait to experience the rest of my journey.