I’ve been back in training as I continue to recover from shin splints. They weren’t getting any worse the more I ran, so I took the plunge and committed to a couple of half marathons (and 10k and 14k trail races) over the next couple of months.
Determined not to get injured again and inspired by reading ultra champion Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run, I thought I might try going vegan for a while. Jurek found that on a vegan diet full of vegetables and whole foods, his recovery times were faster, he was injured less and his race times (and records) speak for themselves.
The timing works because I’ve been trying to cut down the fish I consume to just what I receive from Soleshare (more on them another time!), and they’re taking August off.
It turns out it’s very easy to eat vegan in North London, with a few small slip ups. I didn’t realise some fries I had ordered would come smothered in mayonnaise, for example. But I’m not worrying too much about the small stuff.
Here’s some of the food I have been tucking into:
Nasu dengaku with chard, sesame carrot salad (grated carrot with grated ginger, a splash of sesame oil, a slug of rice wine vinegar and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds) and brown sushi rice. Veg all from Crop Drop.
Lunch al desko (my new job is BUSY): smoked tofu, more of the carrot salad, and a lovely salad I made with cucumber “noodles”, edamame and peanut sauce.
Five runners came over after Finsbury Parkrun one day and I served up an almost entirely vegan meal.
The most amazing heritage tomatoes from Crop Drop became…
Butter beans with fennel, lemon and tomato, from Anna Jones’ book A Modern Way to Cook. I am in love with this book. Everyone raved about the other recipe I made from the book: kale, sumac and crispy brown rice salad. The crispy rice is made by cooking it three times – boiling it, dry frying it to dry it out further, then frying in coconut oil to make very crispy rice. It’s a fantastic textural element.
I have now purchased her earlier book A Modern Way to Eat. In fact tonight’s dinner of sweet potato and cannelini bean quesadillas (no queso!) was from that book.
Eating out and about has been easy too. I had a fantastic lunch from Spice Box, who serve up fantastic vegan Indian food (without dairy, if you choose). Also from Kerb Kings Cross I tried a delicious vegan burrito from Club Mexicana. One day I lunched with a friend at Google’s Pancras Square office (where I felt too self conscious to take photos!). There were plenty of options including a chickpea tagine and various salads.
Tottenham Green Market has great vegan food too:
My favourites The Green Bean. Next time I go I must remember to take a container so I can take home some salad without the waste of packaging.
Newcomers Vurger, serving up three different vegetarian and vegan burgers. This was amazing after a 2 1/2 hour run.
Finally, I dragged some friends out after a run for vegan pizza from Fed in Dalston:
That’s some sort of cashew concoction in place of cheese. Everyone liked it.
Cheese though. I’m off to Paris later this week. As good as I’m feeling, will I be able to restrain myself? We shall see….