We form some ca-rrraaazzzyy habits to get through this even more crrraaazzzyyy life don’t we?
- Biting off a fingernail and then using it to clean food from between teeth.
- Blasting music for added concentration when you study.
- Talking to yourself in the mirror when you’re drunk. (For some reason, talking just seems like the thing you’re SUPPOSED to do when you’re drunk!)
Well, my habit is, or rather was pocketing honey in a sealed sandwich bag for my runs. And while my little habit doesn’t have the lofty infamy of stuffing tissue in my bras to make by B-cups look like D’s; or (since I don’t have a need to) shoving a rolled-up something or other down my pants to give me a bulge where Mother Nature short-changed me, that honey in my pocket was working ….
… until I decided to become a vegan.
I didn’t need much honey in that plastic bag. Just a few squirts from the belly of the plastic bear was enough. I would pull the plastic bag out of my pocket, usually after the first two miles and lick the inside of the bag a few times (a somewhat amusing and definitely strange sight I imagine) before starting on my third mile. For some reason, the sweetness of the honey worked to re-energize me so that I could run longer. And, since I only had just enough honey to coat the inside of a sandwich bag, it folded and fit nicely inside of my shorts pocket. No worries about carrying a clunky water bottle and I could keep my legs pumping another mile.
But alas, that’s all over now. As of today, June 1, 2012, I am a practicing vegan. I’ve been a vegetarian for the past 20-plus years and honey was one of a few vestiges of my carnivore lifestyle that I hung onto. I’ll have to find workable – and just as economical substitutes to fuel my runs. I know that distance runners and other athletes have a laundry-list of goodies that they use to refuel during extended training and performances: gummies, Power Bar Gel Blasts, Jelly Belly Sport beans and Hammer Energy Gels are just a few. But are they vegan-friendly?
I checked out a couple: Carb Boom! Energy Gels and Clif Shots. My biggest concern now is the “gel” concept. Are gels the same as jello? How about gummies – do they fall
within the same category as jello? If so, then it’s back to the drawing board. Jello is a definite no-no in the vegan world. It is made from discarded bones, skin and tissue of animals and then processed into jello. So, let’s try a quick Internet search ….
… and I feel somewhat better. Apparently the gels are a hybrid of cereal bars and energy drinks with their main ingredients being sodium, potassium and carbohydrates. While I’ll keep my eyes open for additional information, I’m going to report from the product websites for now. Let’s take Carb Boom! Energy Gels for example. According to their website: http://www.carbboom.com, the energy gels are not only vegan friendly (free of any animal products) but they are also gluten-free – good info for people with celiac disease. So I can try them before race day. Clif brand products, however, have a few challenges. According to the ClifBar website: http://www.clifbar.com, I couldn’t have the Clif Shot Roks because they have milk protein in their ingredient list. Had it not been for an article that came out at the beginning of the year: http://todayhealth.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/16/10425025-high-arsenic-levels-found-in-organic-foods-baby-formula, I would have felt a whole lot better about trying out the Clif Shot Bloks (energy chews) and the Clif Energy gels. While both products are vegan friendly, they both contain organic brown rice syrup – apparently high in arsenic levels according to recent research. Organic brown rice syrup has been used to sweeten cereal bars and baby formula.
Though arsenic is found in pesticides and naturally produced in the soil, the bigger problem reported was that there was no method of regulation in place. According to an article on the Food Production Daily website, The Federal Drug Administration took care of that later on in February: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/FDA-increases-rice-related-inorganic-arsenic-scrutiny-after-calls-for-regulatory-limits.
I guess I could try the Clif Shot Bloks, but they only said they would regulate, not get rid of the arsenic threat. So, why tamper with Mother Nature?
My new habit will be replacing the honey in my pocket with vegan-friendly, arsenic-free energy sources.
- Clif Shot Energy Gels – Review (notimetow8.com)
- Use These Vegan Gelatin Alternatives For Your Summer Salads (blisstree.com)
- Vegan Is… (veganfeministpirate.wordpress.com)