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This whole vegan thing...

Had a lot going on in my head of late about whether to go vegan or not. So as I lie by the pool on a rest day I thought I'd share my thoughts.

The question most people have asked me who I've mentioned this to is "where are you going to get your protein?"

I imagine this comes from the belief that protein means meat. We do seem to be bombarded for the need to eat it from food commercials through to the fitness industry.

Two things keep crossing my mind though.

Firstly, those of you that have worked with me know that I reference the animal kingdom a lot when it comes to balance, power and core strength for functionality. So if you look at some of the fiercest, strongest animals in the world such as the rhino, hippo and gorilla, they are all non meat powered.

The other point is that I've never heard of anyone being hospitalised with a protein deficiency.

I keep mulling these two points over in my head as I say. Is there a way of being more efficient? Is this along with sorting out my work life balance the last two pieces of the jigsaw? If it is it only took me 50 years to figure it out!

Now I know protein is a crucial nutrient not just for building and repairing muscle but also for the maintenance of a wide set of bodily functions, including the prevention of fatigue, preserving proper bone mass and good immune system strength. But what actually is protein and does it matter if I get it from plants rather than animals?

Two of my hero ultra runners are Scott Jurek and Timmy Olsen. Both are meat free. Running long distances makes processing meat at the rate I need the fuel almost impossible. Is this the answer for the road ahead?

So I know through my studies and learning that proteins consist of twenty different amino acids, eleven of which can be synthesised naturally by our bodies. The other nine essential amino acids must be ingested from the foods that we eat. So therefore it follows that technically we need certain amino acids, not protein.

Then I find out that these nine amino acids aren't exclusively found in meat. Actually they are originally synthesised by plants but are found in meat and dairy purely as a result of these animals eating plants.

They are found in lots of varieties of nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and grains. Spinach, broccoli, quinoa, lentils, almonds and kidney beans for example.

So therefore if your diet contains a well-rounded variety of these plant-based foods, it follows that it's impossible to be deficient in the ability to properly synthesise all the proteins needed for proper tissue repair, maintenance and functioning.

So there you have it. My thoughts so far. Nothing to do with animal cruelty. Purely about efficiency and getting more out of my body. This is for me as well before anyone says I'm trying to influence your food intake. We all know you can't do that if you think about it. People make their own choices.

For me, I'm already dairy, wheat and gluten free. My running and general fitness has improved as I get older as a result. This is maybe another step on the road to being able to run further into later life should I live that long. That said I'm still not there. Like I said, my choice.

Anyway, back to contemplating my navel on my sun lounger.

See you soon.

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