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Climbers and Diet - Any Vegetarians out there?

12:12:00 AM
I've seen some discussion on here before about the foods people eat and stay away from when climbing. I've read about people's secret food weapons - tuna fish.... peanut m & ms... actually I think it was the same person who mentioned both (Jac?) - maybe the true secret is in the combination (fish m&ms?). I'm wondering if there are any vegetarian climbers out there who have paid any serious attention to their diet?

12:39:23 AM
Theres a few of us 'vego' climbers out there. Myself, having just spent the last 4 months up at araps and in times spending long periods of time alpine climbing, diet is pretty important. Way too much to talk about on forum, but the key is to eat well, not crap like baked beans, and instant noodles etc.... Plenty of options out there, probably the best saver out there is TVP, avail from any Super Market (health food section) or in bulk (much much cheaper) from health food store.
12:49:21 AM
Wolfgang used to eat supreme frozen pizza from the D's, and Pollit survived on a diet of B&H, chocolate and beer (no joke!!) If that's any help?
Diet dont mean shit if you've got it!
7:31:22 AM
I haven't eaten animals or fungus for nearly 30 years. Nor do I drink/smoke. I think the main advantage, especially as you get older is you dont get fat. This "outweighs " all the other considerations. Look around at aussie guys in their 40s and tell me if you think you could climb looking like that. So if you dont want climbing to be something you did when you were young, then you hafta think about diet.

7:55:20 AM
i have been eating animals such as cow and pig all my life.
i find that when i have a nice big pieace of juicy steak straight of the bbq i seem to climb much harder the next day. i dont know if it is mental but i think the natural source of protein from meat does seem to do somthing when hanging up side down.
but then again my good friend jan, is a healthy vego and she is one of the hardest girl in geelong. maybe she could give some vego tips.

10:13:47 AM
Agree with Shaggy's comments. It is more important to eat nutritious foods on longer trips, where the body is slowly grinding down.

I hate TVP though (on a trip to NZ, we decided it should be renamed Tiny Vomit Pieces). Dried tofu from your average Asian grocery shop is, for me, a much better long trip protein source. Investing in a dehydrator is a great way to improve your meals on longer trips. Red lentils cook much faster than people realise.

Short term, ie lunch at Araps, I'm pretty partial to things like avocado sandwiches. Just make sure you're careful where to pack them! Peanuts, dates.


11:28:01 PM
I was actually thinking more of if any vegetarian climbers out there have found they need to be careful with what they eat generally due to the strains climbing places on your body, rather than what people eat at the crag.

For example lots of vegetarian athletes seem to take some creatine suppliments as vegetarians generally seem to be a little low on this. On the flip side I've read an online article which pointed out that ceratine is perhaps not so useful for climbers as it tends to lead to excess weight.

I find my body tends to crave protein a lot as a resul I eat a lot of mexican food (pinto beans are a good source), tofu, nuts (almonds, peanuts etc) etc.

I do wonder if I'm providing my body with all the nutrients it needs to recover from climbing 3 days a week (gym mainly) and doing other exercise (a martial art) at least 2 other nights a week.
12:13:42 AM
The thing is your not giving your body complete proteins so your doing harm in the long run. This is a 2 to 3 year strain on stored amino acids in the body. Look it up if you dont believe me.
8:08:01 AM
Ben, don't worry too much about how much protien or amino acids you get, you can find an argument to support or deride any kind of diet there is. If you can only store these amino things for 3 years then I ran out of them decades ago. Your body is not ruled by vitamins and protiens and things it is ruled by your own will. Eat whatever seems right for you and know that you'll get what you need from it.

10:02:56 AM
I'd have to agree with the above post by jjobrien - I you are feeling healthy, sleeping well and have plenty of energy then you are probably doing ok on your vegie diet. If you are suffering on it - change it. I tried the full scale vegie thing for a number of years, and was really trying to 'eat right', I found I got sick regularly, was always tired and had no energy. It simply didn't work for me. I've not eaten red meat or chicken for over 15 years now, but by adding fish (and lots of it) to my diet I found the balance that worked for me personally. My sister is a full on hippy vegan and she is the thinnest, most pale green, sunken-eyed person I know - my regular climbing partner is a vegetarian and he finds it works well for him. As JJ said 'you can find an argument to support or deride any kind of diet there is' - so go with what works for you, if that is KFC or Soya beans then thats what it is.

Phil S
12:31:55 PM
For about five years I was, from a protein point of view full vegan (vego with a dairy intolerance). Gradually I got lighter and lighter and although I was still climbing strongly and was healthy I could feel my body winding-down. I added seafood and quickly put the weight back on (and the murdered cows have stopped visitting my dreams).

The main frustration for me is the actual amount of whole foods I need to eat - it often seems that one juicy steak is equal to about three hectares of vegetable goodness.

As for wonder-foods, I'm with Jark - Tuna is it. Havn't "used" Peanut M&m's yet but will test them, they might fix my elbow.

5:27:27 PM
On 1/05/2004 Phil S wrote:
>- it often seems that one juicy steak is equal to about three hectares
>of vegetable goodness.

mmmmm steak!

12:07:27 AM
On 1/05/2004 remdan wrote:
>On 1/05/2004 Phil S wrote:
>>- it often seems that one juicy steak is equal to about three hectares
>>of vegetable goodness.
>mmmmm steak!

damn straight. Props to those of you who can make TVP meals actually taste OK. Truth is it's harder for the average neanderthal to make a tasty vego meal than slap some sauce on a some meat. I go looking for easy meal tick(et)s myself.

Just don't get sandbagged into eating a vego meal and believing you'll be able to tick a Moorhouse 22. Probably won't have enough spinach to get up a Baxter 22.

Are there any Baxter 22's? ;-)
4:08:04 AM
Hi ive been vegan for 15 years ran half marathons, boxing, and now for the last 5 years been climbing and bouldering. I boulderer around english 6b-6c my grade really went up through losing weight i stopped drinking beer and wine about a year ago, alcohol and drugs are the only thing that affect the stomach and thus digestion of foods.
At the end of the day eating sensibly (with or without meat) you should be ok.
Don't stress a lot of it is in your head. Look at the vietgong army they could march and march and give a good fight on a bowl of rice a day.
10:04:18 PM
On 2/05/2004 jimmylinton wrote:
>At the end of the day eating sensibly (with or without meat) you should
>be ok.

This sounds like good advice, the only thing that concerns me about your post is the suggestion that we should give up drinking beer.
10:15:52 AM
No beer, life is not worth living.
A friend of mine is a vego, we spent Christmass/New Year at araps and only ate vego. Food was great, lost two kilos, mainly gut fat.
Climbed every day for 2 and a half weeks and was spanked at the end. (Probably just the climbing)
Your body needs time to adjust to the new food regime around 2 and half months for athletes on high protein/low carb diets. (The opposite of vego)
These diets are designed to reduce body fat and build muscle mass, they are not 'healthy' is the normal sense and have some weird side effects such a short term memory loss.
I suspect that going vego would require a similiar 'acclimatisation' period before the body figures out what is happening.

10:49:29 AM
Mr StinkingGoat your comment about complete proteins is rubbish. To see the volumes of evidence against your claim, just go to google and type - vegetarian complete protein. Basically, all one has to do is use a couple of sources of protein for a complete balance - which is a real no brainer, and makes perfect sense, since eating a big bowl of just one thing is BORING eating.

I've been vego for about 3-4 years now, and feel much better for it. My girlfriend has also been vego/vegan for about 7 years and loves it. Variety is the key. For us, it's easy because we really enjoy creating yummy meals and eat a huge variety of food.

We tend to eat quite a lot of protein by being sure to include grains and pulses in our cooking. The choices in tofu and soy milk have also come a long way in recent years. I think that a lot of people have been unsuccessful as vegetarians simply because they eat too many processed carbohydrates, and not enough whole foods and vegetables (which sounds bizarre I know). Some people have very restricted diets and make it hard for themselves by not regularly including nuts and beans etc. People that have limited/immature food preparation skills will also find being vegetarian hard - until there comes a time when there are lot more off-the-shelf vege items from supermarkets.

Ultimately, I think my energy levels now are better than they ever were, and we are both very active climbers (and outdoors in general). Ben, when I train hard (weights, campusing, boulder sessions a few nights a week), I get ravenous. What works for me is to make sure I have good amounts of complete protein reasonably soon after I train (the same day). To be sure, Id go some good tofu protein. Miso soup is absolutely kick-ass at short notice and we have it often in winter. It has protein, but you typically add tofu AND throw in a good bunch of seaweedy stuff for iron and other nutrients. PLUS you can buy it ready made in single server packets - which you can have with your normal meal.

If you still don't think you can climb hard as a vegetarian, check out Ivan Vostinar from NZ; he's been a super vego for several years - and is a hefty, ripped climbing machine, cranking 32's and filled with energy. Another friend of ours has been a vego for eons and has run about 30 marathons (he's also been a best man at 25 weddings- but that's another story).

BTW in regard to TVP (which used to make me retch): buy some of the dried savoury stuff that Sanitarium makes (available from both Coles and Woolies) and make it into Spaghetti Bolognaise. If you aren't a confident cook, just use one of the sauce in a jar things as a shortcut. I've served this to my meat-eating friends many times, and had them combing back for more (often they didn't even realise it wasn't beef).

Okay, Im off my soapbox now. Hope that's helpful.
3:00:47 PM
Spoken like a true, one eyed vego. You can find anything to support any argument with a google search. Try typing U.F.O. and you'll believe in aliens.
3:01:53 PM
On 3/05/2004 deadpoint wrote:
>These diets are designed to reduce body fat and build muscle mass, they
>are not 'healthy' is the normal sense and have some weird side effects
>such a short term memory loss.

Oh. And I thought that was just the beer.

3:30:02 PM
tone down the comments Stinkingoat...

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There are 37 messages in this topic.


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