Vegan Challenge & Picky Bars

Time for the 30 Day Vegan Challenge!! … ok I’m not that excited about it, but I’m doing it!

I wanted to jump start the year with something that forces me to make better fruit and vegetable choices. The reason I didn’t start in January is because I had 2 races and was going out of town a lot. Not that you can’t be vegan out of town but I just didn’t want to have any strict rules when I was just trying to muster the willpower to even show up at the start line those two times. February is a good time of year to start getting yourself together, in my opinion.

black beans & rice – my new food staple for next 30 days… b/c 30 years of this meal every day was not enough…








The fact is I’m soft and out of shape. Sure, I did those races, but I haven’t done serious weekly training/mileage since late September – early October. And when I get into serious training, food matters. Do I expect myself to sail through this to easy victory 30 days from now? Um, no. My track record with the Vegan Challenge has amounted to me showing up to work, mindlessly pouring cream in my coffee, drinking it, realizing my mistake, then saying  “…forget it, I quit.” 

But not this year! Nowadays the fridge is stocked with cashew milk, I’m loving the coconut milk lattes from Starbucks, and I’ve made a commitment to go back to my roots with more meals of rice and beans. I think this may be the time that it comes together.


tostones – I’ve eaten a billion of these. conveniently vegan!







Other than that, I want to get leaner for my running. I reached my goal/target weight for this past race season but it’s not my PR weight. There’s a difference. I need to keep at it. Side note: it’s so annoying how slim you have to be for fast running. There. I said it. My goal is to lighten the load and see how that translates in mile times. Eating more veggies and less chips & cheese has to be a good start.

Oh and I ordered some Picky Bars as emergency vegan food to help me stay on track. They’re not all vegan but the Need For Seed ones (basically) are. I like them the best anyway! They are dairy, soy, gluten, and GMO free, but they aren’t labeled “vegan” because they have honey in them. Look, I don’t care about the minuscule amount of honey in these bars. They are still pretty vegan to me. I’ve ordered the multi-flavor packs before but there were a few I wasn’t as keen on. Nothing bad about those flavors! I’m just not big on blueberries or peanut butter in my energy bars and their coffee/caffeine one is just a lot of caffeine on top of my already big coffee habit. Though, there are times before long runs when I don’t drink coffee and end up wishing I had those Smooth Caffeinator bars! For those of you looking for 100.000% vegan bars, they have a Vegan Sampler.

Picky Bars









I just saw that the guy on the Need For Seed wrapper is from Florida. They have contests where customers send in their pictures of themselves living an active life, or getting #lifepoints, and the winning photos go on a flavor wrapper. Pretty cool huh? You guys should try it! Try a bar and try sending them a #lifepoints picture. Maybe you’ll make the cover! It’s a great company started by a bunch of runners for a bunch of runners. I like running-focused products and I’ve always had a good experience ordering from them.

Ok, wish me luck with this 30-Day Vegan Challenge! I’m going to need it! (2016 – year of the reformed vegan quitter??)


tembleque! THE best dessert on the planet. coconut custard & also vegan… wait, was I raised vegan??


Have you ever gone vegan before? How long did you do it? What was the most challenging thing for you?

8 responses to “Vegan Challenge & Picky Bars

  1. So happy to read you’re doing the 39 day challenge! I’ve been vegan for a little over a year now, and although it might be hard at first I promise you it’s worth it! Feel free to reach out if you’re struggling/have questions or anything! 🙂


  2. Great post. I’m interested and have been considering this for a while. My fear is also not eating enough to be able to train and race. So feel free to provide any tips you have along the way.


    • Thanks. Yes, that’s always been why I haven’t started this before. I worry about getting enough protein for training and not eating too many carbs that you’re overeating. It’s tough. I’ll let you know what I figure out! Lots of ultra marathoners are vegan though so clearly it can be done!


  3. This is awesome great idea! I went vegan for only a little under a month. Although it was a short time I instantly felt a change in my body/mind. I’m italian I thought I’d die without cheese and chicken parm. I can truly say that the first week I had headaches and I was hungry all the time, that was the hardest part. As that week came to an end though it was a complete 180!!! The reason I stopped was because I was living in a “food desert” and it was really hard to continue in the winter months after I had used up the last yield of my garden harvest. Have you watched cowspiracy?!


    • Thank you so much for responding! Perfect timing too b/c I had my breakdown tonight about this vegan plan. I had to run it out of my system tonight like a heroin addict (heroin = chicken wings). I literally said all those things you mentioned! – “I am SO HUNGRY! I’m not feeling good! Why am I doing this?!” But told myself to step away (from the chicken) and go run. No, I have not watched cowspiracy. I will look for it! Thanks for letting me know it gets better (weird to say about food, I know). 🙂


      • Yes definitely gets better… More energy, you’ll feel leaner, and you’ll run faster! It’s on Netflix and you have to watch it this week as you start the transition, it will certainly give you motivation. Even make you think about being vegan in a new light!


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