Welcome back to #31DaysofMindfulness and Meatless October Challenge. The following is your Week 4 Update and Overview for Days 22 through 28….
Welcome to Week 4 of the challenge, you’re a little over a week away from the finish line. 🏁
The following Mindful Minute words of wisdom and inspiration for this week is as follows….
“Failure is never an option, but a choice. Plan for success and believe in your plan. Take chances, and put your neck in the noose of life” ~ Candice Maria
Loaded statements, but definitely doable. This week is the final full week of the #31DaysofMindfulness and the Meatless October Challenge co-hosted by my friend DA ‘Grindseason’ Raimer and I.
Let me go on record and say I will be the 1st to admit that a 💯 meatless diet or veganism is difficult for this self-proclaimed pescatarian. It was a challenge and a chance I took to test my body’s own physical capabilities or lack thereof to consume and thrive on a 100% plant-based diet.
Primarily due to personal health reasons and my body’s difficulty in processing non-hemeiron food sources. I struggled with balancing my hemeiron levels and maintaining consistent energy without always feeling tired, being hungry, and consuming more calories in high carbohydrates vegan protein and iron sources (quinoa, black beans and lentils) than my weight management goals cared to allow, along with the issue of non-diabetic reactive hypoglycemia or carb sensitivity .
These imbalances were due to various reasons, to include being a very physically active, athletic African-American female, with a mildly distant family history of sickle cell disease (2nd cousin) among other geneticaly linked metabolic and lifestyle related chronic illnesses. However, I’ve not been directly diagnosed with any of those issues, I have been counseled and cautioned on my red blood count or inquired about my family history by my primary care providers off and on over the course of my adult years. However, my proposed self-diagnosed cause to my iron deficiency anemia is primarily due to blood loss and malabsorption. I’ll spare you the primary biological details on the blood loss lol. However, minor blood loss can also result from muscle tissue damage from overuse or overtraing in the gym as well.
The current iron RDAs for adult nonvegetarians ages 19 to 50 years old is 8 mg (males) and 18mg (females). The RDAs for true vegetarians(vegans) are 1.8 times higher than for people who eat meat. This is because heme iron from meat is more bioavailable than nonheme iron from plant-based foods, and meat, poultry, and seafood increase the absorption of nonheme iron.
So as much as I love veggies, I also prefer a low carbohydrates diet, and having energy without feeling like I’m having to over eat, only to never truly meet my daily iron needs without supplements. In essence, like a person with a true milk, nut, or gluten allergy or other nutritional imbalance, biochemically my body can’t absorb non-hemeiron in the absence of high hemeiron sources in an amount sufficient enough to meet my daily iron needs so that I can thrive successfully in my daily physical activities.
So failure is not an option, it’s a choice you make to try or not to try, but you only fail by NOT trying. I could have chosen to quit the challenge, but I kept going and listened to my body. Planned my meals and activities, and didn’t push myself as hard in the weight room as I used to when I still consumed a diet that included fish and eggs and supplemented nutrients where necessary (iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B-12 and C, etc.)
I took a chance, put my neck in the noose of life, and tested my body’s ability to live a certain lifestyle for a temporary moment in time. And yes, I look forward to November 1st and a hemeiron rich piece of salmon or tuna steak because it’s what my body biochemically needs in order to thrive and be biochemically balanced and well…
Being none vegan doesn’t mean you are a terrible person, or that you are unhealthy. It doesn’t mean you failed to live a health conscious, enlightened life, it just means you understand your family health history and the health related needs of your individual body. The reasons why there are differing approaches to a “meatless” lifestyle: vegan(plant-based) or vegetarian and it’s hybrid exceptions for those of us who biochemically need or better absorb certain vital nutrients from eggs, dairy, and/or fish. You can’t neglect your biological wiring for trends and pop culture!
So don’t walk away from this month’s challenge believing that Veganism is a cure all and by God, nor is any other “lifestyle” diet (paleo, keto, gluten free, etc) At the end of the day it’s about knowing your body and creating BALANCE and MINDFULNESS through daily actions and food choices!
Mindful Mobility WOD
This week you will complete a minimum of 30 minutes of cardio and at least 6 Rounds (or as many as your body needs) of the Sun Salutation A sequence as prehab before and/or after or even during your other resistance training or athletic activities today.