Monday, December 13

VEGAN PROFILE: Marathon runner Tiffany Guerra!

Location: Inside Tiffany's head, Los Angeles

San Francisco: Coming into Aid Station 7 at mile 30.4

Here is another post for the Green Your Plate blogging carnival! I would like to introduce you to Tiffany Guerra. This amazing woman loves to run 50k marathons! Proving that you can be in an ultra impressive physical shape while living on a vegan diet (not that there should be any doubt about this in the first place!).

Here is a little bit more about this power woman....

I have always loved animals and became an impassioned animal rights activist at a young age. At the age of 12 I would call cosmetics companies and ask them why they chose to test their product on animals when there were alternative tests that were just as effective.

I became a vegetarian when I was fourteen, and became a vegan about a year ago. I resisted veganism for a while in part from fear that it would be too hard a lifestyle to maintain - not only did I think it would take more time to grocery shop for vegan meals, but I wasn't convinced that I would be able to maintain the level of activity of my current lifestyle on a vegan diet (I am an ultrarunner and frequently run anywhere from 30-60 miles in one week).

After reading about the diets and lifestyles of some highly successful ultrarunners, however (one famous example is Scott Jurek), I came to understand that it is possible to maintain a vegan diet and a high activity level at the same time. Also, due to an increasing market demand for vegan food, it's getting easier and easier to find vegan alternatives, especially in Los Angeles! It was after realizing this and taking more time to consider where the food I eat comes from that I made the switch to veganism.

It also became a no-brainer to switch when I realized it was a pretty low-risk decision... if I found the diet wasn't working for me or it was just too hard to maintain, well, I could just switch back! No big deal. So, I decided to try it for a week or so... and I've never looked back.

With daughter Sevilla
  What are your little secrets when eating out/at home
When eating out, international cuisine often offers the most variety in terms of vegan food. Thai, Indian, Greek, and Chinese restaurants often have a wide range of choices for vegetarians and vegans, with generous servings so you don't feel like you are skimping. In contrast, American restaurants often have as few as 1 or 2 vegan choices, or sometimes none at all unless you have a dish specially prepared.

Another little secret I've found is... being vegan isn't such a big secret, at least in Los Angeles. If you Google "vegan cuisine" or "vegan restaurants" in your area, you'd probably be surprised at the number of choices that come up. And, most of them do take-out... even better for those of us with kids.

Running in her Vibram's Five Fingers
Challenges you face and how you over come them?The biggest challenge I face comes not from getting the right nutrients, but from people I interact with. There are certain stigmas that go along with being a vegan. I think perhaps it threatens a certain group of people when they find out you are a vegan (perhaps because they think you are going to give them a sermon about what they are eating, or that you think you are better than them), and I often get some fairly aggressive questions about it. In particular, people like to play "gotcha" by asking why you have made that choice, then questioning you on your other lifestyle choices and pointing out anything they see as being inconsistent.

I try to minimize this by being very non-overt about my veganism - I don't think it's that big a deal, so that's not hard to do. When people see I'm not there to try to wrestle them over to my way of thinking (and eating) they tend to lay off.
Running in the Santa Monica Mountains (50K!!) with friends
 I enjoy being vegan as I feel more like my true self - there is no other way to put it. I feel healthy, and spiritually I feel like my body is more in sync with the natural world around me... and yes, that last part may be all in my head... but does it really matter?

- Tiffany

Thank you so much Tiffany! You have just inspired me to leave my house and get moving ~ im off to the beach...

X yas


Anonymous said...

Great profile Yasmine... It is amazing what one can do physically when you feel good about your body and what you put into it.... I am glad you got Tiffany to share this aspect of her life.


Little Bookworm said...

Interesting post! Thanks for the comment on my blog. :)

Kris | said...

Great post!! I love reading other inspirational stories like this :) I think the hardest thing about being vegan is believing I get the proper nutrients when everyone starts challenging you...

Have a great day!


Roz said...

What an inspiration!!!

purplegrape. said...

I know right!!! Her body is absolutly amazing! Can you belive Tiffany is also a mother and business woman on top of an ultra marathon runner! phew....


Indian Sarees said...

Nice outfit.. realy gorgeous...

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