How being Vegan – I discovered my Inner Athlete

by: wme_admin on

By Brooke Williams
 
Whether barefoot running on the beach, or breaking in a new pair of spikes, I love to run! It has been a passion of mine since I ran my first marathon at the age of 21. Since then Ive followed an incredibly interesting and roller coaster of a story, going from a average fun runner to Top 10 in Australia within a matter go months; and all through the power of nutrition.
 
In 2012 I had a wonderful mentor Kate Smyth. Kate had run at the 2006 Commonwealth Games and ran the Marathon at the 2008 Olympics. Training with Kate was one of the most inspiring and life changing events, and planted a fire in my heart to see how far my legs could take me in athletics.
 
One of the biggest changes was my diet. Kate taught me the importance of eliminating dairy and gluten. Instantly I started recovering better, sleeping better and running faster! In my own experimenting I have found gluten free, vegan diet the most beneficial.
 
In 2013 I cut 4 minutes off my personal best for the over 10,000 metres in a time of 35:36, this was also a top 10 performance for women in Australia for that year. I also won my first under 23 national championship.
 
The rest of the year I was focusing on my teaching career but still managed to represent Australia at the World Mountain Running Championships in Poland. After that I had a 3 week training camp at St Moritz in Switzerland. It was and incredible experience and yet again opened my eyes to elite sport and detailed the importance of nutrition. But its not all about green and gold uniforms, medallions or even prize money! 
 
Eating a whole food based vegan and gluten free diet has allowed me to simply love running. To have the energy to run everyday and for it to feel effortless is a great feeling. Being able to run before work allows me to fill up my pitcher, so I can go on filling up my students all day. It makes me a better teacher, sister daughter and partner.
 
I have learnt a lot about balance with life and athletics, and instead of being in completion mode I like to look at the bigger picture and enjoy the journey. I will always have high goals, but look at them sensibly and long term….Right now I really enjoy a nutritious, organic, balanced diet with predominately raw, vegan foods in Summer and more cooked food in Winter.
 
Brooke’s Favourite Eats
 
I have lots of protein green smoothies made from almond milk, fruits, leafy greens and Think Vitality Nutrition Vegan Protein Superfood Blend straight after a run for recovery. 
 
Before a run for breakfast I have sprouted buckwheat muesli with organic dried fruits, nuts, chia, sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, coconut and hemp seeds. My favourite treat is raw chocolate balls made from dates, almonds, raw cacao and agave. 
 
I have found I run a lot more efficient when eating organic. It may be difficult and expensive living in the country but is much tastier and nutritious. The fact that some of our food is genetically modified makes me cringe!
 
 Favourite Smoothie recipe is –
 Favourite winter meal is –
 
Temeph (made from chickpeas not soybeans) steamed with stir-fried green vegetables with tahini, garlic and ginger.