Jamie from ‘I Like Granola’ on Being a No-Meat Athlete

Well, things with little Holden are starting to settle down as we adjust to life with a new baby and the resultant joy and lack of sleep.  I’ll be back with a new post tomorrow; in the meantime, enjoy this final guest post, from my friend Jamie.

In addition to being the biggest granola-lover I know, Jamie likes running.  A lot.  Here I thought training for a 50-miler was a big deal, and this girl has seven 50-milers and three 50K’s to her name!  You can read more about Jamie’s running and healthy message at her blog, I Like Granola.

Like Matt, I am a no-meat athlete; I’m not only a vegetarian but also an ultra marathoner. Among all of the other things I do in my life and my many identities, running and vegetarianism are the two things that tend to elicit the most response.

On being vegetarian:

  • What do you eat? Lettuce?
    • Yes, I eat big heaping bowls of plain lettuce for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Seriously, when did meat become the centerpiece of our plates?
  • So you really never eat meat? What about Inn & Out?
    • When I say I don’t eat meat, I mean it. Burgers count even if they’re from Inn & Out, White Castle, Carl’s Jr’s or whatever else you might have in mind.
  • You’re no fun.
    • Seriously, my own mother says this to me in response to me being a vegetarian. Since when does “fun” have anything to do with eating animals?
  • How do you get enough protein?
    • Actually I probably eat a more balanced diet than you. I eat a variety of legumes, quinoa, seeds, nuts, tofu and more.
  • Don’t you get bored?
    • Hardly. Read my blog and tell me if my meals sound boring. My guess is they’re probably much more exciting than your usual meat with a side of oily veggies.

On being an ultra-marathoner:

  • 50 miles??!! – are you crazy?
    • Yes, a little.
  • 50 miles??!! – why would anyone want to run for that long? I can’t even drive that far.
    • Running is fun; it not only challenges me physically but also mentally. And I’m sorry about you not being able to drive 50 miles, you really should try to get out more.
  • How do you go to the bathroom?
    • Well, errr, um…I’m assuming its very similar to how you do it. Do you really want me to elaborate?
  • What would you even wear?
    • Most of us just run naked – when you’re crazy enough to run 50 miles, why not just let it all hang out?
  • You don’t listen to music!?!?? – how do you not get bored?
    • No, I don’t listen to music while I run – its important to disconnect once in awhile. I appreciate taking in all the sights and sounds.  I love talking to other runners, listening to the sounds of the trail and just being in my thoughts.
  • How long does that take? I mean, 50 miles?!!!?
    • Really depends on the course. Sometimes 10 hours, sometimes less.
  • Running for that long is BAD for you.
    • Says who? There’s nothing wrong with me. I’m in great shape and great health. Eating cheeseburgers and smoking cigarettes are BAD for you.

But seriously, all joking aside its really interesting how people react when you say you are a vegetarian or ultra marathon runner. What kind of funny reactions, questions have you received?



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  1. Love this! I need to remember these responses the next time someone asks me in a condescending tone why I eat healthy.

  2. Jerilynne says:

    My mother got upset with me for not eating meat and said that “God put animals on this earth to be eaten.” Umm. I have nothing against God or people who are religious or people who eat animals. But really? What does God have to do with me not eating animals?

    • Actually, you can tell your mother that that’s not entirely true. According to the Bible, we were vegetarians first. Eating meat wasn’t really God-approved until after the flood.

      Genesis 1:29
      Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.

      Genesis 9:3
      Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.

      It makes more sense when read in context, but those are the specifics. Just thought I’d share. I’ve had the same argument with other christians 🙂

      • Jerilynne says:

        Erica, very interesting! I will definitely share that with her. And I might even need to talk to you a little more on this subject!!

      • So do deeply religious people (Christian, specifically) believe that dogs and cats are here to be eaten too? Or are they just here for entertainment value?

        • It has been my experience (growing up in a religious environment) that “deeply religious people” have a tendency to draw the line where it suits them best, which in this case would put dogs and cats on the opposite side from cows and pigs. Same with how more resources (from churches) are spent on fighting gay marriage than are spent fighting genocide in Darfur. The line is drawn as a matter of convenience, in general, and in a manner that minimizes personal sacrifice and responsibility.

          But, if one actually does read through the bible, it clearly states that a non-meat diet is healthier (Daniel 1:13-15).

    • Here are a couple of links that provide information which reference scripture about tending the world, our health, and non-cruelty towards animals. Lots of good stuff to gently highlight how the destruction of rainforests (livestock feed), avian/swine flu & mad cow, heart disease, and cruel realities of factory farming should be the antithesis of what God intended.

      http://jewishveg.com/asacredduty/ [Applicable to stuff in the Old Testament, if you’re not jewish.]

      http://www.all-creatures.org/cva/honoring.htm [Christian site]

  3. I loved this post!!! 🙂
    .-= Heather @ Side of Sneakers´s last blog ..Almost There =-.

  4. hahah loved this! 😀

    My FAQ: How do you plan on being vegan AND training for a marathon?

    …is that a joke?
    .-= Danielle (Coffee Run)´s last blog ..Everything tastes good in nugget form =-.

  5. I love Jamie’s attitude! I seriously get the “You’re no fun” comment from my mother for certain dietary restrictions, and I have to think “really? et tu?”
    .-= Evan Thomas´s last blog ..Excess =-.

  6. Great post! As a vegan runner, I get comments like that all the time so your responses really made me laugh 🙂
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Just a breather =-.

  7. I love this post. I can only wish to finish a 5k, nevermind a 50k. What inspiration!
    .-= Shawna @ Balancing Me´s last blog ..Excuse #2 – I Don’t Have a Gym Membership =-.

  8. Oh my goodness. You are a riot! My family tells me that running marathons and triathlons are bad for me all the time! I’m the healthiest one in the family! I don’t get it!
    .-= Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete´s last blog ..Something Has To Change =-.

  9. Yeah, I feel you on this one. As soon as people would find out I’m a high raw vegan good golly it never ends. There was one guy at my work who asked me every day if it was water or coffee in my mug and what I ate that day to ‘make sure’ I was eating within my boundaries….Seriously?! I MADE my own boundaries. He’s obese.

    Finally I said, “who makes YOU the food police?” and he said, “I’m not the food police, you are!” to which I replied “Have I ever asked you what you ate?”

    He shuffled along past after that. Why do people think I’m judging them just because I’m doing what I know is good for my body?

  10. I think your running and lifestyle are great, but I would like to point out there are several people who eat meat but still have very balanced diets with plenty of vegetables (and non-oily ones) and who eat interesting, fun foods. Further, people who eat meat don’t necessarily eat cheeseburgers and smoke cigarettes. Having this kind of attitude towards people who question your lifestyle might actually alienate them even more.
    .-= Caroline (Ribbons, Roads, and Raspberries)´s last blog ..Traveling Light and Healthy =-.

    • greenbean says:

      I think you may have missed the point. . she was taking a humorous approach to the wacky questions / judgments she gets for her fitness goals and dietary choices. You’re pretty judgmental yourself, for saying that people who eat cheeseburgers are unhealthy! I’m a pretty healthy gal who eats plenty of veggies AND enjoys a delicious, juicy cheeseburger now and then 🙂 I think the point is that to each her own: whatever makes you feel good and keeps you healthy is the path you should follow.

  11. So i’ve been reading a lot and going to post about using some of your recipes!! Wonder if you might post what an average day looks like when you are at peak training?
    .-= RunToTheFinish´s last blog ..3 Changes Challenge Check-In #1 =-.

  12. This is great 🙂 it’s really nice to hear about other people who go through the same things.

    I LOVE when people tell me I should be seeing a doctor to make sure I’m getting everything I need because I’m vegetarian, or to be careful I don’t lose all my hair from not getting enough protein, while I’m eating my tofu/quinoa/veggies and they’re scarfing down a #7 Combo from Wendys with a donut for dessert! haha

  13. what a hilarious post. my mother tells me i’m no fun too. lol. thanks for the smiles!

  14. Awesome post!! As a vegetarian athlete (mostly vegan actually), I get a lot of flack, surprisingly from people who are out of shape and have horrible eating habits!

    I just finished the Boston Marathon and a few girls towards the end were holding up a sign that said “Vegans Run Faster” and I went crazy and high fived all of them when I went by – love it!
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..26.2 miles =-.

  15. Marissa Krzysko says:

    I love this post! I’m a gymnast, so I need a lot of protein and such to maintain my strength… a lot of girls dont understand how i can be a vegetarian and gymnast!
    most asked question: You’re a vegetarian? Do you eat chicken?

    since when are chicken NOT animals? this always makes me laugh [:

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