Hello from Ontario Canada!

Introduce yourself. Tell us about your training history, how long you've been vegan, share some of your goals and some of your interests.

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Space Tycoon
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Hello from Ontario Canada!

#1 Postby Space Tycoon » Mon Jan 02, 2012 11:28 pm

I'm not sure if I fully belong here, as I am neither a vegan nor a bodybuilder. But here goes.

Hi folks, thought I would introduce myself. I'm 39 and I live in Ontario Canada, near Toronto. Go Leafs...

About a year ago, I decided to try to give up meat. Prior to that, I ate beef, lamb, poultry, pork, seafood of every kind... I reckon I ate just about everything that walked, flew or swam at some point, for the better part of four decades.

I began thinking about the morality of killing sentient, defenseless animals for food when other options were available. Health reasons are another equally important factor in my decision. By my 38th birthday, after decades of indulging in just about every carnivorous pleasure imaginable, I finally decided enough was enough. I was was going to make a conscious effort to adopt a vegetarian diet.

Surprisingly, giving up most forms of meat was not as difficult or withdrawal-inducing as I had feared. For awhile, I continued to eat occasional portions of seafood(recently on vacation in Brazil I had some shrimp), and have been slow to part with eggs and dairy products until now. Naturally, there were-- and still are-- times when an advertisement for Wendy's or KFC can be... distracting, to say the least. Usually when I've gone too long between meals. Let alone the smell of hot chicken wings and fish and chips the local pub serves.

But time has made me less susceptible to those temptations. I continued to eat eggs for the past year, as well as milk and cheese, convinced they were the lesser of many evils. I am cutting way back on eggs and expect to be done with them sometime early in the New Year. Dairy might take a little longer, but if I can find suitable, ethical alternatives to milk, butter and cheese I am more than game to go that route. Milk was always my favourite refreshment after a hot day or a workout, but I could get used to life without it. Butter is more a glorified condiment than anything else, it can be replaced, I'm sure.

Cheese, on the other hand....

It was always the favourite snack, the one that went with everything. Even today, when I get the old cravings for meat I enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich with a tomato soup. Undoubtedly this will be the last animal product I give up. That, or honey. Speaking of which, is there any such thing as a vegan substitute for honey? There's a million-dollar idea right there, if anyone can successfully develop it.

The way I see it, it's simply a matter of developing new habits. Vegetarian protein substitutes are more plentiful now than they ever have been, even if the price is sometimes higher than one would like. I visit Whole Foods once or twice a week, if for no other reason than that they seem to have a wider than average variety of vegetarian, vegan products.

I have decided to get serious about working out, bodybuilding this year (2012). For most of my adult life I would say that I have usually been “fit,”but I can't say that I have ever been “muscular,” let alone “athletic.” When I was younger I took part in running, hiking, cross-country skiing, and rowing. So it's not as though I am starting from nothing.

I would also like to get started in mixed martial arts fight training, as I feel that would not only be a practical self-defense measure, but would add a dimension of “fun” to training, which can become routine otherwise.

So I am on the right track, I think. Just need to pick up the pace a little. As to the “bodybuilding” focus of this site, well up until now I have been one of those on-again-off-again workout types. That is another thing that has to change, but for now, the less said about that the better. Talk is cheap!

I am not sure if I am willing to show a “before” picture just yet! Though I can see how this can produce incentive to maintain training discipline. I will think about this in the days ahead. I am not vain enough to think that posting my photo on a website will cause shockwaves of controversy throughout the Internet, but I am warier than I used to be about those kinds of things.

Bon appetit! Happy New Year.

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kareno
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#2 Postby kareno » Tue Jan 03, 2012 2:28 am

Hi! Welcome to the forum, and YES, you absolutely do belong here!!! :)

I'm so proud of you (even though I don't know you!) for your vegetarianism, and especially for your pursuit of veganism. There are lots of people on this site in your same situation!! (Lots of people must have recently seen the film "Forks Over Knives"! Hahaha!) And many, many people here are not bodybuilders. There are so many people here of all different backgrounds and levels and interests. Lots of us here are looking to lose weight and get healthier, while others are full-on bodybuilding competitors, and others are runners, bikers, martial artists, etc. The point is, you'll fit in just fine. :) And as for what you said about dairy and eggs, that sounds like just about every single vegan I know (including me!). Don't worry, it'll come if you want it to. Eventually, the cravings for cheese go away. No, really, they do! :) It's an addiction, like anything else.

Anyhow, welcome!!

Oh! And almond milk can be your new best friend. :)

-Karen

Space Tycoon
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#3 Postby Space Tycoon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:54 am

Thanks Kareno! Are you the welcoming committee around here? ;)

In some ways giving up dairy products could be more challenging than giving up meat. Meat is easy to identify, but milk and cheese are in seemingly everything, cake, pastries, cookies etc.

Still, a challenge to be overcome.

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SyrLinus
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#4 Postby SyrLinus » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:34 pm

Welcome! I'm a former Burlington-ite/Torontoian now living in sunny L.A.

I second the Almond Milk option. Now, if you want a sweet tooth alternative there are some good recipes that I've done in the past, like a vegan red velvet cake, that taste as good or better than the vegetarian version. veg.ca may be a good place to find a place to get some of those sweets you like but in a vegan version.

Space Tycoon
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#5 Postby Space Tycoon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:30 pm

Ah yes, the mean streets of Burlington. I live in Mississauga, work in Oakville.

Actually, it's not so much the sweet stuff as cheese in general. I just love it... this is probably not the place to proclaim that.

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RegalRenegade
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#6 Postby RegalRenegade » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:23 pm

Happy New Year to you, too!

Congrats on what you have accomplished so far.

We have so much in common! Ok, so I'm a tad younger ;-), but I, too, have struggled with vegetarianism/veganism for a while now - the senseless killing, the health benefits, etc. I've also played sports and been athletic for most of my life, recently playing the "workout for a while and then stop for a few months" game.

And I'm a total sucker for good cheese. I'm working on it. Sigh.

I plan on posting my introduction soon, but I wanted to say hi and that I'm glad there are some of us starting in similar places on our journeys.

I have big dreams and times a wastin'....

Thanks for posting :-)
~Leslie

Space Tycoon
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#7 Postby Space Tycoon » Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:54 pm

Bets of Luck to you RegalRenegade. Yeah that cheese is a tough one....but not insurmountable.

Then again, you're in Vegas, you're expected to "sin" once in awhile. :twisted:

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RegalRenegade
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Re: Hello from Ontario Canada!

#8 Postby RegalRenegade » Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:56 pm

LOL - Sinning in Las Vegas gets old after you've been here for 6 years. Too much of it gets pathetic rather than exciting. But yes, you are correct, if there's a place to sin every so often, its Vegas! :twisted:
~Leslie


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