Sunday, August 25, 2013

Beauty is Skin Deep

     VeGALs (Vegan Girl AthLetes) get down and dirty no matter the sport!  It's all about the grit!  Unless your clothes are completely soaked, hair dripping wet, shoes water-logged or feet dangerously slippery, arm pits stinky from sweat then you haven't really worked out, right?  We are hard core, through and through!  But what about when it's time to clean our hard cores as well as all those other parts attached?  Let's face it, we don't basically kill ourselves every single day to make our bodies rock hard simply just to chill out!  Oh hell no!  We want to put on those tight jeans or slip on that cute little party dress for a night on the town to show off the goods!  After all, we work hard then we play hard.  So when it comes time to wash away all the build up from the day's tough training to get ourselves "gussied up" lol, what we choose to clean our bodies with is equally as important as how we fuel our precious temples!  Would it make any sense for VeGALs to use chemical-laden, potentially dangerous conventional bath/shower gels which are massed produced and most likely tested on animals???  Of course not!  That is why it is essential to read the labels on your fave bath products to ensure they are safe.  What you put on your skin will then be absorbed into the skin and ultimately broken down and utilized within our system.  This process can then contribute to hormonal imbalances which all women in general are susceptible to.
     Most mainstream products contain various types of parabens that can mimic estrogen in the body.  As it is, VeGALs tend to run low on progesterone due to our intense training as well as our reduced body fat.  Many plant foods contain phytoestrogens which, consumed in large quantities, can wreak havoc on the endocrine system, creating estrogen dominance and thus giving way to various diseases. Couple that with the aforementioned parabens in beauty products and you have a recipe for disaster!!!  Fortunately for VeGALs (and all the other females who will eventually catch on and join our elite subculture) safer products are now basically at our fingertips, free of all parabens, sulfates, phthalates and even gluten! Naturally, they are cruelty free! Don't be swayed by those companies who claim they are "all natural" and don't be lured by ingredients like cucumber, pomegranate or lavender unless you read the label and familiarize yourself with what is both safe and acceptable! 
     It's true that the makers of many popular brands are getting smart to what intelligent consumers demand.  In addition, popular supermarkets are now starting to carry healthier versions of the familiar as well as the more boutique brands.  But to ensure you will have many high-quality products to choose from, visit your local health food store  either in person or online like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Earth Fare or Tunies.  I was thrilled to discover that the big beauty chain Ulta sells a variety of their namesake products that smell delicious and are rich and emollient made with lots of different  "girly" ingredients loved by VeGALs! 
     So carry on, as you were, your chosen discipline, digging deep within to pull out and displace all that grime meant to cleanse your soul!  Then pamper yourself with some natural and fragrant TLC from a bottle. Finally, get your smokin' hot and tight ass ready to be showered with TLC by your honey (and no, I don't mean honey from a bee!  That is gross! It is a byproduct from an animal!!! )
     VeGALs represent class as well as sophistication!  We train with a conscience!  VeGALs are firmly planted! 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

VeGAL: No Freaking Whey!

VeGAL: No Freaking Whey!:      Okay VeGAL, so today you rocked Cross Fit like never before; scored big time on the tennis court; ran 10 miles then took a spin cla...

No Freaking Whey!

     Okay VeGAL, so today you rocked Cross Fit like never before; scored big time on the tennis court; ran 10 miles then took a spin class; sizzled at hot yoga; swam for 2 hours then biked beyond the horizon; hiked a mountain; leveled a big hill and flattened a trail; you get my drift.  So now what???  You dug deep from within and pulled out something you didn't even know you had and now it's time to replenish.  But digging deep into an animal and pulling out something to benefit yourself is utterly ridiculous!  Yes, I'm referring to whey protein!  Your non-veg peers have come to rely heavily on this milky white powdery substance known as whey which is derived from cheese products which is of course, comes from a cow!  Blah, right?  Yet athletes have decided that this animal source of protein is exactly what they need to build and repair muscles! But if you happen to be sensitive to or intolerant of lactose, then you're screwed without paying any attention to how the cow is the one who is ultimately screwed!!!   Consumers can't seem to get enough of this whey protein isolate that they scoop into smoothies/drink beverages without paying any mind to what exactly it is their digesting and the impact it is having on animals as well as the environment!  VeGALs know that milk from a cow is intended for calves (just like any mammal who produces milk for their babies) and not us!  Plain and simple!  Milk and milk products are not intended for human consumption!  In addition, VeGALs refuse to promote factory farming and the deplorable conditions associated with it.  
     So what do we drink for recovery?  Easy!!!  There is a wealth of plant-based recovery powders available now that are not only very palatable but also more digestible than their whey protein counterpart not to mention nutritionally complete.  These proteins are derived from peas, maca root, brown rice and other natural plant sources, making them the perfect choice for post work out nutrition!  Would it make any sense to dump a bunch of crap into our well-oiled machines?  These affordable and versatile plant-based proteins are clean burning, just like us!  May I suggest Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator, Vega Sport Performance Protein, Plant Fusion, activrecover+, Amazing Grass!  
     As for soy protein isolate?  I do NOT recommend it since there is much controversy attached to soy which I will save for another day.  Essentially, VeGALs should try their best to avoid soy and soy products and attempt to explore all the wonderful, delicious, nutritious, cruelty-free possibilities that plants have to offer.  VeGALs train with a conscience!  We are firmly planted!  

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who Are you Wearing?

     I know, I sound like Joan Rivers on the Red Carpet!  But seriously, from one VeGAL (Vegan Girl AthLete) to another, what we wear is just as important as what we eat!!!  After all, VeGALs adhere to a highly structured, plant-based, cruelty-free paradigm so it would make no sense whatsoever to purchase apparel/shoes derived from animal sources including leather, silk or wool.  That said, it is worth taking the time to discover those companies that manufacture materials using either synthetic or sustainable materials, especially ones who are making a conscious effort to be more animal/environmentally friendly.  Simply put, animals are our friends.  If you claim to be an animal lover then it doesn't make sense that you would eat or wear them for any reason, right?  Finding "kind" products is much easier than you think!  Most athletic/performance apparel seems to consist of synthetic materials (e.g. polyester) by default as they are highly effective for their drying/cooling/sweat-wicking properties.  To take it one step further, there are some companies going above and beyond to reduce their carbon footprint as well as maintain a cruelty-free approach to manufacturing products.
     I would be remiss if I didn't mention my beloved Newton running shoes as they are all made from synthetic materials.  My other fave shoes, Skechers Go run series, are also derived from synthetic sources (although Skechers does indeed sell leather shoes).  But the one company I would like to highlight is Atayne, out of Maine.  They have developed performance apparel made solely out of recycled water bottles.  I was fortunate enough to have received an Atayne t-shirt (no sarcasm intended) from my beloved as a gift from his Mount Desert Island marathon in Maine. Of course, an invitation to accompany him would've been better but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved how the shirt held up in the abysmal heat and humidity known as So Fla on any given day!!  Don't worry, I did give him sh*t for it but overall I am blessed that he supports this VeGAL to no end!!!  I did get a promise from him that he would take me along next time!
Damn straight! When you get a chance, please visit the Atayne website and like them on Facebook.  I am currently collaborating with them to develop VeGAL performance short/long sleeved shirts so I will keep everyone posted as to their availability.
     Another company that deserves kudos is Moving Comfort for their high-quality fitness apparel and undergarments.  MC now offers a Sprint Tech Skort made from recycled plastic bottles and odor-fighting mesh made from coffee grounds.  I just ordered one from, using my VIP discount, saving me around $10 (they come in 4 different colors/patterns and have zippers/pockets in a few secret places).  Can't wait for its arrival...will follow up with a review!
     VeGALs train with a conscience.  We are firmly planted!!!  Have a green day!!!