Saturday, September 29, 2012


ELITE ATHLETES WHO SHUN MEAT - Lizzie Armitstead was just 10 years old when she told her parents she wanted to become a vegetarian. Last July, she won Great Britain's first medal of the Olympic Games, taking silver in the gruelling 87-mile road cycling race, no less. In this article written by Adharanand Finn, an editor for the Guardian, he explains: I was brought up as vegetarian from birth and have been a long distance runner for most of my adult life. One of the most common misconceptions I've come across is that vegetarians are pallid, gentle creatures who would recoil in a tough sporting arena. Despite the fact I was breaking school records on the track, people still questioned my diet's ability to make me strong. I spent six months last year living and training with some of Kenya's greatest long-distance runners, for my book, "Running With the Kenyans". The athletes (from the Rift Valley) were not strictly vegetarian, but ate very little meat, which is usually reserved for special occasions such as weddings or funerals. Although there were occasional non-vegetarian meals served in the athlete training camps, we lived mostly on a diet of rice, beans, ugali (a dough made of maize flour and water) and green vegetables.

The list of gold medals the Kenyan athletes have won on the track is almost endless. (On a personal note, I returned home to run a marathon in under three hours.) However, most nutritionists are still unconvinced of the benefits of a vegetarian diet for elite sportspeople. While it can mean a diet low in saturated fat, which is good, it requires athletes to be more vigilant about their intake of protein, iron and vitamin B12. “It is hard work,” says Linia Patel, a sports nutritionist at the British Dietetic Society. “It can be done, of course, but I take my hat off to those who do it.” Yet as Armitstead has shown yet again, vegetarians continue to rise to the very top of their sports. She follows a long line of Olympians who have managed to excel without “eating corpses”, as she herself puts it. In honour of her medal, here are a few other great vegetarian Olympians: Paavo Nurmi, Murray Rose, Edwin Moses, Carl Lewis, Emil Voigt, Christopher Campbell, Martina Navratilova, etc.

23 year old Lizzie Armitstead won the silver medal in the Women's Road Race at the Olympic Games 2012 in London. The grueling 87 mile race through the rain soaked streets of London took more than 3 1/2 hours to complete, and Lizzie was just milliseconds away from taking the gold. Lizzie is proof positive that a meat-free diet is optimal for even the most extreme athletes, considering the strength and endurance needed to get through such a competition. Lizzie decided to go vegetarian when she was just ten years old - she was sick of eating “corpses”, as she explains - and is cited as saying she would have done it even earlier had her parents allowed her to. She started riding a bike when she was only four years old, and by the time she was eight she was competing not only in bike races, but also triathlons (which include cycling, running and swimming). She eventually moved out of girls-only races to compete with, and win over, the boys teams too!

Until around the mid-twentieth century, most of us were taught that meat contains essential amino acids that could not be obtained in vegetarian foods. It was thus implied that a vegetarian diet was inferior and incomplete. But now the tables have turned - without any controversy, medical opinion now favors a vegetarian diet. Meat is often considered a relatively toxic substance for human consumption. Health authorities worldwide agree that heart attacks, cancers, and many other diseases are more prevalent in the meat-eating population than in the vegetarian population. ...  Vegetarian food provides potassium to the body, which is considered a beneficial element. It also has a more alkaline base that is beneficial to good health in many ways. Vegetarian food is considered a complete diet, especially if there are sufficient dairy products and nutrient foods like soya in the diet.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 48: “Vegetarianism”
“The Compassionate Way of Living”

Published by dasavatara das - "Vedic Views on World News"

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