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Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem
Adrienne LaGier harvests lettuce from her new vegetable garden.
May 8th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem

Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. LaGier set a personal goal to focus on her diet in the month leading up to the flight.

Four weeks ago, my friend Susan posted in her Facebook group, "The Truth About Exercise," that she had lost 25 pounds since the New Year. While working out had been one of her main focuses, she recently adopted a vegan diet that catapulted her weight loss.

Up until then, I had not been focusing on my diet in this triathlon journey. I would justify going out to eat and eating what I'd like after finishing 2 to 3 hour workouts.

After reading Susan's post, and realizing I had four short weeks until leaving for Kona, I decided to give no meat and no dairy a try. And while I was at it, no caffeine either.

A co-worker recommended the book "Skinny Bitch," and after reading it, I was convinced. Since veggies and fruits have been disproportionately absent from my diet in recent years, I thought over-exaggerating them for at least four weeks wouldn't hurt.

The first week, I got headaches because I had stopped drinking tea with milk & sugar in the morning. I wanted to prove that I didn't need to depend on anything to wake up - that I am in control of my body.

We've built an amazing vegetable garden in our backyard that my girls enjoy working in every day. My fiance Chris built a cedar 6 foot fence to border it and we've already harvested lettuce and fresh broccoli.

My yearbook students have taken notice of my new dietary regime as well. They threw a surprise vegan luncheon for me, each attempting to bring in appropriate food (the gal who brought in the Oreos must not have gotten the memo).

Here's what I've been eating:

Breakfast: Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal; Ezekiel English Muffin with Hazelnut Almond Butter
Snack: Banana
Lunch: Black bean soup with tortilla chips; Salad with slivered almonds & sliced avocado; lentils; leftovers from last night's dinner
Snack: Trail mix; apples with peanut butter; carrots with hummus; guacamole with tortilla chips
Dinner: Veggie burgers; Salads; Pasta; Eggplant Parm with out the Parm; Quinoa Cowboy Chili; Lettuce wraps with tofu, water chesnuts, corn, peas & Ramen noodles with a splash of orange juice and Teriyaki sauce; tofu tacos with sauteed bell peppers and guacamole.

No caffeine. No added sugar. No meat. No dairy.

Results? Down a total of 23 pounds from when I went to the doctor's office on December 28. And I feel great! I notice my skin has cleared up, and I feel energized to work out each day.

This initially was an experiment to prove to myself that I could do it. But I don't see myself stopping now.

Now, I need to expand my vegan recipe repertoire and find more kid-friendly recipes so I'm not always cooking two meals during dinner. Suggestions?

You can follow the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge on Facebook and Twitter.


soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. KYMomma

    If there was just one perfect diet for humans to eat we would have died out a long time ago. The real reason we are such successful creatures is because we can live off a varied diet making use of what's available. We have proven scientifically that humans can be addicted to sugar and fat and eat so much of those that we make ourselves sick. Beyond that we should all just experiment and find what works best for ourselves. As beings of higher intelligence it wouldn't hurt consider the impact of our diet on the world around us.

    May 11, 2012 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Nixie

    Hi Adrienne,
    Congratulations on choosing a new healthy diet! I'm always so proud of people who choose to look into a vegan/plant-based whole-foods diet. Have you seen the movie Forks Over Knives yet? It's a must!

    For kid-friendly menus, I would highly suggest reading "Peas and Thank You." She is a mother of two young girls, has a vegan cookbook, and a very entertaining blog. http://peasandthankyou.com/ Just click on her recipe page for plenty of good stuff!

    And if you'd like to check out some of my stuff; click read this one. It's all about a veg-heads fitness and health journey. http://organnix.blogspot.com/

    Good luck! I'm rooting for you. And congrats on the weight loss.

    May 11, 2012 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Tim

    Excellent choice ! A highly recommended food to incorporate into the veg cupboard is nutritional yeast, which is loaded with many important vitamins & minerals (including B12 if the right variety is chosen), and provides a nice cheezy flavor to many dishes including pastas, pizzas, popcorn, dips, soups, etc.

    May 17, 2012 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Jeffrey Pinto, D.O.

    Check out this website: eatwell-livewell.com

    All vegan recipes!

    July 20, 2012 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
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    Generally grown as a hardy annual, lettuce is easily cultivated, although it requires relatively low temperatures to prevent it from flowering quickly. It can be plagued with numerous nutrient deficiencies, as well as insect and mammal pests and fungal and bacterial diseases. L. sativa crosses easily within the species and with some other species within the Lactuca genus; although this trait can be a problem to home gardeners who attempt to save seeds, biologists have used it to broaden the gene pool of cultivated lettuce varieties. ....'-

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    May 24, 2013 at 20:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.