Today was such an exciting day! My sister-in-law Jaime and I attended VegFest, organized by VegMichigan. It's a vegan expo featuring restaurants, bakeries, health food experts, cooking demos, natural products and clothing, and national presenters. This year the featured speakers were former Piston John Salley (whom I met last year), PCRM president Dr. Neal Barnard, comedy writer Carol Leifer, and (drum roll) Scott Jurek! I couldn't believe it when VegMichigan announced that Scott Jurek would be there this year! I was going to meet Scott Jurek!
I blogged about Scott last summer when I read his book Eat and Run. I was inspired by his ability to run 50 and 100-milers - and to do it on a vegan diet. He is the reason I'm running a full marathon this year.
When Scott presented he was so down to earth and laid-back. Because it has been such a difficult week for the running community, he started out by having the audience do the "rebel yell" written about in Born to Run. Then he showed us a video with pictures of him that showed his transition from meat-eating non-runner to where he is today. He used that to set the stage for his presentation and referred back to it often.
As he talked he made several key points that I think are important for someone transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan diet:
- Fuel - He likened your body to a car and said you only want to fill your body with the best food (whole foods, organic fruits and vegetables); just like you'd only want to fill your car with the best fuel.
- Integration vs. elimination (a.k.a. "Wow, look at all these new foods I can eat!")
- Quantity - eat enough food
- Quality - get more plants
Then Jaime and I hurried out to get in line for an autograph. Oh boy was I nervous!! I couldn't wait to meet him! I knew my time was short so I kept going over and over in my head what I would say! Well, actually I kept saying it out loud to Jaime. Poor Jaime. When I finally got to meet him I shook his hand, told him I loved his book and that he inspired me to sign up for a full marathon. He said, "Why stop there? A 50K is right around the corner!" I was so nervous I just laughed. Then he signed my book - most AMAZING autograph ever! (It means I pass a lot of guys at races - ha ha!)
Then, as if that wasn't exciting enough, he even let me sneak around the table for a quick photo. What a great guy!
Jaime and I had planned to stay for John Salley and Neal Barnard but we were too excited so we left after meeting Scott! And exhausted. Best. Day. Ever.