For the past week Andy and I have been part of a study being conducted by an honours student here at JCU. The criteria: vegetarians who exercise for 90 minutes or more a week. We fit those criteria, so we signed up. What we had to do was keep a 7-day food and exercise diary; and one morning we went in to uni before the sun was up to have our blood pressure taken, get some finger-prick blood samples drawn, and bike our guts out for a VO2Max test. The researcher took blood samples before and after the exercise to test for oxidative stress levels (I think aka free radicals that come from meat, processed crap, and environmental factors). She is comparing vegetarians with omnivores, so I was more than happy to take part in the hopes that more proof comes out supporting the health benefits of veganism.
Here is a tiny peek at some of the food recorded in our diaries...
Mashed potatoes, zucchini couscous, and beans&greens (cannellini and beet greens). The recipes were from Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, which I'm borrowing from a friend. Apologies for the poor photo quality.
Much of this produce from the markets on Sunday. For $22 we got all this. Beets, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, coriander, onions, zucchini, corn, eggplants, avocadoes, and 12--yes 12--tangelos. Funny story about the tangelos: we said good morning to the woman at the stall and she told us the tangelos were $2 for 8, but to grab 10 of them. A minute later her husband came over and told us to grab two more, "to make you feel good". Well, we feel good, but a little overwhelmed by 12 tangelos!!
This produce led to a curry, roasted vegetables, salads, sandwiches, and lots of other yummy food.
I lasted 12 minutes in the VO2Max Test, which was longer than they expected from me. Every two minutes the resistance on the bike increases, so it got harder and harder, and eventually my leg muscles went on strike. But it isn't all give, we get a bit of take, too. Andy and I will both get a detailed nutritional analysis, we'll get the results of the test (which is normally quite expensive), and we got a free set of measuring spoons and scales (practically the day after kristy and I started a movement against scales).
If I hear about her study getting published anywhere, I'll let you all know.
Update: Andy and I had a bit of a competition before the actual test, to see who could last the longest. Well, we found out the results, and here is the report:
Test time: 12 mins 20 secs
Max heart rate: 180 beats/min
Test time: 12mins 45 secs
Max heart rate: 186 beats/min
* you both did very well in the VO2max test to cycle for over 12mins!