Josh LaJuanie is another vegan showing how amazing the lifestyle is. From fat to lean, he’s transformed himself from a couch potato to an accomplished vegan marathon runner.
In his own words, Josh LaJaunie grew up hunting, fishing, drinking, eating playing football and getting fat. As he tipped the scales at 400lbs (180kg) in 2011, he decided to change his life after he read about a vegan marathon runner.
Between 2011 and 2014, the 38-year-old from South Louisiana, lost 200lbs (90kg) and became a committed vegan. In 2013, he ran his first 10k race under one hour. Half a decade after the life of vegan runner Scott Jurek flicked a switch in his brain, he appeared on the cover of the US magazine Runner’s World December 2016 Reader’s Issue.
“I had always been a big guy, tall guy, and wasn’t sure that plants alone could adequately nourish me,” LaJaunie, a property manager, tells The Independent, describing the 10k as a “big achievement” which had taken “a lot of commitment and training.”
In September 2016, he finished third at the Wildcat 100-mile marathon in Florida – his longest to date – and ran the New York City marathon in November. Looking to the future, he hopes to run a 10k in under 40minutes.
“I came upon the concept of a vegan diet in the book Born To Run when I learned of Scott Jurek. After reading his book, I went on to Rich Roll’s book Finding Ultra. From there I watched Forks Over Knives, and that really sealed the deal for me.”
LaJaunie is therefore familiar with the confusion and protests that vegans often face from baffled meat-eaters who wonder how he survives without bacon or rib-eye steaks.
But he stresses that neither weight loss nor marathon running is the key to taking the plunge and committing to veganism.
“Change is your goal. Not weight loss, not a marathon. Change. If you can be open to big change you’re on well your way to a more authentic human existence.”
Nowadays, he sticks a diet of whole plant foods, avoiding too much fat and added sugar and sweeteners.
“I don’t calculate or do any accounting with respect to calories. I just eat. When I train and race, I eat a tad more because I’m a little hungrier.”
“I cycle through the same three meals all the time. Either a big baked potato smashed in to a kale salad, a big bowl of steamed greens with beans du jour, or a bowl of oats with frozen cherries with a touch of almond milk.”
“As far as snacks, I love apples. I usually want calorie dilute foods.