Vegan on the Run seeks to bring together a plant-based diet and active lifestyle in a holistic fashion, offering insights to both herbivores and omnivores alike.

My Vegan Journey

My name is Sarah Kathleen McCartan. I am a full-time writer, avid long-distance runner and vegan foodie. I hold tightly to the mantra, “You are what you eat” and light up over the magnificent meals that can be created solely from plants.

Since day one, I have enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen and combining unexpected flavor combinations. As a kid I was the girl who refused to order from the children’s menu. Instead I could be found sampling different sauce selections to decide what best paired with the dish at hand. I grew up spending summers in the Carolina mountains with my grandparents, making jam from blackberries and raspberries picked straight off the bushes. I dug potatoes out of the garden until nightfall, and snapped green beans until I could snap no more.

As an adult, I’m the one convincing the masses that peanut butter does in fact complement marinara sauce in a blow-your-mind, Thai-infused kind of way, that quinoa can work its way into any meal, and that pickle juice does wonders for your intestines after an endurance event. I can often be found jumping up and down when I stumble upon exotic vegetables in the market, or when I see the vegan “V” boldly displayed on restaurant menus. I am of the belief and mindset that being vegan doesn’t have to be difficult, but instead, can grow from an invigorating undertaking to become an effortless, cornerstone of your existence, day in, day out, and throughout the entirety of your lifetime.

My vegan journey officially began January 1, 2009. Although I dabbled with the idea off and on in years prior, I officially made the switch to adopt a full-fledged vegan diet immediately following a cheese, wine, coffee and Nutella bender while studying abroad in Paris. At that point in time, I had been a pescatarian (a vegetarian who still consumed fish on the occasion) since 2004. As a former cheese addict and a child who grew up battling chronic sinusitis and was prescribed antibiotic after antibiotic, I was captivated by the health arguments for adopting an herbivore diet, which initially led me to vegetarianism, and then spurred a greater interest in taking things all the way vegan. Less than a year into my vegan journey, I realized this was something that would not be fleeting, but would be with me for life. I couldn’t imagine any other way, and I still can’t. Not only has my health taken an astronomical turn upwards, since I’ve been vegan, I’ve strengthened my relationship with the one thing I grew up with more than anything else—running. I have completed five half marathons, and just completed my first full marathon this spring (and am already gearing up for number two). You can read more about my long distance relationship with running, here.

Five Years and Counting

January 1, 2014 marked the five year anniversary of my vegan journey. Along with this anniversary came the recognition that although my diet aligned with what I consider to be the ideal way for health, economic, social, and environmental reasons, it was only one piece of my life’s puzzle, and the rest of my puzzle was battling against me. I found myself doing something I said I would never do. I was molding my lifestyle to fit around my career, rather than shaping my career around my lifestyle. What does this mean exactly? It means I was sitting down at a computer screen 12+ hours a day. Not even an hour or two of daily running could make up for the stressed, exhausted, lethargic trap I had allowed myself to fall into. Despite my eating habits, my blood pressure had increased, my metabolism had revolted against me, and my psyche had taken a beating. In short, I began resenting myself every day I continued to sit still and not be who I felt called to be—a Vegan on the Run.

I have since broken away from the 9 to 5 shuffle and merged out onto the freelance freeway to further embark upon my journey toward combining the athlete, writer and vegan food fanatic that make up my being, into one creative entity. Still, equally as important as the commitment I’ve made to pouring my energy into being a healthier, happier version of myself, and the best vegan I can be, is my decision to share this plant-fueled journey with others, and invite them along for the ride.

The hope is for Vegan on the Run to not only offer an outlet for sharing my own explorations in the delicious flavors and healing powers of vegan food, but to encourage others that you can, in fact, live out a healthy, active, plant-based lifestyle, and do what you love. These things don’t have to battle against each other. In fact, they can even go hand in hand.

For a breakdown of what you can expect to see on Vegan on the Run, check out my welcome post.

For more about me and my writing, visit sarahkmccartan.com.