A university lecturer from Wolverhampton says his latest challenge, a 300 mile (482km) cycle ride from London to Paris, will be entirely fuelled by plants.
Andy Salmon, who teaches Marketing at Birmingham City University, is hoping the ride, which will also see him raise money for Cure Leukaemia, will show that it is perfectly possible to thrive on a vegan diet.
The 53-year-old is confident that his plant-based diet will provide all the energy he needs to complete the gruelling ride. In fact, Andy, who enjoys everything from porridge and pasta to smoothies and vegan chocolate, says his health, and his athletic abilities, improved when he went vegan.
Andy never intended to transition to a vegan lifestyle. In fact, he turned vegetarian almost by accident after stumbling across an educational video on Instagram. He says within 60 seconds or so his mind was made–up, and he vowed to never eat meat again. Following this, he decided that giving up meat wasn’t enough and became vegan. He wanted to do it on a meaningful date so chose his daughter’s birthday.
Speaking ahead of his challenge, Andy Salmon said: “I truly believe that my body gets everything it needs from a vegan diet and my cycling performance continues to improve. I don’t get concerned about protein intake, in fact one of my favourite sources of protein is soy yoghurt. You don’t need to be an expert – there is an abundance of great advice available online like The Vegan Society’s Vegan and Thriving campaign, which breaks down plant-based nutrition into practical tips.”
He outlined the motivation for undertaking the ride: ‘Unfortunately, I lost a friend to Leukaemia not so long ago and in some way I feel as though he’ll be willing me on to Paris. It’s going to be a tough few days, but if I can do a little bit to help raise money in memory of my friend, then it would be a privilege.”
The self-confessed ‘bike mad’ dad is currently riding about 70 miles per week on his road bike which is supplemented by specific training sessions on his exercise bike three times a week. However, he’ll be increasing the distance and intensity on both bikes over the next couple of months to ensure he’s in good shape come September.
Elena Orde, spokesperson for The Vegan Society, said: “Our Vegan and Thriving campaign is all about helping you to live life to the fullest – no matter your age or lifestyle – and Andy is living proof of that! It’s great to see that he is so nourished by his vegan diet that he’s going into this incredibly tough challenge so confident. We have no doubts that Andy will smash his challenge and raise awareness of the benefits of vegan diets.”
They money raised will go towards funding specialist research nurses at 12 blood cancer centres across the UK. Find out more about Vegan and Thriving at www.vegansociety.com/thriving.