If you read my post on Tuesday (if not, get at it!) then you’ve read how I manage to keep my stamina running and hitting it hard in the gym, while on a plant based diet (vegan!). You may be wondering exactly what I eat, or how you yourself can accomplish you fitness goals by eliminating all animal products, including dairy and eggs. Well sweat no further ya’ll (unless of course your working out), I’ve got meal ideas that will boost your energy, provide necessary repair, and fuel you properly to knock out your next workout.
First, let’s cover a few of the basics. It is important to keep in mind that plant based diets tend to be lower in calories because plants are simply lower in calories. This is important to keep in mind, especially if you are an athlete, because you’re placing a higher demand on your body. More food is needed to compensate for the low calorie density of plant foods or your overall performance will be compromised. This is why “some” people fail at trying to follow a vegan diet so eat up ya’ll! You’ll also want to ditch the highly processed vegan foods (loaded with extra salt, sugar, blah blah blah) and consume mainly whole, unrefined grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Got it?
Before I shoot an example of a meal plan at ya, there are some micronutrients that you need to pay special attention to and make sure you’re getting ALL of them in to your diet. A very common nutrient deficiency in vegans and a lot of other people too (anyone over 50 especially) is B12. No worries, since B12 is found only in animal products and because your avoiding all of that, simply take a supplement EACH day. Bam! In addition, you’ll want to make sure you include the following in to your diet:
Calcium – Bok choy, kale, nuts and seeds, tofu, kidney beans, leafy greens and sesame seeds
Iron – Leafy greens, asparagus, lentils, pumpkin seeds, soybeans and sesame seeds
Zinc -Pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
Iodine – Seaweed and Kelp
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Nuts, seeds and algae
Vitamin D – Good ol’ sunshine or a vegan Vitamin D supplement unless you live an area with little sun (if you don’t I’m sorry!)
Protein – Bottom line…if you’re eating a well-rounded whole food plant based diet and including plenty of calories then you should be getting enough protein. The amount of protein recommended for the general population is 0.8g/kg of body weight. This is increased for an athlete to 1.0 to 2.0g/kg body weight. The amont needed varies individually but research shows there is no benefit in consuming more that 2.0/kg body weight per day. Each day I include a powder protein supplement in to my daily green smoothie along with taking a BCAA supplement, which aids in repair of muscles. Covered!
I’ve provided one week of delicious and power punched meals, grounded on whole plant based ingredients that are chosen consciously, organic, local when possible, and used in simple recipes that are balanced, nutritious, healing, and most importantly, filling.
Avocado mash on a toasted English muffin (add nutritional yeast for extra protein and flavor!)
All-greeen shake: mix spinach, kale, parsley, and celery (add half an avocado to make it creamy)
Organic puffed quinoa cereal with almond milk, maca, and bananas
Sprouted toast w/raw walnut butter and banana slices
Organic rolled oats with berry of your choice
Coconut “yogurt” with pistachios
Raw organic granola w/almond or hemp milk and blueberries
Brown rice with mung beans and fermented vegetables
Lentil soup w/spinach and parsnip salad
Fava bean puree on rye toast w/chopped mint, romaine lettuce, cheery tomatoes, black olives and lemon
Warm lentil salad dressed with balsamic vinegar
Chickpea salad w/ marinated carrots, cilantro, and black olives
Open-faced (dulse sea strips, little gem lettuce and tomato)
Sweet potato vegetable wrap
Stuffed red peppers w/ quinoa, walnuts, and parsley
Polenta w/mushrooms, English peas, asparagus, and thyme
Vegetable stir-fry w/an arugula, apple, and pine-nut salad
Smashed fingerling potatoes and leeks, plus a cucumber, avocado, radish, and pea-shoot salad w/salsa verde dressing
Raw cauliflower tabouleh w/zucchini pancakes
Zucchini noodles w/mint-pitsachio pesto and roasted carrots w/honey
Warm farro w/garlic and rosemary; arugula salad w/pine nuts and a lemon-juice-balsamic vinegar dressing
If you need help with recipes give me shout. Until then, give your workouts a plant powered punch.