a day in the (food) life of a plant based athlete

i am consistently asked by many people, “what do you eat?” “how do you get enough food, especially when you are training?” and normally i just let them know that i eat plenty and am in no danger of starvation at all. but my friend bettie asked me the other day for specific answers, so i took it as a challenge. i wanted to photograph every meal for a week, but i forgot to photograph things after the second day. so i am sharing just one day of food during the first week of training (read: things aren’t so bad just yet). i am not ravenous nor am i eating anything that’s put in front of me, i’m still picky about what i eat, this will change in the coming months, i’m sure.

so here we go:

for breakfast, i have a smoothie. every day is slightly different, but the base is pretty much the same: a banana, a tablespoon of chia seeds, a scoop of vega one  , a large handful of greens (whatever i have – kale, spinach, dandelion greens, etc.), a large amount of fruit – sometimes i add other veggies i have in the veg drawer, but that’s the basic mix, and i add coconut or almond milk (whichever is on sale, because i’m frugal).

this makes enough for two giant cups and a small jar for lunch
this makes enough for two giant cups and a small jar for lunch

this is ready to be blended

one cupful (it's a giant cup)
one cupful (it’s a giant cup)

for a mid-morning snack: i have either a small mason jar of steel cut oats with apples, molasses and almonds or a Carrot Cake Cookie – both are delicious, a tiny bit sweet and nutrient rich.

they aren't anything great to look at, but it's like a piece of cake in your mouth
they aren’t anything great to look at, but it’s like a piece of cake in your mouth

this particular week for lunch i made brown rice and seitan chorizo with peppers, onions, carrots, and salsa as the main meal. i also eat a piece of fruit (this week was oranges), a glo bar (these aren’t the exact recipe i use, but they’re close) and a bottle of kombucha (i make my own).

lunch.
lunch.

at around 3 pm, i am always hungry, not starving, but definitely hungry. and depending on what my workout is for the evening i have a variety of snacks that i can eat: almond butter and jelly sandwiches (i’ve been in love with trader’s joes quinoa bread lately too), pea pods and hummus (again from trader joe’s) or another carrot cake cookie.


IMG_7060a variety of nutrient rich snacks for pre-workouta variety of nutrient rich snacks for pre-workout

finally there’s dinner: i try to plan out my dinners before i go grocery shopping. i am showing two different meals – one that is slightly more labor intensive, while the other is easy peasy – both nutrient rich and satisfying. i made shepard’s pie but altered it so the potatoes weren’t herb filled. i made the entire recipe, so i was able to freeze half of it for a meal later on! (best thing ever is to cook once, eat twice or three times or more!)

i used red potatoes from my csa bag that were ACTUALLY red on the inside, so the potatoes were pink ish
i used red potatoes from my csa bag that were ACTUALLY red on the inside, so the potatoes were pink ish

the easy peasy meal is the trader joe’s japanese vegetable fried rice. it’s literally so simple. i heat up coconut oil and then dump the contents of 2 bags in, once the food looks cooked, i add about a tablespoon of soy sauce and a bunch of sriracha into the pan and mix. then it’s done. easy peasy. (this serves two, unless i’ve not eaten enough that day)

brown rice, edamame, carrots, fried tofu
brown rice, edamame, carrots, fried tofu

throughout the day, i’m drinking loads of water and i normally will have an herbal tea in the morning as well. it definitely seems like a lot of food, but when you factor in two hour long or longer workouts in a day, plus recovery and knowing that the next day has at least one if not two workouts as well, each meal is both fueling a workout and aiding recovery.

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