What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan Athlete (100+g protein!)

As an athlete, it is so crucial to make sure I’m eating what I need for fuel and recovery. There is a misconception that we can’t get all of our macro/micronutrients through plant foods, however the Position of the American Dietetic Association states that, “Appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

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I have seen several ‘What I Eat in a Day” posts all over the internet and some truly frustrate me. Teenagers (especially those of my generation) are so easily influenced by what they see. Many the diets that are put out on the internet by models, gurus, and other influencers are extremely restrictive, calorie and nutrient deficit, and are contributing to the increasing rates of body insecurity and eating disorders.

It’s so easy to be misled and misinformed about nutrition, so I thought it would be helpful to share with you what I eat in a day so that you get an idea of how to eat healthy, balanced, and plant based.

Breakfast

I normally wake up around 6:45 am and I start off my mornings with a huge glass of water. It prevents dehydration throughout the day and it makes me feel awake and rejuvenated.

I like to get most of my nutrients in early on in the day, so my breakfast usually consists of a large green smoothie.

My go-to recipe is:

  • 2 cups leafy greens (usually spinach, kale, or chard)
  • 1- 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 2/3 cup mixed berries
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 1 tbsp ground hemp
  • 1/2 tsp maca
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter powder
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1- 1 1/2 scoops protein powder
  • Almond milk to blend

I drink this smoothie around 7:30 am and it keeps me satisfied throughout the entire morning.

Lunch

I train most of the morning and get back home around 12. By this time I’m pretty hungry so I’ll snack on some fruit or nuts so that I can sit down and eat my lunch slowly once its ready. If I’m too hungry, I tend to eat pretty fast so I try to avoid that.

I find that salads really give me the energy I need to get through the rest of the day, along with a cup of iced SPORTea to help me recover.

This salad has:

  • 2 cups steamed kale (massaged with lemon juice prior to cooking)
  • 1/4 cup couscous
  • 2 oz sautéed tempeh (with garlic, shaved brussel sprouts and coconut aminos)
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 handful steamed sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup homemade hummus (sprinkled with sesame seeds)

Snack

I’m a huge fan of granola and trail mix. I find that they’re a perfect balance of proteins, carbs, and healthy fats that last me all the way to dinner.

I like to add in some fresh fruit as well especially in the summer as a refreshing treat.

I make my trail mix with:

  • A few almonds, cashews, and walnuts
  • A good handful of macadamia nuts (I love these!)
  • 2 tbsp goji berries
  • 1 chopped date
  • 2-3 pieces of chopped dried mango
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • About 1/2 a cup of fresh fruit (including grapes, berries, and chopped apples)

Dinner

Lately I’ve been loving curry. I love the variety of spices and being creative with the different veggies I put in it. In just over 30 minutes, I made a nutritious, delicious plate of heaven.

This dish was so good that I ended up going back for seconds (which I was going to keep in the fridge for the following day)! But don’t worry, I saved some:)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower tossed in Moroccan spice blend (roasted at 400F/~200C for 20-25 minutes)
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1 pinch of cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 cup red lentils (rinsed)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 1 chopped zucchini
  • 3 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 block firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven and chop the cauliflower. Lay out on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil and sprinkle 2 tbsp of Moroccan spice blend over it. Place cauliflower in the oven and set a timer for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine the spices and set aside. Prepare the onion and garlic and add to a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat with a splash of water or vegetable broth. Cook 2-3 minutes. When translucent, add the spice mix. Let cook together for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in lentils, coconut milk, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Add zucchini and carrots. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to med/low and cover for about 15-20 minutes. After 15 minutes, chop tofu into 1/2 inch cubes and stir into mixture. Continue to taste test until lentils and veggies are fully cooked.
  4. Remove cauliflower from the oven and let cool. When the curry mixture is done, remove from heat. Add lemon juice and maple syrup and stir to combine. Let sit for 3-5 minutes off the heat.
  5. Plate roasted cauliflower on a plate and spoon curry mixture over it. Top with salt and pepper if you desire.

Here is the complete nutritional breakdown for the meals I ate today:

4 thoughts

  1. Jordyn, I sense the potential for an entire “The Vegan Athlete Cookbook”, a guide to a healthy, active, vegan lifestyle…

    Like

    1. I have tried the last recipe at both elevations and the results turned out pretty much the same. However you may want to reduce cooking time by 2-5 minutes in the oven and also make sure to keep an eye on it.

      Like

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