The transition from being 100% plant based to incorporating animal products into my diet has been challenging as I expected, but I am feeling stronger and executing training exactly as planned. (For background on this see 2017 Year of Health in Review.) I gained about 6 lbs and all of my clothes and swimsuits are too tight. My body feels heavier but I have more energy in training and I have yet to have a niggle or any health issues this winter. Overall I am very happy since nailing my training is my main focus right now and not necessarily how I feel or look.
I have not changed THAT much in my daily eating regimen.
Breakfast still consists of a giant glass of lemon water immediately when waking up, two big cups of coffee with unsweetened almond milk, a can of Beet Performer (code LAUREN18 to save 20%) and oatmeal. However, now my oatmeal is a little more substantial. I have 2/3c of organic rolled oats, 10g of Garden of Life Vanilla protein powder, 1 scoop of collagen peptides, banana, almond butter, and chia seeds. It is pretty high calorie and full of protein but I feel satisfied after and I can train shortly after eating this.
After my first training session, I have lunch which consists of 2 eggs with the yolks, ½ avocado, spinach, sweet potatoes or quinoa and collagen peptides. I am eating eggs all of the time and I have had fun learning new ways to prepare them. I literally have never hard boiled an egg until this month. Now, I can’t get enough of them! If I need something easier to digest I make a protein smoothie with Beet Performer, Garden of Life protein, frozen bananas and berries, and almond butter. Dark chocolate also is necessary…after every meal! Maybe that is why my clothes are tight?
Dinner is where big changes have been made. I have red meat (preferably Bison) 1-2x a week and I have fish (Salmon, Mahi Mahi or Ahi Tuna) 1x a week. I try to eat red meat after big training days. The evenings I do not have meat I always have 1 hard-boiled egg. The rest of the meal is plant based. That usually consists of a quinoa salad, veggies, potatoes, coconut sticky rice, soups etc. I am staying away from bread as much as possible after midday and I am also not eating dairy.
I just got back from New Jersey speaking at a trade show for my main sponsor, Trek. During the Q&A, a woman asked me if I believe one can be successful in endurance sport having a plant-based diet. I really am unsure on the answer to that. I think it depends on how long the person has had the plant based diet, the training load and intensity, the amount of travel, the consistency in tracking nutrients, and overall the individual. Triathlon in particular is very demanding on the body. If one can consume the proper nutrients to recover and build muscle then yeah maybe a vegan diet will work. I just know personally I was not getting everything I needed with the travel I was doing. I feel like the system I have developed now is working well for me and I am looking forward to shedding winter layers and toeing the start line in 9 weeks!
Thank you to my race sponsors: Trek, Bontrager, TYR, HOKA One One, Juice Performer, ISM, and Smith; to my race supporters: 1st Endurance, Normatec, Garden of Life, Blueprint for Athletes, Gebhardt Volkswagen, MgSport, and Contempo Nail Salon; and fortyninegroup.
Check out my race schedule; I hope to see you at the races!