Training for a marathon on a vegan diet is easy, satisfying, and good for you, as long as you eat a variety of whole foods and consume enough calories and nutrients. This is the same for those who don't eat vegan.
Why Blueberries, Nuts, Certain Seeds, and Avocados are Important Foods to Eat for Mental Endurance.
If you look at my first post, and my second post, you'll see a pattern of the types of foods that I eat regularly. I make sure that I eat nuts, seeds, blueberries, or an avocado every day. Why? Because they're not only good for my body, they're good for my brain.
Training for a marathon, or any high intensity sport, requires physical strength and endurance; it also requires mental toughness and focus. When your body begins to feel the burn, you need to rely on your mind to get you to the finish line. That's why I make sure to eat foods that are high in omega-3 and antioxidants.
Avocados and blueberries are also good for your brain health. Blueberries are filled with antioxidants that protect the brain from free radicals that attack the cells in the brain. They are thought to help to reduce the effects of Alzheimer's and improve cognitive ability. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, which promotes healthy blood flow and lowers blood pressure, both of those things are important to optimum brain health.
Fitness isn't just about the body, it's about the mind too. You need to be fully balanced in body and spirit to get the job done. You need to make sure that your brain is in optimum condition so it can help get you to the end of your journey. Take care of it the way you take care of your body. It may be out of sight, but it's never out of mind. Ohhh, so clever. 😉
What I Ate in a Day to Fuel My Body and Mind
I woke up to the sun glaring in my eyes. It felt great after so many gray and rainy days in a row. Sunshine is also really good for your brain.
After taking several deep yoga breaths I did some light stretching, drank a glass of lemon water, and made a yummy cup of Nespresso coffee with foamy almond milk. The best way to start my day.
After answering my email and blog comments I made a bowl of oatmeal (1/2 cup of dry oats with a cup of water, cooked) with 1 cup of organic blueberries, a banana, a tablespoon and a half of hemp seeds, and 1/4 cup of almond milk. I also drank a glass of water.
Two hours of sitting at the computer and I was ready to move. I ran six miles in fifty minutes (I drank at least 8 ounces of water during my run) and then walked two miles with my dogs and my BFF and her little guy. In between my run and putting the harnesses on my two fur balls, I ate a handful of almonds and drank a 10 ounce glass of water.
Dressed for the day and starving! I made a simple spinach salad with tomato, avocado, a squeeze of lime juice, some sea salt, and salsa, and I heated up the leftover black bean and mushroom quesadilla from dinner the night before. This delicious whole food plant-based lunch provided my body and brain with antioxidants, essential fats, complex carbs, vitamins, and protein.
I spent the afternoon in the kitchen perfecting a Buddha bowl that I'll share with you on Monday. I also spent a lot of time photographing it and cleaning up the mess. After all of that standing and concentration I needed a break, so I had a big bowl of juicy watermelon on my patio. Coco and Gizmo kept me company.
After I ate the watermelon and enjoyed some sunshine with my pups, I sat at the computer and edited the pictures that I took of the Buddha bowl that I made. I also answered more blog comments and email, and I did some marketing. The hubby had a business dinner so I was on my own. I ate the food (millet and veggies) that I made in the afternoon and had another glass of water.
Chocolate was calling my name, so I had a row of dark chocolate.
One more glass of water and it was lights out.
My day was divided pretty evenly in regards to how much sitting and standing I did. I can't stand sitting for too long so I really try to get up and do something every two hours, sometimes every hour if I can swing it. I also like to sit on an exercise ball for part of the day. It engages my core and helps me maintain good posture.
Can You Get Enough Protein on a Vegan Diet?
Yes! Yes! Yes! You can get more than enough protein, as long as you eat a variety of whole, plant-based foods. The average woman should be consuming 46 grams of protein a day, the average man should eat 56 grams. This is how much protein I consumed on this particular day:
1 cup of coffee = .3 grams
1/2 cup of Silk unsweetened original almond milk = .5 gram
1/2 cup rolled oats = 13 grams
1 banana = 1.3 grams
1 cup blueberries = 1.1 grams
1 1/2 tablespoon hemp seeds = 5 grams
1/4 cup almond milk = .25 grams
1 ounce almonds = 6 grams
3 cups chopped spinach = 2.7 grams
1 medium tomato = 1.1 grams
3/4 cup black beans = 29 grams
1/2 cup mushrooms = 1.1 grams
1 avocado = 4 grams
3 cups of watermelon = 2.7 grams
2 cups of cooked millet = 12.22 grams
1/2 large sweet potato = 1.05 grams
1/2 zucchini = 1.2 grams
1/2 yellow squash = 1.2 grams
1/2 onion = .6 grams
one row of a bar of dark chocolate = 1.3 grams
For a grand total of 85.62 grams of plant power! That's almost twice of the daily recommended allowance of protein for a healthy adult woman. The good news is that there's very little bad fat in the foods I ate, and a ton of vitamins and antioxidants.
Click here too see a great video that explains the protein myth that vegans frequently have to explain to non-vegans.
This week I ate well and I worked out a lot. I'm going to make the week a Friday to Friday week instead of Sunday to Sunday because I'm posting this series on Friday, and I want you to see what a full week looks like for me. Here's what my week looked like in regards to exercise:
Friday - I played two hours of doubles tennis and ran three miles. I also took the dogs on a one mile walk.
Saturday - I had a USTA singles match that lasted an hour and forty-five minutes and I ran six miles. It poured all day so no dog walk.
Sunday - I had back to back USTA tennis matches. A two hours doubles match and an hour and a half singles match.
Monday - Active rest day. I took the dogs on a two mile walk and did a little upper body strength training.
Tuesday - I ran five miles and took the dogs on our usual two mile walk.
Wednesday - I did a P90X lower body interval workout. It was cold and windy, no dog walk.
Thursday - I ran five miles and did a TON of cleaning. I also took the dogs on a two and a half mile walk.
Friday - Today I'm going to do a three mile pace run and upper body strength training, and walk the dogs for two miles.
I ran a total of 22 miles, walked 9 1/2 miles, did two upper body strength workouts, and one lower body strength workout, and, I played four tennis matches.
Have a great weekend, eat well, and get outside and move.
See you on Monday!
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