Excuse the less than pretty pictures that you’re going to see on this blog today. They’re not what I’m used to sharing or what you’re used to seeing. This series isn’t about my recipe creating and photography skills, it’s about giving you a peak into my daily life while I train for the Chicago Marathon.
I didn’t carry my big fancy camera with me and eat only when the light was just right to take a picture. Nor did I style my photos to tell a story and make the food look as appetizing as possible. The pictures you’re seeing today were taken on the fly, right before I ate the food.
This is reality. And let’s face it, most people love watching and looking at reality, especially when it comes to watching others. I sure do, that’s why my guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and NYC. Now that you know what I like to watch on television, let’s talk about what this vegan eats to train for a marathon.
What do vegan athletes eat for high performance?
I don’t know what other vegan athletes eat, but I can tell you what I eat. Today’s post will take you through one day of my training and food consumption. Although every day is different, one thing is always the same, I make sure that I’m getting enough protein, complex carbohydrates, a balance of vitamins and nutrients, and calories. The best way to do that is to eat a whole food plant-based diet. No animal products allowed. I don’t need to have meat sitting in my gut and weighing me down. I also don’t want dairy to cause inflammation in my joints, which it did when I used to consume it.
How much should you eat if you’re training for a marathon and you’re a vegan?
I can’t tell you how much you should eat, because everyone’s metabolism is different. What I can tell you is that you should listen to your body and eat when you’re hungry. You should also hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! With lots and lots of water. Many times people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. If you’re well hydrated and your tummy is rumbling, your’e hungry, so eat. If you’re dehydrated and your feeling like you need to eat all of the time, drink a few glasses of water and see if that helps. Overeating and under-eating is a tricky thing, you don’t want to do either, that’s why you need to make sure that you know what your body’s telling you.
You should also be aware of how well rounded your diet is for the day. Did you eat enough green leafy vegetables? How about complex carbohydrates, such as potatoes or whole grains? Did you consume enough omegas and protein? The best way to ensure that you eat a balanced diet everyday is with color. The more color on your plate, the better. And I’m not talking artificial colors from dyes. Fruit Loops don’t count. 😉
Let’s take a look at what I ate in a day and you’ll see what I mean.
6:00 AM – Good morning Sunshine!
I woke up to the pitter patter of eight little paws jumping next to my bed. I picked the two little fur balls up and let them slobber me with kisses, then they buried themselves under the covers and I spent several minutes taking deep cleansing yoga breaths and meditated. I got up and did some gentle stretches and headed to the kitchen for a tall glass of water with a squeeze of lemon juice. I also took my daily dose of vitamin D and B12.
8:00 AM – I’m hungry now.
I drank another glass of water (no lemon).
I made a bowl of oatmeal with a sliced banana, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a table spoon of organic hemp seeds for extra protein and omegas.
8:30 AM – Back to work!
I had a lot of work to do so I grabbed another glass of water and sat at the computer to edit photos, do some marketing, and write.
9:30 AM – Time to move!
I took the dogs on a two mile walk, did a little house work (so glam), and did some upper body strength training with weights.
For a snack I ate a handful of roasted almonds and a banana. Then I got back to work and sat at the computer from 10:45 until noon.
12:00 PM – Time to run and then time to eat!
I ran four miles. The first mile was at an easy pace, the second was faster, the third was even faster, and the fourth made me want to quit running. Just kidding. Sort of. I did a series of hip and ankle stretches after my run.
For lunch I had a big glass of water and a huge salad made with mixed power greens, a half of a can of chickpeas, one tomato, a cup of shredded “corned beef” made from seitan ( I bought it at The Chicago Diner), and balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. It was SO GOOD!
One more glass of water after lunch, a shower, and back to the computer to work.
3:00 PM – Time for a snack!
My tummy started to rumble so I made a big green smoothie made with two cups of baby spinach, a heaping cup of frozen pineapple, a cup of frozen cherries, and water. Delicious!
I couldn’t sit any longer so I played with my dogs in the backyard and pulled some weeds from my garden beds.
4:30 PM – The last stretch of work.
I grabbed a glass of water and crossed off the last of my to do list. Instead of sitting on a chair I sat on an fitness ball (afilliate) to engage my core. I also did a little ab work when I finished my blog work.
5:30 PM – Time to make dinner!
The Breakfast King got home from work and went to the basement to do a P90X session, and I made this smoky eggplant and pasta dish. Yes, that heaping plate of food went into my belly. All of it. I also had a nice glass of red wine for my heart.
The BK and I shared a bowl of organic strawberries for dessert and watched two episodes of our new favorite show, VEEP. Have you seen it? It’s pretty funny.
10:30 PM – Nighty night!
One more glass of water before lights out. See you mañana. Sweet dreams.
How much and what should a vegan athlete eat when training for a marathon?
In regards to quantity, it depends on you and your body. What’s good for me may not be good for you. You may need more, you may need less.
In regards to what you should eat, variety, variety, variety. If you eat a well balanced, colorful group of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, you WILL get enough protein, complex carbs, and nutrients to stay strong and healthy.
How much protein did this vegan eat in one day on a whole foods plant-based diet?
A LOT! The recommended amount of protein for an adult woman is 46 grams, and 56 grams for men. On this day I consumed approximately 93.8 grams! The truth is that I probably underestimated that number; I took off a bit for the seitan “corned beef” in my salad because I didn’t carefully measure* how much I added to my salad. You see folks, if you’re concerned about getting enough protein, just eat a wide variety of whole plant foods. Stay away from the boxes, jars, and cans, embrace the produce section and the grains, nuts, and legume bins (buy in bulk, it’s cheaper), and you’ll be golden. And strong.
* I don’t measure my food on a normal day. I only do it for these posts so I can estimate how much protein I took in.
There you go. What this vegan ate in a day while training for the Chicago Marathon.
In case you were wondering, this is what I DID for the week.
I ran a total of 18 miles.
I played tennis twice (singles and doubles).
I did one interval training session.
I lifted weights for upper body strength.
I did a lower body strength workout.
I stretched, a lot!
I walked my dogs about 10 miles for the week. It would have been more but the weather was cold and rainy.
Eat healthy, not boring. Keep moving. Have a great weekend!
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