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In My Belly – What a Vegan Triathlete Eats

“On my gosh, you’re a vegan!” Yup. I know. Hard to believe I follow I vegan diet and have the energy to even roll out of bed, let alone grind out 10 hours of cardio plus strength and yoga sessions each week.

The question I am constantly asked is, of course, “Where do you get your protein? Must eat a lot of beans, huh?” Beans suck. Let’s just throw that out there now. So, without further ado (and sarcasm) here is what I’ve been eating lately. Check back in another month or two and to see more examples of the life of bland tasteless culinary depravity I’ll have been through between now and then.

SWEET POTATO ENCHILADAS

Stuffing:
Sweet Potatoes with soy sauce and 2 parts coriander to 1 part cumin

Sauce:
Roasted red peppers, tomatoes, lots and lots of nutritional yeast, olive oil, hot peppers from the garden and lemon juice.

Salsa:
I take no credit here. It was given to me by my friends and fellow triathletes Jen and Karl. And while I’m not taking credit here I should also mention that my girlfriend Cyndi made the rest of the dish too.

Protein: 28 gram per 1-1/2 enchilada serving
This is thanks in part to the Ezekiel wrap

SPAGHETTI SQUASH PESTO

Basil, as much as you can stuff in the food processor
Walnuts
Garlic
Nutritional Yeast
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Directions: Combine and process. I’m not going to even give amounts here because it’s pretty personal. I love salt and hate garlic. What I will say is that you really can’t add too much olive oil. The serving suggestion below is over spaghetti squash.

Protein: 11 grams per 3 cup squash + 1/2 cup pesto
This is obviously dependent on how heavy you hit the walnuts

BASIL WATERMELON SALAD
This is the dish pictured top left in the pic to the side —–>.

Salad:
Watermelon
Heirloom Tomatoes
Basil

Dressing/Marinade:
3 parts Olive Oil
2 parts Lime Juice
1 part Balsamic Vinegar
Salt, lot of fricken salt

Directions: Combine the dressing/marinade items and pour over the salad about 2 hours before you plan on serving it. Stir a few times. The salt draws out the sweet flavor of the watermelon and an you end up with a wonderful sweet and tart juice that the salad sits in. I said that last line in the voice of Lynne Rossetto Kasper, could you tell?

Directions, part II: When you get home from the party to took the above salad to, take the juice from what’s left of the salad and drain it. From there add more Olive Oil and Balsamic and a clove of garlic (chopped in half). Put ’em in a bottle and shake for a Watermelon Vinegarette dressing for a more standard lettuce greens salad.

Allegedly the original version of the salad came from the blog of Kris Carr, the woman who wrote Crazy, Sexy, Life, although I heard that from someone who heard that from someone else so I’m certain I’ve bastardized the recipe a bit.


CURRIED SPINACH & SWEET POTATO

Sweet Potato, 1 large
Spinach, lots …I mean really, the stuff cooks down to nothing so you may as well start with a 3 lb bag or something
Onion, 1 large
Olive Oil, 4 tbsp
Ginger, 1 finger-size piece grated
Soy sauce
Turmeric, 2 tsp
Coridander, 2 tsp
Cumin, 1 tsp
Lime, juiced (and zested if you want to get crazy)

Directions: Chop and saute the onion, throwing in the ginger right before it’s done. Stir in the powered ingredients with a splash of water and the soy sauce then throw in the sweet potato and cover. As the potato starts to get soft add the spinach and keep stiring. Serve over quinoa. The pic above also has summer squash in the mix for no other reason that some guy at work had extra in his garden and gave it to me the day I made this.

Protein: 11 grams per 3 cup serving
This assumes one cup quinoa and two cups veggies


CORN SALAD

Corn, 5 ears
Tomatoes, about 20 cherry
Edamame, about 2 cups
Basil
Olive oil, 1 cup
Lemon juice, 1 cup
Salt
Pepper
Directions: Mix it together. It’s that simple and that good. Only real key is to cold water soak the corn in the husk for about an hour before throwing on the grill.

Protein: 7 grams per cup

RAW APPLE CINNAMON COOKIES

Oat Groats, 4 cups dry (they sell them in bulk at your co-op)
Raisins, 1 cup
Salt, 1 tsp
Vanilla extract, 2 tsp
Cinnamon, 1 tbsp
Clove powder, 1 tsp
Cardamom, 1 tsp
Maple Syrup, 2 tbsp (buy the Grade B stuff, it’s better for you)
Walnuts, 1/2 cup
Carrot

1) Soak the Oat Groats for a day or two changing the water and rinsing every 12 hours
2) Soak the raisins for 20 minutes in just enough water to cover them
3) Throw everything in the food processor except the walnuts, apples, and half the raisins. Include the soak water from the raisins and turn the processor on for a minute or two
4) Peel the apples and chop them up small
5) Peel the carrot and grate about half of it
6) Take the walnuts, apples, and carrots and fold it into the mix with a spoon.
7) Take said mix and spread it out on your dehydrator for 8 hours on 105 degrees.

Notes: A) If you don’t have a dehydrator you can eat this as a raw oatmeal or put it in the over on 225 with the door cracked. May not be totally raw but you get the idea. B) If this seems like a huge pile of ingredients and a pain in the arse to make, you can stick to the basics (oats, apples, raisins, walnuts, cinnamon, syrup) and it’ll work out all the same. The whole prep time on this is really about 15 minutes tops depending on how fast you can peel and apple and wash your food processor. C) If you want to live on the edge a bit, throw in your favorite chai tea mix. Trust me.

Protein: 4 grams per each golf ball sized cookie
….and let’s not even pretend you’ll be eating just one

SUSHI

There are about a million websites dedicated to sushi rolling so I’ll exclude those types of instructions from this post.

Here were the combos I made:
– Sweet potato (top, center)
– Asparagus + Avo (top, left)
– Carrot + Sesame Spinach (lower, left) note: steamed the spinach then tossed with lots of toasted sesame oil and seeds.
– Kitchen Sink Rolls (bottom, right) note: avo + asparagus + carrot + sweet potato + sesame spinach
– Sweet potato + Sesame Spinach

Protein: 5 grams per roll
With the three rolls I ate plus an app of edemame I came in around 25 grams for that meal

FIGS

It’s that simple. Figs. Right out the container.

Protein: 0 but damn they’re good

FLOURLESS WAFFLES

This recipe comes from The Joy of Vegan Baking. As such, I’m not going to post their recipe here. It’s basically a pile of blended nuts held together with flax seeds, so the whole deal is really high in protein and super filling. The summer berries were a perfect finish.

This is another one I can’t take cred for. Cyndi made the waffles too. This is her below making us a pedal-powered strawberry smoothie. Ain’t she cute?

The protein data from this post comes from nutritiondata.com. Let me know if you have a better site. Now that nutritiondata.com has been sold to Self magazine the site is a disaster and I would love to find a new source for that kind of information.

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