1. Focus on quantity of calories no matter what type of diet, and then work on improving the quality of the calories.
2. Incorporate rather than eliminate: Include high-quality whole foods to optimize the calories you consume. Grab the whole foods and then ditch the junk foods.
3. A natural boost: A huge benefit of a vegan or vegetarian diet is it will naturally encourage the inclusion of higher-quality foods.
4. Explore new foods. Part of the fun and challenge of a vegan and vegetarian diet is the introduction of new foods.
5. Ease into it: Try going vegetarian or vegan once or twice a week or maybe just start with one or two meals per week.
6. Go local and organic: If your diet already includes whole foods, step it up a notch by eating more organic and locally grown foods. Get out and explore the farmer’s markets in your area.
7. Put your money where your mouth is: Eating organic, whole foods does not have to be expensive. Put your dollars in fresh produce and bulk foods. The less packaged food you eat, the more you will save, and the quality of your diet will increase.
8. Get in the kitchen: The key to quality nutrition is doing more food prep and cooking. Experiment with new foods. Cooking can be simple – you don’t have to be a master chef.
9. Plan ahead for meals and recovery mini meals. Pack a lunch and plan meals with a grocery list so the kitchen is stocked with essentials, and food is ready to go when you need it.
10. Make the most of your cooking time. Yes, it does take some time to prepare food, but it doesn’t have to take too much time. Prepare extra food so you have leftovers for lunches and the next day’s dinner.
11. Embrace food prep. I find it a very relaxing time of my day (although I admit it can be hard to motivate yourself to cook when you’re tired from a long day). It’s also very rewarding to know that you’re putting the time and energy into the food that keeps your body fuelled for running. Think of cooking as part of your training.
Blueberry Ultra Power Smoothie
1 banana fresh or frozen (peeled, break off into 2″ pieces, and freeze overnight)
1/2 cup pre-soaked almonds (soak 1/4 cup almonds in water 3 to 4 hours or overnight)
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
2 1/2-3 cups of water
3 tablespoons Green Foods Vegan Protein Powder
6 dates or 2-3 tablespoons natural sweetener
3 tablespoons Udo’s Oil DHA 3-6-9 Blend
2 tablespoons raw maca powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or raw vanilla powder
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add water if a more liquid consistency is desired.
Makes 3-4 servings.
Nutritional info per serving
Fat: 19.5 g
Carbohydrates: 30.3 g
Protein: 7.9 g
Fibre: 5.5 g
Sodium: 317 mg
Makes 4 to 6 servings
1/2 medium-size onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 8-ounce packages tempeh, diced into 1/8-1/16 inch cubes
4 tablespoons Mexican seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
12 whole grain or corn tortillas
2 roma tomatoes chopped
1 avocado thinly sliced
1/4 head romaine lettuce chopped
1/4 cup cilantro chapped
1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
1 jalapeño finely minced (if more more spice desired)
Sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño in olive oil until soft. Add diced tempeh and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Add seasoning, salt, and water. Cook the mixture 10 to 25 minutes, until enough liquid evaporates that you’re left with a thickened sauce. Just before serving add cilantro and stir.
Heat tortillas over a griddle or wrapped in foil in the oven. Fill each tortilla with 2 or 3 tablespoons of tempeh mixture and your choice of garnishes.
Nutrition info per serving
Fat: 13.7 g
Carbohydrates: 32.1 g
Fibre: 6.1 g
Protein: 9.3 g
Sodium: 418 mg
Scott Jurek is one the world’s most decorated ultrarunners. This article appeared in a previous edition of Canadian Running magazine.