When you start training, it is so easy to jump on the next diet-trend everyone on social media talks about. I love food but I’m not a trend follower, since I have been doing my thing for about three years.

Consuming the right balance of food and drink is important for everyone. Yet those actively participating in sport on a regular basis need to be aware that it can also affect their performance, casual runners, footballers and so on shouldn’t neglect their nutritional needs.

Being an athlete and having want to start a vegan diet, that can be daunting and you feel immediately lost.

I have some few tips AGAIN on how to deal with a vegan/vegetarian diet while being active, and the important keys.

1. CARBS
Low carb diets have been shown to reduce both high-intensity and endurance performance. Carbs are crucial for enhancing glycogen stores and boost recovery between workouts. But not any carbs is good in the long run, try brown pasta instead of normal, brown bread alt. rye bread. We are lucky to have some tasty good carbs, such as banana and sweet potatoes e.g.

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2. Protein
Protein is a key nutrient for success. Athletes are being recommended to consume about 1.3/kg protein per day (sounds like a huge amount), protein is essential for muscle building and repair tissues. If you are vegan this can feel difficult to deal with, as plant-based proteins are incomplete. Some recent research has shown that as long as amino acids profiles are completed within a day, adequate protein can be achieved. If you load up with veggies, legumes and nuts, you are good.

Proteins consist of twenty different amino acids, eleven of which can be synthesized naturally by our bodies. The remaining nine, what we call essential amino acids must be ingested from the foods we eat. So technically, our bodies require certain amino acids, not protein per se.

Vegan protein foods include hummus, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, pistachios, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds, green peas, lentils, almonds and soy beans.

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3. Fiber timing
After every work out it is important to that within 45 minutes our intake of high-quality carbs is essential. Muscles shift from breaking down to building up after every session you perform. I think investing in a good quality vegan protein supplement is a good idea, I use MyProtein pea protein and roasted hemp seeds (they are very very good, promise).
There are also some great smoothies packed with protein, you can have them after your work out but remember a proper meal also.

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4. B12
Lacking in B12 is not new, vegetarians/vegan are usually victims of a low intake of b12. If you are an athlete it is like everything else, mainly important. If you lacking of B12, please don’t take it lightly as it can cause anemia and permanent damage. How can we know we lacking of b12? Usually if you feel fatigue, drowsiness or in some cases sickness.
Usually we get our B12 intake via animal products, but going vegan doesn’t mean that you need to go without it. There are some B12 supplements you can take, such as Nutritional Yeast (Nutritonal Yeast is source of whey, blackstrap molasses or wood pulp).

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5. Maca

I have tried maca powder before and I also posted different smoothies with it. Maca is good for you reproductive health, and very accurate when it comes to your energy boosting. Improves your metabolism, reduced pain and enhance your stamina. Give yourself a maca boost before you out of the door for your session.

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6. Turmeric

By this stage you should know how much I love turmeric and how powerful it is. Turmeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties. Turmeric can be used in all the way almost, it is so powerful that it boost your immune system by including it to your diet.
It protects against infections, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, as it is anti-inflammatory.
We often speak about turmeric as a natural healing cure, reason why it is good for us active people to include this in our diet. It is important to boost your immune system to the maximum to perform better and continue with your goals.
Turmeric is great in food, juice, face masks, and in some places like India good as a natural color.

Two of my old recipes here: Golden Tea, Chia&Turmeric.

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7. Iron

I have iron deficiency and it does affects me so much. Being a woman is hard enough at times already, every month we go through all those hormones working around our system. Some of us are unlucky and bleed heavy through the whole week. Loosing blood and not adding enough iron in your diet can have serious consequences for us women. The same is with men, low iron level can be serious.
Having a vegan/vegetarian diet can lead to iron deficiency, if you are not aware of the foods that contain enough iron.
By eating foods rich in vitamin C and including grains, nuts and legumes, you increase the bio-availability of plant-derived iron and you get more than enough.

Vegan iron foods include Legumes; lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans, Grains; quinoa, fortified cerals, brown rice, oatmeal, Nuts and Seeds; pumpkin, squash, pine, pistachio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame, Veggies; tomatoes, collard greens.

How-do-vegans-get-iron

8. Ginger
Ginger is known for being effective at relied from arthritis, nausea, colds and hypertension and reduces inflammation. I love ginger in tea form, in my food and perfect for my juices. I always add it in stews, I use a garlic press and do the same thing with the ginger. It gives a tingeling feeling but it taste very good. I have been using ginger in my food for plenty of years and I have to have ginger at home at all times.
My best cold/hayfever remedy is: fresh ginger, lime, fresh mint and either agave syrup or without in boiling hot water. Amazing cure that works perfect and the fresh mint is gentle with your tummy.
Juicing wise, use ginger with everything. Add it to your smoothies and juices, perfect combination is turmeric, ginger, oranges and kiwi. Top top juice.

 

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9. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is very very important for us in the UK and Sweden, Vitamin D is derived from the sun it is quite hard to always have “enough” vitamin D in these countries. Lacking of vitamin D can be very exhausting (in some worse cases  vitamin D deficiency can lead to rickets), tiring in the long run. Vitamin D is needed in your daily intake as you need it as a base for the rest of the other nutrients your body absorbs. Vitamin D supplements is often recommended to people like me, with darker skin.
Vitamin D can be enjoyed in the sun (if you lucky here) and in foods such as mushrooms and almond milk. In mushrooms and almond milk there is not enough, and that is the reason why we should add extra vitamin D supplements specially during the winter.

Sun dried mushrooms has been prove to be very good source of vitamin D, if you leave them to dried for a few days. By exposing the mushrooms for two days, the levels of vitamin D can remain high through the whole year.

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10. Calories

Calories are needed, specially when you are training for peak performance. With a plant-based and clean diet, it is not easy to get the calorie intake your body requires for performance and recovery. To quick get some extra good calories, you can prepare some good smoothies. Smoothies are never wrong and they are a great source for good and balance calorie intake while training.

 

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10 good points of good recommendation. This is not only for the professional athletes, this is also for the average athlete. Are you active and a vegan lifestyle is the goal, have a look at these 10 points. Make sure you load your system with good nutrients, before and after and during.

The more energy your body uses, the more nutrients it needs.

Happy Friday!

 

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