Regarding triathlon, this year feels like it has been one giant off-season.  After not running for 3 months, I managed to tow the line at Eagleman 70.3, barely pulled out a podium finish S/B/R at the San Diego International Triathlon and had a stellar Aqua-Bike at Ironman Whistler (there’s not category for the latter, I just created my own-LOL).  At the beginning of this week, I had a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection into my right Achilles tendon.  I’m hoping that the healing begins and I can return to running soon.  In the meantime, after a month-plus of not always mindful eating and limited exercise, I’m trying to settle back into a groove.

I know that blood and platelets don’t really have a place on a food blog, but the white stuff in the left vial is the platelet rich plasma that was spun from my blood

The nice doctor, Steve, Rohrer, injecting me with my platelets and blood-about 8ccs. The whole numbing and injection process took about 4 minutes. Okay, now back to food….

I often get the question “where do you get your protein”?   Here’s the deal:  Your daily food intake is akin to a pair of jeans: There is no one pair that looks good on everyone.  What works for me might not work for you and vice versa.  I prefer a plant-based diet; you might not.  Because I want to stay healthy (and fit into my clothes) on most days, I designed a little daily maintenance program to reel me back in.  This is about the closest realistic diet that I can devise which mirrors an omnivore’s Paleo-esque diet.  The Paleo Diet, which I can respect from the standpoint that you eliminate processed foods, most sugars and dairy from your eating plan, is unrealistic for me because of the amount of meat that most people eat following said diet. Sure, I could fine-tune my version and sprout my beans (beh-by enzyme inhibitors) and lose the soy, but between you and me, that is splitting hairs with what is healthy vs. not healthy. I’ve seen Canola oil and bacon on Paleo recipe blogs.  Hmm, let’s see…..Canola oil was invented in the 1980’s and is usually made from genetically modified rapeseeds and I’m pretty sure that the cavemen weren’t smoking and curing pork in their cavepeople smokehouses back in the day.  I would rather focus on what is healthy than “what is Paleo”.  You’ll notice the lack of grains and pseudo grains, such as quinoa, in yesterday’s maintenance diet.  I’m not against that food group as a rule; I just think that you get a bigger nutritional bang for your buck out of beans, tempeh and sweet potatoes.  The only change that I might have added to this day is the inclusion of a few pieces of fresh fruit and I typically will munch on a cucumber at my desk at some point, but frankly, I wasn’t terribly hungry yesterday.

One of Native Food’s many salad choices

Some notes on my plant-based maintenance diet:

  • I want to make sure that the evening meal is more protein heavy so that unused carbs aren’t being stored as fat and that tissue rebuilding is taking place overnight-assisted by the protein that I’m eating toward the later part of the day.
  • I’m front-loading carbs during the first third of the day so that I benefit from them during exercise.
  • I plan to eat about 150-200 carbo-dense calories about 30-45 minutes before a quality hour of exercise. If I increase exercise time to 2 hours or more, I will most likely supplement with a couple of dates per hour (these worked well for me during IMWhistler).
  • Finally, I ran the nutritional information of most items to ensure that I am getting enough protein (and to give me something cool to blog about J)

Below is what I ate yesterday.  It totals roughly 85 grams of protein, which is well within my ideal range (I’m 5’3” tall).  I logged just over 1.5 hours of working out.  Do plants have protein?  You betcha! (channeling my inner Sarah Palin here).  1 cup of steamed kale has about 7 grams of protein.  Bring on the greens, baby!  As I increase my daily exercise and calorie burn, I will probably add something like a Vega Protein Recovery smoothie (more calories and about 25 grams of protein)

My Version of an Athlete’s Plant Based Diet

Wake Up-pre dog beach

  • Green Tea with Steamed Soy Milk (4 grams)

Breakfast-post dog beach

  • 1 Baked Sweet Potato (4 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed (5.3 grams)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (2.25 grams)
  • ½ Cup Beans (8 grams)

1st Workout-40 minute Core 40 (Pilates) Class

 Mid Morning

  • 16 ounces Green Juice (1 gram)

1st Lunch

  • Chunky Vegetable Bean Soup (8 grams)

Ongoing

  • Green Tea with Steamed Soy Milk (4 grams)

2nd Lunch

  • Large “Yo Amigo Taco” Salad from Native Foods (custom ordered; no tortilla chips, sub kale for romaine, add avocado, sub pesto for chipotle dressing)-Kale, Salsa, Purple Cabbage, ½ Avocado, 2 tsp Pesto, Vegan Taco Meat (10 grams)

 Snack

  • .75 ounce Dark Chocolate

Pre Workout Snack

  • 1 Banana with 1 tsp Peanut Butter (2.6 grams)

2nd Workout (1 hour EZ Spin)

Dinner or Lunch

  • 4 ounces sautéed Tempeh (20 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed (5.3 grams)
  • Large Amount of Steamed Kale and Small Amount of Mushrooms (7 grams)
  • Garlic and Spices

 

Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms and Tempeh (I used some 5 Spice Powder, Siracha, Agave, Cider Vinegar, Tamari and Sesame Oil as well). Mixed with a boatload of Steamed Kale and Hemp Seeds. I think that this is my new p.m. staple–off to Ranch 99 for the best deal on Organic Beech Mushrooms

I’m up early this a.m. writing this blog. My food will vary a little today. Remember, be mindful but not militant.  Unprocessed, whole food is the way to go.