Will a Plant Based Diet work for an Athlete?

I’ve been an athlete all my life; from baseball as a youngster, to track and cross country in high school, weight lifting through college, and eventually falling in love with Jiu-Jitsu. The one thing I have always struggled with was energy.

I never felt as if I had enough energy to accomplish all that I wish to be successful in my life. Sure, I had enough energy for a workout, or completing a project at work, or playing with my daughter. But all three in the same day?

I was not cut out to be pushed to my max effort every single day as a single father, working two jobs, and trying to stay in shape. I was dependent on caffeine, supplements, and having a “balanced” diet to look and feel my best while grinding through my busy work weeks.

In early 2021, my partner and I were watching the Game Changer documentary on Netflix. I could completely relate to the narrator, pro MMA fighter, James Wilks, because I have also suffered from many injuries over the years and have always felt like it was a long road back to recovery.

Halfway through the show, my partner turns to me and asks if I’d like to try a plant based diet. Up until watching that documentary, I was convinced that I needed to have chicken, eggs, fish, and other proteins in my diet to refuel, recover, and rebuild muscles as an athlete. Wilks had given me a new perspective and I accepted the challenge from my partner to change our lifestyle.

We were already health conscious when cooking together two nights per week by mostly searching healthy recipes online. Yet, I was still overly sluggish in the energy department and relying on caffeine and sheer willpower to make it through busy work days and try to have enough energy to spend quality time with family and friends.

I felt as if I needed a change for my business to evolve and for my own personal benefit.

Some changes I’ve already made that have made a huge difference are…

  1. Considering meat a treat! Decreasing the number of times I eat red meat over the past two years has improved my digestion, mood, and energy!
  2. Switching from dairy to a plant based alternative! When I switched to oat or almond milk products, I noticed an immediate improvement in digestion and body composition!
  3. Adding in colorful vegetables! Thinking of variety as the spice in life, I found that adding in red, green, yellow, purple, and gold veggies kept my meals interesting and flavorful!

Starting in April 2021, I commit to documenting my own transition from a meat based diet to an entirely plant based diet. It won’t be easy and if you’d like to join me and follow along on my journey with me, sign up for updates absolutely free below!

I’ll share my recipes, progress pictures, and my discoveries along the way. If you’re looking for support in your own journey toward a plant based diet, reply back to any of the emails you receive and I’ll be happy to share what I find with you!

Subscribe

* indicates required

Avocado Pesto Chicken Pasta

For our members that are allergic to pine nuts, we substitute walnuts in this recipe!  Also, to boost our healthy fats, we add avocado to the pesto sauce!

Pesto Sauce Recipe

Blend together in a food processor or blender until fine:

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/3 C. Walnuts
  • 1 C. Basil
  • 1 C. Spinach
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
  • Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

Add:

  • 2 diced chicken breasts
  • 1 C. Cherry tomatoes as garnish

Dice chicken into cubes, brown in pan. Add pesto and 2 Cups cherry tomatoes. Add your favorite sauteed “noodle”.  We recommend spiralized zucchini “noodles” or Edamame pasta!

For this and more recipes for meal prep, click www.learntomealprep.com now!

Healthy Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Ingredients for at least 5 servings:

2 lb chicken breast (measured raw)

1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce)

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp red pepper garlic sauce

1/4 cup organic, raw honey or agave

1 tbsp orange zest or shaved fresh orange peel juice from 3 clementines

1 tbsp tapioca starch (or arrowroot starch) sesame seeds, green onions spray coconut oil

Steps:

In a bowl, mix Bragg’s, rice vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, honey, red pepper sauce and tapioca starch. Set aside.

Chop chicken into small pieces. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with coconut oil. Add the chicken and cook until it is about 90% finished.

Pour in the orange sauce and stir quickly. Reduce the heat, allow the sauce to thicken and continue stirring. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Recipe modified from the original to cut down on sugar and fit into your macronutrient guide.

Orange Chicken

http://fitmencook.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

Overnight Oats

I’m a simple guy.  Really simple.

I generally pick a few ingredients and make it into a meal, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  That particular strategy is beneficial to weight management and fueling the body for performance…  Most of the time.

Until I get tired of eating same things, all the time!

Because of PrepWars, I’ve learned how to have some fun with meal prep, and the following recipes are just the trick to change up my routine.  Follow @fitlifechampions on Facebook and Learn to Meal Prep on Instagram to learn how to make overnight oatmeal work for you and your busy week ahead!

Please check out these recipes for some fun variations on overnight oatmeal!  Remember to use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy for optimal health and performance through your busy week!

Overnight oatmeal recipes to save you time!