Five quick nutritional tips for plant based power.. aka the your amazingness throughout the day.
1. Stay hydrated.
Staying hydrated applies to everyone but it’s most important so I thought it needed to be number one on the list. Your body can’t function at full potential if you’re dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, cramping and affect our overall mood and perception of health.
Be sure to drink enough water not only during workouts but throughout the day as well. I start my day with 8-12 ounces first thing in the morning. It kick-starts my digestive system and improves my overall wellbeing for the day.
2. Eat a whole food rainbow.
If you are plant-based and eat the rainbow, you are decreasing your risk of macro and micro-nutrient deficiencies. Eat foods as close to their natural state as possible. Ahem.. Living Whole.
A wide variety of whole, plant foods will help ensure you’re getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, protein and essential amino acids. Eating colorful foods like berries, fruits, and vegetables can help to reduce the risk of disease, speed recovery, and protect your cellular health.
A good place to start is loading up on a wide variety of vegetables. I always try to incorporate eating one a salad or veggie style bowl every day. Load it up with as many vegetables as you like, then add a healthy fats such as hemp seed or avocado, you can add some protein if needed, such as lentils or tempeh.
3. Eat well post training for optimal recovery.
The meal you eat following a workout is the most important meal for aiding recovery and maintaining the ability to train again in the best condition. It’s important to pay particular attention to fluids, carbohydrates and protein intake. An ideal post-workout ratio of carbs to protein is considered to be 4 grams of carbohydrates for every gram of protein however some prefer 3:1 or even 2:1. A good rule of thumb is food within 30-60 minutes post workout to support inflammation reduction and aid in optimal recovery.
POST-WORKOUT MEAL IDEAS
Power oats with chopped banana, serving of walnuts, and cinnamon encrusted tofu
Sweet potato mash with black beans and pico de gallo
Baked pita chips with lentil hummus
Protein shake with banana and blueberries
4. When in doubt (or just hungry), eat more vegetables.
I can’t stress this one enough. The bulk of your nutrition should come from vegetables. Snack on raw veggies, add vegetables to all your main dishes, throw some nutrient-dense greens like spinach and kale into your smoothies. Get CREATIVE to keep CONSISTENT! Find what works best and fits your food preferences.
Vegetables are nutrient-dense foods. Pay attention to green vegetables such as kale, spinach, chard and lettuces, as well as your asparagus, broccoli, brussel-sprouts, carrots, celery and mushrooms.
5. Eat enough.
Plant-based consumers struggle here, especially if training too, so make sure your intake reflects the additional energy requirements. A lot of plant-based foods are a very low calorie density, so be sure to consider this and reach for nutrient-dense foods as needed. Include a variety of nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes to increase the amount of quality calories consumed in order to support training.