I get a lot of questions about fueling and eating a vegan diet while training. My eating has evolved a lot over the last six years, but I...

What I Ate Wednesday

I get a lot of questions about fueling and eating a vegan diet while training. My eating has evolved a lot over the last six years, but I'm really happy with my current diet.

I try to follow intuitive eating practices as often as possible (i.e. eat when you want to, don't eat when you don't want to) rather than counting calories or tracking nutrients. There are a few exceptions to that. Sometimes, I need to time food intake around practice times and end up eating before I'm truly hungry. I also have made a habit of eating meals and snacks that have a good balance of carbs, proteins and fats so that I don't have to track nutrients.

Another thing worth pointing out: the vegan and lightweight rowing communities are both rife with disordered eating, and there is a lot of negative pressure on social media from those communities. A few years ago, I found myself falling into the trap of thinking "this is healthy/not healthy and therefore I should/shouldn't eat this". Hello, slippery slope. I've worked really hard the past two years to change my narrative into "this makes me feel good/bad and therefore I want to eat more/less of this".

And, you guys, I love eating. So it's important to me that I feel happy about how and when and what I'm eating. It pained me that something so integral to me caused me so much stress. So if it's causing you stress, please know that there's a different way!

This is from a typical training day: 75 minutes/15km in the morning and an endurance lift in the afternoon (30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of hard weights). I also walked about 2 miles.

Breakfast. I eat this every day. A toasted sesame seed bagel, peanut butter, apple(s). I love it. A couple times a week, I'll think about eating something different... and then end up eating this.

Second breakfast. Oatmeal with raisins, peanut butter, brown sugar, soy milk. This is probably my second favorite breakfast option.

 Lunch. Baked tofu and potatoes, sauteed kale and carrots.

Snacks. Banana. About half of the pineapple shown. Homemade carrot cake waffle and banana oat muffin.

Dinner. Burger night! Burgers are basically my favorite food. (Sorry not sorry, dad, for always ordering them at restaurants as a kid.) I'm a huge fan of the Gardein and Beyond Meat veggie burgers. This is the Gardein burger on an everything bagel with avocado, tomato, bell pepper, lettuce and ketchup. Dan and I also shared this fruit salad.

Dessert(s). Dark chocolate with sea salt. This stuff from Aldi is excellent. And a protein shake before bed.

Please reach out if you have questions but know that I'm not a nutritionist so I can't tell you what you should be eating or analyze your diet. I'm more than happy to answer questions about things like transitioning to veganism, tips for fueling enough, etc.
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  1. Hi there! I’m also a rower (not a lightweight though) and I’m really wanting to become vegan, and have been for most of the time I’ve been vego (I’m currently vego, but whenever I’m making/choosing my own food for breakfast, lunch, and snacks I eat vegan). I still live at home though with my meat eating parents and younger brother though, which is the only thing that is really inhibiting me (I’m 17 currently). My parents weren’t too keen when I told them I wanted to go vegetarian 4+ years ago (“but the protein!”, “it’ll be such an inconvenience”, and “well, you can only do it if you compromise and eat fish”). I’m not sure how they’ll go if I tell them that I want to go vegan... I’ve been wanting to tell them for the last two weeks but I’m so nervous. I personally know that a vegan diet can be nutritionally complete, and I’ve got a good understanding of the macros and micros, where to find them, and what they do in the body as well as how much of eat nutrient I need to be eating a day.... but my parents don’t really know much about diet.

    If you have any things about a vegan diet that you think might help convince my parents that I’m not going to die of malnutrition and lose strength/performance could you please share them with me...!

    1. Hey Molly! That sounds like a super tough situation, so please remember that you're doing the best with the resources you have available. It might help your parents to understand why you want to go vegan: is it for environmental reasons? ethical? health? Being able to communicate this to them clearly should help a lot. I'd also recommend www.greatveganathletes.com as a resource to convince them that you can be incredibly healthy and strong on a vegan diet. There are tons of examples of healthy vegan athletes and that might help convince them. You might also consider an appointment with a vegan-friendly registered dietician to make sure you're on the right track—that might help quell your parents' fear as well!!


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