One of the most commonly asked questions or points of conversation that I’ve heard when discussing a vegan diet would definitely have to be: how would someone get enough protein on a plant based diet? This point is particularly relevant when discussing a vegan diet to support your exercise performance and fitness routine. Whether you’re an athlete or someone who just trains for personal enjoyment, eating enough of the right foods to support and fuel your body is extremely important. Depending on the kinds of training that you’re doing, your diet will of course vary, but generally there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to meet your macronutrient goals whilst on a plant based meal plan.
For pre and post workout meals, getting a portion of protein and carbohydrates to both fuel and refuel your body is incredibly important. For my carb sources, this wouldn’t really change as I typically opt for oats, sweet potato or brown rice. As I myself am not vegan, I do often include a protein source such as fish, eggs or chicken however, this could easily be swapped for tofu or some kind of beans and pulses. I love chickpeas, black beans and lentils. One of my go-to breakfasts and post workout meals is in fact vegan and this is protein porridge. I cook my oats with water and grated courgette (you can’t taste it and it adds in some extra greens!) and then mix in a plant based protein powder (I like Sun Warrior). I then always top these with some nut butter and fresh berries. This meal usually contains over 20g of protein- all of which is plant based! This is a great example of how you can get a great post workout meal on a vegan diet and hit your macronutrients without having to use any animal products.
Another great way to get a quick boost of protein into your diet around your workouts is by having a protein shake or smoothie. I would highly recommend investing in a good quality vegan protein powder- I always make sure that the ingredients are completely natural and there aren’t lots of added artificial sweeteners or bulking agents. You can then add pretty much anything you want to the smoothie such as: fresh fruits, greens, nut butters, oats.. they’re such a fast and convenient way to get in a vast array of nutrients and you can take them to the gym with you to enjoy on the go.
If you lead a pretty active lifestyle, you might find it hard to fit in your meals if you don’t always have enough time to be cooking them in the kitchen. Weightlifting and training in the gym 6 days a week means I have a pretty big appetite, so I like to make sure that I always have something with me if I’m going to be out for long periods of time. Nuts and nut butters make for great convenience snacks on the go and you can now also buy lots of vegan protein/energy bars. I try not to make these a large part of my diet, but they’re really handy if you’re out and about and some can be really tasty! Like with protein powders, I always try and opt for the ones with the most natural ingredients list. Overall, it’s fairly easy to get an adequate amount of protein on a plant based diet and like i’ve mentioned above, this can come from a wide variety of different sources.