One inquisitive omnivore’s journey towards healthier and more compassionate eating…

(Click here for why I started)

(CELEBRITIES/VEGETARIAN/VEGAN) Watching the Olympic athletes compete in Sochi does two things to me: motivate and make me feel like a complete slug.

Who wouldn’t want figure skaters Gracie Gold and Ashley Wagner’s strong, lean legs or the stamina of snowboarders Jamie Anderson and Hannah Teter? And have you seen five-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller’s abs?!

Bode Miller has won five Olympic medals, including gold in Vancouver in 2010. The alpine skier was raised as a vegetarian on an organic farm in New Hampshire./Photo credit: swoonworthy.net
Bode Miller has won five Olympic medals, including gold in Vancouver in 2010. The alpine skier was raised as a vegetarian on an organic farm in New Hampshire. Photo credit: swoonworthy.net

I know they work hard for it, and let’s face it, keeping fit is their job. But it doesn’t mean we can’t pick-up a few tips from them a long the way.

Hannah Teter is a talented American half pipe snowboarder.  The Olympic champion is a two-time medal winner, including a gold at the Torino winter Olympics in 2010./Photo credit: rantsport.com
Hannah Teter is a talented American half pipe snowboarder. The Olympic champion is a two-time medal winner, including a gold at the Torino winter Olympics in 2010. Photo credit: rantsport.com

One thing that did surprise me is that many Olympians are either vegan, vegetarian or like me—trying to eat a more plant-based diet.

Hannah Teter became a vegetarian about five years ago and credits her meat-free diet for giving her the renewed strength she needed to become an Olympic medal-winning athlete.

Bode Miller, one of the greatest American alpine skiers of all time, was raised as a vegetarian on an organic farm in New Hampshire, and gold medal winner, Jamie Anderson describes herself as “mostly vegetarian.”

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to succeed in high-intensity activities like the Olympics and still be a vegetarian or vegan. Just make sure to get enough iron, vitamin B12, and protein.

Some great meat-free protein sources:

  •  White beans (19g/cup)
  • Quinoa (11g/cup)
  • Tempeh & Seitan (24g/4 oz)
  • Hemp seeds (16g/3 tbsp)
  • Organic Peanut Butter (7g/2tbsp)
  • Greek yogurt (15 – 20g/6 oz) — which also includes probiotics that help boost your immune system to stay strong!
Gracie Gold scored big in her first Olympic performance at the Sochi Winter Games. The 18 year old's virtually flawless free-skate helped Team USA win the bronze medal./Photo credit: latimes.com
Gracie Gold scored big in her first Olympic performance at the Sochi Winter Games. The 18-year-old’s virtually flawless free-skate helped Team USA win the bronze medal. Photo credit: latimes.com

Other Olympian-worthy foods:

  1. Oats — they’re digested and absorbed slowly into your body, so they keep your muscles fueled over a longer period of time and help boost endurance.
  2. Bananas — are loaded with potassium which helps to prevent muscle cramping. The fast-acting carb is especially good to eat after a workout because they help restore your body’s glycogen levels which helps rebuild damaged muscles.
  3. Tart Cherries — they have a natural pain relieving substance and help reduce your loss of strength after a strenuous workout. Just mix them with some soy nuts (34g protein/1/2 cup) or almonds (10g protein/1/2 cup) for a delicious protein and carb post-workout snack.
  4. Quinoa — a high protein (11g/cup) alternative to rice or pasta. The supergrain is also packed with fiber, iron and calcium, necessary for proper muscle contraction.

Gracie Gold told NBC Olympics that her latest concoction is a chickpea, beets, and quinoa burger. Sounds delicious and like the perfect pre-workout meal to me, so I decided to test it out for myself.

I’ll have the recipe for you in next week’s blog post. In the meantime, enjoy your Olympian-worthy diet and GO USA!

— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal

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