Thursday, December 22, 2005

Favorite training foods.

I was told not too long ago that "for a vegetarian, you look pretty healthy."
Uh, thanks! Actually, my diet is well supported in the literature as being ideal for athletes. I have a link (down and to the right) to the physician's committee for responsible medicine on diets for vegetarian atheletes. I'd also like to share some of the things I've picked up as an Athena (heavy) female (hormonal) and vegan (where do you get your protein?) athlete.

For breakfast, I like instant oatmeal, any brand and any flavor that doesn't have milk or whey in it. Complex carbs like those in oatmeal kind of line your stomach and help regulate the absorption of carbs into your system. Kashi has a new one out that's complete vegan, and uses fruitose and cane juice instead of sugar. Right before we leave town for an event, if I have my 'druthers, I like a huge plate of curly fries from Hurricane's and a side order of green chili. But that might not work for everyone. For carb-loading, I prefer whole-wheat pasta (see earlier mention of complex carbs) with TVP nuggets and/or veggie sausage chunks and olives. Gives me complex carbs and veggie protein. I eat my last meal as lunch the day before a race.

Energy bars: There's LUNA BARS. They're fab, and I like the fact that they sponsor women-only triathlons. Their big brother, CLIF BUILDER BARS are terrific, too. Both are yummy, and animal-free. Soy protein, all the way. GNC's pro-performance protein-95 is soy protein isolate, if you MUST get some extra, and it comes in banana flavor. I like to drink CYTOMAX before and after workouts, because it provides carbs in the form of fruitose and electrolytes, it calms my stomach before a race, and doesn't give me the cramps during events that other drinks. I got into the habit of taking Clif shots from time to time - I like the company because of the reasons I mentioned before, plus they also were handing these out at aid stations along the first half marathon I ever did.
I take magnesium, calcium (no oyster shell) supplements from time to time, and iron supplements during "that time of month". BTW, don't take iron and calcium during the same meal; they can interfere with each other's absorption rate.
My favorite post-race recovery drink is a Silk Chai Latte. Silk soymilk has a ton of potassium in it, and it just plain tastes good, ice cold, going down. Husband prefers the mocha flavor.

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