What is an Athlete? Webster's Dictionary defines it as “a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength.” Being a vegan athlete doesn't change much. If you want to be the best you have to train hard, physically and mentally, and fuel your body with the foods you feel are best for you. I happen to not eat meat, dairy, and eggs. I may have to work a bit harder to get the results I want, but to me it's worth it.
Being a vegan came naturally to me. I love all animals and I never enjoyed eating meat; I mostly just ate it for convenience. So when I moved out on my own and began to explore cooking, I decided that the vegan diet was perfect for me.
So what does a vegan athlete eat?
I love vegetables, but I eat a lot of other things too! I know there are vegans out there that will say we don't need to pay attention to how much protein we eat but I think when you're training hard and you want to get stronger protein is a really important thing to pay attention to. I eat a lot of it. I've trained for Strongwoman competitions and found that when I'm focusing on eating the right amount of protein, I am so much stronger. I always have a protein shake after each practice and game and after I strength train. For my meals I get protein from things like tempeh, seitan, tofu, and vegetables. I'm not a big fan of the fake meat products, but if you like it it's another great source of protein. You can get a good amount of protein from vegetables too! Broccoli, asparagus, spinach, peas and Brussel sprouts all have 2-5 grams of protein per cup. I like to get my protein from a variety of things each day. I drink a protein powder that is pea, hemp, and rice based. I recommend asking your trainer or meeting with a nutritionist to determine the amount of protein you should be eating along with the rest of your macronutrients. Doing this would be good for vegans and non-vegans if you’re serious about getting your diet in check.
Traveling for derby has been an adventure. I've learned to pack a ton of food. I've found that fruits, veggies, and pasta salad with lots of veggies are great travel snacks. I pack a lot because I tend to eat everything before we even get to warm up and it stinks to run out and still be hungry, especially when vegan food is usually not easily available. I look up restaurants in the area before we travel so I know where my options are before or after the game. One time I almost missed gear check for a game in Cincinnati because I was out getting mac and cheese from a vegan restaurant. I think my captains were about to kill me but we've since decided that it was probably my best game all season so I should always have mac and cheese waiting for me after a game! I recommend making sure that the teammates you’re traveling with don't mind going to eat at places that have vegan options.
While being vegan is not always easy, I wouldn’t live any other way. I’m proud of my plant-built muscle.
Scream is a blocker on the Ann Arbor Brawlstars, loves lifting heavy things, and is passionate about eating veggies.