A year ago before I took off to France I went with my mom to run some errands, we ended up at Barnes and Nobles and I figured I would grab some books for the flight over. Of course I went to the sports section, grabbing a biography on Jerry West, a sports psychology book and another book called ‘Finding Ultra’, it had a guy on the cover running with the words, ‘Rejecting middle age, becoming one of the world’s fittest men and discovering myself.’ I didn’t look too much into it but figured it was a motivational book and then it could be a cool read, so I grabbed it as well, as we were in a rush.
Fast forward to the plane, I filtered threw the first two books not really sticking with one, getting restless on my 14 hour flight I turned to ‘Finding Ultra’. I started reading it and I couldn’t put it down. In short, the author, Rich, a former NCAA swimmer talks about how he was nearly fifty pounds overweight and at one point, unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he could see where his current sedentary lifestyle was taking him.
From there he started to cut off processed foods and prioritized plant nutrition, with light training, each day doing a little more. He morphed in a matter of mere months from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance runner. Ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house to embark on a light jog and found himself running a near marathon, finding his passion and dedicating himself to becoming a tri-athlete, with the rest of the book telling about his adventures as a tri-athlete and the feats that he was able to accomplish, while owing much of success and transformation to his plant based diet.
I was captured by the book and the story and before I got off the plane I finished the book and decided I had to try a plant based diet, seeing what it could do for my journey as an athlete and if I too could find the success that followed Rich.
After a year under my belt, I’m still learning everyday but I’ve gotten to a point where my meal prep keeps me constantly fueled and is there for me to recover after long training sessions.
Typical day of plant based nutrition for me:
Breakfast: Kale, 2 bananas, couple walnuts, big slice of pineapple, handful of berries smoothie.
Post morning lift smoothie: Kale, 2 bananas, couple almonds, big slice of pineapple, handful of berries smoothie.
Lunch: brown rice, kidney beans, assorted veggies, mango, pineapple.
Pre practice smoothie: Kale, 2 bananas, couple walnuts, big slice of pineapple, handful of berries smoothie.
Post practice smoothie: Kale, 2 bananas, couple almonds, big slice of pineapple, handful of berries smoothie.
Dinner: quinoa, black beans, tomato, half a cucumber, sauteed onions/kale, homemade salsa.
It’s important for me always to have something right after training and my lifts, so I am big in meal prep and will always make a smoothie to bring in my canister to be ready right after to hit that 40 minute recovery window. Along with stretching and rolling out, I know this keeps my body a step ahead of any soreness or injuries that might be lurking.
Caption of this photo on Instagram @DustinWatten: “Maringá Vegano! It’s been my pleasure to sample all the delicious native fruits and veggies found in Brazil so far. A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be featured in Maringá Vegano, the local vegan community where I live. Click the link on my profile to check out the full interview and don’t worry for you American folks. Google translate has your back! #plantpowered #plantbased #vegan #veganathlete”