Wednesday evenings on the way home from work I often tune in to The Earth Diet radio show on Hay House radio. I don’t have the book yet, but basically, Liana (the author and host) encourages a clean, vegan diet to revitalize, recharge, and restore health. The goal is to thrive in the body you’ve been given. She offers several healthy, whole, alternatives to kick cravings in the butt. Her personal struggle and dietary transformation fuel the questions and discussion.
Finally, I did it. I hit the “call in now” button…I actually did it, and I actually got through! I couldn’t believe it! People who know me can attest to my stage fright, so my heart was racing and clogging my throat. The feeling of being in the presence of a pop star filled my stomach. I had a simple question: How can I eat clean, and in enough quantity to fuel my long marathon training runs and my heavy Crossfit workouts?
I love the feeling after a nice, dietary cleanse. Eating healthy is so revitalizing…but then I’ve got to get back to the gym. Exercise is my passion. It’s my anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, my hobby, and my energetic release. It’s created physical strength in my workday and motherly activities and cultivated discipline and respect. I love it–BUT–a vegan diet doesn’t seem to cut it in the fuel department. I know vegan athletes exist so I must be missing something! After a few days of clean eating I feel as if I am running with cement shoes, my stomach is growling in the middle of a run, and I can’t lift a heavy barbell to save my life.
Liana Werner-Gray, author of The Earth Diet book, came to the rescue and gave me some wonderful tips.
- Chia seed cereal (recipe below)–double the serving size it and take it to go. I’ve been eating chia seed cereal, which has helped energetically in the beginning of the workout but it digests quickly, leaving me hungry by mile 7…simple fix…double the recipe AND take some to go for longer workouts.
- Nutiva protein powder–this is plant based as opposed to grain based, which may settle and fill the stomach and ease digestion.
- Fresh vegetable juice–vegetable juice power packs your system with nutrients so the cells aren’t bogged down, sluggishly looking for a fuel source.
- Hemp seeds–recent studies show hemp seeds may have more protein than meat! How exciting! Eat spoonfuls post workout or put them on just about anything for a nice, nutty flavor. Three tablespoons has 10g of protein!
- Quinoa–this is a nice, clean, digestible fuel source, maybe the night or afternoon before a long run. (My Paleo brain made me forget about this great source of plant-based protein)
- Brown rice pasta–also an easy to digest, clean fuel source the night before or afternoon after endurance training. (Again, paleo brain made me forget this as a source during marathon training)
- Tiger nuts–I’m in love already. They are so filling and delicious but take quite a bit of chewing to get down. She suggested soaking them in water or placing them on top of the chia seed cereal to aide in availability during or after a long workout.
- Eat clean meat only–organic, grass-fed, free range is the key. If the animals are stressed and eating crap, you will be stressed and eating crap.
- Vitacost! Vitacost.com is a great website with discounted prices on clean food items. Many of the prices I have found are cheaper and cleaner than Amazon, Sprouts, Central Market, and Trader Joe’s. Liana told me to use coupon code earthdiet to get 10% off!
Chia Seed Cereal: I put two tablespoons of Chia seeds into a bowl and put in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup almond milk. I soak them overnight and add cinnamon and honey in the morning, mix up, and eat. The thickness can be adjusted by changing the seed/milk ratio to your liking. I make home made, chocolate almond milk to jazz mine up.
Almond Milk: 1 cup almonds soaked overnight in water. Pour almonds into high speed blender with 4 cups water. Add 1-2 dates (or none), a bunch of raw honey, sea salt, cocao powder (or none), vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Mix on highest setting for 2 minutes. Pour through nut bag or cheese cloth and enjoy!