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  1. #1
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    Any other vegan cyclists? Looking for training dietary advice...

    I know there's already one thread running in regards to vegetarian training diets, but I'm wondering if there's anybody on here that's vegan and also races road?

    Let me go ahead and say that if you're just replying to tell me how a vegan diet is lacking in nutrients, stupid, whatever, save it. I've already heard these things time and time again. You won't be able to talk me out of my diet and lifestyle. And yes, I know where to get my protein, vitamins and so on...Not trying to be an jerk, but I'm just tired of hearing all of the same banter over and over again.

    Anyways, on to my point...As of now, I'm just doing a good bit riding, between commuting and recreational / training rides. As I mentioned above, I already know what foods to eat, but I'm wanting to know what works best for you in terms of meal planning, and also what your training schedule looks like in terms of riding. I don't race yet, but I'm looking to in the coming months. Any tips and advice is greatly appreciated!

    -L

  2. #2
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    I don't race, but I am vegan and ride a fair amount. Just wanted to let you know you have some support.

  3. #3
    Senior Member J.W.'s Avatar
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    You might want to look into supplementing with some Soy Protein powder (shakes).
    Last edited by donnamb; 07-12-08 at 10:29 AM. Reason: removed trolling remarks
    .

  4. #4
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I think it would be pretty similar to what everyone eats: some sort of complex carb, good protein and fat meal in the morning, make sure to get your carbs in after you ride and have a good meal within an hour or so of racing. I used to like quinoa, fruit and almonds plus half a bagel with peanut butter. I think you could probably follow any recommended diet, just sub in your proteins of choice.

    I really recommend an omega 3 supplement that isn't just flax or walnuts. They have capsules that are extracted from pursulane.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.W. View Post
    You might want to look into supplementing with some Soy Protein powder (shakes).
    As of now, I'm using a Naturade Veglife Protein powder (blend of soy, pea and rice proteins) as well as a MLO Brown Rice Protein powder, depending on the day. I've used soy protein by itself before but I didn't notice as much of a difference as I do with the Veglife. I usually make a fruit / green smoothie every morning for breakfast with protein powder. Thanks!
    Last edited by donnamb; 07-12-08 at 10:29 AM. Reason: removed trolling remarks from quote

  6. #6
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    Go for 2 boca burgers. Each has like 70 calories, .5g fat 6g carbs and 13g protein

  7. #7
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by furthertofall View Post
    As of now, I'm using a Naturade Veglife Protein powder (blend of soy, pea and rice proteins)
    that stuff is 60% protein, 40% marketing.

    if you want fast, easy, cheap(er) protein that's not excessively gross to eat, you want yves jumbo dogs
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  8. #8
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    Whatever you do stay away from soy, that stuff is not meant for human consumption. http://www.personalhealthzone.com/vi...e_effects.html
    http://www.healingcrow.com/soy/soy.html

  9. #9
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    I've been a cycle courier (i.e. 'bike messenger') for two years, and vegan for about the same length of time.

    I generally try and stick to higher protein food (lentils, beans, chickpeas, brown rice, wholewheat bread, quinoa etc. and fake sausages if I'm desperate) than protein shakes - only because they taste disgusting and they make my sh*t really runny.

    Also because I'm not sure if it's a good idea to have protein in such a rapidly absorbable form, on its own - can't be too good for the kidneys...
    Last edited by MessenJah; 07-14-08 at 05:26 AM. Reason: apparently a satirical article written by a vegan cyclist is off-topic!

  10. #10
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Ok, this guy is asking for sincere training advice for vegans - not judgement on his dietary choices. If you don't have anything useful to contribute, don't post. If you'd like to argue about veganism or vegetarianism, take it to the Politics & Religion forum.

    donnamb
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  11. #11
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    I am also a vegan and part time racer.

    I would just suggest keeping your diet very balanced.

    If you are training a lot, especially if you are doing intervals, make sure you eat a decent amount of both carbs and protein right after a session to help restore your glycogen (carbs) and to help rebuild the muscles quicker that get stressed during strenuous exercise (protein).

    A lot of people feel that soy is "bad" for you. I am not to open this can of worms. I will say that I eat a decent amount of soy as a vegan and I have not suffered any of the supposed health effects. I can say the same for many other vegan athletes I know. However, I also utilize a wide range of other foods that contain proteins such as lentils, beans, seitan, tempeh (made from soy or grains), and rice products.

    The important part is balancing your diet. I personally feel that 60% carbs, 20% protein, and 20% fat is a good ratio for a recreational cyclist. If you are race training, you may want to go with 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat.

    Just experiment to see how your body responds. Find the best diet for YOU rather than trying to fit into someone's template.

    Good luck.

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  12. #12
    Lotion/Basket/Hose Doctor Who's Avatar
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    Look about half-way down on the page: http://cycle-smart.com/Articles/index_new2.html

    Cycle-Smart has some pretty good ideas on nutrition for vegans – if you've watched "Transistion" you know all about the author of these papers.

  13. #13
    crazy bike girl msincredible's Avatar
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    When I eat soy, I prefer to get it in a "whole food" form, rather than the isolated soy protein. For example, tempeh, tofu, soymilk, or edamame.

  14. #14
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    i would look into both of these sites o begin with. the first is a road and track racer from canada. he has a good list of training diet requirments and pre/ post race nutriant requirments. being an elite racer he knows his way around a training routine and dietary needs. just because you know what to eat to sustain normal functions doesnt really translate perfectly. daves blog goes over everything you need in good detail.

    http://cycling.thenoisies.com/

    http://www.veganfitness.net/

    the second is an athletic forum for vegans. covers pretty much any sport you want to do, including cycling. has training programs meal programs and cross training programs.

    dave puts in a lot of content on veganfitness and there are others in there that have excellent advice.

    if you are looking for suppliments i use vega protien meal replacer to make a recovery smoothy. the rest of the food try to stay with as much whole food as possible. if there are other things i could recomend is weight training. its a good cross training and helps build explosive power if the right excersizes are done.

    if you have any further questions i would go to these vegan specific forums first instead of here.

    XVX
    jon

  15. #15
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    I'm vegan and a track racer (and I occasionally race road). After a training ride or a race I'll usually drink a glass of soy milk with a scoop of rice protein. I try to limit the amount of processed soy I eat as I have heard some mixed things about it (although I don't try that hard).

    Recently I haven't been too serious about training but in the past I have reduced/removed the amount of white flour in my diet as well as sugar (basically any simple carbohydrates).

  16. #16
    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donnamb View Post
    Ok, this guy is asking for sincere training advice for vegans - not judgement on his dietary choices. If you don't have anything useful to contribute, don't post. If you'd like to argue about veganism or vegetarianism, take it to the Politics & Religion forum.

    donnamb
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    Lighten up Francis!

    I wasnt making a value judgement on his choice of lifestyle. I was joking about Ms. I's quip about support.
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  17. #17
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brsboarder View Post
    Go for 2 boca burgers. Each has like 70 calories, .5g fat 6g carbs and 13g protein
    I'm an omnivore, and still think Boca Burgers are delicious.

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  18. #18
    KombuchaCHIC Shadiyah's Avatar
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    Have you tried dates? They are a wonderful source of calories and a great way to get some quick energy. I think brown rice and black beans would be a good staple for a high active vegan diet.

  19. #19
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chingon77 View Post
    Whatever you do stay away from soy, that stuff is not meant for human consumption.
    Uh-oh, better warn the asians who have been eating it for centuries.

    To the OP- Beans. Lots of beans. There are so many different varieties each with unique flavors and textures. They're little energy bombs and so easy to prepare. Oh and they are super cheap.

  20. #20
    Senior Member frymaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick burns View Post
    Uh-oh, better warn the asians who have been eating [soy] for centuries.
    +1


    if we really want to talk about food that's "not fit for human consumption" (and i am so not proposing we do) i think soy would be way down the list.
    "Let's try and keep the constructive answers in the commuting forum." --SheistyMike

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by frymaster View Post
    +1


    if we really want to talk about food that's "not fit for human consumption" (and i am so not proposing we do) i think soy would be way down the list.
    Give me tofu before a powerbar any day.

    I would stay away from pure soy protein though. No thanks to chemically separated foods.

  22. #22
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    i like to start with power bars/peanuts on the first half of my ride, and finish it off with vegan gels.

    outside of riding, i find that eating a lot of leafy greens does your body very well, as does a lot of fruit. you get a lot of carbs from these two, so you can eat fewer simple carb foods.

  23. #23
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    Lentils are vastly underused and underrated as a protien source. And insanely easy and fast to cook compared to other bean-type foods. You can go from cold pot to ready-to-eat in 20-25 mins. I'd expect spicing them up with some red miso would probably be acceptable, added right after you remove it from heat (I use, uh, ham bones...so I'm not gonna be a lot of help with flavorings there, sorry). Don't salt until after they're cooked or they'll drop their skins and turn into paste. I really just wanted to post to say (1) lentils good, and (2) red miso is good soup flavor .

    Olives. Olives are good too.

  24. #24
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    As you probably already know, a balanced Vegan diet is a challenge but it also has it's rewards.
    With a bit of research and work it can be made to work quite well for certain people.
    A good thing is to work closely with a nutricionist and have them use a program such as the
    "Food Processor" to make sure you are not missing any important nutrients.
    -B12: You are already probably taking B12 as a supplement but in my experience adding a micro-organism based source seems to work better.
    Kombucha, Brewer's yeast, Kimchee & sour Kraut come to mind...there are not as high as the pills but vegans who take at least a bit seem to better than those taking just supplements.
    -Lysine: Beans are the only plant-based food that provides a form of amino acid, lysine. Lysine is essential to creating protein, which fuels energy and muscle growth. Depending on your makeup, you might not be able to digest beans very well; look at Joseph D'Adamo's work ( I don't agree with it 100% but many of his ideas are very valid). If that's the case I say, supplement Lysine.
    -Food combining for obtaining a more complete amino-acid profile.

    A good source of ideas for nutrient rich Vegan dishes is the Indian diet. I was trying to create a mineral-balanced vegan diet with the "Food Processor" and it kept coming low in Iron & Copper. If I started adding Fe &Cu rich foods then the calories got unbalanced...the solution? Indian Food. The small amounts of spices on it contain a well balanced mineral profile...I was very impressed. It's like taking your supplements with your food. I am sure other ancient/ethnic cuisines that are traditionally vegetarian can provide other solutions too. Watch out for those that did consume plenty of dairy tough, they might not be as useful.

    Those are just a few pointers, books have been written about the subject. However, sometimes it's hard to separate fact from fiction and what works for some might not work for others...keep experimenting, monitor your health, be aware that you needs (specially as an athlete) are unique and report back your findings so we can learn too...

    PS. Unprocessed Soy is difficult to digest and toxic/estrogenic in large quantities. Some people do very poorly with lentils because they have low amounts of the digestive enzymes required to utilize them. The key is to find out if you are able to digest these foods and even then is a good idea not to rely on a single type of bean as a protein source. Diversify your diet.
    I believe that in Asia they also supplement with seaweed...soy products can sequester Iodine so that is probably a way to counteract this effect...anyone?
    Quinoa: it looks great on paper, it's what my ancestors used to eat BUT it gives me horrible stomach pain & bloats. Again, anyone experiences with Quinoa?
    Last edited by vuelamanuel; 07-29-08 at 06:16 PM.

  25. #25
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    I get on fine with quinoa, I just don't particularly like it.

    Indian Food. The small amounts of spices on it contain a well balanced mineral profile...I was very impressed. It's like taking your supplements with your food.
    I had no idea about this - where did you find this out? I go through stages of eating a lot of 'Indian' food and I tend to feel more healthy than when I go for weeks without it...

    Oh yeah that reminds me - this site has some pretty good vegan recipes on it: http://www.quickindiancooking.com/
    Last edited by MessenJah; 07-30-08 at 04:54 AM.

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