In The No Meat Athlete Cookbook, he offers a compelling, single-word reason why plant-based eating is the athlete’s best option: recovery.
How does it work? Replacing inflammatory meat-, egg- and dairy-based foods with anti-inflammatory, plant-based alternatives works wonders for bodies recovering from strenuous exercise.
Frazier explains: “Because tough workouts break down muscle fibers, a process that naturally creates inflammation, foods that help curb inflammation allow for faster and more complete recovery.”
For athletes concerned about getting enough protein on a vegan diet, he offers this reassurance:
“If you eat whole foods, you don’t need to worry about getting enough protein. Even when those foods are whole plants.”
He backs this claim with a list of high-protein options, including:
All weigh in at more than 30 percent protein. But the true superstar among protein-rich veggies is spinach, with “over half of its calories from protein.”
Frazier also notes that Food for Fitness author and coach Chris Carmichael recommends endurance athletes get just 12 to 15 percent of their daily calories from protein.
As the wife of competitive cyclist Sam Romine, Frazier’s co-author Stepfanie Romine has long experience in creating filling, whole-food plant-based meals. And filling is the operative word!
Stepfanie thought the first plant-based meal she prepared was big enough to feed four. Sam, however, downed it all in a matter of minutes and then asked, “Is there dessert?”
“My eyes widened. He was still hungry. How was that possible? He ended up polishing off the rest of a batch of chocolate almond butter with bananas, then ate a snack a couple of hours later.”
That’s when Stepfanie embarked on a mission to create plant-based recipes that would truly support Sam’s rigorous training routine. They’d need readily obtainable ingredients practical enough to work in the real world.
I appreciate that the 125 recipes in The No Meat Athlete Cookbook score bull’s-eyes on both counts. As the authors make clear, this was not by accident:
“Before any dish made the cut, it was tested on busy nights by people like you—those who are trying to get food on the table in a reasonable amount of time. If a recipe took too long or seemed too complicated, we eliminated it.”