“HELP ME TRAIN FOR A 70.3 ON A VE­GAN DIET”

Matt Earp has adopted a plant-based diet and is look­ing for menu ad­vice to match his train­ing. Re­nee McGre­gor is here to help

220 Triathlon Magazine - - Nutrition - RE­NEE MCGRE­GOR Re­nee is a reg­is­tered di­eti­cian and sports nu­tri­tion­ist, and au­thor of the best-sell­ing book Train­ing Food.

Matt: I’ve re­cently adopted a ve­gan diet and want to know what foods I should be eat­ing to meet the de­mands of tri train­ing? Re­nee: The main things to think about are: en­sur­ing you’re get­ting enough cal­cium by con­sum­ing soya milk and yo­ghurts; get­ting all the es­sen­tial amino acids by in­clud­ing grains and pulses in meals (beans on toast, rice and lentils, and chick­pea curry with cous­cous are all good op­tions); and hav­ing a daily serv­ing of wal­nuts or wal­nut oil to get ALA, an es­sen­tial fatty acid that re­duces in­flam­ma­tion af­ter train­ing and fatigue. Should I be tak­ing any sup­ple­ments – iron, for ex­am­ple – or can I get a suf­fi­cient amount from my diet? Vi­ta­min B12 is def­i­nitely one sup­ple­ment all ve­g­ans need to take as it can’t be ob­tained from a plant-based diet alone. Vi­ta­min D plays an im­por­tant role in bone health and most peo­ple in this coun­try, whether ve­gan or not, are low or near de­fi­cient in it. I al­ways sug­gest sup­ple­ment­ing this, par­tic­u­larly through the win­ter months. As for iron, if you eat a well-bal­anced diet con­tain­ing beans, pulses, dried fruit and

“It’s crit­i­cal to en­sure your body has suf­fi­cient car­bo­hy­drate”

for­ti­fied ce­re­als you should get all the iron you need. I’m build­ing up to my first 70.3 race next sum­mer. Can you give me some ex­am­ples of what I could eat dur­ing a day’s train­ing? It’s crit­i­cal to en­sure your body has suf­fi­cient car­bo­hy­drate for the pro­longed ac­tiv­ity. Mak­ing good food choices re­gard­ing your re­cov­ery is also im­por­tant so that you can main­tain your per­for­mance across all your ses­sions. Here’s an ex­am­ple of such a day’s meals: Break­fast: oats with soya milk, topped with fruit and nuts or seeds. Mid-morn­ing snack: sliced ba­nana topped with 20g of nut but­ter. Lunch: whole­grain bagel with hum­mus and salad with a mug of tomato soup; fol­lowed by soya yo­ghurt and fruit.

Mid-af­ter­noon snack: 2-3 oat­cakes topped with mashed av­o­cado. Evening meal: quinoa with roasted veg­eta­bles and chick­peas, fol­lowed by soya and fruit.

Be­fore bed: hot choco­late made with soya milk, two squares of dark choco­late, honey and cin­na­mon. What tips can you give ve­gan triath­letes to help them plan their di­ets around their train­ing? I’d sug­gest you sit down on a Sun­day, look at ev­ery­thing you have planned for the week ahead, iden­tify when and where fu­elling may be a chal­lenge, and plan your menu around those points. Cook­ing meals, such as soups, casseroles and cous­cous, in batches that can be eas­ily por­tioned up and re­frig­er­ated/frozen, is use­ful when time is tight. Keep good snack op­tions such as oat­cakes, dried fruit or nuts in your of­fice and car.

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