Pete went plant based

First of all, can someone tag Pete Morris in this topic :slight_smile: [tag, per request @Pete]

Pete mentioned that he went plant-based few months ago. It would be good if he can share his experience with this transition and point out any benefits or problems with it and share how this transition affects his numbers and feel.

I’m plant-based for 7 years but I started before cycling…

If someone other moves to or from plant-based I would like to hear your experience.

Why don’t you post your general experiences over your time plant based and cycling for us?

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I was ultra running at the time when I moved to plant based and that had a big impact on my training.
The biggest impact was in shortening recovery time but also on cramps, RPE, body fat, feel and performance.

Even I see a lot of benefits sometimes after the race when I’m nitpicking what I could I do better I’m questioning the plant based diet. I know that I would be probably slower as a meet-eater but It is good to here others experience!

I’m 32 years old with 4.5W/kg and racing road and MTB.

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I did Ironman VR14 (Olympic tri), VR15 (Olympic tri) and VR16 (70.3 tri) three Fridays on the trot and made sure to eat plant based before and the 2-3 means after each event… never had any stomach issues at all after and felt like i could drag myself through the hardest stages of Half IM Build phase through the events too… historically, I’ve never had issues during long events but my stomach usually goes on holiday for a few days after…

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Do you eat any processed meat free stuff (i.e. Quorn/Other meat substitutes) or cook everything fresh from actual plants?

I’m predominently plant based now, maybe 9 months in.

It’s hard to make any claims because;

  • I don’t have a dataset of RPE before and now
  • I changed powermeters around the same time
  • lifestyle changes due to COVID, less commuting = generally more sleep and following plans better.

Saying that, I’ve no downsides to report, except fruit and veg are really low in calories so getting around 3,500 a day is quite hard. I’m around 2kg lighter than last year but almost certainly eating a better diet (it wasn’t that bad before but relied heavily on cheese for calories).

I’m running at around 4.4-4.6 wKG and have been for many years.

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I’ve been plant based/vegan for a few years now. In this time I went from running and biking recreationally, probably averaging one run and bike ride a week, to actually training. I now think of myself as a runner and cyclist. Just laying that out for some context.

The biggest different I’ve seen is that I don’t seem to get nearly as many aches and pains. I’ve always suffered from knee pain, and now it’s largely gone, even when I worked up to running 50+ miles a week for while, which would have been completely impossible before. I know that’s not high mileage for a serious runner, but I think that it gets into the realm of serious running.

I very seldom eat any processed fake meats or cheeses, so I guess I’m pretty close to whole foods plant based, but I don’t prescribe to any particular methodology about this. Just lots of veggies, fruits, legumes, and carbs in all forms.

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What’s a typical day of meals look like for you to get 3500 calories a day?

I can’t imagine getting the macros I aim for now without cheating and having whey protein.

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I was plant based for a couple of years but I dropped it recently because of weight concerns. I would like to get back to it but I’m not at all a big eater and with the amount of training I will be doing now with TR I’m not sure I’ll be able to eat enough. Performance-wise I can’t say I noticed any difference when I went plant based to begin with nor any difference when I went back to an omnivorous diet.

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I was vegetarian for a very long time and have been totally vegan for 3 years. Going plant based is not a silver bullet, it won’t give you magic powers. I’m vegan for ethical reasons and take the approach that I’m fit, strong and healthy “despite” being vegan, not because I’m vegan. Getting enough calories and protein(without powders) has never been a problem. I average over 200g protein a day and I weigh 61 kgs.

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Despite? Wouldn’t “…healthy and vegan…” be more appropriate. Don’t feel like being plant based has had a deleterious effect on me, anecdotally the opposite.

I use that word as a way of making the point that it’s possible to perform as an endurance athlete whilst being a vegan rather than push the idea that I perform because I’m vegan. Way too many people want to push the false narative that going vegan gives you an edge over being a non vegan athlete. I personally find this attitude damaging. It’s always anecdotal (as you point out yourself) and not based on solid scientific evidence. Vegan for ethical reasons? Well that’s a different issue.

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Disclaimer, I’m not tracking macros but maybe I should for a week, to answer the question…

Morning, typically oats with banana/nuts/peanut butter or toast with peanut butter
Lunch. Either pasta or wraps. My goto quick pasta with veg dishes are currently:

Dinner can be anything from pasta with plant based meat balls, home made pizza, home made chick pea burgers to curries based on coconut milk to vegan chillis. We also use pre-prepared alternatives a few times a week (burgers, sausages, shredded duck, etc.).

Snacks range from more toast to a variety of nuts & fresh fruit. Tend to use oat/nut milks that are fortified but I do cheat & have been adding calories with Huel bars and the powder (though plan to stop with the powder once the current batch runs out). Add these when I feel like I need a second dinner or been a bit slack before a big workout.

Currently weigh 63kg, my daily protein needs won’t be massive so pretty sure it is covered.

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Also went plant-based several years ago for ethical and environmental reasons with no deleterious effects. The most common question I get is “where’s the protein,” but looking closely at the macronutrients in plant-based food shows it to be protein-rich with foods such as whole wheat products, beans, lentils, breads with sprouted grains, and peas, then also seitan and tofu for the more interested/adventurous. These foods are also obviously much, much higher in fiber than meats/cheeses/milk products, which adds another whole category of health benefits.

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Following this. I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years now. I still have a little dairy here and there, so I def can’t claim to be vegan although we do eat mostly vegan. No processed meat replacements, just Whole Foods as much as possible. I am doing powder post workouts. I’m 200 lbs so I feel like I’m constantly eating to fuel my body during a training block.

I will admit, some days it is a struggle to motivate myself to eat a proper healthy meal that doesn’t include meat. I used to only eat lean meats and veggies, no carbs. Meal prep was easy and thoughtless. But then I realized to have the energy to train the way I wanted to, I need carbs, and a decent amount of them to boot. Feeding 3 little kids and a wife that works evenings, prepping and making dinner can be a daunting task at times.

Usually a good easy dinner for me (big bowl of health, as phil gaimon says it) is a big old bowl of spinach, chickpeas or black beans, brown rice and/quinoa, and whatever vegetables I have laying around ready to go.

This year we were fortunate enough to start our own garden and grow a lot of the vegetables that we eat on a daily basis.

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I’d appreciate seeing your list of protein sources and approximate quantities of each. I’m doing slightly more protein/day than you (250-275g) but rely on animal products for a decent portion of it (greek yogurt, lean meats, etc.). Wouldn’t mind reducing that and would love the to review your list

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I went plant based for 18 months, but started to feel fatigued and run down, integrated some meat back into my diet and started to feel better again… seems to be a common theme… was not deficient in anything so confused why, but…

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Main Protein sources are:

Breakfast and afternoon snack
half a box of Weetabix per day = 25g
1L Alpro Soya Milk = 30g

Lunch
60g of wheat gluten/seitan = 48g
100g of tempeh = 20g

Dinner
200g of tofu = 30g

I’ll eat some oats in a smoothie before bed and have either quinoa, millet, or buckwheat with my lunch and dinner. Lots of fruit, veg, some nuts and seeds as well as nutritional yeast and I’m around 210g of protein for my 3’500cals. I’m going to reduce to about 180g protein per day as I think 210g is definitely more than I need.

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Common theme with who?

Thank you

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