Why it's so important to fuel properly:
Have you ever "bonked" during a race or workout? “Bonking,” basically means running out of stored carbohydrate in your muscles (AKA glycogen). With a little planning, you can prolong the distance you can go before this happens, thereby enhancing performance. Whatever your activity or workout is, mid-workout nutrition is extremely important to avoid bonking.
Mid-Workout Food Choices
Raw Coconut and Cacao Bites
1 cup of shredded coconut
1 cup of almonds
1/2 a dozen medjool dates
4 tablespoons of cashew butter
2 tablespoons of raw cacao
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
Vegan! Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. - GoMacro
I love coaching and writing about macrobiotics – It’s rewarding to see how something natural can bring such a positive energy to life. What exactly is macrobiotics? Simply put, macrobiotic eating includes seasonal foods cooked with respect to your own lifestyle and health condition. It’s about living more naturally, connected to nature.
I will be at the upcoming Boeing Environmental, Health, Safety and Wellness Fair in Seattle on September 23 providing education and health strategies around whole-food plant-based health and GoMacro is supporting me by providing a wealth of bars for Boeing employees to sample while learning more about plant-based health.
"We’ve found a new way to eat and most importantly a new energy and respect for our bodies." - #TEAMALDER
In late April of this year, I finally decided that enough was enough. I don’t know that it was conscious but it was just something that happened. As I began, for the 100th time to search for ways to lose weight and be healthy, I decided that I was the only one that could make this change. I decided that my brand of health did not have to be like everyone else's. I knew what worked for me but doing it was a whole different story.
Rewind 3 years before this day in April. I had been vegan over 6 months, loved every minute, weighed 135 pounds (10 pounds less than in high school), exercised daily, and didn’t think much of it. I knew I was healthy but had no idea how fit my body really was. That May, I met my now wife, and fell in love in a matter of days (hey, when ya know, ya know). I stayed vegan for several months until I had that first ice cream cone on vacation. From there my wife and I went on journey of eating what we wanted when we wanted and it often was not healthy. We were both incredibly healthy until you put us together! During that time we also went on a spiritual journey together and this I believe is where the miracle of us really began. We began to live our lives from kindness, love, giving, and positivity and tried to do everything we could to make that what we did naturally. Granted we were still eating like crap but our spirits were growing together. We were told that once the spirit straightened out the mind and body would follow. And it has…
We have not arrived. We are not at the end but we are at a new beginning for us. In April of this year I decided to return to a way of eating that has spoken to me deep inside for almost 5 years now. I was laying in bed 166 pounds, tired, stressed, wanting to quit my job, and searching the internet for some inspiration. I had started reading some vegan blogs again. I eventually came across Miss Bellevue Vegan. I was sure she was too good to be true. $75 for a month of boot camp with her? No way, I don’t believe it. This is just what I had been looking for, affordable support…who was this person and when can I meet her!
I emailed her, we met, and everything she said made total sense. She didn’t have to convince me that going vegan was a better way to eat, I already knew that. She just believed in me and educated me. That night I was lying in bed telling my wife about working with her and she decided she would try this 33 day boot camp challenge too. And we started yet another phase of our relationship together. Our teamwork is what has made every phase, every hiccup, every challenge, every success work, because we are committed to doing better for each other and for our family. Our food and our health was the next natural step.
So she signed up with Kristin the next day and within a few days we were off to the races. The first three days were intense, mainly because our bodies were detoxing from so much sugar and processed food. After the detox phase passed, our energy level rose, our skin cleared, and our blood sugar stabilized (I even had someone tell me my hair looked different!). The first two weeks working with Kristin we eliminated everything from our diet that she suggested we eliminate (wheat, gluten, soy, corn, sugar, caffeine, and of course, dairy and meat). We slowly worked fruit back in. I tried to work wheat, gluten and soy back in, but discovered my body doesn’t like these items much so now that I generally try to steer clear of them all. We almost never eat processed sugar (except for a vegan cupcake or treat for a birthday). And, on the whole, we don’t miss any of the foods from before.
We’ve found a new way to eat and most importantly a new energy and respect for our bodies. Shopping is an adventure, cooking is something we do together, new recipes are ways to jump out of a rut and our family is getting used to it too. They have healthy options for us at cookouts, they ask us what is vegan, and of course, they poke fun too. But what has changed for me is that when they poke fun, I no longer take it to heart and let it deter my direction. I just play along and eat my vitamin rich food with an understanding that it’s about so much more than food to me. It’s about listening to the voice inside that says I can do better and be better and then going out and doing it, even when it’s hard and even when it’s unpopular. I am my greatest advocate for my health. Thanks Miss Bellevue Vegan for helping my wife and I get enough new routine, behaviors, and positive reinforcement under our belt to do different. Thanks for the food journals, the thoughtful responses, the education, and the passion with which you work. Team Alder is on it’s vegan way and we’ve only just begun!
Team Alder Stats
1 cup cashew milk (unsweetened, cold)
2 cups cauliflower (steamed for 3-4 min)
1 large tomato, diced
1/4 avocado, chopped
1/4 cup GORAW Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds
1/4 cup buckwheat groats (raw)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Sea salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Serve and Enjoy!
PRE-RUN OATMEAL Ⓥ
I love food that's clean, from the Earth, and provides nutrient-dense properties! My go-to breakfast every single morning before I head out to run, is oatmeal with hemp, ground flaxseed (or chia seeds), and green leaf stevia to sweeten a tad! I enjoy this fabulous goodness about 1 hour before I head out the door.
THE REASONS I LOVE OATMEAL:
- Lower Glycemic Index: the slow-releasing carbs in oatmeal provides me with a sustained energy source while running longer distances.
- The protein from the hemp and flaxseed, and the fat in coconut oil slows digestion, which lowers the glycemic index of the meal further.
- Coconut oil add a creamy texture. AND because of its medium-chain triglycerides, is quicker to digest than other sources of fat ...still providing long-lasting fuel.
- The hemp and flaxseed give me antioxidants, minerals, fiber and Omega-3s.
HOW I MAKE IT:
- ½ cup organic oats
- 1 ½ to 2 cups water
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp green leaf stevia
- 1 Tbsp hemp protein
- 1 Tbsp superfood. I rotate with : ground flaxseed and chia seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Add ½ cup oats and 1 ½ cup water in small saucepan on stove.
- Heat on medium until gently simmering (3 to 4 minutes). Sir frequently.
- Let sit for 1 minute before finishing preparation.
- Transfer oats to a bowl, and stir in coconut oil, hemp protein, ground flaxseed, green leaf stevia; still well. Add ½ cup almond milk and mix thoroughly.
Miss Bellevue Vegan Celebrates 6th Annual Hemp History Week : June 1-7, 2015.
"Every day, more and more Americans discover the benefits of hemp. This ever-expanding market includes healthy food and body care products, as well as eco-friendly textiles, clothing, auto parts, and building materials. Despite hemp’s growing popularity, and the recent Farm Bill legislation that now permits hemp to be grown for research in states with hemp farming laws in place, the Federal policy for hemp farming – created in the 1930’s is outdated and currently prevents U.S. farmers from widely growing this nutritious, versatile, and eco-friendly crop." - Hemp History Week
As more and more Americans support the health and environmental benefits of hemp products, hemp farming promises economic opportunity for farmers and manufacturers. I had the opportunity to do a blog interview with Hemp History Week, where they addressed the most common questions around industrial hemp.
Miss Bellevue Vegan is celebrating Hemp History Week June 1-7 by providing you with an excellent Q & A session addressing the common questions people have around hemp. After reading the interview below, hopefully you will #GETYOURHEMPON!
MBV: What are the goals for Hemp History Week in relation to growing awareness of the health benefits of hemp?
HHW: Hemp History Week’s goal as a nation-wide education campaign that aims raise awareness about the benefits of hemp products—both environmental benefits of hemp products like soaps and clothing, as well as the abundant health and nutritional benefits. Hemp is an excellent plant-based source of protein, as well as essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6. We want conscious consumers to be aware that hemp is more than an industrial crop—that you can eat your hemp via hemp oil, hemp protein powder in smoothies, hemp yogurt, hemp drinks, hemp desserts, hemp milk, hemp cereals, even hemp tofu!
MBV: How has the superfood market expanded with hemp?
HHW: Hemp is one of the fastest growing categories in the natural grocery sector. Hemp foods have amazing health benefits as they contain the optimal levels of Omegas 3 and 6, and all 10 essential amino acids, which are crucial for healthy muscle and brain development. Because hemp is available in such a variety of ways, it has really exploded as a ‘superfood’ that can be used in a wide array of recipes, and also because more and more consumers are realizing the benefits of a plant-based diet.
MBV: What's the easiest way to start including hemp seeds in someone’s daily diet?
HHW: Sprinkle hemp seeds on everything! Adding hemp seeds to cereals and salads is a good way to start—but once you fall in love with the nutty, earthy flavor you’ll come up with creative ideas for your own hemp seed recipes! For example, we like to make a hemp pesto, with hemp seeds instead of pine nuts.
MBV: What are the common misunderstandings consumers present?
HHW: The most common misunderstanding that consumers have about hemp is that it is the same as marijuana. Both hemp and marijuana come from Cannabis sativa L., however hemp is a variety of cannabis that has been cultivated to have negligent THC content (less than 0.3% by dry weight) whereas marijuana has been cultivated to produce a much greater content of THC (upwards of 20%). Hemp foods, soaps and clothing cannot give a person the ‘high’ or therapeutic effects associated with marijuana.
MBV: What are the differences between hemp and marijuana?
HHW: Both hemp and marijuana come from the same species of plant, Cannabis sativa L., however hemp and marijuana are vastly different—both in appearance, as well as their uses and applications. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of Cannabis sativa. Hemp has absolutely no recreational drug value. Section 7606 of the Farm Bill defines industrial hemp as "the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis." Grown for fiber and oilseed, hemp is among the longest cultivated crops in human history; its early uses included papermaking from the fiber of the hemp stalk.
Conversely, marijuana refers to the flowering tops of varieties of Cannabis sativa L. that are cultivated to yield high amounts of THC content, and are intended for medical and recreational drug use.
MBV: How do you see hemp growing as a supplement and staple in the Omega Fatty Acid market?
HHW: Hemp is a perfect food to demonstrate the fact that we can get our necessary nutrients, such as Omegas 3 and 6, from a healthful, whole-food approach to eating—rather than rely on supplement capsules to fill in the nutritional blanks left by a diet of processed foods, fast foods, etc.
MBV: How can consumers help promote Hemp History Week?
HHW: Everyone should visit the take action and events section of the Hemp History Week website to find and share local grassroots events to attend in your hometown. All sorts of exciting events—from hemp documentary film screenings, to special hemp menus as local restaurants, to hemp lobby days at your local state legislature—will be happening in all 50 states. We would also love to see your hemp food and recipe photos on Hemp History Week’s Facebook and our twitter, @HempHistoryWeek
Green Powered Overnight Oats Ⓥ
1 large handful fresh spinach or kale
1 large ripe banana
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp chlorella
1 cup plant-based milk
1/3 cup gluten-free oats
Superfood Hippie Cereal
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
3/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried or dehydrated apples, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Plant-based milk of choice
How Plant-Based Nutrition Fuels Peak Performance
By Kristin Wuhrman, CHHC, AADP
I’ve been a vegan for many years – back to when a vegan lifestyle was only for earth-loving hippies. Veganism has gained popularity over the past ten years or so. There is more awareness and education around the effects that factory farming has on our planet, as well as what’s going on with over-consumption and mass production. A lot has changed. Science is now supporting plant-based diets for optimal health, and Veganism has even been gaining popularity among athletes. As a vegan athlete myself, I often get asked common questions, such as: “How are you not anemic? How come you never get sick? Where do you get your protein? How do you have enough energy to run as much as you do?” I love this dialogue and being an example that contradicts the misconceptions that a plant-based diet can improve strength, performance and overall health.
The Fueling Phases: Before, During, and After
The most important factor is digestibility and food requires energy to digest. Since energy is vital, you want to have control with how you spend it. Many foods take large amounts of energy to digest, so choose foods that are high in net gain. Net gain refers to the useable nutrition the body is left with once the food is digested and assimilated. If food hasn’t been digested completely, you can cramp easily. Proper plant-based nutrition will provide you with a solid eating plan loaded with foods that are high in net gain.
Consume food providing a combination of complex carbs, fats, and proteins. A great choice includes DIY Superfood Cereal (recipe below). Be sure to also hydrate with 16-32 oz. of water.
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
3/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried or dehydrated apples, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add everything together, stir, and store in airtight jar. When ready to enjoy, add 1/4 cup to bowl and pour about 1/3 cup plant-based milk of choice, and let sit for 3-5 minutes to soften. Top with pumpkin seeds and fresh fruit of choice if you’d like. Enjoy!
Never allow yourself to become hungry or thirsty. If you can tackle this, you will be a true, performing rock star. Nutrition during prolonged activity requires the proper mix and timing. For example, too little fluid or the wrong carbohydrates can result in cramping and other intestinal problems you would rather not experience.
Fuel your body with clean, plant-based foods that are easy to digest. Be sure to include fats, proteins, and carbohydrate-rich choices. Protein will complement the carbohydrate, allowing it to enter the bloodstream at a steady rate, thus delaying the onset of hunger and sustaining energy levels. Much of the real energy comes from carbs and fat. Fat is the longer-lasting energy source and is needed most during endurance activities. Fat also supports brain health, helps maintain body warmth, keeps the joints lubricated, aids in recovery and minimizes the inflammatory processes.
Some great choices include:
Also, opt for energy bars that are unprocessed, vegan and have naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as Amrita.
Tip for keeping superfoods stocked at home for cost-effective convenience include: Buy bulk and store in mason jars.
Also, hydrate often and keep electrolytes balanced. Sweat consists of water and electrolytes (salts). Simply replenishing water without also replenishing electrolytes can create imbalances and even lead to water intoxication. Milder symptoms include cramping and muscle twitches and even blacking out. Be mindful on what you drink though, as many sports drinks are unfortunately just flavored sugar water containing artificial ingredients and colors loaded with refined sugar. Coconut water is an excellent, natural choice and can even be used as a base to make your own homemade concoctions. Some additional easy-to-pack electrolytes include bananas, sea salt, and individually packed replenishers, such as Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator, Nuun tablets, and Ultima Replenisher.
Within 20 minutes of completing your long-duration adventure, the body needs simple carbs to enter the bloodstream. This means your snack choice should contain minimal fat and protein and no fiber, since these slow the rate at which carbs enter the bloodstream. A 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is most effective, as it will speed up glycogen replenishment (rate at which muscles absorb carb). Great choices include a recovery drink, or other near-liquid-consistency foods such as smoothies or puddings. These are much easier to digest, therefore requiring less energy. Hemp and chia seeds are excellent choices. You can equally use a small amount of hemp oil too as it will help repair soft-tissue damage.
About 1 hour past, a nutrient-rich meal is best. If possible, opt for choices that include plant-based, easily digestible protein and healthy Omega-3s, such as hemp and chia seeds. An example would be a high protein salad with lots of fibrous veggies, high protein seeds, pseudograins and legumes like quinoa, peas, lentils, spirulina and pumpkin seeds. A healthy dressing to use is hemp/flax oil, sea salt, ground pepper and garlic.
1 tbsp. organic coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tsps. mustard seeds
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, diced
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup walnuts
Lemon zest from one lemon
1. Preheat oven to roast at 400°F (205°C)
2. Clean and trim green beans.
3. Place green beans in a baking dish.
4. Drizzle with melted coconut oil.
5. Sprinkle with rosemary, mustard seeds, garlic salt, and pepper.
6. Toss and mix to ensure the green beans are evenly coated in oil and spices.
7. Roast at 400°F (205°C) for 30-35 minutes, or until all the green beans are crispy.
8. Stir green beans half way through cooking.
9. Remove from oven; add hemp seeds and walnuts. Toss well.
10. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.
Serve with wild rice or quinoa for a complete, plant-based meal.
#Hemp Provides Steady Nourishment for Activities
Key Point: You’ll be minimizing the energy wasted in the digestion process. (Fuel on unrefined, unprocessed foods)
If you fuel efficiently, you’ll be easing digestive strain, and you will have a consistent level of energy across the entire day of hiking peaks and valleys.
Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.
Grassroots Hemp Recipes
Guest Blog Posts
Plant Based Eating
Vegan Athlete Interviews