So You Want to Be a Vegetarian Runner…

So you want to be a Vegetarian Runner…


Nutrition facts you need to know

By Samara Felesky-Hunt

Photography and recipes provided by Dairy Farmers of Canada and Canadian Lentils

Every runner can maintain or improve athletic performance on a well planned vegetarian diet. Choosing the right nutrient-dense plant foods can help you reach your peak performance. Here’s what you need to know:

Calories = Energy

The energy needs of a vegetarian athlete depend on body weight and composition, gender and training level. Vegetarians may need to eat 10-15 per cent more calories because of the reduced digestibility of high-fibre whole foods. If you train more than three times a week, energy requirements can be as high as 6,000 calories a day. If you find it hard to maintain weight during training, you may need to eat more frequently and consume more high-energy foods, such as nuts, oils and avocados. Eating the right foods will replenish your glycogen stores, add protein to build and repair muscle tissue and provide essential fatty acids to transport fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. Not meeting energy needs can impair performance, immunity, healing and increase your risk of injury.

Carbohydrates = Fuel of Choice

Carbohydrate-rich food helps a vegetarian athlete exercise longer and with more intensity. Consume a wide variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide high-energy fuel.

Protein = Fuel for the Machine

Vegetarian athletes should consume more protein than non-vegetarians; 1.3—1.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. This is 10-15 per cent more than for a non-vegetarian, particularly in the early stages of training.

Mindful Minerals and B12

A vegetarian athlete’s mineral status can have a profound affect on performance. Vegetarians need almost twice the iron of non-vegetarians because non-heme iron from plant foods is not as well absorbed and physical activity can induce iron loss through sweat and destruction of red blood cells. Iron deficiency leads to fatigue and may impair your performance. Sprouting legumes, grains and lentils break down phytates and makes iron more available. Zinc is necessary for metabolism of nutrients and for healing injuries. Zinc needs also increase with intense exercise, as the mineral  can be lost in perspiration.

If you avoid dairy, include other foods rich in calcium, such as almonds, figs, legumes, tahini, tofu set with calcium, turnip greens, white and navy beans, broccoli. Be sure to check nutrition labels on a regular basis. If insufficient B vitamins are consumed it can impair aerobic power by reducing breakdown of lactic acid and processing amino acids. Vitamin B12 is found naturally only in animal products, so if you don’t eat eggs or dairy, include foods fortified with B12.

4 Steps to a Vegetarian Performance Diet

Eat More whole grains
Try millet, sorghum, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, pot barley and teff.

Explore Vegetables
Cook with Asian, root and exotic vegetables. Try Chinese cabbage, kalettes, okra, Swiss chard and turnips. Turn zucchini, beets or carrots into noodles using a spiralizer. Add pureed sweet potato to soups.

Build with Iron-Rich foods
Tofu, legumes, dried fruits, dark greens and pumpkin seeds are high in iron. Include vitamin C to help your body absorb the non-heme iron. Citrus fruits, kiwi, strawberries, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli will boost iron absorption. Tea and coffee during meals inhibit iron absorption.

Try new proteins
Eat extra firm tofu, pumpkin and hemp seeds, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, kidney and black beans, nut butters, almonds, fortified soy beverages, whole grains and legumes.

Read the rest over at Impact Magazine. 


Mega Flu Fighter Recipe

Delicious spicy soup to get you back on your feet


Story and Photography By Danielle Arsenault

Garlic, ginger, serrano chili, lime and cilantro all have detoxification properties and can help kick that cold before it even arrives. Here’s why.

Garlic is revered due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. It has the power to reduce yeast overgrowth, stimulate the production of glutathione, which helps eliminate toxic build-up and strengthen our immune system. Ginger has been used for centuries to stoke digestive fires, calm indigestion, promote circulation and facilitate the assimilation of nutrients. Serrano chillies contain capsacin, a chemical compound found in all spicy chilis known to provide relief for irritable bowel disease sufferers (it worked for me!). Capsacin is a potent anti-inflammatory and when ingested or applied topically in a cream, has been proven to reduce pain, headaches and sinus symptoms. Lime gives soup a nice kick and stimulates the digestive system, enhances alkalinity within and increases secretion of digestive juices. Cilantro is known to chelate heavy metals, thus ridding the body of unwanted toxins. Being a strong anti-oxidant, it helps to lower the risk of oxidative stress in cells that may become carcinogenic.

Get the full recipe over at Impact Magazine

Shake and Bake

Kick Up These Clean, Yet Decadent, Treats With Protein Powder

Treats with Protein Powder

By Heidi Cannon
Photography By Randy Dicken, Skazka Images

Eating clean is a wonderful lifestyle. You feel better, have more energy and your health improves. But sometimes I miss my sweets — an occasional chocolate bar, a cookie or a cupcake.

I started to think about how my favourite sweet treats could be made clean, yet tasty, so I got my protein powder out and off I went, baking up a storm. Two years later and I haven’t stopped. None of my recipes contain sugar, white flour or butter. Many recipes are gluten-free and lactose-free and I load all of them onto my food app, Mrs. Cannons Baking.

The app gets reloaded bi-weekly with new recipes, which include calorie breakdown, fat, carbs and protein.

Here are three of my recipes to try:


Makes 18 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup mashed yam
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 packs Trivia sweetener


Blend ingredients with mixer and pour into non-stick muffin tins. Bake at 350F for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly brown on top.

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup low fat cream cheese


Blend with mixer and spread on top of cooled cupcakes.

Nutritional info per cupcake (including frosting):

Calories, 125.8; Fats, 5.42g; Carbs, 21.06g; Protein, 8.97g


Makes 8 Muffins


  • 3 bananas
  • 3/4 cup of fruit of choice (try blackberries/strawberries)
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 3 Tbsp. walnuts
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vanilla protein powder


Blend with mixer and pour into non-stick baking tins. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Nutritional info per muffin:
Calories, 108; Fats, 3.2g; Carbs, 14.2g; Protein, 5.1g


Find this one over at Impact Magazine