We will start off this article with the question: What do you usually eat on a normal day?
As we go on in time, you begin to notice more people are increasingly becoming conscious of the foods they eat – especially when you are an athlete.
If you happen to be a woman who is looking forward to getting in a vegan bikini competitor diet, or simply looking for the best plant foods to boost your energy as you participate in sports or head to the gym, you are probably highly aware of the role nutrition takes in your body.
Without taking care of things on this front, you can only get so far with your sports progress, even if you are as flexible as a rubber band.
Myths to bust
There are some myths about nutrition and athletic performance you need to address first, especially if you follow a vegan lifestyle.
The major one is: For you to get and sustain a lean body that beats all the other competitors, you will need to consume ‘clean’ athletic foods that include brown rice, skinless chicken, or egg whites.
The truth however, is that vegetables and the brown rice (carbs) are great for your athletic progress, but you do not really need the other foods in the list, such as eggs or tuna.
Why is a plant-based diet important for boosting performance?
There is increasing proportion of scientific research dedicated to food, and it reveals that foods that are sourced from animals have high chances of creating inflammation in your body, even though they are all great sources of protein.
If you are an athlete, your priority is getting a nutrition source that is high-quality, and avoid foods that lead to inflammation in your body – so no foods with toxins, animal contaminants or cholesterol.
The foods go through a lot of processing, so it is impossible for you to know the process behind the scenes – even with all the marketing hype you might hear.
Plant based food will give you perfect boosts for your performance, as they give you living, raw nutrients that your cells find easy to recognize and use.
The nutritional needs of a female athlete
As a female athlete, you will always need to keep in mind that you need specific levels of protein, fats and carbs to perform at your best, in terms of nutritional value.
All these three macro-nutrients must originate from plant-based food that is clean, and they must be included in all your meals.
The more balanced your diet plan is, the more fuel your body will have to take care of any repairs it needs, extra fuel for performance, and stop the chances of experiencing shortages in your nutritional count, which can interfere with your performance.
If you are ever tempted to go the way of dieting, know that it is not worth it because it is a major risk to your health in the long term.
Instead, it is best to create and follow a meal plan because it will guide you on how you should eat.
Daily intake guide
Choices for the macronutrient ratios
You can select any of these, depending on what you enjoy eating the most.
- 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% fats
- 50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fats
- 50% carbs, 40% protein, 10% fats
When you wake up
It is important to cultivate a habit of drinking warm water when you wake up, as this will clean your digestive system before you take your breakfast.
In order to improve your energy levels, you can combine the water with lemon juice, as this will reduce any inflammation you might have in the morning.
You can also opt for a green juice blend, which is made from cucumber, kale, ginger, lemon, and green apple.
This will also reduce inflammation, as well as giving the body a kickstart of minerals and vitamins.
Pre- or post-workout breakfast – Vegan bikini competitor diet
- A green smoothie, made from acai berry puree, kale or spinach, banana or blueberries, cranberries, raw almond butter or coconut yogurt, unsweetened non-dairy milk, and a vegan protein powder
- A bowl of rolled or steel cut oats, about ½ a cup, mixed with ½ to 1 cup of water and unsweetened non-dairy milk. You can combine this with one or two Tbsp. of chia seeds, ½ sliced apple or banana, stevia and berries, as you wish.
- Chia pudding, with sliced almonds and fruit
- Wild rice or quinoa with unsweetened non-dairy milk, ground flax and berries
- Steam quinoa with 3 oz. sautéed or grilled tofu, matchstick carrots and kale
- Herbal or green tea, coffee or tea
- Tahini spread on cinnamon bread with an orange or apple
- Baked sweet potatoes with tahini, kale or salsa
Snacks for your mid-morning (if required)
- ¼ cup cashews with an apple or orange
- 15 to 20 raw almonds with red bell peppers, celery and raw carrots
- Unsweetened yogurt with almond, soy or coconut milk base and berries
- Green juice
Lunch – Vegan bikini competitor diet
- A large salad with shredded kale, romaine, sliced red bell peppers, matchstick carrots, 2 or 3 tsp. Hummus,1/4 avocado, black beans or lentils, and roast squash cubes or roast sweet potatoes
- Large salad with arugula, kale, cucumber, spring greens, romaine, with avocado or raw olives. Combine with pumpkin or sunflower seeds, chickpeas, vinaigrette dressing and dry strawberries or raisins.
- Chickpea salad sandwich with apple or orange
- Seared tofu with steam kale, roast butternut squash, and fresh tomatoes
- Vegan chili bowl with avocado slices
- Bowl of brown rice, lentils, kale and sweet potatoes
Dinner – Vegan bikini competitor diet
The most important note here is maximizing on protein (for purposes of body recovery.)
- Tempeh with mushrooms, spinach and sautéed carrots
- Quinoa with sweet potatoes, black beans, spinach or kale, and salsa
- Marinated kale salad with lemon juice, seasonings, kale, edamame, mash avocado, and sweet potatoes. Protein options include quinoa, black beans, lentils, tofu or chickpeas
- Water or tea
It is important to concentrate on your nutritional intake when you are an athlete, and more so if you are a woman.
With this basic plan though, you will be in top shape when heading out for competitions, all on a vegan diet.