A former athlete of Ryan’s is transitioning to vegetarian and possibly vegan. He has asked us to give him ideas for meals & snacks.
If we’re going to put a list together for him, we should absolutely share it with you!
We have seen a huge influx of athletes eating plant based over the past few years. I believe after the documentary, the Game Changers, is released, we will see even more!
Quick Vegan Meals For Athletes
Overnight Oats (In a large mason jar)
Not exactly quick but can be prepared for a convenient breakfast or snack. The night before, add all ingredients to the jar. Put the lid on. Sit in your refrigerator. In the morning, stir or shake it up. Eat.
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp vegan chocolate chips. We like the brands:
- 1-2 tbsp chopped raw walnuts
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts. We like Manitoba’s Shelled Hemp Seeds
Pasta with Meatballs
For an athlete, we are big fans of the newer chickpea pastas, like Banza! Barilla also has a chickpea pasta but Banza’s is a little higer in protein. Gardein’s Meatballs are our pick for meatless meatballs and have been omni approved!
And when picking a pasta sauce, you want to make sure there is NO dairy in it. Look at the ingredients list.
Always easy & more importantly quick to make a bean burrito! Our favorite:
- flour tortilla
- vegetarian refried beans, canned (you still want to double check that there is no dairy in it)
- vegan cheese (we like Violife’s cheddar shreds)
- romaine lettuce, chopped
Empty can of beans in to a microwave safe bowl. Warm up.
Add salsa (as much as you like–taste test this to decide what you like). Mix well. Warm up tortilla for 10 seconds in microwave to make it easier to wrap. Spread refried beans mix on the bottom of the wrap.
Sprinkle with cheese, top with romaine & wrap. Easy!
If you’re short on time, and what athlete isn’t, frozen burritos can be a quick and convenient option as well.
Peanut Butter & Jelly
Can’t get any better than a classic PB & J! Look for a bread that is dairy & egg free.
- bread. Our favorite brand, while on the pricier side but with high quality is, Dave’s Killer Bread Good Seed A whole grain bread is going to have more protein
- peanut butter. Once we started reading labels, we noticed how much sugar is in peanut butter! …and other ingredients. So unnecessary, especially when you’re going to be adding jelly (full of sugar) to it. We always look for a PB that has only these ingredients: peanuts, salt <-that’s it!
- jelly. With jelly’s or jam’s, we choose ones that do not contain high fructose corn syrup. For instance, a regular Smucker’s Jelly or Jam has it, while the ones with label, Simply Fruit do not.
Cereal with a High Protein Milk
Our favorite higher protein non-dairy milks are:
Mr. VeggL did a post on his Top 21 Vegan Cereals. You might get some ideas from this as well.
We did a Vegan Burger Taste Test. Check it out for our recommendations!
Vegan Brats & Hot Dogs
If you are familiar with Cincinnati’s Skyline Chili, we have an awesome Vegan Version you can top your dog’s off with.
Ryan has been making his way through Vegan Protein Powders over the past couple of years. Here’s his favorite Smoothie Recipe & his most recommended powders.
- protein powder, chocolate
- 1 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp flax meal
- 1 cup strawberries or mixed berries. If using frozen, you may need to add a 1/4-1/2c water or more non-dairy milk
Smoothie Tip: Blend your protein powder, non-dairy milk & greens first–in this case, spinach. Add the rest of your ingredients, blend again.
Fruit & Peanut Butter
Our favorites are sliced bananas & apples with a natural peanut butter. If you haven’t tried almond butter before, this is a great one too!
We make our own with roasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cranberries or raisins & vegan chocolate chips (see overnight oats meal idea above for vegan chocolate chip options).
You can buy pre-mixed–just avoid the ones with chocolate chips or even better, read the labels to ensure it is dairy-free.
Hummus, Crackers & Veggies
Ryan’s all time favorite snack. Try out different hummus’ if you’ve never had it before. I’m partial to a traditional flavor while he loves Red Pepper or anything spicy.
Traditional hummus is made with chickpeas & tahini–there are now many more options with other beans too. With the crackers, we keep it simple with a Ritz style. Serve along sliced veggies like carrots, celery & cucumber.
Bagels & Vegan Cream Cheese or Peanut Butter
Generally, bagels are vegan. Always double check the label or check with the establishment you might be buying it from to ensure it is. As for a Vegan Cream Cheese, that can get a little trickier. We have been trying the different ones on the market and only have a couple we recommend:
- Go Veggie Chive & Garlic Cream Cheese
- any of the Kite Hill Cream Cheese Flavors
Vegan Protein Bars/Cookies
Here are the brands & flavors we recommend. While Vega is a vegan company, not all of them are so double check the ingredients if you choose flavors outside of what we recommend.
- Vega. Chocolate Peanut Butter
- Pro Bar Meal Bar. Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
- Clif Bars Builder Bar. Vanilla Almond
- NuGo Slim. Peanut Butter
- Munk Pack Cookies. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
- Lenny & Larry’s Cookie. Mint Chocolate Chip or White Chocolate Macadamia Nut
For anyone who is an athlete & new to the plant-based lifestyle, we hope this post is helpful!
*I am very aware of how much I mentioned reading labels. While this might sound daunting at first, I promise you will eventually just automatically do it. And eventually, you will know what products you can have and which ones you can’t.
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