Hi all, I am now about as confused about food as I have ever been. I started a vegan eating plan last February and I lost 20 pounds! I wasn't exercising a whole lot, I would run and do yoga, nothing strength. I then discovered CrossFit in July and my life changed. I LOVE CrossFit, I love the intensity, gymnastics and weights. I ran another half marathon in December after doing CF based training, not endurance running and did well but I was very achy afterwards (more than usual). I had been eating vegan until that half marathon. For about a month and a half prior, I was craving eggs. I figured I was not getting enough or the right kinds of protein. I had been using the Vega products for breakfast smoothies and after workout protein shake. I started to eat eggs. I started to feel better, less fatigued. I also started in the last 2 months to crave red meat, burgers mostly. I have now bounced back to being a flirt because I don't think I am eating very balanced as a vegan.
Also, to make things more confusing for me, CrossFit people subscribe to what they call the Paleo diet which is similar to the Zone. They eat whole foods, no processed stuff and eat meat. Lots of meat. Also they do not touch grains, especially breads.
I wanted to know if there is anyone else out there that does CrossFit and has been able to balance a vegan diet for the intensity of these workouts! Help and thank you!
I love crossfit too! I did it for two years, but have taken a long break from it due to a few complications. I wasn't vegan when I did crossfit, but was following a vegetarian Zone Diet. I was losing weight and gaining muscle, but the zone diet was making me CRAZY! Sometimes I still think in zone blocks.
I've gone from vegetarian to vegan recently (going on 2 weeks) and I feel great, but again I have been off crossfit and my workouts are nothing like the WODS I used to do.
I would make smoothies with coconut yogurt, bananas, almond butter and rice or soy milk. Lunch would include stuff like tofu jerky sandwiches (sprouted grain bread, veganaise, lettuce and tomato). I did eat stuff like soy sausage and meat substitutes. I really had a hard time taking time to make stuff when I was starving. I would just want something quick so the meat substitutes would be like veggie burgers (boca), veggie hot dogs, veggie chicken (gardein). I ate a lot of stuff wrapped in tortillas, lots of hummus. Should I be avoiding stuff like the sprouted grain bread and tortillas? Or are they ok as long as it is not every meal? For snacks I ate fruit and nut mix from CostCo. For dinners, when I had time to cook, my go to would be burritos with cilantro lime rice, black beans, avocado, tofutti sour cream, salsa.
I love very flavorful stuff, and I tend toward variety but mexican food is my favorite!
Hi Guys!! I Love CrossFit too! I've been doing it for over a year. I've been vegetarian for 8 years and now vegan for 5 months. I actually started building a blog about it yesterday. www.forgingelitevegan.blogspot.com Its still in the works but I just want people out there to know you can be vegan, do crossfit, get great results, and be really strong.
Hi everyone! I just started Crossfit and so far I love it. What I don't love, though, is how relentless my coach has been about a Paleo diet. He doesn't think a vegan diet is healthy at all (I mean, he said beans and whole grains, like quinoa are unhealthy...what?!?!) and while I completely disagree, it would be nice to know that there are successful vegan Crossfiters out there! Thanks:)
You might need an iron supplement. Working out hard and often can deplete your iron stores. Before I became veggie, I went through a phase where I became literally obsessed with meat. I couldn't stop thinking about or eating red meat! And at a time in my life when I was eating meat daily. The next time I saw my applied kinesiologist, she put me on an iron supplement and after a couple of weeks the meat obsession dissipated. Like you, I eat eggs, not dairy or meat, but eggs, and at this point in my life I feel better when I'm eating a couple eggs per day. Don't know why, but that's how it goes. Also, you may be craving meat because you're simply not getting enough protein to rebuild the muscle you're breaking down in crossfit. You might try eating more frequently and adding more protein.
As for the Paleo diet, all I know is that I don't feel well when I'm eating meat and I feel awful when I'm not eating whole grains. Don't let anyone put their diet dogma on you! Good luck!
Meredith, You can totally be healthy on a Vegan diet while doing CrossFit. Just make sure you are getting enough protein. If you don't eat eggs then you will need to be eating a lot of Nuts/seeds, Nut Butters, beans, and tempeh/tofu.Lara bars are also Vegan & Paleo (love those).
I was vegan for 6 months while Crossfitting and honestly I felt fine but in an effort to get stronger I added Organic Omega-3 enhanced eggs to my diet. I have made huge strides in the box since doing so but I can't say if that is due to motivation or the eggs.
Anyway make sure to take your multi-v & omega-3 for inflammation (but avoid the 6-9 omegas). I also use 100% hemp protein which is a great protein source and has no added junk.
Don't let your coach pressure you or make you feel inadequate for not eating meat either. Its your preference and its not like you are pressuring him to give up his meat so he should respect you!
dear cinnamon, i LOVE jennifer benitez's response! "you can totally be healthy on a vegan diet while doing CrossFit . . . "
i practice a very intense vinyasa flow yoga, twice daily + walk my dog five miles daily + bike 30+ miles per week. needless to say, i need to rev up the protein in order to stay strong! the spinach cans alone don't do it, although they seemed to work well for popeye. :) i really like the KIND bars and handfuls of nuts between workouts.
i'm a former 11-year bulimic, so food choices are always hard for me . . . but i stay focused and ensure that i'm feeding my body to power those strenuous workouts! and i always maintain the vegan life! i hope that you can, too! please keep us posted on your experiments and results! :) - nicole in pittsburgh (www.nicoleandgwendolyn.com).
I'm in my 3rd year of doing Crossfit and so far have been eating a mostly vegan diet since May of 2011. Those who do it mostly do follow a Paleo or Zone diet and although I tried Zone for a while, it didn't help me at all with weight, strength or endurance. When I first started eating like this, I was always questioned about "protein" and worried friends wanting to make sure I wasn't gonna shrivel up. I've been keeping up with the WOD's, feeling more energy all day long, staying healthy, recovering faster and keeping muscle. The only time I felt a little weak was when I was on a 5 day juice feast and suffered some energy in the beginning of it.
A friend recommended I read Brendan Frazier's Thrive book and that has helped me tremendously as to how to eat as an athlete. It has some great information which has helped me stay the course, and share what I've learned to my "Non-vegan" friends so they stoplooking at me with puppy-dog eyes.