What A Vegan Athlete Eats In A Typical Day

Alyssa Atkinson

Boring, flavorless foods excluded. 

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=2h0u1F_0YtRsmav00Photo courtesy of the author.

One question that I get quite frequently is, what does a vegan eat in a typical day? While every single day is certainly a little bit different (I have always been someone who enjoys experimenting with all kinds of different recipes in the kitchen), I do have some staple meals and snacks that I eat quite frequently, such as pasta and oatmeal. 

As a vegan of over four years, I feel as though I have mastered a healthy, plant-based lifestyle that is both exciting and tasty. I spent three of those years as a division one collegiate endurance runner (I transitioned to a vegan diet during my sophomore year of college), and I fueled my way to personal bests in everything from the mile up to the 10k. I even qualified for the NCAA Division One Regional meet in the 10k with my personal best time of 35:25. 

The point is, I have quite a bit of experience fueling a healthy, active lifestyle as an athlete, and I am excited to give you all a glimpse of what that looks like for me right now, as I still run almost every single day. 

Just for convenience, I am going to break this post up by section, starting with breakfast. So, let’s jump right into what I eat in a day as a vegan endurance athlete.

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Breakfast

For breakfast on this particular day, I went with my typical work day oatmeal. I love to switch up the flavors and toppings, and on this day I made one of my favorite oatmeal recipes on my blog — my strawberry baked oatmeal skillet. I also had a cup of hot coffee, as I can’t start my work day without it. 

To make my coffee, I follow these steps:

  1. I fill up my reusable pod with coffee grounds (on this day I used Starbucks mocha flavored coffee)
  2. I brew a 10 oz. cup of coffee in my Keurig
  3. I add about 1/2 of a packet of Truvia and a splash of almond milk, then stir everything together.
  4. I top it with a dash of cinnamon. 

Key Advantages of This Meal:

  • Budget friendly
  • Easy to make
  • Quick
  • Minimal prep work and clean up


Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Snack #1

For my first snack on this day, I went with a quick, simple, and highly customizable option. I topped a couple rice cakes with hummus and fresh salsa. 

Rice cakes are a snack I eat pretty frequently because I love the crunch and saltiness of them. If I want something sweet rather than savory, I will top them off with peanut butter and fresh fruit like sliced banana or blueberries.

Key Advantages of This Snack:

  • Quick and easy to make
  • Highly customizable
  • Kid friendly

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Lunch

For lunch on this work day, I created a big nourish bowl with sweet potato, tofu, avocado, and other nutrient dense ingredients.

This recipe is packed with protein, and if you haven’t tried sweet potato and avocado together, you are definitely missing out big time. I love throwing a big bowl of fresh, plant-based ingredients together, especially right after a workout when your body really needs the fuel.

Key Advantages of This Meal:

  • Packed with plant-based nutrients
  • Loaded with protein
  • Quick and easy to make
  • Budget friendly

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Snack #2

As you guys can probably tell at this point, I am a big snacker throughout the day. I have always preferred smaller meals with plenty of snacks, but I’m a big advocate for doing what’s best for you. Some people prefer larger meals, and that is completely fine as well!

For my second snack, I made one of my favorite combinations — a sliced apple with creamy peanut butter and semi-sweet chocolate chips. This snack is quick, easy, and satisfying.

Key Advantages of This Snack:

  • Balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fat
  • Easy to throw together
  • Kid friendly


Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Dinner

Dinner is when I typically have a little more time to cook, since I have clocked out of work for the day. I love to experiment with various recipes to potentially share on my blog, but on this particular day, I had a really long work day. Thus, I opted for something simple — pasta. 

I simply cooked up some chickpea pasta (it has more protein than traditional pasta), steamed some frozen broccoli and carrots in the microwave, and topped the dish with some hummus and nutritional yeast for a flavor packed vegan "Alfredo" pasta (at least, that's what I like to call it).

Key Advantages of This Meal:

  • High in protein
  • Quick and easy
  • Minimally processed
  • Incredibly tasty
  • Good source of vitamin B12

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Dessert

Anyone who tells you that you can’t or shouldn’t eat dessert if you want to be healthy shouldn’t be trusted. But seriously, I don’t understand why people think it’s ok to preach this all or nothing mindset where a brownie or cookie here or there will make you unhealthy or “ruin your progress”. 

I eat dessert pretty much every single night. While I do make my own with mostly natural ingredients and minimal sugar most of the time, I also don’t shy away from eating the occasional vegan bakery donut or scoop of sugary ice cream. Life is all about balance, and that includes your diet. 

On this particular night, I made some incredible chocolate protein brownies that were ultra rich, crumbly, and gooey. The recipe is on my personal blog. If you are a chocolate lover like me, you definitely need to try these brownies as soon as possible.

Key Advantages of This Dessert:

  • Sneaks in protein
  • Satisfies the sweet tooth
  • Rich and decadent chocolate flavor
  • Tastes freaking good!

Photo by Gita Krishnamurti on Unsplash

What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan — Last Thoughts

You don’t have to cook fancy meals, cut out desserts, or spend a ton of money on groceries to eat a balanced diet and optimize your health.

Through years of trial and error, I have figured out the foods that fuel my body to perform its best every single day. 

I hope this post provides you with some recipe ideas, and that it inspires you to fuel your body with intention. No matter what, remember that your body is unique, and you ultimately have to fuel it in the way that’s best for you.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - nomeatfastfeet.com | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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