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A Recipe For A Plant Powered Athlete

You may have heard about athletes going plant-based and wondered how they managed to compete on just plants, what their recovery was like, and if they were getting enough protein. Local author and accomplished athlete, Rachael Brown shares how she and her family made the transition and dares you to give it a go for 10-days. For Fork’s Sake: A Quick Guide to Healing Yourself and the Planet Through a Plant-Based Diet is available at or wherever you purchase books. Below is an excerpt:

If Scott Jurek (an ultra-marathoner) can win races of a hundred miles or more eating a plant-based diet, then I think it’ll be all right for you.43
Pro NBA star Kyrie Irving says going plant-based has made him a stronger player.44 MMA and former UFC fighter James Wilks went vegan after sustaining an injury.45 Pro cyclist Dotsie Bausch went vegan in 2009 and went on to win a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics.46 Seven-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton went vegan in 2017.47 Plant-based surfer Tia Blanco won back-to-back gold medals in 2015 and 2016.48
Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel, with three Olympic medals to her name, wrote on her blog, Lutz of Greens, “It’s simply healthier. Vegans eat more fiber, fruits, and vegetables, therefore getting more vitamins and minerals into their bodies. Vegans also don’t eat saturated fat and their protein comes from clean sources, free of antibiotics and chemicals.”49
44. Luke Darby, “The Real-Life Diet of the Vegan Who Can Run Hundreds of Miles, No Problem,” GQ, October 13, 2015, of-the-ultramarathoner-who-gave-up-meat-and-became-vegan.
45. Jill Ettinger, “NBA Star Kyrie Irving Says a Vegan Diet is Making Him a Stronger Player,” Live Kindly, accessed February 25, 2022, global-meat-invest-vegan-protein/.
46. Audrey Enjoli, “19 Vegan Athletes Who Swear by Plant-Based Diets,” Live Kindly, accessed February 25, 2022,
47-49. Ibid.

All these professional athletes are on to something…increase your energy, reduce inflammation, sleep better, speed up your recovery time, and save money and the planet while doing it. Sound too good to be true? We thought so too, until we tried it.

Here’s a plant-based snack to try after a workout (or in the middle of a long ride). Full of plant protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates, it packs an energy punch. (Kids love these as well!)

HAPPY (Healthy And Plant-Powered, Yay) Peanut Butter Balls

½-1 C peanut butter with enough honey added to stir both easily (about ¼-1/2 C)

¼-1/2 C oats – or 1Tbsp ground flaxseeds with 1 Tbsp-1/4 C sesame seeds – or all three

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and roll into little balls. If you’d like, roll in shredded coconut, cacao nibs, sunflower seeds or stick a chocolate chip on top. Place in freezer for a few hours. You can pull them out to take on a ride, put in lunches or have as a snack. (They’re also amazing with a cup of coffee.)

Rachael Brown earned a Plant-Based Nutrition Certification and Food and Sustainability Certification from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and Cornell. After being diagnosed with high cholesterol in her late 20s and discovering The China Study, she and her family transitioned to the Whole Food Plant-Based No Oil (WFPBNO) lifestyle. She is also an adjunct professor in nutrition and wellness, a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, and a licensed massage practitioner. Learn more at

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