When signing up for the challenge, dieting wasn’t one of my main concerns for my ‘lifestyle change’. I consider myself a relatively healthy eater. If anything, my concerns were more about ‘prepping’ and making sure I had *enough* food in my fridge or packed for lunch. Not concerns over the food itself. 

I don’t eat meat, fish, poultry or dairy. Yup, I’m vegan. Or plant-based. Whatever term you’d like to use. I have been for almost 3 years now and I don’t see myself going back to the carnivorous-land anytime soon. 

It’s funny when people find out I’m vegan and ask “What CAN you eat?” Well, my diet consists of a lot of broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, brown rice, quinoa, polenta, chick peas, pastas, tofu, lentils, spinach, fruit, nuts… I could keep going! People think I’m limited but I’ve truly found myself branching out more than I ever have before. 

With all of these extra workouts scheduled into my days, I’ve had to put extra thought into *scheduling* my food as well. Every morning I try to pack enough grub that will last me a solid workday *PLUS* a possible workout. If i’m starving at the end of the day, I’ll want to head home instead of working out. I not only need to make sure my gym bag is packed but my snack bag! 

On days where I haven’t packed enough, I’ve gotten pretty lucky at our Fuel Cafe. It isn’t always easy finding quick *vegan* options in many gyms (although easier these days!) but especially items that aren’t processed. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll happily eat a protein bar, chips or a ‘lenny and larry’s’ cookie but if there’s *real* food, I try to opt for that. 

Last week post-workout I caught Amy, our Cafe Manager, prepping some quinoa bowls and I was able to grab one. She knows i’m a plant eater and kept the feta out (she’s good like that!). I’m pretty lucky to work somewhere that sells food options that aren’t just frozen meals. I’m also lucky to have an *attentive* Cafe Manager like Amy! She’s great and really listens to our members and what they’re eating, enjoying, etc. Get to know her! I try to prep as much as possible so i’m not spending $$$ daily but it’s reassuring to know we have healthy, homemade options downstairs.

I hope this challenge is helping our members focus on their intake as much as it is helping me! It’s not about depleting your calories to get skinny. It’s about BALANCE and getting strong! It’s important we fill our bodies with energy so we can metabolize and burn efficiently. How else will we get through all these HIIT and TRX classes, eh?! 

What’s on your plate? How are you balancing your diet during the challenge?

– Sarah