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A growing number of athletes are fueling their workouts and lifestyle with a plant-based diet. A new book from endurance athlete Rich Roll can help you get started if you’re considering the “plantpowered” approach.
“Don’t freak out. Eating plant-based isn’t a life sentence of salad leaf dinners,” write Rich Roll and Julie Piatt in the beginning of their new book, The Plantpower Way ($40, Amazon.com), in which the husband-wife team shares their journey to discovering the benefits of following a plant-based diet. Roll, the author of Finding Ultra, is known for being a top Ultraman World Championship finisher (fueled entirely by vegan foods) and now a motivational speaker. His wife, Piatt, helped his success by creating plant-based recipes to power him through workouts as well as feed their four kids (who, of course, can be tough critics). The Plantpower Way serves as not only a recipe book (more than 120 recipes), but also as a guide for navigating the eating approach—how to sprout grains, beans and seeds; whether to blend or juice—for the whole family. The book is “a family celebration of just how dramatically our lives have changed in the last decade,” Roll and Piatt write, as they invite you into their kitchen and home to explain the various nuances of a plant-powered diet. The couple shared a homemade energy bar recipe (below)—it’s packed with nutrients and so tasty that “our kids devour them,” Piatt says.
Ultra Energy Bars
Power packed with healthy ingredients like nuts, seeds, coconut and dried berries that boast a plentitude of protein, healthy fats and fiber, these energy boosters will keep your engine revving all day long. Also great for packing in your child’s lunchbox! Eat one of these bars and then, as Rich says, get it done.
1 cup raw almonds or walnuts,
¼ cup cacao nibs
¼ cup hemp seeds
¼ cup dried goji berries
2 tablespoons cacao powder
¼ cup coconut, shredded
Pinch large coarse Celtic sea salt
7-8 dates, soaked and pitted
In a food processor, pulse nuts until mealy in texture. Add the cacao nibs, hemp seeds, goji berries, cacao powder, shredded coconut and sea salt to the processor. Pulse again until ingredients are well incorporated. With the motor running, add one date at a time. After seven dates, you will see the mixture ball up on one side of the bowl. You may need to redistribute the mixture and process it again to make sure the dates are mixed in. On a piece of parchment paper, press the bars in an even layer about ¼-inch thick. With a knife, score out a grid of rectangular shaped pieces approximately 2 inches by 3 inches. If desired, press additional hemp seeds or shredded coconut on the surface. Wrap in parchment paper or parchment bags. Take them out on a trail run, hike or bike ride to sustain you throughout your training session.