The ability to cover 100 miles under the power of one’s own legs is impressive enough – but Matt Frazier does it without many of the sports drinks, gels, and other super-processed sport nutrition products many runners rely on to get through their races.
Instead, Frazier takes a real-food approach to fueling his long (looooong) runs. Frazier, who is vegan, sees food as fuel, and he only fills his tank with the best. For him, that means his sport nutrition comes from the grocery store, not a neon-colored package with unpronounceable ingredients. This whole-foods, plant-based philosophy to sport nutrition is outlined in Frazier’s popular website, No Meat Athlete, and in the No Meat Athlete Cookbook, which features more than 150 recipes to help athletes run on plants.
We asked Frazier to open his fridge to show us how he runs on plants, and we love what we see.
1) “Red cabbage is my favorite cruciferous vegetable, and the vibrant color is an indicator of all the micronutrients it provides. Sometimes I cook it with vinegar and caraway seeds, but most of the time my family eats it raw, in salads or dipped in hummus as a snack.”
2) “Switchel is a natural, homemade sports drink made from water, grape juice, and apple cider vinegar. It tastes shockingly like grape Gatorade!”
3) “Tart cherry juice is a great post-workout treat that helps reduce inflammation and speed recovery.”
4) “Medjool dates are my favorite during-run snack; they’re like nature’s energy gels. Sometimes I remove the pit and replace it with a brazil nut for a little extra protein and fat on my longest runs.”
5) “I always try to keep a big container of beans around, since I use them in almost every meal, add them to salads, and make hummus and spreads out of them.”
6) “On that note, hummus is an everyday food in my house. It’s the best way I know to get my kids to eat raw vegetables. Roots brand in Asheville, NC (available all over the U.S. now) is our favorite.”
7) “I’m not a fan of fake vegan meats or cheeses, but Miyoko’s cheese is made mostly from nuts and miso, so it’s not too bad a guilty pleasure! I may or may not have eaten an entire wheel of it with bread one night when the red wine was flowing.”
“I try really hard not to overthink my food. I eat a 100% plant-based diet, and there are a handful foods I try to eat every day — leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds, and a few others — but I don’t stress about it. Stressing over an occasional indulgence not only makes it less healthy, it ruins the fun! And I don’t think about protein or any other macros anymore, but instead measure how well I’m eating by how close to whole and varied my foods are.”
8) “I take a B12, D3, and DHA/EPA supplement. These are the nutrients that aren’t easy to get from a whole food, plant-based diet, so I supplement with them for long-term health.”