By Tim Shieff | Published on December 14, 2017
As a devoted parkour expert, running had been just a means for world champion freerunner Tim Shieff to move between obstacles or gain momentum to vault a wall. But all that changed when he discovered a talent for distance running and he completed a 100K ultra marathon.
He attributes this new endurance to his love of plant foods. “The vegan diet helped me improve quickly,” he explains. “When you train really frequently, you get joint aches and ligament strains. All that went away as I began to eat a whole-food, plant-based diet – it’s so anti-inflammatory and your digestive system gets a break.
“Eating meat takes a lot more energy to digest, and so when you stop eating it you have all this spare energy that goes on healing and building your body.”
Along with this diet has come a whole new way of thinking. “I don’t think I was an athlete until I became vegan,” explains Tim. “I used to be big, muscularly, but I was swollen, and it wasn’t a ‘healthy’ big. Now I’m lean and sharp and my mind is quick. That challenge of changing my diet made me, mentally, a lot tougher. Because if you can change your diet, you can do anything.”
Here are some of Tim’s favorite nutrient-dense vegetarian recipes that fueled his success. Use them in your own eating regimen to get a weekly break from animal protein and keep your engine runningat full steam.
Eggplant and chickpea tagliatelle increases lung power
• Pinch of saffron threads
• 16fl oz vegan stock
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
• 12oz eggplant, diced
• 1 red pepper, chopped
• 14oz canned tomatoes with garlic
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1oz fresh cilantro, chopped
• 14oz canned chickpeas, drained
• 10oz vegan dried tagliatelle
What to do
Step 1: Toast saffron for 20–30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp of the hot stock and set aside.
Step 2: Fry off onions in oil, then add the cumin, eggplant, red pepper, tomatoes, cinnamon, cilantro stalks, saffron liquid and remaining stock. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Step 3: Add the chickpeas to the saucepan for 5 minutes,
Step 4: Cook pasta, then add sauce and cilantro leaves to it.
– RELATED: How To Get Enough Protein As A Vegetarian –
Boost bone density with glazed tempeh, bok choi and noodles
• 200g tempeh, seitan or firm tofu
• 2 tbsp vegetable oil
• 250g bok choi leaves, halved lengthways
• Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
• 2 spring onions, sliced
For the maple and orange glaze:
• 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
• 2cm fresh ginger, grated
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• ½ red chili, diced
• 3 tbsp tamari sauce
• 2½ tbsp maple syrup
• Zest and juice of ½ an orange
• 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
For the miso noodle broth:
• 135g soba noodles, cooked
• 1 tbsp tamari sauce
• 1 star anise
• 3½ tbsp brown rice miso
What to do
Step 1: Drain tempeh.
Step 2: Warm sesame oil in a pan. Add ginger and garlic for a minute, then add rest of the glaze ingredients, simmering for 5 mins. Add the tempeh and marinate for 30 mins.
Step 3: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, then add the tempeh for 2 mins, adding the marinade until glaze becomes sticky. Set aside.
Step 4: Cook noodles and keep 500ml of their water. Remove noodles and put water into a bowl with tamari and star anise.
Step 5: Put miso into small bowl, mix with noodle water until paste forms. Add paste to the pan and keep covered, simmering the broth on a low heat.
Step 6: Heat ½ tbsp oil in frying pan, add bok choi for 2 mins. Add 3 tbsp of miso broth and cook for 1 minute. Bring broth to boil. Divide noodles between warm bowls, top with bok choi and add broth. Stack on tempeh, spring onions and cilantro.
Szechuan mixed vegetables speed up recovery
• 2 tbsp chili oil
• 4 garlic cloves, crushed
• 2-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
• 9oz carrots, cut thinly
• 1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
• 5½oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
• 5½oz mange-tout
• 3 tbsp soy sauce
• 3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
• 12oz beansprouts
• Cooked rice, to serve
What to do
Step 1: Heat chili oil in wok and fry the garlic, ginger and carrots for 3 minutes. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add the mushrooms and mange-tout for a minute.
Step 2: In a small bowl, mix soy sauce and peanut butter.
Step 3: Make a space in the center of vegetables so you can see the wok. Add the sauce and bring to the boil, stirring all the time until it starts to thicken. Add beansprouts, toss the vegetables and serve with rice.