I shared this earlier this week on my social media, but it was just too good (and important!) to not share here on my website as well!
Fatigue can be caused by a variety of things, so this is not an exhaustive list! Always see a healthcare provider if you have been dealing with fatigue for more than a few weeks. Under-eating & low ferritin, iron, vitamin D, &/or B-12 are more common causes of fatigue in all athletes, but especially female & veggie athletes.
I personally have had low vitamin D, low B-12, low ferritin, & full iron deficiency at various times in my life & athletic career. I’ve been dealing with low iron & vitamin D this summer & I’m due for more blood work. I have been feeling less fatigued & stronger on my runs since eating more iron rich foods, temporarily supplementing iron, & taking a higher dose vitamin D supplement! I was already taking B-12 because B-12 is a non-negotiable for vegans. You cannot get adequate amounts from diet alone as a vegan, despite what some people might say. Most supplements should only be started after bloodwork, as recommended by a healthcare provider. 👩⚕️
What are the goal vitamin D, iron, & B-12 levels for an athlete? 🏃🏽♀️ Generally what is defined as sufficient for the general population may not be adequate for athletes. For example, anything above 20 ng/mL for vitamin D is considered adequate, but for athletes you may no perform at your best or have the best protection against stress fractures until your levels are at least 40 ng/mL (1). For iron, make sure you get your ferritin tested because it can give you a look at the iron stores in your body & maybe help catch an iron deficiency early (2). Most athletes feel best with ferritin levels that are at least 50 ng/mL & most will feel crummy once their levels drop below 30 ng/mL (2). For B-12, many athletes will feel crummy if their levels drop below 400 pg/mL, but deficiency is typically defined as under 200 pg/mL (3).
Interpreting your lab results & helping you meet your needs is a service I provide as a RDN! 💪🏻 If you want to work with me via 1:1 counseling or for a lab interpretation session sign up for a free 15 minute discovery call to learn more or contact me to get signed up. 🙂
I’m not going to lie, taking this leap of faith IS scary. 😱 Initially I wanted to wait a couple years before launching my own business. I’m only been a RDN for about 10 months. But as my husband reminded me, there will NEVER be an ideal time. And when unexpectedly & recently a change in my employment situation occurred (hours), my husband encouraged me saying “isn’t now as good of a time as any to finally open your own business?” So here I am! Yesterday was opening day! 💃
Are you an athlete or person who is thinking about becoming vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based or you already are? Then you are in the right place! I’m here to show you that you can thrive in life & athletics fueled by plants! 🌱You’re of course welcome here even if you aren’t plant-based. You will still find valuable sports & general nutrition tips here!
SURPRISE! I took & passed the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) exam on my 1st try on Wednesday December 28, 2022! 🥳 No one knew I was taking my exam today except my husband. 😂 I was supposed to take tomorrow (Wednesday Jan.4, 2023), but I was so sick of working & studying (if you know, you know 😅), so I moved my exam. It was risky, but it paid off! ☺️ Let me reintroduce myself as Amanda, M.Ed, RDN! 🥳
For those of you that have followed me for a long time or know me in real life you know that my journey has been ANYTHING, but linear. 😢 A little over 1.5 years ago I graduated from my dietetic internship during the hardest time of my life so far. 😢 I learned I have a genetic condition called Lynch Syndrome, which increases my risk of certain cancers, such as colon & endometrial cancers at younger than expected ages just before I graduated. I did not cope well with the news. There were days over the last 1.5 years that I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be happy again or actually become a RDN. 😭
Becoming a RDN has been my dream since I left the teaching profession at age 25. And while it took me longer than expected due to these speed bumps, I’m so happy to say that as of December 28, 2022 I’ve made it! 😍 I will continue to have to navigate living with Lynch Syndrome for the rest of my life, but I’m not as afraid anymore. It doesn’t define me. I am so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing support network! 💜
It was so exciting to end 2022 as an official RDN & working a job I love! 🤩 I cannot wait to see what my professional, personal, & running future hold in 2023 and beyond. Thank you all for the support these last few years! 🥰
The old saying goes better late, than never, right?! I hope in this situation that is the case. 🙂
I promised both in person (before the pandemic) and on my Instagram months ago that I would share the final recipe my lab partner Gian & I developed in our Experimental Foods class last semester. So, I’m finally getting to that! 😛 If that’s all you are here for maybe just scroll to the recipe. 😆 But before you do enjoy this lovely hairnet photo.🤣
I know that my semester is long over and I promise I did not forget about sharing the recipe! I just got sidetracked by many other things in my life from my development of an unexpected stress fracture in my foot to the beginning of my dietetic internship. Not to mention that going through life during a pandemic, extreme political division, and civil unrest has been tough, sad, and trying. 🙁 But today is not the day to discuss all of those things, although I certainly can in a future post if there is interest.
I do plan to write about my stress fracture from a nutritional and running standpoint here, though, but also let me know in the comments or via e-mail if you want any posts of being a dietetic intern, being a dietetic intern during a pandemic, eating/cooking at home (because of the pandemic), work from home tips, etc.👇🏻 I’d really like to write posts here more than every month or two. So ideas are super helpful!
Anyway, let’s get to what you all really came here for, the recipe! It was interesting because we started the recipe development in class, but the class was moved to online after midterms due to COVID, so we were not able to do as many trials of the recipe as we would have liked. We are still pretty pleased with the final version and hope you are too!
The snack bites have hidden vegetables and legumes (sweet potatoes, kale, and black beans), but we don’t think you can even taste them. So they are perfect for picky eaters (just don’t tell them 🤐 )! And each 2 bite serving has ~7 grams of protein and ~6.5 grams of fiber! Who knew a vegan snack that tastes like an almond joy could be so healthy?! Black beans really are amazing! 😉 These are a great snack to add to your weekly meal prep rotation and the perfect lunchbox or midday treat! 🙂
Yield: 16 bites (8 servings)
1/2 can black beans
1/2 cup vegan chocolate protein powder (we used Garden of Life Organic Plant-Based Chocolate Sport Protein Powder)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 sweet potato
1 bunch of fresh kale
13 Medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup salted, slivered almonds
1/3 cup coconut flakes
4 teaspoons cinnamon
How to make Black Bean Snack Bites:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit for at least 10 minutes.
2. Drain and rinse black beans in a large colander 3 times with tap water.Wash, peel, and cut sweet potatoes into bite sized pieces.
3. Boil the sweet potatoes under medium heat and a high flame on the stove top until soft (about 15 minutes).
4. Wash fresh kale under cold water and chop into small pieces.
5. Steam for 5-10 mins, or until kale is soft, but retains bright green color. Then set aside.
6. Remove pits from dates and chop them into smaller pieces.
7. Combine black beans, protein powder, cocoa powder, coconut oil, vanilla, sweet potatoes, dates and kale in the food processor.
8. Process at high speed until completely smooth, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides if necessary. If the mixture is too dry add ~50 mL of water to the mixture.
9. Carefully remove the blade and stir in the chocolate chips and salted slivered almonds.
10. Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture into paper cups and place into a 14 x 11 muffin pan.
11. Sprinkle cinnamon and coconut flakes onto the surface of the each piece.
12. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until set in the center.
13. Let cool for 15-20 minutes.
14. Remove cups from the pan. Serve immediately or store in the fridge.
15. Store leftover bites in the fridge in an airtight container, such as a Tupperware. They will keep for a few days in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer. They taste best chilled!
Enjoy this quick, easy, and nutritious recipe! Let me know if you try it! And feel free to tag me on Instagram @fueling.veggie.athletes or e-mail me when you do!
You may have noticed the new website name & social media handles a couple weeks ago! I promise I am still the same black bean queen! #teamblackbeans4life
BUT it was time for a change. Especially since I will offically be a licensed and practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) in less than a year! I honestly cannot believe it! All that stands in my way is my required dietetic internship (where I gain ~1200 hours of practical experience) and then I have to sit for & pass my licensure exam. I’m nervous & excited for this new chapter in my life, so please send all the good vibes my way! And comment below or e-mail me if you want me to write about either the journey to becoming a RDN or my experience in my dietetic internship. It’s definitely going to be an interesting several months with the global coronavirus pandemic….
But now you’re probably wondering, why the name change?! Especially since I’ve been the Black Bean Queen for nearly 6 years and black beans are my favorite food. Seriously. 😛
The answer: I wanted my website and social media handles to better reflect my goals: to inspire other runners + athletes, show that you can be a successful athlete by eating vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based, & to give ideas on HOW to eat to be a successful veggie athlete! There are some exciting things in the works on my end, but that’s all I’m going to say for now. 😉 Have a great evening, friends! 🙂