I just got home from a great class at The Big Carrot and couldn’t wait to tell you about it. My friend and I signed up for Vegetarian Food for Fitness, a 2.5 hour hands-on, small group cooking class that promised to help us analyze vegetarian sports nutrition needs then enjoy amazing cuisine and meal planning ideas for nourishing an active vegetarian lifestyle. We’re both vegetarian-ish (I’m pescatarian) distance runners so it sounded like a good plan. So many conventional sports nutrition products are insanely high in sugar and fake products (guilty as charged, I do use some of them), so I was interested in learning about some different options.
Hosted by Mary Catherine Anderson and Karen Soper, six people went through about six or seven recipes covering everything from tempeh crepes to homemade energy gel to smoothies to protein bars. We were split into pairs and spent about an hour and a half preparing dishes. We were missing some recipes at first, but shortly after we began cooking, newly printed copies were brought around.
Em and I were assigned the crepes, naturally, I was frightened, but they turned out in the end. Once we had each churned a few out, we started to get the hang of it.
When all the food was prepared, our hosts plated it and we enjoyed our delicious meal while Karen went through what was notable, nutritionally, about each of the dishes. We even got to take home leftovers!
I really enjoyed this style of class, as it was really hands on and personal. However, if you’re nervous in the kitchen, it may be a little intimidating for your first foray into cooking because you do work fairly independently. Intimidation may be higher if you’re assigned to something like crepes, which, by the way, Mary Catherine was super helpful in showing us how to go about it. The workspace was a little small for how many people were in it but we made do. I was surprised by how many people appeared to be neither vegetarians nor avid athletes. It was actually really nice to see people stepping out of their comfort zone, even after they divulged they’d had filet mignon the night before!
I’d recommend this for any vegetarian athlete or an athlete interested in a more whole foods approach to fuel for endurance sports, but like I said, if you’re intimidated by the kitchen, I might recommend something a little more hands-off at first.
I have no affiliation with either of the hosts and paid for this class in full with my own money, this is simply my honest opinion of the class.