Let's face it: veganism takes discipline. Perhaps this dedication is why the plant-based lifestyle has produced a wave of famous Internet foodies sharing advice and inspiring millions. Leading the pack is Rich Roll, whom vegan outlets have dubbed the fittest vegan on Earth.
The title certainly doesn't come unearned. Roll, now an ultra-endurance athlete and best-selling author, learned the value of conscious eating when, at age 39, poor habits started to take a toll on his health. With the help of a vegan diet and a strict exercise regimen, he not only recovered but went on to compete in some of the most physically-grueling athletic events known to man. In an interview with Men's Health, Roll shared what vegan foods keep him energized and fit.
Roll recommends a big, colorful breakfast smoothie full of nutrient-rich greens such as kale, spinach and chard first thing in the morning. Bonus additions such as berries, beets and chia seeds help max out the smoothie's health benefits and provide enough energy to get him through tough mornings.
What about when he's not in the mood for a big glass of greens? Cold quinoa cereal (complete with coconut milk) and gluten-free toast with almond butter help round out a versatile breakfast menu.
While a breakfast that nutritious is enough to keep anyone satiated all morning, Roll said he still prefers to keep bananas, walnuts, almonds and pumpkin seeds on hand as a potential snack just in case.
When lunchtime rolls around, the athlete often puts together a salad dressed in balsamic vinegar or olive oil. On days when this isn't filling enough, Roll will stop by Chipotle (yes, you read that correctly) for a second lunch. "You can go get a bowl with rice, beans, guacamole," he told Men's Health. "Guac is a big favorite of mine."
As far as dinner goes, Roll has two go-to meals -- vegan enchiladas and bean-based pasta. "You boil water and cook them for five minutes," Roll said. "You could make tomato sauce by literally putting tomatoes in a Vitamix and blending them, and it doesn't take any time whatsoever." Sounds easy enough.
Roll said he places high importance on simple, natural meals. The athlete-turned-author is living proof that a healthy vegan lifestyle can be done easily -- and without breaking the bank.