For active people looking for a way to fuel their bodies the vegan way, fitness and nutrition coach Karina Inkster has written a book that lays out a pathway for success.
Called The Vegan Athlete, the book includes 60 home workouts and exercise tips, plus more than 100 recipes for people wanting plant-based nutrition for their healthy lifestyles.
In addition to recipes, the book outlines why working out is important, provides four principles for getting results from exercise, and outlines workout programs that can be done at home. It also includes the basics of the plant-based diet, nutrition for vegan athletes and interviews with a number of plant-based athletes.
“I’m really happy with it,” says Inkster, who has lived in Powell River since 2018. “The publisher I’ve been working with since 2014 is responsible for the layout and the editing. It’s really a team effort.”
Inkster says The Vegan Athlete is the second edition of her first book, called Vegan Vitality, which came out in 2014 after three years of working on it.
“Two books since then have been published by the same publisher; they came to me last year saying it was about time to revamp Vegan Vitality and come out with a second edition, now that veganism is essentially the cool thing to do,” she adds. “They, as a business, are recognizing that plant-based eating is now a trend, that not just the average population, but also athletes, specifically, are interested in it.”
Inkster said a lot of the athletes are going to plant-based lifestyles to increase athletic performance.
“They can decrease their recovery times, there’s lots of antioxidants they are taking in, so the publisher said we should update the book and retitle it,” explains Inkster. “We’ve included a new chapter specifically on protein, because that is everybody’s favourite vegan topic.
“We have new interviews with vegan athletes, so we have additional feedback from high-level professional athletes who happen to be plant-based. So, it’s not an entirely new book but there’s a lot of new material. We updated some of the recipes, we have new chapters and we have new interviews.”
Another component in the revised book is that some new research has been put out in the past eight years, so Inkster wanted to reflect the latest science around athleticism and veganism.
Recipes are for anyone
Inkster says even people who aren’t competitive athletes can benefit from the book. The recipes are for anyone, regardless of whether they are active or not. However, a good chunk of the book is specific to people who are active, she adds, and they are the ones who can really benefit from it.
“Thinking about your diet and fitness together makes sense,” says Inkster. “It doesn’t have to look like going to the gym for two hours a day, six days a week, but it can if that’s what you are interested in.
Nowadays, a lot of people are going plant-based for health reasons, and there are doctors who are recommending their patients go plant-based specifically for health reasons, explains Inkster.
“There is a lot of research out there on chronic diseases a lot of people call diseases of affluence, which includes afflictions like diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer – things we have a lot in the westernized world due to our diets,” she adds. “Those things can be very effectively addressed and in a lot of cases, reversed, by adopting a plant-based diet.”
Inkster indicates that, however, being vegan is not necessarily a magic bullet and it’s not going to make one bulletproof.
“You could sit around all day and eat Oreos and French fries and call yourself vegan,” she says. “However, if you are focusing on whole foods, relatively unprocessed and plant-based, you are for sure going to do yourself a favour.”
In addition to offering programs for people who want athletic coaching, Inkster said there are free items on her website, such as a 10-day email course on how to go vegan, a 350-item plant-based grocery list and a free e-book on logging food, calculating calories and fuelling fitness on a vegan diet.
The website also has Amazon links to Inkster’s books.