Upfront: Covering your nutrient needs while following a vegan diet is, in fact, no rocket science, although I find that idea entertaining.
Athletes, in particular, are accustomed to paying attention to their nourishment. A thought-out plan, establishing a routine, and some preparation are three steps needed in order to satisfy your nutritional requirements.
Supermarkets are constantly increasing their vegan products, and meal-prepping is quite popular, making it easier to be prepared.
A simple to prepare and nutritious meal is to randomly throw together your pulses and legumes and combine them with, rice, potatoes or grains. Then add any vegetables you have and make a salad with the leafy greens and sprouts you have available at the time. Touch up with more random spices and herbs. Voilà.
The above is a smart way to kickstart your vegan journey since you can add a variety of pretty much any food you personally enjoy. From then on, you will slowly come up with your own recipes and food combinations, plus find recipes which you can adjust to your own nutritional needs in a playful manner.
Training & food (for athletes)
The closer you are to training, the less fat and fibre you should consume. It is best to give your body short-chain carbohydrates (white flour products, fruits like bananas, apples, pears, protein powder, and plant drinks), which will fuel your training and help with recovery after exercise. Make sure you do not fill your stomach too much. Meals in liquid form are also a great option for when you’re training shortly.
The furthest/right after your training, it is best to consume foods such as whole grains, legumes and vegetables, which provide slow-digesting carbohydrates. Don’t be afraid to top your meals with plenty of nuts and seeds and add the necessary amount of fat according to your needs.
During long and intensive training, make sure you pack isolated carbs like bread/crackers/bars and additional protein and fats if needed.
If you’re joining a training camp or event, it is good to find out about their vegan food options beforehand and prepare accordingly.