To start this blog off I want to give a quick introduction of myself so that you can better know me and understand why it is that I do what I do.
First of all, my name is Quinn Reeves, I grew up in Texas and now attend a small school called Lees-McRae College in the mountains of North Carolina, where I plan on majoring in Health and Wellness Science, specializing in human performance. I have been competing in endurance sports such as distance running and cycling for about four years, but got serious with mountain bike racing two years ago, and have since devoted myself to it. It was through mountain bike that I actually ended up at Lees-McRae, due to their collegiate cycling team, so you can imagine how important endurance sports and training are to me (some might say too important, but what do they know?) I’m relatively new to the vegetarian side of things, having become a vegetarian roughly nine months ago. I was motivated to make that jump after watching documentaries, such as Cowspiracy, and learning about the environmental impact the meat industry has on our planet.
For many athletes, the biggest road block to them adopting a plant based diet is the fear of not getting enough protein, which is understandable. Athletes are constantly told that they need to load up on the protein, and that the best way to do that is through chicken, beef, fish, etc. Protein is one of the key macronutrients that keep your body functioning properly (alongside carbohydrates and lipids), and is even more critical for athletes who need it to build, maintain, and repair muscle.
I became vegetarian barely a month before I began college, so I was still trying out my new approach to nutrition as I was simultaneously trying to figure out how to rely on the schools’ cafeteria for all my meals. There were not many good or consistent protein alternatives in the cafeteria, so I began relying on multiple protein shakes/bars a day. Bars or shakes are good in a pinch, but relying on them daily can become a bad habit.
Getting protein from a real, whole food source is always preferable to getting it out of a highly processed or less nutritionally diverse method such as a meal replacement bar or protein shake. Aketta’s flavored cricket packets and home made, no bake cricket enhanced granola bars have become a regular part of my diet, usually acting as a midday snack. They take the place of what used to be either a highly processed protein bar or junk food.
Their protein content also allows me to stress less about how many scoops of black beans or chickpeas I need to put on my plate at dinner, because judging by the looks I’ve gotten in the cafeteria, four scoops of beans is too many.