Nov 11, 2016
Vegan Meal Plan
Susan Kundrat

More and more high school athletes are interested in following a vegan diet. Doing so safely requires an understanding of the what foods are appropriate.

A traditional vegan diet is plant-based and excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, and eggs. Food items derived from animal sources are usually also removed, such as gelatin and honey. Most individuals adopt a vegan diet after they have lived as vegetarians for a length of time. In some cases, athletes consider themselves primarily vegan but occasionally eat select animal products, a diet many call “flexitarian.”

When planned and implemented appropriately, a vegan meal plan can support the nutritional needs of most athletes. The following is a vegan meal plan that could work for both a 150-pound female soccer player and a 220-pound male football player with just a few adjustments.


2 slices whole grain toast + 2 T cashew butter

1 cup soy yogurt

2 cups orange juice fortified with calcium and vitamin D

Multivitamin with iron

= 776 calories, 25 grams protein

Football player: Add 2 cups orange juice and 2 more slices of toast with cashew butter to add 620 calories and 17 grams of protein


1/3 cup raisins + 1/3 cup almonds

= 425 calories, 10 grams protein

Football player: Add 2 cups of 100-percent grape juice to add 275 calories


1 cup black beans + 1 cup brown rice + 1/4 cup salsa

1 apple

2 vegan cookies + 1 cup soy milk

= 871 calories, 30 grams protein


1 banana + 1 T peanut butter

= 200 calories, 5 grams protein


1 cup chocolate soy milk + 2 fig bars

= 240 calories, 10 grams protein

Football player: Add 1 vegan sports bar to add 370 calories and 9 grams of protein


1 cup tempeh sautéed with 2 cups broccoli or carrots

1 cup quinoa

1 cup strawberries

2 cups orange juice fortified with calcium

= 780 calories, 34 grams protein


1 cup iron-fortified dry cereal

= 150 calories, 4 grams protein

Football player: Add 1 cup sunflower seed kernels to add 820 calories and 32 grams of protein


Female Soccer Player:

Calories goal: 3,400 per day

Calories actual: 3,442 per day

Protein goal: 0.6 grams/pound = 90 grams + 10% = 99 grams per day

Protein actual: 118 grams per day

Male Football Player:

Calories goal: 5,500 per day

Calories actual: 5,527 per day

Protein goal: 0.7 grams/pound = 154 + 10% = 169 grams per day

Protein actual: 176 grams per day

Susan Kundrat, MS, RD, CSSD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and the Nutritional Sciences Program Director at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the co-founder of RK Team Nutrition.

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