Plant-Based Athletes: Brad Dalrymple
We're excited to have this brand new series on our blog showcasing plant-based athletes.
First up we were fortunate enough to speak with Brad Dalrymple - an accredited Triathlon Australia coach who has been involved in triathlons (as a competitor and coach) for over 10 years. We asked Brad about all things diet and training-related. Here is what we found out.
1. What inspired your transition to a plant-based diet?
I’m an environmental engineer and knew it was just hypocritical to work to protect the environment and still eat animal products. I also knew eating animal products was inconsistent with any thought I had of being an ‘animal lover’ – If I couldn’t kill a cow, pig or chicken, I shouldn’t get someone else to do it either.
2. As a plant-based athlete, you are breaking the stereotypical image most people hold for vegans. Did you notice a change in your athletic performance and strength after changing your diet?
Very quickly, I noticed a significant improvement in my health and fitness. Injury niggles disappeared, and (touch wood !!) haven’t returned. Recovery significantly improved. I get sick a lot less too. It was obvious to me that the whole food, plant-based eating habits I adopted let me train more consistently and at greater intensity, and I felt stronger, fitter and faster. The results came too, with wins and podiums at some pretty cool events - results that I previously thought were really beyond me.
3. What does a typical day of eating look like for you?
Before morning training, I’ll have a couple medjool dates. After training, I’ll have a big green smoothie (with kale, bananas, berries, hemp protein powder, LSA, etc). A bit later, I’ll have something like porridge or bircher muesli. For mid-morning and afternoon snacks, I’ll have a homemade chia pudding or energy bar/slice (with dates, nuts, etc). Lunch is a pretty massive salad, although I do try to include salads with protein-rich plants such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and quinoa. Dinner really varies, but I’m often pulling out a recipe from somewhere with favourites like Superfood Pad Thai, blackened tomato on penne and Tempeh Chilli.
4. Since being vegan, what are some of your proudest achievements or wins in terms of triathlons and racing?
Coming 4th overall in Ultraman Australia 2017 (10 km of swimming, 421 km of cycling and 84 km of running) was amazing. Being the national champion for my age-group in Sprint and Olympic Distance Triathlons was is pretty special too.
5. What advice would you give people who are thinking about making the change?
Get inspired – watch docos like What the Health or Forks Over Knives, or read books like How Not To Die. I’d also recommend reaching out to other vegans and nutritionists for assistance and advice. There’s also STACKS of awesome recipe ideas on the interwebby too. Last but not least, be sure to head to Evolve Organic and eat, drink and be merry.
So there you have it. Being not only healthy, but thriving in fitness, is completely possible on a plant-based diet. Have you got any other questions for Brad? Let us know in the comments below.