This is an adidas sponsored post. However, all ideas, images, and content are mine, and I’m being compensated to share my best tips on fitness and healthy living.
This year the UK had the best summer in many years. Almost 2 months of hot, sunny days. We enjoyed long walks, nature, and a fabulous time on the boat ever since we moved in June.
Half marathon training
If you’re a runner, you know that summer is also training season for any autumn race. Alin and I are preparing for the Kauai Half Marathon that will take place in September, and this week we reached the peak distance for our long runs. Because the training is not over yet, I’m not going to share with you the plan I’m following, but I promise I will do, as soon as we’re back from the race.
I was lucky enough to be married to a very fast runner, so Alin has been my coach for the past 6 weeks, telling me when and what run to do, based on how I feel, how it’s going and what I want to achieve. And we strongly believe that any training plan should be flexible and follow the runner, not the other way around.
What I can tell you is that I’ve been running 3 times a week – 2 workout type of runs and one long run. The longest distance was 23.5km, more than my target distance. This is a good trick to gain confidence before a race – if you can run more than 21k in training, you can run 21k on the day for sure.
All this running could not have happened without my adidas ultraBoost shoes, which are slowly approaching 500km. Not time for retirement yet, boys! The top from the adidas climaChill range is also a good option for high temperatures, because of its breathability. I’m currently in love with this combo, so I may be wearing them at the half marathon!
Obviously, such long distances burn a lot of calories (~1500kcal for the longest run). And since I’m not running for weight loss, but for performance, I need to refuel after. And to be honest, it was a very good excuse to eat all my favourite foods – sometimes all at once!
One of the 3 weekly runs happens on Sunday morning. Runners love Sunday mornings! It’s quiet and peaceful, and then you still have a full day of the weekend ahead of you. Ever since I was a child, the Sunday lunch was a special occasion for the family to be together. And on a hot summer day? We barbecue, of course!
Alin and I love a good barbecue, and even more so after we became vegan because it’s very easy to prepare and very easy to clean up!
So today I’m going to share with you the best vegetables for the grill and our favourite meat replacement options for a juicy, mouthwatering barbecue.
Why have more meat-free barbecues
In an older blog post, I talked about breast cancer and HCA (Heterocyclic amines). Sorry for the science talk, but they don’t have a more human-readable name. But here’s what they are: cancer producing chemicals formed when muscle meat, including beef, pork, fish, and poultry, is cooked using high-temperature methods. These methods include roasting, pan frying, grilling and baking.
Women who eat more grilled, barbecued, or smoked meats over their lifetimes have as much as 47% higher odds of breast cancer.
Grilled vegetables don’t have the same effect, so they are a much safer option, without sacrificing flavour.
If you’ve missed the post, you can read it here. I also talk about why you shouldn’t be afraid of eating soy, which is very relevant considering I’m going to recommend some glorious soya sausages.
Apart from many other health benefits, a vegan diet is the only scientifically proven diet to reverse heart disease.
Cholesterol problems? Eat more plants.
Weight issues? Eat more plants.
And last, but not least, eating less meat reduces your body’s inflammation, so you recover quicker after your workouts. Let’s not forget that Alin’s sub-3 marathon was achieved on plants. I also talked about getting rid of my headaches and period pains in this blog post.
Vegan barbecue ideas
Here are our favourite options for a vegan barbecue.
Best tip: don’t over complicate it; if you can’t find meat replacements, go with vegetables only; they are all you need.
- Red onions, cut in quarters
- Aubergines (eggplants), slices or wedges
- Courgettes (zucchini), slices or wedges
- Bell peppers
How to prepare them: cut them, season them (I only use salt) and use a small amount of olive oil (I use a spray) so they won’t stick. Place them on the grill. Done!
Our favourite way to eat them: spread some hummus on a wholemeal tortilla and add your grilled veggies. Best. Wrap. Ever.
2. Meat replacements:
- Linda McCartney sausages
- Linda McCartney burgers
- Quorn Burgers
- Quorn Cumberland sausages
Both brands also have vegetarian options, so check the packaging.
With these, it can’t get any easier – take them out of the box and place them on the grill. Turn. Remove from grill. Eat. Boom!
Nowadays, you can find all your favourite products in vegan form.
And there’s one more option for your barbecue, which we haven’t tried yet: vegan halloumi. I think it goes one step too far, so I’m going to pass. But if that’s what’s keeping you from becoming vegan, I say give it a go!
Now it’s your turn. What are your favourite vegan options for a summer barbecue? And if you’re training too, how did you cope with the heat?