Eating plant-based may be mainstream now, but former Olympic cyclist Dotsie Bausch has been following this specific diet since 2010, at the age of 36. (She is 47 now.) “I began to gain an understanding of what is really going on behind closed doors. [in the meat industry] and I was just struck by intense frustration and anger, “she says. For her, it was a big wake-up call.” I grew up in Kentucky, and there was probably never a time when there was not an animal on my plate. . she says. “But I knew I had to make this change.”
As one of the best cyclists in the country, her Olympic trainers were nervous about her changing eating style. They openly wondered if her stamina and stamina would be the same. It was all put to the test during the 2012 Olympics. Bausch ended up taking home a silver medal, which allayed any doubts that she could not perform as well on a plant-based diet as on a meat-centered diet.
While different people define plant-based eating in different ways, for Bausch it means completely avoiding animal products. “I am 100 percent vegan, but plant-based because 90 percent of my diet comes from plants,” she says. For her, the plant-based lifestyle resonates because she points out that just because something is vegan, does not mean it is healthy. The health component is just as important to her as the animal rights component.
In quarantine at home with her husband, Bausch says she has had even more time to prepare the plant-based meals she loves. What has changed a bit is her workout as it is a no-go to go to the gym right now. “Now my husband and I train together in our garage and patio,” she says. “I jump in ropes and sprint up and down an alley behind my house to get some cardio.” She also rides a bike (no surprise) as it is a way to train while maintaining social distance. “I especially love biking on trails because it’s so beautiful where I live in Orange County, California,” she says.
See here what Dotsie Bausch’s plant-based diet looks like IRL
Bausch says she craves tasty food in the morning, so she gives up sweeter breakfasts like oatmeal, yogurt or pancakes for avocado toast. “I use Ezekiel bread and top it with avocado slices and tomato slices. Then I add pepper, lemon juice and drizzle with balsamic vinegar,” she says.
On days when she’s not in the mood for avo toast, Bausch makes a vegan scramble for breakfast. “I use either chickpeas or soft tofu instead of eggs – whatever I happen to have – and stir them on the stove the same way you usually do with eggs,” she says. She enjoys her scramble with a side of potatoes, which she typically prepares in advance. “I fry a lot of potatoes on Sundays so I can work them into my cramble or other meals during the week,” she says.
No matter what she eats for breakfast, Bausch says it is almost always accompanied by a side of berries that she eats for antioxidant benefits – important for muscle repair.
For lunch, Bausch says she typically makes a large salad with vegetables of a rainbow value. Avocado, peppers, carrots, beets and onions are some of her most common basic ingredients. “For protein, I add chickpeas or white beans to the salad,” she says. “If someone is not used to eating plant-based, these are the beans I recommend starting with first, because black beans, for example, can be a little harder to digest for people who are not used to eating that much fiber.” she says. She also suggests that plant-based beginners who are concerned about digestive problems cook at least some of the vegetables in their salad, as cooked vegetables are easier on the digestive system than raw.
When it comes to dinner, Bausch says she lets her cravings inspire her to do what she has to do. Some nights it is something Mediterranean inspired, like falafel, hummus and greens. Another night, it’s a Mexican-inspired dish of rice, beans, guac and salsa. Or if she’s in the mood for an Asian-inspired meal, she’s stir-fry stuffed with vegetables and tofu. “When it comes to making plant-based meals, there really are no limits to what you can make,” she says.
While Bausch says she does not have a sweet tooth and is not a big dessert eater, she sometimes says she wants a few pieces of dark chocolate at the end of the day. “I’m not a cookie or cookie person, but some dark chocolate with a glass of red wine is just lovely,” she says.