Before You Start

Nutrition

Before You Start

Please use the food group calculator attached to work out your meal plan. When you input your height, weight, age, and physical activity level, the calculator will work out the minimum number of each of the main food groups you should aim for each day depending on what type of training you’re doing: protein-rich foods, starchy carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Everyone should aim for at least eight portions of fruit and veg each day, so whatever your goals are, aim for at least five different vegetables and three different fruits.

Aiming for food group targets like this rather than tracking your calorie and macronutrient intake precisely encourages a much greater degree of variation and diversity into your diet, because you can input whichever foods or meals are most suitable to you – depending on your taste, budget, accessibility and even seasonality of the ingredients. It will also save you a LOT of time, because you won’t have to weigh each ingredient you cook with and enter it into food tracking programme, which is never very accurate anyway. Think of all the other things you could be doing with your time – training, getting out in nature, cooking more, seeing friends and family, or just taking time out to relax.

Food groups

Groups

Foods

Portion size

High protein foods

Cooked beans/lentils/chickpeas*

1 cup (~160g)

Tofu/tempeh

1 cup (~120g)

Seitan

1 cup (~120g)

VivoLife Perform/Ritual/Whole

1 scoop (30g)

Soy-based products (e.g. burgers/sausages)

120g

Vegan Quorn pieces

1 cup (~120g)

Pea/chickpea/lentil pasta

1 cup

Nuts/nut butter†

30g (counts as ½ high protein portion)

Seeds/seed butter†

30g (counts as ½ high protein portion)

Soy milk/yoghurt

1 cup (counts as ½ high protein portion)

Nutritional yeast

3 Tbsp (counts as ½ high protein portion)

Starchy carbohydrate foods

Cooked grains (e.g. rice, couscous, quinoa, millet, buckwheat etc)

1 cup

Cooked beans/lentils/chickpeas*

1 cup

Bread (wheat, sourdough, GF etc)

1 medium slice

Wholegrain breakfast cereal

1 cup

Raw oats / muesli

½ cup

Cooked pasta (wheat, pea, lentil, GF etc)

1 cup

Potatoes

1 medium

Flour (wheat, oat, buckwheat, sorghum etc)

¼ cup

Banana**

1 medium

Healthy fats

Ground flax, hemp, chia, and other seeds†

Small handful (~30g)

Walnuts and other nuts†

Small handful (~30g)

Nut/seed butters (e.g. almond, cashew or peanut butters or tahini)†

2 Tbsp

Oils (e.g. cold-pressed rapeseed / extra virgin olive oil)

1 Tbsp

Avocados

½ medium (~80g)

Coconut milk

½ cup

Vegetables

Salad leaves (e.g. lettuce, rocket/arugula, cress, raw spinach)

2 cups

Cooked veg (e.g. broccoli, peas, aubergine, kale)

1 cup

Raw veg (e.g. celery, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, peppers)

1 cup

Cooked beans/lentils/chickpeas*

1 cup

Root veg (e.g. sweet potato, parsnip, swede): 80g

80g

Fruit

Medium sized fruit (e.g. apple, peach, banana**)

1 piece

Small fruits (e.g. plum, apricot, fig)

2-3 pieces

Berries (e.g. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes)

½ cup (~80g)

Chopped larger fruits (e.g. pineapple, mango, melon, watermelon)

½ cup (~80g)

Dried fruit

30g

Fluids

Water (should make up the majority of fluid intake)

1 cup

Plant-based milks

1 cup

Tea (e.g. VivoLife Matcha)

1 cup

Coffee (e.g. VivoLife Magic Coffee or Adaptogenic lattes)

1 cup

*Beans/lentils/chickpeas count towards high protein, carbohydrate, and vegetable groups

†Nuts/seeds count towards high protein and smart fat groups

**Bananas count towards starchy carbohydrates and fruit groups

This approach is not precise, but it’s not meant to be. That’s because your calorie and macronutrient requirements change from day to day, depending on your training, what you do in your spare time, how much you’ve slept, how much stress you’re under etc. So on some days, your calorie intake will be a little higher, some days a little lower, depending on what foods you choose to include. For example, a cup of butternut squash will have more carbohydrates and calories than a cup of cucumber, but both count as a portion of vegetables. That’s absolutely fine, because your requirements are always changing. At the same time, the food groups do still provide some useful structure, and so it’s easy to adjust the levels if you’re making progress too quickly or slowly.

Here is a one-week example meal plan, designed to meet the needs for athlete 1:

  • High protein foods: 5
  • Starchy carbohydrates: 10
  • Healthy fats: 5
  • Vegetables: 5+
  • Fruits: 3+

Your requirements may be similar to this example, in which case you can follow it closely. Or if you need to add (or take away) food groups to make it fit your requirements, try making the following simple adjustments:

Starchy carbohydrates:

  • Adding/taking away 1 cup of cooked rice, quinoa, or other grains to your meals
  • Serving 1 medium sized potato, baked or cut into wedges and roasted, as a side
  • 1 medium banana as a snack

Protein:

  • 1 scoop VivoLife Perform simply mixed in a shaker with water or plant-based milk
  • 1 extra cup of tofu/tempeh/seitan to your favourite dish

Fats:

  • A handful of nuts/seeds as a snack (remember this provides additional protein too)
  • ½ medium-sized avocado alongside a meal or added to a sandwich/salad

You’ll notice that we’ve suggested cooking double portions for a few of the dinners to make an easy lunch the following day. We’re big fans of batch cooking because it saves so much time, so we recommend finding a balance between convenience and variety that works best for your schedule! If you don’t have time to cook from scratch every day, try batch cooking more than we’ve suggested here – as long as the meals match the food groups then you’ll still be on track for making big progress! You could also freeze some portions for a healthy instant meal on those days where you run out of fresh food (or time)!

Monday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Smokey beans on toast

1

3

2

589

Snack

Chocolate berry superfood smoothie

1

1

2

286

Lunch

Chickpea tuna and sweetcorn sandwich + ½ avocado

1

3

2

1

736

182

Snack

Cashew cheese dip + 1 cup carrot sticks

1

1

1

208

63

Dinner

Mexican loaded sweet potatoes + 1 cup rice (make double for lunch tomorrow)

1

3

2

2

1

642

205

Snack

½ cup fresh mango

1

69

Total

5

10

5

6

4

2980

Tuesday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Salted caramel protein crepes

1

1

1

1

612

Snack

½ cup blueberries

1

42

Lunch

Mexican loaded sweet potatoes + 1 cup rice

1

3

2

2

1

642

205

Snack

Butter bean and mint dip + 1 cup cucumber sticks

1

1

1

1

210

Dinner

Red lentil aubergine dhal + 1 cup rice (make double for lunch tomorrow)

1

3

1

3

692

205

Snack

2 x chocolate chip protein muffins

1

2

588

Total

5

10

5

6

3

3196

Wednesday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Maca oatmeal with caramelised bananas

1

2

1

574

Snack

Hidden greens protein smoothie + 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1

2

1

1

2

522

75

Lunch

Red lentil aubergine dhal + 1 cup rice

1

3

1

3

692

205

Snack

Tahini and date protein bar

0.5

1

1

285

Dinner

Lentil mushroom and walnut burgers + baked wedges of 1 medium potato

1

3

1

3

389

161

Snack

½ cup fruit salad + 30g walnuts

0.5

1

1

32

185

Total

5

10

5

7

5

3120

Thursday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Scrambled tofu on toast

1

2

2

343

Snack

Pineapple raspberry protein smoothie

1

1

2

369

Lunch

Baked falafels + 1 cup salad leaves + 1 toasted pitta bread + 1 cup sweet potato wedges

1

3

1

3

293

223

230

Snack

1 banana + 30g almonds

0.5

1

1

1

105

164

Dinner

Vegan mac and cheese + 1 cup green peas

1

2

2

928

125

Snack

Choc chip protein cookies

0.5

1

1

283

Total

5

10

5

5

3

3063

Friday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Bircher overnight oats + 1 VivoLife Perform shake made with water or plant milk

2

1

1

410

113

Snack

2 x banana oat cookies

2

282

Lunch

Cajun soul bowl + ½ sliced avocado

1

3

2

3

918

182

Snack

½ cup raspberries

1

32

Dinner

Stuffed sweet potato with lentil kale and tahini (make double for lunch tomorrow)

1

2

1

3

486

Snack

Chocolate peanut butter bowl

1

2

2

2

750

Total

5

10

5

6

4

3173

Saturday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

1.5 cups plain muesli + 1.5 cups soy milk + 30g walnuts

1

3

1

746

185

Snack

Banana

1

1

105

Lunch

Stuffed sweet potato with lentil kale and tahini

1

2

1

3

486

Snack

Fully loaded pb toast

0.5

2

1

1

394

Dinner

Tamari tofu stir fry + ½ sliced avocado (make double for lunch tomorrow)

2

2

1

3

786

182

Snack

½ cup blackberries + 30g almonds

0.5

1

1

31

164

Total

5

10

5

6

3

3079

Sunday

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Veggies

Fruit

Cals

Breakfast

Buckwheat pancakes + 30g pecans

1.5

2

1

1

393

196

Snack

2 apple oatmeal cookies

1

1

201

Lunch

Tamari tofu stir fry + ½ sliced avocado

2

2

1

3

786

182

Snack

Hummus + 1 cup mixed raw veg sticks

0.5

1

2

161

21

Dinner

Vegan spinach and mushroom carbonara + baked wedges of 1 medium potato + 1 cup cooked broccoli

0.5

3

1

3

577

55

161

Snack

Banana ice cream + 30g chopped walnuts

0.5

2

1

1

210

185

Total

5

10

5

8

3

3128