Eat Well. Skate longer.
Let’s get the intros out of the way: I’m a former corporate attorney living in Austin, TX. More importantly, I’m a lifelong skateboarder and I ache with nostalgia for the good old days of Menikmati, Photosynthesis, and Logic videos.
Now, let’s get down to brass tacks.
Skateboarding years are like dog years: at the ripe young age of 20 you’re skating for days on end and learning new tricks every session; at the wizened age of 30 you’re foam rolling obsessively and taking an extra 20 minutes to warm up before trying your first kickflip. As many of us are crossing this canine centenarian line, it may be time to start fueling our bodies in a way that will allow us to keep shredding well into our golden years. With that in mind, Salad Grinds and Bean Plants is an attempt to introduce skateboarders to easy, healthy recipes designed to keep skaters of any age satiated and shredding.
Now don’t get me wrong – I still covet frozen (vegan) pizza and a beer every now and then, or tall cans of perilously sweet iced tea in the blistering summer heat. Those perennial favorites are still a treat, but if you’re looking to preserve your body so you can keep throwing it down stairs, then a few healthy, home-cooked meals here and there will do wonders to keep your aging carcass in shredding condition. These recipes don’t involve a lot of crazy ingredients or a ton of know-how in the kitchen (in fact, most of these recipes should have 10 or fewer ingredients). They’re easily customizable and all crafted with the goal of either jump-starting, sustaining, or ending a solid skate session with meals and snacks that largely come from scratch.
As you’ll notice from the recipes, all of these recipes are plant-based (i.e., no meat, no dairy, no food derived from an animal). As I’ll discuss in more detail periodically in this blog, there are a host of benefits to adding more plant-based meals and snacks into your diet. Almost all of these benefits support an increased longevity on the board. If you’re skeptical about whether plant-based meals are sufficient fuel for skateboarding, just watch Ed Templeton, Alex Olson, Ryan Lay, Dave Mayhew or Evan Smith, to name a few (and if you’re worried about getting fuel for intermittent exercise between sessions, just google the growing list of vegan Olympic athletes). Granted, a diet consisting only of chips or other processed foods–plant-based though it may be–won’t do much to keep your motor running (despite that very diet fueling our youth), but a diverse and balanced plant-based diet is more than sufficient to keep you pushing.
If you’re just starting to explore plant-based meals, don’t freak out. At first glance, a lot of these ingredients may seem unfamiliar or esoteric. Everything here can be found at your local grocery store. As much as I’d like to, I don’t shop at any specialized co-op, so everything here is from normal grocery chains and can be bought in quantities large enough to satisfy dozens of recipes. The goal here is to make easy, healthy food to keep you going; not some fancy, inedible monstrosity that’s intended only for Instagram snaps (though I do encourage you to check us out on Instagram @salad_grinds_and_bean_plants).
Ok, now that you know what this blog is, let me shed a little light on what it isn’t. While I advocate adding plant-based meals to your diet, this blog is not an impassioned plea to stop eating meat or an attempt to get smug about eating well. While I am vegan, I’m not here to judge anybody else or rewrite anybody’s moral code. I was not always vegan (for instance, my wedding was at a barbecue restaurant), and although I whole-heartedly subscribe to it now, I’m far more interested in propounding the nutritional benefits of a plant-based diet than chastising anybody for their food choices. The point I’m trying to make is that there’s no judgment here; this blog is only here to show that a balanced diet that doesn’t entirely rely on animal byproducts can be immensely nutritious, surprisingly easy and absolutely delicious…well, that and to nerd out on skateboarding, of course.
So, whether carnivore or herbivore, rail-hucker or flatground enthusiast, novice or legend, these recipes are here to nourish you inside and out, whether enjoyed before, during or after some quality time with the board.