Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Unless you’re one of the handful of pros who age like an overpriced bottle of pinot noir (I’m looking at you, Koston), 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 putting fuel in our bodies 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 the post-sesh dollar slice and beer or the iced tea tall boys in the blistering summer heat.  Those perennial favorites are still a treat every now and then, but if you’re looking to preserve your body so you can keep throwing it down stairs, then a few healthy 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.

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.

Ok, now that you know what this blog is, let me shed a little light on what it is not.  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 my diet is about 99% plant-based, I do enjoy the occasional slice of pizza, and I occasionally cook eggs for my lovely, incredible wife (though she is now trying to go vegan, too).  Furthermore, our wedding was at a barbecue restaurant.   The point I’m trying to make is that there’s no judgment here.  I’m not interested in forcing anybody to give up meat and dairy or berating anybody for their diets; 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.

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.

Happy shredding,