What do you eat? How do you get your protein? - Gary Te Roller

Right now, I am using these newsletters as a countdown to Ironman South Africa and wow they seem to be coming out way too quick for my liking. I do love engaging with you fellow A-Type personalities though.

I get asked so many different questions daily about what I eat and how I eat and I am not too shocked anymore with whatever is thrown my way. All types of people especially you athletes out there (Yes that without a doubt includes me) are particularly defensive about their love affair with their food. For some reason, we have associated food with love, comfort and rewards and have forgotten the real purpose behind eating. To provide important macro and micro nutrients for the very vehicle that powers us through 3 disciplines year in and year out.

“Protein is actually a fairly small percentage of what goes into a healthy diet,” Levin says. “The emphasis really is on having a wide variety of nutrient-dense foods throughout the day, and, because protein is found in varying amounts in plants, legumes, grains and nuts, it’s pretty easy to get to the recommended amount. Most athletes don’t need a different diet, they just need more calories.” - Levin is director of nutrition education for the nonprofit Physicians Committee on Responsible Medicine (PCRM)

Let’s chat about the biggest questions, What Do I eat? and Where Do I Get My Protein from? If you watched Popeye when you were younger then surely you understand that we draw on amino acids from Spinach and all types of vegetables, legumes and grains. The daily human protein requirement is 8-12% and if you are eating enough to remain at your current weight then it is impossible to be protein deficient. And please don’t be silly in thinking that kale and spinach is going to power your athletic dreams either. It is very important to include calorie dense complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, squash, lentils, brown rice, quinoa etc.

Let’s take a look at my daily menu:

Wake Up at 6am: Drink a liter of water (Including Barley Grass powder and Dried Beetroot powder – so important to hydrate your body after sleeping as your cells need H2O to live and process everything. If they are dehydrated, how do you expect them to get rid of that morning track sessions lactic acid?


Train for +- 90mins – eat a banana on the bike if I am hungry or before the session if it’s a hard run then I’ll eat a banana with a couple dates (Natures Gel).


Breakfast at 8am or within 30min of training:

NutriBullet Smoothie Mix

  • Handful of spinach or Kale
  • 1 X Carrot
  • 1 X Apple
  • 1 X Banana
  • Half cup nuts (Normally mixture of Almonds and Cashews) – Protein deluxe
  • Half Cup Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds – So much Iron and Protein
  • Opt: Goji Berries and Frozen Cherries
  • Fill with water to the top and blend till smooth


Snack at 10am: Carrots with Hummus


Lunch at 1pm: Large Salad with a Cup of brown rice/quinoa (Prepped on the weekend) and half a tin of organic kidney beans or chick peas or whatever my leftovers from the previous night was.


Snack 3:30pm: Fruit X 2


Train for 120min at 5pm


Dinner at 7pm: I always divide my plate into half at every meal making sure 50% is either salad or vegetables and then the other half is a combo of grains (Rice/quinoa/millet/polenta) and Legumes (beans are packed with protein – just remember to soak them before cooking to rid them of phytic acid). I also stay away from gluten as this wheat protein can wreak havoc in your digestive system.

My favourite dinner dish would be a large salad with a Chilli Non-Carne (Black beans and Brown rice)

If you want some cool recipes – jump onto www.plantdurance.com and subscribe for awesome 7 day menu with recipes!!

So, guys my goal is not to protest outside butcher shops or scorn the lady next to me eating scrambled eggs on toast. My goal is simply to achieve a 75% alkaline diet. This is because recovery is much speedier and efficient, you process nutrients at a far superior rate, you sleep better, you age much slower and pretty much I could go on forever to the point that it would stop your brain from rusting J The only alkaline foods out there are fruits, vegetables, almonds and millet. You do the math and if you can’t then pull the calculator out or change your Tinder profile to say you are interested in someone that is superior in math. Work out what your diet is comprised of now and look above on some tips on how you can change that ratio. Ask yourself, am I stiff, slow or tired because I have more acid inside of me than my car battery? We all put so much into our training and analyze BPM and Watts every second on the run or bike but go home and binge on foods that are slowing us down and destroying our recovery. Our bodies are our main tool in the hobby we love so very much so let’s treat it with respect.


"When I turned vegetarian six years ago, my body became more and more powerful. The amount of time I needed for recovery got shorter, as I started thinking more about what I was eating," confirms pro triathlete Patrick Lange (Winner of 2016 North American Ironman Champs, 3rd at Ironman World Championships 2016 with a record run split)

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