What athletes eat: Rock climber Maggie Crawford's gluten-free vegan quesadilla
After rock climber Maggie Crawford was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, she needed to figure out what kind of diet would allow her to lead the kind of active life she wanted. What she found was that a vegan, gluten-free diet helped keep things predictable -- though it was a bit of an adjustment.
"The vegan part wasn't too hard, just because I was going through a massive life change, too," says Crawford, but figuring out which vegan foods also kept her blood sugar low was trickier. (Apples, for example, are both gluten-free and vegan, but spike her blood sugar too much.)
Now that she has a system down, she sticks to more or less the same healthy meals. "We've had the same thing for breakfast for four years," says her husband, Timbo Stillinger -- but with little variations and ways to mix up the meals.
Here's one of the staples that she eats after surfing, climbing or running. She can even make it on a camping stove.
Day and time: Friday evening
Place: At home in Encinitas, California
What I'm eating: Three-layer vegan quesadilla
Whose recipe: This is my vegan, gluten-free version of the Taco Bell Mexican pizza that you know you loved as a little kid. I just throw it all together, either at home or when we're out camping.
Why I'm eating it: The tempeh is a great source of vegan protein and the vegetables are nutritious and filling. It's quick and delicious! Also, don't skimp on the vegan cheese -- the nut-based ones are delicious and don't have as many hard-to-pronounce chemicals as the synthetic vegan cheeses.
Brown rice tortilla
Apple cider vinegar
Cashew cilantro sauce
Moisten the tortilla and microwave it for 30 seconds to make it soft. In a pan, make the base of the quesadilla with the tortilla and the almond cheese. In a separate pan, sauté the onion, broccoli, tempeh and bell pepper. Add some apple cider vinegar once the veggies are almost cooked.
Make a small salad out of the spinach and cucumber. Blend together cashews, cilantro and garlic until smooth.
When the quesadilla is ready, remove it from heat, slice in quarters and put on a plate. Layer the broccoli and tempeh mix on top. Layer the salad on top of that. Top with salsa, cashew cilantro sauce and hot sauce.