Day in the Life 3; Professional Cyclist Cara Gillis

So excited for today’s post. In the second episode of our Day in the Life Series, I spend the day with pro cyclist Cara Gillis. Cara isn’t just a fast road cyclist she is a P-R-O, PRO cyclist who races all over North American and Europe. She’s also an ethical vegan with a Philosophy PhD. And her coach is her husband, who is also a vegan athlete!  How cool is that? In the first of this two-part episode we meet up with them at the Hollywood Farmers Market and then make a fantastic lunch- with two of my favorite foods- watch the video to see what they are and why everyone should be eating them.

Ready to eat like a Pro? Cara passed on these two fantastic recipes t0 share with you.


Super Easy Kale Chips

Kale is a surprisingly flexible vegetable that can be used for everything from soups to sautés and even chips!

2 cups raw kale
Cooking spray
Salt to taste
Optional: Nutritional yeast

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Separate and wash kale leaves
-Cut the stems about one inch from the bottom of the leaves
-Spray each leaf lightly with cooking spray
-Lightly season with salt
-Place kale leaves directly onto oven racks, leaving small spaces between them
-Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp

Nutrition Info (recipe is one serving)
Calories- 66
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 76%, Protein 12%, Fat 12%
Carbohydrate- 13g
Fat- 1g (242mg Omega-3)
Fiber- 2.6g
Iron- 2.2g
Calcium- 181mg

Awesome Sauce Stir-fry over Quinoa
Makes 4 servings

1.5 cups uncooked Quinoa
2 cups broccoli
3 cups snap peas
1 T canola oil or other high heat oil
1 16-ounce can chickpeas
2 T Bragg’s liquid aminos or soy sauce
4-5 T Sweet chili sauce
Optional: garlic chives

-Cook quinoa according to package directions in rice cooker or on stove top.
-Cut the ends off of the snap peas and the broccoli into bite-sized spears (use the stems too!).
-Heat pan to medium-high and add oil.
-Add broccoli and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Add snap peas and chives, if using, and saute for 3 minutes.
-Add chickpeas and sauces, stir, heat for 1 minute and turn off heat.

Nutrition Info (per serving)
Calorie breakdown- Carbohydrate 68%, Protein 15%, Fat 17%
Carbohydrate- 77g
Fat- 9g
Fiber- 13g
Iron- 6.5g
Calcium- 122mg
Zinc- 3.6mg

Join us for the second part of this episode later this week when we go out on a training ride. Cara and Jeff will share their secrets for getting faster without riding a ton of miles.  See you then and thanks for watching!

9 thoughts on “Day in the Life 3; Professional Cyclist Cara Gillis

  1. Cara Gillis is a rock star in every way! She’s not only incredibly smart and a skilled academic and cyclist, she’s a terrific vegan cook!

  2. Thanks Matt for making these super videos
    and giving the rest of us hope that we can indeed eat enough protein
    and just maybe rock a mountaintop finish.
    or not


  3. Question about protein. You say that “strength athletes” need a protein intake of about 1.2-1.4 g/k of body weight while Cara (and other endurance athletes) only need .8 -1.2 g/k. What about cyclists (endurance athletes) that want sprinting strength or power, such as XC mountain bike racers, trials riders, downhill mountain bikers, etc.. Would the protein intake differ between cyclists depending on the type of discipline?

    Thanks for creating this series and Cara rocks!

    1. That’s a great question! Cycling burns more calories than body building because it’s generally done for longer periods of time. So therefore even sprinters have higher caloric requirements. And if you are eating more calories you are automatically eating more protein. So compared to a body builder who is doing 1.4g per kg bw but has lower calorie needs you end up with similar amounts of total protein. That make sense?

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