Every Day

Plant-Forward Eating

Plant power!

Athletes need the right nutrition to keep their bodies energized, performing their best and injury-free. Some athletes may choose to limit animal foods, creating potential nutrient gaps. Learn how to make the most of plant-forward, flexible eating patterns.

Diets decoded

Here’s a quick overview of the different types of plant-forward/plant-based diets:

  1. Plant-Forward or Flexitarian

    Eat red meat, poultry and fish sparingly. Dairy and eggs are included regularly. No food is excluded.

  2. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

    Eat eggs and dairy, but no poultry, fish or red meat.

  3. Lacto-Vegetarian

    Eat dairy, but no eggs, poultry, fish or red meat.

  4. Ovo-Vegetarian

    Eat eggs, but no dairy, poultry, fish or red meat.

  5. Pescatarian

    Eat dairy, fish and eggs but no poultry or red meat.

  6. Vegan

    Eat no red meat, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs or other animal-derived products (e.g. honey).


Incorporating a variety of plant-based foods is great for everyone. Remember, the more you eliminate certain foods, the more you miss out on key nutrients your body needs:


    Building blocks for muscle and tissue. Key for recovery and preventing illness.

    Found in: Milk, cheese, yogurt, red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu. Smaller amounts found in whole grains


    Helps with bone strength and muscle contraction.

    Found in: Dairy foods, cooked greens, tofu, fortified foods

  3. VITAMIN B12

    Important for nerve function and healthy blood cells.

    Found in: All animal products, and some breakfast cereals

  4. IRON

    Moves oxygen around the body in red blood cells. Used to make hormones.

    Found in: Lean meat, seafood, poultry, some breakfast cereals, beans, nuts, cooked greens

Salad bowl


Athletes can meet their nutrition needs and still enjoy plant-forward eating. Here are some key points:

  • Focus on adding foods, not eliminating them
  • Look for creative ways to add color to every meal
  • Plan ahead so plant foods are easy to grab and eat

  1. Time SAMPLE DAY

    Breakfast: Steel-cut oats made with milk, apples, almonds and cinnamon.

    Snack: Tuna-cucumber and cream cheese with crackers

    Lunch: Trail mix

    Snack: Cheese and grapes

    Dinner: Soup, whole grain bread, side salad and a glass of milk

    Snack: Frozen yogurt with berries

Plant Forward Eating

Download Plant-Forward Eating Handout

Download this single-page handout so you can print out copies, or simply view as a PDF.

Download PDF
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