When the Tour de France kicks off on July 2, one competitor will — for the first time ever — take on the grueling 2,200-mile, three-week race while maintaining a plant-based diet.
American David Zabriskie radically changed his diet over the least year after a blood test revealed that he was highly sensitive to certain foods. He initially went vegetarian, and then dropped dairy, leading to a vegan lifestyle that he says has given him greater overall health and performance.
Indeed, after shifting to a vegan diet, Zabriskie won more time trials than at any point in his career. Still, the Tour de France is famously brutal on competitors, demanding close to 8,000 calories a day from cyclists. Generally, such energy levels are fueled by large portions of meat to help replace protein and iron — but the 32-year-old Zabriskie will look to alternatives. From the UK Independent:
"The other secret of his daily diet is a special brand of vegan energy shake, which contains hefty portions of hemp seeds, flax seeds, and protein from brown rice. He began drinking them after suffering from low energy levels earlier this season, and now consumes at least four a day."
For a sampling of the daily food Zabriskie plans to eat, check out a menu prepared by The Independent here.