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Meet Plant-Powered Runner, Jaclyn Shokey

Meet 22 Days Nutrition Ambassador: Jaclyn Shokey

We’re very excited to introduce you to plant-based competitive runner, and 22 Days Nutrition Ambassador, Jaclyn Shokey of Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. The small, picturesque town where she trains was named after Olympic Gold winner decathlete Jim Thorpe - a fitting location for a competitive runner that keeps pushing herself to reach her next goal.

A competitive runner since high school and a vegan for the last 7 years, Jaclyn is proof that a healthy plant-based diet can help take your training to new heights. Every year, she performs better and reaches her running goals.

While Jaclyn runs all distances, her favorite are marathons. She currently has a personal record of 3:07 (go Jaclyn!) and her goal is to break that record this October at the Chicago Marathon. Since her first marathon in 2007, she has run 19 marathons and her goal it to run one in every state and eventually, one on every continent.

The Boston Marathon is her favorite marathon by far; she credits the amazing crowd support from start to finish. Even though she ran in the Boston Marathon the year of the horrific bombing, she still returned the next year. She was so touched by the amount of people who came out to support the runners again.

In addition to running marathons in the fall and spring of each year, Jaclyn works on her speed training by running in 5K and 10K races. Just take a look at her Twitter feed and you’ll see the number of times she’s placed in various locations around the US.

Her success running careers leads many people to wonder how she can do it on a plant-based diet. We asked Jackie to tell us a little more about her plant-based diet and how it’s helped her achieve her goals.

22D: What made you decide to transition to a plant-based diet?

JS: Growing up I didn't eat a whole lot of meat and as I got older I was just turned off by it. Plus I am a huge animal lover. Animals don't have a voice so I have to advocate for them. I feel you don't need to harm, torture, or kill animals to enjoy delicious food. Showing love, kindness and compassion towards animals is what it is all about for me. Not too mention, I feel healthier, have more energy and just feel better about myself overall as a person.

22D: What do you eat in a typical day?

JS: I love to cook so my food choices vary from day to day.  My general diet for breakfast include foods such as smoothies, 22 Days Nutrition protein shakes, oatmeal with nuts/seeds or topped with mixed berries, fruit salad, pancakes, mashed avocado sprouted toast, nut butter sprouted toast with banana slices and blueberries paired with coffee, tea, or fresh juice.

Lunch: different types of salads - I mainly eat mixed greens with various raw vegetables & hummus, but other salad favorites include blueberry quinoa salad with hazelnuts; spinach pear & walnut salad with a raspberry vinaigrette, tangy curry chickpea salad or chickpea "tuna" salad on a collard wrap, red onion lentil salad with a dijon maple balsamic dressing and sweet potato salad. 

Dinner options include: brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, raw veggie noodles with a sweet garlic tahini dressing, roasted, steamed, or sautéed vegetables, stuffed peppers, various dishes with beans & lentils, curry dishes, gluten free pasta, stuffed Portobello mushrooms, roasted cauliflower "steaks", raw zucchini lasagna

Snacks: chocolate peanut butter banana "nice" cream, rice cakes, 22 Days Nutrition protein & energy bars, celery with peanut butter and raisins, fruits, nuts and seeds

22D: How do you fuel your training?

JS: I fuel my body with the right amount of nutrients so a balanced, healthy, adequate dose of carbs, fats and proteins. Carbs are important so I don't "hit the wall" or "bonk" during a marathon and protein helps to rebuild muscle for recovery.

22D: What differences did you see in your running once you switched to a plant-based diet? ?

JS: By switching to a plant-based diet I feel I became stronger, leaner and faster as a runner. My racing times definitely improved and I feel I am less susceptible to getting injured.  You can recover faster with plant-based foods.

22D: What other exercise do you do to supplement your running?

JS: I find that strength training, yoga, pilates workouts, hill training and plyometric drills are all good for the body. Speed & agility, balance & flexibility, stretching & strengthening the core are all key factors in helping me perform well.

22D:What tips do you have for people who want to move to a plant-based diet?

JS: Maintain a diet that resembles the one you already have.  You don't have to eat different foods to become vegan, just make simple substitutions.  You can veganize basically anything. Take advantage of resources online too. It can provide great insight on helping to make transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle easier.

22D: What are your favorite 22 Days Nutrition products and can you share your favorite smoothie recipe with us?

JS:My favorite bar is the Cherry Chocolate Bliss. Favorite smoothie, that's a tough one lol! I have a lot of favorites, but I do really enjoy this crunchy coffee smoothie I make which consists of cold brew coffee, a frozen banana, a handful of raw almonds, 1-2 Tbsp. of powered peanut butter and 1 scoop of 22 Days Nutrition Chocolate Plant-Protein Powder with a splash of unsweetened almond milk.

Jaclyn, thanks so much for giving our readers insight to your training and diet. We wish you the best with breaking your PR at the Chicago Marathon!