A Plant-Based Skier's Guide To Aspen

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A Plant-Based Skier's Guide To Aspen


For many reasons, but primarily for environmental and animal-welfare reasons, my husband Ted and I eat a predominantly plant-based diet. As mountain athletes, this can be challenging– especially living in a small Colorado town. Juggling work, training, life, and nutrition takes some real thought and effort. But it's possible and definitely worth the effort! 

We were excited to share a few of our favorite spots in Aspen for getting the nutrients and protein you need to power up and down the mountains: 


A little-known fact is the Sundeck is one of the best places to eat for plant-based athletes, vegans, and vegetarians. There are multiple options from soups to grill items and options from the wok. However, I usually head straight for the salad station, and order the Vegan Protein Bowl. For $12, the small salad packs a fantastic punch of protein and vegetables, overflowing with quinoa, kale, edamame, squash, and grilled tofu with a citrus vinaigrette. 


It's ironic that a restaurant named Meat & Cheese boasts some of the best vegetarian and vegan meals in Aspen, but it's true. The newly updated winter menu has a half dozen incredible vegetarian and well-priced dishes under their "Salads + Small Plates." It's a great place for lunch or dinner and fun to mix and match and share with the whole table. Check out the new winter menu here!


After a reasonably hard physical effort, we enjoy treating ourselves to a nourishing meal at the plant-based Spring Cafe. Open for breakfast or lunch, they offer full meals as well as snacks and smoothies. It’s a place where you can indulge like the rest of the world but still keep to a vegan, gluten-free diet. My favorites include the Chickpea Tuna wrap, Avocado Tempeh Reuben sandwich, or "Not Your Everyday Nachos." One disclaimer with this place is if you order a drink - you HAVE to ask for it to be served in a glass, not a throwaway cup.


Many mornings at our house start with a morning skin up Aspen Mountain before work. This doesn't allow a lot of time to cook breakfast or prepare meals for the day. Nights and dinners can also be the same. Tuesday Foods makes it easy to make healthy food choices that are quick to pull together and hit our nutritional goals. A weekly menu with prepared meals and distributed nutritional calories throughout the day is absolutely heaven. Tuesday Food meal plans intentionally have 45-65% from carbohydrates, 10-35% from protein, and 20-35% from fat, and provide an average of 40 grams of fiber per day. If you're used to tracking your protein, fat, and carbohydrates each day - this is a real treat! Check out their innovative menus here.


ACES' 113-acre, mid-valley hub for environmental education and sustainable agriculture is an excellent place in the Roaring Fork Valley for winter vegetables like kale and sweet carrots. If you want to add low-carbon, animal welfare-friendly eggs, and meats to your diet, Rock Bottom Ranch is the place to visit and buy food. Open Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-4 pm this winter. More details here.


We wanted to include our favorite, low-key, plant-based restaurant in Denver, City O' City. If you’re getting to Aspen via Denver, it’s definitely worth your time to stop through for a meal. This eclectic joint has delicious breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night, patio, specialty coffees, beer, wine, and cocktails. It's the perfect walkable place to eat if you're checking out an exhibition at the Denver Art Museum or staying at the Art Hotel. 


All of us who lead a “wellness-oriented” lifestyle and are concerned with nutrition, know that the best way to control what we eat and make sure we are getting the nutrients we need is to eat most of our meals at home. Here are a few recommendations for managing time and nutrition:


This is one of the best plant-based recipe resources we've ever encountered. The recipes are simple, delicious, and also gluten-free. Recipes require just one bowl, less than ten ingredients, and 30 minutes or less to prepare. Currently, they have incredible holiday recipes and ideas here.


Laura Wright, a vegan cookbook author and creator of this blog shares the most delicious vegan food. We use her cookbook, follow her Instagram, and always turn to her blog for seasonally inspired recipes. During the winter, you can find quick and easy recipes for dinners, great soups, and sweet treats!

As a woman, I've recently struggled with anemia, so I have needed to strategically incorporate a little sustainably-raised animal protein into my diet, as well as supplement my diet with Iron supplements. 


In addition to limited meat consumption, I've added Beef Liver pills twice daily, which has successfully increased my stamina. However, after recent blood work, my Iron is still below the normal range. After additional research, I've found the best supplement for iron deficiency for athletes is 325 mg daily of ferrous sulfate

The next time you’re short on time and in need of healthy food ideas, consider these options. You might find these recommendations quickly become favorites. They are for us!


Christy and Ted Mahon are outdoor athletes who adventure in the mountains around Aspen, Colorado, and beyond. In winter months, they can be found skiing in all disciplines– backcountry, inbounds, nordic, and ski mountaineering. They’ve successfully skied the 100 tallest mountains in Colorado and, in 2016, were honored as National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year for Ski Mountaineering.

During the summer, they hang up the skis and get out on the trails and mountains with just as much enthusiasm– running, hiking, backpacking, peakbagging, climbing, and biking.

When they aren’t in the mountains, Christy is the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies Development Director. Ted spends his winter working as a ski instructor and summers as a guide on the local peaks and trails.”