NBA’s Kevin Love & Model Kate Bock Share What They Eat on “Vegan Nights”
For NBA star Kevin Love and his fiance, model Kate Bock, home-cooked meals enjoyed at their dinner table are a treat. The engaged couple often finds that work takes them on the road, Love for the Cavaliers and Bock to far-flung beaches as a frequent SI Swimsuit issue model. Bock explains that one of their favorite rituals is to have what they have dubbed "vegan nights," especially on nights after his games. Eating plant-based helps the 6 foot 8 power forward recover faster (by eating tons of antioxidant-filled vegetables and whole foods) and sleep better (by staying away from meat and dairy), since on game nights dinner often gets pushed to after 11 p.m. Here, Bock shares everything she eats in a day, including the healthy meals she cooks for Love after he has burned well over 1,000 calories on the court.
Bock and Love's usual schedule involves catching flights back and forth from New York, where her agency books fashion shoots, to Cleveland where Love holds court. In between the traveling chaos, Bock is busy prepping for 4 am call times, while Love sticks with his strict workout regime and drill work that helped him become a five-time NBA all-star. The duo has no choice but to rely on proper nutrition to fuel up, with meals served by Bock with the help of Love, who she calls her "sous chef."
After a Basketball Game, Kevin Love Eats Vegan
Love and Bock try to eat as many fruits and vegetables as they can every meal, but don't consider themselves plant-based. Bock may be one step closer to following a plant-based diet than Love since she's had a dairy allergy her whole life, and avoids dairy at all costs. For someone who relies on dairy alternatives, Bock shares her favorites, such as CocoJune plant-based yogurt.
She and Love enjoy experimenting on vegan nights. They get home around 11 pm from 5-hour games because the "meals are easier to digest and we can get to sleep sooner." Bock finds new recipes from cookbooks or online but she and her soon-to-be husband can't get enough of Daring Chicken, a meat alternative that tastes close to the real thing. "I will normally whip together a large salad with chickpea croutons and add slices of the plant-based chicken or flip a switch and head in an Asian direction, with flavorful veggie-filled stir-frys we both devour," she tells The Beet. Now, as an athlete incinerating more calories than the average person, these vegan meals refuel Love just fine, Bock adds.
Kate Bock Ditches All Things Processed Before a Magazine Cover
Bock also uses vegan meals as her go-to diet before her various shoots, whether for a fitness magazine, an SI shoot, or a commercial ad. Her fitness goals couldn't be more different than those of her fiancé. Bock focuses on eating clean, organic, foods to get lean, since the secret to a successful cover for her is in not feeling or looking bloated. That means never eating airport food or the snacks served on the plane. When Bock travels to private islands to get the picture-perfect aspirational shot for SI, she's all about hydration on the flight. She eats before she leaves home and packs her own food, avoiding anything processed.
Here she shares everything she eats in a day, including almond butter pancakes made with Abby's Better for breakfast on the days when she is not on set. To get the full lowdown on the diet habits of this power couple, we asked Bock for the details, so now you can incorporate their helpful tricks into your life whether or not you're looking to add calories like Love or look lean and toned, strong and healthy like Bock.
The Beet: How would you describe your diet? Are you plant-leaning?
Kate Bock: It took me years to figure out how to eat in a way that I was satisfied, and had energy. Now when I eat I feel good, and I am enjoying my meals. Finding that balance can be challenging for everyone––no matter what they do in their career, or as their job. But once you figure out a way to eat, that works for you, that you feel good, it just makes everything else so much easier.
I've always incorporated almond butter into my eating, and I eat it in so many different ways every single day, whether it's as a scoop, just a spoonful of almond butter, as a snack on the go, or in a smoothie, or on pancakes, or finding different ways to incorporate it. I always include nut butter. So when I discovered Abby's and all of their flavors that really just brought a whole new spectrum of options in the almond butter world.
The Beet: How did you find the foods that gave you energy and make you feel your best?
Kate Bock: I grew up eating mostly organic food, and I was very lucky that my mom was someone who really focused on giving us food with the least ingredients. We always had lots of fruits and vegetables, and we did eat pretty clean actually as a kid. I was probably more annoyed at that and wished I had more processed foods, like Cheerios and stuff, but now that I'm an adult, I really appreciate that we were taught to eat healthy. I think that really helps me feel more drawn to those foods and notice the difference that when I veered from what I had grown up on, that I didn't feel as good or my skin didn't look as good, or I didn't have energy. Or when you're having a crash and you eat cookies or crackers or a soda pop with a lot of sugar that it doesn't actually make you feel better. So I think it just takes time and it's trial and error to see how you react to different foods and you really understand what they're doing for you.
The Beet: What are some of your favorite foods, aside from almond butter?
Kate Bock: I'm dairy-free. I've been allergic to dairy since I was a kid, so I don't do any dairy. I do eat some chicken and fish, but actually, I eat lots of veggies and as many fresh foods as I can. And j just eat things with the fewest ingredients, and I try to make as many things at home as I can.
The Beet: Since you're allergic to dairy, what are your favorite alternatives?
Kate Bock: I drink Oatley. I find it's the best foaming non-dairy milk that I've found. So I like Oatley in my coffee, and I like Cocoa June coconut yogurt. They really nailed it. I think they're the best. I think I try not to specifically look for fake dairy things, I’d rather just eat different options. I do have Kite Hill cream cheese. I do love that actually. It’s a fake dairy cream cheese, but otherwise, I don't seek out fake dairy.
The Beet: Before you have a big shoot, how do you eat the day before?
Kate Bock: I drink a ton of water always––for your hair, skin, nails, everything. That always helps me feel my best. Also, I try to eat early, and not too late. Then I always try to pack food with me on a job, whether it means I'm flying. I never eat food on an airplane, unless it's my own, and the fresher, the food you can bring the better. On jobs, you just never really know what you're going to get when you get there. Sometimes they have great catering and sometimes not so much. So I always try to bring at least some snacks or some options in my bag so that I know I'm going to be covered because if you have a really long day and you're eating, not good quality food, it can really affect you.
The Beet: Would say that you try to avoid all processed foods?
Kate Bock: Yeah. Mostly.
The Beet: And who does the cooking? You or Kevin.
Kate Bock: Me. He can be a sous chef. He does include himself as a sous chef, but he doesn't take the lead unless it's on a grill.
Hailey: What are some of the meals that you guys like to make regularly?
Kate Bock: We eat chicken basically for lunch every day, and we have big salads. I always have a lot of veggies. We make chickpea croutons, black bean croutons. We always have avocado. So we have a bunch of fun salad toppings in the fridge. So you can just throw a salad together really easily on the go here. I have daring fake chicken––it’s my favorite vegan chicken. I like this lime one. And for dinners, we usually do chicken. We do fish or steak, or we have been doing vegan nights on game nights because we get home pretty late after games and eat dinner at 11 or so. And so just to kind of digest more easily and get to sleep sooner we go vegan.
The Beet: Tell me more about these vegan nights.
Kate Bock: We've tried a bunch of different things. I love to look up new recipes online. We were doing beet noodles and kelp noodles. I liked the daring chicken a lot and just making a big salad or a bit like a stir fry. I love Asian-influenced meals. So anything Thai, I can just kind of make an alternative to the meat and use nuts or daring chicken or just find a way to just avoid the meat aspect of it.
The Beet: Let's talk about Abby's. You love almond butter so much you invested?
Kate Bock: We love the product, so it really made sense, for both Kevin and I separately and together. And I think when you invest in a brand like this, it's really important that we care about the brand, and we learn about the brand, and we are actually consumers of the product. So we can kind of help with ideas for the future for different products that we can help promote it, that we cook with it, that we kind of try it and use it in recipes and can give any sort of tips or tricks to the public or back to Abby as some feedback. So it's kind of been really fun to get involved in the brand and give our opinions and, and really enjoy it.
The Beet: When did you invest?
Kate Bock: We started trying Abby’s a year or two ago. And then we've been working on the investment for the last year.
The Beet: What made you love Abby's over other nut butter?
Kate Bock: I just find theirs clean. It has not too many ingredients. They really tried to focus on using nature's ingredients in the product for the flavors. And she has so many different flavors. So almond butter isn't just almond butter, almond butter is date pecan or French toast or coffee. It can turn into so many different things. When I cook with it, I think it's just more fun. It kind of gives you a different option for every day, instead of feeling like you're eating the same thing all the time.
The Beet: What's your favorite flavor?
Kate Bock: Mine is coffee almond. I love that one. I could eat spoonfuls of that. Or I can drizzle it on my Coco June yogurts. I put it in smoothies. I love it. I put it on oatmeal. I can just throw that in a bag and have it as a snack on a plane or on a shoot. I just find it so delicious and always something I'm drawn to.