Triathlete Hillary Biscay is well known for her love of extreme events. Shes completed 66 Ironman races -- once earning six top-five finishes in a single season -- and she won the 2013 Ultraman World Championship, a three-day triathlon. She even named her clothing company Smashfest Queen. (Smashfests are those intense workouts that leave you feeling completely smashed.)Since 2009, Biscay has also been a vegan. The biggest changes I had to make were ditching a lot of the energy bars I had relied on, she said, since most bars contain whey protein. It took some trial and error, but she now has new recipes in her arsenal. Plus, there are more vegan-friendly products on the market these days.Biscay shared with us one of the meat-free meals that keeps her going between smashfests.Day and time: This is a regular favorite for dinner, then leftovers for second breakfast or lunch the next day.Place: At my house in Tucson, ArizonaWhat Im eating: Gluten-free vegan pesto pasta with chickpeasWhose recipe: I made it up! On that note, I dont measure anything, so the amounts of all of the things in my recipe vary. If I have two cans of chickpeas, I use them; and I if just have one, then thats what it is. Its perfect for someone like me, as it is impossible to screw up no matter how much or little of each item you include!Why Im eating it: I try to eat lots and lots of nutritionally dense food that doesnt come from animals. This meal is simple and quick and includes two of my favorites: garbanzos and pine nuts.The recipe:Ingredients Brown rice or quinoa pasta Fresh spinach and/or kale Red onion Chickpeas Pinenuts Vegan pesto Olive oil SaltWhile cooking the pasta, I brown the chickpeas in a frying pan with olive oil. Then I set those aside.I can use the same pan to saute the onion (usually about half an onion) and add spinach and/or kale. I salt and saute lightly, then set aside too.And finally I toast the pine nuts on medium heat. Watch these closely as they brown quickly!When the pasta is all cooked, I mix in the chickpeas and greens. The pine nuts go on top. Easy peasy. Pete Rose Jersey . The scientists believe the small earthquake during a Marshawn Lynch touchdown was likely greater than Lynchs famous "beast quake" touchdown run three years ago, which also came against New Orleans during a playoff game. 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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Carlos Balderas qualified for the Olympics nearly nine months ago, and he has been waiting anxiously for his next fight ever since.The American lightweight only has to wait a few more hours after the opening ceremonies in Rio. Balderas fights in the opening session of the grueling, 16-day Olympic boxing tournament on Saturday morning.Its everything Ive been thinking about since November, Balderas said. The only thing thats been in my mind is bringing back a medal.His friend and roommate, light flyweight Nico Hernandez, also fights on a big first day for the eight-person U.S. team. After the American men failed to win any Olympic medals for the first time in London, the new U.S. fighters believe their teamwork can help them exceed relatively low outside expectations in Brazil.Were definitely close, because were all young, Hernandez said. Im the oldest one on the team, and Im 20. Weve all been on the same team since juniors, so weve been traveling together for a couple of years now. Were really close, like family. I think that helps us a lot. We all support each other.Balderas and Hernandez are key parts of the tight-knit core on a U.S. team that has bonded through years of shared competition. All six American men were born less than two years apart.The vibe is really, really cool, Balderas said. Because me, Nico, Tony (Vargas), Shakur (Stevenson), weve pretty much been together since the youth team. We were always around each other. Its not like somebody came out of nowhere and just took a spot. Everybody was always very cool with each other.The U.S. men could use all the good vibes they can get.They havent won a gold medal since Andre Ward triumphed in Athens in 2004. They claimed just one bronze medal in Beijing -- and none at all in London, an embarrassment for the most successful boxing nation in Olympic history.USA Boxing hired veteran Irish coach Billy Walsh last year, but his plans are necessarily focused on Tokyo in 2020. He hopes the current teams talent will be enough to counteract their opponents years of centralized training.Its a massive challenge, Walsh said. There definitely is a skill level that we need to change. Its a Tokyo project.ddddddddddddalderas and Hernandez could have turned pro before Rio, but instead participated in the professional ventures of the International Boxing Association (AIBA) to improve their chances of landing a spot in Brazil. Balderas qualified early for the Olympics through his victories in AIBAs World Series of Boxing.They both realize the importance of starting a pro career with an Olympic pedigree. They also wanted extra experience with the particularities of Olympic-style boxing, which can be difficult for American-trained prospects.Neither fighter hails from a particular boxing hotbed, either: Hernandez is from Wichita, Kansas, while Balderas came up from Santa Maria, California.Its definitely not a big sport in Wichita, Hernandez said. It means a lot to me to get here, because not a lot of people that came from there have really made anything of themselves. I want to be the one to inspire other people. I like to say that Im one of the ones that made it from there, because theres not a lot of recognition like there is in California or something.Balderas is a first-generation Mexican-American whose grandfather moved his family north to work the fertile fields of central California.I know regardless of what happens at the Olympics, my family is always going to be behind me, Balderas said. I do feel some pressure, because I feel like I cant let them down, you know? I know that everybody has made sacrifices for me, so I feel like its only right for me to do the same for them.Balderas and Hernandez both train with their fathers and other relatives. Hernandezs parents are leaving the U.S. for the first time to watch their son, while Balderas traveling party is slightly larger -- including uncles, aunts and cousins who were able to book the trip several months in advance because of his early qualification.It kind of makes me feel nervous in a way, but also it makes me just feel happy, Balderas said. I want to prove to them that I can do something big, because we went from the strawberry fields to the Olympic Games. 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