There are THREE recipes in this blog post!!! They are not mine, but I’m excited to share because I love to talk about food, making food and obviously consuming food.
Okay, so runners don’t have the corner on eating the most food in the grand scheme of things (have you seen what Cross Fit-ers put back in a day?!), but it holds true that on long run day many of us will see that day or the days before as an excuse/licence to put back a little extra in the kitchen if you will.
Granted, when it is assumed that one is burning about 100 calories/mile of running and you’re out there logging over 10 miles (16km, sorry I run in American) on a given morning, you wouldn’t be wrong to give yourself a little extra nourishment in the name of recovery, or carbo-loading leading up to the workout. In fact, please do, but let’s be real – recovery with a bag of chips and ice cream is not the same as a green smoothie with healthy fats and some protein. Absolutely, we have “earned” our way to a treat, but let’s get the healthy stuff in first and there will still be plenty of room for goodies later in the caloric intake department, I promise.
If you’ve heard of Dean Karnazes, you know the infamous “pizza ordered on the side of the road during a 200-mile race” story that has followed his running career since the moment it first hit the media. He now fuels himself with higher quality foods during his excursions, and has greater appreciation for what it means to overall recovery and fitness when your body encounters whole foods post-workout. Listen to this podcast episode with Rich Roll (another whole foods endurance athlete, who also lives a plant-based lifestyle) and hear Dean’s new approach to his fuel. There is a lot to learn from the people who are out there logging mad mileage; if it supports them to look to whole foods and quality calories, doesn’t the same apply to us?
Whole foods and plant-based sources of protein and fat have supported my recovery after workouts far better than something processed or that contains dairy or a big, fat steak. The intention here is that a workout creates inflammation in the body, and animal foods are generally known for causing inflammatory response in the digestive process and are just more taxing to digest, whereas plant foods create a more alkaline environment, digest faster and leave less of a residue behind. In a recovery situation, for me anyway, it has made sense to stick with plants, even though my diet does include meats on occasion.
When it comes to carbo-loading before a big run, I’ve also found that it’s not so much the night before as it is the days leading up to where I benefit the most from putting in something extra or eating something a little bulkier. Definitely cauliflower crust pizza is a favourite for me, I’ve linked to the recipe I follow; I switch out the flours often but always keeping it gluten-free (I don’t have an allergy, but I know that I feel better if I consume less gluten). I’ll also go after a nice plate of pasta in the days leading up. Pssst – you know we have a carbo-loading dinner the night before the race in June, right? Get tickets here.
In closing, I’m going to leave you with a favourite recipe that is on regular rotation in this house. My kids love it, it’s husband approved, and comes together really quickly (under 30 mins).
Kale, Black Bean + Sweet Potato Skillet
- 2 Sweet Potatoes peeled
- 1 can black beans I use dried, and batch cook them and then store in the freezer
- 2 hearty handfulls kale torn into bite size pieces
- 1 lime
- pinch cumin and sumac
- Coconut Oil
- sea salt
- ground black pepper
1. Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise. Lay cut surface flat on a cutting board and slice in half again lengthwise. Then, slice into ¼ inch thick pieces.
2. Place large sauté pan over medium high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add sweet potatoes, sumac and cumin to pan and cook for a minute until they begin to brown, stirring throughout to coat (if you wait to add salt and pepper, the potatoes will brown up a little better). Cover after a minute, bring the heat down to medium and let cook for about 5-8 minutes, stirring once or twice, until they’ve softened up.
3. Add black beans. Stir to mix. Add kale, season with salt and pepper, mix and cover. Let cook for 2-3 minutes, uncover and stir. (If it’s feeling a bit too dry at this point, drizzle a little more olive oil.) Cook for another minute or so until kale is cooked to your liking.
4. Drizzle with lime and serve with avocado slices, cilantro, warm tortillas and sour cream if desired.
Never Stop Exploring ❤,