Some Power Foods for Runners

First of all- watch this video.  I love her, she’s my idol, and she’s right on.  Join HER club:)

I took yesterday off, and ran a nice easy 5 miler this morning.  A little warmer this morning than it has been, but smooth and pretty and quiet as 5:30am should be:)  Now time to shop, cook, and create.  All. Day. Long.  I have the day off and I am in Fish themed First Birthday Planning Mode.  The party is tomorrow, and I started everything today.  I’m smart!  So if all of a sudden I start writing about goldfish and crabs and more fish- that’s why.

But alas, I won’t leave you hanging for two whole days!  How in the WORLD would anyone survive without their trusty tip of the day?  (Humor me!)  Today’s Topic- just a few more power foods for us runners out there!  They’re not weird like some of the others, but they’re packed with goodness.

1. Sweet Potatoes. I eat them all the time, and I also enjoy sweet potato fries a LOT.  They’re a source of carbs.  Their beta carotene and potassium can help with recovery!  I pop the whole potatoe in the microwave, add some coconut oil, and we’re good to go!  B loves them this way too!  What’s that?  How can I make my own sweet potatoe fries?  Here you go!

Oven Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges

2 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss sweet potato wedges with oil, salt and pepper. Spread the wedges out on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until browned and tender, turning once, about 20 minutes total.

2. Black Beans! Fiber rich carbs, protein, and antioxidants in these little guys!  This helps keep you going and promotes muscle recovery.  I’m going to go ahead and give you a desert recipe here, because these things are a. maze. ing.  Ok, not healthy if you eat the whole batch, but one makes you full enough, I swear.  And no one will know your secret.  I didn’t use the hazelnuts when I made them.  Even my SISTER likes these, and she’s skeptical of all things weird.

Black Bean Brownies

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 cups raw sugar
1 1/4 cup cocoa
4 tsp instant coffee powder
1 1/2 cups chopped hazelnuts

 You also need: 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and filled with new water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup of water (eyeball it by filling up half the empty can)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the flour with the salt and baking powder.  For a nice layered presentation in a jar start with half the sugar,  then add half the flour mixture, all the cocoa, the coffee powder, the remaining flour, the remaining sugar, and the nuts on top.  When ready to bake, dump out the jar into a mixing bowl and stir to combine all the dry ingredients.

Drain a can of black beans and rinse thoroughly until the water runs clear.  Return the black beans back to the can and fill with water.  Puree the beans and water.  Add the puree to the dry mix along with the vanilla and extra cup of water.  Stir to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, rotating the pan around halfway through.  When the brownies are finished they should be firm in the center and the edges will be slightly puffy and starting to pull away from the sides.  My batch was finished at 28 minutes.  It’s important not to overbake in the oven because they will keep baking once you take them out.

Let brownies cool completely then use a 2×2 in cookie cutter to cut into 24 squares.

3. Almond Butter.  Better than peanut butter.  Expensive, but worth it!  It’s good for carbs, proteins, and those healthy fats (you know, the mono unsaturated ones).  It’s funny- no matter how many times I tell Brian which is good fat, which is bad- he refuses to remember and thinks trans fat is good. Oh, men.  Almonds are high in Vitamin E- which studies have shown can prevent muscle soreness Eat it on your toast, on your veggies, in your oatmeal, make your PB cookies w this instead, or eat plain by the spoonful (I may finish an entire can this way alone).

4. Coffee.  Studies say it’s good, then it’s bad, then it’s good again.  It’s not all that bad.  And that’s good, because I drink a glass every morning. Iced.   With creamer.  Lots of creamer. Caffeine has been shown to boost performance, endurance, AND recovery.  And when you drink it black (yuckkkk), it’s close to a calorie free dose of those anioxidants!  Make it how you like it an enjoy.  Just a cup or two a day though.  Let’s not go nuts here!  Leave that to the almond butter;)

5. Kale.  Ah my love.  The king of the greens because….drum roll please.

– Low calories, high fiber, low fat
-High in Iron
-High in Vitamin K (Bone health, fight against cancers, helps those suffering from Alzheimer’s)
– High in Antioxidants (like carotenoids- fight against cancers)
– Anit-Inflammatory (1 Cup= 10% RDA Omega-3 fatty acids which help fight arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders)
– Cardiovascular Support (lower that cholesterol!)
– High in Vitamin A (Vision, Skin)
– High in Vitamin C (Immune system, metabolism, and hydration)
– High in Calcium (More than milk per calorie!)
– Detox food (high in fiber and sulpher to keep your liver healthy and detoxify the bod!)

I should have done a post on kale alone!  It’s good stuff.  There are a billion kajillion recipes out there for kale, but I’ll give you the way we make kale chips.  Almost every night.

Jeannine’s Kale Chips (and probably everybody else’s)

Line the pan with the kale

Sprinkle with olive oil, parm cheese, and steak seasonings (or whatever you find in the pantry you like)

Cook at 400 Degrees for 10 minutes

Eat them all yourself so you have to make another batch for Bri!

6. SalmonHow can I plan a fish party without mentioning any FISH!  It’s high in protein and in Omega-3 fatty acids (the best part of it!).  While it’s lowering the LDL’s (bad cholesterol), it’s raising the HDL’s (the good!).  It’s good for your brain, too, and can help with aging (ex, Alzheimer’s).  It can also speed that metabolism up and help keep your skin and hair glowing!  Come on, it’s good stuff.  I’m a vegetarian who eats fish, and I eat salmon once a week.  Mostly in salads.  Bake it, grill it, eat it in sushi- whatever you please.  There’s so many recipes out there- we mostly bake it with some olive oil and seasonings.  It’s a food that’s a good catch!  No?  Too much?  Aw, well.

Enjoy!! Now back to the Fish Fun!!  I have a little boy to surprise tomorrow!!


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