Hi everyone! I’m Nicole, from Ok, Let’s Do This – and I’m so happy to be writing a guest post for Page while she’s off honeymooning. 🙂
I’m a marathon runner who came to speed work a little later in my running career. I love running races of all distances, and usually rotate shorter speed work training schedules with distance schedules. It keeps things interesting!
That’s me, in my natural habitat, smiling because I love racing so much:
And smiling even in an ice bath. I really do love running and everything that comes with it:
I’ve been running for 15 years and some change, and while I was kind of stupid about it in the beginning (wearing sneakers that simply looked cute and didn’t fit properly, not really paying attention to nutrition), I can honestly say I’ve learned a few things in my journey.
So, I wanted to present to you my five top recovery foods – along with a few recipes.
1. Whey Isolates
Why whey? My favorite reasons: full of protein (which muscles love), anti-inflammatory properties, and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs).
I love to make a green monster smoothie, post run. They are so good, I find myself craving them. Two brands I like for high quality whey isolates are True Protein and Jay Robb. Not cheap, but worth every penny.
My favorite green monster:
Here’s what I do:
- ½ cup almond milk
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (I use 0%, but whatever you like is good)
- 1 scoop whey isolate powder
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- ½ banana (have half before your morning run, throw the other half in the smoothie)
- A few strawberries or mango pieces (I use frozen, in place of ice cubes)
Throw everything into your blender. I use a Magic Bullet, so I like to put the spinach on the bottom and then invert it, but however you’d like to do it – go for it. This comes to about 320 yummy calories. I like to pair this with a slice of Ezekiel bread and some natural almond or peanut butter – especially after a hard morning workout.
I know there’s been some controversy over eggs (good for you? bad for you? driving up your cholesterol?) but I have to say, I feel much better when I have eggs (read: less DOMS). And I’ve read enough research to have come to the conclusion that I’m just going to have them. Decision final.
I love them poached or hardboiled (one of my favorite protein toppers in a salad). And, I’m always interested in a high protein breakfast, so of course this from my girlfriend Christina, caught my eye. I have found when I front-load protein at the beginning of my day, I’m less hungry. My husband gives these two thumbs up.
Here’s my version:
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup egg whites
- 3/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 6 slices of nitrate free, organic turkey (I prefer Applegate farms brand)
- thinly sliced mozzarella, to top each
- Preheat oven to 400.
Whisk eggs and mix in broccoli, salt and pepper. Line each muffin tin with a slice of turkey, and fill with egg mixture. Top with mozzarella (I used some lovely fresh cheese I bought at the farmer’s market). Bake about 30 minutes.
Kale is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, vitamin K powerhouse. I will be honest: I can eat several bunches of kale by myself every week. The more greens I have, the better I feel. Not to mention my skin loves it!
My husband generally requests kale chips, which I have been making about once a week.
Also, I like dishes like this Kale & Broccoli Quinoa, which give you some kale and some quinoa, and all around general deliciousness.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 cup kale, deveined and cut into strips
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 good fistful of basil (I have really no idea how much that is), julienned
- 1 tbsp really good balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt & pepper, to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add kale and broccoli. You’ll want to blanch for one minute, then drain. I rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process (mainly because I never have ice cubes for an ice bath). Combine quinoa, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad. Makes 2 servings.
I came to seafood late in life. I was pretty much a lifelong vegetarian (though I still lean that way, I make the occasional hormone-free, ethically raised meat-ish choice), and fish seemed scary to me. Plus – how would I cook it?
All this changed when two things happened: I got married, and we got a fish share.
Yes. Just like a CSA, we have a community supported fishery (CSF). We get 2 pounds of fresh fish every 2 weeks (it freezes very well). Not only are we supporting local fishermen, we’re also getting sustainable fish that’s not farmed. We get whatever comes off the boat that day – so I have learned to be adaptable in my cooking. It’s been a wonderful challenge and learning experience.
I like to have fish a couple of times a week. It’s high in omega 3s, is low fat and high protein.
One of the fish dishes I’ve made many times is fish tacos. Even I was dubious making them, but I’m telling you – these are outstanding.
I got this idea from Jen at Peanut Butter Runner and Bakin’ and Eggs (yep, she’s at both!). I adore so many of her recipes. I served these with a side of beans, and included that recipe, in case you’d like it.
For the tacos:
- 1 8oz fillet of white fish of your choice (I used Hake)
- Chopped tomatoes
- red leaf lettuce, cut into ribbons
- taco shells (I like Little Bear Organics Yellow Corn shells)
- sour cream
- lemon juice
- cajun creole seasoning (I prefer something salt-free)
- pat of butter, drizzle of olive oil
For the beans:
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1 cup of red pepper, diced
- 1 can of red beans, rinsed well
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- black and red pepper
- dried oregano
- dried parsley
- 1/2 tbsp or less of butter
I would make the beans first since the fish cooks very quickly.
Melt a little butter over low heat. Add scallions and red pepper. Cook about 10 minutes, until very soft. I didn’t put any amounts for the seasonings, because I generally go by how it looks/smells. Add a good pinch of dried oregano and the same for parsley. Add salt and pepper. I then added about a teaspoon of cumin. Add the beans and tomato paste. Once the beans begin to soften, I use a potato masher to flatten down some of them. Top with fresh cilantro. Cover and let sit while you make the tacos.
I start by prepping all my toppings. Cut the tomatoes and lettuce and place into bowls. Then, make the baja cream. Combine 1/2 cup sour cream with juice of half a lemon. Chop cilantro and fold into sour cream. Set aside.
In a sautee pan, place a pat of butter and a drizzle of olive oil. You just want to coat the pan, and not really fry the fish. It should be a quick sautee. I have found adding a spot of butter helps with sticking, but you can use a nonstick pan or another method if you prefer that.
Coat each side of the fish with cajun creole seasonings and a little salt. I use a brush to really rub the spice in. When the pan is really hot, add your fish. It will cook pretty quickly. When the edges start to curl, you should check to see if it’s ready to be flipped. When it is easily flipped, it’s ready. (Read: you won’t have to scrape it off the bottom of the pan.)
Cook through on the other side, remove and place on a plate. Rest for a minute or so before cutting into pieces that will fit into the tacos.
Assemble as desired.
5. Peanut butter
Do I really need to elaborate on the wonderful properties of peanut butter? 🙂
I hope you found this post helpful. Have a great day!