As runners are very well aware, carbohydrates are our main source of fuel; however, there are “bad carbs” (white flour and sugar) that digest quickly, make energy levels spike then crash, leaving one hungry more often, and “good carbs” (fruits, veggies, whole grains) that work to build muscle, increase endurance, and boost physical activity. As runners, we love to carb load and always reach for those whole grain carbs in order to propel our efforts, especially prior to our long runs. Consuming those “good” carbohydrates before, during and after exercise will also provide that glycogen boost/replacement when needed most, enabling one to work out longer and recover quicker.
When the good people at California Lavash contacted me and offered up a variety of their delicious, whole grain, vegan, non-GMO flatbreads to try, I happily accepted, tried a bunch of different pre- and post-run recipes, and gobbled them right on up! Lavash flatbreads are a terrific source of very balanced, low fat, “good” carbohydrates with added nutrients like fiber and protein that the body absorbs slowly, filling you up faster, and keeping you fuller longer.
While on a brief trip to our cabin a couple weeks ago, I finally got further into ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek‘s recent book, Eat And Run, in which he touts his vegan diet as the key to his success in winning and setting records in countless ultra-marathons- and we’re talking 50 and 100 milers here! Having grown up in the mid-west and raised on the typical meat-fish-eggs-based type of diet, Jurek explains his hesitation and then steady transition to a no-meat-no-dairy lifestyle while accomplishing amazing running feats.
Given that I of course want to improve my (albeit novice) running as well as overcome the digestive issues that seem to almost always arise for me during races, I figured I would give it a try and incorporate a few of Jurek’s recipes into my everyday diet. While I can’t really imagine going vegan 100% of the time, I can tell that my body certainly functions better eating this way- I feel lighter, I sleep better, and my digestion issues have vanished. Continue reading →
… and we’re back, sports fans! After six long weeks in the mountains with nothing but dial-up Internet to keep me entertained, I am more than ecstatic to be back home!
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great vacation, a little too great as stepping on the scale the other day forced me to recognize the results of my hedonistic ways. 10 pounds of extra fun, to be exact. ARGH.
So today, I want to share a handful of the recipes that got me to that place of ample happiness- add happy hour cocktails every day for 40 days plus a metric ton of red wine every evening, and you can earn 10 extra pounds of happiness too! Continue reading →
It’s Day 9 of our family vacation and Hubby will join me and the kids later this week, so in the meantime, I cook for one. Already feeling the effects of too many hamburgers and not enough running, I’m trying really hard to keep up with my goal of vegetarian eating at least on Mondays as the rest of the week demands a turkey sandwich for lunch and some form of grilled slab-o-meat for dinner.
Inspired by my friend Erica’s post on breakfast grains (check out Erica & Abbie’s blog– great recipes, great reading!), I attempted my own version with quinoa and it turned out super delicious and very filling. Quinoa is nutritional perfection: a gluten-free, whole grain, complex carb, and a great source of fiber to boot- perfect for giving you the energy you need pre-run, and with the addition of the fresh fruit, also provides much needed vitamins and valuable antioxidants.
One bowl will do ya right!
Laura’s Breakfast Quinoa
Follow package directions, be sure to rinse, and prepare quinoa. Take 2/3 cup cooked
quinoa (hot or cold, whatever you prefer!) and sprinkle with 2 hefty pinches of light brown
sugar and your desired level of cinnamon. Top with about a 1/2 cup fresh, organic blueberries (or strawberries or raspberries), about a tablespoon of chopped roasted almonds (or walnuts or pecans), and enjoy! Continue reading →
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you had a great weekend celebrating Cinco de Mayo! I sure did… a little too much fun that I sorely paid for at the Divas Half Marathon yesterday. (recap coming tomorrow) but, that’s okay- it’s Monday and I’m starting fresh and meat-free.
The weather is GORGEOUS in the Bay Area right now, beautiful but pretty warm by 9am leaving my motivation to cook very low. So, after my grocery shopping this morning, I stopped by my local Noah’s Bagels to pick up a quick breakfast- they have a new line of Bagel Thin Eggwhite Sandwiches (under 350 calories and 15g of fat). I opted for a asparagus, mushroom and swiss sandwich on a honey whole wheat bagel and paired it with a side a fruit- a perfect way to start the day!
Just as easy to re-create at home but today I’m lazy and not too proud to admit it!
With just a little less than 6 weeks to go until my second marathon, I am determined to get my body running like a fine tuned machine and am eating vegetarian this entire week while paying close attention that my intake of protein, iron and zinc remains adequate. (Well, I’m really shooting for just Monday through Friday as Saturday is a 16 mile run so I’m certain I’ll require a big fat bacon cheeseburger after that!)
For breakfast most mornings, I plan to keep it very simple- getting myself fed post-run while wrangling the kids out the door and to school on time is a challenge so the simpler, the better! I also find that I yearn for protein after an early morning run and found the best delivery of that to be in a delicious and filling smoothie. Easy enough to throw all ingredients in the blender (with a little help from my cute little sous chefs), hit Liquefy, pour into a glass and go!
Laura’s Easy Flax Berry Smoothies
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup low fat milk
1 cup frozen berries of your choice (if using fresh berries, add 1 cup ice as well)
1 over-ripe banana
1 tablespoon flax oil
Put first 4 ingredients in blender. Blend. Stir in flax oil. Put smoothie in cup and GO! Doesn’t get simpler than that! Continue reading →