I’m probably on a beach right now. Not to rub it in or anything. 🙂 While I’m beaching, I’m thrilled to have Tina Muir from Fuel Your Future with Tina here to guest post for me. Tina is an elite runner whose goal is to represent Great Britain in the Olympic marathon. I have no doubt that one day, we’ll be watching her rock that Olympic race.
I asked Tina to write about recovery nutrition, because even though I know it’s important, I’m terrible about it. Looking at these recipes, though, I think it’s going to get a whole lot easier!
Hello! I am so jealous Cassie is on vacation, but I am grateful for the opportunity to write a guest post for her while she is sunning herself! My name is Tina Muir, and I post mostly about my life as an elite athlete; the meals I enjoy to fuel my training, and advice on how you can be the best runner you can be.
To be able to maintain a high level of training, I need to make sure I do “the little things” to make sure I recover quickly to be ready for the next hard day. As I have not yet represented Great Britain (I am English by the way :P), I am not fully funded which would mean running was bringing in enough money to sustain a living. For this reason, I have to work hard to control all the little things I can to be the best I can be. I thought I would write a little post about one of the most critical aspects of recovery.
Priority number one is to eat within 45 minutes of finishing your workout/run.
I know many people are not hungry immediately following a workout, but your body is most responsive absorb carbohydrates and proteins to allow recovery during that magic 45 minute window. Your muscles begin to break down, and their ability to repair themselves (so you can become faster and stronger) is significantly reduced. That pretty much means your workout was a waste if you wait too long!
Priority number two is making sure you are eating the right foods to allow recovery.
Absolute minimum is a protein bar with at least 12 grams of protein, and 20 grams of carbohydrates. Another option for smaller meal is a chocolate milk or banana and 2 tbsp peanut butter. However, you need to make sure you consume a meal within two hours if you do this.
The meal should be a good balance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats….yes, I did say fats! Good fats though….the kind found in olive oil, nuts, salmon, or avocados.
I mostly run in the mornings, so breakfast food is usually the meal of choice. My go-to meal post workout is my hearty Greek yogurt pancakes. Here is the original recipe, but they can be easily adapted to suit your favorite flavors and tastes. I also made them into carrot cake pancakes recently, which you can find here.
If you work out in the evening, it should be easier to eat a good meal afterwards. One of my favorite post workout meals is my salmon, spinach, and broccoli risotto.
Priority number three is trying to add in some anti-inflammatory foods
To be a better runner, you have to push your body beyond its previous limits. With this comes lots of muscle soreness. I think we have all experienced that moment where you take a step out of bed, and proceed to walk around like an old lady due to soreness. Many foods naturally help reduce inflammation; promoting faster recovery, and soothing soreness in your muscles that you should try to include in your recovery meal. Rather than pumping your body full of ibuprofen, why not try some of these:
- Tart Cherries
- Olive oil
- Salmon/Mackeral/Tuna (Omega-3 fatty fish)
- Almonds and Walnuts
- Spinach/Kale/Broccoli (dark leafy greens)
- Bell Peppers
I have learned what works for me, what upsets my stomach, and what doesn’t. Play around with what works for you, as long as your body is given enough fuel to begin the recovery process, you will notice you feel much better after workout days, and will become stronger, faster, sooner!
Hearty Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes
Makes 3 big pancakes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
¾ cup (80g) rolled oats
¼ cup (75g) whole wheat flour
¼ cup (75g) buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup crushed pineapple
½ cup Greek Yogurt
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup (30ml) almond milk
½ cup carrots, grated
Cream Cheese Glaze
¼ cup Greek Yogurt
2oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp powdered sugar
Mix the wet ingredients into a large bowl, leaving the carrots aside. Stir until well combined.
Stir the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Slowly stir the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. The batter will be very thick. Stir in the carrots.
Grease a pancake pan/sauté pan/frying pan with spray or butter as it heats up over a medium heat. Spoon the mixture onto the pan and spread it out a little with the spoon (they will still be thicker pancakes). Leave to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the underside is brown. Flip the pancake over and allow the other side to cook.
Whisk the cream cheese ingredients together in a separate bowl. Spoon into a ziplock bag, and cut off one corner to make a pipe. Squeeze the cream cheese glaze over the pancakes, and serve with syrup if desired.
Serving size: 1 pancake (with cream cheese glaze)
346 calories, 6g fat, 149mg sodium, 45g Carbohydrates, 7g Fiber, 15g Protein
260 calories, 6g fat, 79mg sodium, 41g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 12g protein
Salmon, Spinach, and Broccoli Risotto
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 cup Arborio rice
1 tbsp oil, split
2 ½ cups vegetable broth, boiled
½ red onion, diced
½ lb salmon, in 1 inch chunks
2 cups spinach
1 ½ cups broccoli, chopped into bite size pieces/florets
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup Parmesan
1 tbsp lemon juice
Heat ½ tbsp oil in a sauté pan over a medium high heat. Add the onion, cook for a few minutes, until browned. Remove the onion from the pan, and add the other ½ tbsp oil. Stir in the Arborio rice and cook for 1 minute.
Turn the heat down to medium, and add the vegetable broth to the pan, ½ cup at a time, only adding more liquid once the previous liquid has been absorbed. Continue to cook, stirring continuously until all the liquid has been absorbed, and the rice is slightly chewy (around 15-20 minutes).
Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in boiling water until almost tender. Drain, set aside.
Stir the spinach into the rice, and mix until wilted. Add the salt, pepper, parmesan, red onion, and lemon juice.
Add the salmon and broccoli. Gently stir, being careful not to break up the salmon. Cover, and cook for another 5 minutes, mixing occasionally to ensure the salmon is cooking.
705 calories, 19g fat, 1932mg sodium, 91g carbohydrates, 7g fiber, 37g protein
Thanks so much for the guest post, Tina!
Readers: Which of these are you most excited to try?
What’s your go-to recovery meal?