Posts Tagged ‘recovery’
This is my favorite weather: crisp, cold, and sunny. The autumn light is dancing off the brightly colored leaves and much to my son’s delight, there are large orange gourds on nearly every doorstep. Sebastian turns 19 months today and to honor the occasion and his new absolute adoration of pumpkins, I decided to finally break out some autumnal recipes.
Pumpkin pie pudding is one of my favorite post long-run meals when the weather is chilly. Its combination of silky smooth and sweet and spicy makes it incredibly satisfying any time, but especially when you’ve worked up a good appetite! I probably eat it more for breakfast than I do for dessert.
The last two years I have made versions of pumpkin pie pudding countless times. In fact, I usually double it because I love it too much to eat just a little. I also think it gets better after a couple days in the fridge so the flavors intensify. I have a great affection for warm spices and love to grind my own. I didn’t add exact measurements because I rarely measure. I just like to shake and taste. Mix your own favorites and enjoy.
This recipe is incredibly versatile and can be made to accommodate any number of dietary restrictions. The following version is gluten free, soy free, dairy free and technically grain free. It calls for buckwheat, which is a pseudograin and contrary to its name, does not contain gluten. You could substitute any gluten free flour or pancake mix for the starch/buckwheat. I’ve added a vegan substitution for the eggs as well. And it makes a delicious sugar free dessert!
Pumpkin Pie Pudding
- 1 15 oz. can organic pumpkin
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 eggs (or 2 Tbs chia seeds soaked 1/2 cup water- use the gelled water with or without the chia seeds)
- 2 Tbs virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup organic evaporated cane juice
- 1/4 cup potato or tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/8 tsp pure stevia powder**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- a few good shakes of allspice, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves*
Blend all ingredients in a blender, or whisk together by hand. Pour mixture into slow cooker and cook on low for approximately 5 hours. (depending on your crockpot, it might take a little longer or shorter). Let cool before servings.
*You can also sub pumpkin pie spice or any of your favorite warm spice combinations. Sometimes I add in a little sprinkle of cardamom too, especially if I’m low on allspice.
**To make this recipe sugar free, just increase the stevia to taste and omit the sugar
Samantha at Color Wheel Meals is putting together an ebook full of fun and healthy recipe ideas for kids. I finally was able to send my recipe submissions to her recently. I realized it was a great excuse to actually write down some of my favorite dishes instead of always just mixing, baking, and cooking on intuition. I am very guilty of eye-balling and not following formalized directions! This creative outlet is undoubtedly what I love most about food. Making something delicious that is at the same time nourishing is such a great feeling of accomplishment!
And what better place to exercise unrestrained creativity than smoothie-making?
So here is one of my toddler son’s favorites. Blend all ingredients together and enjoy:
- 4-5 oz water
- 1 TBS hemp seeds
- 1-2 tsps bee pollen
- 2 dates
- 1-2 oz of unsweetened almond milk
- splash of vanilla extract
- large handful of baby spinach
I got the idea for “baby shakes” from Natalia Rose’s website. She has a wonderful community forum that I joined a few years ago. Now that my baby is a toddler (he turned one at the end of March!) and drinking from a sippy cup, I thought I’d create my own little nutrient-packed smoothies.
- 1/4 Cup sunflower seeds
- 1 Cup water (filtered if you need to)
- 4-5 Frozen strawberries (organic is best, conventional strawberries have tons of pesticides)
- 1/4 Frozen wild blueberries
- 1 tps raw local honey (omit if baby is less than 1 year)
Blend the sunflower seeds with the water at high speed first to make sunflower milk. (I find this really tastey by itself). Then add berries and honey. A high-powered blender (like a vitamix or blend-tec) makes this a much smoother, less seed-filled drink. If you don’t have a high-speed blender, you will probably need to strain out the seeds. I’m excited about starting smoothies and can’t wait to add some greens and avocados too!
*This probably goes without saying, but this recipe makes a yummy, nutrient-dense adult beverage as well!
It’s Monday and I have a headache. OK, maybe it’s not really a headache… maybe it’s just that I have an endorphine hangover from the excitement and stress of last week’s events and I need a vacation.
Well, after going downstairs for a hit of Americano (bad!) and snack, I realized that I really take the Lärabar for granted.
Lärabars are always there when you need them. They are my food in a pinch. These bars are vegan and have no gluten, no soy, no gmo’s, and are only sweetened with fruit. Except for the newer Peanut Butter Cookie flavor, they are completely raw. (I don’t eat peanuts for other reasons though). All the flavors even have fewer than 6 ingredients. How many other foods can say that?
They also make a great bar to take on the road for a recovery food. Every ingredient is a food in a recognizable state to your body! That means less waist to build up and process and the more nutrients the body can absorb from the food. Reading the ingredients for most “energy bars” is a frightening and (hopefully) sobering moment. I wish people would stop to realize that if they can’t pronounce something, they probably shouldn’t be eating it.
My Favorites: Cherry Pie (cherries have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, so great after exercise!), Pistachio, Cinnamon Roll and Jocolat Chocolate Hazelnut.
One upside about the company being bought out by General Mills is that you can find them everywhere from cafeterias to gas stations. And as anyone with food allergies or restrictions can relate to: they mean not having to go hungry. So, thank you Lärabars. I owe you more than one.
1 Cup blueberries (I use the frozen wild blueberries from Trader Joes)
In my brief stint at Oregon, before quitting law school, the athletic department’s nutritionist required us to either down a “Balance Shake” in a can or a bar immediately following a hard workout. She wasn’t entirely fond of me since I refused to ingest these products. Not only did they contain dairy products, but they were loaded with the dreaded HFC (high fructose corn syrup) and coated with hydrogenated oils (trans-fats). GROSS. This wasn’t the stone age either- it was the fall of 2002. And, she was supposed to be a nutritionist! (Never mind that she was overweight herself, probably from snacking on too many of these free bars and shakes that were given to the school as some kind of promotional deal….)
Instead, my compromise was that I would bring along a Clif bar or almond butter and jam sandwich. These wholesome snacks, however, were very hard for me to consume after really exerting myself… especially if it was hot. I have a terribly sensitive stomach! And hard efforts make me nauseous. To be honest, for most of my running life, I have avoided eating anything for quite some time after a strenuous workout. I have also always been known by my coaches for slow recoveries.
And that is something I would like to change.
There is frankly too much evidence available now about muscle breakdown and recovery for me to neglect this aspect of training any longer. I have forced myself to get over my food aversion mostly through liquid forms of energy replacement. Bellow is a recipe for the smoothie that I consumed today after a moderately-paced 16 miler. It was sunny and hot toward the end, and I felt really zapped of fluid.
In a blender:
24 oz filtered water
1/4 C unsweetened cranberry juice
1.5 C of organic frozen mixed berries
2 tsp stevia powder
1 Tbs agave nectar
3 Tbs rice protein powder*
1/4 tsp sea salt
If you like a thicker smoothie, you can add ice.
- Fruit- bananas, melons, pineapple, mango, peaches, nectarines, plums.
- Dried fruit that has been soaked the night before in a little water to plump it up like: apricots, raisins, currants, dates, figs, prunes, etc. Provides fiber, flavor, nutrients.
- Juices (especially high antioxidant juices like unsweetened pomegranate, blueberry, acai, gojiberry- trader joes has some excellent varieties) Make sure they are free of HFC and other added sweeteners.
- Greens: powdered greens, spirulina, chlorophyll, blue-green algae, kelp. If you have a vitamix or K-tec, then add some whole greens like kale or sea-vegetables to the smoothie!
- Bee pollen
- Almond butter, handful of nuts (like walnuts or almonds)
- Flax oil, or flax seeds (preground if you do not have a very powerful blender) for Omega-3′s and fiber from the flax seeds.
- Dash of cinnamon- tastes great and helps regulate blood sugar.
- Powdered vitamin C, Emergen-C packet, liquid trace minerals.
You can be creative and add whatever you like. Sometimes I make “desert” smoothies too… with rice milk, agave, brewed chai tea, cinnamon, and ice. Great ending to a hot summer’s night.
I’d love to hear more ideas for creative smoothie making!