You run. And you like running. So we assume you must eat, and probably like eating too (hey, they go hand in hand, right? i.e. #thisiswhywerun).
Yes, runners joke around about (or are serious about?) eating pizza and donuts and drinking beer, and doing things like Pizza Runs, Donut Runs and Beer Mile. Ultrarunning and ultrarmarathons are especially known for aid stations that have candy, chips, cookies, donuts, flat Coke, and more (ref: our favorite "How To Be an Ultrarunner" video from Trail & Ultrarunning). Hey, run 50 miles, eat 50 cookies, right? BUT we also know most runners balance out their post-run (and pre-run, and during run) indulgences with healthy eating. Especially us competitive runners (well, at least competitive with ourselves) who want to maintain "ideal race weight" for an upcoming marathon or big race.
We like to balance our diet with ~90% healthy eating and 10% indulgences, more or less, depending on our mileage, training and race schedule. In order to stay healthy, we're in two CSA's and get locally grown organic veggies, eggs, herbs, fruit and more every week almost year round from it. ("CSA" = Community Supported Agriculture. More about what a CSA is here from JustFood.org), and some good reasons why join a CSA). Our weekly CSA share of vegetables and eggs pretty much determines what we eat most of the week, and keeps us eating healthy and clean. The food also tastes way better, has more nutrients, supports our local community, and "forced" us to learn how to cook more and cook fast.
**NOTE** our friends at Local Roots NYC, one of Brooklyn and NYC's best CSA's, are giving NYC Runners + OnlyAtoms readers $20 OFF discount of $200 or more with code: " RUNHARDEATLOCAL ". Also read this interview about eating local foods and creating locally made products with Beth Weinstein, OnlyAtoms founder, here on Local Roots NYC blog.
Getting our food from a CSA and eating healthy has helped us maintain our ideal race weight to run longer and stay strong, and provided us with weeks of the best food for "carb loading" that there is (sweet potatoes) right during the height of marathon season (funny how those coincide)!
But you don't have time to cook?! Ha, who does?! But we've figured out some Healthy Cooking Hacks -- these simple and fast recipes (formulas?) for How to Cook Healthy Meals Super F'ing Fast:
Raw: Veggies + EVOO + Salt + Avocado Chop vegetables that taste good raw, toss them in lots of very high quality extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), invest in some really high quality, tasty sea salt (we love Maldon Sea Salt- it's the best!) or use Braggs Aminos (salt flavor, but not salt), add some Organic Hemp Hearts , crack lots of tasty, high quality peppercorns, and mix them all together into a salad. Top with all or any of the following: chopped avocado; poached or hard boiled eggs; shredded nori seaweed for amazing umami flavor. And voila - an easy, super yummy salad with protein, good fats, fresh veggies and lots of flavor!
Sauteed: Veggies + Garlic + Parm + Egg Saute veggies in EVOO and the best garlic you can find (either from your CSA or at the farmers market). Top veggies with shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, a little Maldon salt, lotsa pepper, and a poached egg. Heaven.
Roasted: Veggies + Spicy Chop veggies for roasting. Drench in EVOO mixed with Sriracha or another hot sauce (we also love Homesweet Homegrown Organic Vegan hotsauce), add a touch of honey or maple syrup, roast. Easy, spicy and good.
Curry: Veggies + Curry powder + Coconut Oil We've figured out a way to make a quick and super healthy curry. The key is to buy a very good and fresh curry spice mix (we get our super spicy mix from Sahadi's, a local Brooklyn market with great fresh spices, but go to a local spice or Indian market if you can). We don't want too much added fat, so we don't bother adding coconut milk, we just use a mix of coconut oil, water, sometimes tomatoes, and a little ghee, and it tastes the same. The key is all in the good curry spice! Chop veggies, add whatever else, sauteed, done.
Hummus'ed: Veggies + Hummus ingredients We've turned "hummus" into a verb, i.e., "We hummus the carrots we got in our CSA". We believe you can hummus almost anything - just add tahini, garlic, lemon, EVOO, salt, pepper and there you go. If you have a less dense veggie, add chickpeas too. We've made hummus without chickpeas using zucchinis, beets, eggplants and carrot. We've made it with chickpeas using cilantro, basil, peas, kale, and other greens. Serve with raw veggies, on sandwiches, on salads, or over quinoa or other grains for a full meal.
Pesto'ed: Veggies + Pesto ingredients Same as above, just with pesto base of pinenuts (or other nuts), Parm Reggiano, EVOO, Salt & Pepper. Yes, this works and is actually quite impressive when made with unusual ingredients like Thai Basil and kale. Throw on top of more veggies, quinoa, eggs, pasta, or bread. Voila, an easy meal.
Juiced: Veggies + Juicer = <3 Not too hard...juice veggies, add fresh lemon & fresh ginger, done.
When we want to step it up a little, here are some of our favorite websites and blogs for finding good, easy, healthy recipes for running and training season:
Run To the Finish: http://www.runtothefinish.com/recipes
Eat Live Run: http://www.eatliverun.com/recipes/
Runners Kitchen: http://www.runnerskitchen.com/recipes/
Hungry Runner: http://www.hungry-runner.com/category/recipes/
Run Eat Repeat: http://runeatrepeat.com/category/recipes/
Chronicles of Passion: http://chroniclesofpassion.com/food/dinner/
The Runner's Plate: http://www.therunnersplate.com/recipes/
The Athletarian: http://www.theathletarian.com/food/
Running On Veggies: http://www.runonveg.com/category/recipes/
No Meat Athlete: http://www.nomeatathlete.com/vegetarian-recipes-for-athletes/
This Runner's Recipes: http://www.thisrunnersrecipes.com/recipes/
Elanas Pantry Paleo: https://elanaspantry.com/all-recipes/
Oh She Glows: http://ohsheglows.com/
Meals for Miles: http://www.mealsformilesblog.com/recipes/
Running on Real Food: http://www.runningonrealfood.com
What are your favorite running recipes? Please share them with us! Until then, here's to a healthy new year of eating well, running fun and racing fast!