Category: Recipes

Boost your Immune System [Recipe]

Fruits and Vegetables Are an Essential Part of an Athlete's Diet!
Fruits and Vegetables Are an Essential Part of an Athlete's Diet!
Fruits and Vegetables Are an Essential Part of an Athlete’s Diet!

Hey all! It’s no surprise that what you eat can affect your performance and health. As an example, I was feeling unwell Sunday. It’s rare, but I was so tired and weak by the end of the day that I came home and went to bed at literally 7:20 PM. I woke up after about two hours, feeling hot and my throat was very raw.

As many of you know, I believe in whole food nutrition. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This is also evidenced through the methods I must use to help take care of my eighty-year old mother – who refuses to go to a doctor.

So as I got up to make my “remedy”. You can make this as a salad or, if you don’t think you can eat, as a blended smoothie. A Nutribullet or similar blender also has the advantage of  emulsifying the food, as raw vegetables can be harder to digest. My mother has said that if the illness wouldn’t kill her, that drink would – ha, but it works.

I also used this when I fell ill before Pike’s Peak Marathon and I had no issues during the race.

The ingredients are 2 oranges, 2 carrots, 1/2 a small onion, 1 inch fresh ginger root and 2 cloves garlic. The ingredients boost the immune system and are antibacterial in the body. I mixed this with fresh chopped romaine and spinach and made a vinaigrette dressing of raw honey (antibacterial and antiviral), Dijon mustard (anti-inflammatory), and apple cider vinaigrette (antiviral and anti-inflammatory).

The benefits to athletes of whole food eating are numerous!! If you want more they touch on this in one of my favorite podcasts, “The Science of Ultra”, episode 48, “Recovery and the Immune System”, with Oliver Neubauer, PhD.

The salad is not plated – I was feeling so unwell that I just used the mixing bowl and went back to bed!! The next day I can report that I was mostly better with a 17-mile long run…. 😉

If you want more information on how living a holistic, healthy lifestyle can benefit you as an athlete, feel free to contact me! As well, check out your options for private coaching and coached group training! Have a great day!

Excellent Pre-run Snack – Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans [Recipe]

Ok class… who can tell me what this is???

Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans – Gone!

Yes, that’s right – it’s an EMPTY box of Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee beans. I’m going to blame this one on a friend I’ll call Heidi R.T. (and you know who you are…) One day, she had a post mentioning that she was choosing from a selection of chocolate/coffee delicacies, with a picture of the chocolate covered coffee beans being one.

Honestly, my first thought was – Oh, how unhealthy! Until… she reminded me of my own philosophy that small bits ARE ok. And, indeed they are! Every day, you have a small amount of “discretionary” calories to have as you choose!  There is need to be “a perfect eater” to lose weight, or to simply be healthy!

I coincidentally saw these at the store and purchased them. One serving has 180 calories with 12 grams of fat, however, if you only eat a few chocolate covered coffee beans at a time… the contribution to your total day can be small.

So, I chose to have 6-8 of the chocolate covered beans occasionally before my morning run. That’s around 50-60 calories and is a nice little caffeinated pick-me up equivalent to about a half cup of coffee. And, they are not totally unhealthy. Caffeine has been shown to increase athletic, exercise and running performance, the rate of carbohydrate uptake into the muscles, with some studies showing enhanced fat burn as well. Dark chocolate as well is a powerful source of antioxidants.

The real deal - Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans
The real deal – Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans

However… a couple days ago to my dismay, I had just an empty box!

I’ve missed it so I decided to play around with some recipes…. so here’s one you may want to try!! Making it at home also ensures your own natural ingredients  😉 And, I’m not personally into the Paleo diet, but if you are.. this qualifies!

The original recipe is from memienge.com. I like it because you can make just small bits at a time. This is handy if you are the type of person who’d rather not keep temptation in the house. If you don’t want caffeine, you can substitute use raisins, almonds or other nuts for the coffee beans as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened 100% dark cocoa powder
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup coffee beans

Directions:

Melt coconut oil and stir in maple syrup. Stir in cocoa powder, cinnamon, and salt until completely combined.

Chocolate Mixture
Chocolate mixture – almost there!

Place coffee beans on a piece of parchment or wax paper on a plate. Drop small portions of the chocolate mixture on the coffee beans. Now… next time, I would use small candy molds, if you have them and you’re a stickler on having the rounded shape, otherwise they come out more like “drops”… but the flavor is the same 🙂

Put in the fridge or freezer about 15-30 minutes until hardened. Eat. Yum!

You can make variations by substituting raw honey or molasses for the maple syrup; as well you can add mix-ins such as dried coconut or a bit of cayenne pepper. As the coconut oil tends to melt at room temperature, I’d keep these in the fridge.

If the flavor is too “dark chocolate” for you (I love that, but it wasn’t ‘sweet’ enough for my taste-testing Mom), you can use regular cocoa powder instead of dark, and sweeten to taste. I will experiment using natural stevia powder from my garden, and update when I do!

Have a great day, and let me know what you think!!

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