After you've had a swig of water, aim to eat half your body weight in grams of total carbohydrate. That means a 160lb runner should eat 80 grams of carbs. Good choices: two slices of whole wheat bread, 8oz of low-fat fruit yogurt, or a banana.
Recovery means more than just catching your breath. After a hard workout or a race, your body needs time—and fuel—to repair itself. Once you cross the finish line, you'll need to replace not only fluids, but also carbohydrates, sodium, and protein—ideally within 30 minutes. Focus on whole grains, brightly colored red/orange/purple fruits, low-fat dairy, dark green veggies, fish, and "good fats" such as walnuts, avocados, and ground flaxseeds.
In addition to carbs, you'll need some protein to help facilitate muscle recovery and curb hunger later. Quick sources of protein include: hard-boiled eggs, a few slices of turkey, 4oz of low-fat cottage cheese, or a cup of Greek yogurt.
While you're eating, try to drink 16-24oz of fluid for each pound lost to sweat during your run. You should need to urinate within 60-90 minutes, and your urine should be the color of lemonade.
Farro Salad with Vegetables and Grana Padano
10 oz farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 medium zucchini, grilled or sautéed
1 medium size eggplant, grilled or sautéed
12 boiled green beans
6 green asparagus spears, grilled or boiled
6 pieces of boiled broccolini
1 cup spinach, cut in strips
3 oz shaved Grana Padano
1/4 cup walnuts or almonds, crushed
1 beet, diced (optional)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 oz shaved Grana Padano
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp vegetable or chicken stock (or more as needed)
Salt to taste
Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender and pulse until blended and smooth. Set aside. Sauté or grill the zucchini, eggplant, and asparagus. Boil the green beans and broccolini. In a medium saucepan, combine 4 cups of water, a bit of salt, and the faro; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the farro is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and let cool. Once the farro has cooled, add the all the previously cooked vegetables, and stir to combine. Add the walnuts and raw spinach, and then gradually the dressing. If needed, season with salt. Add as much shaved Grana Padano as you wish, toss to combine, and serve.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Grana Padano
1 lb carrots, peeled
1 lb parsnips, peeled
1 large sweet potato, peeled
2 beets, peeled
2 yellow onions, peeled and quartered
4 tbsp olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup Grana Padano shavings
2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425°F. Cut vegetables into 1 ½ inch pieces. Place in a single layer on two heavy, rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with 3 tbsp of the olive oil and the salt and pepper; toss to coat with oil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, turning a few times and shifting positions of the trays, until vegetables are tender. Add garlic and toss, and bake 1 minute longer. In a small bowl combine remaining olive oil, Grana Padano, breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon peel, and a pinch of salt and pepper; sprinkle over hot vegetables and serve.
Creamy Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
1 cup water
½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice*
½ cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 tsp brown sugar
¼ cup pecans, chopped (optional)
*If you do not have pumpkin pie spice, you may substitute 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, and 1/8 ground nutmeg.
Per serving (with pecans): 448 calories, 23g fat, 2g saturated fat, 465mg cholesterol, 40g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 23g protein, 125mg calcium, 476mg potassium
Stove top: Bring water to a boil. Add rolled oats and pumpkin puree, then reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately five minutes, stirring occasionally. Once oatmeal has thickened, remove from heat and stir in spices, cottage cheese, and brown sugar. Top with pecans (if you like them), and enjoy!
Microwave: Combine water and oats in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir and microwave for two minutes, stirring again halfway through. Remove from microwave and stir in pumpkin puree, cottage cheese, spices, and pecans (if you like them). Enjoy!
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk (or low-fat milk)
6 oz low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, frozen and cut into small pieces
2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp wheat germ
Per serving: 395 calories, 7.6g total fat, 2.7g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 166mg sodium, 58g total carbohydrate, 8.8g dietary fiber, 33.7g sugar, 27.6g protein, 426mg calcium, 1098mg potassium
Combine soy milk and yogurt in blender. Add frozen banana pieces, spinach, blueberries, and wheat germ; blend on high until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. For a thinner smoothie, add a little water.
Easy Tricolor Lentils
Serves 4 as a side dish or 2 as a main course
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 large sweet potato, washed and cut into 1/4-1/2” chunks
2 1/2 cups vegetableor chicken broth
1 1/4 cups of dry, rinsed lentils (use green, brown, orange or any color combination you wish)
1 cup frozen peas
Per side dish portion (4 servings): 266 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 603 mg sodium, 38g carbohydrates, 12g dietary fiber, 12g protein
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring until softened (5-6 minutes).
Add the garlic and sweet potato and stir for one minute. Add the broth and lentils and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender (40-45 minutes).
Add the frozen peas (do NOT defrost first) for the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve with 1 cup of cooked green vegetables of your choice (broccoli, kale, collards) and 4-6 oz of any light flaky fish per person. OR, double the portion and serve as a vegetarian entrée with a side of vegetables of your choice!
The Best Turkey Burgers Ever!
Makes 5 burgers
3lbs 97% lean ground turkey
1/2 cup low-fat whipped cottage cheese (or part-skim ricotta)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
potato or whole wheat burger buns
Per Serving (for 1 burger patty, without bun or extra toppings): 234 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 99mg cholesterol, 1372mg sodium, 5g total carbohydrates, 0g dietary fiber, 5g sugars, 429g protein, 18mg calcium, 27mg potassium
Combine ingredients in a bowl and blend by hand, then form 5 patties.
Turn grill on high and drizzle with oil. Cook each burger for approximately 10 minutes, turning once. Burgers are fully cooked when a meat thermometer shows an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Serve on potato or whole wheat rolls with toppings of your choice (try sautéed spinach!).