Stirring (the pot) words: cooking for the athlete in you...The second in my regular contribution to the WonderMoms website.
Chicken Little... Chicken Lot!
My favourite protein blasts come from chicken, tuna and eggs. Chicken is extremely versatile, offering a nearly endless list of varied recipe options. One only need peruse the results of any generic 'chicken recipes' search on google for a parade of poultry prizes. Protein is critical to rebuilding, sustaining and growing the stores for endurance athletes. Runners, cyclists and triathletes rely on substantial protein intake to support their training plan and post exertion rebuild. Its equally as important as the pre-race carbo load, but doesn't always find itself getting billing ahead of the pasta fuel up.
I'm a big fan of simple recipes that combine everyday ingredients and yield flavour filled, healthy plates. The latest chicken creation is something I title 'CCPCC' or Chipotle chili-pita crusted chicken; a mouthful you'll see. With only 8 ingredients and 10 minutes of prep time you're feeding your the athlete and everyone else at the table:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 cups Pita chips - ground in blender 1 T Chipotle chili spice or canned chipotle chilies Fresh ground pepper to taste All purpose flour 1 egg 1 tbsp olive oil Butter
Coat the chicken in flour and egg. Add chipotle and pepper to ground pita chips and roll chicken generously into the mix. Add olive oil and butter to hot pan, browning chicken for about 10 minutes, flipping in pan after 5 minutes. Heat oven to 400 and finish in non-stick pan for 10-12 min.
For the spicy pallet, give it a kick by stirring up a generous batch of fresh made bbq sauce.
Sauce: 1 cup Ketchup 1 T Worcestershire sauce 1 t Tabasco 2 T Red wine vinegar Pinch Cumin Fresh ground pepper 1 T Mad Anthony hot sauce (or your favourite fire in a bottle)
The dish goes great with a mushroom risotto, egg noodles or garlic smashed potatoes and some market fresh steamed green beans.
Stirring (the pot) words: cooking for the athlete in you...The first in my new regular contribution to the WonderMoms website
Nuts and Beans
No, I'm not crazy. Nor am I suggesting anyone reading this is either. Rather its time to think more seriously of nuts and beans as staple items that can easily find their way into your meal plans on a consistent basis. These are meals that provide tremendous nutritional value and offer some creative opportunities to spruce up your dinner table when the kids, and you, are least expecting it.
Almonds, which are derived from a tree in the peach family, are probably one of my most favourite nuts. Those who suffer from lactose intolerance can choose almond milk as an alternative to cow's milk. It also has less saturated fat than cow's milk. You'll find it in many recipes and can be easily made in your own kitchen with ground almonds and water in a blender and sweetened with a little vanilla extract or syrup. Almond milk goes great in a fruit smoothie. Here's mine:
1 banana sliced 4 strawberries (or your fav berry) 1 cup almond milk 1 cup orange juice 1 scoop protein powder (substitute 1 small yogurt if you aren't into protein powder) 1 tsp Epicure Summer Berry (see Amanda to order yours!)
Mix in a blender for 30 seconds. Chill in the fridge for 5 minutes and enjoy.
There are many other ways to work almonds into your meal plan; they aren't just for covering in chocolate (like every fundraising effort that knocks at your front door) or for munching while taking in your must see TV show of the week. I'll be back in a future post to share more.
Epicure's Bean Burritos
1 19 oz (540 ml) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2/3 cups water 3 Tbsp (45 ml) Epicure's Seasoning for Nacho Cheese Dip 1 cup (250 ml) grated low-fat cheddar cheese 4 10” (26 cm) tortilla shells 2 cups (500 ml) shredded lettuce
Blend first 3 ingredients in a food processor. Place bean mixture in a fry pan over medium-high heat, stirring until heated through. Fold in cheddar, and divide mixture between tortilla shells. Add lettuce, sour cream and your fav hot sauce if desired. Roll and serve.
It might be the same scenery, but it can be a different scene. Pedaling indoors doesn't have to be a mundane experience. The winter months provide an excellent opportunity for early season base training inside where it's warm and dry. In climates where cycling outdoors in February just won't work (my little part of the world included!) fan trainers that connect to your bike's rear wheel can be the perfect answer to keep moving in anticipation of the spring. So you've bought yourself a fan trainer (Bell makes a good one called the Motivator for about $100)and have a handful of spins completed. If you've gotten bored already that's sure to kill your motivation (see Bell product name above!) to continue. Staving off boredom in the early going will unquestionably keep the fire burning to advance your training program.
Some will argue that over stimulation while on the fan trainer is detrimental to the workout. I tend to think the opposite. Anything that helps the passage of time, helps you stay on the bike and have a great workout. Ipod playlists can be constructed to guide you through the phases of your workout by selecting music that fits for warming up, higher intensity and then cooling down at the end. Come visit me on Twitter @brentkinnaird for my 'essential ipod workout playlist tune of the day' where i'll suggest something new that might please your ears. Matching music to the phases of your ride is critical to maintaining the right tempo and pedal cadence. Don't listen to the same music everytime you ride. I've created five different cycling playlists that I alternate each time I ride. Remember, mix it up to keep the boredom at bay! I like to also put concert videos on the laptop and position the screen a few feet from the handlebars.
Even with the best cycling shorts you can buy, too much time in the saddle will still become uncomfortable. Keeping shifting your position, stretching your arms periodically helps to keep your entire body loose. 30 seconds or a minute pedaling standing up will give your backside a rest too...that little break throughout the ride makes a big difference, and also alters your tempo (more on intervals in a future post).
Don't forget these necessary steps to ensure a good ride: 1. Have a small fan blowing cool air on you...you can heat up pretty fast. 2. Hydrate early and often, as with any workout, don't wait until your thirsty. that's too late. 3. Wear your normal cycling kit, the jersey on makes you feel like you're out for ride on the asphalt. 4. Give yourself time to cool down and stretch following the ride. It's a workout like any other. 5. Keep your head up (no need to watch for cars!) but it does help breathing with a fully open airway.
In the song Open Road Brian Adams sang "I'm sittin' at the wheel, i got a green light. I'm not afraid of nothing cuz, heart and soul, i'm built for life. So let the engines roar, push the pedal down. I want the white lines on the highway, to lead me outta town."
Welcome to my new blog about all thing's in the running and cycling world. Join me on my journey to post a Boston Marathon qualifying time in 2010. First up is the 'mind game.'
Your mind can easily distract you from the simple goal of any run. Log miles, improve fitness, and perhaps prepare for your next race.These distractions are especially true in the early days of beginning a training program. By now we've all read mountains of tips from that stack of running magazines and bookmarked websites emphasizing the finer points of your running form, stride, positioning and pace. Like most things in life we study so much that the obvious basics are obscured in the quest for the 'perfect' run. Mind games play a big role in forgetting that the perfect run might be a favourite 5k route to take in the neighbourhood or a local trail run with a fellow running enthusiast. At its core, the early days of any running program should focus on building miles and setting a base for future area specific workouts.
This past Sunday I enjoyed a 4 degree day..in February...to complete a 10k training run. At about the 6k mark, i found myself overthinking my stride, breathing pattern and pace. Panic set in for a brief moment as i tripped over my own feet in an attempt to adjust my form. Why? Good question. Simple answer. What did they say in the November 2009 issue about being weary of my stride? Honestly, i don't remember. Honestly it doesn't matter. I'll be the first to acknowledge many experts in the field both locally and abroad. I don't discount their advice in the slightest, but caution the new runner; new to the sport or beginning a new season of training to return to the fundamental point that keeps us all going. Enjoy your run. Build your foundation miles. Stay motivated.
I'll be on the start line at Hamilton's Around The Bay Road Race on March 28. Maybe i'll see you there.