Fueling or Enjoying?
A big debate that always seems to come up in the running community and the non-running community is food. The "good, the "bad" and everything in between.
My two cents is: If we don’t fuel we can’t preform—if we don't enjoy what's the point? It shouldn't be fueling or enjoying---it should be an AND.
We have been so conditioned to think about what we eat on such a grand scale. Especially for women, this conditioning starts before we even are in elementary school—“Oh you don’t need to have a snack, you just had lunch 20 min ago”, “Oh you still have your baby fat, just eat healthy foods and it will come off”. Then you transition to your teen and adult years and are hit with puberty and more body issues—-Cue the fad diets and programs designed to make you feel dependent on tracking and counting every morsel that you smell.
Constantly I see posts on social media saying I use food for fuel not enjoyment. While I agree that food is fuel, I reject the notion that it means you can’t also enjoy what you are eating.
Recently I started really diving into athletes who share this ideal-two of those being Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan who are the authors of Run Fast Eat Slow and Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow . Even a quick look through the book shows recipes that are both nutritious AND mouth watering. I think so many people get caught up in what they “should” eat and what is “healthy” that they burn themselves out and then fall into the “I’m so over XYZ foods, I’m going to go all out”. I myself have been guilty of this throughout my life. People and runners alike need carbs, we need protein, we need fats! Unless medically there is a reason to then please by all means listen to your doctor.
I've really enjoyed the Run Fast Eat Slow and Run Fast Cook Fast Eat Slow books. Some of my favorite recipes have been:
Arugula pesto ( I made this and put it over some whole wheat pasta, threw in zucchini, squash, carrots, brussel sprouts and some shrimp to round it out)
Hazelnut Milk (I'm not a dairy milk person so I made this and I swear I will never get store bought nut milk again. It is wonderful over granola with fruit and makes for a great snack post run for me! Pro tip the pulp from the milk is great to add to granola!)
Superhero Muffins (You've probably heard about these a ton but I'm here to tell you if you haven't tried them yet you are missing out. I do a hybrid of the different variations and use apple, carrot, and zucchini in mine. SO GOOD and a easy grab for a pre run boost or heading out the door in the AM.)
In addition to the above I also am including some pictures of dishes that I love that are amazing in flavor, nutrition, fuel and enjoyment.
Simple, easy to make, and delicious. They help to fuel me and keep me from having those hunger crashes that can sneak up oh so easily. You shouldn't believe that just eating some kale is fuel, or if you have that second cookie you are enjoying "too much". Who says muffins can't be fueling and enjoyable? Who says you can throw chocolate chips into a nutrient packed granola? Who says it's unacceptable to fuel your body while looking forward to food?
Absolutely NO ONE!!!!!