Let’s be honest, one of the many uncountable joys of triathlon training is how great food tastes post-work out. In fact, we have a rule on long rides that no one can talk about food until the ride is 90% of the way finished. Then the gloves come off. Last Sunday, Amy was planning a feast of BBQ tofu and brussel sprouts while desperately hoping that her husband hadn’t polished off the leftover cornmeal crust pizza in the fridge. Juliet was dreaming about a rice bowl with oven roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, salmon, spinach, avocado and peach salsa. Rachael wasn’t sure what was in the fridge so just planned to stop for a New Season’s wok bowl on the way home. But we discussed and critiqued each other’s culinary plans in great detail at the tail end of our 5-hour ride.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, we are blessed with a huge variety of local fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, and nuts (and beer and wine). One of the great challenges of training twice a day around work and family commitments is taking advantage of our regional bounty to prepare healthy food that fuels a 2-3 workouts/day training regimen. Here are some of our favorite recipes. Enjoy!
Juliet. The floor of Juliet’s car is a treasure trove of granola, blueberries, dried cranberries and walnuts. A project manager, Juliet eats on the run between morning training, work, more training and her most important role as COO of Hochman Family Inc., which includes two teenage boys, a husband managing a start-up, and a loopy flat-coated retriever. Juliet’s game-changing discovery is the Shower Pancake. “We all know the importance of getting food in within 30 minutes of the end of a workout. By the time I’ve showered and driven home or to work, that window has disappeared.”
Enter the Shower Pancake. These scrumptious, high protein flapjacks are sweet enough to eat on their own. Nosh on one between soaping and shampooing and get half your breakfast in before you even towel off…
Mix together in a food processor until smooth:
1 ½ cups oat flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup egg whites (or 4 regular egg whites)
1 cup cottage cheese
¼ cup maple syrup
Add-ons (see below)
Drop a generous amount on a hot griddle. Cook like any other pancake. Cool on cookie racks and freeze in a ziplock.
While cooking, add nibbles like banana slices, walnuts, coconut, chocolate chips, dates…really anything will work. You can also spread almond butter and bananas between them like a sandwich once they’ve cooled. Or just leave them plain. Grab one when you leave in the morning and it will be thawed by the time you’re finished in the pool/weight room/trainer/treadmill.
Hannah dials in with Oatmeal of Champions. Before every race she eats this “loaded oatmeal bowl of love.”
3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup almond milk
1/2 scoop protein powder (optional)
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Allow everything to soak in almond milk for about 5 minutes. Add extra almond milk if the oats have soaked it all up after the 5 minutes. Microwave for 3 minutes on high, and enjoy!
Rachael’s go-to food for training is her Kitchen-Sink Bars. She usually makes two types at a time, one for pre/during workout and one for after with extra protein. There’s no standard script as she uses whatever is on hand, but here is a good base recipe:
Pre/During Training Kitchen Sink Bars
2 mashed bananas
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 zucchini, shredded/blended to a pulp
½ cup dried fruit (blueberries, raisins)
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2-3 eggs whites
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup nut butter
2-3 cups of oats
Pinch of salt
Optional: chocolate chips (extra dark or white is best)
Post-training Kitchen Sink Bars (more protein, so perfect as a recovery mini-meal or snack any time during the day)
Same as above, plus
1 cup Greek yogurt
½ cup whey protein powder
1-2 more egg whites
Oats, as needed to maintain consistency
Mix everything together. Line baking pan with foil/parchment paper and pour batter into pan. Top with a bit of honey/brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Bake at 350 until top is golden brown or an inserted knife comes out clean.
Amy’s recipe is Kale Cabbage Slaw with Mustard-Maple Dressing. She loves how it fills up a big bowl and even though it's a salad it's hearty enough to last in the fridge for leftovers for a few days without getting soggy. Which means that after big workouts it's ready to be eaten in a hurry - you don't even need to heat it up! It's also forgiving to make - you can replace many of the salad ingredients with other items and play with ratios.
Mix all of these in a food processor, blender or using an immersion blender:
15 oz. can cannellini beans
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
3 TBSP soy sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
Juice of 2 lemons
6 cups of kale, remove the ribs and shred/cut finely
1/2 a head cabbage (red or green), shredded -- easiest to use the shredder function on a food processor
1 cup shredded carrots - use food processor
1 cup broccoli - finely chopped
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Other addition ideas: Sliced green apple, bell pepper, cauliflower, sliced almonds
Finally, Cymon weighs in with her super fast and easy Protein Shake, a favorite after every tough workout. An MD/PhD student in neuroscience, Cymon can whip this together and take it to the lab with her to save time. “It tastes more like a delicious smoothie than a protein shake, which I don’t usually like. The vanilla honey protein powder brings the flavor to a whole different level.”
8 oz almond milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
2 scoops protein powder (28g)
Calories out, calories in! Train, eat…repeat. Hope your enjoy our munchies!