Hello everyone! I'm back, bringing you another monthly nutrition tip for October. September was a jam-packed month with the fun of the Sioux Falls Half Marathon, Marathon and Miracle 5K races, and I get the feeling that many people (myself included) are winding their season down in October. When you run your last race of the season, it's so important to look back at how your training went and set some goals for next year. Maybe you have a goal race you want to run, or maybe you want a re-do of a race that didn't turn out as planned. Start planning now - it's not even winter, but soon it'll be springing and you will thank yourself for getting a plan in place to prepare your body over the fall/winter. Talk to a coach, grab your BRF's, look up races, and get to planning...now!
As a dietitian, I think fall and winter is the BEST time for me to work with runners! I want you all to think about your nutrition now, and get into good habits right now that will really pay off during your training.
So, if you had to set one GOAL for this fall/winter, if you had to adopt ONE healthy habit, it would be to start focusing on recovery right now. Recovery is a 24/7 process, yet when we think about recovery, we usually think about immediate post-workout meals (which sometimes can fall by the wayside during training). We also think about foam rolling, Epson salt baths, and finally getting those nagging injuries looked at. Let's take this time to incorporate more anti-inflammatory, recovery-enhancing foods into our diet.
One food I recommend to runners is TART CHERRIES. Tart cherries have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that can help reduce soreness and inflammation, making them the ultimate recovery food to add to your daily routine. You can buy frozen tart cherries , or tart cherry juice concentrate (HyVee carries both products). You can add 2 tablespoons of the tart cherry concentrate to water and have a daily glass of tart cherry juice, and you can also easily add either to smoothies.
I recommend adding some sort of protein (Greek yogurt, protein powder) and healthy fats (ground flax seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, almond butter) to your carbohydrates (cherries or juice concentrate) to make the smoothie more satisfying and balanced. You can also add a handful of spinach for an extra boost of nutrition.
Try out this recipe for a tart cherry juice mealtime smoothie:
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 - 1 cup milk of choice (depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
2 Tbsp tart cherry juice concentrate
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries) or frozen banana
1-2 Tbsp ground flax seeds or chia seeds
Optional: Handful of spinach
Blend ingredients until smooth and enjoy!
You don't have to be in a high mileage week to add these foods to your diet - start now!