Fruits and Veggies for the Distance!
Springtime in Boston means longer days, warmer temperatures and sports! In addition to the beloved Red Sox games at Fenway Park, Bostonians also look forward to watching (either in person or on TV) one of the greatest and most grueling races in the world … the Boston Marathon. In April, around 25,000 runners set out for the 26.2 mile course from Hopkington, MA to Boston, MA. Approximately 500,000 spectators line the course annually, making the Boston Marathon New England’s most widely viewed sporting event.
Athletes know that proper nutrition during peak season is as equally important as proper training. Because marathon training involves 4-6 months of intense training it’s essential to fuel the body well. Runners treat their bodies like finely tuned machines and realize that what they eat directly affects performance during a workout AND how they feel afterwards – that same day and beyond. We should all think about what we eat as directly impacting how we feel not only in our workouts, but in our day to day activities. What types of foods should we focus on? Go back to the basics with whole grains, lean meats and fish, nuts, low-fat dairy and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The great thing about nutrient-rich fruits and veggies (a favorite of Registered Dietitians) is that many are perfect for snacks at home, on-the-go and even as training partners. Produce provides healthy carbohydrates, which runners (and all of us!) need for sustained energy during a workout. What are some favorite fruit and veggie snacks?
Before training runs or workouts (incorporate carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein)
- banana + peanut butter
- oatmeal + raisins + nuts + soymilk
- whole-wheat toast + almond butter + sliced strawberries
- yogurt with slightly thawed frozen blackberries and raspberries
During training runs that last more than 90 minutes (focus on carbohydrates)
- raisins, apricots and other dried fruit (nature’s candy)
- freeze-dried fruit
- sliced oranges and apples (along any marathon course, you will find spectators handing out orange slices – a refreshing energy replenisher)
After training runs (incorporate whole grains carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein)
- smoothie (low-fat yogurt + frozen fruit + soymilk)
- celery + light cream cheese
- baby carrots + celery + hummus
- sliced apples + reduced-fat cheddar
- apples + light yogurt
- whole wheat bread + avocado + turkey + veggies
- your favorite pasta dish (see below for a fabulous springtime recipe)
My favorite post-workout salad, enjoy!
|Asparagus and Artichoke Pasta Salad|
|1. Cook pasta according to directions on package, omitting any salt or fat. Add asparagus 2 minutes before pasta is done. Immediately drain pasta and asparagus mixture in a colander and run under cold water until cooled. Drain well.|
2. In medium bowl combine artichoke hearts, red pepper, red onion and olives. Add drained pasta mixture. In another bowl mix together balsamic vinegar, canola oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss gently, yet thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 8 hours in advance for peak flavors and texture.
|Yield: 10 servings.|
|Information reprinted with permission from www.canolainfo.org|
Jennifer Shea MS, MPH, RD