Friday, September 9, 2016

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After a Run

Now that I'm back to "real" running again, it's time to also get back on track with eating. Not that I consider what I've been doing all summer as "fake" running, but when I'm not training for anything, I tend to slack off in all areas, including the nutrition department. Let's just say there's been more wine, more chocolate, and more ice cream consumed this summer than I care to admit. My husband doesn't realize that I have 2 boyfriends and their names are Ben and Jerry. Karamel Sutra, anyone?

Sounds naughty, doesn't it? I've been bad and it's time to behave. Too much food and treats make too much Wendy.

I do love me some good food, and you know that I don't like to deprive myself of anything. But with everything in life, I practice moderation. There will always be chocolate, wine, and ice cream in my life. I just need to exert a little self-control and make the right choices. Today's Friday Five theme is all about food and drink, and I wanted to share what works for me when I'm training.

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run

Obviously, I'm no expert, but after 25 years of running including coming back from 2 pregnancies, a surgery, and time off for injuries, I've done a pretty good job of maintaining my weight and staying fit. It's been an interesting journey, particularly since I started strength training with Becky. My diet has shifted dramatically and my performance has improved as well. When I was younger, my diet was higher in carbs. Pastas, breads, cereals--those were my staples. It's interesting to look back on that because the conventional wisdom of the time was to EAT ALL THE CARBS. I don't think I was doing myself any favors. I used to crash and burn during races, and I do think it has a lot to do with eating so many simple carbohydrates. Carb loading does not work for me.

Five Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run

Now my diet is much heavier in protein. Once I started focusing more on strength training, I started to crave protein containing foods. It's almost as if my body was telling me what to do. It probably was telling me to eat more protein, because strength training increases muscle protein synthesis. The other interesting thing I've learned over the past couple of years is that older athletes do need a diet higher in protein since we lose muscle mass faster than younger athletes.

What about recovery? What is the source of fuel for recovery after a run? Who are you calling older?

I'm still in the protein camp. One of my favorite go-tos after a run or a strength session are eggs. I love eggs, and I eat omelets several days/week for lunch. The great thing about omelets, besides the amount of protein you get from eggs, is the variety of ingredients you can put in your omelets. Sometimes I just put in cheese. But this summer, we had so many fresh tomatoes from our garden that I loaded my omelets up with those. So many omelet options, so little time. And yes, I eat the yolks.

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run
Looks like I have man hands in this picture.
Smoothies are another favorite option at my house. Not just me, but my sons love smoothies. I make a variety of smoothies but I always try to throw some protein in them, usually in the form of yogurt or kefir. This summer, I convinced my youngest son that the smoothies would help his broken leg heal faster, and soon enough, he was making his own creations. Nothing warms a mom's heart more than a teenager asking for more spinach or turmeric!

Meat is another great source of protein, and chicken is a big staple at my house. Not everyone is happy with all the chicken I serve. I get a lot of push back from the men I live with because they love beef. I can't eat much beef--it does not like me at all. Let's just say I don't like to be stopping on the run.... Anyways, I've become quite creative with my meal planning to get chicken on the menu and make everyone happy. But on hamburger night at our house, I have turkey burgers instead. When we order from the BBQ restaurant where my oldest son works, I get pulled pork without a bun. I don't even miss it.

Do you get hungry mid-morning at work? I do. Instead of snacking on all the junk they have in the break room--coffee cakes and donuts--I bring yogurt in my lunch. My absolute favorite is Siggi's--it's very low in sugar--but if that's not available, I like greek yogurt, which is also lower in sugar. A lot of yogurt brands are loaded with sugar, so make sure you read the labels before you buy.

Five Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run
source: giphy
I do like to keep it real, and there are times when I just want need chocolate. I always have some chocolate protein drinks on hand for those days. A research study found that chocolate milk has the best protein to carbohydrate ratio for recovery. If you can't drink milk, chocolate soy milk is a good substitute. Both drinks are much cheaper than protein drinks!

I can't write about favorite recovery foods without writing about beer. You all know I love a good beer after a tough race. For recovery, it's a solely a treat. Beer doesn't contain as many carbs or electrolytes as you might think, and there's no protein. Like I said above, everything in moderation. Because, beer. It tastes so good after a long hot run.

5 Favorite Ways to Refuel After A Run
source: giphy.com
There's nothing here about supplements. I don't use them. I would not be opposed to adding protein powder to my smoothies but I just can't get my head around the cost when I have food sources that provide the same thing. I've had pretty good success with my regimen of real food. That's what my body wants. I've learned to listen to my body. Because if my body is happy, then I'm happy.

What is your favorite recovery food? Or fuel? Do you use supplements to recover?

Check out all the other posts linking up with the DC Trifecta: Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia!

I'm also linking up with Marcia, Erika, and Patti this week for Tuesdays on the Run--the topic is post-race rituals or rewards! Yep...



Disclaimer: I am no expert on the subject of nutrition. I'm just sharing here what works for me. All opinions are my own unless cited otherwise.

66 comments :

  1. Last night, Alex and I recovered with 2 beers, shishito peppers, fried pickles, and a venison burger and fries. I was a bit food drunk after.
    Generally, though, I like to refuel with my egg white omelets and a bagel with nut butter. In fact... might go make a version of that now. Even though I've done nothing yet today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just polished off some deep dish pizza and wine. Food drunk is my favorite state!

      Delete
  2. I love an egg and cheese sandwich after a run. Bonus if there's avocado on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds perfect to me! How do you make those eggs? Hard boiled?

      Delete
  3. I eat the yolks too, egg white omelets are gross in taste and texture... gotta have the yolks! and all the nutrients that do with them. I didn't realize people were still having egg white omelets...I thought that was so five years ago. I never did cut back on eggs when they were being to hard on eggs and then yolks. and so sad for you and no beef ;) We hardly ever eat chicken. I served it last night and apparently it was the second time this week.. everyone whined. The kids get that from their dad. He was attacked by a turkey when he was little and hates all birds. Seems like the less I eat chicken the less I want it too. and now all I like is the dark meat, I remember when I would only eat the white meat because it was healthier...lol I am glad I quit fearing fat, my low fat no fat college diet was so boring! and of course high in sugars and carbs. Now that I have wrote you a book, have a great day! and feed those boys beef :) I'm only a little biased

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, my boys would love beef every day! LOL!

      Delete
  4. I love scrambled eggs (with cheddar cheese), but don't take the time to make omelets very often (my bad). I don't do protein powder either. I know a gal who brags about her vegan organic life style...yet, she dumps protein powder in everything she cooks (???)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been trying to refuel with more protein as well after my long runs. I usually want all the carbs, but I'm trying to be better about going for eggs vs. a bagel after a long run lol.

    And Ben & Jerry seem to find their way into my shopping cart, I don't know how...LOL

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm with you on the low refined carb/high protein/lots of veggies diet. That's what works for me these days too. And I also love eggs...they're my go-to dinner when my husband is working late and I'm a yolk eater, too :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just think eggs are the perfect thing.

      Delete
  7. I often have a granola bar as my mid-morning snack. It definitely helps curb the hunger and hold me over until lunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll do a Luna bar if there's no yogurt available! I try to keep it healthy.

      Delete
  8. Ja ja!! Your boyfriend Ben and Jerry !! I say they hang out with my boyfriends Taco and Burrito.

    On long night runs, I have eggs and Chorizo tacos, they are so tasty and filling, I seem to do better with eggs and tortillas than with anything else.

    Carb loading does not work for me either, as much as I love carbs, eating extra carbs before a race makes me feel bloated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Eggs and tortillas? Now I can get my head around that!

      Delete
  9. Oh my gosh I love your first picture. If I had a nickle for every time I went straight into a pint of ice cream with a spoon ... I also love that you mention chocolate milk because I love that after a hard run (try to get it within the first 30 minutes of cooling down). My go-to post-run refuel after my weekend long runs though is a sandwich (turkey). I don't know why, but whenever I finish a long run, I crave sandwiches and it's become a bit of a joke with my friends, "run is finished, better find Lindsay a sandwich." The right one gives you a nice dose of carbs, protein, and salt! Great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always feel guilty eating from the pint--but I'm pretty good at controlling my intake.

      Delete
  10. This post is pretty in line with what I eat too. I definitely eat the yolks!!! And I could drink 4L of chocolate milk after one sitting. And seriously, I can't count how many times the promise of a cold beer at he finish of a hard hot run has helped me get it done. YASSSS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only if the beer is quality! Miller 64? Michelob Ultra? Pass the chocolate milk--that would be better.

      Delete
  11. I used to recover from my long runs with chocolate milk...I should start that again, as it was something that helped me get through those last few miles, knowing that some cold chocolate milk was waiting for me at the end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yum! I love the promise of chocolate milk at the finish!

      Delete
  12. Hi, my name is Karen, I too am an egg addict, and I too am having an affair with both Ben & Jerry.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Never thought about your stance on protein powder - nice perspective! That's so true about listening to what your body wants/needs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not opposed to protein powder, but I really like to have things the way nature intended.

      Delete
  14. I love ice cream as a "recovery" treat haha

    ReplyDelete
  15. I do use protein powder, but not every day. I lean more vegetarian, although I eat everything and the plan for tonight is to grill a steak.

    I love pasta, but my waist does not. And I don't particularly find it filling. As you might have read a time or three, my absolute favorite pre long run/race meal is sushi -- mostly carbs, but lean protein too. And usually a salad.

    I love my oatmeal, in many different forms, and while I know it's easier for me to maintain my weight without it, I find I do need some carbs to perform best: for me it's mostly oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. And sometimes pierogis . . .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have yet to acquire a taste for sushi. I love fish tho.

      Delete
  16. I'm right there with you in the protein department. Now that we have a toddler in the house, I keep a loaf of bread in the fridge, but I honestly can't recall the last time I used any of it! Protein is my fuel of choice. We also live down the road from a dairy farm that makes the most amazing chocolate milk. Beyond just chocolate soy milk, I am a huge fan of chocolate almond milk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Where is this farm and how can I get some of that chocolate milk?

      Delete
  17. I need to get better with my recovery refueling. Since I run mostly at night, I try to get in a smoothie. The other night I was craving beer, so I ate a handful of almonds to give me a little protein.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Just read this and thought "I don't eat anything!" Especially after a long run, I have no appetite for a couple of hours. Then it usually whole wheat waffles (homemade) and boiled eggs. Gimme some cholesterol!

    On a side note, I read your comment on "SUAR". I too turn 54 in a couple of weeks! We are just a couple of young pups!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I too am a fan of eggs after running, especially early morning long runs. I don't often have protien drinks after I run but they occasionally happen. Sometimes I have a yogurt post run or smoothie...we love smoothies jn our house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't believe how many of us love eggs! This is so awesome.

      Delete
  20. You are spot on with your nutrition! Finding what works for YOU is so key. I was mostly vegan for years and then about 6 years ago I said to Rick "I'm going to eat meat again" and I started and I felt a lot better. I know cutting out meat works for many people but not me. And don't even get me started on eggs. I LOVE them and sometimes will it them 2x in one day (always they are my first breakfast....yes, I eat 2 breakfasts). I don't supplement either except some Mg and fish oil. Keep up the great work. You are doing great and you look amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well thank you! I could not give up meat, as much as I'd like to. I need that protein. I truly believe we are supposed to eat meat.

      Delete
  21. I love that you have beer in there... I love toast with almond butter and banana slices after a run (and I can't remember if I told you that I started drinking some tailwind during my runs and I like it)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad to hear that you are liking the Tailwind! I can send you some samples, if you want! PM me your address!

      Delete
  22. Depending on how hard I've worked, sometimes I don't want anything after a long run. Bad idea, I know, but my stomach just wants to rebel sometimes. I love eggs and smoothies. Post race I always want something salty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't always eat after a long run either. But I try to get something in within an hour or so, to optimize my recovery.

      Delete
  23. I think we may have been separated at birth!

    I just went to a sports dietician to help me really understand what I need to eat to fuel my training and my running. AND... if possible to help me lose a few kilos. Most important to me is that I fuel the right way and not just be like EAT ALL THE CARBS every time I'm training for something. I do think that losing weight will help me in the long run (pun could be intended) as well.

    I just refueled last sunday with ice cream :) I think ice cream, smoothies and chocolate milk are excellent recovery items.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, separated at birth. No crazy recovery stuff. Just chocolate. With ice cream.

      Delete
  24. I used to eat All The Carbs too. And I still do eat quite a few, but try to stick with whole grains, sweet potatoes, and others that have more nutritional value. I don't really worry about protein, in spite of my vegan diet. I just eat a little of some type of lean protein at each meal, snack on almonds or cashews, and use nut butters frequently. Even greens have protein.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need more protein, apparently, than what a vegan diet would allow me. Once I added more protein to my diet, I felt so much stronger. It's been interesting to see how well that worked for me.

      Delete
  25. I eat a lot of chicken too! It's my main protein source. I also eat a lot of crabs but try to time them up right so they help fuel my workout and recover. I try not to have eating rules because I suffered with disordered eating for about 10 years but there is one rule I do try to stick to. I always eat protein after I lift. What b is the point of lifting if I don't eat protein after? This summer I drank a lot of sangria but didn't do a ton of dessert. I think I will crave dessert this fall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like crab and shrimp...and fish for that matter too. I really do try to mix it up here.

      Delete
  26. Eating is the last thing I can think about after a run and therefore I know that I am not refueling properly and in a timely manner. That is something I need to work on, especially as I start running longer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sometimes it's tough to eat after a long run, but I do try to get something in within the hour. Usually by then I feel better.

      Delete
  27. Love this, Wendy! I really don't have a set "thing" or type of food I eat. I eat what sounds good. Sometimes after a long run all I crave is a giant salad and I can't seem to shovel it in fast enough. Other times I want eggs and bacon. And even other times, all I really need is a good smoothie. I try to be careful about what I eat beforehand (like no fiber... duh...) but other than that I really just listen to my body.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was surprised how much I like chocolate milk for a drink! Then maybe a glass of wine :) I love eggs too- easy peasy and you can do an omelet 100's of ways!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm an egg fanatic. There is also nothing better than a cold beer right after a hot run. I'll eat something with a little bit of protein after that :)

    ReplyDelete
  30. I am all about the carbs, but know it's not great for me. I do love eggs, with the yolks, after running, especially long running. They are definitely my favorite recovery Meal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so surprised at how many of us eat eggs for recovery! I love it!

      Delete
  31. I can't eat full fat dairy ice cream - it just doesn't work with my system anymore for the last few years. Eggs are one of my favorite foods and the reason why I can't go fully vegan - I feel good when I eat eggs and they make a great recovery food! Cute pic of you and Ben & Jerry's! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't eat a lot of ice cream, but when I do, Ben and Jerry are my guys!

      Delete
  32. Have you tired Ben and Jerry's Boom Chocolatta Cookie Core? I had some tonight - it is the bomb!
    I am totally with you about eggs. I eat them everyday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot believe how many of us love eggs! YES!

      Delete
  33. I've been eating way too much junk this summer too. And I'm already 8 weeks into marathon training so really need to get my diet under control. I'm the same way as you - I need chocolate and ice cream in my life, just need to learn how to eat them in moderation. Like everything else, my diet is a work in progress!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was just reflecting on this again today. I've been enjoying too much ice cream!

      Delete