Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Triathlete's Non-Sand Cookbook

Props to SpeedRacer for her recent foray into a thriving lifestyle. Like (I would estimate) many triathletes, Speedy would be totally willing to eat sand (or at least food that tastes like sand) for the next ten years if it meant she could be competitive, like really competitive (actually, come to think of it, how competitive, Speedy? Like qualifying for Kona competitive or like qualifying for the Olympics competitive?).

But Speedy is a much better person than I am. I would much rather not eat sand and be slow. But I think it's because I believe that it's possible to have the best of both worlds--that is, you can eat well for your body while still enjoying your food. To be sure, this attitude takes some readjustment of your taste buds. Personally, I can have a great time with a bowl of brown rice and some steamed vegetables without even salt and pepper. But I know that not everyone has such a highly developed palette (read: boring taste buds), so I submit a few of my favorites for your non-sandy dining pleasure.

For breakfast, I mix plain yogurt (if you get vanilla or some other flavor, check the ingredients for nasty additives like high fructose corn syrup) with a handful of berries (I currently have fresh blue and black) and a handful of nuts (currently almonds). The berries lend sweetness, the almonds add crunch. The yogurt is an awesome source of complete protein (sorry, vegans) and vitamin B12 (very important for athletes!). Bonus is that it's very filling.

My new favorite thing to take for lunch is a tomato soup (actually, it's kind of like gazpacho, now that I think about it) I make by combining one can of tomatoes (the kind that are pre-seasoned, either with Mexican or Italian seasonings) with whatever frozen vegetables I have around. I cook it until it's hot and the vegetables are cooked, then eat it. It's a great way to get a ton of vegetables, and it tastes awesome. You don't have to add any additional spices, either.

I also really enjoy making wasabi peas by microwaving some frozen peas then mixing in some wasabi and soy sauce. Delicious. I obviously use quite a lot of frozen vegetables. Not raw, sorry; if I'm going to go raw for lunch, I just eat a salad. Always keep ingredients for a salad around. Quicker and easier and more healthful even than whole grains.

I can't think of anything quick and easy that I do for dinner (by the time I get home from work, it doesn't make sense for me to eat a full meal, anyway), but I'll give you a quick recipe for a snack: green smoothie. Mix whatever fruit you have around in a blender (this morning I used an orange and a handful of frozen strawberries), adding enough water to get your preferred consistency. Then throw in 1/2 cup to a cup of leafy greens--I prefer spinach or romaine lettuce; Kale tastes funny to me. The color will be unpleasant, to say the least. Also, be very sure to add enough water to thin it out; otherwise you will want to vomit with every sip. Bonus points for adding superfood powders like spirulina, chlorella, maca, etc. (this morning I used some hemp protein powder). The key for the smoothie is to start with a good base of fruit that you'll enjoy.

For more ideas for healthy, quick, and easy recipes, check out Ben Greenfield's article on Trifuel. Those are all great ideas as well. Sound off with your favorite quick, easy, and nutritious recipes in the comments.


  1. I like to make a frittata out of egg whites and feta cheese and a can of diced tomatoes. Really yummy. Just mix it up and throw it all in a cast iron pan and bake in the oven. I also did this eat local challenge thing last year and posted some recipes that were all organic, local and easy on the site I had for the challenge:
    I just went back and reread those and man it's making me hungry!

    Watch those cans of diced tomatoes. I was really surprised to see that most of them have sugar added.

    My favorite meal that I sometimes just eat for breakfast lunch and dinner is a bag of thawed, frozen berries (I am on a cherry kick right now) Some High Fiber Cereal (I am using the Benefit Nutrition stuff -- it has no additives in it) and some Kashi puffs. Skim milk & sweetened with Stevia. I just finished a giant bowl.

    In fact, on our trip, I just kept a box of the cereal with me at all times to snack on. I am weird.

  2. "you will want to vomit with every sip" Now THAT's how you sell a recipe!

    It seems like the main difference between your diet plan and mine is that YOU know how to cook. Would you like to come over to my house and cook for me? Because those recipes sound good. Well, the ones that don't make you "want to vomit with every sip", anyway. And I agree, kale tastes weird.

  3. Dude, canned diced Italian-spiced tomatoes are MY new favorite too. Best, easiest thing ever.

  4. check out the blog below. shes in chicago and psycho about the whole ironamn thing too.