As a Marathon runner, not only do I spend a lot of time running, I also spend a lot of time thinking about food! How I can get the best from my food intake to optimize recovery from training and my performance.
Fueling has been a real learning curve for me. In my earlier days of running I struggled with gut issues, multiple stress fractures. Obstacles that made me think ‘things can be done better.’ I began reading more on nutrition, met with Sports Nutritionists and learning through trial and error.
Fast forward on a couple of years and my motivation for getting fuel right, was intensely motivated by three extra littler stomachs we had in the house.
I figure it is simple, if the changes I have made to my fueling are;
- Making me stronger in training.
- Keeping my energy levels balanced (I’m not struggling with big highs followed by those energy slumps).
- Aiding better recovery
- And I am avoiding nasty bone injuries,
then this recipe is a must share with these three precious bodies. Their bones, muscles and minds seem to be growing faster than this lady will ever run!
Our family recipe is ‘real food’, high in the foods that we can source from the weekly vegetable/fruit markets (also home to our regular egg supplier) and our local butchers. We aim to keep processed and packaged food items to a minimum in our regular daily eating. Our plates are an attractive rainbow of colour, balancing carbohydrates, fat, protein, “a bit of everything please”.
More recently I have become more aware as to the importance of the good sources of protein and those quality fats. By adding a bit extra from these food groups to my meals and snacks, I found I was recovering better and staying full for longer.
Our answers to that common statement; “I’m still hungry’, or ‘that isn’t enough” (probably said most often by their marathon mum) are;
- A handful of mixed nuts (mixed with a few pretzels can be a tasty combo).
- A few more slices of avocado, sliced chicken, or cheese with that.
- Painting a carrot, apple or banana with nut butter or hummus. (pic below an attempt to make a peanut butter filled banana look as good as it tastes)
- Full fat natural yoghurt, handful of almonds, or nut butters in smoothies.
- Cracking an egg on it – boiled egg on multigrain crackers afterschool, poached egg on a salad, or toast.
- Dressing things up with olive oil, avocado oil.
- I like adding tinned salmon.
- To improve the quality of our home baking I sub or add almond meal, nuts, full fat youghurt, nuts, dried fruit, dark choc.
Keeping it ‘real’ for a family of five, requires a training plan of its own and rest assured just like a running training programme we are realistic, you need to be flexible and expect sometimes we will fall off the track which is ok too.
I plan our weekly meals and shopping lists, batch cooking meals/sauces to freeze for busy weeks. I often double recipes to make lunch leftovers for all and keep the freezer stocked with healthy baking for snacks.
It is fortunate Jimmy (hubby) and I have healthy appetites for great food! Simply enjoying to eat our meals was a big step towards getting the kids on board. Our evening meals are a time for sitting together, talking and sharing food, sometimes we talk about the good stuff on our plate and what it helps us to do. Our lunch boxes are packed together, we experiment, taking turns to select new recipes and keep food interesting. All done knowing we will treat ourselves every now and again too!
As I see our family thriving and enjoying the goodness of real food, I know this is another part of my marathon journey worth travelling, not just for me but for all of Team Kemp. @katiekemprunner