Sweet Potatoes for Runners

These orange beauties get their glowing hue from the antioxidant beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A. Both beta-carotene and vitamin A are responsible for maintaining eye health, protecting against sun damage, and boosting immunity. Bittman, author of the recently published How to Cook Everything Fast, serves sweet potatoes at any meal, and also likes them simply baked. “With its velvety skin and tender flesh, no other food gives you the same combination of textures,” he says.
FAST BREAKFAST
“The flavors will remind you of Thanksgiving.” Serves 1.

Ingredients:
1 sweet potato
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Pinch of salt

Directions:
Pierce potato all over with fork. Microwave on high, turning twice, for 15 minutes, or until soft. In a saucepan, cook walnuts, syrup, and salt on medium-low until nuts are coated and fragrant. Slice potato lengthwise. Mash nuts into top.

Nutrition per serving:
355 calories
44 g carbs
6 g fiber
7 g protein
19 g total fat
2 g saturated fat
220 mg sodium
FALL SALAD
“You get a punch in this dish from chili powder.” Serves 6 (as a side).

Ingredients:
3/4 cup salted, shelled pumpkin seeds
1 tsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 or 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and grated
2 Tbsp. red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. honey
1/4 cup raisins

Directions:
Coat seeds with nonstick spray. Sprinkle with chili powder. Roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes. Lightly cook for 7 minutes. In a bowl, whisk vinegar, mustard, honey, and a dash of chili powder. Whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Add potatoes, seeds, and raisins. Toss well.

Nutrition per serving:
291 calories
26 g carbs
4 g fiber
6 g protein
20 g total fat
3 g saturated fat
126 mg sodium
HEARTY SOUP
“Vegetables add more dimension to rich miso.” Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 small Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
1/3 cup white miso paste
1 (15-oz) can white beans, rinsed
Sliced scallions
Sesame oil

Directions:
In a large pot, boil 6 cups water. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add potatoes. Cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Add cabbage. Cook 1 minute. In a bowl, whisk miso with 1 cup cooking water. Return to pot. Add beans. Cook until heated. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with scallions and sesame oil.

Nutrition per serving:
200 calories
40 g carbs
7 g fiber
9 g protein
1 g total fat
0 g saturated fat
678 mg sodium
SWEET POTATOES WITH PROSCIUTTO
“This side dish is like the Thanksgiving candy bar that won’t quit.” Serves 4.

Ingredients:
2 peeled sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Thinly sliced prosciutto (one slice per sweet potato wedge)
Whole sage leaves or other herb, without stems (one leaf per sweet potato wedge)

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Boil a pot of salted water. Add the sweet potatoes to the boiling water and cook about 2 minutes, or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and toss with olive oil. Wrap each wedge with a prosciutto slice and a sage leaf. Arrange wedges on a baking tray and drizzle each with a bit more olive oil. Roast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned and the prosciutto starts to crisp.

Fuel Like A Lady

Chances are you’ve used a man’s razor to shave your legs or borrowed a dude’s (clean) pair of socks in a pinch. They get the job done—sort of—but are not exactly optimal for your everyday routine.

A growing field of research says we should feel the same way about our fueling.

“All sports nutrition research originated on male subjects, as women historically have been deemed too difficult to study due to the complexity of the menstrual cycle,” says Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist, nutrition scientist and founder of Osmo Nutrition. “Since this has been the norm, all the recommendations for nutrition and training have just been generalized to women, as the thought has been, Well, it’s good enough.”

But the thing is, largely because of that pesky cycle, there are distinct differences in the way men and women respond to sports nutrition—and that means sisters should fuel for themselves.

You’re Hot—He’s Not
When your estrogen and progesterone levels are at their highest (usually about two weeks before your period), your body experiences an 8 percent drop in plasma volume. Less of the “watery” part of blood means less cooling through circulation.
What it feels like: Hot and bothered—your body’s core temperature is elevated before you even start exercising, which means you become fatigued and over-heated more quickly.
Combat: Stash your bottle in the freezer! Studies have shown a cold, slushy drink can lower core temperature and prolong exercise.

Maxed Out
VO2 max, or the maximum amount of oxygen you take in and utilize during exercise, is a major player in tough workouts. (There’s a reason it’s called sucking wind.) High levels of estrogen (which peak about five days before menstruation) alter your use of carbohydrates during exercise and increase your respiratory rate, making it difficult to hit the top levels of VO2 max.
What it feels like: That speed workout you nailed last week suddenly seems impossible.
Combat: During your run, hydrate with a workout beverage containing both glucose and sucrose—a variety of carbohydrates boosts the availability of fuel.

Dehydration Station
Progesterone competes for space in your blood with other hormones, including aldosterone (key for sodium balance) and arginine vasopressin (regulates water and thirst). When progesterone increases, it throws the other two out of whack, which can lead to dehydration.
What it feels like: PMS on steroids. Aside from dry mouth or thirst, symptoms of mild dehydration can include mood changes, increased fatigue and headache.
Combat: Sip on water or a low-calorie electrolyte drink throughout the day. Thirty minutes before heading out, hyper-hydrate with 16 to 32 ounces of a beverage containing both sodium and water.

Slim Pickings
Your guy eats ice cream every night and keeps his flat abs. Meanwhile, you work out every day and can’t get lean. Physiologically, there’s an explanation for that: A woman’s body doesn’t rebuild muscle as effectively.
What it feels like: Pain but no lean muscle gain.
Combat: After a workout, consume a smoothie with a big hit of protein to increase amino acids and promote muscle rebuilding.

Small Window
After a tough run, everyone’s body acts like a sponge for nutrients to replenish those lost in sweat and to rebuild muscle. But while women need to fuel up within 90 minutes following a workout to recover properly, men have three to six hours!
What it feels like: If you don’t eat much during your recovery window, you’ll spend the rest of your day paying for it with insatiable hunger and fatigue.
Combat: Don’t dawdle—eat! If it’s a prolonged or intense workout, like your weekend long run, request—nay, demand—you finish at your favorite brunch spot. Choose a meal with 25 to 30 grams of protein, some carbohydrate and a dose of healthy fats.

THE BC EFFECT
As if our own hormones weren’t enough, synthetic varieties—like those found in birth control pills—can complicate things even further. If the pill suppresses testosterone (which some do), it’s harder to gain and maintain muscle.

FUEL FIT FOR A QUEEN
Stacy Sims’ company, Osmo Nutrition, offers sports nutrition products tailored to women’s physiological makeup. Learn more at osmonutrition.com.
Read more at http://womensrunning.competitor.com/2015/01/nutrition/fuel-like-lady_34507#76EyKxv3WQXOUo4d.99

Nutritional Special: DIY Energy Bars

Marronthon Bars

THE CREATOR: Dennis Marron, 40, Pittsburgh

Executive Chef for The Commoner at The Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh. Runner for 16 years.

With two marathons to his credit, Marron has tried plenty of commercial energy bars, but none met his standards for taste, texture, and sustained energy. So in 2005, he designed “the perfect all-round energy bar.” Says Marron: “You get a quick burst from the agave and chocolate, and sustained energy from the hemp seeds and goji berries, while the protein [from wheat germ, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter] is great for muscle recovery.” The bars are available by advance request at the Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh. Marron may eventually expand the business.

MAKE IT YOURSELF

Ingredients

½ cup steel-cut oats

½ cup dried apricots,
finely chopped

½ cup tart or sweet dried
cherries, roughly chopped

½ cup dried goji berries,
roughly chopped

½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

¼ cup shelled hemp seeds

¼ cup blanched almonds,
chopped

¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder

¼ cup toasted wheat germ

½ cup semisweet chocolate
baking chips

¼ cup agave syrup

¼ cup honey

⅓ cup turbinado sugar

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

½ teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions

Coat the inside of a 9 square baking pan with Cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 300°F.

Spread oats on a baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes, or until oats are toasted and fragrant, stirring and shaking sheet frequently.

In a large bowl, add apricots, cherries, goji berries, coconut (if using), hemp seeds, almonds, milk powder, and wheat germ. Mix well. Add toasted oats and chocolate chips. Mix well again.

In a skillet, combine agave syrup, honey, and sugar. Turn the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.

Once it boils, quickly add the peanut butter, orange extract, and orange zest. Stir until peanut butter melts and the mixture is well combined. Pour peanut butter mixture over oatmeal mixture. Stir well to combine. Quickly spread it in the prepared pan, and with wet hands, press into an even layer. Cover and chill for 4 hours, or until the next day.

Cut into 1 1/4” x 2 1/4  bars. To store, wrap individually in foil. Store in the fridge for up to 4 weeks. Freeze to store longer. Makes 28 bars.

Nutrition per bar:

146 calories, 19g carbs, 2g fiber,
4g protein, 6g fat

El Guapo’s Great ENERGY Bars

The Creator: Bill Lynch, 33, Louisville

Chef and founder of the Bristol Bar and Grill. Runner for three years.

A few years ago, when Bill Lynch hit 350 pounds, he knew it was time to get healthy. He enrolled in a Couch to 5-K program, having never run a day in his life. Today, he’s a coach for the program, down 40 pounds, and will run his first half-marathon in November. Running has also helped Lynch’s cooking.“It gives me time to think, so I can be more creative in the kitchen,”he says. A long run inspired him to create these vegan, gluten-free banana bars. Lynch (whose nickname among his staff is El Guapo) makes them with soy flour because it’s high in protein and gluten-free. “They’ve got a mix of fiber to make you feel full, there’s long-term energy from the oats, and bananas give you quick energy.”

MAKE IT YOURSELF

Ingredients

2 very ripe bananas

¾ cup dark brown sugar

½ cup canola oil or melted
coconut oil

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

¾ cup soy flour or all-
purpose flour

1½ cups old-fashioned
rolled oats

½ cup unsweetened coconut
flakes, toasted, or an
additional ½ cup oats

¾ cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup golden raisins

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9 square baking pan with olive oil cooking spray.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Use a hand-mixer or whisk to combine until smooth.

In a separate large bowl, combine the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, oats, and coconut (or additional ½ cup oats if omitting coconut). Add the banana mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in pecans and raisins, but do not over-stir.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top puffs and turns golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars and wrap individually in plastic wrap to keep fresh. Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition per bar:

231 calories, 26g carbs, 3g fiber,
4g protein, 14g fat

Four-Ingredient Cranberry Walnut Bars

The Creator: Pam Anderson, 57, Darien, CT.

Cookbook author, Pace contributing chef. Blogger threemanycooks.com. Runner for 10 years.

When she began running a decade ago, Pam Anderson found it “so empowering and kick-ass.” But she was disappointed when she started looking for an energy bar to take on longer runs, citing the artificial ingredients added to improve color, flavor, and texture, or to prolong shelf life. Plus, she found that many bars tasted like junk food. To please her palate and save her system from unpronounceable additives and excessive sugar, she created an alternative with the rule,“K.I.S.S.”—Keep It Simple, Stupid. Her no-fuss, no-bake bars include just four ingredients.“They’re all superfoods,” she says.“Dates are the binder, cranberries lend sweetness, the nuts offer crunch, and the coconut adds texture. Throw it all into a food processor, pat the mix into a pan, and have a natural treat for your next run.”

MAKE IT YOURSELF

Ingredients

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup unsweetened
shredded coconut

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place the walnuts in a small baking pan and toast 10 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Line an 8 square baking pan with plastic wrap. Coat the inside with cooking spray.

In a food processor, combine the dates, cranberries, walnuts, and coconut. Process until fruit and nuts are ground into fine pieces. Add one tablespoon of water. Continue to process until mixture begins to hold together when pressed with your fingers. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

With your hands or the back of a spoon or measuring cup, spread the mixture out and press to compact. Refrigerate 1 hour, then cut into 16 squares and serve. You can store the bars in an airtight container in the fridge for several days. Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition per bar:

130 calories, 15g carbs, 2g fiber,
2g protein, 8g fat

Artley Packfit Energy Bars

The Creator: Will Artley, 37, Falls Church, VA.

Executive chef and founder of Pizzeria Orso. Runner for one year.

As Will Artley’s career took off, his health declined. He ate and drank too much, and in early 2013, he weighed 340 pounds. Looking to stop the slide, he ran his first mile that July. He tried gels for fuel, but they left him unsatisfied. So he created a bar packed with honey and dates for quick energy, and dried cherries to hasten recovery. Artley named the bars after his wife’s health business. “She’s been my biggest supporter in my quest to become healthy,” he says. He’s since lost 115 pounds and run two marathons. “Food is my saving grace,” says Artley. “For a while, it was also killing me, but now I’m harnessing it to make a positive change.”

MAKE IT YOURSELF

Ingredients

¼ cup golden flaxseeds

¼ cup brown flaxseeds

¼ cup chia seeds

½ cup steel-cut oats

1 cup raw chopped cashews

¼ cup unsalted shelled
sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried tart cherries or
roughly chopped dried apricots

26 pitted dates or fresh figs,
roughly chopped

⅛ teaspoon cinnamon

½ cup unsweetened coconut
flakes (optional)

¼ cup raw vanilla protein powder

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup raw honey

Pinch of salt

Instructions

Line an 8 square baking pan with plastic wrap. Coat the inside with cooking spray.

In a food processor, combine the golden and brown flaxseeds, chia seeds, oats, cashews, sunflower seeds, cherries, dates, cinnamon, coconut (if using), protein powder, cocoa powder, honey, and salt. Process ingredients for about 1 minute, or until nuts and fruit are broken into small pieces and the mixture starts to move around the blade in one mass.

Pour batter into the pan and press vigorously to compact. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into 16 bars. Leave refrigerated until ready to eat. Makes 16 bars.

Nutrition per bar:

257 calories, 45g carbs, 7g fiber,
6g protein, 9g fat