RECOMMENDATIONS FOR HEALTHY DIETS INCLUDE NATURAL WHOLE RATHER THAN PROCESSED FOODS says a wedmd.com item. When it comes to athletics, the same rule may hold suggests Julia Malacoff in a SHAPE.com article “10 Whole Foods That Are Better for Workout Recovery Than Supplements”. Just like listicles that promise to identify the top choices in any category, “10 Best… for…” (fill in the blanks yourself), the judging criteria can be strictly defined or rather loosely applied.
Whether or not the nine unprocessed food items that Malacoff names in the article truly lead the field of recovery foods (if such an award were to be bestowed), and beat out protein and energy bars, powders, and drinks, she has picked definite winners in my experience.
Except for eggs, her protein choices – dairy-based yogurt, cottage cheese, and kefir – not only supply the basic amino acid building blocks for tissue repair but are good sources of calcium, vitamin D (if fortified), and phosphorous for maintaining bone health.
Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes both add satiety to meals. A creamy topping of cool cottage cheese can create a delicious and hearty combination, sprinkled with a little pepper. Eggs have also been included in lists of high satiety (filling) foods, but I can’t claim to have had this experience with hard boiled eggs, as pictured with no added butter.
Red- and blue-colored fruits, berries and cherries, packed with natural anti-oxidants, beat inflammation-fighting supplements hands down. ‘Nuff said!
In a pinch, cereal and milk will do as a recovery food, but to me the duo is so much like dessert because of the added sugar, that I save it for a treat.
Orange-colored beta-carotene rich carrots and sweet potatoes are high in fiber too. Filling and naturally sweet, they’re almost like fruit. Cold baby carrots can be sliced lengthwise and used in place of chips to scoop pico de gallo or salsa for a fresh veggie treat.
The entire list of 10 foods are delicious; I agree with Julia Malacoff. Each one beats eating a supplement to recover from workouts. Check out her selections and the information she provided.
[RECIPES: first version from my Mom; short cook version from Annie Petito Cooks Illustrated recipe in an America's Test Kitchen magazine "The Best of 2019" p 67.
Did you know that baked sweet potatoes are as easy as russets to prepare? Because they tend to be larger-sized and very dense, a longer time in the oven is needed, from 1.5 to 2 hours, at 350-degree F. Washed, unpeeled potatoes should be set directly on the middle rack, not on a pan, not wrapped in foil. Instead aluminum foil can be placed beneath on the next lower rack to catch drippings.
They’re done when very squeeze-ably soft, after the skin loosens and separates from the underlying flesh, and natural oils drip from the ends. My mother passed on this easy-bake recipe to me. I’ve prepared them in this way, without added ingredients, without piercing/peeling/boiling for decades. My personal view (I couldn't find the science to back this up) is that piercing or removing the skin allows moisture to escape during baking and interferes with interactions between the yummy skin oils and juices of the orange-colored flesh to escape, preventing full caramelization (development of a rich deep orange-brown color) of the surface flesh, next to the skin.
To speed up the process a tiny bit, potatoes can first be partially microwaved until slightly soft, about 6-7 or more minutes depending on size, flipping every every 2-4 minutes. Holes should NOT be poked into the potatoes beforehand! After microwaving, brush skins with oil (be careful the surface is hot, use tongs). Then place potatoes directly on the middle rack, in a 425-degree F oven to bake for an additional 45 to 60 minutes (foil underneath on next lower rack). At this high temperature the skin will become very crispy. As before, remove potatoes when squeezeably soft and oils leak from the ends. Slit down the center and eat! Or peel and mash. Add butter and brown sugar to make them decadently delicious.
Sweet potatoes can be baked in batches and frozen. When fully baked, remove the skins and mash the innards without adding butter or margarine. Place in freezer-safe containers in amounts convenient for a single dinner and have several ready for last minute thawing and warming.]
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EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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