A delicious post-run sweet snack, packed with protein for muscular recovery – plus it’s good for your joints too
olive oil spray
50g whole natural almonds
1 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
1/2 finely chopped red chilli
1 tsp sea salt
4 finely chopped tomatoes
1 tbs chopped coriander stem
1/4 cantaloupe melon
1 tbs blueberries
1 tbs fresh mint
1. Toss the almonds in oil and cook over gentle heat for 4 mins, tossing them around regularly. Add the chilli, salt and garlic and cook for a further 2- 4 minutes or until the garlic turns into a golden colour.
2. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander and tomatoes
3. Toss the melon, fruit and fresh mint together and serve with salad leaves. Delicious with a spoonful of natural yoghurt.
So, you hate gels or want to avoid them while training? Try our all natural energy balls
1/2 cup almonds
15 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (plus 1/4 cup for rolling)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
pinch of rock salt
1 tablespoon water if needed
Put almonds into a food processor and pulse until it forms a flour (or you can use packet almond flour). Now add the remaining mixture and pulse until combined. If it seems dry, add a bit more coconut. Then spoon out the mixture and roll into balls. Coat each ball by rolling in coconut.
These are great for afternoon snacks, pre and post run and every time in between. You can also play around with the ingredients, changing the nut (pecan and walnut?) and add cinnamon, ginger, even a bit of cracked black pepper.
If you’re lucky enough to run with us in Brighton, some of our runners even get these at the end of a run.
We don’t know about you, but we often fantasise about what we’re going to enjoy eating during a long run. And so after we tried a version of these at Ott0lenghi one weekend, we had to give them a go ourselves. They’re delicious, and make for a perfect post run brunch at the weekend…
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup plain flour*
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 cup of milk or non-diary substitute
2 large eggs, separated
2 tsp cinnamon
Butter for cooking
*for an added protein kick, replace the flour with almond flour although it will make for a denser, less fluffy pancake.
Combine, flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk ricotta, milk and the yolks of the eggs. Combine with the dry ingredients and add the egg until it forms a smooth mixture. It should be a thick batter so if need be, add more milk. Meanwhile, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold into the mixture.
In a hot buttered grill pan, drop two ladles of the mixture into a hot pan. Turn the heat down and wait until you begin to see the edges brown and little bubbles appear on the surface. Now flip over. Cook until golden both sides, put to one side in a heated oven until all the mixture is done.
Serve with fruit salad, Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. Sit down, devour!
The best thing about these pancakes is, if you make too many, you can keep them and eat them the next day as snacks.
Sleep, or more widely, how to maximise your recovery has been on my mind this weekend. This is partly because I was chatting with Jonathan Robinson, exercise physiologist at the University of Bath at the recent Elevate conference, and because it appears to have then cropped up in numerous conversations with clients over the weekend.
Time and again, as runners – and particularly if we ‘re also mums and runners, we tend to focus on running only as our training, and perhaps if we’re really good, a bit of foam rolling and yoga. But this is NOT what we mean by recovery, and if we got this right, we’d optimise our performance, prevent injury and avoid mental burn out.
All the research points to how recovery is the cornerstone of your training, not an add on. Ignore it, and you effectively undermine all those hard training sessions that you’re doing.
So, what do we mean by recovery strategies?
What might come to your mind are compression socks, ice baths, recovery footwear and the like, but according to scientifically proven studies, your foundations for recovery are simple -sleep, body management and nutrition.
When we sleep, our bodies get to work, helping our muscles to repair and adapt to grow stronger. According to research in the British Journal of of Sports Medicine cognition, metabolism and tissue repair are critical physiological processes that contribute to training capacity, recovery and performance and are all positively affected with the right amount of sleep.
What you can do?
Start tracking your sleep to see how many hours, on average you’re getting. I have a Garmin 920XT watch which tracks not only my sleep, but the quality of my sleep. It’s a helpful reminder to show when I’m not. If you are consistently getting injured, or not seeing improvement despite lots of training, take a look at your sleep patterns.
Simply put, this means how you are managing your body. Are you only running or are you adding strength training, yoga and foam rolling?
Recovery methods, such as at home yoga, stretching even for 20 minutes per day can help promote blood flow to the muscles and improve range of movement, which in turns helps you to run with better economy, which means less stress on the body. Moreover, focused, good quality strength training not only helps prevent injuries. Research shows that the fitter and stronger you are, the less time you’ll need to spend on recovery strategies.
What you can do?
Try a Yin Yoga class, try to remember the poses that are the most challenging for you and do those ones on your own at home. Strength wise, we have lots of free exercises on our YouTube channel that you can follow to build stability. Our more dedicated month long gym or at home strength workouts will launch in a few weeks for our dedicated Virtual Training Hub members. Pre-register here.
Follow the three Rs, rehydrate, refuel, rebuild. Running is BIG business, and nutrition has kept pace with this resulting in the proliferation of products from protein shakes to beet and sour cherry shots. Some of these can be useful if you have a very heavy training load or are short on time.
What you can do?
You can get all the nutrition you need from the food you eat or drink, whether it’s a chocolate milk/almond milk shake after a run, foods rich in polyphenols, such as beetroots (grated in a salad or juiced with ginger and apple) to help with inflammation, fish, meat or pulses for a protein kick and green leafy vegetables and fruit for a vitamin kick to boost your immune system. It can be useful to keep a food diary for three days, noting what you eat and when you eat, plus when you run. That should be enough, without any expert advice for you to evaluate whether you are eating right for running.
We’d love to hear how you manage your recovery strategies, and if you have any tips that are useful for super busy women.
Thinking that carb loading means filling your plate with pasta, rice or potatoes is an old fashioned way of looking at nutrition. Keep it fresh, zingy and tasty so you fuel without flabbing out…
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 small cucumbers (280g)
2 large tomatoes (300g)
1 small red onion, peeled
1 red pepper, seeds and pith removed
20g coriander leaves and stems, roughly chopped
15g flat-leaf parsley, picked and roughly chopped
120ml olive oil
Grated zest of 2 lemons, plus 50ml lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp sugar
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp ground cardamom
1½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
seeds of one pomegranate
Greek yoghurt (optional)
Dice the cucumber, tomato, onion, radish and pepper and mix with the coriander and parsley. In a jar or sealable container, put 75ml of olive oil with the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic and sugar, shake and season to taste. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Mix together the cardamom, allspice, chilli, cumin and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, and spread on a plate. Toss the chickpeas in the spice mixture to coat. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and over medium heat lightly fry the chickpeas for two to three minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly and don’t stick. Keep warm.
Divide the salad between four plates, arranging it in a large circle with a slight indent in the middle, and spoon the warm chickpeas in the centre. Drizzle some Greek yoghurt on top and some seeds of pomegranate.
Serve either with Lebanese flatbread of with sliced chicken or salmon for extra protein.
Make no mistake, this is calorific but if you’ve done a big run, what’s wrong with that? On the plus side, it’s largely made from ground almonds which packs a BIG punch in helping your muscles recover after exercise
200g soft butter 200g golden caster sugar 3 large eggs 40g plain flour 140g ground almonds grated zest and juice of a lemon
Line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper or baking parchment. Then cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Then gently beat in the eggs one at a time, adding flour as you go to prevent curdling. Now, on a slow speed if using a food processor, fold in the ground almonds and zest.
Spoon into the lined cake tin, smooth the top and bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 C/gas mark 4. Test it with a skewer – the point should leave the cake without any mixture stuck to it. Don’t overcook though! Finally pierce with a skewer and squeeze over the juice from half the lemon. Leave the cake to cool in its tin before removing and serving with fresh raspberries.
The season is on the turn and with it comes lots of delicious fruit which can make for some great, quick healthy desserts…
Peach or nectarine, halved
Small handful of hazelnuts
Squeeze of fresh orange and lime
Add a teaspoon of honey to a saucepan with a tablespoon of water. Warm through to help dilute the honey (some of the water should burn off) then add the orange juice and lime. Taste and adjust if it’s not sweet enough. Reserve the liquid.
Put the nuts on a roasting tray or a clean pan and toast for a few minutes until nice browned. Keep to one side.
Brush the peach halves with the honey liquor and then place flat side down on a hot clean griddle pan. It should only take a few minutes to chargrill. Serve immediately with the rest of the honey juice, hazelnuts and some chopped mint. Goes really well with Greek Yoghurt.
This is the perfect brunch on a lazy Saturday morning after Parkrun, or a fantastic carb-loading breakfast for a long run on Sunday…
I’ve never been to Iran or the Middle East but I do love the flavours and tastes associated with that area, with pomegranate and mint, spices and delicious creamy cheeses. Some day, I’ d love to run in Iran and meet with the female runners who defied the ban to run the Tehran Marathon and ran their own. (read their story here). For now, I’ll have to be content with trying to imitate the flavours of their food.
The brunch is egg with flat bread, hummus and a pomegranate salad with feta cheese, mixed with pomegranate, and mint and dressed with olive oil. Also try some Greek yoghurt whipped with garlic as a side to serve.
If anyone has any experience of Persian breakfasts, do let us know. What’s your favourite post park run breakfast?
Apparently the weather next week is going to be warming up! Hurrah. So why not try your hand at these healthy recovery ice-creams and refreshing slushies, the perfect way to recover after a long summery run
Chocolate & Raspberry Ice Cream
One scoop of chocolate protein powder
200-250ml Rude Health almond milk
Handful of frozen raspberries, more if you wish
Dash of water if needed
Whizz in a food processor until fully combined and then pour into an ice cream or individual blancmange mould. Freeze overnight and serve.
Blueberry, apple & ginger
OK, so it’s not an ice cream but it’s like drinking a delicious cocktail in ice form!
Handful of frozen blueberries
Juice of one apple and inch stub of ginger
Combine in a food processor, pour into a mould and freeze.
This is one of those recipes that sounds like a total hassle and like it will take a ton of time. But it’s really quite easy as most of it can be shoved in the oven to roast away and the pesto itself takes minutes if you have a food processor. The pesto is the queen of this dish, it’s amaaaazing and you can use it with anything from fish to roast chicken so it makes a brilliant post-run meal which sorts out your protein recovery fix as well as being damn tasty.
For the pesto
75 g coriander (leaves and stalks)
75g of fresh mint
50 g unsalted roasted cashews
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot)
0.5 lime (juice and finely grated zest)
half tin of coconut milk
1 pinch flaked sea salt
Cup of cooked couscous
Butternut squash, cut into pieces, and roasted in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper
Vine tomatoes, roasted
Asparagus, gently steamed
Block of halloumi – cut into thin slices and dry fry in an un-greased pan, turn when browned
For the pesto, add the chilli, garlic and cashews to the food processor and whizz up. It doesn’t need to be smooth, a little bit of chunkiness from the nuts can be nice. Now add the herbs, and salt and whizz again. Lastly, add enough coconut to combine but for it to keep it’s texture without becoming runny. Taste for seasoning and add fresh lime juice, and more chilli to taste. Serve with the salad.