Friday, January 6, 2017

An A- Z of Food for the New Year

With it being the New Year and everyone keen to start some new positive habits, I thought it might be nice to return to the A - Z of eating specific for the everyday runner. 

As they say a car is only as good as the fuel that’s put into it. So goes the old adage that is oft repeated in running. And it is true, something that any one who has ever filled up their Volkswagen Golf TDi with petrol will tell you. Eating is important. It is the fuel that drives you forward. So with that a mind, here are a few tips that you don't have to take too seriously:

AAvocado
A superfood that contains protein, carbohydrates, dietary fibre and fat. You could live off avocados and some people do. Unfortunately, those people don’t tend to marry.

B: Banana
Potassium, carbohydrates, the energy fruit of kings.
 
C: Crosse & Blackwell
Perhaps not. Beetroot has fast become of late a superfood and one that is both very accessible and supposedly very good for you. Personally I like to chop mine up and bung in the oven to make sweet tasting chips. Whatever you do, don’t, under any circumstances, decide to take a “short-cut” and buy a jar of Crosse & Blackwell, drain off the “juice” (It’s not juice, trust me) and drink it. You know who you are!

D: Doughnuts
Okay, not the unhealthy doughnuts but the healthy ones that most everyone calls Bagels because that’s what they are called in New York. Still they are circular with a hole in the middle so how are they not doughnuts?

E: Eggs
Hmm… Eggs. Outside of Monster Munch is there a more universally good food out there?

F: Fat
Controversial theory that we should all be eating a fat-based diet and not a carb. While fat is something like 6 times more difficult to burn than carbs, if you are doing a fat-based diet then your body is used to burning it so does so efficiently. As a result, the argument says it is a much better fuel source. I would consider it more except for the fact that I am 37, I like potatoes, pasta and porridge so changing my whole diet to find 3 minutes is a step that I think I’ll leave to another generation.

G: Goji Berries
Might shave 4 seconds off for you and help contripation. Not sure what else they do but they are expensive, are in the health aisle and begin with G, which I’m struggling with.

H: Herring (and other oily fish)
Fish full stop is good but they say the oily fish (i.e. the one your mother used to cook you on Good Friday) is pretty good as a recovery.

I: Irish potatoes
Or sweet potatoes for that matter. Doesn’t have to be all pasta you know.

J: Jaffa Cakes
Supposedly good in the hours leading up to a race. I have my doubts. I remember my local soccer team eating them on the eve of our local cup final because we heard the did the same in England. About 2 or 3 lads threw-up before kick-off. They weren’t included the following week in the replay.

K: Kellogg’s Cornflakes
Okay, not a running food but having given it up for breakfast (see Oats below) I couldn’t possible go cold turkey on cornflakes and expect to mentally stick with.

L: Liver or Lentils
Two of the most difficult to include foods out there. I mean how many children get excited hearing their having a liver curry for dinner. Lentils are great (if you can remember to leave them out to soak the night before. Doh!).

M: Mother’s Brown Bread
Any brown bread will do as a great slow release food but only your mother’s brown bread tastes this good.

N: Nuts
One food I am not great at eating. Partly because I am not a horse and partly because we just didn’t have them growing up (and monkey nuts at Hallowe’en doesn’t count!)

O: Oats (as in Porridge)
When I finally heard that eating cornflakes for breakfast was like heating your house by burning paper, I finally turned to porridge, now a breakfast staple. This with a few Chia seeds (fancy-ass crunch) and local honey for my sweet tooth. Sorted.

P: Pasta
This carbohydrate is synonymous with marathon and long distances these days with most major city 26.2 milers complete with pasta parties the night before. For the unfamiliar, while these parties might at first sound like something you’d catch Silvio Berlusconi and his tan at, they are in fact big pasta meals where gaunt looking marathon runners swap last minute tips on how to avoid nipple chaffing and 40 mile training weeks.

Q: Quinoa
The most popular carbohydrate amongst hipster marathon runners.

R: Rice
Good old rice. Maybe not as popular as pasta or love as our spuds but pretty good nonetheless.

S: Spinach
Not Popeye energy giving but a recommended natural anti-inflammatory for those long-runs.

T: Tuna
Quick protein, easily accessed. My wife’s favourite along with sweet-corn.

U: Unfizzy Coca Cola
a.k.a. Flat Coke. I hear it is still all the rage. Never tried it.

V: Vegetables
A no-brainer here. Plenty of veg, particularly of the green variety.

W: Water
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Practice walking around with a bottle at work.

X: Xylophone
Full of er… iron?

Y: Yellow Banana
Didn’t we already have bananas down? Yes, we did but no harm having a few more.

Z: Zucchini
Or is it corgette?





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