I had the pleasure of contacting Kate way back when I bagan my training for the 1,311 mile run, I had a rough idea about nutrition but wanted a point of reference that not only told me what to eat and when but how to turn these ingredients into simple, delicious meals. Ive used it extensively over the past year and have yet to find one that I didnt like! I invited Kate to tell us a little about nutrition, her book and why she decided to write it, I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks very much, Mark, for inviting me onto your site as a guest blogger! If any readers haven’t come across me before, I’m a marathon runner – just the one or two per year rather than 50(!) – and author of Go Faster Food. I’m totally passionate about the link between good eating and better athletic performance and the vital role food plays in fuelling stamina and recovery. My book Go Faster Food offers advice for endurance athletes, both recreational and serious, on how to eat for optimal training, performance and recovery and brings dry nutritional theory to like with hundreds of delicious and energy-boosting recipes.
Thanks Mark for being such a great supporter of my recipes!
Your post about the paleo diet does concern me however, Mark. It’s all very well avoiding processed food and cutting out the ‘not-so-good’ foods, and I whole-heartedly condone this, but adopting the paleo diet is taking this to the extreme. It is very likely to change your attitude towards eating – eating could become a real chore rather than something to enjoy before and after exercise. Yes, think hard about the food choices you make but not so much that you become obsessive about what you eat. If you want to seriously lose weight for optimum training, then you might be better to just to avoid anything fatty or processed – no chocolate, no cheese, stick to lean meat, lots of pulses, skimmed milk etc. Of course, eating directly after a run helps you to recover and to avoid the hunger pangs later in the day.
Well, that’s my little rant out of the way.
I love this time of year when the weather is getting chilly. You step out of the front door in your skimpy running kit and, for a brief moment, your breath is taken away with the sudden shock of the cold. It’s a great time to cook up some winter-warming food and this week’s special in the Go Faster Food house has been my spiced lentil and tomato soup. Now this is packed with vitamins – A, B and C – and is a great source of minerals such as magnesium, folic acid and iron. It also has a low glycaemic index, which means that it will help control blood sugar and sustain energy levels really well. It’s cheap and easy to prepare, very low in fat, you can make it in advance. What’s more, it’s really delicious! Even my 15 yr old son tucked into this before his rugby match last Saturday – he gets so worked up beforehand that he often finds it hard to eat!The recipe below will serve 4:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 small dried chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds
300g green or brown lentils
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
800g can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and pepper
1.5 litres chicken or vegetable stock
Freshly chopped coriander to decorate
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and celery under a very gentle heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the bay leaf, dried chilli and cumin and stir in for 30 seconds.
2. Add the lentils, vinegar, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée and stock and bring to the boil.
3. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the lentils are tender.
4. Season with plenty of salt and freshly ground black pepper and check the consistency – you may need to add a little more stock if the soup is too thick.
5. Serve in warmed soup bowls with plenty of chopped coriander sprinkled on top.