By: Ashley Hicks, @amhicks01
For those looking to amp up those workouts and your performance in an upcoming race, QUINOA and SWEET POTATOES are the way to go! A runner's diet is important not for only maintaining good health, but also to promote peak performance. In the days leading up to a competition, when its time to 'carb load', Kyle Pfaffenbach, a Performance Nutrition Consultant for the Brooks Beasts Track Club, recommends Sweet Potatoes and Quinoa.
Why Eat Those?: The foods above are high in complex carbohydrates. They serve runners by filling muscle glycogen stores, which is a major energy source during high intensity workouts and races. A higher percentage of complex carbs are recommended in the days leading up to a competition, and this 'carbo loading' can maximize glycogen stores and contribute to improved performance.
Believe it or not, I have gotten tired of the same ol' pasta!! So for those bored with pasta like me, quinoa is a tasty alternative. Quinoa is not only packed with carbs, it's also very rich in protein. A 6-ounce serving of quinoa contains 132 calories, 23 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of unsaturated fat. Cooking quinoa is very similar to boiling rice. It's an excellent side dish to have with fish or chicken. You can also eat it cold to go along with a salad.
Check out this great recipe below for Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes I pulled from Yummly! You will be sure to thank me later!
makes 4 cakes, is super easily multiplied
1 medium sweet potato (about 6 oz), peeled and chopped1/2 red onion, diced1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add in sweet potato, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, stir, cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until potato is soft. Remove lid and add garlic, cooking for 30 seconds.Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl (slightly mashing potato with a fork) and add quinoa, breadcrumbs, cheese, herbs, remaining salt and pepper and mix well. Once combined, add in egg, then mix until moistened. Using your hands to bring it together, form four equally-sized patties. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add cakes and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Voila! Enjoy....Do you have a recipe you want to share with BGR! Nation, send to firstname.lastname@example.org?
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