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by Chris Dressick on February 02, 2012
Do you ever have those days when you just can’t figure out what to eat? Nothing sounds good at all and you end up making unhealthy decisions? On top of this, you may not be up to par with your exercise regiment so early in the season, compounding those bad food choices and their effects on the body. So as a fast-paced, time-starved athlete, you are probably asking yourself what are the best choices? I could give you the classic response: have ample fruit around to snack on and opt for a salad over the cheeseburger. Both are wise decisions; however, by this time the body wants something “tasty” and “different” it’s too late.
The key to making a healthy meal “on the fly “ --as we call it in the culinary biz-- is to have a well-stocked pantry at all times. And I don’t mean an entire WholeFoods isle. Do you have a tomato? Check. Avocado? Check. An abandoned edge of Manchego? Check. And a bit of bread? Yes! Oh wait, the bread is gluten free…. Even better! Toast the bread, slice the tomatoe and avocado, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with black pepper and add a little Manchego for a flavor boost. So simple, yet so good. Found a few more hidden gems in the corner of the fridge? Add a bit of hummus to the bread first, or roasted bell peppers and basil. Bottom line: think outside the norm of what you would go for when typically hungry and make a healthy creation.
Have more time? Get creative, pull a recipe off the web and try something new. Simply because “nothing sounds good to eat” or you are starting to feel not-hungry due to a lack of creative ideas in the kitchen does not mean your body doesn’t need the nourishment. Remember, you are an athlete, a rider, a runner, a swimmer. You need good food, all the time. Simple is often tastier and easier than a complex recipe. Allow yourself a 30-minute window for food preparation. This is a perfect amount of time to create a great, rounded meal. Any more time spent and it often feels like a chore rather than a fun, satisfying experience. Check back next week when I’ll post one of my favorite 30-minute gourmet meals after a day on the bike.