Are you training for a race? Or maybe you've discovered your CrossFit tribe? I do triathlons, which combine swimming, biking, and running in one grueling but awesome event. Whatever the case, all that working out has a not-so-silent component: food and nutrition. Just as important as what you do in the pool or at the gym is the way you fuel your body at the end of the day.
Here are 10 easy, energy-filled recipes to fuel all of your workouts.
The Criteria for These Recipes
Weeknight dinners, as a rule, should be easy. This is especially true if you're waking up at the crack of dawn to put in a brick workout (this is when you do two different activities, like biking and then running, back to back). So by the time dinner comes around, I definitely need something that doesn't require a lot of effort.
I also need something that comes together quickly, or maybe something I can make ahead of time and simply reheat. My maximum limit is 30 minutes, or else you'll find me falling asleep at the pot.
Finally, these dinners need to fill me up. Of course, since I've burned about a million calories, I could eat a pint of ice cream without feeling guilty, but what I really crave is something wholesome that will help me recover from the day's workouts and get me ready to do it all over again the next day.
These 10 recipes fit all the criteria.
When I need a versatile dinner that can be stretched across a few nights (plus a week's worth of lunches), slow cooker chicken comes to the rescue every time.
This is the dinner that comes together in a pinch. Since I always make a few baked sweet potatoes at the start of the week, all I have to do is throw together the sauce and a quick salad to make it a meal.
This is what I make for dinner when what I'm really thinking about is the leftovers. This pasta is even better the second (and third) time around.
Frittatas are the make-ahead meal I keep handy during super-busy weeks. It's the kind of dinner I can pull out of the fridge and dive into immediately — no heating necessary. As an added bonus, my husband (who is also my training partner) has become a frittata-making expert, so this dinner often falls in his camp.
This is my Sunday night dinner that brings an extra boost of iron to help recharge the batteries.
With upfront prep, this is the stir-fry that lets me get dinner on the table in 10 minutes. I can pull the pre-cooked noodles, chopped veggies, and sauce from the fridge and then cook dinner fast.
Pasta night! This is what I make when I want a seriously satisfying dose of carbs. The lemon and fresh herbs give this gnocchi a light spin.
Pressure cooker to the rescue! This is the meal I turn to when I want the best of both worlds: a truly satisfying dinner (with few ingredients and next to no prep) and a super-fast cook time.
This is the meal I lean on for a serious dose of veggies, plus guaranteed leftovers for lunch or a second dinner.
Sheet pan dinners are my miracle meal. It's the dinner I always know I can pull together in some form or another, relying on regular staples like chicken thighs and an assortment of veggies. Bonus points for super-easy cleanup.
The Fit Kitchen
I started training for my first Ironman in January 2016 and quickly learned in addition to all the swimming, biking, and running, nutrition and diet would be just as important to make it across the finish line. This series details the kitchen lessons that fueled my journey. It turns out a 140.6-mile race is one of the best ways to perfect meal planning, figure out what kitchen tools are essential, and finally figure out how to stock a pantry for success.