Tuesday, May 29, 2012

triathletes and recovery food

I am a triathlete.

OK, here's the fine print on that statement.  The triathalon was at the local YMCA and some of our competitors were old enough to be great-grandparents.  My great-grandparent.  Also, I did not do the swim portion of the triathalon and I got lost during the 5k run and ended up crossing the finish line from the wrong direction.  

That being said, in my mind, I am a triathlete.  Here's the details, in pictures.

1/4 mile swim.

5 mile bike.

5k (+1/3 mile to find the finish line) run

This is something my oldest mini has been begging me to do with him.  And even though I felt like barfing for my 36-minute portion of the race and the only part I actually enjoyed was watching him swim, I have been talked into doing it again.  He's kind of hard to say no to.

Speaking of my oldest mini, I took him to the pediatrician last week for a physical.  She expressed some concern because my oldest mini had fallen off his growth curve.  He has always been in the 50%ile for height and weight.  He dropped slightly off his height curve, this didn't surprise me, as he has spinal deformities that are progressively worsening, so as he grows, he doesn't grow straight.  Over time, we would expect him to fall off his vertical height growth curve.  However, he really dropped off his weight curve, from the 50%ile to the 30%ile.  Of course, the over-paranoid mother that I am, I initially started doubting my decision to change our eating habit as drastically has we have this year.  But, logically, I couldn't accept that he would be better off eating processed food and weighing a bit more than following the diet we eat now.  I decided to try not to worry about it.  Then, the other day, my oldest mini told me he wanted to make lunch for himself.  As he sat down with a heaping plate of food, I realized this.....if we all ate like him, we'd all be in the 30%ile!  And ever since then, my mind has been at ease.

For the sake of honesty, I did make one huge concession.  My oldest mini has swim team practice every night from 6-7:30.  That is 90 minutes of swimming laps, which is a huge calorie burner!  Unfortunately, he has no appetite after practice, so I have decided to let him drink one of these each night.  Over the last few years I have read that chocolate milk is the ideal post-workout recovery drink and my oldest mini is thrilled with that!

Another post recovery food that I enjoy is Larabars.  I have never actually bought a Larabar, but I have had plenty of them as freebies given to me.  Larabars are tasty and are actually made of real ingredients.  For instance, the peanut butter cookie Larabar has peanuts, dates, and salt.  So, actually, Larabars are an acceptable convenience food item for the McGhee family.  The downside to Larabars is that they are really expensive....like, I'm talking nearly $2 a bar. So, I set myself a goal to find a way to make my own Larabars.    What I discovered is that making my own is fast, easy, and delish!!!

  • 1 cupe packed dates
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1-2 pinches of salt
1.  Add dates to a food processor and run it until the dates become sticky and well-chopped.
2.  Add peanuts to the food processor.  Run in bursts until the peanuts are chopped to the desired consistency.
3.  Add chocolate to the processor and run in bursts.
4.  Add salt to the processor and run another burst or two.
5.  Put the mixture in a glass pan and press down.  Let it chill for a bit before eating.  Go for a run while bars are chilling.  Recover with your bars.  And perhaps some chocolate milk.

Here is what dates look like before.....

...and after.....

With Peanuts, chocolate, and salt added.

Pressed into a pan.  Ready to chill.  

I urge you to try these!!!!  If you're cutting calories, fat, carbs....leave out the chocolate chips.  For a few dollars, I made about 8-10 Larabars, which would cost me about $20.  Score!