The Core Diet Blog

The following content was provided by Registered Dietitian, Rachel Baker.

Like most triathletes, you've spent the weekend beating yourself up; a five hour bike on Saturday, followed by a 40 minute transition run. Your Sunday called for a long run of about two hours with an hour recovery ride. You're cooked. Your legs are toast. You've downed your recovery drink and now all you want to do is scarf down a burger and fries - veggies schmeggies! Not so fast!

Oxidative stress and inflammation caused by long bouts of prolonged exercise increase the production of free radicals and further cell damage. Antioxidants, which our bodies naturally produce, act to combat these free radicals. Recovery nutrition goes much further than just consuming carbohydrates and protein post workout. Don't forget the importance of consuming food rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that aid in the process of recovery.

While supplementing multivitamins and fish oil pills is convenient, and at times necessary, consuming whole foods rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids are much more beneficial. For starters, food is delicious and provides additional nutrients (macro and micro), plus fiber, that you just can't get with a pill.

According to a 2006 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the top 50-antioxidant rich foods included thirteen spices, eight fruits and vegetables, five types of berries, and four different nuts and seeds.

Consider spicing up your life by including some of the following antioxidant rich foods in your diet:

1.Ginger, cloves, cinnamon, curry, and garlic- boast anti-inflammatory properties and bold flavors to go with any type of meal, sweet or savory. Sautee your favorite vegetables with a bit of garlic and curry powder, or add a dash of cinnamon to your oatmeal.

2.Blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, blueberries, and red raspberries- packed with vitamins A, C, E and beta-carotene, berries are also rich in minerals such as potassium and magnesium. Use to top your favorite Greek style yogurt, toss into salads for a taste of something sweet, and snack away!

3.Artichokes, sweet potatoes, spinach, red bell peppers, asparagus, and red cabbage- these veggies are jam packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber, and flavor! Cook to enhance antioxidant properties = researchers found that when sweet potatoes were cooked, their antioxidant properties increased by 413%!

4.Quinoa- considered a grain, is actually a relative of green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard. This low glycemic "grain" is the only grain containing all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (7g per ½ cup cooked). It is also rich in manganese and copper, two minerals required as cofactors for the production of antioxidants. And it's ready to eat in just 10 minutes!

5.Walnuts-an excellent source of micronutrients and macronutrients like protein, fiber, and fat - the omega-3 kind! In fact, just 1oz of walnuts (that's a shot glass or small handfuls worth) contain 2.5g (you're daily recommended intake) of the essential amino acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA). What's more? Once ingested, ALA is metabolized and can then be converted to EPA and DHA (the kind of omega-3's found in fish). The walnut is a rock star. Add to salads, yogurt, and protein/vegetable dishes.

Try the recipe below for a quinoa pilaf alongside a lean protein source and veggies to your Sunday night ritual and get on the road to recovery, in the fast lane - just where the typical triathlete likes to be.

Spring Vegetable and Quinoa Pilaf
  • 1 3/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt plus additional for seasoning
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained 3 times
  • 6 baby golden or beets, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch cubes*
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch pieces orange bell peppers
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch pieces red bell peppers
  • 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch pieces trimmed baby zucchini (about 6 ounces)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

1.Bring broth and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt to boil in medium saucepan; add quinoa. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; fluff with fork. Cover and reserve.

2.Meanwhile, bring 1 1/4 cups water to boil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add beets. Cover and cook until beets are tender, about 8 minutes. Uncover; cook until any water in skillet evaporates. Increase heat to medium-high. Add olive oil and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add all bell peppers, asparagus, and zucchini. Sprinkle with sea salt and black pepper. Sauté until just tender, about 8 minutes. Add cooked quinoa, green onions, and parsley to vegetables in skillet; toss to combine. Season with sea salt and pepper.

* Mix and match your favorite veggies. Consider adding red beets or sautéed diced sweet potatoes. Add an ounce of walnuts for crunch! Make enough to have leftovers (hot or cold) for the rest of the week.

Adapted fromHERE!

Your Company Name


Not ready to purchase?  Grab a discount or trial offer with us!  Just fill out the form below and we'll send you the details to take advantage NOW.