healthy eating

Runner Recipes: Super Simple Post-Run Smoothie

When I finish a long run or tough workout, making food is usually the last thing I want to do. Exhausted, I just want to lay on the couch or take a long, hot shower. But getting calories in within 30 minutes of finishing your workout is vital for recovery - in her book Eat Smart, Play Hard, sports nutritionist Dr. Liz Applegate highlights the importance of consuming calories during this crucial window. 

So what's a tired, sweaty, hungry runner to do? Eat, or shower? That's where this Super Simple Post-Run Smoothie comes in. You can make it in 3 minutes and can even drink it in the shower - yes, I've been known to sip on such a smoothie in a hot shower following a freezing New England long run.

This recipe checks all the boxes on protein, carbohydrates, convenience, and taste. The chia and almond butter add some healthy fat, and the banana and vanilla make it taste like a milkshake :) Give it a try after your next hard workout!

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
1 spoonful of chia seeds
1 heaping spoonful of almond butter
1 banana
~10 oz. of vanilla soymilk (or other milk of choice)

Put all ingredients into a single-serve smoothie cup (I use the Ninja Pro Blender with 16 oz. single-serve cups). Pro tip - put the protein powder and chia seeds in last, so that they don't get stuck at the bottom and can blend properly. Simply blend and you're done - so easy!

Smoothie in hand, now you can shower, relax on the couch for a bit, and know that you've gotten in the recovery calories you need during that 30-minute window. A full meal is still important, so make sure that once you've rinsed off or watched an episode of the Mindy Project, you're preparing a real meal -- like these quesadillas with pico de gallo or black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. Remember, fueling well is just as important as the miles you're putting in!

Happy training!

Runner Recipes - Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas from Katie Dicamillo

The first edition of Runner Recipes comes from Rhode Island fastie and expert chef Katie Dicamillo. Katie hails from Long Island, where she made Footlocker Nationals as a high school senior. A top recruit out of high school, she choose Providence College for her collegiate running career. Under the tutelage of coach Ray Treacy, Katie had great success at PC, with multiple NCAA Championship appearances in the 5k, 10k, and XC. After graduating, she joined New Balance Boston and made an immediate splash as a post-collegian, running 32:31 at Stanford Invite 10k in 2012 to secure her spot on the starting line at the Olympic Trials, where she finished 21st.

But Katie knew her future would be in the marathon. She was supposed to debut at NYC in 2012, but after the race was cancelled due to Hurricane Sandy, she changed gears and instead ran Philadelphia Marathon, running 2:38:50 for 3rd. In 2013 she finally got her chance at NYC, where she was the 2nd American in 2:40:03 in a competitive field. Katie's most recent marathon was her fastest, despite brutally hot conditions - she was a stellar 6th at the USA Marathon Championships in March, running 2:37:59. She also owns a half marathon PR of 1:13:09. 

Katie at the 2012 Olympic Trials, 10,000 meters

Katie at the 2012 Olympic Trials, 10,000 meters

Outside of running, Katie is a personal chef for a number of Providence families. She expertly prepares healthy, nutritious meals for the families she cooks for, and she's shared one of her favorites below. Read on for one of her post-workout go-to dinners.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas
Serves 4 to 6

1 large zucchini, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 yellow summer squash, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon cumin powder
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 handful fresh cilantro, minced
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes, no salt added
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
1/4 cup of cream cheese or sour cream
1 15 oz can black beans, low sodium - drained and lightly rinsed
1 cooked sweet potato in 1/2 inch cubes
Leftover cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 small package of washed baby spinach
1 cup cheddar or monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 package of your favorite medium size tortillas - corn or flour
1 package of your favorite enchilada sauce such as Frontera Red Chili Enchilada Sauce or Katie's homemade recipe** (see below)
Avocado and lime (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Once the skillet heats up, add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and chopped onion. Cook for 2 minutes or until onion is softened and translucent. Add zucchini and yellow squash. Cook for another 5 minutes or until zucchini and squash are slightly softened and browned. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 more (be careful not to burn the garlic!). Add cumin, salt and pepper, cayenne pepper, and oregano. Distribute evenly and cook for 1 more minute or until cumin is fragrant. Add apple cider vinegar and the chopped tomatoes with juice. Bring to a slight boil and turn heat to a low simmer for 10 minutes. Add cream cheese or sour cream and cook till fully combined.
Turn off heat and add black beans, sweet potato, baby spinach, chicken and cilantro. Toss to combine, spinach will wilt. Prepare a glass or ceramic baking sheet by drizzling a thin layer of enchilada sauce on bottom of baking pan to prevent tortilla from sticking. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 to 1 cup of filling (depending on the size of the tortillas); roll up and place seam side down on pan. Place each wrap tightly next to the other.
When done filling the tortillas, pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of each wrapped tortilla making sure to spread evenly. Sprinkle with shredded cheese. Cover pan tightly with tinfoil. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until you see the sauce bubble. Remove tinfoil, bake for another 5 minutes to brown top. Allow to slightly cool before eating, about 5 minutes. Serve with avocado slices and lime and enjoy!

Katie's Enchilada Sauce Recipe
2 Cups of water or low sodium chicken stock
1 8 oz can tomato paste
1/2 Teaspoon cumin
1/2 Teaspoon oregano
1/2 Teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

1 Teaspoon garlic powder
1 Teaspoon onion powder
1/2 Tsp salt

In a medium sauce pan, add stock and tomato paste. Heat low to medium heat till paste and stock combine. Add spices and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. If needed, add more stock or water to thin out sauce.

Thanks Katie for sharing your delicious dinner recipe! You can cheer Katie on at the USA 25k Road Championships this coming Saturday, and eventually at the Marathon Olympic Trials in February 2016!