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Fueling on Recovery Days

On recovery days, if I’m not checking the box with a run or workout, I might as well check the box on eating super clean.

· Health and Nutrition

In the past 4 days, I’ve run over 40 miles with 6500 ft of climbing. Body says it’s time for a much needed recovery day (or 2).

If it were up to me, and not my body, I would get after it every day. I’d prefer to run. I like checking the box on a workout. I like the feeling of making progress. I like watching the miles add up.

But my body is telling me that I need to rest and recover, and I know that is the smart thing to do. My coach has to hold me more accountable to my rest days than my miles haha.

So I just decided, recovery days don’t have to be all rest and no fun. I’m still going to get after it, just not on the trails, but in the kitchen instead!

Fueling the Recovery

In my nutrition classes, I’ve been learning a lot about how food is medicine. Your food is either feeding disease or fighting it. Your food is either causing chronic inflammation, or helping get rid of it. Your food is either fueling the bad bacteria in your gut microbiome, or fueling the good. Your cells either have the minerals and micronutrients they each need to perform their function, or they don’t.

I imagine that after a solid training block, my body, muscles, and cells need as much nourishment and as many good nutrients as possible. The body is trying to repair, grow, and adapt, and I need to assist that process as much as possible. I imagine that all the minerals and micronutrients are like fuel for all the hard working cells doing their thing. I imagine that anti-oxidant rich foods help with some of the oxidative stress caused by lots of running. I say “I imagine” because I’m not a scientist and I really have no clue what’s going on in the body, but I’d bet that the more clean, whole, nutrient-dense foods, the better.

Of course, I should be eating super clean foods all day every day. But of course, that’s not the case, nor the goal. I love to eat pizza, In&Out grilled cheeses, and to have one too many cookies every once in a while.

But on recovery days, if I’m not checking the box with a run or workout, I might as well check the box on eating super clean.

I normally don’t try that hard in the kitchen. But yesterday, I decided that I owed it to my self, after the hours of training and punishment, to throw in some extra effort, fresher ingredients, and a little bit more love, and the result was having a ton of fun in the kitchen and some pretty damn good food!

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