On a Runner's Plate at Christmas
How do you manage your running performance and body composition when there are so many festive foods and drinks on offer?
There is a potential to overindulge at Christmas time, when what you really want to do is retain your healthy eating and training plan to maintain your running performance and/or body composition.
Maybe you have a race early in the new year and you don’t want to be “knocked off plan”? If so, then this episode is for you!
We will share our kitchen tips and plans for a healthy and active Christmas/holiday time to help inspire you to “stay on track”.
Introducing the topic and outlining WHY we have chosen this topic to discuss:
For many runners the festive season can bring with it FEAR….fear of making poor food choices leading to body composition and training becoming compromised. This may be an especially real fear (or at least a concern) for any runner having a race or event in the calendar early in the New Year.
So, the principal aim of this episode is to try and alleviate the fear and potential anxiety around Christmas eating by giving some of our food (and drinks) ideas to help you stay on track.
Thinking about ideas of how to keep family and guests happy when entertaining at Christmas time. Everyone has their own ideas around food and have their own food preferences. So what do you do to ensure everyone enjoys what you cook whilst still ensuring it is healthy, nutritious and will support YOUR run training?
· Ensure there is lots of choice
· Hide vegetables in a soup as a starter
· Include a rainbow of vegetables alongside the main course
· Have a sweet potato mash as well as traditional roast potatoes on the table
· Include a vegetarian/vegan choice….just in case!!
· Pair dessert with some Greek yogurt instead of cream
· Have a cheese board OR a dessert….do you really need both??
· Include mocktails, kombucha and WATER as alcohol alternatives
Explaining what “Pigs in Blankets” are for those who do not know!!
Then delving into the running performance benefits of turkey including:
· Supporting recovery following training
· Supporting muscle protein synthesis
· Supporting muscle repair and remodeling following exercise
Looking at alternatives to turkey on Christmas Day including:
· Lentil and Mushroom Loaf
· ‘Rita’s’ Roast Beef
· Mushroom and Quinoa Nut Roast
Considering some dessert highlights and WHEN to eat them to help support your run training.
Some desserts discussed include:
· Mince Pies
· Christmas Pudding
· Chocolate Mousse
BUT….remember portion size!!
Considering some alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks that will be on Karen and Aileen’s Christmas tables this year:
· Mocktails including:
- Sage Sour
- Cranberry Crunch
Remember….you are in the driving seat regarding WHAT and HOW much you drink (and eat!!). Try not to succumb to pressure by others!!
Having fun discussing some gift ideas that any midlife female runner would LOVE to receive at Christmas time.
These gift ideas are definitely a “would appreciate receiving” not a “need to have”.
Life is tough for so many people at the moment and we would not want to trivialise that. We believe in the motto:
“I have enough, I do enough, I am enough”
So, this gift list is just a bit of fun, but may give you some inspiration if you do want to buy a little gift for your running partner, buddy or friend…or indeed for yourself! Some of our ideas include:
· Cushioned running socks
· A gift voucher for running kit
· Thermal and waterproof gloves/mitts
· A gift voucher for a sports massage or a coaching session
· Running poles – for those hills when trail running!!
· Organic vegetable or recipe box
· 1:1 nutrition consultation/package
- If you are at all concerned about overindulging at Christmas…just remember that you are in the driving seat…you are in control of the decisions you make
- Don’t be pressurized by others because at the end of the day….you are the one who is training…you are the one who want to “perform” at your best whether it is just as a casual runner or if you have races or running events in the calendar occurring early in the new Year
- Remember you can still achieve plate balance on Christmas Day and your food choices can still be nutritionally dense and support your training.
- If you are partaking in alcohol then just remember to go for your Christmas Day run BEFORE you indulge and drink lots of water alongside the alcohol
- There are lots of delicious non-alcoholic drinks if that is your preference including Mocktails, Alcohol-free wine, gin, beer etc, so don’t be pressurized into drinking alcohol if you don’t want to!
- Finally….enjoy the day in whatever way gives YOU enjoyment rather than how other people think you should enjoy the day…BE STRONG…BE YOU!!
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
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Aileen and Karen
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