This post is a shameless plug for the book Run Fast, Eat Slow by Elyse Kopecky and Shalane Flanagan.
For the first time in memory, the flu wiped me out recently. The two most restorative foods for overcoming this: Flu-Fighter Chicken and Rice Stew (with extra ginger and garlic) on page 108, and Long Run Mineral Broth, page 111.
More than just a great cookbook, Run Fast, Eat Slow informs and guides you through adequately fueling your body with solid, real food, nutrition. If you like to go long, hard and both, then this book by a couple of UNC teammates will help you.
Superhero Muffins are now fueling my return to normal active life.
Balanced Movement Superhero Muffin variation: We have been making these muffins, but substituting 1 cup of Buckwheat Flour for one of the cups of Almond Flour. They are still gluten free, slightly less protein, more carbohydrate, slightly more iron (Buckwheat: 21 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 1 g iron; Almond Flour 6 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 0.5 g iron; per 1/4 cup). I also love the flavor of buckwheat and think it yields a fuller mouth feel, and a deeper, more balanced grain and nut flavor. Plus you can get great buckwheat flour from the Old Mill of Guilford, a grist mill that has been in operation since 1767, not far from where I grew up. Yes, I am a sucker for a good backstory.
Update: Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow, a second book is out. Try the Pumpkin Superhero Muffin basic recipe with out favorite twists: Butternut squash pureed with an immersion blender instead of pumpkin, Almond and Buckwheat flour mixture per above, walnuts and raisins. Spiced with my Great Aunt Mary’s pie spice blend (sorry, not sharing that one).
Other favorites from these books:
Giddy Up Energy Balls: we used a mix of raisins and cranberries instead of cherries, added a few more walnuts and (sort of, maybe) accidentally doubled up on the coffee. They seemed to be a big hit at the mile 32 aid station on the Uwharrie Mountain Run 40 miler this year. Just the right real food energy burst for the last few miles.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies have become a stable item now at Balanced Movement. We add a little extra walnuts and raisins. They make a more nutrient dense and smooth energy option to go with morning coffee, Elevenses snack, Afternoon pickup or end of day workout fuel.
If you are lucky enough to still have an independent local bookstore, support them, have them order it for you.
This is our current variation on the Giddy Up Energy Balls in Run Fast, Eat Slow
15-16 dates (make sure pits and any woody ends are removed
½ – 1 cup dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, or blueberries), the tartness of cranberries works well
1 c walnuts
1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
½ – 1 coffee measures (1-2 T) of beans, ground medium
½ T ground chia seed
2 T cacao powder
½ c almond butter
⅓ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (toasted lightly in a dry pan)
Pulse the dates, walnuts & berries until you have an even course mixture of bits the size of the end of your little finger.
Add remaining ingredients & mix it up a bit. Otherwise the cacao powder & coffee will blow around as soon as you start the processor back up.
Process it until you get a smooth clump. Stop as needed to scrap it down. It can take 2-3 minutes. The whole mixture should come together as a big clump. If it seems a little dry to stick, I will drizzle ¼-1 teaspoon of melted coconut oil slowly in while the processor is running.
Remove the whole mixture to a large metal bowl, bring it into a ball shape with spatula or wooden spoon. Take the ball and pound it several times (20+) times into the pan until it is a solid mass with no air pockets of folds. Break off bits and roll into large marble size bites, roll the bites in the toasted coconut. We seal in a big snaplock and refrigerate to maintain freshness for up to 2 weeks (they may stay good longer, but a batch has never stayed around longer than 2 weeks).