If you're like many of us in the running community, we have a hard time trying to figure out, what exactly should we be eating, it's going to make us run faster, and it's going to make us perform to our best. Well, I've talked to a lot of registered dieticians over my time with this model, the podcast, which is a show here on this channel, you can check out, hit that subscribe button. But beyond that, it really comes down to two basic foods that really cover the principles of what you need to be doing to eat to run faster.
So on this episode of On our side, we're going to cover these two foods, and they may surprise you.
Like I said, in the intro, if you haven't been here before, hit that subscribe button. Because it's not just me here blabbering about running like I do every Tuesday and Thursday. But also on Fridays, I interview experts in various fields, from Sports Science, to astronomy, science, to Spartech, all these different disciplines. So I meet some very interesting people that share a lot of good tips that I couldn't give you on my own.
Now, the two things I want to share today, the two basic foods you should be incorporating your diet are not really catch-alls
So you can substitute them for other things. But the two things I want to cover are going to be something that most of us have access to, and most of us are probably going to be able to eat without a problem. The first one I want to get to, should be no surprise to anybody that grew up on cartoons, and that is spinach. Popeye didn't eat all that spinach for no reason, spinach is an absolutely great source of vitamins and nutrients for our bodies, something that a lot of us are probably deficient in. Because, at least us in North America, we often have very poor diets.
If we want to describe it in a succinct way, we don't have very nutrient rich diets. I don't know about you, but I know, I and many of my friends growing up, we grew up on cheap pasta and pre made meals and all these things that simply are not dense enough in vegetables. The idea here is we need vitamins; our body needs vitamins. But if you want to go to something as a must have or a catch all again, there are no silver bullets rather than trying to prescribe one for you, and that is spinach. Spinach has, like I said Vitamin A, C, E, K, if I can remember it all.
And it has very few calories for the amount of volume and vitamins you're going to be eating. So you can get a lot of nutrition in. It's nutrient dense, but not calorie dense. So you can eat a lot of it, get a lot of good things for your body and not pack on extra calories that you don't need. Now, if again, like me, you grew up with droopy, gross, wilted cook, spinach. Don't worry, don't eat that.
Just don't -- If you like it, I mean good for you. But I remember seeing that at school, and it was the most disgusting thing that I didn't want anywhere near my plate, I never got it. I don't recall my parents really fixing it. But for the very few times they did it was frozen, and then cooked on the stove. It's like, well, no wonder that we didn't want to eat spinach when it's prepared poorly. We like to use spinach in a lot of our dishes here. It's kind of our go-to to add into anything. Anytime we're making a pasta dish, most pasta dishes, you can just say, Hey, I'm going to add spinach in.
You get fresh spinach leaves, and then you add them in right at the end. You don't want to cook them a time you want to cook them a little bit. Otherwise, you get a rubbery texture. But you can add them into almost anything you can put them on pizza, they can be incorporated in a number of ways without greatly affecting the flavor of your dish. So you can get that nutrient dense, leaf in from the sponge without going overboard on the calories and without really affecting your dish.
So it's an easy way to incorporate something that's very calorie dense or nutrient dense, excuse me, but not calorie dense into your diet without trying too hard to modify a bunch of things that you're already doing. Now the other food I want you to consider is something most of us at least in North America grew with. I know for my French friends they hate this meal, I guess, I’ll call it, they absolutely hate it, can't understand how we eat it but we do anyway and that's peanut butter and jelly.
This may seem like the most basic kid dumb thing but there's so much good stuff in peanut butter and jelly that is really the essential building blocks of what we need as runners. I'm talking about; it's got carbs, it's got protein, it's got some fat and it's basically cheap and easy to consume, easy to store.
Now, if you make it with wheat bread then you've got both low and high glycemic carbs in the jam or jelly and then the bread can be the low glycemic because the wheat when you combine those together it can make for very good recovery snack after you get done working out, eat it. I actually talked about this with my friend Todd Buckingham on the Smart Athlete Podcast.
I'll link to that here at the end of this episode but he's seen it as being the perfect go to. It is for him and this comes from Todd is a both amateur national and world champion in triathlon, as well as a staple for teams in the NBA, when they're traveling and they're on the road and they need a snack it's a go to it's become a thing used at the highest level of sport because it has so much great stuff in it.
Now, if you don't like peanut butter and jelly for whatever reason then you don't have to eat it but the idea is to get some snack that combines all of these basic macros that we need into one thing. Having low angle
I think sometimes we overlook how essential it's something actually, if you won't mind me playing a little bit, my coach, who I’ve interviewed on the smarty podcast, I will plug him here at the end with Todd. He's actually started a nonprofit to help people who need assistance from food pantries to help supplement their food by providing peanut butter and jelly supplies to them for a month. It's something that we in our household participate in because we're fortunate enough to have enough that we can give away but that's something that he's been passionate about, trying to make sure that people have something that gives them those essential nutrients is readily available and tasty.
So, if you want to check that out I’m really encourage you to if you're looking to help a nonprofit and help people eat because we as runners that we know, that is something that we need so badly. We need food just to operate in the world. Check him out KC PBJ Project.org you can get in contact with him. If you want to get more involved, if you're here in the Kansas City area, you can get hands on involved by adopting a family but they do accept donations to help you support operations as well.
The unplugging nonprofit which I hope you don't mind that I did; you can actually use it as a fueling source beyond just recovery. In that case, you might want to consider a low sugar jam or jelly something like this stuff provided from Trade Street Jam Company, I just became familiar with them when they gave a talk the other day on what's going on with their business, I always pay attention to things in entrepreneurial circles.
So they have interesting story you can check them out Trade Street Jam Co.com, but in any case, peanut butter and jelly encompasses the idea that if we find a snack or something that's very easy, made of basic things. We don't have to make this very difficult. We can take basic elements, basic foods and make them into something that's easily really accessible. We don't have to go through the lengths of taking all these pills and supplements and everything and that being the perfect fix.
Now, if you work out a lot, supplements probably have a place in your diet but the thing that we forget -- when we think about these things as silver bullets which I said in the beginning -- we don't have any -- silver bullets don't exist. So a supplement is exactly that. It's in the name, it's a supplement to what you're eating. You need to try to fill up as much as you can with whole foods first and then supplement that with anything extra if your body needs more.
So those are my two staples spinach and pb&j are there any staples in your diet, you think are essential as to making you go faster and they're really covered the needs that your body has you want to share with me and the community, leaving in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you, and I'll see you next time on the next episode of Runner's High.