As a former vegan, it seems strange that I would be writing about the Paleo Diet; however, things changed when peanut butter and jelly sandwiches weren’t cutting it anymore. My hair got a little too thin, and my workouts stalled. Something had to go, and then enter The Paleo Diet for Athletes. If you’ve never heard of the Paleo Diet, just know this: the basic idea is to eat like our stone age ancestors – lots of lean meat, vegetables, and fruit. No dairy, no wheat, and most certainly no chocolate bars. I know, I know-boring and difficult! However, there is something to be said of our caveman predecessors. They were fit, no doubt. They could hunt all day, run all day, and carry animals for miles. They could accomplish athletic feats than many of us would find near impossible. Maybe their diet wasn’t so bad after all? I knew for a fact there was no way I could stick to the Paleo Diet in the literal sense so I was glad to come across the Paleo Diet for Athletes. This diet differs from the more strict Paleo Diet in that it divides your eating in to 5 stages (based on your workout), and depending on the stage, your protein to carbohydrate ratio differs. In other words, there is room for bread, chocolate, and a glass of wine. Hooray!
Because I’ve always struggled with what to eat post-workout, I’m currently trying to focus on Stage IV – Eating for Extended Recovery. Here’s why Stage IV is important: the food you eat now repairs your muscles, refuels your energy stores, gets you ready for your next work. Now is the time when you can eat pasta, bread, rice, and other high glycemic foods (talk about motivation to get through the workout). You still need to have a 4-5:1 protein to carb ratio, but sweet potatoes, potatoes, and dried fruit are all on the “acceptable” list.
Tonight, after my run, I tried my hand at a Stage IV recipe and it was delicious! Easy, quick, and all Paleo. If you’re interested in trying to improve recovery post workout, try this yummy recipe – it won’t disappoint!
Beef with Walnuts, Prunes, and Apricots
- 1 lb. ground lean beef
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 3 stems of fresh thyme
- 4 ounces of white wine
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 3 ounces of walnuts, chopped
- 8 dried prunes, chopped (nonsulfated, which you can find at Trader Joe’s)
- 8 dried aprictos, chopped (nonsulfated, which can also be found at Trader Joe’s)
Heat the olive oil, add garlic and parsley.
Add the beef and cook until browned.
Mix in onion, thyme, and wine, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the tomato and walnuts.
Lower the heat and cover for another 10 minutes.
Stir in the prunes and apricots and cook for 5 more minutes.
Enjoy! (You can also now have that glass of wine and/or a piece of chocolate for dessert – you deserve it! )
Why it’s good: Lots of protein from the beef and walnuts and healthy carbs from the dried fruit. The dried fruit can also help to lower your blood acidity, which according the the Paleo Diet, is a must post-workout.
Served with a side of avocado – delicious!
Let me know if you try it and what you think!
Happy Trails and Happy Running!