Yes - believe or not - I do eat for fuel too and not just to fuel my greediness….
Thankfully, to balance out my love for food, I also love long-distance running. The SMH Half-Marathon is a mere week away (20 May). It has an interesting route that goes through the historical Rocks area of
As I have been training for this race for the last 8 weeks, I noticed that I do think a bit differently about what I eat, especially before I do my long weekend runs (90-120 minutes), which is an essential part of every endurance training program.
There are many different opinions about how much carbohydrates one should consume per day while training and during the race itself. Then, there is also a lot of debate about whether or not “carbo-loading” is even necessary for a half-marathon. Carbo-loading typically entails an increased carbohydrate intake of up to 70% of an athlete’s total daily calories, coupled with reduced training for three days prior to the race.
I am not pedantic about such things because as long as I have been consistent with my training, I like to keep it simple. And after years of experimenting with different types and quality of foods, I know what works for my body. Basically, I just make sure that I drink plenty of fluids and generally eating a balanced meal. What I do differently is emphasise on consuming a variety of complex carbohydrates during the training period and cut down on foods that are harder to digest (e.g. red meat) about 2 days before the race.
Consumption of adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates is important as it is converted to stored glycogen in the muscles which will hopefully fuel my body efficiently. The key point would be not to increase calorie intact per se, but increase the proportion of carbohydrate intake. You don’t want to be carrying around extra weight for 21 or 42km, believe me.
My main sources of energy are from bread, pasta and fruits. When you are eating for fuel, it can get a bit boring and monotonous. So I do try to make an effort to make more interesting breads and also buy whole wheat, spelt or fresh pasta. Due to my penchant for desserts, I also chose to categorise them as an essential part of my diet ;-)
This muesli and date bread is a perfect breakfast bread or a high energy snack. It has a nice thick crust and chewy bite.
Muesli and Date Bread
1 ¼ cups of water, lukewarm
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tbsp honey
1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour
1 cups wholemeal flour
¾ rye flour
1 ½ cups fruit & nut muesli, unsweetened and untoasted
3 tbsp skim milk power
1 ½ tsp salt
1 ½ tsp easy blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast
½ cup dried dates, chopped
(note: the amount of water may vary depending on the type of muesli used. Add another 1 tbs of water is the dough is too firm)
Pour water, oil and honey into the bread pan. Sprinkle over the flours, covering the water. Add the muesli and milk powder. Add salt in a corner or the pan.
Make a small indent in the centre of the flour, add the yeast. Set to the appropriate setting for the type of bread maker you have. I set mine to the “wholemeal cycle”, “medium colour” and “1.5lb size”.
During the second kneading phrase, my bread maker beebs very loudly & that is when I place the dates in the dough and let the bread maker do the rest of it's job.
Serve it with:
- Slightly toast it and serve it with butter
- Top it with cottage or cream cheese
- This bread freezes well. Slice it up before you wrap it firmly with cling wrap. This way, you can take out just a slice or two from the freezer rather than defrosting the whole loaf.
Set the bread maker to the “dough setting”. When shaping the dough, create a plump round. Using a sharp knife, make three cuts on the top about ½ inch deep to divide the bread into six sections. Bake in a 180 degrees C (fan-forced0 oven for 30-35 minutes.Source: Adapted from The Complete Book of Bread and Bread machines by C. Ingram & J. Shapter.