When Valentine's Day rolls around, I'm always stumped on what to give my triathlete husband John. He probably wouldn't mind that new 5-inch fat bike, but we don't have space. So, what do triathletes like even more than gear and bike stuff? Food!
This year I am going to fill the pantry with John's favorite carbs. Craft beer, tortilla chips, cereal. Yes, cereal, five or six boxes Seinfeld style. Like most triathletes, John is always hungry. He burns through a week's worth of calories in a day, and he'd eat half a box of cereal in one sitting if I didn't stop him. For Valentine's Day, he'll get to do just that.
I'm going to sneak in a few extra nutrients by also stocking the freezer with ingredients for a healthy smoothie bowl. By swapping out milk for an anti-inflammatory packed tart cherry and iron-rich spinach blend, John can top this bowl with his Toasty O's and eat cereal until his heart's content.
Tart Cherry Ginger Smoothie
For the base:
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
1 cup (10-12) frozen tart cherries (frozen sweet cherries will work, too)
1 banana, not frozen, broken into 3-4 pieces
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 cup baby spinach, packed
Maple granola (or your favorite cereal)
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into a bowl. Top with almonds, cereal and fresh berries.
Rebeccah Wassner was the 2009 USA Triathlon Non-Drafting Athlete of the Year, the 2004 USA Triathlon Rookie of the Year and is a three-time winner of the New York City Triathlon. Along with her twin-sister and pro triathlete Laurel and food writer Melissa Lasher, she produces Athlete Food (athletefood.com), a blog about fast recipes for active people — and their families, too.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.