How’s your day going? I have to admit, all the training I did last week and over the weekend left me waking up feeling less than fabulous on Monday. You know when you wish you could have another weekend to recover from the weekend? Yeah, it was one of those Mondays.
It wasn’t that my triathlon training sessions had been significantly harder than usual, or that I’d logged more hours than I have on other weeks. But my legs were sore, and they haven’t felt that way in a really long time. So what’s going on?
There were a few factors that I considered, like the extra heat from all the time spent outside, the sunburn on my back (apparently the spray-on sunscreen missed a few spots), and being busy at work. But after thinking about it for a while longer, my conclusion was the same as usual when fatigue sets in. That is, that a stronger focus on nutrition and sleep is in order.
I’m always conscious of how eating certain foods is going to impact how I feel in training, but at this point, with only about 5 1/2 weeks until Challenge Penticton, there is absolutely zero time to risk getting sick or injured. So with that said, this week has been allll about the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich foods!
Those who read regularly already know I’m a huge fan of things like ginger, turmeric, and maca root powder as recovery boosters, but those aren’t the only foods on my plate right now. (If they were, that would be a pretty strange looking meal!) Today’s recipe features a few more superstars:
- Blueberries – Like tart cherries and other fruits with a nice deep, dark colour, blueberries can help to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (also known as DOMS). They’re also loaded with antioxidants and help our bodies get rid of the waste byproducts that accumulate during workouts.
- Avocado – One of my favourite healthy fats! Monounsaturated fats, to be precise, which help to protect against cell damage.
- Pecans – Similar to other nuts, pecans are high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps to reduce the free radicals in the body that lead to muscle soreness. Pecans are also rich in flavonoids which help to reduce inflammation.
- Dark leafy greens – You already know greens are good for you, but as you may have guessed, they’re especially important for active people because of their antioxidants, minerals like manganese and iron, and phytonutrients.
Mix them all together into this great big Blueberry and Greens Salad with Mahi Mahi, and you’ve got a super nutrient-dense meal.
For my vegan and vegetarian friends, you can easily adapt this recipe by replacing the fish for another protein source such as tempeh, baked tofu, chickpeas or white beans. If you’re using tempeh or tofu, I’d recommend making a larger amount of the dressing, using some of it as a marinade to boost the flavour.
Blueberry and Greens Salad with Mahi Mahi
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
- 1 mahi mahi fillet, defrosted if frozen, about 130g (note: you can substitute another white-fleshed, mild fish fillet here if you like)
- 2 cups mixed greens
- ¾ cup sliced English cucumber
- ½ cup fresh blueberries
- 1/4 avocado, diced
- 2 tbsp chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp very thinly sliced red onion
For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the dressing in a small bowl, seasoning with sea salt and black pepper if you like.
- Use a basting brush to coat the fish in some of the dressing, then bake for about 15 minutes, flipping half way. (If the fillet is thick, it might need a little bit longer.)
- Meanwhile, combine all of the other ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss in the remaining dressing.
- Pour the salad into a serving bowl and place the mahi mahi on top once finished cooking.
So tell me…
- When was the last time you felt a little more run down than usual after a block of training? Did you take a few days completely off? Focus on nutrition and sleep? Do a combination?
- What’s the best thing you’ve eaten so far this week? Mine was cucumber noodles in a homemade Asian dressing with a delicious piece of salmon on top. Don’t worry – you’ll see it here on the blog soon!