A former US national time trial champion, UCI world champion bronze medalist and two-time team time trial world champion, Cervélo-Bigla’s Carmen Small knows a thing or two about the importance of recovering well. In addition to massages and rest, nutrition is key to rebuild your muscles. While Small’s prowess on the bike is well known, her second passion is being in the kitchen and taking time to prepare good, nutritious meals. Below are three of her favourite recovery meals.
“I love to cook and even more, I love to eat the food I cook so I take great pride in preparing meals,” says Small. “Good food isn’t just a great source of energy so I can get out the door to train hard and perform at my best, it’s also my second passion.”
Recipe #1: A simple omelette
“This is a very ‘light’ meal, one to be eaten during a recovery week of training. You can make this for breakfast, lunch or dinner. You can always add to it if you need more of a meal but for breakfast, I like to just eat the omelette to start off my day. Fresh bread or some toast is a nice complement to this meal as well. You can always add some carbs to the meal if need be.”
The beauty with omelettes is that you can really put anything in them. My go-to is onion, green bell pepper, mushroom.
- 2-3 eggs
- an onion, diced
- green bell pepper, diced
- mushroom, sliced
- shredded cheese
- spices to taste
Sauté all veggies in a non stick pan until tender. Then whisk with fork two to three eggs in bowl. Pour the eggs over the top of the veggie mixture and cook on a lower temperature than you think.
I like to add some cheese after about two minutes then cover and let cook a little longer. When the top of the omelette is no longer “liquid”, fold the side over. Cook for a few more minutes and then flip to the other side.
Top with some avocado and serve.
“This second meal is one I would eat when I am trying to recover from a hard training day or getting ready for another hard training day. You need to replace the calories that you’ve used during the workout or are going to be burning. It’s important to have a well-balanced meal but also have enough carbohydrates that you can have energy for the next day or to let your body rebuild.”
Meats, beans and potatoes
- Meat/protein: Really any meat or protein works. My favorite is salmon but I know not everyone likes fish so you can substitute this with any meat.
- Green beans
- Onion of choice (green, shallots, red, etc.)
- Walnuts (sheeled and halved)
- Sweet potatoes
- Spicy mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Seasoning f choice
- Goat cheese
– Prepare your choice of meat. Grilled meat is always a go-to because it’s easy and there is little clean up. You can marinate your meat first to add a little kick to it.
– Preheat your oven at 400 F /204 C. Cut the sweet potatoes into small cubes and drizzle some olive oil or coconut oil and add seasoning. Get creative because you can’t really mess this one up. Roast until tender.
– Boil green beans until just tender (don’t over cook!), run them under cold water and set aside.
– Toast walnuts in pan while you are cooking your green beans and let cool.
– Cut up fennel and onion and set aside.
– Prepare a dressing in bowl or mason jar: 1 tbs spicy mustard, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 3 tbs olive oil, salt, pepper.
– In large bowl, mix the green beans, fennel, onion and potatoes together with the dressing. Serve and top with walnuts and goat cheese,
Recipe #3: Swiss Muesli
“This meal is my husband’s favorite, he can eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and/or dessert. It’s simple and can be prepared beforehand for a quick and easy meal.”
- Thick cut oats
- Nuts of choice
- Dried fruit of choice
- Apple or pear, diced
- Coconut flakes (non sweetened)
- Plain yogurt
- Honey to taste
Soak oats over night. Then, in the morning or whenever you’re ready to eat it, throw all the ingredients together in a large box and mix well.