Salad-the perfect carbohydrate

As Published in Jan/Feb 2010 Issue of Rocky Mountain Running and Triathlon Magazin

Salad? A perfect carbohydrate? When I first considered that idea, I though it was crazy! But, as time has passed and more knowledge has come my way, I realize the validity of that statement. Now, lets first set the record straight. The assumption here is that, as an endurance athlete, you are making BIG efforts in refueling post workout with recovery drinks, shakes and carbohydrate dense foods like fruit, potatoes and the occasional whole grain. As long as you do a good job at eating at least half your bodyweight in grams of carb within 30 minutes post workout in liquid form and that amount again(for workouts longer than 75 minutes) in a solid meal within another 60-90 minutes, then you won’t be starving later. Then you can progress to the idea that salad is a perfect carbohydrate later in the day.

Most of us think of a salad as a green lettuce type of creature. While this is mostly what I am referring to, in many places in the world, salad is actually any combination of raw cut up vegetables tossed in some type of dressing. So, there are times when I make a tomato and cucumber salad with a yogurt dressing or shredded carrot salad with nuts, Craisens and a lemon/orange olive oil dressing. But, it still is an essential part of an athletes diet to eat DARK GREEN salads with HOMEMADE dressings. A great salad will supply many needed undamaged and raw phytonutrients and enzymes as well as aid in alkalizing the body (See blog post on Ph). It will also not overwhelm the body with any high glycemic sugars that will disrupt your anabolic, health promoting hormone patterns. How perfect is that? So perfect that you should find a way to include 1 or 2 BIG salads a day! And when I say big, I mean carry it with a fork lift, spilling off your plate big. That is how much you need to build a better body.

Perry’s Popular Mixed Green Salad – Feeds 8-10.

20 oz. mixed baby greens,

2 cups diced cucumber,

2 cups sliced strawberries or grapes,

1 cup chopped or halved walnuts,

4 oz crumbled feta cheese.

Extra Virgin Olive oil,

Balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

In a BIG salad bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Sprinkle the top of the salad with the Olive oil and then the balsamic vinegar. Start with too little if you are nervous and then sprinkle more on if needed. The goal is to lightly coat the salad evenly without drenching it and making it soggy. Then add the salt and pepper.

This salad should take up about half of your plate and can be served with any lean meat, a steamed vegetable and if needed, some baked yam or sweet potato.

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