Jill here - tis the season of cold and often wet winter miles.
It's time to balance training in this challenging environment with the other season, the dreaded cold and flu season.
This absolutely delicious and simple, macro and micro-nutrient dense, immune protective soup is just the ticket. Why? Just look at the ingredients within the ingredients!
lentils - one of the highest sources of polyphenols in the legume family. Polyphenols help in the fight against a whole host of potentially harmful agents. Also, 1 cup of lentils provides 18g protein, is rich in folic acid, iron and magnesium to name just a few key minerals.
lemons - one of the best sources of Vitamin C. It's both immune protective, an antioxidant and in this recipe will aid in the absorption of non-heme iron (plant based iron).
black pepper - known as the 'king of spices' because of its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory plant compound, Piperine.
onion & garlic - rich in the plant chemical allicin, a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial.
Plants really do contain a pharmacy of phytochemicals, which when taken on a consistent basis are instrumental in building nutritional resilience.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)
7 oz red lentils
1 TBS Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 tsp black pepper (I tend to be more liberal...)
pinch red chilli flakes
1 TBS Oregano
1 TBS rosemary, preferably fresh
1 bay leaf
1 3/4 pint vegetable or chicken stock
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp lemon zest
fresh dill to sprinkle on top (if you want to be fancy)
Rinse lentils. Heat olive oil, add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrot, garlic, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, rosemary, oregano and bay leaf. Stir well and saute until the carrots are
Add the stock and lentils and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 mins or until lentils are very soft. Remove the bay leaf. You can blend the soup at this point (I always do as I like the consistency). Add the lemon juice and zest and a final sprinkling of black pepper and/or dill.
It's perfect post-ride to warm you up from the inside out. It'll keep well in the fridge for a couple of days so reheat and carry to work in a wide mouth flask.
Performance nutrition is more about what you eat day-to-day than what you eat during training and racing. It's cumulative and the more you accumulate the more resilient you become so choose wisely.
If you're interested in learning more about how to make nutrition work for you drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our performance coaching section. Both Joe and I are available for one-on-one coaching.