For the last eight days I have been dealing with a roller coaster ride of races, weather and emotions at US Nationals in Soldier Hollow, Utah (documented at great length here). With all of this chaos, it is important to remember the distinct difference between variables you can control and ones you cannot. I cannot control the weather, the wax, the timing, or my competitors. I can control my attitude, my recovery, my effort…and my food.
Fueling during a race series (whether it is two days or eight) is a huge part of performance. You need to fuel each day as if it is the day you could win, because you never know when all of the variables are going to go your way. The only problem is it is also often difficult to eat when nerves are high and race efforts leave you feeling queasy. Thankfully I like to experiment in the kitchen, and I’ve found a couple recipes that I can easily get down that leave me feeling like I can take on the world.
Particularly, I’m in love with this warm turmeric milk. Turmeric is a root (sort of like ginger) with a warm spice note that has many benefits, most notably its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps with digestion and your metabolism, and importantly is also very tasty (also very yellow, when dealing with fresh turmeric be prepared for your fingers to have a tinge of yellow all day long). Combined with other ancient medicinal spices- ginger, star anise, and cinnamon- this warm drink packs an immune boosting punch.
Warmed with your favorite nut milk (my current favorite being pecan milk), sweetened with a touch maple syrup, and satiated with coconut oil, this is a great anytime drink. I discovered that if I combined it 1:1 with my coffee in the morning, it was even better. Make a big batch of this and store in the fridge (3-5 days), and reheat on the stove when needed. Best served alongside a comfy blanket, a four legged friend, and netflix.
Warm Turmeric Milk
adapted from treehugger.com; serves 2
2 cups nut milk
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (fresh also works- if using fresh use closer to a tablespoon)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (fresh also work- if using fresh use closer to a teaspoon)
1 piece star anise
Maple syrup to taste
Combine everything except maple syrup in a small sauce pan. Heat over low heat until warm, whisking occasionally. Once warm add maple syrup to taste. If desired brew two cups of coffee, and mix with the warm milk. Enjoy!