Monday, January 9, 2017

The Shalane Challenge, Day 1: Snacks

This week I'm trying to cook my entire diet out of Shalane Flanagan's book "Run Fast. Eat Slow." On a typical day, I have four (!) snacks. As a 190-pound runner I've found this is what I need to refuel after burning 1000+ calories in my daily fitness regimen. Shalane's guidelines call for one snack and one dessert. I'm not sure that's going to quite work for me, but I'll give it a shot.

First up was her Spelt Banana Bread. The only modification I made to her recipe was to substitute about 2/3 of a dark Toblerone bar (which has been staring at me every time I open the pantry door lately) for cut-up bits of date. Shalane is cool with dark chocolate, so I think this would be seen as a friendly amendment.

The bread was easy to make and turned out fantastic. Nice and moist, and the chocolate and walnuts were delicious. Spelt gives it a more rustic feel than normal banana bread, perhaps a bit heartier and more filling (though I had a hard time limiting myself to about 2/3 of a loaf of the 3 mini-loaves I made, so perhaps it's not really any heartier). 

Later in the day I was still pretty hungry, so I made up her Coconut-Kale Smoothie. It's made with coconut water and kale, with a bit of yogurt and almond butter and dates for sweetness. I substituted frozen bananas for the ice specified in the recipe. The recipe claims it's two servings, so I tried to cut everything in half as I made it. But I kept forgetting to do that so I ended up just making two full servings. This worked out to about a pint and a half. We'll call it "super-size." It's definitely a filling smoothie, I'll give it that. But it still feels more like drinking a salad than having a real snack. Unlike my normal snacks, this isn't something I'd really look forward to. But I have enough ingredients to make another one, so maybe I'll try again later in the week and see if I like it any better.

So far this week I've done an awful lot of cooking, and I haven't even made dinner yet! But for the rest of the week things should go a little better since I've now made all my breakfasts and lunches as well as enough banana bread for three more snacks. I think if you were going to make a lifestyle change and follow this book you could get even more efficient, making and freezing large quantities so life is easier down the road.

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