By Danny Horgan –
After a hard workout, I want to give my body every chance possible to recover.
While there are a variety of factors that influence your body’s ability to recover after a workout such as sleep, stress levels, and environment, perhaps the most important is your nutrition in the minutes and hours following exercise. What you eat is literally what your body will use to rebuild itself after workouts. So you have to ask yourself — which building blocks do I want in my system?
I created the following workout recovery meal as an affordable way to flood my system with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and macronutrients after my long runs. As Dr. T Colin Campbell, one of the greatest biochemists of our time, has often said,“Nutrition is a symphony.” A great symphony has multiple components working in harmony. I believe this dish achieves that effect for my own workout recovery.
The Rice and Spice Recovery Special
Organic brown rice (1-2 cups dry, 4-8 servings)
Organic dark red kidney beans or black beans (1 can, 3-4 servings)
Organic frozen vegetable medley including at least three of the following: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, water chestnuts, string beans, zuchini (1-3 cups, 4-8 servings)
Curry powder (2 tbsp)
Rubbed sage (3 tbsp)
Himalayan pink salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Spicy Szechuan sauce (5 tbsp)
Steam rice, steam vegetables, and heat beans; when finished, add steamed vegetables to rice
Mix curry, sage, and pink salt with Szechuan sauce, stirring for 10-20 seconds
Add sauce and spices to rice and vegetables, stirring until rice becomes brown
Serve beans separately
Recovered and Ready to Roll
So what makes this dish so powerful after workouts? I believe it’s the combination of spices, which are very rarely mixed together due to their varied origins.
- Curry powder, which contains the known anti-inflammatory circumin, is traditionally only used in South Asian cuisine.
- Szechuan sauce, a combination of soy sauce, dried garlic, and sherry wine, is often only used in Chinese cooking.
- And sage, which packs antioxidative phenolic compounds, is rarely used in dishes beyond Thanksgiving stuffing.
What do they do together? The aforementioned Dr. Campbell has stated that because there are a near unlimited number of factors affecting the way out body processes nutrition, there is tremendous value in evaluating nutrition from an outcome-based perspective. My outcome has been the same nearly every time I’ve had this dish — faster workout recovery.
Enjoy the meal!
*A few quick notes regarding brown rice and Szechuan sauce:
The FDA has stated that brown rice should not be eaten in excess due to its arensic content. Thankfully, this dish tastes just as good using quinoa in place of the rice. Additionally, some Szechuan sauces contain rice vinegars and sugars, so you may want to limit the amount of sauce you use on this dish.