HOW TO TAKE THE CHAOS OUT OF FUELING A TRIATHLETE

Most of us married to triathletes have an active role in what nourishment they put into their bodies.  I, probably, am more active those most as cooking is one of my true loves.  I spend a lot of time experimenting in the kitchen, talking to experts, and reading.  So, when it comes to fueling David for his training and races, I feel it’s imperative that I help to ensure he is getting exactly what he needs.  But, it’s often been at the expense of my kitchen and sanity!

fueling a triathlete

Over the years, my experimentation in both cooking and decluttering has taught me what works best and what doesn’t and I’m happy to fill you in on what I’ve learned.  By the way, coming up with these solutions has also allowed me to maintain my sanity amid the chaos, which you know can be difficult as a triwife!

6 Simple Solutions for Fueling A Triathlete 

HAVE A PREP AREA

I love my kitchen and it’s my space!  Do not try to load my dishwasher.  Don’t get near my favorite knife.  And, stay out of my way during meal prep.  I designed it for me, but with a twist.  When I designed our new kitchen, I knew I needed one thing to maintain my sanity; a place for my hubby to keep all his crap.  Oh sorry, I mean all the jars, containers, and stuff he likes to have out on the counters, so he doesn’t forget.

Prep area in triathlon kitchen

He often makes his own pre and post-workout drinks and once in a while, a smoothie, and needs to see everything.  So, I extended one counter a bit further than I wanted, so he would have a space.  I then placed a large bamboo board down so all of his “stuff” would be confined to that one space.  It works great!

I  know I was lucky to have the opportunity to build this space into the kitchen.  My old kitchen was very small; I mean very small, like our apartment in NYC had a bigger kitchen small!  NO LIE!  So, I used a cookie tray for all his stuff and just moved the whole tray on and off the counter when he needed it.  Not any more..

HAVE A BOTTLE DRAWER

A life saver!  I mean you know how many water bottles, running bottles, salt tablets, and all the other wonderful other junk needed.  I mean it is not really junk, but even my real food triathlete had so much stuff!  But, having one place where it is all gathered is a heck of a lot better than my kitchen counter.

Bottle drawer in triathlete kitchen

Helpful hint – Buy a drying pad and let bottles dry out completely before you put them away.  MOLD does happen to the best of us.

BUY IN BULK AND ALWAYS COMPARE ONLINE PRICES

I do this to save money for us.  I have other things I can spend the savings on!  I order in bulk from online stores when there are specials.  I keep a list of what I can buy and build and what the base prices usually are.  When I see a sale on a site, I jump on it and order what I need.  For example, Vitacost had a 12% off last week.  I went through ebates to get there and got an extra 4% back.  So, on top of discount prices and specials, I got a total of 16% more off.  Not bad!  When you are buying pounds and pounds of organic almonds that is a huge savings.

PREP AND PRE-PACK SNACKS FOR THE WEEK

Sundays are my prep for the rest of the week day!  I spend about 2 hours getting ready for the next week.  It really goes by fast.  I put on the morning show and before I know it, I’m done.  Here’s what I prep:

  • Hard boil and peel 8 eggs.
  • Wash, peel, and cut all veggies for the week (I store in glass dishes with a little water in the bottom).
  • Make protein rice balls or Lindsay Cotter’s power balls.
  • Cut goat cheese into 1 oz pieces and put in ball jar.
  • Wash and pre-cut berries.
  • Make hummus – okay, you can buy already made if you choose.
  • Depending on the week and my schedule, I sometimes make bread and protein bars, too.

prepped snacks in triathlon kitchen

BAKE ALL NUTRITION IN DOUBLE BATCHES

I always bake protein bites in double batches, since these store well.  I refrigerate most in ball jars, because they seem to last longer.  I use these two main recipes and rotate the flavors.

  • The first is any variety of Lindsay’s Protein Bites.
  • The second is one I keep on the back of my calendar:

    1/2 cup shredded coconut
    1 1/2 cup brown rice crisp cereal
    2/3 cup brown rice syrup
    1 cup NuttZo Seven Nut and Seed Butter Crunchy Power Fuel
    1 cup whey protein; we use an all organic all natural powder
    Optional: dark chocolate chips or dried cherry pieces

    Put all ingredients in a big bowl, mix with your hands, form balls, and refrigerate.

Protein bites

ALWAYS MAKE ENOUGH FOR LEFTOVERS

This is my favorite trick, I think.  During the year, it’s just the 2 of us, but I always try to cook for 4.  This summer we are 4, so I am cooking for 6-8, depending on what I’m making.  It’s the easiest way to pack lunches. Take the leftover salad and put it in a Bento box; top with leftover protein; and add veggies- DONE!  So, instead of storing leftovers, they are simply converted to next day’s lunch.

I also make salad dressings in a big batch each week when needed.  It will last for our dinners and also fill a small ball jar that my hubby takes to work and stores in his frig to use all week.  To me, homemade dressing just tastes so much better.  Just ask if you want any of those recipes.

Happy fueling…

Do you have any tips for fueling your triathlete and keeping your sanity?