QUEEN’S ROAD: For nearly two decades, American Scott Jurek has been a dominant force in the gruelling sport of ultra-distance running.
For Jurek, no distance is too long. We are talking hundreds of miles, rain or shine, over the toughest natural terrains in the world. Yet, Jurek has traversed them all and won many an endurance test. And he did this by rigidly sticking to a plant-based diet. In fact, he has written a book titled Eat & Run, in which he talks about the importance of thinking of food as fuel. He also has some words of wisdom for up-and-comers and details his favourite plant-based recipes in the book.
“Eat & Run will motivate everyone to go the distance, whether that means getting out for that first run, expanding your food horizons or simply exploring the limits of your potential,” said Jurek in an exclusive chat with City Express. “I am told that running and distance running is becoming very popular in India, particularly in places like Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi. I think I have come here at the right time. And if I can contribute to it in some way, it would be great,” he said.Lentil Burger
“For any reluctant vegan who worries that nothing will ever replace the taste or texture of a juicy beef patty, consider the lentil burger. It might not matter so much that lentils are an excellent source of protein, that they are one of the fastest-cooking legumes, or that they are consumed in large quantities all over Europe, Asia, and Africa. What will impress you is how tender, juicy, and ‘meaty’ they taste. I grew up grilling over campfires, and I know burgers. These are as delicious as they come. Sometimes I even take a few patties with me on long training runs and races.”
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 cup dried green lentils (2 1/4 cups cooked)
- 2 1/4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/4 cups of finely chopped onion
- 3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 2 cups fine bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
- 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
- 1 1/2 cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach or winter greens
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
GET COOKING: In a small pot, bring the lentils, water, parsley, one garlic clove, and 1/4 cup of onions to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.
While the lentils are cooking, combine the walnuts, bread crumbs and flax seed in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and paprika, and mix well.
Saute the remaining onion, garlic, mushrooms and greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, and set them aside. Remove the lentils from the heat, add vinegar and mustard, and mash with a potato masher or a wooden spoon to make it a thick paste.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, sauteed veggies and bread crumb mixture. Mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes or a bit more.
Using your hands, form burger patties of your desired size and place them on wax paper. Lightly fry in a seasoned skillet, and broil or grill till they are light brown and crisp (3-5 minutes on each side).
Green Power Pre-Workout Drink
“Hippie Dan first taught me the importance of greens like spirulina and wheatgrass. Spirulina is a green algae said to have been carried into battle by the Aztec warriors. Used for centuries as a weight-loss aid and immunity booster, it has lately been studied and has shown promising results as a performance enhancer for long-distance runners. As spirulina is marketed as a dietary supplement rather than food, the FDA does not regulate its production. Buy it only from a health food store and a brand you trust. Packed with protein and rich in vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is an excellent source of nutrition.”
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 2 bananas
- 1 cup mango or pineapple chunks (frozen or fresh)
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons spirulina powder
- 1 teaspoon miso
GET COOKING: Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes till the mixture is completely smooth. Drink 20 to 30 ounces around 15 to 45 minutes before a run. For a little extra carbohydrate boost, replace one cup of water with a cup apple or grape juice.