What do I do when I taper?  I cook; I drink tea; I rewrite songs LOL; I get a pedicure; I foam roll; I walk the dogs at night (not getting out of that one with the old “I have a long bike ride with the girls super early tomorrow….”); I bring my workout log to date; I take “Intro to Crossfit”, etc. Tomorrow I leave for the Boise 70.3 Half Ironman and I’ve made a concerted effort to pare down what was left in the frig.  I did a pretty good job as all that remains are jars of nuts, corn tortillas, avocados and condiments.  Ooooohhhh yeah,  there are also 2 bottles of wine as I’ve been really boring abstaining for the better part of 2 weeks.

Quinoa with purple cabbage, carrots, spinach, lemon and hemp seeds. Ready to go for airport travel

Quinoa with purple cabbage, carrots, yellow beets, spinach, lemon and hemp seeds. Ready to go for airport travel

I almost always prepare my own meals for travel.  I find airport and rest stop food expensive and not as satisfying or nutritious unless you count Nutterbutters as “nutritious”. Today I cooked some quinoa and threw in the last of the vegetables, lemon, hemp seeds, seaweed, Sriracha and cumin. Strange flavor combination, I know, but it works.  Although I love ’em, I don’t usually eat garlic and onions the two or three days leading up to a race as doing so keeps my digestive system calm (I also don’t like tasting or smelling of either on the race course).   As I was finishing, I thought that I’d share my easy method of cooking quinoa.
Quinoa is a pseudo-grain, or a seed, indigenous to Peru.  Closely related to beets and spinach, it contains relatively high protein content (12-18%) and a balanced set of essential amino acids. Quinoa contains large amounts of phosphorus, magnesium and iron, and it is also gluten-free.  I like the stovetop-to-oven method (as opposed to purely stovetop) the best for cooking quinoa (really, any grain) as you get a even heat exposure and don’t run the risk of burning the bottom of the pot.   I did, however, include the stovetop method as well.
Preparation of Basic Quinoa

  •      1 Cup Water
  •      ½ Cup Quinoa
  •      pinch of salt


  •     Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  •     In ovenproof sauce pan fitted with lid, bring water, quinoa and salt to a boil over high heat on stovetop
  •     When water comes to a boil, turn off heat.  Cover pot with lid and place in oven
  •     Cook 25-28 minutes, or until quinoa absorbs all of the liquid.
  •     Cool and use as desired

Alternative Method

  •     In a medium pot, add quinoa and water and bring to a boil.
  •     Cover and reduce heat to low. Stir softly if necessary.
  •     Cook 15-20 minutes, or until water is completely absorbed.
  •     Cool and add any or all of the optional ingredients

Simple Quinoa Fun

  • Tabbouleh Style Diced Cucumbers + Tomato + Chopped Parsley + Mint + Lemon Zest + Oregano + Red Onion + Splash Olive Oil + Splash Lemon Juice + Dash Agave + Sea Salt and Black Pepper
  • Fragrant Curry Powder + Cinnamon + Black Pepper + Cumin + Garlic + Raisins + Smoked Almonds + Spinach Leaves + Sliced Green Onion + Splash Neutral Vinaigrette
  • For Breakfast  Heated + Dried Cranberries + Orange Zest + Coconut Butter + Cinnamon
  • “Taco” Meat  Equal Parts Quinoa and Ground Walnuts + Cumin + Chili Powder + Garlic + Chipotle + Lime Juice + Sea Salt
  •  Grilled Vegetable 2 Parts Quinoa + 1 Part Diced Grilled Vegetables + Basil Leaves + Pinenuts + Sea Salt + Olive Oil + Red Wine Vinegar + Sea Salt and Pepper

More frig item utilization: Tofu Scram with kale, hemp seeds and turmeric.  Fruit Salad.

More frig item utilization: Tofu Scram with kale, red pepper, hemp seeds and turmeric. Fruit Salad.

I’ll be flying solo for a couple of days in Boise.  I purposely booked into a hotel two blocks from the Whole Foods; so you know where I will be when not taking care of race biz.  Boise 70.3 is sponsored by the Idaho Beef Council and Apolo Ohno will be racing there, courtesy of his sponsor, Got Chocolate Milk?  Hmmm…..the post race food scene should be an interesting one; but I’ve already scoped out The Boise Fry Company for Saturday night. I see purple French Fries, a vegan burger and malt beverage (adult kind) in my near future!
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend.  And I was kidding about Intro to Crossfit 🙂