This quinoa recipe was an attempt to carb load before my marathon last week. As it contains grains and veggies… Oh, how little do I know.

I am aware that many of my blog readers appreciate my take on nutrition and healthy foods and a whole lot of you love my recipes. But I cannot say often enough that I am not a certified nutritionist. I am simply sharing my findings with you and adjust my views on health, foods and diet accordingly.

Recently, I read an article  in which a nutritionist said that she can only guess calories and macronutrient breakdown when she has a plate of food in front of her. Often it would be very deceptive and there are more hidden facts than obvious ones. Interesting, isn’t it?!

A couple of weeks ago I started a food diary to see what my diet looks like in more detail (see here). I have been using one of those iPhone apps. It’s been very enlightening. According to my current weight and height, my daily energy expenditure is being calculated to be roughly between 1600-1800 calories when not exercising. With my running and gym routines, I would need more.

Here are some stat facts that I collected over the past two weeks: My average daily calorie intake is 2.000 to 2.200.

During the week prior the marathon when I was trying to carb load for a few days, 43% came from carbs, 40% from fat and 17% from protein. In the other week, when I was eating “normally”, I did 37% carbs, 42% fats and 21% protein. My dietary fiber intake 50% to 100% over what’s been considered necessary for a healthy diet.

I guess it would be called a low carb diet. Although anyone who avoids grains for most parts would have trouble getting a higher percentage of carbs. I feel good with this percentage although a higher percentage of carbs is often recommended for endurance athletes. I don’t think there is one perfect formula with regards to macronutrient breakdown.. More and more studies pop up that show that a high fat diet (healthy fats that is, needless to say) work just as well for athletes.

As a rule of thumb I would say that the less active/more sedentary you are due to your job or lack of exercise, the better you will fare on less carbs.

Now what’s the breakdown of this Chicken Quinoa Salad: it’s 27% carbs, 41% fat, and 31% protein. Carb loading failed, I’d say. Nevertheless, a delicious salad  that fueled me on the way to another marathon PB. I hope you enjoy!

Print Recipe

100g/1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup water
pinch of salt

1/4 cup cashew nuts

2 tablespoons coconut oil (divided)

2 teaspoons garam masala (divided)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
3 tablespoons raisins

1 tablespoon soy sauce
300g/12oz chicken breast, cut into cubes

1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
2 cups baby arugula leaves

Serves 2-3
In a medium pan, combine quinoa, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is tender about 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium pan and over low heat, dry-roast  the cashews nut until golden brown. Shake the pan often to avoid burning. Set aside.

In a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add raisins, ginger and 1 teaspoon of garam masala. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat the other tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add remaining garam masala, the chicken cubes and soy sauce. Keep stirring while the chicken cooks for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat, then add the cooked quinoa and the raisin ginger mixture. Cook for another minute or so to combine flavors. Adjust seasoning with more soy sauce if necessary. Take off the heat. Stir in bell pepper, carrots, and arugula. Sprinkle with toasted cashews. Serve warm or at room temperature.


1 Comment

  1. Don’t get me wrong, but I think you’d be an even better runner if you ate more, especially more carbs. 2000 kcal is nothing for a runner! Besides, to calculate your TDEE you need to take into account other activities, such as walking around, cleaning the house etc.

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