Today marks the beginning of two things for me: October Unprocessed and the final month of my half marathon training. It’s serendipitous that the two should overlap: one deals with eliminating all processed food from my diet for 31 days, and the other will push me further in mileage and running dedication than I have ever before experienced.
And let me tell you something: I’m scared. Scared of giving up those products which I’ve relied on to fuel my long runs. Scared of not eating & drinking enough to replenish my body’s stores. Scared that the time it takes for me to train on a weekly basis will compete with the amount of time needed to make more of my meals and snacks from scratch, and the time of having an actual life. And overall: scared of failing myself.
I’ve been working really hard to train for my first half marathon over the past 14 weeks. I’ve stuck to my plan, put in the miles even when I didn’t want to, and foam-rolled the heck out of my legs. I’ve logged more than 200 miles in training!
And over the past couple years, I’ve implemented all that I’ve learned from October Unprocessed: new fruits and vegetables are now part of my normal diet. Ancient grains are no longer foreign to me. I read ingredient lists to ensure I consume as few chemicals and additives as possible. Recipes prompt me to alter ingredients so they’re better for me and my loved ones. And I put so much more effort into nutritional intake & value.
But I’m not one to turn down a challenge. In fact, bring it on! Here are a few of the foods I’m going to prep:
- Pumpkin, fresh from the garden: for baked goods, coffee, risottos, stews, chili, and breakfast hashes
- Corn, from the cob: for soups, cornbreads, omelets and casseroles
- Dried Beans: for soups, enchiladas, dips, and egg scrambles
- Muffins & bars: for weekday breakfasts, post-workout snacks, and late night munchies
- Breads: using spent grain from my homebrew beer to make a protein-rich bread that’ll hold me over through my training runs
- Veggie Frittatas: for grab-and-go dinners on busy nights
- Soups: the ultimate fall meal, which can be a complete nutritional meal in one bowl!
And speaking of soups, here’s a great one I’ll be making again. In one pot, it captures all the Mexican goodness of enchiladas, protein-filled ingredients, and ease of a weeknight dinner. It’s also vegan and gluten free! I paired this with my jalapeno hummus biscuits for a tasty dinner.
Vegan Chorizo Enchilada Soup, adapted from Gimme Some Oven
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 diced yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 C masa harina (corn flour)
- 2 C vegetable stock
- 1 C hot water
- 2 9-0z tubes of soy chorizo, thawed
- 1 1/4 C homemade red enchilada sauce
- 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- kernels from 2 ears of corn
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Cool onion until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add the corn flour and cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Now stir in the veggie stock, mixing well. Add the water, chorizo enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, corn and spices. Let the soup come to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
Serve into bowls and pair with your favorite biscuits, buns, rolls, or slice of bread. Keep leftovers in the fridge, up to 5 days.