I have started some of my pre-race preparations and find it somewhat funny the things that I seem to have prioritized. My packing began last week in usual form with me getting out a plastic tote and throwing a bunch of random things into it. First to go in were:
(1) My wetsuit, which actually makes sense since it's mandatory and I have a tendency to lose it
(2) My favorite pairs of socks, underwear and capris + every pair of compression stockings that I own
(3) A whole bunch of hair ties, because I'm paranoid of losing them even though I tend to keep the same 2-3 on my wrist
(4) My entire stash of mustard packets... electrolytes... gotta have'm!
Beyond my random packing, I've made some energy bars to take with me and rounded up my choice fuels for the race (food/fuel is obviously high priority) and have spent a lot of time reading articles about KONA (!!!!) which I am counting as my race day mental prep :)
The nice part of the down time of tapering is that I've had extra time to spend in the kitchen and have been able to stock up the fridge to ensure I have some quality fuel to munch on next week. I find maintaining "proper" nutrition during the taper to be the most difficult, between the extra free time and pre-race anxieties, I just want to sit around and eat chocolate. Race week is NOT a week to have chocolate sitting around the house, just sayin'. So speaking on chocolate, today happens to be National Dessert Day, and we all should know by now that chocolate is my indulgence choice. Last week my student intern and I whipped up these brownies and they are AMAZING. I thought about making another batch yesterday (for food photography reasons... duh), but then I thought better of it. That being said, I will be looking forward to treating myself to a few of these pumpkin chocolate chip brownies after B2B. In the mean time, feel free to whip up a batch and eat a few in my honor :)
Rich in taste, soft in texture and a cinch to make, these brownies are a healthier spin on traditional recipes. These brownies are flourless, and the pumpkin replaces the use of oil to cut back on overall fat content while making these an excellent source of vitamin A. Use of dark cocoa powder and dark chocolate chips adds an additional boost of flavanoids (antioxidants) as well!
2 cups pumpkin puree*
1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
1 c. sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1 c. dark chocolate chips
*Make sure to purchase pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie puree.
Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips and blend in mixer. Fold in chocolate chips and transfer to a baking pan. Bake in the oven for 35-40 min @ 350 F.
Kristen Chang is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) and triathlete residing in southwest Virginia with her husband and dogs. Follow along as she shares favorite fueling recipes, general wellness and sport nutrition tips and stories from her athletic endeavors.
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