Loving the BITE: Dark Chocolate Avocado RECOVERY Pudding
Avocado chocolate pudding? Before you click the “dislike” button in your mind, hear me out. In the world of foodie blogs, there’s recently been a lot of chatter, pinning, and reposting of Chocolate Pudding recipes made with avocados. And yes, it’s delicious. It’s whole-food, velvety smooth, super-chocolaty, relatively low sugar, and very easy to make. But how does that help you with cycling? By adding protein to it, it just happens to make a perfect recovery snack.
This week, we can have our chocolate and eat it too.
Recipe of the week: Dark Chocolate Avocado RECOVERY Pudding
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and scooped
- ¼ cup organic honey
- 3 Tbsp organic coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup raw cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cups fat-free Greek-style yogurt
Blend all ingredients except yogurt in a blender or food processor until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Stir in yogurt until mixed. Chill at least 30 minutes. Enjoy as a recovery snack with a large glass of water. Makes 4 servings.
What makes a perfect recovery? In a nutshell, I believe optimal recovery components include adequate calories, efficient energy sources like carbohydrates and medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), protein, electrolytes, antioxidants, and healthy bacteria. Preferably, from whole-food sources that provide quick AND long-lasting nutrition. Here’s why:
Adequate calories and efficient energy sources: Your body continues to burn calories at a higher-than-normal rate long after you’ve completed your workout. If you don’t give it calories from efficient fuel sources like carbs and MCTs, you 1) will begin to breakdown and burn muscle, and 2) won’t replenish glycogen stores properly.
When you give your body carbs after your workout, it will first replenish glycogen stores. In fact, the enzymes responsible for replenishing these carbs stored in muscles continue to work overtime immediately after training. Then, the additional calories from healthy fats like the MCTs found in organic coconut oil (fast-acting) and mono-unsaturated fats in avocados (slow-acting) will continue to provide your body with energy so that it doesn’t have to break down muscle.
Protein: After working and straining your muscles during training, your body can use some extra protein to repair muscles, increase glycogen storage by increasing insulin output, and spare muscles from breakdown.
Electrolytes: After sweating away fluid, sodium, potassium, and other electrolytes, it’s important to replenish them so that the body regains balance. With this recovery mousse, you’ll get good amounts of sodium (123 mg), potassium (356 mg), calcium (110 mg), and magnesium (20 mg).
Antioxidants and Healthy Bacteria: When you train, your body goes through many more chemical reactions than it does in a sedentary state. In aerobic endurance training, you take in and use a lot of oxygen. All this oxygen and extra chemical reactions leads to a lot of extra “charged” molecules in the body, or free radicals. While the exercise is great for our heart and bodies, the free radicals, in the absence of anti-oxidants, can cause harm to our cells. To fight them, immediately flood your body with antioxidants from foods like honey, cocoa, fruits, and vegetables. As a bonus, healthy bacteria from yogurts and fermented foods increase the amount of antioxidants your body absorbs, even in the short term.
Caution! A word on recovery and weight loss: If your primary goal is to lose weight, don’t add in extra calories with an independent recovery snack. Rather, “time” your subsequent meal or snack to act as your recovery after you train. One serving of this chocolate mousse actually makes a balanced, healthy meal, or a half-serving will work as a snack.
Make a healthy recovery snack a consistent habit; you will feel good, have steady energy, and be ready to go hard again tomorrow. Fail to recover well after hard workouts and you may drag through the rest of the day feeling fatigued and famished, only to go out and have heavy legs on the bike tomorrow.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.
Top photo c/o Forgiving Martha