If there are two things all of us here at Fit Bottomed Eats can talk about for hours on end, those things are food and running — specifically, nutrition for runners. And if there’s one group of people we love to talk about those topics with, it’s gotta be the Brooks Beasts!
Naturally, when we were given the opportunity to interview a Brooks Beast Track Club member (due to our position as Brooks Running brand ambassadors) about nutrition for runners and her fave foods, we were beyond thrilled. And, when we learned that Angela Bizzarri, 2009 NCAA Individual Cross Country Champion, was a Beast after our own hearts with her love of red wine, well, we knew we had to send her a few questions.
Fit Bottomed Eats: We hear you love a glass of red wine. (We do too! Cheers!) What’s your go-to?
Angela Bizzarri: I really like Pinot Noirs but will take any red blend that ends up in front of me.
FBE: Are you a smoothie person? If so, do you have a fave ingredient or combo?
AB: Since the weather has heated up I have been getting more into smoothies. Lately I have been making smoothies with spinach, banana and cinnamon.
FBE: We know food is fuel, but sometimes, it can also be a lot of fun. What’s your favorite food, meal or recipe?
AB: I am kind of a science nerd so I like food science experiments. I like trying to make my own foods such as kombucha, yogurt or sauerkraut. As far as my general philosophy on eating I try to eat as many nutrient dense foods as possible; fresh, local, organic produce seems to give you the most bang for your caloric buck. I try to not to completely cut out any foods that I really like while I am in a hard training mode. I personally really like red wine, dark beer and chocolate so I have a bit of those foods/drinks each week. The key is to be able to keep those indulgences sprinkled in with food that you really like and also happen to be healthy.
FBE: Everyone seems to have a favorite recovery snack or drink. What’s yours?
AB: My recovery drink is all business. It is a 4:1 carb to protein ratio using a simple sugar as the carb (usually Gatorade powder) and whey protein powder. Though if it is hot outside I will put less sugar in my recovery drink and grab a 7-eleven slurpee after as an awesome post workout treat.
FBE: Do you see any big, current trends among your fellow runners when it comes pre- and post-workout nutrition?
AB: Usually, pre-workout I see people trying to keep it pretty basic, sticking to things that they know will sit well in their stomach. After a hard workout is the time when your body needs sugar and protein to recover. Some runners have tried consuming products such as Beet Elite or just beet juice in the week leading up to a race as there are some studies saying that the nitric oxide in beets can boost endurance performance.
FBE: Given the choice, would you rather cook at home or go out to eat?
AB: Go out to eat. Seattle has many great restaurants. I always love an excuse to get out of my apartment.
FBE: Last fun question: You’re stuck on a desert island and can bring three foods. What are they?
AB: Fremont Dark Star Stout because it has lots of calories and gets you drunk. Blackberries, because nothing is better than ripe blackberries. And eggs — you can do so many different things with something so simple. I also need some protein to survive.
We always love hearing about the personal nutrition habits of people training at at elite level, and we SUPER love hearing about it from someone as real and authentic as Angela. Now, let’s hear it from you guys — what are your three desert island foods? I’d have to go with nut butter, clementines and a dry rosé! —Kristen