In my house, fall means that the kids want potatoes a lot. The comfort and diversity of potatoes makes it an easy go to for baking, mashing, sautéing , you name it. The problem is that the menu gets quite redundant switching between sweet potatoes and regular potatoes all week long. While I am not going to abandon my Irish roots and get rid of the cylindrical goodness altogether, there are a lot of FALL vegetables now at the store which can help fill the gap and also boost the nutritional content of my meal. I am going to offer up 3 Starchy veggies that can help take the place of your potatoes.
First off a little carbohydrate education. Vegetables all contain carbohydrates in various forms. Glucose and fructose are sugars in veggies and your body recognizes them as carbohydrates. Starchy vegetables are carbohydrates with a ratio on average of 15g of carbohydrates per 1/2 cup vs. the 5g per 1/2 cup non starchy veggies. The starchy difference comes by way of the amount of indigestible fiber that provides fruits and vegetables with their structure. The more indigestible fiber that a vegetable has, the lower its "starchy" qualities. Fiber is important to good overall health, and getting enough fiber is a crucial benefit of eating more vegetables. Starchy veggies fill you up faster and provide the classic glucose driven energy reserves that are needed for training and athletics.
As far as your daily meals can go, you should feel free as a unicorn to eat as much non-starchy veggies like asparagus, broccoli, peppers, onions, tomatoes during the day. Starchy veggies like potatoes, rice and the veggies I will give you below should be eaten in more controlled and measured ways.
Now for the veggies.
Pumpkin rules. My wife really loves fall and its not just because of the pumpkin spiced Lattes at Starbucks (which are terrible for you BTW). Fall means that pumpkin hits the store displays and we can start cooking with it again. Pumpkin has many uses outside of the Jack-o-lantern which is probably rotting on your stoop right now. This high carb option is great for potato substitution because it is one of the sweetest fall squashes out there. The natural sugars in pumpkin cook out well if you are baking it or boiling it which means that you don't need to dress it up too much for the kids to love it. Pumpkin can also be used in baking! As a a substitute for flour as a binder in recipes, you can cook pumpkin into the mix and the starch will help keep all the other ingredients together.
Try pumpkin in your breakfast bakes! Cooking it down and then mixing it with egg and some sausage and peppers you have a delicious breakfast that is high in Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Vitamin C and Potassium. You can also go canned pumpkin if you don't want to mess with the fresh stuff. Canned veggies are higher in carbs but still have the nutrients you need.
Peas are more than just kids fare. While you may not think that peas could ever take the place of potatoes or rice on your plate I suggest you give them another look. With a starchy content and low glycemic Index rating, you can eat them with every meal for sustained energy and vitamins. Glycemic veggies like potatoes will act on your blood sugar much faster than say broccoli. Sugars in high glycemic foods break down into energy fast and, as athletes, we want to keep our blood sugar as neutral as possible to avoid the roller coaster effects that lead to feeling like crap. Peas have a low glycemic rating but are a "Starchy" carbohydrate. This unique pairing means that the balance of fiber and sugar are balanced.
A cup of cooked peas contains around 8 grams of carbohydrates and when we look at our daily carb intake being between 25-35 g, this serving can fill a lot in our diet. Not to mention that Peas contain a very high amount of potassium which has been shown to lower blood pressure. For those who are trying to cut back on meat in their diets, peas also contain a good amino acid profile which can help with your overall protein consumption for the day. So mix some peas in your meals or just have them on the side for a great option beside the same old potato or rice.
Parsnips are king. This member of the carrot and celery family has been waiting for you to read this blog piece so that you can get educated, eat it and truly become super human. If food is fuel, then the Parsnip is super fuel because it contains the nutrients necessary to literally help you stay young and live longer. Inside this Starchy carb you will find high amounts of Vitamin C, Potassium, and the big one FOLATE. Vitamin C and Potassium concentrates are high in many veggies and provide vital health benefits like anti-inflammation, lowering of blood pressure, bone health, skin health, and immune health. Folate or the derivative Folic Acid is key to helping the smallest piece of yourself, adapt, grow and divide. I am referring to your DNA, RNA and red Blood Cells.
I am currently reading a great book about the metabolic effects of cancer growth and Folate has been brought up multiple times in regards to managing the cellular degeneration that happens when cancer sets in. Folic acid can also help keep your mind right through balancing hormone levels and of course keep your heart running tip top.
Parsnips are similar to carrots so you can roast them, boil them, grill them, and bake them to the consistency that you want. Because they have a neutral, Rooty taste you can spice them up with chili or sirracha sauces, or make them more savory with a salty blend of spices. Combining Parsnips with stew is one of my favorite ways to enjoy them during the winter, just drop them in the crock pot and let them absorb ll the good that you put in on them.
As I wrote above, carbohydrates are necessary for optimal training. We need to look beyond our habits and explore what nature is offering us. These 3 Starchy carbs will help diversify your plate and allow you to get more creative in the kitchen. Fall is a great time for food so do some digging, check out your local farmers markets and keep striving to be the best possible version of yourself.
Programming Notes 10/16-10/20
12 Banded Good Mornings
10m Lateral Banded Hip Activation
12 Banded Squats
Squat Flow: Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Ankle Roll Out, Bootstraps, PNF Stretch, Squat W/ T Spine Stretch
3X5 + 5-10# from last week
*focus on toes forward, hinging at waist.
*depth to parallel or beyond as long as core and low back support movement
*Rest :90 between sets
Against a 2 minute Clock,
8 Toes TO bar
8 Box Jump Overs 24/20”
-If you complete the required work then rest remaining time. @3 min mark perform 2 more minutes but add 2 reps to the rounds (10 T2B/10BJO).
-continue to add 2 reps (12,14,16,18…)to the couplet each time you complete the work in the allotted time. Until you are unable to complete the work in the 2 minute segment .
*Scale to V Ups or a perfectly hollow leg raise on bar. You DO NOT need to fully extend hips at the top of box.
Partner Warm Up: 7 minutes
P1- pedal your ass off on the bike
P2- Shoulder Activation drill W/ Kettlebell
(5 KB Press, 5 KB Windmills, 10 KB overhead walking Lunges)
*complete one round of shoulder work with left arm and then the next round use your right arm. GO LIGHT with KB.
Lat band Mobility/ Bully Stretch/ Banded Scapula Distraction/ Banded Pigeon Stretch
20 Min EMOM
A- 50’ Handstand Walk OR 5 Wall Climb
B- 8 Pistol Squats Per Leg OR Bulgarian Split Squats on Bench or box
C- 12 Kettlebell Snatch OR American Swing
D- :20 Ring Support Top
Set a clock for 10 Mins,
Row 1000m ,
Then @ warm up Pace cycle through for remaining time
-10 Banded Lat Pull Downs (back flat, butt/hamstrings/heels on ground with quads flexed)
-10 Banded Press
-10 2ct. Mountain Climbers
-5 Divebomber Push Ups
3X5 (same weight across all sets)
Tempo (1,1,3) *slow lower or eccentric phase
-Super Set each W/ 5 Reps of a Ring Push Up
10 Min AMRAP
5 Chest to Bar Pull Ups or Bar Muscle Ups
15 Shoulder to Overhead 115/75
45 Double Under
Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
Marching High Kicks
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Sprint W/ Change of Direction
4X 100m Sprints
-Go every 2;30
*focus on keeping hips and torso inline and arm swing happening from shoulder and not elbow.
*recover with deep breathing , through nose and out mouth. Pull diaphragm down
5 Rounds NOT FOR TIME
10 Back Rack Step Ups (5 each Leg)
10 Kettlebell Side Bends ( go heavy but keep chest squared with hips)
15 GHD Sit Ups
250 m Row
8 PVC Front Squats
8 PVC Good Mornings
8 Burpee Tuck Jumps
-Bent Over Row (keep hips engaged, don’t bounce) Set up is the same as a deadlift, pull bar to sternum
*add weight each round without losing form
5 Rounds For Time
15 Wall Ball
15 Power Clean 95/65