Runner Beans

Last updated: 02-Mar-16

Written by Sports Dietician Rin Cobb

Do you eat meat? Does the thought of going meat free bring you out in the proverbial ‘meat’ sweats? Contrary to what you may be thinking, you don’t need to be vegetarian to choose meat free options so this week’s food for thought is how opting for the occasional meat free meal can not only be delicious and nutritious but benefit your health, bank balance and even the planet too.

In the UK, it’s estimated we waste half a million tonnes of meat and fish each year, just about enough to fill Wembley stadium, and that’s not including all the other food we waste. With more families relying on food banks, how can we justify these wasteful eating habits? If other people’s hunger doesn’t sway your moral compass then perhaps think of the cost to your own bank balance as this waste alone is costing you £2.1 billion.

It’s also costing the planet. From feeding to production to transportation, the meat industry contributes up to 20% of global greenhouse emissions.

From a health perspective, there are a number of reasons why eating less meat can be a good thing including decreasing your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, obesity and type 2 diabetes. You may remember how red and processed meat hit the headlines several years ago after the World Cancer Research Fund issued guidance on the link between red/processed meat and bowel cancer. This led the department of health to issue guidance on how much we should be eating. 

Reducing your daily consumption from 90 to 70g of red and processed meat is a good start. However, if like me, you enjoy a good quality steak every now and then, another option is to have your steak and eat it but then go meat free for a few days. 

It’s not always clear what’s meant by processed meats, so just to clarify, these include sausages, bacon, ham and pate. Basically any meat that has been preserved by smoking, salting or adding preservatives.  Red meat is of course a very good source of iron and, as previously discussed, runners can have higher requirements, so I’m not advocating you go completely meat free. I do recommend that you be more mindful of the quantity and quality of the meat you choose to eat.

With that in mind, you may be wondering what on earth you can eat? Endurance runners also have slightly higher protein needs (1.2-1.4g/kg body weight per day) than those not exercising so you may have some concerns about meeting these needs if eating less meat. However, there really is an abundance of tasty choices you can cook up. Some good protein fillers include lentils, beans and chickpeas, all of which come in handy tins so you don’t have to soak for hours on end as well as the classic tofu, Quorn, nuts, seeds and soya alternatives available. Don’t forget some of your 5 a day are good protein sources too such as peas, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.

The Meatfree Monday movement is a great way to try out some meat free options even if it’s just one day a week and I’ve certainly found myself experiencing some taste sensations of late. If you’re struggling for ideas, each week an array of recipes is available through all manner of social media by googling or using the #meatfreemonday. To get you started, I’ve included one of my own recipes below. So, whether you choose to eat less meat for health, finances, sustainability or just because you happen to find a recipe which whets your appetite, bon appetit.


Bean Enchiladas
Serves 4

Ingredients Nutritional info per serving  
8 flour tortillas (low fat variety) Energy 669kcals
1 onion chopped Carbohydrate 103g
2 cloves of garlic crushed Protein   33g
750g passata Fat   11.1g
2 teaspoons paprika Fibre   10.4g
1 teaspoon chilli powder Salt   2.4g
2 x 400g cans mixed beans Calcium  527mg (75% RDA)
200g can sweet corn Iron   6.6mg
150g grated mozzarella cheese   75% RDA men
    45% RDA women


       

                        
                 
                                     
                         
                         
       
                                                       
Instructions

1. Heat oil in pan and cook onion and garlic til soft
2. Add passata, spices and simmer for 10 minutes
3. Mix beans, sweet corn with additional spices to taste in a separate bowl
4. Pour half the tomato sauce into a large, rectangular baking dish
5. For each tortilla, fill with bean mix, roll up and place in baking dish. Continue until all tortillas are made up and fill the baking dish
6. Pour the remainder of the tomato sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle with the grated cheese
7. Cook in a preheated oven (180ºC) for 20 minutes or until lightly coloured on top

"It’s not always clear what’s meant by processed meats, so just to clarify, these include sausages, bacon, ham and pate"

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related news

The Dreaded DNS

Last updated: 05-Nov-18 By Dan Stinton You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want

Read More »

Latest news

MIUT 85k Race Report

MIUT 85k Race Report I want to share my experience of the MIUT 85k as a novice Ultra-Runner – what my background is, how I prepared, how

Read More »

SEARCH

Filters

Distance
Distance - slider
0KM500KM
Entry Fee
Entry Fee - slider
010000

DATE SEARCh

Date Range

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.