Of course, running is the #1 most important aspect of being a runner, but fueling properly is right up there! If you read my first post, you already know that my high-school diet consisted of mostly Red Bull and Skittles. When I started cooking (around my sophomore year of college) I was shocked at how much better I felt. I had more energy not only while running, but throughout the day. As I’ve gained experienced, I’ve continued to become more interested in how food affects the body, plus I just really enjoy cooking and baking new things! I’m no chef or scientist, but I am a runner who loves food! SO. Every other weekend I plan to post something that I typically eat in my day-to-day diet, or I’ll try a new recipe and share how it went!
On Friday I had a big workout in the evening (6x1mile) so I tried to treat the day like race day in preparation. I never want to go into a workout (especially a long one) under-fueled, but I also have had a notoriously sketchy stomach (for real… I’ve thrown up during more hard workouts than not). I’ve kind of learned what works well for me, so I treat a big work day with respect in terms of what I use to fuel my body. That being said, eating doesn’t have to be boring. This is what I ate to fuel for my Friday workout!
Breakfast: (before work)
Gingersnap Oatmeal + 1 Cup Pour Over Heart Coffee from Young Blood ❤
1 Cup Oats
1 Tablespoon Blackstrap Molasses
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Ginger
1/4 Teaspoon Cinnamon
I always start my day with some good carbs before I run or go to work! Runners need carbs for fuel, and I know that oatmeal sits well in my stomach for any type of workout. I like to switch up what I put in my oats (always try to add some additional nutrients in there), and I just came up with this recipe a few weeks ago! I love gingersnap oatmeal cookies, and this is even better because it’s basically like eating the cookie batter. BONUS: Blackstrap Molasses is supa high in iron, an essential mineral ESPECIALLY for female runners. Whatever you choose to eat, EAT BREAKFAST, PLZ. You don’t want to start your day off by zapping yourself of energy.
Speaking of energy, I NEVER go a morning without coffee, but I’ve tried to cut back on my caffeine intake within reason (I’m semi-obsessed and was WAY overdoing it, especially after I bought an espresso machine). Buying different varieties of coffee and making a french press or pour over has helped limit me to enjoying just ONE quality cup in the morning.
Lunch: 3 hours before workout start
Wild Rice Frittata
I’m not that fancy… Frittata basically means scrambled eggs with a bunch of stuff in it. My mama gave me a huge bag of wild rice (hand harvested from White Earth Reservation where she works!) that I’ve been using in all kinds of meals lately, so I decided to mix it in with my eggs. SO GOOD. The texture was awesome, and it added carbs that I would’ve otherwise gotten with more oatmeal or toast. I topped mine with avocado (the one I had was not ripe enough to smash but I REALLY wanted avocado, so I threw it in a food processor with sea salt and pepper. Good enough for me!)
2 eggs, beaten
Sea salt and black pepper, whatever you’re feeling
1 cup steamed wild rice
1 smashed avocado
If I’m working out in the morning, I ALWAYS stick to just toast or oatmeal with simple add-ins. Since I had more time today and wasn’t working out until late, I wanted to get some good protein and a real meal in so I didn’t get to the track feeling empty.
Snack: 1.5 hours before workout
Dave’s Killer Bread with Almond butter
4 shots espresso (from Counter Culture Coffee in Seattle… the last I had left! #sadday)
Simple carbs with a little protein/fat to keep me feeling full. ESPRESSO IS A MUST FOR ME. I always have 4 shots of espresso before a big workout or race to get psyched up. Figuring out timing is important… you don’t want to down too much caffeine too early before your workout/race, but you also don’t want to drink a bunch of liquid acid right before starting and end up feeling sick. Test these things out in workouts so you know what you should do for race day when it matters most!
Post-workout snack: Within 15 minutes of cool-down.
Raspberry Mint Rice Cakes
I stole this recipe from Skratch Labs Portables. I adjusted some ingredients because I’m not a strict recipe follower and I tend to throw together whatever I have on-hand, but they turned out awesome! P.S. I used Jasmine rice because I didn’t have sticky rice, so I wasn’t sure it would work. I just made sure to use a little extra water and let mine sit covered for 10 minutes after steaming, and it was plenty sticky enough to hold the bars together.
2 Cups Jasmine Rice (steam with 3 cups water)
Mint (I didn’t have fresh on hand, so I just used 1 tablespoon dried)
1/3 Cup Raw Cane Sugar
1 Teaspoon Peppermint Extract (I wanted mine extra minty)
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger
1/4 Cup dried shredded coconut (added more texture and flavor)
1 Pint Raspberries
Basically you mix everything together except the raspberries. Press half of it into a pan, throw the raspberries on top, squish the rest of the stuff on top of that (so it’s like a raspberry rice sandwich), and give it a few minutes to set. I cut mine into 9 squares and individually wrapped them so they’re an easy grab-n-go snack!
I was pumped to try these portable rice bars, and the verdict is: THEY RULE. Can’t wait to try more of them out. Keep in mind, the TIMING of a recovery snack is crucial. Get a snack within 30 minutes of your workout to speed up recovery.
[You might’ve noticed my day was pretty carb-heavy… I keep things fairly simple before running so I don’t have to deal with an upset stomach, but in the evening I load up on my veggies and protein! A giant steak and charred Brussels sprouts is one of my fave post-race dinners.]
I was pumped about all three of these recipes, and I DIDN’T PUKE IN MY WORKOUT. Always a plus. If you test any of them out, message me if you have questions (Contact Me), or I’d love to see your final result!
Happy fueling, happy running!