Each day my diet varies somewhat, but as a high performance runner always on the go, I have some steadfast staples that offer consistency within my busy days. These are foods you will always find on my weekly grocery list, filling my fridge, and regularly on my menu. I include them for their fantastic nutritional value and of course, their scrumptious taste. After all, “eating to run” is a lifestyle that should be thoroughly enjoyable!
1. Explore Asian Organic Gluten Free Bean Pasta
This is my favorite dinner food by far! I probably eat it for dinner 2-3 times a week. I just love the versatility of it. My favorites are the black bean spaghetti, edamame and mung bean fettuccine, and adzuki bean spaghetti. Each type of bean pasta boosts 20g-25g of plant based protein per serving, is extremely rich in iron, magnesium and calcium, and is loaded with dietary fiber. The best part about these noodles is that they take on any flavor you want. I have made them with teriyaki sauce, curry sauce, tomato sauce, pesto, and green miso sauce. Each diverse flavor works with the noodles’ taste and texture, making them one of the most versatile, delicious, and nutritious foods on the market.
2. Iron-Rich (Local / Organic / Pasture-raised / Grass-fed) Meats
Meat is a must for me, and I’ve learned not to go a day without it! Turkey, elk, beef, chicken, and pork are all on the menu, and I make sure that every serving of meat I eat is grass-fed and organic. I prefer locally sourced meat, and I love knowing that the animals were humanely raised.
I eat wraps and sandwiches for lunch filled with turkey or roast beef, and usually have some type of meat with dinner as well, often in the form of a stir-fry. Because I have struggled with low iron for years, I have to make sure that I am getting in quality heme sources of iron frequently.
Another huge benefit of eating grass-fed meat is its impressive omega-3 fatty acid content, nutrient density, and quality source of protein. I truly believe that consistently incorporating meat into my meals helps me to recover faster from hard workouts, build strong, lean muscles, and improve my running performance.
3. Overnight Oats Bowl
My overnight oats combo of Nancy’s Honey Greek Yogurt, Helios Raspberry and Honey Greek Kefir, chia seeds, and gluten free oats is a go-to snack for me almost daily. I love to eat this snack after my morning workouts and literally look forward to it as soon as I finish. It is the perfect combination of protein and carbohydrates to adequately refuel after my run and helps me get the most out of my hard workouts.
Since it is fairly bland, it doesn’t upset the stomach and is easy to digest quickly after a workout or run. Each ingredient in the overnight oats bowl serves a purpose in my refueling plan, and I love knowing the functionality behind each bite.
The yogurt and kefir are the main protein components in this dish and also provide some simple sugars that I need post workout.
Also, it’s no secret that chia seeds are a super food! They have long been noted for their gelatinous capabilities, and they provide some fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and other various micronutrients.
The final ingredient, gluten free oats, are a complex carbohydrate that is loaded with fiber and provide lasting energy. When combined, this bowl of superfoods is the optimal replenishing option and leaves me fully satisfied until lunch time.
4. Veggies: Kale and Carrots
Kale and carrots are my two absolute favorite vegetables. I love munching and snacking on carrots throughout the day, and I probably go through multiple pounds of carrots in a week. With their vitamin A content and nutritional benefits, this vegetable helps give you beautiful skin, prevents cancer, has anti-aging properties, and is a great source of complex carbohydrates. I could munch on them all day (and trust me I do!!).
As for kale, I eat this with dinner almost every night. I love sautéing kale with olive oil, garlic, and onions. Another favorite kale use of mine is to add it to my lunch wrap or sandwich since it adds a delicious crunch. It makes the perfect addition to any meal, and it is the most nutritionally dense food on the planet. Kale contains vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin c, vitamin b, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and many powerful antioxidants.
I can’t get enough of these two superfood vegetables!
5. Fruit: Apples and Grapefruit
Apples and grapefruit are the two types of fruit that I do not go a day without. I see my daily apple as a mid-day pick me up. It literally gives me energy to prevent the mid-day slump and wakes me up almost as much as my morning cup of coffee! As far as nutrition goes, apples are simple a powerhouse. They are chalk full of antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and carbohydrates for lasting energy throughout the day. I enjoy them as an afternoon sweet treat.
In the evenings, I like to indulge in a grapefruit after dinner. For some reason, this has become the perfect (and uber healthy) dessert. It completely satisfies my sweet tooth and is my favorite way to cap off the day of quality nutrition. Grapefruits are the perfect dessert year round because they are cool and refreshing in warm weather and can be easily microwaved and warmed as a bonus when it gets chilly outside! Either way, I look forward to this antioxidant and vitamin C rich treat each and every evening.
These fantastic five superfoods are huge parts of my daily nutrition. Obviously, there are other foods that are also key factors in my diet, but these are some of my absolute favorites that I wanted to share with the eat2run community. I think the most important thing about these foods is that they are all nutrient dense and unprocessed, real foods! Each provides the best fuel that I need as an athlete to run faster and perform better. My nutritional choices ultimately provide the day to day foundation for my path towards my dreams, so I fuel intentionally with the best food out there to see the best results possible!
Best wishes for healthy and speedy feet,