I love that it is Wednesday already!
After yesterday’s post, I really want to start touching upon the factors which played a major role in helping me become the runner I am today.
One important place to start is food. Eating certain foods (especially at certain times) can make a world of difference in how your body responds to exercise.
It is only fitting that the first food we discuss is peanut butter since it takes up the most space in my pantry and accounts for a majority of the calories in my daily diet.
I may hoard jars of Crunch Time and Mighty Maple but I have learned that too much peanut butter before a run doesn’t work for me even if it does work real nice for my taste buds.
In fact, I am not on the only one who feels this way. Kaitlin mentioned in a comment last week regarding how unpleasant it can be if she gets too “spoon happy” with her peanut butter before heading out for a run.
I have a solution for this peanut butter problem.
PB2 has been a terrific addition to my peanut butter pantry, most especially at pre-run breakfast time.
PB2 contains very little fat (like one gram I think?) but most of the peanut flavor so you can satisfy your peanut butter craving and enjoy your meal without weighing down your stomach.
Fats take the longest for your body to digest so the last thing you want while you are running is to feel your stomach in digestive mode.
PB2 goes on top of my prerun oatmeal:
Or my favorite at the moment, the three-ingredient pancake:
Sometimes I will add a drop of regular peanut butter but even if I don’t, PB2 is delicious every single time without causing a problem while I am running.
Post-run pancakes can have plenty of Mighty Maple peanut butter though.
I always refuel after my runs, be it a five-mile run or fourteen. Depending upon my appetite, I sometimes go with another pancake or my favorite oatmeal/greek yogurt bowls.
Either way, I ensure to get a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates and fat for proper muscle recovery.
Steel-cut oatmeal, plain greek yogurt, berries, peanut butter and granola.
I probably eat every three hours, snacking, nibbling, mini-mealing or bottomless bowl-ing (ha ha bowl-ing) according to my appetite.
I don’t love hummus but it works as a snack when I feel like it.
I do love Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread though and have been craving it quite often this week with melted mozzarella cheese and tomato.
Ezekiel Bread is awesome because it is made from sprouted grains, no processed ingredients or preservatives and is a great source of complex carbs. The best part may be just how delicious this bread truly is. If you have yet to try it, please add it to your list for this week.
Sometimes I add avocado, sometimes I eat it as a closed sandwich, opened-faced or just one slice depending upon my mood and appetite.
I don’t count calories, I don’t force myself to eat more or less than I feel like eating at any one time and I certainly don’t pay attention to the clock for standard meal times. If I am hungry, I am going to eat and find that it all balances out by the end of the day.
Snacking while I cut fruit is a must.
I rely on pineapple, berries, cantaloupe and watermelon as often as possible (depending upon the season) not just for the purpose of a tasty snack but because fruit is super hydrating and quenches my thirst well beyond water.
Fruit also contains so many important antioxidants and nutrients which play a major role in muscle recovery making us stronger for our next run. Don’t forget that pineapple contains bromelain which is know for it’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties and also aids in digestion.
I get all sorts of angry when I see people shy away from fruit due to sugar content. It is naturally occurring sugar! It is not the same as Keebler cookies! Avoiding fruits means you are missing out on powerful nutrients which do amazing things for our body, skin and appetite.
Don’t neglect your fruit. Just don’t.
Did you know avocado is a fruit? You learn something new here every day.
Roasted vegetable quinoa bowl topped with avocado.
I love avocado and went way too many years of my life thinking I didn’t like it. Please don’t avoid avocado due to the fat content. Avocados give us healthy monounsaturated fats that help to balance our hormones along with Vitamin C, K, B6 and more potassium than a banana.
And yeah, avocados add terrific and satisfying texture and flavor to any meal.
Sweet potatoes and avocado are a glorious combination.
Chick peas,roasted vegetables, sweet potato wedges and avocado cooked in sweet chili and soy sauce.
I probably eat four to five sweet potatoes a week. I always aim to include a sweet potato in my dinner the night before a long run and definitely before races. Baked or diced up, it is one powerful spud loaded with muscle-friendly antioxidants, complex carbs and beta-carotene.
I should probably count how many apples with peanut butter I consume on a regular basis. I mean, some days it is just one but most days I surpass that. Easily.
If you never tried mixing PB2 and regular peanut butter, you should. It makes for a nice spreadable consistency. Adding in chocolate chips creates a cookie dough-like texture and flavor which is simply amazing and a perfect way to cap off an evening.
Looks just like cookie dough, right?
Speaking of cookie dough, I made the infamous cookie dough dip which uses chick peas as the base to bring to a friend’s party the other night.
It’s the container on the dessert table with the serving spoon.
I have a two more dessert recipes on my horizon:
Healthy Samoas Girl Scout Cookies
I love dessert. A majority of my diet may be super clean and nutrient dense but my muscles need a good dose or two of chocolate cake, ice cream and cookies on a regular basis.
Some people find this a contradiction; I call it balance.
What is your favorite pre-run meal?
Are you a mini-meal person or do you stick to the basic breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Which fruits are in your kitchen right now?