After yesterday’s post about my new take on nutrition (new-trition, still get it, right?! ha!) I decided to start doing some research (what you thought I had ALL the answers?) about best foods for runners. Side note: this really should best best foods for fitness fanatics because if you are working out your body hard in any way you can benefit from stocking up on the items that I will outline.
Today is tackle the shopping list day. Ah, yes. Making a list. The best way for anyone to get shit DONE! I have been doing a lot of wedding planning recently (and no not my own) (and no again, it is not my regular job) and creating lists and crossing through things when they are done
has to be is the best feeling. I am going to go ahead and say that crossing healthy foods off a shopping list with a genuine plan to make an effort to cook and eat these foods will give one the same high.
I consulted Runner’s World mostly for this list and information, because let’s face it Runner’s World should really be called “Runner’s Dictionary/Bible,” but Fitness Magazine also had a few things to add. This article from the Running section of About.com also reconfirmed most of my included choices. RESEARCH.
So here is your list:
Protein-Packed- According to Runner’s World, runners need about 50-75% more protein than non-runners. SAY WHAT! These foods help with muscle repair and, obviously, if your muscles are getting repaired you are going to have a quicker recovery and less soreness.
- Chicken- Chicken has about 50% of your daily value of protein in 4 oz. So that makes it PROTEIN-PACKED, baybee! Bake, Broil, Grill, toss in salads, eat over a bed of wilted mixed greens, grill and cut up to put in a whole-wheat tortilla with canned black beans. If you can’t find a use for chicken you need to buy a cookbook
- Wild Salmon- Salmon not only has protein, but also has heart-healthy omega 3s. No need for supplements when you are eating the right foods. AMIII RIGHT? Bake, Grill, toss in salads, eat over a bed of wilted mixed greens w/a topping of orange zest, buy the canned variety to put in a whole-wheat fajita or salad, or use the canned version over pizza (who knew?)
- Eggs- The incredible, edible! 1 egg has 10% of your daily value of protein. That’s egg-mazing! Scrambled, over-easy, poached, hard-boiled. I eat two eggs with chopped up veggies and some sort of meat protein (a little omlette) almost every morning. Thanks to my roommate’s low-carb diet before a summer beach trip (which, I do not condone) we started making these little gems every morning for work. No thanks to this, we never have any clean Tupperware.
- Low-Fat Yogurt- Yogurt also has CALCIUM, which you need for strong bones! Throw some almonds in your yogurt or mix it up with fruit for a really good snack or side for breakfast.
- Peanut Butter- I think the benefits of peanut butter are widely known. Just make sure you watch your serving size! Get the all natural kind for an easy pre-run/workout meal. Spread over whole-wheat toast.
Nutritional Powerhouses- The foods in this part of the list have antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that you need for all sorts of reasons.
- Almonds- Runner’s World says to have a small handful 3-5 times a week. Why? Most runners fall short of vitamin E intake and almonds are packed with it. Almonds also help lower LDL, or bad, cholesterol. Throw them on salads, put them in your oatmeal, or get some all natural almond butter to spread on whole-wheat toast/tortilla.
- Sweet Potatoes- Who knew? Sweet potatoes are amazing and they are even more amazingly good for you. Just don’t throw tablespoons of butter and handfuls of brown sugar and wads of marshmallows and stuff on them. (Unless it is Thanksgiving. Then feel free to gorge yourself on this dish and be THANKFUL you run.) Sweet poTATES are the nutritional powerhouse of the century. These babies are a significant source of vit A, beta-carotene, vit C, potassium, iron, magnesium, and copper! Because I am a lazy “chef” as of right now I find it easiest to microwave them and put yummy toppings on them like sour cream, yogurt, a little brown sugar, or cheese!
- Canned Black Beans- What gets easier than a can? Black beans have roughly 30% daily value of protein, 60% daily value of fiber, and 60% daily value of folate, which aides in good circulation. You can heat them up, and mash them into salsa for dip or spread the mash into a whole-wheat tortilla, with light cheese and some chicken. BOOM!
- Mixed Greens- REMEMBER THAT TIME that I said I was going to eat more green stuff??? These greens are better than one type of leafy, lettucy, thingy, according to Runner’s World, because there are more nutrients in a mixed bag. Mixed greens have lots of phytonutrients that help repair your muscles. Oh yea, that feels good. You can put them in wraps and on top of sandwiches. For an easy way to cook them just throw them into a pan and toss them around, like the chef you are, until they are wilted. Put your protein on top and YUM!
- Stir Fry Veggies- A bag of these frozen gems is very inexpensive and way too easy to use to ever complain about. All of the antioxidants in the mix help reduces soreness and inflammation. Something runners desperately need after those long-runs! All you have to do is throw them in a pan with chicken, sautee them up, serve them over brown rice or pasta.
- Frozen Mixed Berries- CAN YOU SAY ANTIOXIDANTS? Berries are so important for your body and there are only about 60 calories per cup. I throw frozen berries in a blender with 1 whole banana and some chocolate whey protein almost every morning. It creates a nice after run shake that helps muscle recovery. You can also put them in cereal and oatmeal if you do not have time to make a shake.
Carbs- We need carbs. Carbs are important. Stop dissing carbs. Just eat the right ones! It is not that hard. Maybe this should be called whole-grain choices instead. Then people wouldn’t cringe and possibly skip over this part of the list. In my research I found that you should be eating about 3-6 1 oz servings a day, or 1 slice of bread. Thanks, Runner’s World. I owe yaaa!
- Whole-grain bread- Eat it toasted with almond butter or peanut butter. The end.
- Whole-grain pasta- Whole-grain pasta is good for you because it has lots of fiber and there are B vitamins in it that give you a little metabolism boost! Nothing to get fancy about here. I love my pasta with a light red sauce. Ask me for my mom’s recipe if you want your mind to be blown.
YUMMY! - The best part of the shopping list goes to…YUMMY! Eat some DARK chocolate. They have these antioxidants called flavonoids that boost heart health, ease inflammation, and help prevent blood substances from getting sticky–which in turn helps decrease the likelihood of blood clots. YAY dark chocolate. Apparently, MARS is the best mainstream company to go through with the purest form of dark chocolate. Eat one piece of Dove Dark Chocolate a day. I give you permission. and I bet Runner’s World does too.
So there you have it. Get to shopping. Experiment with these foods as your base and find some new favorite recipes. Keep in mind that herbs and spices also have tons of benefits so they NEVER hurt to use! Just don’t be like H and dump ever single spice known to mankind on random foods.
Keep some Dove chocolate handy and work your ass off because now you will never have muscle soreness, inflammation, bone problems, stomach issues, etc. Just kidding. I am in now way authorized to tell you that. But these foods should help!
Do you have any foods to add to this list? Are you ready to go shopping now? Make sure you tell me how your shopping trip went and if you added anything to make yummy meals with!