Most runners are only able to replace up to one-third of the calories they burn while they run. If you’re able to do this with real foods instead of packaged products high in sugars and low in overall nutrition, that is the best plan to follow.
Here are two of my favorite, whole-foods recipes for snacks that you can take along on your next run:
Cherry Pie Energy Bites
1 cup medjool dates, sliced in half and pitted
1/4 cup organic thompson raisins
1/2 cup dried sour cherries
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons organic honey
2 tablespoons oat bran
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and place the pecans onto a baking sheet. Bake for 5-7 minutes until the pecans are just toasted. Remove from oven, turn off heat, and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dates, raisins, cherries, pecans and honey. Pulse until the mixture comes together.
Empty the mixture out onto a rimmed baking sheet or square cake pan lined with wax or parchment paper sprinkled with oat bran. Press the cherry mixture out in the pan until its the same thickness all over, about 1/2 inch.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to chill overnight until hard. Remove from refrigerator, slice into squares and store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. *Storing in the refrigerator will keep the texture of the bars hard, rather than soft.
Blueberry + Almond Beast Bars
1/4 cup unsweetened big flake coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/2 cup whole toasted almonds (or other toasted nuts)
1/2 cup dried blueberries
2 cups quick oats
2 cups puffed brown rice cereal
1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
1 cup maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Lightly grease an 8×8 inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the coconut, sunflower seeds, nuts, raisins, oats and puffed rice. Set aside.
In a microwave-proof bowl, or a small sauce pan, gently warm the syrup, honey and the peanut butter. (About 2 minutes in the microwave.) Once the honey/peanut butter mixture is warm, stir until rather smooth and homogenous. Add the vanilla.
Pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients and mix until all of the dry ingredients are well coated. Next, press the mixture into the prepared pan with the back of a spatula. Coat with waxed paper and let cool completely in the refrigerator. Once cool, slice and eat eat eat!
Nutrition and nourishment are highly personal, and nearly any food can be athletic fuel. So, how do you navigate nutrition as a runner when the whole cornucopia is yours for the picking? See my five tips: find your athletic fuel.