My favorite ways to start the day
When I'm in the middle of a tough training cycle, I wake up feeling SO hungry. Depending on the day, I eat one of the following with at least one cup of hot coffee with a little milk. Most days I have oatmeal and coffee while checking emails etc, then go for my first run. By the time I get done with my pre-run and post-run activities, (drills, stretching, rehab exercises), I'm hungry again so I'll have some avocado toast for brunch. I also love having some overnight oats in the fridge or superhero muffins made and ready to go for when I'm in a pinch. Not skipping breakfast is important, but if you're having a pop tart and loading yourself with simple sugars that spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash an hour later, you might as well have skipped it all together. Start your day off right with one of my favorite breakfasts.
I eat oatmeal almost every morning. It is ALWAYS my pre-race meal, even when I race in the evenings. I know oatmeal sits well in my stomach and is easily digestible, but doesn't make me feel hungry an hour later.
Oatmeal doesn't have to be bland and boring! Here are some toppings I typically have on hand to add to my oats in the morning.
-Chopped nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, peanuts, macadamia nuts, nut butters are good too
-Seeds: sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds
-Protein powder: I use 100% whey, find one without added sugars
As basic 💁🏼 as it may be, avocado toast is just so. darn. good. Start with a whole wheat bread (I like mine with a good crust on it) and toast a coupe pieces. While that's going, slice your avocado (nature's butter) up into chunks to make to spreadable. It has to be ripe. If it's not ripe don't even bother. I like to spread the avocado on the toast and mash it down so its only slightly chunky. Then comes a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper. This basic version is great, but turn it up a notch by adding a fried or poached egg (if you are so talented) for extra protein, healthy fat, and deliciousness. Another variation is to add a drizzle of honey before the salt and pepper for a sweeter take.
Yogurt and Granola
Yogurt: a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. I use 2% or whole milk plain greek yogurt. Two things here: 1) Don't be tricked into fat-free yogurt! Fat helps keep you feeling full for longer and helps you absorb fat-soluble nutrients. And it's so much more creamy and delicious. 2) Skip the flavored varieties that are full of sugar and opt for plain yogurt. You can control how much sweetener (if any) you need to add.
Fruit: berries or any chopped fruit
Granola: Make your own or do a quick check of the ingredients list and make sure there isn't a ton of extra sugars sneakily added in, especially if you've already sweetened your yogurt. I make my own to make sure I know exactly what is going in it. Want the granola recipe?
Run Fast Eat Slow Superhero Muffins
I talk about my teammate Shalane Flanagan's cookbook all the time because I'm obsessed with the way she and her coauthor, Elyse Kopecky, have created thoughtfully delicious recipes that nourish athletes with flavor-packed whole foods. This is a staple of their cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow, and I make a batch about once a week.
From the Run Fast Eat Slow website:
"These muffins were designed for superheroes like you. They're packed full of veggies, and are sweetened with maple syrup instead of refined sugar. In addition, almond flour and whole-grain oats replace nutrient-stripped white flour. These are Shalane’s go-to muffins—nourishing and sweetly satisfying for an easy grab-n-run breakfast.
And don’t fear the butter. Fueling up with healthy fats is a great way to start your day. Fat helps transport important vitamins throughout your hardworking body and will help keep you satisfied longer."
Running on Veggies OVernight Oats
If you haven't checked out runonveg.com, you are seriously missing out. If you haven't tried overnight oats, you are dearly missing out. This is perfect for the early riser who wants a grab and go breakfast that is energizing and nutritious. Lottie is an athlete herself who focuses on plant-based foods for people with active lifestyles. She has a ton of great recipes on her site, but this is one of my favorites. I make it the night before an early morning flight so that I can eat breakfast on my way to the airport.
From Lottie's website: "The simplicity of this recipe makes it easy to travel with. I also like it because oatmeal has a low glycemic index so if it is the first thing you have in the morning it won’t spike your blood sugar. Instead it will give you a slow release of energy and keep you going for a long time. I like to pair the oats with low glycemic fruit (like berries) so that you get a little bit of natural sweetness that isn’t overpowering."