Hump Day Giveaway: What’s in Your Fridge?

How did this picture of me and my immaculate, always stocked fridge get out?

On Facebook, I asked recently about suggestions for questions for the day of the hump. Lots of good stuff that I'll either use here or we'll post on FB, depending on the question (not sure if we want to read 300+ responses to how do deal with Gu-Doo.)

One topic that came up repeatedly in various forms was nutrition. What do you eat during the day to fuel your run? Do you adjust your calorie intake on rest days? What do you think of a high-protein, low-calorie diet during marathon training?

I'm no nutritionist, but I have learned what works for me with regard to my eating and running:

1. I have to eat before a run. Doesn't matter what time or how far. Usually a banana suffices, but a graham cracker or two or a pumpkin muffin also works. (A bunch of ideas about pre-run fueling from the RLAM crowd can be found here.)

You could win a flattering top...

2. I have to eat when I come home from a run. Since it's usually morning, I'll drink a glass of chocolate milk because it's the ultimate recovery drink, then have an English muffin with almond butter and honey; or yogurt, a mix of Greek and non-fat plain, with fruit and cereal; or, sometimes, if I'm feeling ambitious, eggs. I have to eat protein to feel full, and I have to eat well; after a run, breakfast influences the rest of my eating patterns--good or bad--for the rest of the day. If I eat a couple soggy mouthfuls of Ben's Raisin Bran that has been marinating for 30 minutes and call it good, I'll be craving an ice cream sandwich by 10 a.m.

3. In order to eat well for the rest of a weekday, I rely on leftovers. I never whip up a lunch from scratch, unless you count a PB+J from scratch. When I prepare food, I usually employ the one-mega-dish method. I make a batch of something that's feeds 8, and then Grant and I eat it for dinner...and lunch...and dinner again...and, if we're lucky, lunch again. I don't really use it in the summer, but in the winter, the slow-cooker, when I remember to plan ahead, is my savior.

4. I'm not a great cook, and I really don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen unless I'm making cookies, so I tend to favor easy and minimal preparation. One of my fave recipes from this summer, from my mom, is Cowboy Caviar; I like it because it's a cinch to make and it's got protein and veggies, so I can knock those two pyramid pieces out without any thought. I eat it plain, on a bed of spinach, with tortilla chips or rolled up in a tortilla.

Cowboy Caviar
2 (15 oz.) cans of black beans, rinsed
1 (17 oz.) bag of frozen corn, drained (I used 4 ears of real corn, cut off the kernels, then roasted it on the stove)
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 large avocado, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3-4 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt + pepper

1. Make dressing (last four ingredients)
2. Combine top 6 ingredients in a large bowl
3. Pour dressing on veggies, cover and chill. Garnish with more avocado slices if you wish.

...some cheery shorts...

5. I'm on a continual quest to eat less sugar. Sugar plays with my mind, my mood, my motivation. Cutting down on the white devil would be much easier if King Sooper's didn't put 6-packs of ice cream sandwiches on sale 10 for $10; if M'n'M's hadn't invented the Pretzel version; if PMS and writer's block weren't immediately eased by the intake of anything chocolatey, creamy or artificially flavored strawberry.

I could go on--especially about The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, which I grabbed from the library display table and have used frequently the past 3 weeks; the vegetarian recipes are super easy, pretty healthy and darn tasty--but we want to hear from you.  Do you have rules you eat by? What have you found that most definitely aids your running--or most definitely does not? What's your version of cowboy caviar? (Feel free to share simple, shorter recipes.) What's in your fridge that fuels you well--or weighs you down?

...and the coordinating kicks.

Give the RLAM crowd some of your Rachel Ray insight, and we'll reward a random winner with a head-to-toe K-Swiss kit: a sleeveless top with mesh inserts that provide serious A/C; pink, split shorts with four-way stretch that just have to make you smile when you pull them on; and a pair of the Keahou II, an award-winning neutral shoe. Total value? Over $175--and the outfit will make you look like a million bucks.

So what's in your fridge?

p.s. We know what's on on Amanda's feet: a new pair of Vibram Bikilas. We had a whopping 516 entries with some very thoughtful, insightful answers to how running makes you feel. Amanda's entry, picked through, was this post we can all relate to in one way or another:

Running makes me feel sleek and strong…things that I have hardly felt before. It makes me believe that I can do almost anything in my life…again, not a familiar feeling. The first time I ran a 5k  without stopping, I cried. Amazing!

206 responses to “Hump Day Giveaway: What’s in Your Fridge?

  1. I’m a mom of two under seven, and we’re a mainly-vegetarian family, so my fridge is never without organic natural peanut butter, skim milk, fresh fruit, fresh veggies from our CSA (summer to mid-fall), eggs, hummus, and whatever leftover vegetarian dish I cooked for my family for dinner the night before. Oh, and Diet Coke.

  2. My fridge desperately needs to be cleaned out, but it does have chocolate milk (I have to share with the 3 year old though), almond butter, bagels, plenty of cookie making ingredients, 2% milk, and probably a science experiment or two…and a can of chocolate frosting…its a guilty pleasure and probably a large part of why I can’t lose much weight. But I’m craving chocolate, so I’m okay with it today…

  3. I don’t usually like to eat pre-run but I do need fuel, so banana-blue berry-spinach-chia seeds-ground flax shake for me. Post-run is usually leftover pre-run shake. Love it. I pretty much keep all these ingredients in the fridge. I also keep bags of ready to eat salad mixes and various leftovers. My husband loves leftovers, I’m a lucky gal! 🙂

  4. so many half eaten leftovers… mostly from my kids. half a bowl of yogurt (whole milk vanilla), half a quesadilla, half a peanut butter sandwich (soaked through with raspberry jelly), half a ‘big girl cup’ of milk, half a big girl cup of grape juice (the other half is on her shirt & my family room floor), etc.

    for me, the best thing that’s in my fridge is half a stick of real butter… i made the switch to real butter from congealed yogurty corn syrup concoction (better known as ‘spread’) about a year ago,and we are all so much happier with the yumminess that comes from that good stuff! i had a crispy, gooey grilled cheese sandwich (think real bread, real cheese, real butter) for lunch & i’m still so satisfied.
    real food- that’s what is in my fridge.

  5. I try to keep our fridge as healthy as possible (at least the food in it!!). I make “green shakes” on a regular basis that are healthy and the whole fam. loves . .. . they look gross, but taste great. So, right now I have kale, spinach, avocados in my fridge (the shakes are also made with bananas, raisins, gogi berries, a cacoa nibs). The fridge is also stocked with blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Another LOVE is greek yogurt . . . YUM!!!

    Luckily, my downfall is chocolate bars with almonds and those do not go in the fridge, so from the contents of the fridge, I sound pretty healthy, right 😉

  6. I definitely felt a difference in my endurance the other morning when I didn’t have anything to eat before my run. I just was lacking energy! So, to improve on that I have been eating oatmeal with Greek yogurt and fresh blueberries in the morning….It gives me energy, yet I don’t feel weighed down and to full during my workout.

  7. The fridge right now is stocked with fresh fruit (the peaches right now are drip down your arm awesome!), eggs ( a staple at our house), yogurt, left over pasta and some easy snacks for the 3 year old. When I run in the morning I NEED to have something before I go out. It is usually Raisin Bran ceral, milk and a bit of juice to wash down the fish oil capsules.

  8. I keep greek yogurt in the fridge at all times. It’s great whipped up into a quick smoothie with some fruit and milk, or with some sprouted grain granola.
    I also keep diet pepsi in there. Still trying to kick that habit. le sigh

  9. My new favorite breakfast (or lunch, or snack) is what I refer to as “Heaven in a Glass”.

    1 Cup light vanilla soy milk (or a different milk of your choice, but this is my fav)
    1 frozen banana (the banana MUST be very ripe)
    1 heaping T Adam’s Peanut Butter
    a few ice cubes

    Blend it up and enjoy! It’s like a yummy milkshake, but healthy!

  10. My fridge right now is full fresh fruit from the Farmer’s Market…cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, peaches, corn, and peppers! It seems like I try to shovel in all those fresh fruits and veggies before summer comes to an end! There is also 1% milk for the oatmeal…some string cheese…tortilla shells for making quick quesadillas for the kids and there is some old yeast….because I thought I could learn to make homemade bread once!

  11. Almonds are a big part of my diet. I like to have a banana and some vanilla flavored almond milk before my run in the morning. Then I get to enjoy an ice cold glass of chocolate almond milk post run quickly followed by toast w/ almond butter. Also have yogurts and string cheeses for when I get the munchies.

  12. Pre-run is normally a banana (or nothing to eat if I am running under 5 miles). Post running, I usually mix a Hammer Recoverite package with 1/2 water and 1/2 milk. Then half an hour later, I eat a “real” breakfast–either whole grain cereal of some kind and fruit, or eggs and a bagel and fruit. If I have to run out the door shortly after the shower, I just take a pre-packaged meal replacement drink.
    My fridge is usually stocked with healthy options. However, I have 3 young boys (8,6&5) and my pantry is my downfall. If I need salty–their pretzels are in jeopardy! I try to listen to my body and eat what I really feel hungry for. I am still trying to drop about 8 more pounds, but am in training for The Nation’s Tri next month, and have hit a little bit of a plateau and have even gained a little bit of weight. I really don’t want to cut back on food, since what I am eating, I eat to aid in recovery and fuel for workouts.
    Alcohol really weighs me down, and I can feel the effects during my next workout. Now, if I could only give it up…….

  13. An apple and lowfat cottage cheese is my absolute favorite post-run recovery “meal”. It is the perfect blend of sweet and protein and fat. LOVE IT!! I’m getting hungry for it right now as I type.

    As for beforehand, I have never handled anything well. I will feel weighed down, sluggish and usually get a stitch if I eat before a run, which is why my best runs are in the early a.m., straight outta bed.

  14. Well, first off since I have celiac disease, there is no wheat, rye, or barley in anything I eat or a run becomes the RUNS! But, a piece of string cheese and 1/2 cup of coffee works great before a morning run, and a light dinner with veggies, some protein, and rice or quinoa or taters works for an evening run.

  15. I usually run mid morning, so oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, dried cranberries and walnuts, lots of walnuts is a necessity for me first thing. This leaves me full and gives me lasting energy to get to a run that doesn’t happen until 10 or 11 most days. After my run I usually find myself standing over my sink inhaling either two veggies burgers plain, no bun, no condiments; or a cheese and whatever veggies I have in the fridge quesadilla. I have to admit to making both of these easier by using a toaster oven. Less work, less cleanup.

  16. I have to eat something before I run (usually just a bowl of cereal or some raisins). If I don’t, I am dragging the whole time.

  17. Our fridge is pretty bare right now. On a typical day you’ll find two types of milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese sticks, various fruit and veggies and some type of leftovers. I need to work on my eating habits. I get so busy running around after the kids that I forget to eat and then stuff myself when I get the time. I do have to eat something small before a run (typically in the AM), it may be a handful of nuts or half a banana. I’ll have the other half and a ton of water afterwards.

  18. Because I run ‘when I can’ there is often very little planning done for eating before. Typically I run after dinner, so whatever is on the menu is my fuel. With two young kids that are picky eaters, sometimes the eats aren’t the best nutrition (i.e. taco night plus a 5K tempo).
    After runs I don’t usually eat. If it is an evening run, I usually shower/change/bed. After longer runs I at least try to remember to drink water or diluted Gatorade. Anything else is bonus.
    I guess I have some work to do on the fueling part. Could this be why my speed/endurance never improve?

  19. I’m so very new to running, this week ran 2.6 miles w/out stopping. Huge milestone for me after 9 months of bedrest and year one of baby boy. 🙂 I have noticed lately that I want to eat things that aren’t so heavy, but I’m also sooo hungry after I run. At this point the only change I’ve made is to drink less caffeine. I’ve switched to a couple of Crystal Light products, the pure fitness grape flavor, I’ve been drinking after my run 🙂 I feel better cutting all of that yucky diet coke out!

  20. Vitatops! … my beakfast addiction. That and a smoothie … yum. Although, I’m exprementing with some new things – like Overnight Oats (rolled oats, chia seeds, almond milk, mashed banana, & agave .. then add fruit – fresh or dried, or chocolate/nut butter, or canned pumpkin, etc) – mix it all up and put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, add some milk to thin – and maybe a bit of cereal for crunch.

    New to running – not at a point that I need to adjust my eating yet. Just trying to make good choices throughout the day.

  21. In the winter, I love oatmeal, but in the summer I tend to have cottage cheese and an apple, sprinkled with a little chopped roasted almonds. Dairy before a run doesn’t bother me. My kids are bigger and so I have the luxury of running mid morning. By the time I get home from a run it’s usually almost lunch time so I have an early lunch post run.

    My fridge is full of lots of cheese, havarti, low fat pepper jack, low fat cheddar, low fat colby jack, mozzarella and parmesan. It’s my go to snack and my daughter and I are a little obsessed with cheese. There is also lots of veggies, carrots, spinach, celery, broccoli etc.

    Leftover in the fridge right now is a Mediterranean tuna salad with chickpeas and chicken broccoli stir fry from last night.

    I keep most of my fruits on the counter. We all eat more of it if we can see it. Lots of apples, nectarines, berries of all kinds and occasionally bananas.

    I’m trying to get a handle on my sugar intake. While I don’t buy much processed foods anymore, and eat as clean as possible, I’ve started to really watch the sugar content of things like yogurt. That being said, I can’t have my tea in the morning without my agave nectar. I make my own muffins, cliff bars and granola. All of which I try to cut back on the sugars, yet have enough for the kids to like them as well.

  22. I’m trying really hard to improve my eating. I do notice that when I eat crappy, I run crappy. I try to do cottage cheese and oatmeal for breakfast, a somewhat healthy lunch of a frozen Lean Cuisine and a piece of fruit, or a sandwich with Baked Lays and a cut-up tomato. Dinner is hard because I have picky kids and a picky husband. I try to make them something they like, but just cut down on my portion size so I don’t feel deprived. I can’t run in the mornings, as I get up for work already at 4:20 a.m. I either do it on my lunch hour, after work, or at the gym or trail on the weekends. I wish I had more time to devote to it, as I really enjoy it. And although I’m heavier than I’ve been in my life, I am probably more physically fit, and that’s okay with me.

  23. Great post and recipe, Dimity, and I’m also enjoying reading everyone’s comments. Eating well is something I’m generally good at for awhile, but then can easily fall away from (like when we go on vacation or around the holidays or throughout the dog days of summer). Then I’ll get back on track. In the past I’ve even used being a runner as an excuse to eat just about anything I want — and I still tell myself this to an extent; I do believe rewarding myself for my hard work. Still, I can’t deny that my body performs best, both mentally and physically, when I’m fueling it with healthy foods. And since I want to take my running to the next level, I’ve been more conscious lately of what I’m eating. In my fridge as of late: lots of fresh veggies and fruit, yogurt, cheese, chocolate milk, salad, lean meats. I’ve been adding beans and almonds to my salads. Reading everyone’s posts here encourages me even more to stay on track.

  24. CSA veggies, fruits, left overs.

    However to tame your sweet tooth do NOT pick up the cookbook Baked. Just made rootbeer float cake which is also in the fridge…

  25. In general, I try to keep lots of fresh fruit around for snacks. I’m also a sweet-freak, so I’ll have things like the little snack packs of Mr. Christie chocolate chip cookies or the mini oreo cakesters – things that are individually packaged to keep my under control. Pre-run I will often have something small – a banana or granola bar – and if it’s a longer run or I’m feeling sluggish, a juice box for a bit of an energy boost. Post-run is my downfall – I often don’t eat anything when I first get back – just whenever I’d normally eat my next meal. I’m looking forward to reading through all these answers later when I get time for some good ideas!

  26. I work hard to consciously eat whole grains, fruits/veggies, protein at every meal/snack.. My down fall is my fat intake, it could be better a serious mental hurdle for me. I am much better than I was in the past, incorporating more olive oil vs. just getting my fat from cheese and dairy products. So oatmeal with 1/3 cup of milk, 1/2 cup of wild blueberries down the hatch… run in 1/2 an hour or so and I am good to go…

  27. What’s in my fridge? Leftovers. Life gets so busy during the week. The best way I have found to keep eating on the right track is to make a few meals on the weekend that make great leftovers. Add a veggies and fruits and I have a quick dinner or lunch. And you will always find almond butter, prewashed and ready to eat fruit and vegs, string cheese and greek yogurt in my fridge.

  28. fat free vanilla coffeemate (sorry, addicted to whatever they put in that stuff), strawberries for my morning kashi cereal. Greek Yogurt. and tons of kid (and hubby) friendly foods (especially cheese).

  29. I love food — one of the main reasons I run. I had to chime in. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that my fridge looks a lot like others across the country. Greek yogurt, almond butter, whole wheat tortillas…etc.. Right now we have some beer (brewed by my best friend’s brother), some apples (picked at a local orchard), a homemade applesauce that is really more like pie filling and leftover pasta with homemade pesto. Plus a lot of other food, we don’t starve around here.

    I am also going to count my freezer, mainly because I have two. The regular one and the deep freeze (LOVE my deep freezer). In there we have frozen bananas (for smoothies and quick bread), frozen veggies, frozen breast milk, frozen blueberry muffins and blueberries (from when we went berry picking) and lots of what we call homemade “TV dinners” — individually frozen leftovers that I pop into my lunch bag and take to work. (I don’t even look so lunch is always a surprise). Plus a lot of other frozen leftovers — soups, chili, turkey meatballs, and the top of our wedding cake (we forgot to eat it 11 years ago at the 1st anniversary so now we just keep it for kicks.)

    Good to know this thing I make has a name (Cowboy Caviar — who knew?) — my recipe is that same as Dimity’s but instead of lime juice I use balsamic vinegar and I also add ground cumin (to taste). Great alone, on salad or in a whole wheat tortilla.

  30. I’ve been a pescatarian for 2.5 years (vegetarian but I eat fish), so my new favorite foods are black beans, quinoa, tomatoes and mozzarella. I don’t necessarily need to eat anything before I run, because the longest distance that I will go is a 5k. I do try to make a conscience effort to eat protein due to my eating plan. My family eats meat and poultry, so I do still cook the way that I used to – however, I just substitute something else for that part of the meal for myself. It’s worked out. I have fruit, vegetables, salad, quinoa, soy and flax couscous (BLAND), Faya 0% fat greek yogurt, pork tenderloin, and lots of bad stuff too…cookies, ice cream, etc.

    For sugar, I’m trying to use Stevia or agave nectar, instead of Splenda.

  31. I always have greek yogurt and ho’made granola or oatmeal in the morning with my coffee. Everyday. We have a CSA (community supported agriculture) and lunch is almost always leftover dinner either stock piled from the freezer or the fridge. I do the same…I like to make double triple batches of meals and containerize them for easy “frozen meals.” My fave these days is my Red Lentil, Chard soup. Yum!

    I also found that I need some greens at lunch and dinner, so we either pick from the garden or go with Olivia’s organics. As a time saver, I pre-container about 8 salads with the big ‘ol box we get from bjs along with a small measured container of dressing a handful of cherry tomatoes and craisins. I am such a creature of habit!

  32. In my fridge: fruit, eggs, cheese, yoghurt, leftovers, chocolate milk, veggies, and more fruit. I often make pasta salad in the summer time: noodles, pesto sauce, italian dressing and then chopped peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, celery.
    I love to bake so always seem to have muffins on hand. My favorite are pumpkin/apple/chocolate chip but since I always seem to have ripe bananas the muffins often have bananas as a base flavor.
    After runs, I eat anything. Probably my downfall for why I don’t seem to lose any weight yet I exercise regularly 😉

  33. I can’t eat much more than a handful of Cheerios or a couple of crackers pre-run, or I won’t feel well–this is one reason why it’s just easier for me to run first thing in the morning. Afterward, I don’t usually have time to make eggs (except weekends), so I’ll have English muffins with pb&j (or almond butter), or smoked salmon & cream cheese on a bagel. I like cereal and milk for an afternoon snack, Rice Krispies with a few chocolate chips thrown in is my favorite. I like pizza the night before long runs, it just has to be Neapolitan style–not Chicago style!

  34. Only coffee in the AM — too much chaos getting kids to school. But after the run I must eat and NOW! Greek yogurt, hummus on anything, lowfat string cheese, 100 calorie mini bagels, blueberries by the truckload, and Over the Moon Nonfat Chocolate Milk –hands down my favorite brand (and my three daughters, too!).

  35. I have been following a (mostly) vegan diet for a few months now and have only been running for about 3 weeks (I’ve shaved 1.5 minutes off my mile!), so this is all new. However, in that short time, I’ve found that bananas, peanut butter, and double-fiber bread keep me going really well through running and weight lifting. My biggest vice is that I just can’t kick yet is that I love about 4 ounces of Dr Pepper (real sugar only) in the mornings too. Otherwise, lots of water and a little unsweet tea to stay hydrated.

    My secret weapon for cooking is that I buy produce and prep it all at once. I steam some of it, and then I stash it all in resealable containers in the fridge ready to be eaten or used in a quick stir-fry. I love green veggies and have been known to have them for breakfast. I also keep a supply of various nuts and dried fruits to nibble when I need a salty/sweet snack.

  36. As part of our regular diet, we have Tupperware containers of already-made brown rice, tilapia, lean steak and chicken, and broccoli. We have these foods on-hand as part of what we take to work for our meals (we eat small meals every 3 hrs). Pre-long run, I like bananas with nutella. The hint of chocolate flavor in the nutella gives the banana a delicious taste! Sweets are my major downfall. I’d eat sweets every meal if I could! When I’m watching my weight, my go-to “dessert” consists of a chocolate brownie mini Clif bar with Skippy Natural peanut butter on it. Delicious!! And lastly, my favorite post-run snack is a chocolate protein shake with a tablespoon or so of peanut butter… Tastes just like a Reese cup!! Can you tell I love peanut butter??!

  37. I just whipped up a big bowl of tuna pasta sald for some quid lunches. Pre run is usually a bit of a Luna bar and some water. Post run chic milk-silk banana and thin bagle

  38. Let’s see, in my fridge I have lots of fresh spinach, peaches, eggs (hard boiled for on the go), some Skinny Girl Margarita, cheeses, turkey, yogurt, Laughing Cow cheeses, egg substitute, Almond Breeze, and oh – my husband’s left-over pizza (hmm, imagine that!)

    I have to have something in me to get me going, so before my run I usually have a yogurt. But always, and I mean ALWAYS – after my run I have a nice bowl of oatmeal cooked with an additional 1/2 cup of Almond Breeze! Sweet, satisfying, and simply delicious!

  39. I can eat greek yogurt for breakfast and lunch and a snack. I mix peanut butter, fruit or granola in. I haven’t tried all 3 together, but it doesn’t sound bad. Anything with peanut butter is good…..

  40. Sometimes I run in the a.m, but not too early, so always cereal for breakfast (this week it’s Frosted Mini Wheats b/c that’s what was on sale). If I run when my hubby gets home (around 6:30), I eat dinner after I get back and have a snack around 5:00. Snack is Nature Valley granola bars, Crystal Light energy drink (strawberry, tall glass, lots of ice with a straw makes you feel like you’re having a cocktail), and bananas are some of my favorites. My fav summer dinner is strawberry salad and we have it at least once a week (salad, strawberries, almonds, feta or blue cheese, red onion). Tonight’s post-run dinner was tilapia, spinach with craisins and baked potato.

  41. If I’m running in the morning, then about a half hour before I’ll eat a small slice of 100% whole wheat bread smeared with about a tablespoon of natural peanut butter, half a small apple and a glass of water. I don’t run very long distances and rarely need something besides water when my run is finished. However, I will usually have a healthy snack mid-morning which I don’t need on non-running days. It’s usually something small like the rest of the apple and a glass of milk or a piece of cheese; celery and hummus or peanut butter is also great. ~K

  42. my stomach proves to be about as sensitive as a pre-pubescent teen, so in order to complete a successful run (w/o having to waddle home or negotiate a bathroom pit stop) I need to take appropriate precautions regarding nutrition.
    a morning run: fueled by grapes or some dry cereal (gluten-free), possibly accompanied by a cup of coffee if I have enough time between consumption & the road – two hours comfortably.
    an evening run: fueled by air-popped popcorn, a veggie-heavy/light-on-the-dressing salad or fruit.
    lessons learned: NEVER ever eat nuts remotely close to tying my sneaks (peanuts, almonds, cashews…I’ve tried them all (love them) but my tummy does not love me on a run after eating more than a few (and I can never seem to stop at just one handful). avoid onions, peppers, and anything else that might upset a bashful belly.
    re-fueling: lots of h20!! and anything sweet and cold (in these summer months) like watermelon, peaches, or grapes. yum.
    *the output (your run) greatly depends of your input (your nutrition). don’t compromise!!

  43. Fresh fruit and veggies, leftovers, kids lunches for tomorrow and sweet and sour pork chops for tomorrow night. Gonna be a busy day tomorrow so I cooked ahead. Milk, juice, chai tea and cheese.

  44. My lunch everyday is a spinach salad. I change up the toppings-dried cranberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, fresh strawberries, fresh mozzarella, walnuts, fresh blueberries, it never gets boring! It is filling, yet light enough that I don’t feel sluggish for the afternoon. I keep all my salad fixing together and just quick throw it all in a container each morning before work.

  45. “Green Monster” smoothie is a fave pre-run fix. Always have in season fruit, a Power bar, and chocolate milk on hand!

  46. I have a new recipe for a homemade protein bar from a Cross Fit Mom friend involving Muscle Milk chocolate protein powder, oatmeal, almond butter, almonds, and agave nectar or stevia instead of sugar. They taste like no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies, except full of protein and (relatively) guilt free. They have been very helpful with chocolate cravings this week.

  47. My faves:
    Pre-Short Run: Clif’s new Mojo Bars or a banana
    Pre-Long Run: hard-boiled egg with melted cheese on whole wheat toast OR honey drizzled on whole wheat toast with coffee
    Post-Short Run: cheese and crackers
    Post-Long run:Whole Wheat Bagel with cream cheese and tomato and ANOTHER coffee

  48. I run first thing in the morning, but eating something is a must. I am a borderline hypoglycemic, so eating well is my best bet but not necessarily the norm. Before a run I opt for a banana or an energy bar. The banana would be my “go to” food if it didn’t take me so long to down it. I really strive for a good balance of protein and carbs, preferably more bang for the calories, but I’m certainly no nutritionist! After a run, I either have some cottage cheese and fruit (sometimes a fiber-rich cereal in place of the fruit), eggs and toast w/ peanut butter, or I have a breakfast burrito. I tend to eat every two to three hours and again strive for a good balance of protein and carbs. I’m sure my caloric intake is different on recovery days, but I believe that if my body is telling me it’s hungry, I better feed it now or pay the consequences later.

  49. I’m an earlier morning runner so no eating before for me, but I love a big bowl of steel-cut oats with yogurt, almonds and blueberries when I return home. They take forever to cook so 8 cups of water and 2 cups of in the slow cooker overnight is the trick. Most people would take a week to eat that many oats. My husband can put that much away in a few days. We just reheat in the meal bowl.

    We are big egg eaters, even for dinner. My favorite easy meals is huevos rancheros. Tortilla, pile of cooked beans (canned with sauted onions and peppers), topped with two fried eggs, salsa, avocado, and sour cream (or Greek yogurt). I wouldn’t serve this to guests, but I’ve been tempted.

  50. Oatmeal is my favorite morning fuel. Every time I try something else, I come back to oatmeal, especially for the long runs. In the summer, I add whatever fresh fruit I have on hand. In the winter, I add dried fruit. I am also a fan of chocolate milk after a run. In the winter, I heat it for hot chocolate. My best eating days are long run days–I just focus on eating to run and recover. It’s the other days that are hard. Having braces doesn’t help matters either. I can no longer just grab an apple or a handful or nuts to snack on.

  51. I’ve always eaten healthy but since returning from a day at Kripalu Yoga and Health Center, I can’t tolerate junk. I’m a pescatarian, so meat is anathema. But wild salmon–I crave it! Before a run, just a cup of tea is enough, unless I’ve slept in and I’m hungry for bfast (then I eat a granola bar). After a run, it’s yogurt and oatmeal. During the day, I crave as many greens as I can get. Since, as a school-based therapist, I’m often eating small bites between clients, I can’t get my fill of greens at work. We have a salad every night, and I like to make green smoothies. And PB&J, or whole grain toast with PB, is a staple.

  52. Pre-run is usually a banana or a small bowl of cereal. After running I will usually make or smoothie or have homemade granola and yogurt. I am vegetarian so dinner is usually beans or some sort, pasta, quinoa, or sometimes tofu. I am trying to eat less sugar too but am eating a bowl of ice cream as I write this. I blame my husband-he bought it!

  53. My body is happiest when I low-carb. I am still new to running and I’m trying to determine how to balance the two. I have to eat VERY LIGHTLY all day before a run or I feel horrid, especially if I DO eat carbs. As long as I eat light and avoid sugar and simple carbs, I’m usually OK as long as I am adequately hydrated.

  54. I usually run in the mornings and eat a Luna bar and water with a mutli-vitamin. I’ve been vegetarian for a couple years, so my diets already carby. I’m trying to loose weight, so I’m really eating the fruits and veggies. Soy fruit smoothies for lunch. My snack after my girls go to bed is usually steamed edamame. Yum and good protein! Dairy seems to weigh me down, so I avoid before long runs. I’ve only started running a few months ago and this works for me. Oh and lots of water all day!

  55. Steel cut oats w 2 T each flax and wheat germ, some raisins, cinnamon and a soft boiled egg placed on top. This is post workout. Pre workout it’s coffee, water and a banana..

  56. The BEST breakfast food: pancakes using Bob’s Red Mill 10-grain pancake mix! FANTASTIC! It’s a horrible day when we run out, so I’m going to start buying the 25lb. bag…
    Right now my daily lunch is brown rice with my garden veggies: red onions, zucchini, and peppers, all sauted in olive oil. YUMM! I could eat it all year long. Our meat has been italian bear sausage from our own Idaho woods. 🙂

  57. Great question! Love reading everyone’s answers.
    My fridge has too much yogurt ( I think DH and DD are addicted), hummus, baba ganoush, whole wheat pita bread, too much juice, salmon, potato salad, romaine lettuce, left-over roasted chicken and assorted veggies. Nothing seems to weigh me down more than pizza (even if it is only the night before it kills my run), nothing makes me feel better than a banana that I can eat on the way out of the house.

  58. I am always well stocked on yogurt. You can grab in when you are running late. You can throw it in your bag for lunch later. You can have it as a snack and not feel guilty. You can add extra fruit or just put almonds or Grape Nuts on top to give it some crunch. Plus, it gives me the calcium that my bones need to keep me running fast!

  59. Our fridge seems pretty stark right now. Leftover southwest black bean & quinoa salad, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, raw milk, raw yogurt, local cheese, chocolate, squash, and condiments. The salad is our go to meal lately

    2 c. cooked quinoa
    1 can black beans (eden w/ no bpa in liner)
    kernels from 1 ear corn
    1 chopped red bell pepper
    2 chopped cloves garlic
    chopped cilantro
    1/2 chopped jalepeno
    juice of 2 limes
    1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil

    mix all ingredients and enjoy

  60. My fridge is always stocked with chocolate milk for those long runs and of course strawberries to put on my oatmeal, soymilk, beer for after I’ve recovered from the long runs and the kids have juice boxes and yogurt. And on the countertop are bananas cause I need one of those before runs too.

  61. After a week away our fridge was empty.. My running friend brought me dinner.. Orzo pasta with tomato and spinach and fresh zuccini with some cheese.. The leftover have been amazing!! What I realized is that fresh and light meals truly fuel me for a strong run.. I need to hit some farmers markets and get new recipes. Fuel is so important.

    Pick me I need a new outfit.

  62. What in my fridge? Strawberries, blueberries, grapes, spinach, greek yogurt, water, milk, carrots, eggs (not recalled), ground turkey and, some chicken breast pretty much the basics!

    Before I run I like to eat a banana or a muffin. When I get back something high in protein. A protein shake, clif bar or, greek yogurt!

  63. Hydration: chia water before, coconut water after.

    Coffee: half a cup, pre run.

    Food: pre run, half a power bar or a z-bar…basically I need about 100 calories. Post run, a green smoothie with protein powder and flax seeds.

    Through the day, I’m gluten free and tend to graze all day long on whatever is in the fridge.

  64. Try this AMAZING recipe for a great dip – I always get this recipe request after I’ve made it for parties. I always make extra to keep on hand to throw on top of salad greens for a quick meal after an afternoon run:



    1 cup oil
    1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
    1/2 cup sugar
    3/4 tsp salt
    3/4 tsp pepper
    dash of lemon juice

    Combine marinade ingredients in a sauce pan. Put on medium heat and increase heat slowly to bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool while preparing vegis. Once cool, add beans, vegetables and a dash of lemon juice.


    1 can of each – drain and rinse well

    black beans – may use pinto beans
    white shoepeg corn
    black eyed peas

    1 cup of each – finely chopped

    green pepper
    1/2 finely chopped onion
    1 small jalapeno

    Marinade overnight in refrigerator and drain juice (if desired). Serve with tortilla chips (Scoops work best).

    1. I am a morning runner and I usually fuel up with a bowl or granola and blueberries. When I get home I have a big glass of diluted orange juice. And always my chocolate chip cookies after the kids go to bed, my treat to myself!

  65. Lots of things are in my fridge – hopefully not too many of them have mold growing on them begging to be thrown out! 😉

    Seriously, I eat before a longer AM run (anything over 4 mi)… toast w/pb or yogurt or fruit. Then usually a smoothie in the summer when I get back or oatmeal in the winter (steel cut oats – yum!).

    And I love cowboy caviar – except we call it Texas caviar and it involves cooking those ingredients for the dressing together – so I think I’ll be switching to your recipe – it’s something I will be making more often!

    Now if I could just get over this sugar addiction of mine, I’d be doing really well! 🙂

  66. Today I made a chickpea curry – so simple. 1 can of chickpeas, I used collard greens – you can use spinach or any other green, sliced onion, garlic and curry spices. I served it over quinoa. High protein very healthy and easy dish! I call it my East meets West curry – collards and chickpeas, gotta love it!

  67. Right now, there’s not much in my fridge, because I really need to do a huge grocery shop. But, I do have hard-boiled eggs (which are an easy source of protein) and I like to keep a batch of a go-to salad (red cabbage slaw or greens ready to eat).

  68. I eat as “clean” as possible- less processed, more from scratch… that seems to work well for my husband and me. Also, a rule (frequently broken) is no wine before a long run.

  69. Lactose intolerance and running don’t mix. For my needs (the rest of the family gets the milk, dairy, bread…) the fridge is full of fruit and veggies – trying not to eat too many veggies until after I run (or else). Pasta is a staple in the fridge; I always make lots and, then, we can eat it at any time with whatever we feel like. There is always lots of juice (my favorite drink after a run). There is usually chicken in some form and cheese (lactose-free, of course).
    Before a run, I eat one of my homemade cookies – no dairy, with oatmeal and lots of healthy stuff. I find that by trying to always eat properly, I don’t have to panic and search for food in the few hours before I head out the door.

  70. If I have time, I have an instant oatmeal with flax. Otherwise it’s a banana or in a pinch a couple Shot Bloks.

  71. yogurt, yogurt, yogurt…plus watermelon, apples, and an obscene amount of cheese….my kids are obsessed I’m afraid. Love to have some caffeine before a run…makes the run seem easier…..

  72. Not a veggie eater, but there is tons of fruit in my fridge. I’m a big fan of an apple with peanut butter & a Fiber one muffin before a weekday run. Sometimes a Weight Watchers bagel with Laughing Cow cheese & an egg. Long runs it’s usually a bowl of oatmeal with almonds & craisins or a Clif bar and always a banana.
    After my runs, it’s always a Weight Watchers string cheese. I shower and then have some more fruit-often a cup of grapefruit with some sugar sprinkled on.

  73. fun giveaway!
    i always eat a slice of gluten free toast w/peanut butter & banana slices before a run. then afterwards i always have a protein shake w/the rest of the banana, almond milk, spinach, flaxseed oil, sometimes peanut butter, and the chocolate protein powder mix. if i do a long run, i will also have a recovery drink. its been working for me, so i don’t want to chance a thing!

  74. I have to eat something before my runs too! I usually grab a banana or homemade choco cherry bar (yum!).

    Let’s see…In my fridge I have lots of fresh veggies (carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumber snackers), fresh fruit (cherries and bluberries), spinach, yogurt, ground flax seed, soymilk, chocolate syrup (for post run choco milk), spritzers, beer (for my husband…o-kay maybe some of it is for me too!), and lots of random condiments.

  75. My runs usually begin at 5am and there is no way I am getting up any earlier than 4:50 to do that so I never eat before a run (unless its a really long run and I save those for the weekends when I force down a banana). My stomach does better on empty but when I am done with my run I like to have a carnation instant breakfast and then depending on the time of year an english muffin with pb & banana, oatmeal, greek yogurt with granola and if I have extra time eggs or egg sandwiches with ham. Breakfast is my favorite meal so I try and eat breakfast things throughout my day because I love healthy breakfast foods but I also love chocolate. If I eat the healthy breakfast foods over the chocolate sweets I feel just as satisfied (almost). I love fresh stuff and cowboy caviar is one of my favorites!!

  76. I have a hard time eating before runs, which is probably why I prefer an afternoon run to a morning run. I usually eat some shot bloks before a run. My go-to for after a run in quinoa. I cook some up, add in some diced (fresh) tomato, avocado, and onion, then a cup or so of beans (black, kidney, adzuki, garbanzo… whatever I happen to have), and top it off with a balsamic dressing.

    Okay, I cook it in the afternoon/evening and make a batch big enough to last me for 2-3 days so that I can just bury my face in a left over container grab a fork and eat like a civilized person when I finish a run.

    Currently, my fridge is full of fresh veggies, tickle water (Talking Rain), 43 kinds of cheese (just guessing), tofu, tempe, almond milk, eggs, leftovers that Husband promises to eat, flax seeds, and quite possibly every condiment known to mankind. 🙂

  77. What’s in my fridge? Good question, right now it isn’t anything to be proud of. I wish that I could maintain some consistency in my eating and make eating healthy my top priority. I find that I am on a rollercoaster of the kind that many find themselves on, the eating beacause of a rough day and then feeling worse about myself and eating because I am depressed.
    I thought runners weren’t supposed to suffer from this food obsession:) I wish that were the case. Recently prior to runs, I have had a granola bar or a banana and that is good. Then I have to have some carbs and protein afterwards or I feel drained. My meals are all over the place unfortunately. A goal to work towards… meal planning!

  78. If I am able to just wake up and run (most weekends, around 6:30am), I typically don’t eat anything. If it is going to be a later morning run, I have a PB&J on an Orowheat Sandwich Thin. When I come home from a run, I will eat something that has both protein and carbs (breakfast sandwich with egg subsitute, eggs and hash browns, etc.).

    I recently lost 30 pounds on Weight Watchers and have a fridge full of fruits, veggies, lean proteins, yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat cheese, etc.

  79. I’m a newbie runner (just ran my second 5k last night!), and I’m just getting to the point that I’m thinking “Maybe if I ate better, running would feel better.” I give my kids very healthy meals- most of the time- but find myself snacking on empty calories. Right now my fridge is full of a turkey breast, milk, water and fruit. It’s the “what to eat with the turkey” issue that starts to cause problems… because ice cream sounds really good.

  80. I’ve learned so much about nutrition this last year. I learned most importantly, how much I need fuel, and good fuel. I struggle with “feeling fat” and I’m not the girl that gets slender from all this running. But I feel amazing when I feed my body before during and after runs. 1. I’m addicted to Alpine valley 9-grain bread 50 cal a slice, 5 grams protein Topped with almond butter and its great pre-workout and when I’m craving something 2. Nectar Protein drink by syndergy. The roadside lemonade is an amazine after-workout drink. Not like a shake, but like a gatorade. 90 calories and 20 grams protein. 3. Greek yogurt. 4. I do carb-load in moderation starting two days before any event 3 hrs or longer. 5. ANd I fuel every 30-45 minutes during a long workout with Hammer Gel, or Cliff shots. I strive for 100 grams protein a day (I’m 37) 6. has really helped me keep sugar levels and protein and carbs in check. I love that website. 7. Postworkout is mostly protein with a simple car like a banana. I had the best 3 hour race last weekend that left me on such a high. I swear my secret to that was 2 oreo cookies the night before. For me, it’s also about having the quick apple, protein bar, shake powder in ziploc handy so I don’t end up starving.

  81. Peanut butter on whole wheat English muffins is my go-to morning meal when I have a long run or a race. I seem to only sign up for races on days that will be ridiculously cold and rainy, so I also have a habit (good or bad) to buy a small nonfat latte to keep me warm before the race. After running, I love to make a big fat egg skillet with whatever is in the fridge– if I’m lucky, that includes red peppers, green onions, bacon or turkey, a little cheese, and a big handful of spinach. I’ll cook up some potatoes and throw the whole mess on top, and wash it down with a glass of pineapple orange juice. A nap is always nice after this, but doesn’t usually happen!

  82. I have to have protein, carbs, and good fats or I am like a walking zombie. Granola with skim milk, nuts, eggs, oatmeal, peanut butter and honey, and my new favorite post run drink, chocolate protein powder and milk. My husband got me hooked on that – he knew a little post run protein would make a huge difference. The one thing I avoid eating before a run: chocolate chips. Tried that one and it was a baaaaad idea. Major sugar drop part way through the run.

  83. Items in my fridge that I eat regularly are eggs, yogurt (regular and greek), salsa, sliced turkey, packaged salad mixes, and lots of fresh fruit. Pre-run I gotta have my oatmeal and a banana or granola bar. Post-run I have some protein like a fried egg sandwich or peanut butter toast and some chocoloate milk. My downfalls are late night sweets and Doritos! All this food talk is making me hungry!

  84. I’m a lifetime Weight Watchers member. My weight has crept up a few pounds, so I better get back to counting my points! Anyway, some of my go to staples include Special K Protein cereal, Chobani Greek yogurt, light string cheese, lean meats, lite bread, high fiber bagels, fruits, with an occasional salad. I love the easy Hungry Girl recipes….some good local stuff! Here’s my favorite recipe for a quick breakfast….

    Egg Mug
    1/2 cup egg beaters or egg whites
    1 wedge light Laughing Cow cheese
    Spray a good size coffee mug with cooking spray, add the egg beaters and cut up cheese, microwave until fluffy (usually 1 to 2 minutes). Low in Weight Watchers points, filling, and easy!

    Awesome prize for today, by the way! 🙂

  85. I’m eating an apple smeared with almond butter as I type! We do lots of fruit-currently apples, bananas (always), plums, cherries and grapes. Dried fruit is a staple as well, for school or mess-free car snacks. Lunch and dinner for me is usually a salad: spring mix, spinach, tomato, cukes, bell pepper, celery and some sort of protein like beans or tofu doused with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. When the weather turns chilly I’ll swap salad for soup or rice with vegetables. The kids and I usually bake a batch of muffins (this week is zucchini, ’cause I have a lot!) or banana bread for an easy to grab breakfast or snack. Oh and M&Ms are the devil dressed in a colorful candy shell.

    Thanks for this post, Dimity! I’m just learning to run. My runs are short so I don’t eat before I run, but was wondering if I would have to eat more or change my diet to include more or different carbs once I can run longer. Its been a treat reading how everyone fuels themselves.

  86. Always coffee before a run – won’t get up to run if it hasn’t already brewed! Absolutely chocolate milk after (buy the pre-made organic single serving bulk pack from Costco).

    My favorites right now are whole wheat tortillas with a slice of mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden (so easy to grow…anyone can do it!) and a dribble of good balsamic. Always keep nutella handy (I know, I know, the sugar), but it’s been my absolute savior on what to top whole wheat bagels, waffles, even pretzels with. A little dab makes such a difference! Raw nuts, turkey rolls w/ Swiss and frozen grapes are quick and healthy snacks. My little girls favorite is to buy the “tube” of gogurts and stick them in the freezer for about an hour or two. Great night time “sweet” snack – you’re getting frozen yogurt without all the guilt!

  87. I am not a great eater..I tend to eat what I want…

    I have found that there are certain foods that work for me and those that don’t when I have to race soon.

    -For a morning race, I recently discovered the Raisin Walnut cliff tastes good and doesn’t’ feel heavy. I can also do plain bagels, no cream cheese…I have to rely on Gu to pretty much give me the calories I need, because I can’t handle much in my stomach due to nerves and not liking a heavy feeling in my stomach when I run

    -evening race-I eat dinner afterwards and try to get a healthy lunch.

    -Overnight relay food-
    I love a chicken and veggie pasta salad with balsamic vinaigrette (Kraft makes a great bottled one). I like to include diced red onions, diced bell pepper, chopped broccoli, diced tomato, green onion, sugar snap peas, baby spinach, olives, and well seasoned chicken.

    turkey and cheese sandwich on a bagel. Super simple, but it is easy to bring along and tastes good

    I love lots of fruit. Strawberries, watermelon, grapes, etc!

    Mini Gummy Bears (I buy a box of Brachs at WalMart). Super yummy, and I know they are not healthy, but a nice little shot of sugar when you need it!

    Chocolate Milk (my fave is the little boxes if Horizon Organic) for post run! Chocolate Milk always tastes fantastic post run and it is a great recovery drink

    NUUN is my new fave electrolyte drink. A nice light flavor.

  88. My theory (and Practice) when it comes to nutrition is something along the lines of “equal parts health, equal parts junk.”

    I have the world’s worst sweet tooth and I will defend my claim. I love cookies, I love to bake, I will take sugar over savory 99 times out of 100. I will eat nothing, but a bowl of whipped heavy cream (heavy on the sugar and vanilla) for every meal of the day. So…to moderate this, I would like to say that I cut back on sugar, but I don’t – I can’t. My doctor suggested it and my response was: Do they make a pill for that?

    So, equal parts is my theory. For every pint of ice cream, every chocolate bar, every milk shake and entire batch of cookies I consume, I eat healthy: an apple, an entire head of celery, raw peppers, cucumbers. I chow down on tons of lovely raw fruits and veggies. It always make me feel better and at least I’m getting some nutrition. I also try to have at least one real meal a day – doesn’t always happen.

    Prior to a run, I’ll be a little more liberal with breads or pastas or potatoes to make sure I have enough fuel. I know how to eat healthy, really I do. I am well versed in nutrion. Yet, I can’t put down this devine chocolate mint candy bar.

  89. LOADs of fresh fruit, lunches made for tomorrow’s school-bound, organic milk, a bit too much diet coke, industrial size ketchup bottle, and lots of chicken and pasta in various forms:)

  90. My prerun staple is some sort of melon. (Cantaloupe & HoneyDew are my favorite!) I tend to run in the mornings and having a few pieces of melon that have been chilled in the fridge give me a refreshed feeling and the jump start I need! As for my postrun, I like to have a glass of chocolate milk, a homemade smoothie…. or if it was a really good run, I’ll reward myself with my guilty pleasure and have a bowl of *Lucky Charms!* 🙂

  91. I try to follow these rules:

    If my grandmother wouldn’t recognize it, then I don’t eat it.
    I eat “close to the earth”. In other words, foods in their most natural state (i.e., non-processed!)
    I don’t eat meat or fish.
    Garbage in = garbage out (or poor performance).
    Eat many small meals throughout the day.
    No eating after 7pm.

  92. I am definitely a leftover person for lunch. For after run/workout breakfast, my favorite is a piece of toast, avocado, one fried egg and salsa – it is pretty quick to make surprisingly.

    As for snacks – when I am healthy I do apple and peanut butter or hummus and veggies, but if I am *weak* I go for salt – chips (salsa makes it healthy right).

  93. In my fridge right now is a bunch of light yogurt, lots of milk (I have 3 little boys), lots of leftovers (my hubby likes them for lunch but I HATE leftovers), some limes, apples, and mangoes, and a few onions. Grocery shopping on the slate for today so hopefully we’ll add some more veggies to that list!

  94. ohh an amanda won last week, maybe that’s a good sign for me!!

    I finally learned that for me I really need good carbs to run well. I would try to cut them out based on what I was reading, but when I have oatmel or even Kashi cereal my runs are FAR better than when I try to just get carbs from fruits and veggies. Don’t get me wrong those are a LARGE part of my diet, but I do need whole grains for performance.

  95. My biggest issue is with hydration. I really have to focus on consuming enough water to not be dehydrated halfway through even a short run. To help with this, I try to eat as many fruits and vegetables that are water filled as possible (cucumbers, watermelon, etc.). I usually don’t eat for an hour and a half or so before I run otherwise I feel sluggish. My husband consumes mass amounts of protein powder and other supplements to help with his bike riding but I haven’t tried anything like that yet.

  96. I have to have protein, but not necessarily before I run. Then again, I’m not running very long, yet. So I make sure I have eggs to cook when I get back and a whole grain english muffin or bread for toast. Other than that ~ “nothing” according to my children is in our fridge. Unless you count the untouched leftovers that my kids don’t count as food.

  97. There is rarely a shortage of sweet potatoes in my house. I use them and cans of pumpkin for tons of stuff. I eat SP before long runs and w/ lunch 3 days a week. If I get big ones I cook them in the oven and cut them in half and warm them up later with some butter and cinnamon. I also cut them into little cubes, toss them with Cinnamon and brown sugar bake then and eat them as I’m running out the door to my long runs. They make me happy.

    I love Chipotle for a post long run meal. During marathon training there is what is left of my burrito bowl w/ carnitas, rice, veggies, black beans, corn salsa, sour cream, cheese and some chips in the fridge. The closer it gets to the marathon the less there is in left overs.

  98. Smoothies are my go-to for running. They work before or after a run, and I can adjust the ingredients easily as needed. The other bonus is that they’re easy to take along in a no-spill Blender Bottle, and between needing to pick up my daughter from kindergarten, nurse the baby (again) or head off to my part-time job, I need that kind of flexibility.

    Other staples include various Justin’s nut butters in those awesome individual packets, Luna bars, Lara bars, and breakfast sausage from Applegate Farms. The sausage cooks quick in the microwave and works great for times when I need protein and don’t have a hard-boiled egg on hand.

    1. I’m training for a half marathon and I eat free-range eggs all the time to boost my protein intake (I microwave my eggs like my sausages – just poke a hole in the yoke first or else it explodes when you nuke it!). But like you I am a big fan of the Applegate Breakfast Sausages, especially the Natural Chicken and Maple Breakfast Sausage, sweetness from the maple really hits the spot. Check it out if you haven’t tasted it yet:

  99. I run in the morning and have to eat before a run if it’s over 4m. Usually it’s just a banana. But I’m a vegetarian, so I struggle with eating enough protein and not feeling like I ate all day long so I’m looking forward to reading other responses! Usually breakfast after the run is a pb&j or Greek yogurt and fruit, though.

  100. I run first thing in the morning- 5 am. For a “normal run” (6 miles or less) I cut power/clif/luna bars into fourths and have a quarter on my way out the door, chased with water. (That way, one bar lasts for 4 workouts!) Then I have breakfast when I get home- usually whole grain cereal with fruit and skim milk.

    As far as diet, I do tend to watch my calorie intake, especially on rest days. My favorite lunch is taco salad: Leftover taco meat ( usually ground turkey w/ spices) over spinach, baby carrots, tomatoes, and avacado slices with salsa and about an ounce of grated cheese. If I really wanna treat myself, I’ll add a tbs. or two of low fat sour cream. One or two corn tortillas on the side. Yum!

  101. I don’t eat before a run, but I must eat as soon as I am done! A banana with some peanut butter or a graham cracker with peanut butter will carry me a while. In my fridge is lots of milk, greek yogurt, grapes, blueberries, strawberries, eggs, and lots of salad fixings. As well as every condiment you can imagine because that’s just how my husband rolls!

  102. I can’t eat before my early am runs without having bowel issues during the run. I prefer longer runs on the weekends or evenings and then I have time to prefuel without having the same issues. My favorite fuel is a pb&j on whole wheat. It gives me quick carbs in the jelly (a small amount), protein and complex carbs. I also love egg salad on whole wheat or english muffin. I try to keep boiled eggs in the fridge, but frequently run out and have to sub pb as my protein source.

  103. Definitely not enough good stuff! Although we have grapes, strawberries and raspberries (on sale this week). My runs are still short 🙂 so usually half a power bar beforehand works for me. Then I still eat regularly throughout the day with the occasional ice cream bar indulgence!

  104. Can’t live without salsa and jalapenos. With all my terrible eating habits, those are a saving grace. No calories but incredibly exciting…my hubby really has it down and will eat them on a baked potato as a meal. (Men!)

  105. What’s in the fridge? 5 year old lunch favorites:) I run at night, so I eat an “easy on the stomach” dinner. Post run: Chocolate milk:)

  106. If I run in the morning I have to eat breakfast and drink coffee – breakfast is usually oatmeal and egg whites. For a pre-dinner run, I have a snack at 2:30 which is usually popcorn or a banana. If I don’t get my snack I’ll have a gel right before I run. For evening runs, I’ll eat a light dinner around 5ish – like pasta. I’m fortunate that I can tolerate almost anything before running, except dairy.

  107. I have tried to skip a pre run snack but now I know I just cant. I usually have a mini banana with a teasp of pb and half of a nature valley gran bar-ends up at like 165 cals and then I can complete my 10 miles with gusto…or not but atleast Im not dragging arce. Then I come home and either have a bagel thin (those 110 cal bagel deals) with light cream cheese, a little salmon and tomato or nutragrain waffle with pb and banana with a turkey sausage or after a long run a bagle thin with cheese, ham and an egg. I agree I HAVE to eat a decent breakfast or all hell (in the form of crappy carbs like chips and goldfish) breaks loose. Plus it gives me something to look forward to as I trudge along. For Dinner I try to double today is asian chic breasts (soy/ginger/pb/chili paste/garlic marinade)/brown rice/broccoli and tomorrow or Friday with the help of Broccoli slaw, tortillas and plum sauce the left over chicken becomes Mu Shu.Budget friendly AND overwhelmed mom of 3 friendly. I also bake muffins (yesterday whole wheat Pumpkin applesauce dark choc) and freeze em’ so I can go all Betty Crocker on my family at any given moment. Great topic BTW, thanks!

      1. Sure but its not fancy- just marinate the chick overnight in chilipaste/soy sauce/splenda (or sugar) Pb/ginger/garlic/green onions. Then the next day cook it in the oven about 3o min at 350-serve with whatever for that nights dinner (rice and broccoli for us) and then chop up the leftovers with the remaining sauce (I also add any leftover brown rice). Then for your mu shu dinner add a package (or 2) of broccli slaw ( in herb section of produce) and bean sprouts, a little cabbage and sautee with a little soy and seasame oil until soft and wilted. Add in the chopped chicken and an egg if you want-keep sauteeing. Then serve on mushu wrappers (in same produce section of store) or in a pinch tortillas with some plum or hoisin and more green onion. Voila–easy and cheap leftovers. Def not as good as a resturant but I’ll take it!

  108. Running and Food – I second pretty much everything you said. I wish it wasn’t such a battle for me. I lost close to 100 pounds about 5 years ago, and I’ve used running to keep it off, or so I thought….Over the last year or two I’ve slowly gained about 20 pounds, and in some ways I blame running!!! Wierd, I know, but I run a lot better when I’m eating high carb, and I also gain. It is a constant struggle to balance what I care about, what I want to look like, how I want to run, and what I can allow myself to eat. I guess the ultimate goal is to just feel good and be healthy, but finding that balance is so difficult.

  109. In my Fridge/Pantry…
    Eggs, Cheese, Greek Yogurt, whole wheat tortillas, milk (for the kids and DH..I’m lactose intolerant, which really sucks as a runner, I can have some yogurt though and some cheese in a week, but not a lot), oatmeal, tuna, almonds, and one of my favorite midday snacks is throwing some berries, banana, ice, water, and chocolate protein powder into my Magic Bullet for a smoothie!

  110. Right now there is nothing that isn’t rotting in our fridge! I have been on vaca for three weeks! Not even the eggs are edible.

    I need to eat a lot. I need to eat before a run, something healthy and light like a banana or I have to wait at least 2 hours from my last big meal. (Too many times having to run on a belly full of Whole Foods Burrito Bar, I learned my lesson) Then I have to eat after my run too. Usually a high protein bar or an orange, depending on how I feel and when my last visit to the food trough was.

    I get lightheaded and dizzy if I don’t fuel myself right. Can be downright scary sometimes!

    And I too face the sugar beast ever single day of my existence. 🙂


  111. Good – pb on graham crackers with a banana

    Bad – pb banana smoothie because only bananas I had were frozen. I can’t do dairy before a run.

    By the way, made massive amounts of those pumpkin muffins…everyone loved…thanks fro sharing!

  112. I always eat before any run, usually a banana, and eat breakfast afterwards – scrambbled eggs with spinach, cereal and fruit. On saturdays after my long run i add chevre to my eggs and swap out cereal for muffins. I try to eat well all week and leftovers are my lifesaver in that regard. Lots of beans, whole grains, some low fat dairy and 9 servings of fruits and veggies everyday. The days of long runs my calorie intake goes up by probably 1000 and a sort-of-long midweek run might require a couple hundred extra. I am training for my first marathon and haven’t tried any specialized diets. I do know a cookie diet is a big mistake. The day before my 16 miler last week i passed on lunch and ate cookies and milk instead. I ate a dozen cookies that day (really not proud to admit that) and paid for it every sluggish step of the way the next morning.

  113. In my fridge?

    Always a lot of fruits and veggies; Fage Greek Yogurt, Almond butter, eggs, chocolate milk, almond milk (for smoothies), cheese and always a bottle of white wine.

    Pre-run? I usually run first thing in the morning so if I plan to do less than 6 miles I don’t try to eat cause my stomach won’t deal. More than 6, either a Cliff bar or banana or a few Gu chomps.

    Post-run? Always chocolate milk, usually followed by an english muffin with almond butter. Or if my hubs has time he’ll make me eggs – I love to cook but just not in the morning!

  114. Post run staple: toasted piece of Ezekial 4:9 bread with cashew butter & organic raisins and a glass of lactose-free milk (I’m not lactose intolerant, it just seems lighter & settles my tummy).

    Also love a smoothie to curb the late-afternoon munchies, so I always have frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches, blueberries) a tub o’ nonfat vanilla yogurt, and cold-pressed flax oil. My recipe:
    -1 cup frozen fruit
    -1/4 cup NF vanil yogurt
    -Blend the heck out of it
    -Stir in 1 tblspn flax oil & enjoy!

  115. Staples in my fridge, crunchy almond butter, almond milk, 6-7 types of cheeses, laughing cow light, cutup watermelon, coffee, coffee creamer, 5 gallon jug of water, eggs and yogurt.

  116. I am a big believer in REAL food (no chemicals, fake stuff.) If I’m going to eat something, I want it to be GOOD (yes, I am a food snob!)
    I will always have PB (natural) on toast with a banana before a long run, icy cold, low-fat chocolate milk after (I guess we all read the same report in Runner’s World!)

    If I want something, I eat it, but my whole eating mantra is ‘too much of anything is not good for you.’

    I pretty much detest regular breakfast food, so I tend to eat dinner leftovers or my lunch for breakfast. I also like a chocolate protein powder shake done in the blender with a frozen banana.

    Foods I eat regulary include: greek yogurt, frozen unsweetened berries, hummus, lowfat cheese, nuts, seeds, fresh fruit and veggies, Barilla pasta in the yellow box (has extra protein, but tastes like white pasta- for the kids) fish, chicken, tofu and tons of spinach. I am an adventurous (and good) cook, so we eat a very varied diet.

    One great snack I love: half an avacado with a serving of either sunflower seeds or pepitas (pumpkin seeds.) It’s high fat, but it’s good fat. It has tons of vitamins and minerals, and keeps me satiated for hours.

    Red wine for antioxidents! 😉

  117. In my fridge: ALWAYS fresh spinach, lots of eggs, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles

    I find that I cannot eat within an hour of a run, and my post-run snack is usually a banana with peanut butter.

    One of my biggest staples is in the freezer, not the fridge. I eat Trader Joe’s mixed seafood (shrimp, calamari, small scallops) a few times a week. For a quick recipe…

    Easy Seafood Fra Diavolo
    Defrost mixed seafood
    Heat up your favorite canned/homemade pasta sauce in a pan
    Stir in a small bit of hot sauce
    Add in seafood and let simmer in the sauce until cooked through
    Mix in spinach (or your choice of vegetable) and let it cook down
    Add whole wheat pasta/brown rice/israeli cous cous (my favorite)

  118. I am big into food and cooking but these days I go in for much healthier things than I used to. I try to focus on all-natural whole foods and skip the packaged, processed stuff. It isn’t always easy since I have two little kids who clamor for Oreos and Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese. And sometimes I give in. But I am proud that they absolutely love fruit and veggies as well. 😉

    If it’s a short enough run/workout I don’t always eat beforehand. But if I’m racing or it’s a long one, I’ll have a piece of toast with peanut or almond butter and banana on top. I usually drink milk, sometimes sweetened with vanilla extract and splenda (yes, I know this isn’t “natural”) afterward.

    Most other days, I start out with 1/2 cup yogurt with a cup of fruit. I also have a sandwich thin with some butter on it.

    Lunch is usually leftover dinner with a salad … I like field greens + strawberries or craisins and leeetle bit of bleu or gaot cheese.

    For dinner we’re all across the board. I try to cook as many meals at home every week as possible and usually hit 4-5. We have some great family favorites, but I usually try something new every week. I also try to make at least one vegetarian. Some things we’ve had lately: baked potatoes stuffed with spinach, sour cream and a bit of bacon; BBQ chicken burritos, heavy on the black beans; spaghetti with bison meat, tons of zucchini from the garden and mushrooms; shrimp creole; shrimp fried rice – this sounds terrible, but it is very healthy the way I make it, pinky-swear; tofu mushroom cheese strudel. We serve most everything with seasonal fruit and salads for anyone who will eat one (always me, most of the time my husband and sometimes my three-year-old).

    I love Everyday Food, Moosewood and Cooking Light and on the webs: Annie’s Eats and The Kitchn.

  119. We always have yogurt, eggs, ground turkey. Yogurt in the freezer too. And while I’m including my freezer we always have a few bags of edamame. My daughter loves them for a snack!

  120. lots of fresh fruit and veggies. i am gluten free so i stock up with GF pasta, pretzels, brownie/cake mixes and crackers at Trader Joes and New Seasons. I always have lots of Bob’s REd Mill around, especially the GF oats (steel cut are the best). I always have bananas and peanut butter on hand!

  121. organic fruit from a local farm that delivers, lettuce, eggs, milk and not much else. we’ve been on vacation. my pantry keeps my cranberry almond KIND bars and plain organic oatmeal that i eat before any workout. having not been running long, i am still trying to figure out what’s best for my body to consume in the days leading up to long-ish runs-8 miles or longer for me. i’ve got some serious digestive issues that didn’t come about until i started running more seriously! it’s GREAT!

  122. First off – just finished your book! Love it, and recommending it to everyone I see. Dimity – I think we are long lost twins in thought & behaviour, when I read your stuff, I hear myself, laugh like an idiot and feel better that I am not alone in how I act & feel!

    Now – my favorite lately has been what you could call poor man’s chili, I guess. In a large pot brown 1.5 pds turkey in olive oil. Add to the same pot:

    2 cans kidney beans, rinsed & drained
    1 jar of salsa (your choice, mild, medium or blow your head off)
    1 can of tomato sauce – try to find organic, or the stuff that has the LEAST amount of sugar!!)
    Vegetables to equal 3-4 Cups. I use frozen lima beans, carrots and green beans.
    1 TBL chili powder
    minced garlic to your taste

    Let simmer for at least an hour. Makes about 6-7 Cups of chili. Eat it plain, or add a little cheese or a dollop of sour cream. I spoon out of this for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner – depending on my day! So nice to have on hand in the fridge. A few pretzel M&M’s on the side adds a nice touch, but often not needed after this hearty meal!


  123. I always have greek yogurt and cottage cheese on hand. I have found that protein is very important wether or not I’m running or taking a rest day. I always make sure to have frozen unsweetened blueberries, cherries and peaches in the freezer. I, of course, prefer fresh fruit, but it’s always a good alternative to have something on hand.

    I have a hard time eating cottage cheese, but my favorite way to eat it is to use frozen cherries that have been defrosted in the microwave and then warmed for a few seconds. Dumping the cherries, plus the juices from defrosting, into the cottage cheese totally sweetens it up. I’ll also put silvered almonds from Trader Joe’s into the mix. It’s a good mix of carbs, protein and some healthy fat. And now I think I’ll have that for breakfast!

  124. I love summertime! There are at least two farmers markets around us during the week and I can stock up on lots of fruits and veggies! The main stables ALWAYS in my fridge are skim milk, string cheese, nut butters, greek/low-fat yogurt and leftovers! I tend to make dinners that last at least two nights for me and the hubbs – three if I’m lucky! It’s the winter and fall that I get into ruts with our menu’s – I need to work on that this year!
    Thanks for hosting – I would love those pink shorts!

  125. Lots of (recycled) water bottles in my fridge…along with lots of goodies from the garden (peppers, onions, spinach)… I’ll be sad when the fresh produce is no longer growing in my parent’s garden.

  126. We run early in the morning so after run is also breakfast. My best breakfast is an apple with peanut butter and a cup of coffee. It feels like the right kind of start for me and then I eat better all day. If I’m absolutely starved I’ll have a bean filled tortilla with lots and lots of hot sauce.

    Looking forward to reading all the responses; I’m very new at this.

    P.S. Your book arrives today *SQUEAL*

  127. What’s in the fridge: fruit, veggies, turkey, some cheese, milk, juices for the kids and wine for the grown-ups. Yogurt and leftover chili cook-off chili too!

    Not too creative with the pre or post run food-if the run is early, just some coffee. If it’s after about 8:30AM, probably a piece of toast or a handful of cheerios. Long runs are an issue these days, problems with gu- so I’ve been trying candy made with sugar, not fructose, in hopes of saving the shorts!

    Post run, it’s diluted OJ or NUUN. A post run follow up meal is no different than a no run meal for me. Whole grain, f/v and some protein.

  128. My diet is driven by health issues more then by me running. I had gallbladder removal about 9 mos ago and have GERD (acid refux) so I have to watch what I eat to keep heartburn and pain away (very difficult to digest fat) Pretty much the same every day. I have to have activa yogurt once per day to make GI track happy. Main meal is salad with spinach, strawberries, celery, dried cranneberries, almonds, little salmond or shrimp.
    After a run a eat fat free granola bars or a smoothie. Before always coffee and special k cereals. I take some supplements also: probiotics, omega 3, vit D.

  129. I wish I liked chocolate milk! I like chocolate anything else, but not the milk (or ice cream either). For my pre-long run or pre-boot camp I will eat a Kind fruit and nut bar or a muffin I created myself. I modified a banana bread recipe by replacing some of the eggs with egg whites, 1/2 the oil for applesauce and replaced the white flour with a mixture of equal parts all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and wheat germ (If I have flax seed meal, I through that in the mix as well). I also add some grated zuchini and grated carrot. Then I make them into muffins. These were for my son who does not like fruit or veggies, but loves these. They are especially good with a little peanut butter “frosting” on top.

    After run, 1/2 cup old-fashioned oates with 1 cup soy milk, 1/2 cup pumpkin, a little brown sugar and some cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Even my picky one likes this too.

  130. My frig is pretty typical. On any given day, you’ll find apple juice, milk, fruit and leftovers. I try to cook with planned leftovers so we can enjoy them for lunches or evenings where we are short on time. I love to snack on peanut butter with crackers, pretzels, etc. when I need a hearty snack in a hurry.

    Before and after a run, I always have some H2Orange. My husband recently went through a dieting program called Naturally Slim. It’s a terrific program and he’s doing well with it. One of the staples of the diet is H2Orange—1 part orange juice to 7 parts water. It hydrates me and keeps my blood sugars level. With it, I don’t feel shaky after an early morning run—as I often did before, and I don’t feel like I need to eat right away when I’m finished. **I am a beginner, though, and walk/jog around 4 miles per outing.

  131. My fridge contains LOTS of dairy. Three different kinds of milk (whole for the 1 year old, 2% for the 2 & 4 year old, 1/2% for mom & dad). Three different kinds of yogurt (again, baby kind, kid kind, and greek for mommy), and about six different kinds of cheese. Eek! I also have some blueberries, eggs, and turkey bacon. I’m in desperate need of a grocery shopping trip to re-stock the produce. I’ve never been great with nutrition. I know exactly what I SHOULD be eating, I just don’t necessarily do that very often. I would love to embrace the ‘food is fuel, so listen to your body and it will tell you what it needs’ mindset that all those really healthy people have, but I just haven’t quite gotten there yet.

  132. I wrote a post on my own blog about what’s in my fridge (

    I don’t eat before my run if I run in the morning but if it’s a long run I’ll take something with me because my belly will need something. Lunch lately has been nothing special because I kind of forget to plan lunches. Usually I don’t, just recently. I’m pretty good about meal planning unless I forget to set out meat…which I need to do now. Thanks for the reminder.

  133. I usually eat Peanut butter before i run. I just stick a spoon in and lick it off. I also love to eat leftovers. Cold homemade pizza is great. I am trying to cut back on my sugar intake too, so I make sure to have Egg Beaters, sugar free pudding, and green beans or sugar snap peas to snack on.

  134. Chocolate Milk, greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs. This all sounds healthy, so I will throw my own skeleton from the fridge. Real Sugar Dr. Pepper. I am allergic to coffee, so this is my vice. I love that SBS said that caffeine has been shown to reduce pain perception. I take her facts way out of context, but I totally agree. I have a huge amount of pain without my DP!!

  135. Homemade yogurt…and it’s not nearly as hard as you would think to make it! I used a recipe from someone who used her crockpot every day for a year. You can use whole milk if you want, but here’s how I make it:
    Put a 1/2 gallon of 1% milk in a large crockpot and “cook” on low for 3 hours. Then unplug crockpot and let milk sit for another 3 hours. At the end of that 3 hours, remove 2 cups of warm milk. Add 2-3 teaspoons of nonfat powdered milk until dissovled and then 1 container of plain Greek yogurt (about 5 oz). This is your stater. Stir until smooth and add back into the crockpot with the rest of the milk. Insulate your crockpot with foil and/or towels and let sit overnight. You need about 8 hours, but it can sit longer. The longer it sits, the more tart it will be.

    I eat mine with bananas, blueberries, a drizzle of honey, and some homemade granola after a run. It’s so good and you know exactly what’s in it!

  136. in my fridge we have skim milk, we go through about 3-4gallons a week (i have a 12year old boy) we have a ton of fruit and veggies always and yogurt. these are all constants. turkey bacon for that bacon fix (not that same, but it does the trick) eggs. and laughing cow cheese for snacks. lots of lean proteins chicken & turkey breast.. ground chicken & turkey too. sometimes, a nice steak :o) love seeing what everyone else has too and added to my grocery list.

  137. The one staple that is always in my fridge is homemade cashew spread. My friend went on a whole-food kick and I got addicted to her “cashew cream cheese”, but when she moved I had to find my own recipe. Here’s what I came up with:

    2 cups unsalted raw cashews
    3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil
    Juice of one lemon
    A pinch or two of cayenne pepper

    Blend it well in a food processor, adding a little water to get to your desired consistency.
    Store it in the fridge and spread it on a toasted whole wheat bagel, and BAM, that’s my daily go-to breakfast.

  138. Lots of veggies and fresh juice fruits, almond milk.
    Dairies for the kids, and all sorts of nuts.
    And lots of fruits aside the fridge.

    My favorite post run drink is a smoothie with bananas, water and spirulina or wheatgrass powder.

  139. At a sprint triathlon that I did last summer, my post race plate was filled with cheese, crackers, and grapes. Since then, I have become quite fond of fruit (primarily grapes and strawberries) and cheese following a run. Later–in the hours following a run, I tend to turn to such staples as beans and rice with freshly made salsa, yogurt dip, and homemade tortilla chips. Add a fruit smoothie for dessert and I’m in heaven!

    I agree with previous posters on the benefits of chocolate milk. When I swim, I make a beeline for chocolate milk in the dairy section before heading home. However odd it may be, I never keep chocolate milk in my own house! And swimming is the only sport in which my body craves it…or can tolerate it post-workout.

  140. Lots of milk – skim, 1%, and whole. Yogurt, eggs, cold-cuts and cheese are what you can find in my fridge most of the time. We have a huge garden, so most our veggies are coming from there, right before we eat.

  141. There are some great ideas on here! I live with a mason jar in my desk with raw unsalted almonds, they help me make it through the urge to run to the store during the day for a snickers! Our fridge at home is full of veggies and fruit. We often have protein smoothies with almond milk in the morning. Been trying to cut out the sugar and white flour and dairy … so all I really want is cheese and crackers or baquette with brie, either with wine of course!!

    Have not tried the chocolate milk thing yet … must do that!

  142. In the fridge – fruit, yogurt, juice, milk, tortillas, and tons of leftovers (I think that’s dinner tonight!) plus 2 cupcakes from our anniversary dinner last night (25 years). In the freezer – ice cream – that and chocolate are my big downfalls. My favorite dish this summer has been a couscous salad which I could eat daily for lunch. I put it over fresh spinach or you could add tuna, salmon or chicken to it. It’s incredibly fast to make.

    Cooked couscous
    Can of chick peas (garbanzo beans)
    Cucumber chopped
    Marinated artichoke hearts
    Roasted red peppers
    Feta cheese
    Tomatoes chopped
    Kalmata olives
    Newman’s light Italian dressing but you could mix your own

  143. As a diabetic, nutrition is something I HAVE to think about all the time. That doesn’t mean I always make the best choices, but I need to know what I’m eating and how it will affect me so I can manage my blood sugar effectively. Breakfast before a workout is usually yogurt with fresh fruit and some granola sprinkled on top. Sometimes I’ll have a whole grain english muffin with peanut butter. But for the most part, no more muffins or scones for breakfast. No french fries or any type of meal with a lot of fat in it (it slows absorption of the all-important carbohydrate). As I said, I’m not perfect, but I’m improving.

  144. Great topic! Running certainly brings out the eater in me–as in little meals all day (and sometimes night) long. I am crazy about Clif Mojo bars–especially the pretzel, chocolate chip, raisin combo. They really fuel my recovery. I have discovered I need to eat less in order to make it through a long run (currently working up to 13.1) or else I am in intestinal distress before I finish. Typically, a banana and a piece of grainy toast with almond butter will see me through. I want to recommend the Six O´Clock Scramble–online and two cookbooks. The recipes are easy, tasty, and the online subscription version comes with a shopping list. My family loves it!

  145. I grab a breakfast or granola bar before a run; afterward I’m a big banana girl and water, water, water! I’m trying to eliminate soda, but sometimes an ice cold Diet Coke is like magic. Last week as I finished a 12 miler, Diet Coke fantasies kicked in at about mile 10. It was my incentive to finish! On the way home, I stopped and got a huge one!!

  146. Fresh fruits and veggies from local farm stands. I love going to small stands and letting my kids help pick out the fruit and vegetables. They get so excited whenever we see one, we have to stop! Also,plain yogurt, carrot juice and oj for smoothies after a long hot run!

  147. I’m new to this running thing, only 3 months in, so I’m enjoying reading everyone else’s posts regarding what to eat before and after a run!

  148. The day of a run, I go for a hearty bowl of oatmeal with raisins, walnuts and ground flax seeds. Then after a run, a milkshake made with banana and frozen berries fortified with soy protein powder. And if I’m struggling for time, a half of a Cliff bar before a run, and then a Carnation Breakfast shake made with skim milk for afterwards will do just fine.

  149. well its not in my fridge but I guess it could be if you really wanted it to be……but my go to hands down almost every day after every run (after my chocolate milk of course:)) if peanut butter. its cheap, good, and healthy! love it! oh and it has protein, good fats and comes in many yummy varieties my fav of which is Adams crunchy!!

  150. This is a great post because nutrition is really something I’m struggling with during marathon training. I finally tried the chocolate milk recovery thing after Sunday’s 14-miler (the idea always seemed kind of gross to me but I don’t ever feel like eating when I get home from a long run), and it was magical. I wasn’t as tired for the rest of the day and just felt better recovered in general. Yeah!

    I keep meaning to stock up with good, healthy things to eat. Right now, I guess my go-to foods are bananas, peanut butter, and granola bars. Can’t wait to read the rest of the responses and get my grocery list in order!

  151. For me, it is time to get back on track with eating and cooking, now that my husband and I (both teachers) and my kids are back in school. I tend to eat and cook much better food when I have to plan, plan, plan as opposed to the go with the flow method we tend to roll with in the summers. I always know it is that time of the year when I find myself making a lasagna (the leftovers of which are in my fridge right now). But, as for running, I find that the morning routine that worked for me (though probably not the best) was a cup of coffee and a spoonful of PB pre-run, and a yummy milk, banana, and vanilla protein powder shake post-run with a bowl of cereal or a bagel. I am soon to find out what will work as I adjust to evening runs beginning today. Gonna miss those 6AM-ers!!

  152. All the usual suspects (greek yogurt, peanut butter, english muffins, luna or larabars, bananas) are pre-run snacks, but if it’s a short run 40 minutes or less, I literally just take a couple bites of a bar and I really think it’s more mental than anything just to tell myself I have some energy and got the hollow feeling out of my tummy. A great post workout dinner or lunch (if you have time) is something I call confetti burritos, but it’s best to make it before hand. You bake a couple large yams, cut them up and mash them all up. No measuring needed….then you throw in the following: 1/2 to 3/4 can of refried beans, 1/2 to 3/4 can of semi-mashed black beans, some frozen corn (which you nuked for a minute or so), some diced red pepper, some diced green or yellow pepper,some cut up mini carrots (which you can nuke with the corn), and if you need more protein, some pieces of already shredded chicken (TJoe’s has some) or some cubes of tofu. FInally squeeze some lime juice over it and cilantro if you like it. Mix it all up and make several large burritos with the filling. Whole wheat tortillas are best. Line them up in a casserole dish and bake for about 15-20 minutes to get the tortillas slightly crunchy. You can sprinkle with a bit of cheese before hand if you want even more protein, or you just love cheese. Sounds complicated but I promise it’s not and it’ll last for a couple meals. It’s called confetti because if you cut a burrito in half you see yellow, red, brown, green, etc…very satisfying and good for you.

  153. As a vegetarian I try to keep my fridge stocked with lots of delicious produce: watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, peaches, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, etc. I love Fage yogurt and Athenos hummus too – so those are always staples in my fridge. One of my biggest vices, though, is ketchup. I’m always prepared with ginormo sized Heinz bottles 🙂

  154. For most of this year I’ve been on a whole foods initiative so lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I cook a ton and that’s ok. Really the only packaged stuff I have are flax cereal, almond butter and Greek yogurt….and the occasional bag of coconut m&ms.

  155. What’s in my fridge?

    In the summer when we can get it, fresh fruit.


    2% milk. ALWAYS.

    Almost always ice cream in my freezer.

    And any time of year vegetables.

  156. Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Grapes, and Avocados. Eggs (A MUST IN THIS HOUSE), Lactose free skim milk (for the LittleMan), Juicy Juice, condiments (haha), cheese bricks, hotdogs, roast beef lunch meat— well this just sounds like a fridge for my kids!
    I am a peanut butter (extra crunchy) die hard for pre-run, preferrably on an english muffin. YUMMY.
    I am a fruit (if time- smoothies!!) and energy bar person after that (if it is a weekend- I get eggs too!)
    For the day, I have coffee, water ( I even take a glass to bed) and maybe a zero powerade for drinking.
    Fruit (smoothies are good for dinner too!), protein of some sort (I like my eggs) and lots of VEGGIES!!!

    I CAN NOT HAVE SWEETS before a run. AT ALL. I can eat a quesadilla night before a half marathon- but NO SUGAR!! I have gone so long in my life without soda pop, that when I have a sip of hubbys I want to puke it is so sweet. Yuck!

  157. At this point, I am just trying to limit my intake of junk food. I have a major sweet tooth and it has gone out of control since we have been staying with my in-laws until our house is ready (crossing my fingers that will be SOON). I don’t like to eat right before a run, but if I need something I try to keep it light (like a banana) and eat no sooner than 30 minutes before walking out the door. I haven’t been tracking calories (though I should be) or nutrients, but I try to keep protein in mind to up my intake during the day.

  158. So excited that this was posted- I was one of the people that asked this!!!! Food in the fridge- yogurt, fresh fruit, fresh veggies.( even though I will admit that those have a hard time staying in the fridge because we eat them so fast). whole wheat bread/ bagels. etc… The fridge is stacked pretty healthy. I love that my kids ask ‘Can I have a big carrot or a banana?’

    As for what I eat it depends- on run mornings, I will have a banana-, toast with peanut butter, some water and then go. But if I am running later in the day I will start my morning off with oatmeal (with a little brown sugar or honey). Post run I like to have some chocolate milk (that is a new thing for me, what is the best brand?) and a huge egg white omelet stuffed with about any type of veggies you can find). I usually have a mammoth salad for lunch and then a nice dinner with meat, carbs and veggies . I try to eat 5 times a day.; if you want the exact break down of what I eat per meal, I can send it your way. I do partake in an adult beverage here and there, but not the night before any ‘long’ runs .

    My biggest interest right now (so I cant wait to read everyone’s posts) is during runs. I have the pre and post fuel down (I think), but I am not sure what to use during the run. I am running out of steam on the long runs.

    Disaster meal- garbage the day before a 12 mile run. Really bad burger with chips and pop. Would not advise you to eat that if you would like good results.

    Looking forward to reading everyone’s posts. Dimity your recipe sounds good. I am the opposite though, I love to cook. We make alot of stuff from strach. I make lots of stuff ‘with hidden ingredients’ so not only am I getting the benefit of the meal but than bonus veggies.
    Ex) Sneaky Meatloaf
    2 lbs lean meat (ground beef or ground turkey)
    2 eggs
    1 cup pureed zucchini
    1 cup pureed tomato
    little Worcestershire sauce
    little shredder Parmesan cheese
    mix of Italian spices
    1 1/2 cup oatmeal crumbs
    Shape into a loaf , put a little ketchup on top and cook at 350 for 1 hour 15 min (or until cooked all the way through) So delicious- all of my kids asked for 2nds.
    Serve with a nice salad and some roasted potatoes.


  159. Our family plans every meal each week. We write out our menu then create a grocery list. Often I make a list of snacks that will be available throughout the week – apples and peanutbutter, toasted almonds, trail mix. The key to healthy meals and snacking has been all about planning. Not having to make decisions early in the morning or at dinner time (or before or after a run) lowers my stress level and allows me to enjoy my food and family.

  160. If I run less than an hour and am short on time, I eat a Cliff bar (the Peanut Butter one)…yummy and I like it that I can leave it in my car without it melting.

    If I run longer than an hour, I try to make a smoothie within 30 minutes so I don’t crash. I include whatever I have in the house…usually milk, frozen blueberries, a banana, ground flax seed, and whey protein powder.

  161. Lately I’ve been on an egg kick – eggs for breakfast, or lunch, or dinner (depending on how busy we are). My vegetarian tween will agree to eat them, which I like because then I can make something that is suitable to feed the whole family (the rest of us aren’t vegetarians). Another recent favorite is vanilla hemp milk. Tastier than soy milk & rice milk. Yum! There are also tons of fresh veggies from our weekly co-op farm share (having some trouble keeping up with the quantity!)

  162. Let’s see… fruit, lots of veggies, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese. There’s always a container of leftover beans. For snacks before a run, I usually will have some turkey wrapped in provolone or a handful of almond from the pantry.

  163. I wish I could say that I eat organic and fresh frutis and veggies all the time, but I just can’t make it work (full time job + husband + 3 young kids = not much budget and even less time to be overly creative!).

    I haven’t jumped on the Greek yogurt train yet (tried it and totally gagged — tips for getting it down?) but I have a “regular” fruit yogurt every morning followed with some cinnamon raisin bread or homemade pumpkin muffins. Most of my protein comes via chicken, hb eggs, and sometimes red meat or pork (agree with previous poster that I’m gonna scream if I have chicken for dinner for one.more.night.). I drink milk every day (my house goes through 4 gallons a week!), and have a big salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for lunch 3-4 times a week. PB&J is always stocked in my pantry, and we always have an abundance of turkey lunchmeat and a variety of cheeses on hand. My freezer is always stocked with bags of frozen veggies and pre-cooked chicken and ham. I hate to admit this but I have Ben & Jerry’s cherry garcia almost every night before bed (!!), or some canned or fresh fruit — depends on what I’ve got on hand — or somes a little of both.

    Sugar does me in. I love it, but it makes me crash HARD, so I try to avoid over-indulging. Same with caffeine. I have to drink in moderation since I very easily get caffeine withdrawal headaches. Lately I’ve been making a cup of chai before work, with honey and 2% milk, and then have a cup of ginger peach green tea at work.

    1. Just noticed your post on Greek yogurt. If you really want to eat it and the texture is a problem, try sprinkling granola on top as you eat it. One of my favorite treats is the yogurt/granola/fruit cup at Starbucks. Hope that helps.

      1. They also sell Greek yogurt with fruit. I like the strawberry and peach the best and I sprinkle walnuts on top. You can put granola or fresh fruit on top too. There is also a brand of Greek yogurt that sells snack sizes with honey or Carmel on the bottom–throw some nuts on that and stir and it tastes like a dessert! Plain Greek yogurt makes me gag too but you cant beat the protein in it, so I just dress it up!

  164. Special K protein shakes – just the chocolate version. I love them for breakfast, but after a run you’ll just find me guzzling water. Then again, I’m not running very far just yet.

  165. Love this topic–love food! Our fridge usually has hummus, eggs and goat cheese. Not sure what goat cheese can do for your running, but we love it just the same. Our go to meal that has fueled many of my husband’s races and long runs and will soon fuel my first half in October (yay!) is a super easy White Bean and Spinach Pasta: couple crushed garlic gloves and red pepper flakes sauteed in olive oil; throw in a bag of baby spinach until it wilts; add big can of diced tomatoes; can of cannellini beans (w/bean slime rinsed off); heat through; sprinkle w/some balsamic vinegar and toss w/pound of pasta. So far, no reports of problems w/beans the night before a big run…

  166. Let me elaborate on my earlier post. I have been trying to run again to get my body healthy and gaining energy back. Typically our fridge has lots of water, juices, yogurt,etc. We have been trying to be more active as a family and fuel our bodies with good things. My older son and I have started running together several times a week. For the party we had fresh fruit tray, cheese and crackers, pasta and salad. Tonight we are having a noodle casserole with ground turkey, mushrooms, onions and peas.

  167. Our fridge always has fresh eggs, fruit, and Target brand low-fat lattes. Currently we have banana bread in there, as well…. So my post workout meals this week have consisted of the staple latte along with a piece of banana bread (it’s really early when I get back from running, and my husband and I do the baby monitor hand off as he is walking out the door and I am walking in).
    We also have a giant pork tenderloin that will be thrown on the grill tonight and will be good for a few dinners. I love, love, love summer because it’s so easy to eat delicious (and usually healthy) meals (my husband is attached at the hip to his grill- bonus for me! no need to cook!). We eat so much more chicken and fish during the summer than any other time because it tastes soooo good when thrown on the grill with some fresh veggies and a dessert of cool strawberries.

    Oh, and I love pretzel M’n’M’s.

  168. This is actually an area that I struggle with. I know, deep down, that to run like a marathoner (my goal for 2011), I need to eat like a marathoner. But I’m not very good at it. I’m trying to improve. I feel like a limited budget, in a place where food prices are crazy high, is my excuse for not eating enough produce, and too much of the quick-fix meals. And I’m at the end of the month, so my fridge is pathetically empty right now.
    As far as runner’s food, I love a protein shake for breakfast. I usually throw in a banana and/or frozen blueberries. And my husband is Italian, so when I need to carbo-load I know just the guy!

  169. Eggs almost every morning or homemade granola (to fibrous for run days tho 😉 Other than that lots of fruits veggies, esp organic spinach (I even use it on sandwhiches instead of lettuce).

  170. Most of my runs are done @ night afetr the kids are in bed. If i eat crummy in the afternoon (anything out of the vending machine) I feel like a slug. I’vre been tyring to sqaush those late day cravings with a greek yogurt and or a granola bar. I’ve started eating more salad @ lunchtime and I feel much better at night. it’s usually soem combo of romaine w/ carrots, tomatos, cukes, dried cranberries or apricots, edamamme, pumpkin seeds, rotissiere chicken cut up on top, and cheese- greek, blue, feta- soemthing- it’s got to have some cheese! On the weekends before an AM run my go to is a bagel or enlgish muffin with natural peanut butter & a banana.

    Recovery- love chocolate milk or a smoothie made w/greek yogurt and fresh/frozen fruit. My new current fav snack while running or post/pre run- fig newtons!

  171. Fresh fruit and veggies. Cheeses – havarti and muenster are my favs.
    Hummus- yum! and leftover lasagne but that won’t last long. Cow and coconut milk and some Chardonnay. 🙂

  172. I am loving this thread already, BTW. I can’t wait to try Dimity’s recipe and Phoebe’s chick pea burgers sound delish!!

  173. Preworkout always have granola bars on hand or Power Bars for longer run days. Post-workout I will either have a protein shake or Greek yogurt sprinkled with walnuts. Lunch varies but is usually grilled chicken sandwich, soup, leftover turkey meatballs or turkey chili–something like that. I get home from work at 8:30 and I hate eating that late so I will have something light, like tuna (made with spicy mustard not mayo) on a whole wheat wrap. I usually bring carrots, peppers, or cucumbers to snack on at work. I think I eat pretty well. I don’t let myself get hungry and always make sure I have healthy snacks on hand at home or when leaving the house. I also don’t deprive myself–sure, I’ll share a bag of M&Ms with my son, get a scoop of ice cream with my daughter, or drink a beer and relax with my husband.

  174. First – LOVE the the recipe, Dim. Sounds amazing and I will definitely try it. My post-run staple is plain oatmeal (I know I should spring for steel cut but I’m too cheap!) with a little brown sugar and cinnamon…. and chocolate chips. I eat this just about every morning along with chai tea. I’m crazy about chick peas and will eat them on their own or in almost anything salad-y. If you mash them up with a couple of eggs and bread crumbs you can make a DELICIOUS veggie burger (use olive oil on the skillet… NUM!) My oldest kiddo has a peanut allergy so we dig almond- and sunbutter. In the fall and winter there’s nothing that makes me happier than homemade butternut squash soup with plenty of nutmeg. Mmmmm….

  175. In my fridge? All the kid stuff – milk, yogurt, tortillas, cheese. I like garbage eggs. All the veggies I can find – throw them in scrambled eggs and sometimes wrap it up in a tortilla. YUM and i can eat it while chasing the kids.

  176. My fridge contains chocolate milk too. When Runners World published a few years ago that it was a good recovery drink, I was in heaven! I also keep some cheese on hand…love the 100 calorie snack packs. I always have yogurt and cottage cheese to get dairy and protein in. Salad fixings are usually in my fridge but I’m not always good at remembering to use them. Same thing with fruit…I have found that I need to cut and prepare fruit and veggies and then I’ll use them during the week.

  177. What’s in my fridge? Besides all the fruit and veggies and other healthy stuff, a bottle of vodka. I’m training for my first marathon, and Saturday evenings are my “reward myself” time after the day’s long run. I love a “Woman Warrior” martini. 3 parts vodka, one part blue curacao, one part fresh lime juice. Just the name of it makes me feel good! Oh, and Dimity, I can hook you up…my hubby works for your favorite chocolate company. Pretzels, peanuts, plain old chocolate, you name it, we have an endless supply. (Which really makes my quest to lose 20 pounds very very difficult!)

  178. Always in my fridge is Greek yogurt, hummus and peanut butter (extra chunky). I make a big batch of homemade granola all week and put them on my yogurt. Having just returned to the workforce after 9 years, I pack a little tub of dried fruit to eat on my way to the gym. That little bit of energy goes a long way when I’m on the machines!

  179. I have a slew of food allergies–cow (dairy AND beef), egg and gluten/wheat among several other things. Pre-run, I rely on home-made fruit smoothies with some kind of protein powder (hemp, rice, pea–yes, there really is a pea protein…and yes, I think it’s gross). My favorite is Rainbow Light Vanilla Rice Energizer mixed with frozen fresh fruit and apple juice. I haven’t found that “perfect” recovery food/drink. I like Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk, but I don’t think it really gives that optimal mix of carbs/protein/fat that regular chocolate milk does because I find myself craving carbs like a wild woman. I eat a lot of salads, fish, fresh veggies and fruit for other meals/snacks.

  180. I am struggling with what to eat before a run; though oatmeal is my standard in this heat I can’t bring myself to devour a steaming bowl of oats. I’ve been settling for a mini whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.

    Lunch is typically peanut butter and jelly, especially since I’ve been trapped under 3 small children this summer. Don’t get me wrong-I love pb and j. I also love turkey, cheese, and the occasional lunch out with friends, so I’m looking forward to at least the possibility of a menu of protein laden, carb-rich options.

    Dinner usually finds us with beans, quinoa or bulgur or whole wheat pasta, chicken, and some vegetables. On a not great day we’ll be having bread with a side of bread.

    On that note I need to go make some lunches. Thanks for the opportunity!

  181. I’m so old school…and I listen to my body…pb&jelly – all organic, of course, with a sprinkling of nuts on top of the Cascadian Farms blueberry jelly…yum! Cereal is a staple. I am finding that fueling up healthfully, simply, and in good portions during the day keeps me really satisfied and not overstuffed. I also use greek yogurt in place of mayo – tuna salad, chicken salad, even shrimp salald here in Louisiana!!!

  182. What’s in my fridge? Yikes! I’m not good at cooking so very basic stuff. I have a turkey breast that I got from Costco and rotissiere chicken – both good prospects to make a quick chicken/turkey salad for a lunch. If I’m ambitious, I may have ground beef and salsa to make a mexicali meatloaf. Pre run I tend to eat 1/2 a protein bar to fuel. During long runs, I just picked up some Cliff Roks and Sport Beans.

  183. This question is so timely for two reasons. One, I’m just back from a week at the beach where I over indulged on ice cream, fried food, and a nighly gin & tonic (or two). I used the excuse, “I’m on vacation!” But when I ran the local 5k race, I was incredibly sluggish and never found my zone. It was a terrible race. I knew it was likley due to all the junk I had been feeding my body. So now I’m detoxing. Second, I just started an online nutrition class from my local state university. I’m only one week in but am already loving it. I went out last night and picked up my low sodium V8, which I have a large glass of every morning, my greek yogurts (more protien than regular yogurt), lots of fruits, veggies, almonds – all easy to grab and go. I also like to have some precooked chicken and turkey breast available to snack on or throw into a salad or wrap.

  184. i have a hard time with nutrition. i seriously need help with it. i know eating too much sweets hurts my runs. i feel sluggish after eating too much sugar.

  185. I run so that I can continue to eat all the things I have and all the things I want. I try to keep something convenient and not-going-to-kill-me- instantly-if-I-eat -a-whole-bag ‘healthy’ available for post run, because no matter how far or what time it is I am STARVING when I get home and will devour the first thing I put my hands on. Hopefully that is a glass of chocolate milk and a toasted bagel (before my shower) and a more civilized follow up of yogurt and fruit after. But, watch out if there’s no milk and a family size bag of Doritos is on the counter. I need to shower for the sweat and the orange powder I’m covered in. Pre-run– coffee or pizza. I didn’t say I wanted to win races, I just love what running let’s me do!

  186. Some of the quick go to items in my refrigerator are: greek yogurt and fresh blueberries, small individual cottage cheese containers, chicken that I have pre-cooked and sliced up to put on spinach, chocolate milk for after a long run and hummus. I have a recipe similar to your Cowboy Caviar and it is so delicious. The mixture of the fresh roasted corn, black beans, avocado, tomatoes and lime juice is extremely tasty!
    Sandi D

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