Fueling for running (and strength training): What I eat pretty much every day

photo 2(3)I’m not an expert in nutrition. I’m not an expert in running, either. And it’ll be a lonnnnnng time before I can call myself a “specialist” in anything. (I’m taking my certified strength and conditioning specialist exam in May, but in my opinion, that designation won’t mean much until I have years of experience behind me.)

That said, I generally know what I should and shouldn’t be eating to fuel my endurance and strength training, and what I should and shouldn’t be eating to fuel my body so it can function on a day-to-day basis. Of course, this all fits under the umbrella of preference–I’m not going to eat anything I don’t like. Luckily, there are a lot of healthy and nutrient-dense foods I DO like (and that other people probably think taste like grass clippings).

Rather than me going on about the best foods and meal plans for runners (or for people who just generally want to eat healthy), here’s a peek inside my pantry and a look at what I eat pretty much every day (because that’s way more fun, right?)

All the food I currently have in my teeny, tiny kitchen.

All the food I currently have in my teeny, tiny kitchen.

Daily Meals

I know that I crave carbohydrates, and that I could go without foods that are high in salt and fat content. Based on this, my daily macronutrient ratios are about 60 percent carbs, 25 percent protein, and 15 percent fat. I’ve been playing around with macronutrient ratios for a little while, and have discovered that this ratio keeps me feeling satiated and energized. So here’s a look at a typical day of meals for me:

Breakfast

1/4 cup of gogi beerries, 1/4 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cooked oats and 1/2 cup of plain, non-fat yogurt

1/4 cup of gogi berries, 1/4 pomegranate seeds, 1/4 cup of blueberries, 1/2 cooked oats and 1/2 cup of plain, non-fat yogurt. Roughly 570 calories. Oh, and like 4-6 cups of black coffee, usually spread throughout the morning at home and at work.

Mid-Morning Snack

Rice cakes and PB. The BEST. Roughly 300 calories.

Rice cakes and PB. The BEST. Roughly 300 calories.

A banana... Kidding! Large orange is roughly 80 calories.

A banana…
Kidding!
Large orange is roughly 80 calories.

Lunch

Natural turkey breast deli meat (hormone, nitrate free), spinach, Greek-style pita, mustard, low-fat cream cheese. About 230 calories.

Natural turkey breast deli meat (hormone, nitrate free), spinach, Greek-style pita, mustard, low-fat cream cheese. About 230 calories.

Ice cream! Kidding... it's one scoop of Vanilla Vega Protein, a tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup of blueberries and non-fat plain Greek yogurt. About 240 calories.

Ice cream! Kidding… it’s one scoop of Vanilla Vega Protein, a tbsp chia seeds, 1/4 cup of blueberries and 3/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt. About 240 calories.

Dinner

Chicken breast baked in coconut oil, Thai chili sauce with shredded coconut on top, and 1.5 cups carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts sauteed in coconut oil. About 360 calories.

Chicken breast baked in coconut oil and Thai chili sauce with shredded coconut on top, and 1.5 cups carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts sauteed in coconut oil. About 360 calories.

Chocolate, because it is it’s own food group

Usually have 2-4 squares. I also usually have the sea salt one, but didn't have any on hand for a photo! About 60 calories per square of deliciousness.

Usually have 2-4 squares. I also usually have the sea salt one, but didn’t have any on hand for a photo! About 60 calories per square of deliciousness.

Supplements

Yes, I take supplements. As you probably noticed, I usually only get my vegetables in at dinner time, hence the Vega protein blend (which has 2 servings of vegetables in it). I take branch-chain amino acids (BCAA) as a pre-workout when doing cardio first thing in the morning (I wake up hangry so I need something - this does the trick). I take vitamin D since it's pretty grey here in the winter, garlic for cardio health, and probiotics for my fussy stomach. I usually take fish oil too, but haven't felt like ponying up the cash for my favourite kind lately (Barlean's Pina Colada... mmm)

Yes, I take supplements. As you probably noticed, I usually only get my vegetables in at dinner time, hence the Vega protein blend (which has 2 servings of vegetables in it). I take branch-chain amino acids (BCAA) as a pre-workout when doing cardio first thing in the morning (I wake up hangry so I need something – this does the trick). I take vitamin D since it’s pretty grey here in the winter, garlic for cardio health, and probiotics for my fussy stomach. I usually take fish oil too, but haven’t felt like ponying up the cash for my favourite kind lately (Barlean’s Pina Colada… mmm)

According to MyFitnessPal, I eat between 1,850 – 2,100 calories a day, which is just slightly under maintenance right now for my based on training (6 days a week right now, about 45-60 minutes a day). I don’t feel deprived at all, and have had a ton of energy lately for training (hence the 6 days a week – 3 days of strength and 3 days of cardio).

The more I get into the nutrition component of my studies, the more I’ll probably experiment on myself in regards to nutrition and training. I usually just fit my workouts in around my meals, and other than BCAAs and upping my protein intake quite a bit (aiming for about 120 grams per day), I don’t do anything fancy to eat for performance.

Question time! What are your favourite healthy meals right now? Do you pay attention to macronutrient ratios? What does a typical day of food look like for you?