Nutrition Tips For Runners Part 3: Recipes

Before we talk practically and take a look at some easy to follow recipe suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as some simple snacks to keep you going, I suggest familiarising yourself with the Australian Dietary Guidelines and recommended Food Serves This easy to navigate website even provides you with some simple food calculators to use to estimate your daily nutritional needs.

Based on these food groups and guidelines discussed in the websites provided, here are a few of my own simple ideas to help achieve nutritional balance.

Breakfast ideas:

1.     Four-egg White Omelette: Extra virgin olive oil spray, 4 egg whites, 1tbls cottage cheese, 120g smoked salmon, 1tbls chopped chives. Heat a frying pan and spray with olive oil spray. Add the egg whites and roll the pan so the egg whites evenly cover the base of the pan. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes. When the sides of the omelette lift easily, add a dollop of cottage cheese to the middle and fold the omelette over on itself. Top with the smoked salmon and chives.

2.     Bircher Muesli: 2 cups rolled oats, 2 apples – grated, 2 cups low-fat greek yoghurt (e.g. Chobani), 1 cup apple juice, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1⁄2 cup slivered almonds (optional), 1tsp cinnamon (can also add 1⁄4tsp nutmeg). Combine all ingredients in a resealable container. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy over the next week.

3.     Quinoa Porridge with Cranberries and Raisins: ¾ cup quinoa, rinsed and drained, 500ml water, 375ml low-cal milk, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 2tbls raisins, ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the milk and the dried fruit and nuts. Cook, for another 10 minutes, then stir in the remaining milk.

4.     Oat Pancake: (40g rolled oats) + 1 egg + 1tsp chia seeds + 1tbls natural sultanas/cranberries + 1/2tsp cinnamon + 1/2tsp vanilla essence + 50-100ml milk – blend until smooth, let sit to thicken slightly then fry in non-stick pan topped with 1tsp 100% fruit spread + 1tbls natural yoghurt

5.     Weekend Breakfast: 2 eggs (poached, boiled, scrambled, omelette) on 1 slice burgen toast + side veggies (tomato/spinach/mushies etc).

Lunch ideas:

1.     Meal: 50g lean meat, poultry, 1 large egg OR 95g tin tuna PLUS ½ cup cooked rice/quinoa/couscous, 150g sweet potato OR ¾ cup corn kernels/chickpeas PLUS 2-3 cups mixed veg/salad.

2.     Smoked Salmon and Salad Wrap: 2 wholemeal flatbreads/mountain breads, 1tbls wholegrain mustard, 170g smoked salmon, ½ small avocado mashed, 1 carrot coarsely grated, 1 tomato sliced, 2 handfuls baby rocket or spinach, 1tbls chopped dill. Spread the bread with mustard, then pile high with salmon and salad. Sprinkle with dill. Roll up and serve.  

3.     Sushi: 2 long rolls (NO tempura, crumbed or deep fried, minimum mayo) + 1 small bowl edamame.

Dinner ideas:

50% of your dinner plate should include 2-3 cups salad and veggies of mixed colours (increased nutrient profile).

Protein for women – choose one (or combine in smaller quantities). Add about 20-30g more for men.

·       100-120g lean meat/mince/poultry ( roughly palm size)

·       150-200g firm tofu/tempeh

·       150-200g fish/seafood

·       2 organic/free range eggs – poached, scrambled, or mixed with other parts of your plate to make a frittata/omelette

·       3/4 – 1 cup chickpeas/lentils/legumes

·       ½-3/4 cup lentils

Carbohydrate for women – choose one (eat at upper end of quantities only on heavy training days). Add slightly more for men.

·       ½-3/4 cup cooked wholegrain rice/quinoa/amaranth/bulgar/barley/couscous

·       150-200g mashed/steamed or roast potato/sweet potato (skin-on)

·       ½-3/4 cup rice/egg/soba noodles or wholemeal/spelt/bean based spaghetti

Healthy Fats – add a little 1-2tsp for recovery/anti-inflammatory effects

·       Avocado

·       Nuts and seeds

·       Oils: olive, sesame, flaxseed, rice-bran, avocado, coconut

 Snack ideas between main meals:

·       100g natural low fat yoghurt (a little less that ½ cup)

·       2-4 rice cakes with almond spread OR avocado and tomato with cracked pepper

·       2-4 x Wild Rice/Quinoa Square Crackers + 2tbls (50g) low fat cottage cheese + tomato/sprouts/baby spinach etc

·       1 small handful of mixed nuts/seeds (~30g) + 1 pc fresh fruit

·       20g protein powder shake 200ml milk of choice

·       Dip a sliced apple in 1tbls almond spread

·       1 Emma & Tom’s Life Bar

·       Veggie sticks (celery, carrot, snow peas etc) & 2tbls hummus + 1 pc fresh fruit

Late night snack ideas for when you are physically hungry:

·       80-100g low fat natural yoghurt/coconut yoghurt + 1-2tsp raw cacao powder + 1tsp honey

·       1-2tsp tahini drizzled over ½ cup frozen berries

·       30g quality chocolate: Lindt, Whittakers, Green&Blacks Organic, Loving Earth, Conscious Chocolate


In addition, remember to combine your daily food routine with the pre, during and post nutrition guidelines from Part 1 to ensure you achieve all your nutrient needs to fuel your body right.

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After reading Parts 1, 2 and 3, have you picked up on any tips that you feel will help you to fuel your body better?

Do you have some of your own tips and/or experiences you would like to share?

What is your relationship with food like as a runner?