Delicious Snacks & Lunch Ideas To Keep You Going
Written by Shellin Chuong, 2015 Berkeley Half Marathon Ambassador
If you are currently training for a half marathon, you are probably juggling many responsibilities. We runners are a busy bunch. With keeping a consistent training schedule, balancing work demands and family plans, it becomes difficult to follow a diet consisting of minimally processed foods. Consequently, a healthy diet too often gets pushed to the backburner. Whether you are a college student or a working professional, packing a wholesome snack or lunch to your workplace/campus does not necessarily have to be a hefty task.
The snack and lunch options below have been selected based on their running-specific nutrients, from the energy-rich carbohydrates to the heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Take your pick.
Lärabars are made primarily of nuts and fruits, which is a great option whether you are vegan or lactose-intolerant. They come in a variety of fruity flavors, including apple pie, cherry pie, and peanut butter. These bars are small, but they pack a good source of carbohydrates, especially for the gluten intolerant. It’s useful for if you are juggling a busy schedule and want a quick, natural boost of energy on the go that’s both wholesome and filling.
It goes without saying that fruits are an integral part of our daily diet. Not only are fruits sweet and nutritious, they are also versatile. Use blueberries to top your Greek yogurt, blend bananas together with yogurt and peanut butter for a quick morning smoothie, or toss dried cranberries and pecans into your regular salad. Ever thought of freezing banana slices for a sweet dessert?
Trail mix is a smart choice for maintaining your energy throughout the day. It’s also a great option if you have a bunch of leftover snacks (or cereal) in your kitchen that you don’t know what to do with. Try mixing peanuts, pretzels, and pieces of dark chocolate for a sweet and savory snack. Hyped up about the fall season? Pumpkin seeds, pecans, spices (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg), and/or dried cranberries are several ingredients to consider adding to your trail mix.
- Hummus spread over wheat crackers
- String cheese
- Cottage cheese and blueberries
Peanut butter and banana sandwich with chocolate milk
It’s simple yet it sticks with you throughout the day. Spread peanut butter on whole grain bread and top it with banana slices for a lunch that is high in potassium and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Remember to look for brands that only contain peanuts as their ingredient. Some brands sneak trans fats into their products in the form of “shortening,” “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” and/or “hydrogenated vegetable oil,” along with additives such as tapioca syrup.
Peanut butter not your thing? Give almond, cashew, or hazelnut butter with honey a spin. Add chocolate milk on the side for some protein, calcium, and an extra dose of carbohydrates; it’s the perfect recovery drink after a tough morning run.
Craving a homemade, but quick pizza for lunch (or even dinner?) Flatbread pizzas can be the healthy solution to your problem. Top a whole-wheat pita bread with your favorite meats, vegetables, and cheese(s) (for protein and calcium) along with some olive oil, then pop it in the oven. One quicker alternative is a pizza bagel.
Looking for a specific flatbread recipe? Try the margherita flatbread pizza which can be found below.
- Spinach salad with chicken and avocado
- Health Valley Organic No Salt Added Minestrone Soup
- Pita pocket sandwiches
There you have it! Simple and delicious recipes that will keep your energy levels up during your training.