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Nutrition Tips and Recipes for the On-the-Go Runner - The Lunch Hour Athlete

Training Log For: 10/08/09

Swimming Laps -- 1500 meters - 40 minutes
Recovery -- Matthew

Posted by Yvonne

Most people start running as a means of losing weight or as a part of a larger health kick. I am no exception. I have always been an athlete but started running to lose weight and get back on a general healthier track. Of course, nutrition is a huge part of the losing weight game.

I think most athletes would agree that part of the problem with running is the hunger it creates. It seems the harder you work out the more the hunger beacons you the rest of the day. Then there is the issue of time. Most runners and athletes have little time to make food, never mind it be tasty and nutritious.

So, the runner's dilemma is hunger, time and nutritious without sacrificing taste (because let's face it, most of us runners that are trying to lose weight are doing so because we love food, nutritious or not (hello In N Out). So, I recently ran across an article from Runner's World that stated 15 foods that all runners should be getting in their weekly diet, that are also quick and easy to grab on the go or prepare for a meal:

1. Almonds - Antioxidant Vitamin E; good alone or in salads and pasta dishes
2. Eggs - Protein, one egg provides the body with 10% of your daily protein needs, 30% of daily Vitamin K, also important are choline, leutin; use for any meal in a burrito, soup or alone
3. Sweet Potatoes - 250% of daily Vitamin A, also god for Vitamin C, potassium, iron, manganese and copper;
4. Whole grain Cereal with protein - 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein (that's over 30% of your daily intake)
5. Oranges - one orange can provide over 100% of your daily Vitamin C
6. Black Beans (canned) - one cup yields 30% of your daily protein and nearly 60% of your daily fiber and folate (vitamin B) needs, mash beans for a dip or put in soups or salads
7. Mixed Salad Greens - using a variety of texture and colored leaves provides the best range of nutrients
8. Salmon - protein (30 grams in 4 oz.) and omega-3 fats
9. Whole Grain Bread - runners need 3-6 one ounce servings of whole grains daily, to get the most out of a serving make sure it's 100% whole grain
10. Frozen veggies - varies, but can provide beta-carotene and Vitamin C, use in stir-fries, pasta, or soups
11. Whole Grain Pasta - added B vitamins from processed pasta
12. Chicken - runners need 50 to 75% more protein than others for muscle recovery, one serving of chicken can provide half your daily needs
13. Frozen Berries - anthocyanin, a great form of antioxidants, eat them as is or in yogurt or ice cream
14. Dark Chocolate - antioxidants, the darker the chocolate, the better for you; try it dipped in peanut butter
15. Low Fat Yogurt - 40 % daily needed calcium and 13 grams of protein and live cultures, if you get plain you can use it savory or sweet

Kris's Sweet Potato Krisps

As the director of sports nutrition for Penn State University's athletic department, Kristine Clark, Ph.D., suggests her sweet-potato slices as the perfect postrun snack. They also make a great appetizer dipped in salsa, wasabi sauce, or low-fat dressing. One serving will give you 90 percent of the DV for vitamin A.


  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/8" rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss sweet-potato slices with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Spread in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake (turning every 10 minutes) for 30 to 40 minutes until brown and the edges curl. Cool slightly and sprinkle with sesame seeds and parsley.

Nutritional Information
Serves four
CALORIES: 136 PROTEIN: 1 g CARBS: 17 g FAT: 7 g

Grilled Herbed Salmon

Serve this entre over a bed of warmed black beans and wilted greens for a meal loaded with injury-healing nutrients plus more than 50 percent of your omega-3 fat needs for the day.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 four-ounce salmon fillets or steaks
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Thirty minutes before cooking, combine parsley, orange and lemon zest, and garlic. Use as a rub and top salmon fillets, then turn and spread evenly on reverse side. Chill until ready to bake or grill on medium-high heat (450 degrees) for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness. When done the fish should flake with a fork.

Nutritional Information
Serves four
CALORIES: 276 PROTEIN: 30 g CARBS: 2 g FAT: 16 g