My Top Five Favorite “Training” Foods
Oh, hey there, and happy Friday! Can you believe that the week is almost over? I swear, these days just keep flying by. To kick off the weekend, I’m sharing my top five, favorite training foods! What in the world are ‘training,’ foods, you ask? Simply put, these are my go-to foods that I like to consume when in training- whether that be for a race or simply to boost my fitness level. And really, these foods are pretty much my favorite at any time in my life, training or not.
I’ve enjoyed sweet potatoes for quite a few years now and I love them any way. Baked, roasted, fried- they are my favorite. I love sweet potatoes, because not only are they a terrific source of complex carbs, but super satisfying and nutritionally dense! I love eating sweet potatoes post-run for a quick boost of carbs or as an addition to my dinner plate. A couple great sweet potato ideas?
Stuff a baked sweet potato with shredded chicken for a great combination of complex carbs, protein, and fat; roast sweet potato wedges and layer the cooked wedges with quiona + arugula + feta cheese for a salad that’s a perfect balance of fats, carbs, protein and flavor, of course; or spiralize your sweet potato for fun, orange noodles!
You guys are probably tired of seeing my typical breakfast smoothies, but these are seriously my favorite, go to breakfast at any season of life. Not only are these packed with protein (a whopping 20+ grams), but they are also filled with hidden veggies (thanks to fresh spinach), and have a good amount of carbs from the bananas. Basically, it’s a great way to refuel after a workout with a balance of carbs/protein and keeps me full for hours! Some of my favorite combos can be found here, here, here, here, and here.
If I had to pick only one animal protein source to eat for the rest of my life, I would most likely choose eggs. I love how versatile, filling, quick, and delicious eggs are. Since I’m downing my typical smoothie for breakfast, eggs are treated more as a lunch or dinner item. Eggs are a great source of protein and healthy fats. I love adding spinach or kale in them for a green addition and a pinch of cheese, because eggs + cheese = magic. A couple of my favorite ways to eat eggs are: over easy (I’m a sucker for a runny yolk), crustless quiche, scrambled with a bunch of veggies tossed in, or cooked in a little bread ‘nest.’ (We call them eggs in a hole.) << Anyone else eat eggs this way?
Nuts & Nut Butter
I used to think that any and all fat was of the devil. I stayed away from real peanut butter or almond butter, bought powdered peanut butter and only allowed myself to eat that, only ate/drank low fat products, or better yet, fat free products. However, I’ve learned through trial and error that fats are so, so important for our bodies to function properly! Not only do fats help you burn body fat, but they also synthesize hormones, and reduce disease. Plus, guys, they taste good. As noted, one of my favorite ways to eat healthy fats is through nut butters or nuts, but I also love coconut oil! Coconut oil is basically going to take over the world and tastes amazing. Some of my favorite ways to eat coconut oil is through coconut oil coffee, baking/cooking with coconut oil, or topping my bread/waffles/pancakes with coconut oil instead of butter.
Dark, Leafy Greens
I eat a salad almost every single day. I don’t do this just because it’s “healthy,” or “diet food,” but simply because I like it. It’s like a blank slate just waiting to be painted. Dark, leafy greens are a perfect bed for protein sources (i.e. eggs, chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey,) complex carbs (sweet potatoes, quinoa, brown rice) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, cheese.) I always feel great when I make sure to eat a lot of veggies throughout the day, especially dark greens.
Obviously, this isn’t all that I eat or even all my favorites. Some other food favorites are quinoa, brown rice, fish, feta cheese, turkey, chicken, bananas, avocado, apples, oranges and more. This also doesn’t mean I don’t allow myself to eat treats (healthy or not) while I’m in training (currently, I’m preparing to train for my first marathon!). Actually, in reality, I usually eat something sweet almost every day. I like to keep healthy treats/desserts on hand, so that when my sweet tooth is craving something indulgent I grab something delicious and healthy. But, sometimes I want real ice cream or a freshly baked, ‘normal,’ chocolate chip cookie and you know what, I eat it and enjoy it.
Also, these foods are what I’ve found work for me and make me feel good. This doesn’t mean you have to eat exactly what I eat or that it is some ‘secret diet plan’ or a one size fits all thing. Everyone is different and we all have different bodies with different needs. We all need to eat a certain amount and have different caloric goals.
And that’s the beautiful thing.
That we are all different, with different needs, different goals, different tastes, and different favorites. The main thing is that food is good. Food fuels, makes us feel good, and actually helps you fight against disease. Let’s make sure we are eating food, food that is good for us, and enough of it! Let’s enjoy this life that God has given us instead of living in fear of food/weight/our pant size/the number on the scale/ blah, blah, blah. Let’s live and truly live.
MM’kay, excuse me as I get off my soap box. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend! Make sure to eat some greens and maybe some ice cream too. I know I will. 😉
Questions of the Day
- What is your favorite healthy food/snack?
- What are your weekend plans?
- How often do you eat dessert?