Healthy homemade running snacks

Last week we (as a household) finally took the leap and bought a food processor – mainly so we could make our own delicious and nutritious pre-&-post running snacks.

We were all super excited and since Cata was off work from a wisdom tooth surgery, she wizzed up two very delicious treats!

Vegan PB & cranberry Energy Bars

First up we made these vegan peanut butter and cranberry bars. Super easy and quick to make with only natural ingredients, these bad boys not only tasted amazing, they also gave us energy were also pretty filling.

>> GET THE RECIPE HERE

peanutbutter-and-chocolate-chop-balls

Then we made these fantastic peanut butter chocolate chip cookie dough bites that were my personal favourites! They are small and packed with loads of healthy goodness and they work well before and after you exercise, as well as with a cup of coffee!

>> GET THE RECIPE HERE

Not sure what other kinds of healthy homemade snacks we might try out in the coming few weeks of training, but I can definitely guarantee investing in a food processor to do these sort of healthy snacks, even if you’re not training!

It basically gives you more control over what you put in your body – and I have to say that I personally think our bars tasted much nicer than any sort of shop bought bars that are usually filled with loads of crappy ingredients you don’t need.

Warm sweet potato, quinoa & kale salad
Serves 3-4

I basically combined and altered a few recipes to make this salad – and in my humble opinion it ended up being one of the most delicious warm (and cold leftover!) salads I have ever made.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 200g quinoa
  • 400ml water
  • 1 knorr chicken stockpot
  • 200g kale
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 100g feta cheese
  • 3 shallot onion
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

 

Salad before the shallots & the mixing

My salad before I mixed in the shallots

 

METHOD

  1. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Wash the sweet potatoes and chop them up into 1cmx1cm cubes (no need to peel them).
  2. Add them to a baking tray and cover with a decent amount of olive oil, salt & pepper – then put the tray on the top shelf in the oven.<
  3. Weigh out 200g of quinoa and rinse/clean it well. Put the rinsed quinoa into a saucepan, add the chicken stock pot then add 400ml of cold water and bring to boil. Once it has boiled for 5 minutes turn down the heat and let it cook on a medium/low heat.
  4. Thinly slice the shallot onions into small rings. Put the thin rings in a small bowl, salt it really well and add enough balsamic vinegar to the small bowl to more or less cover the shallots. Give them a bit of a stir and just leave them to soak.
  5. Take a big saucepan or wok and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to it. Slightly hit up the oil in the wok then add 2 large cloves of crushed garlic. Let the oil take some of the garlic juices (20 seconds – don’t burn the garlic!) then quickly add the kale and stir it so it gets covered with the hot garlic oil.
  6. When all the kale is covered in the oil add a splash of warm water to the pan and stir fry the kale for about 5 minutes. When done take it off the hob.
  7. Take the quinoa off the hob when it tastes ready (should be soft – usually takes around 20-25 minutes) and put it to the side as well.
  8. Check on the sweet potatoes in the oven and take them out when they are to your own liking. I like them with a bit of colour so I usually take them out after about 30-35 minutes.
  9. Add the kale, then the quinoa, then the sweet potatoes in a big heat proof salad bowl and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes.
  10. Chop up the feta and when the potatoes have cooled down a little, add them to the bowl.
  11. Last but not least, add your bowl of pickled shallots to the salad and mix well. Then it is ready to serve.

This salad can be eaten on its own or with some protein. It is super nice as a next day leftover dish and I can recommend adding some baby spinach and rocket to it when it is cold, topped with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning.

Building on last weeks new found confidence I felt much stronger and overall much better during my week 4 runs.

training week 4 - 1

Tuesday saw my return to Run Dem Crew – and despite being the slowest runner at the session, I had a fantastic time with my small but mighty “hardcore hares” group :) We banked around 4.5 miles in total, running from Shoreditch to the Tate Modern, via my favourite bridge to run over at night time – Millenium Bridge.

training week 4 - 2

On Wednesday I set out to run for food (quite literally!) as I ran up from Wapping to Haggerston to celebrate Food&Lycra‘s 1st year anniversary. The girls threw one helluva party and on my way home I stopped by the launch party of Like The Wind Magazine – a new non-profit running magazine that presents a collection of stories about running, from the track, trail and road.

training week 4 - 3

The weather has been absolutely mental the last few weeks and on Thursday I went out in the torrential rain to do 3 miles. Not very nice if Im honest,  but I managed to do another 3 miles without stopping so I felt pretty pleased with myself. (although you can’t really tell in the picture!)

training week 4 - 4

On Saturday morning Cata convinced me to go and swim with her. I was a bit reluctant as I haven’t really been swimming in public pools since my younger days when I trained 7 days a week & competed.

Im so thankful that she dragged my sorry ass with her though because it felt great to be back in the water after more than 12 years! It really helped to energise and revitalise my legs after an intense couple of weeks with a painful left shin and calf and I’m thinking of going 2 days a week starting March.

training week 4 - 5

I had 9 miles scheduled for my long run on Sunday and since Cata had been such a great help the previous weeks in keeping a steady pace, I decided to join her once again as she did a steady 7 miles from her marathon plan, with 2 miles at the end on my own.

The first 2 miles felt pretty shit. The wind was strong and it kept blowing away the clouds, letting the sun shine through.

Usually I love the sunshine, but wearing a black thermal running jacket, I thought I would collapse of heat stroke whilst running around Peckham common.

Once the sun went away I felt much better, and we managed to do a decent 5 miles at a very consistent pace – despite the wind almost blowing us off the road a few times!

The last 2 miles on my own were much harder. I decided to try a gel at 7 miles to see how I would react to it, and of course my stomach rejected it straight away and I thought I would shhhh myself.

Not a nice feeling and I had a little sob when I had around 0.5 miles left.

But I managed to hold myself (thankfully!) and I was surprised how relatively good I felt when I was done.

Fingers crossed this good feeling continues as I add on more miles to my training this week!

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 5

MON: REST – Done
TUE: Strength training & 3 miles – Done, but I ran 6 miles
WED: 5 miles – Done but  I ran 3 miles
THU: Strength training & 3 miles – Done without strength training
FRI: REST – Done
SAT: Swimming – Done
SUN: 10 miles – Done