And fall favorites for runners
By Natalie Bickford, MS
The cool temps have slowly crept up on us and we couldn’t be more excited!! Who else is signed up for a fall marathon? It’s one of our favorite times of year to up the mileage and start some serious training. The leaves are changing colors, the air is cool and crisp, and some of our favorite produce starts popping up at the farmers markets!
Last year Shalane was the first American woman in 40 years to win the NYC Marathon (F&@# yeah!!). If you haven’t heard, she announced that she’ll be competing in NYC again this November! That means Shalane is in serious training mode right now and also focusing on fueling up with her favorite Run Fast. Eat Slow. and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. recipes (abbreviated RFES and RFCFES below). Now that fall is approaching we’re all about stocking up on local apples, sweet potatoes, soup ingredients and baking supplies…bring on the Pumpkin Spice Superhero Muffins! It just so happens that our favorite Fall foods are super nourishing for marathon training.
Favorite Fall Foods for Runners
Sweet potatoes are one of our favorite foods for packing in nutrients while also getting some good complex carbs. We’ve found ways to sneak them into lasagna, pizza (have you tried Amy’s Recovery Pizza?! Recipe in RFCFES), hummus, waffles, and cookies (Sweet Potato Breakfast Cookies in RFES)! We love that they are loaded with complex carbs, vitamin C, and potassium.
We love these little crucifers! Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family (think kale, cauliflower, broccoli), which are known for their strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Roast a couple trays of brussels sprouts and throw into Power Bowls (recipe in RFCFES), DIY Grain Salads (recipe in RFCFES) or enjoy as a side with Roasted Chicken (recipe in RFES) all week long.
It’s no secret that we love beets! We always find ways to sneak them into recipes. You can find them in our smoothies/smoothie bowls (gotta try the Rad Raspberry bowl! Recipe in RFCFES), hummus, muffins (Beet Molasses Superhero Muffins, yes please! recipe in RFCFES), and salads (just add arugula and goat cheese). These powerhouses are loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds and studies show they’re great for endurance!
This is our favorite fall squash because of its creamy texture and sweet, nutty flavor. Add it to grain salads, Power Bowls (recipe in RFCFES), frittata (recipe in RFCFES), or puree into a soup! They are antioxidant-rich and loaded with vitamin C to boost your immune system during cold season.
Nothing says fall a fresh picked, crisp, juicy apple! Throw them into smoothies (have you tried our Immune Boost Smoothie?! Find the recipe in RFCFES), smear them with nut butter, add to your morning oats (gotta try our Apple Pie Steelcut Oatmeal in RFCFES) or make an apple crisp (swap out apples for the berries in our Oregon Berry Crumble in RFES)! They contain natural sugars that are a great source of quick energy for runners. They’re also rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber.
Meal Plan Your Way to the Finish Line
We’re celebrating Shalane’s NYC Marathon training with this 1-week meal plan using some of her favorite fall-inspired recipes from both Run Fast. Eat Slow and Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.
Meal prepping and planning is key to having a nourishing week of meals and snacks. Setting aside just 2-3 hours to prep each week will set you up for success!
In this meal plan, you’ll be rotating between a few different breakfast and snack recipes all week long. Many dinners and lunches will be repurposed leftovers from the day before so you don’t have to constantly make new recipes every day. Use the meal plan as a guide and feel free to get creative or mix things up. If you’re cooking for a family, doubling favorite recipes is always recommended.
Meal Planning tips:
- Make big batches of freezable recipes to stash in your freezer (Bison Chili, Broccoli Chevre Soup, Marathon Bolognese, Superhero Muffins…). You’ll thank yourself later!
- Prep all the snacks ahead of time (Superhero Muffins, Chai Cashew Butter, Savory Pretzel Granola, Honey Cardamom Granola).
- Make a big batch of brown rice and store in the freezer for an easy base for leftovers and mid-week Power Bowls.
- Short on time in the AM? Grab a bag of Picky Performance Oatmeal (recipe developed by Elyse) in our Shop
Download the PDF:
Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Portland, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Find Natalie at nataliecooks.com.