One of the things runners in particular seem to struggle with is what to eat that’s going to keep you full for any length of time. Truly, this can be an issue, particularly if you run and then go to work and don’t have the flexibility of eating whatever whenever.
Every runner is different in the eating department. Some hit the trail without eating anything; some eat just a banana; some do something light about an hour before a long run.
Me? I’m in the one hour department. Since I have energy issues to begin with, I am not interested in compounding it by not fueling as well as I could. I’m also kinda picky.
Generally speaking, I am a creature of habit. For years (and I do mean years, literally), my breakfast consisted of cottage cheese and pineapple. Good protein; not a lot of carbs. In some worlds, this is non-ideal pre-run fare. But regardless, it seemed to work well for me until I started increasing my mileage again.
What was fine for 5 miles no longer seems to do me much good at 8+. The hunt was on.
And so too, the struggle with gluten compounded, because it’s not like you can just eat a bagel and call it good.
Yes, I could go the cream of rice route- I’ve heard a rumor that I can find it at a local grocery store. I’ve never seen it there before, but will have to look the next time I’m there. No one else in town seems to know what this is, and so I’ve been resigned to thinking I had to ask my parents to bring me some when they come from Michigan next week. (I may still do that if I can’t find any by then…..)
I could do grits. I actually do like grits, but usually like a little bit of sugar in it. So that’s out for every day eating. I’m also not one who wants to cook anything in the morning and have to take time making something hot. I’m usually too hot as it is anyhow, so warming up from the inside just to go running and get even hotter is not appealing to me.
See what I mean about being picky?
A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a thread on the Runner’s World forums about the issue of being starving after running- what would be good and solid, not interfere with running, and yet, tide you over? The “solution” was overnight oats.
Now, if you’ve been researching gluten and all the stuff it’s in, you’ve probably learned this tidbit of information: while oats don’t have gluten in them, they are usually processed in facilities that have other grains, and therefore, may have trace amounts of gluten ON them.
If I had Celiac disease, this would be a big deal. I would make sure that the oats I got came certified “gluten-free.” (and really, I’m not doing very well in the gluten-free department anyhow, since I allow myself to cheat a little so long as my pain level is not real high and I’m functioning reasonably well; but I do try to eliminate it as much as I can)
Cheerios, for example, made with whole grain oats- are not gluten-free. AND! One of the ingredients is wheat starch. Definitely NOT gluten-free, although there are people who have been told they are ok to eat.
Did I mention that I love Cheerios? *sigh*
But- just plain oats don’t have anything else in it. While there is a chance to have some gluten cross-contamination, because I only have a sensitivity, I feel like it’s safe enough until I can find a source for reasonably priced certified gluten-free oats. I may be playing with fire, but so far, it’s been ok.
The original recipe I got was this:
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup almond milk
about 1/2 oz chopped walnuts
1/2 cup lowfat greek yogurt – (I used vanilla )
few dashes of cinnamon
about an ounce of dried cranberries
Ok, so I tried this with a few alterations. I used regular whole milk instead of the almond milk; I used regular yogurt instead of Greek yogurt, and I didn’t put any cinnamon in it.While I don’t mind eating just nuts, I don’t like nuts in pretty much anything, so I left them out. I do like mixing it up the night before so all I have to do in the morning is open the fridge, grab my spoon and get to it.
A few days in, I came to realize that I didn’t particularly like to chew my oatmeal. I generally do not like food in my food, although I can change my mindset if I have to tackle some Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But then, I can pick out the chunks and eat just those, so it’s all good. So now, in addition to no nuts in there, the cranberries are also out.
After another few days, I got bored with the vanilla. Don’t ask me why, because I’m still not sure.
I thought I would take a risk and try strawberry yogurt, even though it has some strawberry bits in it. So far, the bits aren’t bugging me because they are soft enough not to have to chew.
I have not, however, determined whether or not this combo gives me a good boost of energy like traditional carbs. I am leaning towards a “no,” but think I need to try it longer to really know one way or another. I am still looking for pre-race eats that will give me a boost of energy; I’m thinking maybe I should try some peanut butter in there with plain yogurt. Not sure on this combo, but I’ll let you know if I try it.
Any gluten-free runners out there who have favorite pre-race or other pre-run breakfast food favorites? Tell me what you’re eating!
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