As you grow your distance and time running or walking, you’re going to start rummaging around for healthy snacks.
Since you’re not running half-marathons for fun, you won’t have the same refueling needs as athletes and you might actually like to lose weight at the same time, so what you choose to snack on has a big impact on your overall goals as a beginner runner..
These are 10 yummy combos that are under 300 calories (what you’ll typically burn in half an hour of jogging), are plant based, will satisfy your hunger and bring together the important nutrients together so you can break free of the ‘just one more piece of toast trap’.
2 Tablespoons of Pics Peanut butter + Apple = Less than 200 calories
Apples are good for runners. They’ll give enough natural sugar to give you that energy lift but it comes with the fibre and water that fills you up.
Peanut Butter is a good source of protein and heart-healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat. Bonus that contains vitamin E to help with muscle recovery after a workout. There is some evidence to suggest that there might even be some additional benefits for heart health.
Combo = Boom! Tasty, nutritious and balanced.
PS: There is an art in buying peanut butter…Buy the real stuff. Not the stuffed crammed with sugar, salt and other preservatives you don’t want on a regular basis.
Beware: Peanut butter is deliciously addictive.
1 raw carrot + plain Hummus = Less than 200 calories
I like to simply pull a fresh raw carrot out of the fridge, pull out a punnet of hummus, dip it in…and no, I’m not afraid of double dipping 😉
Hummus actually has a fair amount of protein for a vegetable product (it’s mainly chickpeas). It’s also full of fibre which is good for your health and digestive system.
Carrots a good source of beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin K, potassium, antioxidants. They’re actually 88% water so can help you rehydrate quickly too.
What’s not to love about this combo and if it saves you from reaching out for another unnecessary muesli bar, then all the better.
10 raw almonds + 1/4 cup greek yogurt = Less than 200 calories
I like a greek or natural yogurt. There are fewer ingredients and still tastes really good. I stay well away from sugar-filled, flavoured yogurts which are unnecessary when greek yogurt is already delicious with whole fruit or almonds mixed in.
Almonds are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and have beneficial effects on blood sugar control. They’ve got a good amount of Vitamin E and Magnesium too.
Buy the almonds with the brown skin on them if you want more of the natural antioxidants in the nut. Antioxidants help protect your cells from damage.
1/2 a kumara + 2 tbsp of cottage cheese = Less than 200 calories
I actually try to have some mashed kumara in the fridge so I can eat something nourishing a filling when I need it. These are a good source of vitamin C, D, magnesium (useful for a lot of reactions in the body including converting food to energy, creating new proteins, repair DNA, helping movement and helping regulate the nervous system.
Cottage cheese adds the extra flavour and protein. Might need a little salt, pepper and oregano on top for flavour.
1/8 cup of peanuts + 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds = Less than 200 calories
Peanuts are actually nut imposters…they’re legumes (the difference is that peanuts come in pods and sprout vs nuts that are a single seed). But these peanuts are relatively low in carbs but higher in healthy fats and protein which help you satisfy your hunger. But watch out, they’re also moreish so put the packet away before you eat them.
Why Pumpkin seeds? When nutritionists talk about foods that provide “complete proteins”, they’re saying that the food has all the essential amino acids to make the protein. Peanuts are missing out in the amino acid L-methionine, but pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds can “complete” this shortfall. 50g of peanuts and pumpkin seeds can provide over half the daily recommended amount of magnesium (good for moving and recovery).
They also just happen to taste good together
3/4 cup of rolled oats + 1 kiwifruit = Less than 200 calories
Oats have a lot of fibre, protein and vitamins. They are also are a “low calorie” food. It’s only 130 calories per cup and since you add a cup of water when heating it up – you’ll find it surprisingly filling and rehydrating.
I’d add some kiwifruit to it. Kiwifruit are also high in fibre, vitamin C (more than in an orange) potassium and low in calories. You hear that bananas are high in potassium too but there are more calories in 1 banana than in 3 kiwifruit and kiwifruit (are made in Kiwiland
3 cups of air popped popcorn + 1 tablespoon of cinnamon = Less than 200 calories
Popcorn is often branded as unhealthy…it can be when it’s covered in butter, oil, sugar or whatever freakish flavour some of the big brands add to the mix. But go back to the origins of popcorn and you’re onto a winner, especially if you’re looking to lose weight by reducing calories.
What do you need – how about a small brown paper bag, some popcorn kernels and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 2-3 minutes in the microwave?
Corn kernels are 14.5% fibre…which is really high. It means that you’re more likely to feel satisfied. It does need a little extra taste, so sprinkle some cinnamon and/or salt on top.
Cinnamon has a lot of good things about it. Firstly, it’s got a delicious taste to it. It’s loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties (ideal after a run).
Try one of these healthy snacks this week and experiment with what works best for you.
It’s easy to get carried away with your portion size when you’re hungry after a run which is why it’s generally better if you can prepare your snack before you leave the house.
It takes you the same amount of effort but the timing is much more helpful.
Experiment with the snacks that work for you until you can eat nutritious, tasty, healthy snacks without having to use up your willpower.
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