July 12, 2012

Training Staples Part II

This post was written by Andrea...
Back last October, we posted a few of our Training Staples. Here is Part II with more of our food favorites that, as Jake would say, fuel the engine. We definitely do not have the perfect diet, but we make sure to get enough of the important nutrients to stay strong and be ready for the rigors of training hard. Obviously, running lots and lots of miles leaves plenty of room for our obsessiveness with ice cream and a little candy (although, we could probably still do a little better).

With summertime comes Jake's season of salads - any type of meat with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, cilantro, guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and cheese... basically whatever we have around or is on sale at the supermarket. Jake can eat this every day, and oftentimes does. I can only handle a salad about once a week (unless it's Cafe Rio which I could have everyday).

One of our signature dishes that we can never have enough of is meatloaf. We love meatloaf and can make a simple healthy version (especially with the spinach sneak-in). Here is the recipe:

2 lb lean ground beef or turkey
2 eggs beaten
1 1/2 c bread crumbs
3/4 c ketchup
1/2 c warm water
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1/2 c chopped spinach

Combine first seven ingredients thoroughly. Put into loaf pan and bake for one hour at 350 degrees. If you want to make it super-healthy, use egg beaters instead of real eggs, and add in a couple more cups of chopped onions and peppers.

Green beans and peas have always been my favorite vegetables. We get the large bags and cook them all at once, so we have plenty of healthy leftovers around throughout the week. I put an onion in the green beans and cook them for a while to give them good flavor. Neither are quite as good as back home in TN with pork fat and butter, but this way is definitely not bad!

One of my favorite new discoveries is Morning Star Sausage. With only 80 calories per patty and 10 grams of protein, these are an awesome way to start the day. I have been eating two right after running in the mornings before I have time to eat breakfast. We get the huge box of them at Costco.

In terms of snacks, turkey and swiss cheese is a favorite. This snack is a great way to get in some more protein. Protein is so important when you are running a lot and training hard. Jake and I have both seen a huge benefit with increasing our intake.

Dried fruit is hard to beat. I have a huge obsession with dried mangos - I will get a 30 oz bag and eat it within 3 days! I have no willpower so I have to be careful about buying it too much. Dried pineapples and strawberries are also delicious.

In the previous post about Training Staples, we gave up carbonated drinks for a while. It lasted for a while, but the diet drinks have slowly emerged back into our lives. We don't feel too bad about it, considering there's no research showing negative effects of these drinks (except for the cost). Jake made a new concoction of Diet Mtn Dew with Emergen-C that is actually quite tasty!

When I got my blood tested a few months ago, one problem found is that my Vitamin D levels were quite low - which can make you more prone to stress fractures. I immediately got a supplement and some Calcium/Vitamin D Chews. I also try to get outside (without sunscreen) for 10-15 minutes to reap the benefits of sunshine. Obviously, we are outside more than 10-15 minutes per day :-)

What are some of you favorite awesome and healthy foods?

Essentials! :-)


  1. I have the same problem with dried fruit or trail mix of any kind....it says there are 4-5 servings in the bag but I just like to eat the whole bag. :) I have been on a huge salad kick lately but mine are about 5 times the size of the picture you posted. I'm not even sure its considered healthy when you add cheese, croutons, and ranch but it sure taste good. :)

    1. Well actually the STUNNING photo I took of one of my salads the other night is still on the camera at home, so Andrea just grabbed that wimpy salad pic off google

  2. I eat tons of cereal, peanut butter and corn chips. I also have an obsession with salt water taffy when I am logging a lot of miles. I guess sugar cravings must come with the territory?

    1. Oh yeah - I eat way too much sugar. But something has to fuel the 140 mile weeks! :-)

  3. I will have to try adding spinach in my turkey meatloaf. I already add in onions and peppers. I would recommend you add in diced carrots too--they make it even tastier!

    I always have some trail mix in my desk at work--I particularly like almonds with dried cranberries.

    I will have to try those Morningstar Sausages too! I am working through a bag of Jimmy Dean turkey sausages but I am not that into them.