Runners are notorious for going out on empty — myself included. Hey, it’s whatever works for you. We’re also notorious for gorging on everything in sight post run (some days all day long) because we “deserve” it. Yes, you ran, and while your run has credited you deserving of a lot of things (like new running tights for those legs that are firming up) it’s not a pumpkin roll or cheesy bacon hash browns… Great. Now you’re thinking how good that sounds! But focus! You cannot look hot in new tights when you gorge on cheesy bacon hash browns!
BUT we must refuel! So Early Risers, listen up!
The Breakfast Skipper Breakfast literally means to “break the fast”. You’ve fasted all night. Your brain has used up quite a bit of energy dreaming about this and that. It’s time to top things off. The longer you wait to eat, the slower your metabolism becomes, oftentimes leading to weight gain. This means your body is going to hold on to as much as possible and burn as little as possible. So, while your metabolism is fired up, feed it. This will keep it fired up and burning calories longer and more efficiently.
The Fast Breakfast Sausage Egg and Cheese burrito. Bacon and Egg sandwich. Frappuccinos. Poptarts. Toaster Strudels. Breakfast Pockets. If it can be grabbed and gone, it’s in your hand. Now, put it back. I won’t even bore you with the details of the garbage chemicals in those things. Instead, let me just say it takes me about 3 minutes to make my egg and mozzarella sandwich. What’s your excuse?!
The Egg Hater You read right. I eat an egg every. single. morning. for breakfast. With [gasp] cheese! And it’s delicious. I enjoy every single bite. Yum. Delicious. No regret. I also have fruit. And usually some milk. I’ve hit my dairy, my meat, my whole grains (because you know I’m not giving in to white bread!), and my fruit. In less than 5 minutes. Healthy eyes, healthy skin, healthy hair, COMPLETE protein, the list goes on and on. The American Heart Association has even deemed eggs healthy enough to eat regularly. Several large-scale studies have shown no correlation between heart attack and stroke. So, quit being old school! (But obviously still consult with your doctor!)
Fiber Fighter Stop fighting. You won’t win. Put down your pride. Eat the beans and bran and broccoli. Your body will thank you. Now, be wise and don’t pop a FiberOne bar before your run (or at all because they’re full of garbage ingredients anyway). Everything seems to be fortified with fiber so it is becoming easier to squeeze into your likely low fiber diet. When you’ve got the choice, choose items that are higher in soluble fiber instead of insoluble fiber. I’m sure you’ve heard that fiber helps keep you full longer and keep your weight down (woohoo!!), but it has also been proven to lower your cholesterol (and scientifically and by way of how the body has to physically handle fiber, it does). Along with a healthier heart, you can have a healthier colon! Plus, a crappy colon (no pun intended) makes for a crappy run (eh… take that one how you want ;) ).
So, the breakfast takeaway?
Breakfast helps you to stay: thinner, healthy, regular, and not like the norm. Like the quote from the Generation Y Halloween classic, Halloweentown, “Being normal is VASTLY overrated!” You already run, so be different and eat breakfast, too!
And when I don’t feel like having my egg sandwich, this is my other favorite go to from my favorite cookbook, Cook Yourself Sexy by Candice Kumai.
Pumpkin Spice Granola
1/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. slivered almonds (I use crushed pecans)
1/3 c. pumpkin seeds
1/4 c. whole flaxseed
1/3 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1 t. sea salt
2 T vegetable oil
1/3 c. dried cranberries (I used Paradise Meadow Premium Dried Cranberries. Less sugar, added fiber)
1/3 c. dried cherries (I subbed more craisins)
1. Preheat oven to 325*F. Line baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except dried fruit.
3. Spread mixture evenly on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir mixture and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until crispy.
4. Once granola has cooled, stir in dried fruit.