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  • Writer's pictureAaron Adams

Recipes for before a training session



Here are some recipe ideas to get you thinking about what to eat before your training sessions.


Banana Oatmeal


Oatmeal is a low GI carbohydrate that provides a slow and steady release of energy so you can make it through your entire training session. It is also high in fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and regulate blood sugar levels. Adding banana or other sugary fruits provides a great boost of quick energy. Bananas in particular are a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates and also contain potassium, which can help prevent muscle cramps during exercise. Adding nuts instead of or in addition to fruit can provide additional carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats that will allow you to sustain a long run or bike ride.


1 ripe banana, mashed

1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free if desired)

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1 scoop of your preferred protein powder (vanilla or banana flavor works well)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Toppings of your choice: mashed banana, nuts, seeds, berries, etc.

  • In a saucepan, combine the mashed banana, rolled oats, almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.

  • Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  • Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the oats are cooked and the mixture thickens.

  • Remove the saucepan from heat and let it cool slightly.

  • Add the protein powder to the oatmeal mixture and stir until well combined.

  • Transfer the banana oatmeal to a bowl and top with your preferred toppings, such as sliced banana, nuts, seeds, or berries.

  • Enjoy your protein-rich low glycemic index banana oatmeal!

Note: The protein powder can vary in taste and texture based on the brand and type you use. Follow the instructions on the protein powder package regarding the amount to use for one serving.


Remember, it's important to choose a protein powder that fits your dietary needs and preferences. If you have any specific dietary restrictions or allergies, make sure to select a protein powder that aligns with them. Additionally, be mindful of the portion sizes to ensure it fits within your overall nutritional goals.



Spiced Sweet Potato and Ground Turkey Skillet


Sweet potatoes are a low to moderate GI carbohydrate that are rich in complex carbohydrates and also contain vitamins and minerals that can support muscle function and recovery. They’re loaded with simple sugars that will allow for quick bursts of energy (hello cleans).


2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes

1 pound ground turkey

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)

Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)

Olive oil for cooking

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan over medium heat.

  • Add the diced sweet potatoes to the skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Remove the sweet potatoes from the skillet and set them aside.

  • In the same skillet, add a little more olive oil if needed, then add the ground turkey. Cook the turkey until it's browned and cooked through, breaking it up into smaller pieces with a spoon or spatula.

  • Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced red bell pepper to the skillet. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften.

  • Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper (if using), salt, and pepper to the skillet. Stir well to coat the turkey and vegetables with the spices.

  • Return the sautéed sweet potatoes to the skillet and mix everything together.

  • Reduce the heat to low and cover the skillet. Let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the flavors meld together and the sweet potatoes are fully cooked and tender.

  • Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

  • Serve the spiced sweet potato and ground turkey skillet hot, garnished with freshly chopped cilantro.

This flavorful dish combines the sweetness of the sweet potatoes with the savory spices and ground turkey. It can be enjoyed as a main dish on its own or served with a side salad or steamed vegetables. Feel free to adjust the spices and seasonings according to your taste preferences.



Low-Fat Brown Rice Bowl


Brown rice is a low GI carbohydrate that provides a slow and steady release of energy. It’s also a good source of fiber and essential minerals. This will give you the quick energy needed to attack your workout, but will last long enough to sustain the intensity of a lifting session


For the Brown Rice Bowl:


1 cup cooked brown rice

1 cup steamed or stir-fried vegetables (such as broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, snap peas, or bok choy)

1/2 cup firm tofu, cubed

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 teaspoon sesame oil

3 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

2 clove garlic, minced

1 green onion, sliced (for garnish)

Sesame seeds (for garnish)


For the Sauce:


2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, grated ginger, and minced garlic to make a marinade.

  • Place the tofu cubes in the marinade and let them marinate for at least 15 minutes.

  • Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated tofu cubes and cook for about 5-7 minutes until they are golden brown and crispy on all sides. Set aside.

  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce: low-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, grated ginger, and sesame oil. Set aside.

  • In a serving bowl, assemble the brown rice, steamed or stir-fried vegetables, and crispy tofu.

  • Drizzle the sauce over the bowl ingredients.

  • Garnish with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

  • Serve the brown rice bowl immediately and enjoy!

You can customize this recipe by using your favorite vegetables or adding additional protein sources like grilled chicken, shrimp, or edamame. Feel free to adjust the seasonings and sauce according to your taste preference.



Adult PB&J


This provides a good combination of complex carbohydrates and protein, which can provide a sustained source of energy and also support muscle growth and recovery. Peanut butter’s fat content makes its use for endurance ideal.


2 slices of Sour Dough bread

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (no added sugar or hydrogenated oils)

2 tablespoons chia seed jam (recipe below)

Sliced fresh strawberries or bananas

Optional: a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of cinnamon for added flavor


Chia Seed Jam:


1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup (adjust to taste)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)


Instructions for Chia Seed Jam:

  • In a saucepan, combine the berries, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, and lemon juice (if using).

  • Cook the mixture over medium heat, mashing the berries with a fork or spoon until they break down and the mixture thickens.

  • Continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently until the desired jam consistency is reached.

  • Remove the saucepan from heat and let the chia seed jam cool. It will further thicken as it cools.

  • Transfer the jam to a jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

Instructions for Upgraded Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich:

  • Toast the slices of bread.

  • Spread one slice of bread with the natural peanut butter.

  • Spread the other slice of bread with the chia seed jam.

  • Layer the sliced fresh strawberries or bananas on top of one side of the sandwich.

Optional: Drizzle a small amount of honey or sprinkle cinnamon over the fruit for added sweetness and flavor.


Bring both sides of the sandwich together and press gently to combine.

Enjoy your upgraded peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a delicious and energy-sustaining snack before or after your runs.


This upgraded version of a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich adds chia seed jam, which provides additional fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, enhancing the nutritional value of the sandwich. The use of whole grain bread further boosts the fiber and nutrient content. The fresh fruit adds natural sweetness and extra vitamins and minerals. Feel free to customize the sandwich with your favorite nut butter, fruits, or additional toppings based on your preferences.



Date Energy Bars


Energy bars or gels are specifically designed to provide a source of carbohydrates and electrolytes to fuel endurance exercise. Look for options that contain simple sugars, complex carbohydrates, and electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. This will give you a quick boost mid run and allow that boost to be sustained throughout the rest of the training session.


1 cup pitted dates

1 cup nuts of your choice (such as almonds, cashews, or walnuts)

1/2 cup dried fruit (such as raisins, cranberries, or apricots)

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

2 tablespoons nut butter (such as almond butter or peanut butter)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

  • In a food processor, combine the dates, nuts, dried fruit, shredded coconut, chia seeds, honey or maple syrup, nut butter, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.

  • Process the mixture until the ingredients are finely chopped and start to come together into a sticky dough-like consistency.

  • Line a square or rectangular baking dish with parchment paper.

  • Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and press it down firmly and evenly to create a compact layer.

  • Place the baking dish in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm up.

  • Once chilled and firm, remove the mixture from the baking dish and cut it into bars or squares of your desired size.

  • Store the energy bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

These homemade energy bars are packed with natural sugars from the dates and dried fruit, complex carbohydrates from the nuts and chia seeds, and healthy fats from the nuts and nut butter. They can be enjoyed as a pre-workout snack or as a convenient on-the-go fuel during your long runs.


Feel free to customize the recipe by adding other ingredients such as cocoa powder, spices (such as cinnamon or nutmeg), or even a scoop of protein powder to boost the protein content. Just make sure to adjust the quantities accordingly to maintain the desired consistency of the mixture.



Tropical Island Breakfast Smoothie


A smoothie with fruit and yogurt can provide a good combination of carbohydrates and protein, as well as additional nutrients such as antioxidants and calcium. Consuming this in a blended form already does some of the digestion for you, giving your body extra space to digest food faster and thus, deliver more energy quickly.


1 ripe banana

1/2 cup chopped pineapple (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup chopped mango (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup coconut milk (canned or carton)

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon shredded coconut

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional: a squeeze of fresh lime juice for a tangy twist

Ice cubes (optional, if using fresh fruits)

  • Place all the ingredients in a blender.

  • Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy. If the consistency is too thick, you can add more almond milk or coconut milk until desired consistency is reached.

  • Taste and adjust the sweetness by adding a bit of honey, maple syrup, or another natural sweetener if desired.

  • If using fresh fruits, you can add a few ice cubes to the blender to make the smoothie chilled.

  • Once blended to your liking, pour the smoothie into a glass.

  • Optional: Garnish with a sprinkle of shredded coconut or a slice of fresh pineapple.

Enjoy your refreshing island-inspired breakfast smoothie!


This tropical smoothie is not only delicious but also provides a good balance of carbohydrates from the fruits, healthy fats from the coconut milk and shredded coconut, and fiber from the chia seeds. It's a great way to start your day with a taste of the tropics.


Feel free to customize the smoothie by adding a handful of spinach or kale for some added greens, or incorporating other tropical fruits like papaya or guava. Adjust the sweetness and consistency according to your taste preferences.



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