Wednesday, 24 December 2014

FUEL FOR THOUGHT: Post exercise breakfast

My most important meal of the day is breakfast and I think that goes for pretty much all runners. I have a few friends who can easily skip this meal, which leaves me baffled. By the time I arrive at the office from my cycling commute, I'm so hungry and I can't wait to get to my desk to eat my bowl of porridge (or cereal in the warmer months).

At the weekends, I tend to carry out my bigger training sessions, such as longer runs and bike rides. Aiming to head out early(ish) morning, by the time I get home around 10.30/11am, all I can think about is food. This is where I make a bit more effort and make a breakfast that is fulfilling, rewarding and a great source of energy to refuel my body after a tough workout. 

Poached eggs on toast
This is my savoury go-to that is packed full of protein and is a nice toasty warm meal that goes down super well after a cold winters run. 

Now, I must admit I am crap at poaching eggs. We have those rubbery round moulds that we crack the egg into and then float on water to poach. I'm very good at over boiling the water which then floods the moulds and gets the eggs all soggy. So, I normally opt for this breakfast when my fiancé is home - he's a pro at making the perfect poached egg!

I tend to have two eggs with two slices of spelt toast. I then season with salt and pepper and a generous amount of tomato ketchup (the important finishing touch). The humble egg has a rich nutritional value. The whites of an egg hold a valuable amount of protein, as well as zinc and iron. They also are low calorie and low cholesterol. These benefits are a great source of fuel to re-energise tired muscles and I do definitely feel perkier after this full and satisfying dish.

Banana & cinnamon pancakes
OK - this is more of a 'treat' breakfast. When I know I have been good in the week leading up to the weekend and I have had a particularly tough session, I opt for this super sweet brekkie. By all means, these aren't pancakes lathered in chocolate sauce, sugar and ice cream. I do take into account some nutritional value.

First of all, I make the batter myself which is made using spelt flour. As you know by now spelt is the only way forward for me as I find it lighter and far easier to digest. I also add in a sprinkle of cinnamon which carries health benefits such as aiding colds and controlling blood sugar levels. It gives the batter a sweet kick and is an instant seasoning.

The mix makes around six pancakes so I tend to make this when I have someone to share with. When the pancake is made, I fill it with banana and drizzle a small amount of honey before rolling it up to eat. High in fibre and potassium, bananas are a common source of energy post exercise. They help aid muscle cramps and sustain blood sugar levels. 

Fruit, granola and yoghurt 
More a choice of breakfast during the summer months, mixing fruit and granola with low fat yoghurt is a extremely quick dish to whip up and is surprisingly very filling.

When I make this, I chop and prepare an apple, banana, clementine and grapes. This I will then mix with a low-sugar shop bought granola (although sometimes I do make my own which you find the recipe for HERE). Finally, the finishing touch is normally with Onken Fat Free Strawberry Yoghurt. This particular option carries less calories than its competitors. Here in this picture though, I have chosen a natural greek yoghurt. 

I am a total fruit bat and I find myself eating this almost every weekend during Summer. It's incredibly refreshing and curbs any sweet craving that may develop later in the day, which is an added bonus!

These three are definitely my top breakfast picks. Like I said, these are what I prepare after heavier/intense training sessions where I can feel my body has worked at maximum effort and is in need of some hearty refuelling!

What are your favourite post exercise meals?

Lipstick Runner. 

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