healthy snack options

Nutrition for Base Training: Stocking Your Fridge/Pantry

By Caitlin Grams

When taking on something new, you will experience the greatest success if you come prepared. Take running, for example: without shoes or a mapped out running route, a great run would be near impossible. Cleaning up your diet is the same way - you have to come prepared in order to succeed. In order to kick off your base training properly fueled and energized for a successful training season, here are my top 3 tips: 


1. Clean it out. Get rid of anything that might tempt you to stray from a clean diet. Chips, candy, processed foods, ice cream, sodas (even diet sodas), high fat meat and dairy products - avoid most things in packages and with additives. Toss them out, bring them to a food bank, donate to friends - but get it out of your kitchen.


2. Restock. Head to a grocery store or better yet a farmer's market. Choose foods that don't come in a box and that are fresh and in season. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats are the building blocks of a healthy diet. Find healthier replacements for your old unhealthy favorites - make kale chips instead of regular potato chips, frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, sparkling water instead of soda.


3. Prepare! Chop vegetables for salads and snacks, grill or bake enough lean protein for the week, make a large batch of quinoa, black beans or brown rice, and roast vegetables. Pre-portion nuts and fruits for snacks. Keep healthy snacks and meals at the office or in your car so you are never tempted to stray from a clean diet. 


Now that your kitchen is clean and stocked, you are ready to take on your base training and start cooking up some Hot Bird Recipes!

On-the-Go Snack Ideas

Caitlin shares her favorite snack ideas to keep you satisfied and on track with your health goals!

I've always been a big snacker, so I've learned to keep healthy options around so that when I do snack, I have lots of filling, nutrient-dense choices to tide me over until my next meal. When picking a snack, I try to always include either a fruit or vegetable, a protein and a healthy fat. Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Before a Workout:
*A handful of nuts or trail mix - Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are my favorite nuts to keep around. I also like to make my own trail mix with a combination of nuts and dried fruit - just be sure to watch the serving size here because nuts are high in (good) fats.
*Fruit and nut butter - Apples or bananas and almond butter are my favorite combinations, especially before a workout. If I'm craving something sweet. I'll slice and apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon, and serve with a tablespoon or two of almond butter and chocolate chips! 
After a Workout:
*Greek yogurt is always a quick and healthy snack that's high in protein. My favorite is Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt with fresh berries. 
*A few slices of turkey and avocado are the perfect ratio of protein and healthy fats and very satisfying after a workout. 
*Chocolate Milk - one of my favorite after workout snacks. I drink Soy Chocolate Milk with added protein from Trader Joes. 
*Veggies and hummus - carrots, snap peas, celery, jicama - anything crunchy is my veggie of choice, and there are SO many hummus options out there. Anything spicy or the edamame hummus from Trader Joe's are my favorite store bought varieties, but as I discovered,  It's also incredibly easy to make your own
*Smoothie - Smoothies are one of my favorite snacks, and I add or subtract ingredients based on the time of day, pre or post workout, my mood...but generally there's almost always banana, frozen berries, almond milk and some kind of protein (either powder, almond butter, etc).