I go to the grocery store at least five times a week. I’m not kidding. (Sidenote: This habit is definitely going to have to change once baby arrives.) I’m one of those people who loves the grocery store. I’ve been known to roam for hours when I’m bored on a Tuesday night, and I always volunteer to do the shopping for our family regardless of how busy my schedule is.
I’m attributing the frequency of these trips to my profession (got to be up on new products hitting the shelves!), the proximity of many amazing markets to our house, my at-home work schedule, and my hatred for wasting food. Oh yeah. I also wake up with a plan to make one thing for dinner and then change my mind five times before we sit down to eat. So going to the grocery store every other day just seems to make a lot more sense.
That being said, there are a few things you can always count on finding in our fridge.
We live off of the following items, and I believe there’s a reason for this. They not only taste good, but they’re filled with things that are good for us and fuel our active lifestyles. The combination makes our taste buds happy and our bodies feel good. Therefore, we eat. And repeat. Nearly. Every. Single. Day.
Here’s the list:
1) Organic Eggs
I believe eggs are one of the most perfect foods for runners. I love them for their versatility and convenience. Whip an egg into your porridge before a long weekend run. Replenish with a veggie-packed omelette postworkout. Or grab some hardboiled eggs between meals as a satisfying snack.
2) Organic Yoghurt
As female runners, we really need to pay attention to our dietary calcium. For me, yoghurt is an easy way to do that. In addition to calcium, yoghurt delivers live and active cultures, which are probiotics that promote gut health. I typically go for full or low fat (versus fat free) and like to stick primarily to plain, which lets you control sweetness and sugar levels. Avoid yoghurts with high sugar content. Plain yoghurt naturally contains eight to nine grams of sugar, so subtract that when looking at sugar amounts in flavoured yogurt to find how many grams of sugar have been added.
3) Nondairy Milks
Milk (in my opinion) is necessary for postrun smoothies and prerun cereal. However, a few years ago I stopped drinking cow’s milk and switched to almond. It was something about the idea of milk that I just couldn’t stomach any longer (even though i still love yoghurt) and I now much prefer the taste and consistency. Lately, I’ve been making my own and using hemp seeds over almonds to boost the protein content.
4) Leafy Greens
If I had to choose one thing to eat for the rest of my life, it would be leafy greens. I’m not kidding. I love the stuff! My top choices are a tie between arugula, lacinato kale and baby spinach, though I’m really not picky. Leafy greens are one of the most nutrient-dense foods, meaning per kilojoule they pack in the most vitamins and minerals. They are full of energy-boosting, cancer-fighting, cell-repairing properties and should be making their way into at least one meal of your diet per day.
While not as abundant in the winter (see: freezer), I typically have at least two to four varieties of fruit in my refrigerator at any given time. As runners, fruits deliver high levels of antioxidants, which help scavenge free radicals from the body. Fruit also has a high water content and naturally occurring electrolytes, great for postrun hydration as well as fibre, to keep our digestive systems happy.
The following foods also pretty much live in our fridge at all times and will benefit you as a runner. Probiotic: keeps the gut happy and healthy. Nut butter: to eat directly from the jar as a snack or to add to smoothies, cereals, shakes and more. Chopped veggies: for snacking and cooking. Tofu: for quick and easy protein. And hot sauce: because everything tastes better with a little spice.
What foods can you not live without?