Stephanie Bruce breaks down what daily meal choices look like for an elite athlete.
A question from @runwhereyoulike: How do you fuel for all those miles of training? What’s a typical day of food consumption?
Bacon. Lots and lots of bacon.
When I first received this question on Twitter, I answered back with the above bacon response. Although most might find that funny, there is some truth to it. As a distance runner who runs typically 80-90 miles a week for my normal training regimen, it’s very important to be fueled properly. I have never been one to count my calories or limit myself to any particular food, aside from those I’m allergic to due to being celiac. Food should be viewed as fuel and fun when you’re training. No one food can better your performance, but not eating the right amount can make performance suffer.
My rules of thumb to keep your metabolism going and to efficiently burn your fuel: Eat first thing in the morning, don’t go longer than 3 hours without eating, have a snack before bed and don’t try to make up for a poor day of eating. Just let that day go and focus on today. I am aware of my general consumption— roughly 2,500-3,500 calories a day based on my training demands. How this breaks down in one day might look something like this:
Cup of water to rehydrate after a night’s sleep
Picky Bar with almond/peanut butter and jelly smothered on top, or bowl of homemade cereal (cornflakes, rice puffs, almond, walnuts, raisins, honey, almond butter, sunflower seeds and maple syrup). I make this cereal since I can’t eat many commercial granola mixes.
Banana with nut butter (Aim to eat within 30 minutes of finishing.)
3 to 4 corn tortillas with refried black beans, bacon, lots of avocado, salsa and breakfast potatoes
Glass of orange or apple juice, or a fruit and coconut yogurt smoothie. (I usually snack on some tortilla chips while I’m cooking.)
Leftover anything (like chicken curry with veggies and rice)
Coffee shop outing: iced almond milk mocha or latte (I might have 2-3 a week) with a homemade treat (banana bread, cupcake or another Picky Bar)
Chips and guacamole
Protein smoothie (almond butter, banana, almond milk, protein powder)
Bowl of cereal
Hummus and veggies/chips
Burger with no bun, topped with grilled mushrooms and onion/avocado. (This is a Bruce household staple.) We eat burgers 2-3 times a week. Red meat is very important to eat while living and training at altitude.
Sweet potato fries and veggies
Chicken Curry: chicken sausages or chicken breasts with bell peppers, mushrooms, carrots, onion, broccoli, coconut milk and curry paste over white rice
Beef tostados: corn tortillas fried and baked in the oven, topped with ground beef, bell peppers, black beans, corn, avocado, salsa + salad
Glass of white wine with most dinners (although not during pregnancy)
Stove popped popcorn or mixed nuts
Bowl of cereal
Dark Chocolate (every night) with sea salt and almond or Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups with almond milk
Coconut Bliss Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream Bar