What a Nutrition Coach Eats Before A Run {Guest Post}

I’m super excited to share a special guest post today from my friend, Johanna.

Johanna and I met at the Healthy Living Summit in 2012. It was the most bizarre way of meeting. At breakfast, my friend Cheryl and I were waiting for almond milk to be brought out from the kitchen. Another woman (Johanna) was as well. We got to talking and what do you know – we’re all from New Hampshire!

We lost touch after that up until about a month ago. It turns out we have a couple of friends in common. We recently got together to chat about running, fitness, becoming a health coach (for me) and of course, food.

She’s sharing a great recipe right now!

It’s 5:15am and my Sleep Cycle iphone app is starting to chirp with the sounds of a Humpback Whale.

Rise and shine Johanna. The day awaits you.

The sun is peeking through the windows, inviting me outside to give me a big warm hug. After the winter we’ve had here in New Hampshire, I sure could use it.  The birds are holding a grand ol’ orchestra just by my window, making me want to lace up my sneaks, fill my lungs with fresh air and crank out some miles.

(Don’t you love that feeling? The pull to be outside and running?)

But before I lace up the sneaks, one thing MUST happen.

BREAKFAST. Oh my am I hungry and ready to refuel. I peek over at my pooch, Prince. He’s in his bed, making all sorts of funny noises, dreaming of chasing rabbits I’m sure. Phew, I can sneak into the kitchen without any distractions and get right to eating.

As a runner who works out in the morning (otherwise it would just not happen) I struggled for years about how to navigate the I’m-hungry-but-about-to-go-run-but-oh-so-hungry situation every single morning. I would wake up ready to eat, not necessarily starving, but ready for breakfast. Yet, I could never eat and run. And I sure as hell didn’t have the time to eat something and then wait 2-3 hours before run. HA! As if. So I’d grab a banana and pray that it would last me on my 4, 5 or 6 mile run.

Now with my constant half marathon training schedule, breakfast has become an even more essential part of my day (Didn’t realize it could become even more essential than it was!)  There’s no way that I can train and run 30+ miles a week, all in the morning, without  a proper breakfast. (In fact, now I need second breakfast. But that’s a different post for a different time.)

If I don’t eat breakfast, I’m struggling to catch up on my energy levels all day. Believe me, existing in state of low blood sugar is NOT a pretty sight. Low blood sugar leaves me with less patience, zero creativity to indulge into for my work and I’m stuck wearing my cranky-pants all day. The worst part about not eating breakfast? I don’t really like myself the rest of the day.

What to do what to do?

One day, about 18 months ago, I discovered the pot at the end of the rainbow. No, lucky charms did NOT become my go-to breakfast option but quinoa did.

Hello quinoa porridge.

There are four and only four reasons why I love this breakfast dish

  • It takes two minutes to prepare before it goes into my belly
  • It delivers carbs, protein and healthy fats, keeping the low sugar monsters and cranky hangry headaches at bay
  • It keeps me satiated till lunch (on both rest and run days)
  • Clean up is easy


Quinoa Power Porridge Bowl
Couple tablespoons of cooked quinoa
Splash of almond milk (or any non-dairy milk here will do)
Drizzle of maple syrup (to taste. You can choose agave nectar or nothing if you want)
Blueberries/raspberries/apple (Pick a fruit of your choice.)
Toppings (This is all to your preference!)
Unsweetened Shredded Coconut flakes
Chia seeds
Flax seeds
Hemp seeds
Sunflower seeds

Now when the morning calls me, I can hear it loud and clear. And more importantly, I’m ready to answer the call.


Johanna Voss is a nutrition coach for runners. She’ll get you on the straight and narrow about what you should be eating to have an optimal race day AND training experience. Visit her at her digital home, www.johannavoss.com to join her newsletter and learn more about how chia seeds, green smoothies  and veggies should be part of your diet.

20 comments on “What a Nutrition Coach Eats Before A Run {Guest Post}

    1. I really wasn’t thrilled with HLS the year I went. Maybe it was because a lot of the bloggers there weren’t ones that I followed. The information sessions were very informative though.

  1. Oh yes, I’ve struggled with this question in the past, when I go through (one of my many) morning-workout phase. Figuring out what works for me takes so a good amount trial-and-error. This recipe looks fabulous, and definitely provides good-quality fuel. Thanks!

  2. So, can you really eat this and then go right out to run?
    I’ve always been one to run on an empty stomach and would be terrified to try this before running.
    I do like the simplicity of the dish, though!
    Kim recently posted..Sometimes Sore Is Good…My Profile

    1. Truthfully, I run on an empty stomach during the week. I don’t have the time to eat beforehand and I’ve learned that my stomach is much happier empty while running. I do think it would be a great fuel for after running too!

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