Tara Gidus

Always On The Run: Brown Bag Success Tips

As runners, we literally are always on the go. Trying to fit various workouts and long runs into an already jam-packed schedule leaves us pressed for time. Everything we eat and drink has a direct impact on our training, so we must focus on nutrition to keep us from zonking out due to improper fueling. Runners have unique nutritional needs, and with a little thought and planning ahead we can be well fueled by the foods we eat.

Have you ever found yourself scrambling out the door without your lunch? It's not uncommon for that to become a habit, and before you know it you're fueling with sub-optimal convenience food. Never fear! I've got you covered with my top 8 brown bag success tips to keep you fueled on the run.

Brown Bag Tips

  1. Pack ahead! Make your lunch for the next day before you go to bed at night. This way you can easily grab and go. Why not prep your breakfast while your at it, too?
  2. Bulk up. Cook and bake in bulk so that you have food already prepared when hunger strikes. Some of my favorite make-ahead meals are spaghetti, casseroles, soups, and grain salads. Leftovers are easy to throw into the lunch bucket for the next day.
  3. Balance it out. Aim to get something from each category: whole grain, lean protein, fruit and/or veggies, and low fat dairy.
  4. Stock up on snacks. Stay fueled throughout the day with snacks. Pack snack foods in your brown bag like nuts, bars, trail mix, popcorn, or dried fruit like California raisins.

  5. Popcorn Nuts Raisins
  6. Swap slow food for fast food. Put your slow cooker to use, and dinner will be ready for you when you get home. Pack up leftovers for lunch the next day.
  7. Mix it up! Let's face it, packing your lunch can get boring and unimaginative. Keep it exciting with different foods. Variety is key to obtain all the vitamins and minerals that your body needs, too!
  8. Freezer finds. Pack your freezer with ready-to-eat meals so you can quickly grab one and run out the door. Some of my favorites are Healthy Choice, Amy's Kitchen, and Kashi.
  9. Last resort. If you're really pressed for time in the morning or it's the end of the week and there isn't any more food in the pantry, stop by a supermarket for a deli sandwich with fruit or pick up a salad and hearty soup.

I hope you enjoy healthy eats with these brown-bag tips! What do you pack in your brown bag?

Questions or comments? Tweet me @DietDivaTara