Guest Post: Winter Fuel: How to Maintain a Healthy Diet Whilst Training

Hi folks,

I have a guest post for you today about fuelling running in the winter time. So, enjoy:

When winter comes around, we can all be forgiven for wanting to put on our sweats and cosy up with comforting food. I’m particularly partial to something of the gravy description. However, it’s just as, if not more, important to maintain the right nutrition whilst running in the colder months.

The weather outside may be frightful, but your diet can still be delightful. Follow these few simple food tips to ensure you stay on top of your winter diet, and even if you don’t run, the healthy snacks will still be of benefit.

Be sure that you’re buying ethically sourced and organic foods. If you have a local health shop then great – if not, companies like Traidcraft have a lot of Fairtrade foods perfect for winter stockpiling.

The first thing I’ve done is buy in a few bags of Fairtrade Almonds. Almonds, are an excellent source of vitamin E which is a powerful antioxidant and runners are advised to eat a small handful about five times a week. They also make for a great baking ingredient and work wonders in a brownie mix; however, I’m trying to eat them more on their own as a power snack than as part of a gooey treat.

Another classic runners’ best friend is the whole-grain as it serves as an easily digestible carbohydrate, rich in fibre and vitamin B. Trying sticking to whole-grain pasta, cereal and bread rather than cheaper, sugar-laden white versions.

Make sure you’re getting your recommended daily balance of fresh fruit and veg. I understand in winter it might be more tempting to go for roast potatoes, but try replacing it with sweet potato mashed together with carrots and toasted cumin seeds. Very comforting but packed full of vitamins. To make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin C, always have fresh oranges and frozen mixed berries for an energy boosting smoothie.

Now, we all deserve a treat, and whilst I in no way intend to give up baking this winter, I’m going to try to use and eat more dark chocolate rather than milk. Dark chocolate has cholesterol lowering properties, as well as an ability to help prevent blood clots, so is an all-round healthier alternative. 

I totally agree with eating sweet potatoes- I think they are such a lovely comfort food and make the most amazing soup as well as lovely baked potatoes. And big points for the dark chocolate too- I much prefer it anyway and baking with it makes things much more intense, so you are satisfied with a smaller amount.

What sort of foods do you enjoy at this time of year? How do you make sure you still get your 5+ a day? I love things like veggie chilli, or soups, and they are all packed with vegetables.

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6 thoughts on “Guest Post: Winter Fuel: How to Maintain a Healthy Diet Whilst Training”

  1. OOOH I can pack them in over winter … I made a veg soup today with leftover veggies and it was DIVINE.
    – half a left over butternut, a marrow & a pack of carrots that were about to be thrown out, 1 litre chic stock + 2 teaspoons of curry powder in the slow cooker overnight. Blitzed in the morning and added a heaped tsp of Crème fraîche = HEAVEN

  2. I’m all about the veggies over Winter. I love plates full of veg, topped with gravy. Yum! I shall definitely be working on some soup and casserole recipes over the next couple of weeks ready for the Winter.

    1. I have been having salads for lunch, but today it is much colder- think I might have to swap to something warmer for next week!

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