Marathon Nutrition: What I’m Cooking (and Eating a Ton of) Right Now

This summer, I’ve spent the better portion of my free time running. As I prep for 2 marathons in 2 different countries in 2 weeks (more to come on that later), I’ve had a ferocious appetite — which I’ve tamed by having 4-5 smaller meals throughout the day. I aim to include complex carbs, a serious amount of veggies and a healthy dose of heart-friendly fat (think avocados, olive oil or omega 3s from salmon or chia/ground flax seeds) at each meal.

I’ve shared many of my go-to favorites with runners here in the Chicago area during a number of marathon nutrition classes held at Mariano’s throughout the city . Since these recipes seem to be quite the hit, I thought I’d share them here. Hope you enjoy!!

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

A really great ‘healthy’ indulgence. I love this as an alternative to ice cream and when I’m craving something chocolate.

New Picture (2)Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado (the riper, the better)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I like Fairlife to get an extra dose of protein)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth/creamy. Transfer to a bowl or custard cups and chill for 20 min before serving. Eat within 2-3 days. Makes about 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 166 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 52 mg sodium, 31g carbohydrate, 5g fiber, 3g protein (if using Fairlife – regular milk has about 2g protein/1/4 cup)

Black Bean Burgers

Made with just 6 ingredients – these are great, high carb, high fiber burger alternatives to have on hand for a quick lunch or dinner. I like to top mine with sliced avocado, red onion and a slice of tomato.

New Picture (1)Ingredients:

  • 1, 15-oz can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/3 cup oats


  1. Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until combined/beans are mostly pureed.
  2. Divide ingredients into patties. Makes about 4 large or 8 slider sized.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 7 minutes on each side or freeze for baking at another time. You can also cook in a sauté pan for a couple minutes on each side.

Nutrition Facts per Serving: 180 calories, 5g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 290 mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 10g protein

Carrot Pecan Energy Bites

Great for a quick boost of energy before or immediately following a workout. I’ll grab a couple of these before I head out for a longer workout so I don’t spend the entire workout focused on my growling stomach. Also a nice option post workout when you don’t have time to cook a full meal right away.

New PictureIngredients:

  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/3 cup almond butter
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4 cup ground pecans


  1. Blend together in a food processor: oats, pecans, cherries, grated carrots, and flax seed.
  2. Pulse in the almond butter, agave or honey, and cinnamon until combined.
  3. Spray hands with cooking spray and roll mixture into balls – about 1 Tbsp/bite.
  4. Role bites in ground pecans then place in air tight container. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Bites keep in the refrigerator for about 1 week. Makes about 20-30 bites.

Nutrition Facts per Bite: 50 calories, 3g total fat, 0.3g saturated fat, 3 mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 1g protein