Need another reason to love Trader Joe's? This blog is the second post of a two-part series that showcases foods runners can purchase from Trader Joe’s to help fuel their performance (click HERE to see part 1). Today’s focus is "pantry staples,” or food runners can stock up on to create nourishing and tasty meals.
Let's start off with dry goods...
A tasty way to upgrade traditional overnight oats. Muesli is a flavorful combination of oats, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. It's an easy way to help runners enjoy fiber-rich carbohydrates in the morning. Tip: We recommend combining 1 part muesli with 1 part yogurt, 1 part milk, and 1 Tbsp of chia or flax seeds (optional). Refrigerate overnight in the fridge, then enjoy the next morning for a quick and nutritious breakfast.
We love Trader Joe’s selection of nut butter, especially their peanut butter! The simple ingredient list (just peanuts and sometimes salt) paired with a low price (less than $2/jar) makes it the perfect way to enjoy healthy fats and a little bit of protein. What’s your favorite way to enjoy peanut butter: crunchy or smooth?
Pumpkin seeds are rich in many nutrients, including magnesium, which is of particular importance to runners. This mineral helps with many functions in the body including energy production, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, and more. Magnesium deficiency is common among athletes, especially young females. Runners may need more magnesium because it can be lost via sweat during exercise. ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds provides 190 mg of magnesium, which is over half the daily recommended amount for women (310-320 mg). Tip: Mix them into salads, sprinkle them on top of oatmeal, or enjoy in a homemade trail mix.
Canned salmon is a convenient, shelf-stable, and affordable way to help meet your omega-3 needs. Salmon is rich in EPA and DHA, two omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce inflammation, support a healthy brain, heart, and immune system, among other benefits. The American Heart Association recommends that adults aim for at least 2 servings of fatty fish per week to help meet their needs. Runners who meet their omega-3 needs can help reduce inflammation caused by exercise and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness. Tip: we recommend combining canned salmon with mashed avocado and everything but the bagel seasoning.
These packets are a lifesaver when you’re short on time but want to whip up a nourishing meal. Simply throw them in a pot of boiling water for 10 minutes, drain, and voilà: you have a fiber and protein-rich starch. Tip: Farro is delicious when served Mediterranean-style with chickpeas, feta, cucumbers, tzatziki/hummus, and fresh lemon. Barley can be used in pilafs, soups, and risotto.
Potatoes are an excellent carbohydrate source for athletes. When enjoyed with the skin on, they are a nutrient-dense starch rich in vitamins and minerals like potassium and vitamin C. Some runners even enjoy salted potatoes on the run for easily digestible carbs and electrolytes. Tip: We love any variety (russet, sweet, red, purple) roasted with a little bit of olive oil and seasonings.
These nut-butter based protein bars are a great way to meet energy and nutrient needs while on the go. More reminiscent of decadent cookie dough than a protein bar, they're nutritious and delicious. Tip: We recommend keeping a bar in your purse, backpack, or gym bag for when you’re in a pinch (just pay attention to the 7-day shelf life unrefrigerated). Go Macro bars are a tasty alternative for plant-based runners.
Let's move onto the refrigerator/freezer...
One of the easiest and tastiest post-workout beverages to enjoy, chocolate milk provides carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes to help your body replenish its energy stores and recover.
If you haven’t tried this extra creamy Icelandic cultured dairy product, you’re truly missing out. Similar to yogurt, it can be enjoyed by the spoonful or mixed into smoothies and baked goods. The best part is that it is an amazing source of many nutrients, including protein. Traditional yogurt has about 6 grams of protein, while Trader Joe’s Skr has a whopping 15-16 grams!
Frozen fruit is just as nutritious as fresh fruit, and it can last in your freezer for months. Rich in carbohydrates, antioxidants, and fiber, it’s the perfect addition to smoothies, pancakes, and oatmeal. Tip: we love the very cherry blend and acai packets.
What items will you pick up on your next Trader Joe's run? Share your haul on social media and tag us @clubheldie + use the hashtags #clubheldie and #fuelheldie.
Keep running strong with the Club Heldie app! Created with the help of registered dietitians, running coaches, and personal trainers, this app exists to help female runners of all capabilities and backgrounds achieve their biggest goals. Click HERE to learn more.
1. Volpe, Stella Lucia PhD, RD, LDN, FACSM Magnesium and the Athlete, Current Sports Medicine Reports: July/August 2015 - Volume 14 - Issue 4 - p 279-283 doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000178