Healthy Side Dishes for Runners

I suck at meal planning, and I will also admit that I am learning how to cook, which is a double-whammy! So, I need to try my best to prepare well balanced meals, so I can perform my best out on the roads and trails.

Nutrition is my first defense against injury, fatigue and weight gain when it comes to running. I am always searching for new ways to give my body the best nutrients, so I can run farther with more sustainable energy, and have shorter time for recovery. So, here are some healthy side dishes that will take your dinner, and performance, to the next level!

Healthy Side Dishes for Runners

Healthy Side Dishes for Runners

The good thing about these healthy side dishes is that they will help you feel less desire to snack on unhealthy sweets by priming your brain to not over-respond when you actually do eat sugary stuff –just a little side note. So without further-ado, here are some amazingly simple, yet super healthy side dishes that will optimize your dinner.

Kale is literally featured on every cleanse/detox menu these days because it’s one of the worlds most nutrient-dense foods in the world. This is why I love this spice kale and quinoa black bean salad.

There’s nothing like a side of quinoa, especially if you are a vegetarian, that’s why I love making this Californai quinoa salad. I also love this apple quinoa salad too –it literally takes 10 minutes to make and is a crowd pleaser!

Mushrooms are great blood-sugar stabilizers, and there’s no better way to eat them as avocado stuffed mushrooms.

What something with a kick? You’ll love these cauliflower buffalo wings!

Filled with nutrition and sweetness, these sweet potato fries is a simple way to throw a side dish together.

One thing I didn’t know about carrots, is that they keep you regular. Nuts are also jam-packed with zinc, magnesium and healthy plant fats that boosts dopamine (the feel good hormone) in the brain. Why not pair nuts with carrots for a winning combination? This is why I love to make this delicious carrot pecan salad as much as I can. Here’s another way to give your carrots a makeover, with these carrot veggie puffs.

Spinach is loaded with vitamin K, which helps strengthen your blood vessels, allowing more repairative proteins in the blood to the muscles. A great way to ramp up your vitamin K levels with this super easy 15-minute sauteed salad.

Here’s another way to boost your kale intake with this amazing warm quinoa, sweet potato, kale salad, which is full of hunger-fighting protein that will keep you full for hours.

Quinoa is a game-changer for recovery, and what I love about quinoa, is the endless ways it can be prepared. Here are 19 easy, healthy ways to add quinoa to your main course.

You can also boost your protein intake with this plant-based cauliflower, egg salad, which is not only a filling-feast on its own, it offers a hefty dose of anti-angers, the omega-3 fatty acids. It’s vegan and gluten-free too!

A great way to stay energized is with pecans, and this apple, cranberry, spinach salad with pecans is a great way to get a surge in mental and physical energy.

I love egg salad, but in my opinion, it only tastes great in tons of mayo! Luckily, replacing the mayo with avocado’s is even better from a taste, and a health perspective, so be sure to try this brain-nourishing omega-3-fatty avocado egg salad.

Carrot heaven! This honey maple roasted carrot side-dish adds a little healthy sweetness to your supper.

I love a big, juicy burger….with a big side of greasy fries! Luckily, the nice thing about avocado’s is that you can turn them into fries. This baked avocado fries recipe will satisfy the glutton in you! Baked potatoes are also another healthy alternative to regular french fries. I also love to pair spinach and baked potatoes with this sweet potatoes noodle spinach recipe.

More Tips on Running:

How to Land Properly On Your Feet

Best Shoes for Running

When Should You Stretch?

How Runners Get Injured

Bretta Riches

"I believe the forefoot strike is the engine of endurance running..."

BSc Neurobiology; MSc Biomechanics candidate, ultra minimalist runner & founder of RunForefoot. I was a heel striker, always injured. I was inspired by the great Tirunesh Dibaba to try forefoot running. Now, I'm injury free. This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.
Bretta Riches

P.S. Don't forget to check out the Run Forefoot Facebook Page, it's a terrific place to ask questions about forefoot running, barefoot running and injury. I'm always happy to help!