Diet and Recipes

I’ve been asked to write a few words on diet and include a few recipes which aid my running. I want to state from the get-go that I am by no means an expert on diet or an angel when it comes to sticking to my own rules. What I have below are a few things that over the years have worked for me, things that make choosing healthier food easier, some post and pre-race foods that I eat and my favourite recipe for porridge bars. So, with that disclaimer here we go…….

Over time I have found that healthy eating is all about planning ahead and not getting too bogged down by all the diet crazes out there. I like to keep it simple and stick to the rule of “eat less more often”. When I am in full training (40 to 50 miles per week) I have 6 meals/snacks each day Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday are less organised and structured than weekdays. For me, it’s important not to deny myself the odd takeaway or bag of chips now and again. I’m not a professional and you have to live a little too.

I believe simple eating is the best eating and knowing what simple foods to eat is a huge part of improving your overall health and wellbeing. I try not to complicate things. No fancy ingredients. My typical day of eating Monday to Friday consists of:

  • Porridge bar and Banana for breakfast @8am
  • A bowl of porridge, 2 boiled eggs, 2 slices of Black Pudding and a Kiwi for 2nd Breakfast @10:30am
  • Lunch @1:30pm consists of a carb such as pasta, rice or sweet potatoes, some greens and meat such as chicken. (Usually leftovers from the previous days dinner)
  • Almonds, raisins, an apple and a clementine for a snack @ 3:30pm
  • Dinner @6pm –Again some carbs, greens and meat.
  • Snack @9pm – Some scrambled egg.
  • Tea and a couple of biscuits/dark chocolate when relaxing in front of the telly.
  • Plenty of water during the day and the few cups of coffee

I don’t tend to eat anything heavy on race days. I won’t eat red meat around race time either as it will take that bit longer to break down. I will have a big bowl of pasta and chicken the evening before and a nice big bowl of porridge with raisins 4 hours before a race. I will take a sports gel in the hour before the race also.

Post-race I find it good to eat something within 20 minutes of finishing. My body is crying out for refuelling so I choose something that the body can breakdown fast such as a Nature Valley cereal bar and plenty of water. And of course tea, sandwiches and cakes J

All in all just keep it simple, don’t eat too much before a race and fuel your body as soon as you can after a race.

As mentioned above here is the recipe for making Porridge Bars. I find these easy to make and great to have as a snack or part of breakfast no. 1 in the car on the way to work:


  • ½ cup of peanut or almond butter
  • 6 cups of oats
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons of honey
  • 3 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 bag of almonds
  • 4 tablespoons of Chia Seeds
  • 1 bag of mixed berries
  • 5 scoops of vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place all dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix.

Add peanut butter, honey and almond milk and mix well. You want it sticky and not too wet.

Place mixture into a 9×9 square tin (or whatever you have) lined with tinfoil and flatten it out as much as you can. Really pack it together!

Place in the fridge overnight to firm up.

Remove from tin and cut into 20 pieces (or however many you want)

Wrap in cling film

Hey presto, you’re done. Take what you want for the week ahead and place in the fridge. Freeze the remainder and take out as needed.

If you want any more info on the above PM me. I also have recipes for Banana Porridge Bread and Sweet Potato, Chilli and Coconut Soup. Cook book will be coming out this Christmas. Watch out DervalJ

Happy running (and eating) everyone.


Article credit to Phil Carey