TORONTO February 2nd 2015. Digital Champion Mike Van Mil took up running after hearing about all the achievements of his runner friends and the camaraderie of the running world. A year ago he set the goal of running the Walt Disney World Wine & Dine Half-Marathon and he hasn’t looked back since! When Mike’s not running, he works full and part time as a paramedic in the GTA. You can also find him at the hockey rink and dance studio cheering on my two children or enjoying family trips to Disney.

5 Quick and Healthy Post-Run Snacks. By Mike Van Mil.

I’m at the grocery store the other day and I see all these “snacks” marketed to people like me who are looking for a quick fix after a good, hard training run. First thing I do is flip over to the nutritional chart and I can’t believe what I see! Most of these things have more sugar than your average chocolate bar! I quickly put them back on the shelf and move on, but I’m still hungry! What do I do now to fill the post-run hunger gap? Bring on my wife! She is the one who keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to what fuel I put in my body and I really have to give her credit. She has found quite a few post-run snack options for this running couple that we can make at home. These snacks are quick to prepare, healthy, and use natural ingredients that you can easily find at your local grocery store.

Since they work for me, and are quite yummy, I thought I’d share with you my top 5 snacks that I turn to when I need a little boost:

Handful of Nuts#5 Handful of plain, unsalted nuts:

My favorite nut mix is called Yuppy mix. It has smarties included in it which I love but they do increase the sugar content so I try to limit how often I buy that kind. This mix is called Sierra Mix and I found it in my grocery stores bulk section. It has a great variety of nuts in it including raisins and dried cranberries for sweetness. It’s a great source of protein.

Empty the Fridge Shakes#4 ‘Empty the Fridge’ shake:

I really like these shakes because I can mix up the flavor and ingredients and clean out the fridge at the same time. The staples are 2 cups of frozen mixed berries, two large handfuls of spinach, 4 tablespoons of soft tofu (plain or flavored) and about a cup or more of unsweetened almond milk until you reach your desired consistency . I also like to add a spoon of chia, salba, or wheat germ. Then look in for fridge for things like cucumber, zucchini, cauliflower, etc and this is where you can really get creative and mix things up! I find I enjoy these more when I change ingredients so it’s a different shake all the time.

Veggie slices with hummus#3 Veggie slices with Hummus: 

This one is pretty self-explanatory. One thing I can suggest is to try and make your own hummus. There are lots of easy recipes out there like this one that you can make in 5 minutes or less. However, when time is sometimes of the essence, I will opt for the store bought kinds and chose different flavors. The hummus shown here is a garlic flavor.

 

apple slices with peanut butter#2 Apple slices with cinnamon dusted peanut butter: 

This is one of our favorites since it’s so quick and so yummy! Simply slice an apple or two, spoon out some peanut butter (preferably the natural stuff), then sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Presto! You can even switch it up by trying almond butter or cashew butter and experimenting with different spices on top like cocoa, nutmeg or ginger.

Peanut butter balls#1 Peanut butter balls:

This one is my all-time favorite. It requires a little more prep-time and works better when you prepare them ahead of time, but trust me, you won’t be able to stop eating them! There are lots of recipes for Peanut butter balls out there,  but these bad boys were made with 1 cup of oats, ½ cup of peanut butter (natural is better but any kind will work) 1 teaspoon of chis seeds, 1 teaspoon of flax meal, and 3 teaspoon of coconut flakes. The beauty of these is that you can really mix them up by adding more or less of one ingredient as well as trying new mix-ins depending on your supplies or tastes.

I hope you find these as yummy and useful as I have! This is just a small selection of the infinite amount of choices out there but these are my top 5. Good luck with your #TYS10K training and don’t’ forget to hit me up with your training progress! I’m always around for a #HighFive, word of encouragement or my personal experiences so don’t be afraid to contact me on Twitter or Instagram!