On Your Mark, Get Set, EAT!

An Illinois-native, Dawn Jackson Blatner is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. Dawn is the nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs, a food and nutrition blogger with Huffington Post, and a nutrition expert on the advisory board of SHAPE Magazine. She is the author of two books: The Flexitarian Diet, ranked a top plant-based diet by US News & World Report, and The Superfood Swap, coming out at the end of 2016. Dawn recently starred in and won the hit primetime ABC television show My Diet Is Better Than Yours.  Connect with Dawn on her website DawnJacksonBlatner.com.

I am so excited to be working with Warrior Dash! I have put together 3 awesome nutrition tips and some quick recipe ideas to help you get the most out of your training.

 Top 3 Nutrition Tips for Your Next Dash

1) Flavored Water

During your training for Warrior Dash, it’s important to stay well hydrated. The water rule of thumb: Women need 9 cups (72 ounces) and men need 12.5 cups (100 ounces) of water daily. When you drink the recommended amount of water you’ll likely have less fatigue, fewer headaches, and less soreness after exercise. Nice.

Having trouble getting in all the water you need? Flavor it! You’ll automatically drink more water when it tastes great! Fill a pitcher with water and float fruits, veggies, and herbs in it…this will naturally infuse refreshing flavor. Here are some of my favorite combos:

– watermelon + lime
– raspberry + lemon
– cucumber + mint
– strawberry + basil
– peach + jalapeño


2) Practice Breakfast

A big rule in race nutrition: Eat your usual breakfast before the event, don’t try anything new. So start practicing the breakfast you’ll eat the morning of your Dash.
Here are 5 quick breakfasts you can start practicing NOW:

Creamsicle Smoothie: Blend 1 container (5 ounce) vanilla Greek yogurt + 1 peeled orange + a handful of ice. Extra credit: Add a handful of spinach!

Carrot Cake Oatmeal: Stir 1/4 cup shredded carrots into 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal. Top w/ 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons raisins, and a sprinkle of nutmeg.

Adult PB&J: Spread 1.5 tablespoons of natural almond butter on a slice of sprouted whole grain toast. Top with 1/2 cup thinly sliced strawberries.

Protein Plate: Eat 1 hard-boiled egg, 1/2 cup grapes, 1-ounce cheddar cheese, and 7 whole grain crackers.

Avocado Toast: Smash 1/4 avocado on 1 slice sprouted whole grain toast and top with sunflower seeds, sliced tomato, and sprinkle of sea salt and pepper.


3) Skip “Carb-Loading”

You may have heard that eating a big pasta meal the night before a race will help your performance. That’s a bad idea! A big meal can weigh you down and make you feel sluggish in the morning. Instead, have a balanced meal that makes you feel healthy, fit and fast! Here are a few examples:

Burrito Bowl: black beans + brown rice + fajita veggies, romaine lettuce, salsa, guacamole

Classic BBQ: BBQ chicken + corn-on-the-cob + cut veggies with ranch dressing

All-American: steak + sweet potato wedges + garden salad w/ vinaigrette

Best of luck in your training  and most of all…have FUN at your next Warrior Dash!