My "Rules" for Intuitive Eating as a Runner

Since I started intuitive eating back in April, I’ve had some “rules” (more like guidelines) for my eating habits. These help me focus on my athletic performance and remind me what helps me feel best throughout the day. I thought it would be interesting to share these with all of you since I’m sure many of you have found these things also help you perform better!

Start the day with water

The first thing I drink in the morning is not coffee (but that comes as a quick second drink). Instead, the first thing I drink is two glasses of water! Besides the fact that hot coffee isn’t the greatest thing to take vitamins with, drinking two glasses of water helps me get a dent in my 100+ oz water goal each day.

I’ve been doing this for a couple of years so it’s become second nature to pour myself a glass, drink and refill while I’m making breakfast each morning. Now it throws me off when I travel and don’t have my water to drink right away!



This is one thing I’m still struggling with, finding the balance between having treats and not feeling guilty. I normally do pretty good since I use my post-workout smoothie/protein cake as my treat for the day (by adding in peanut butter, coconut flakes or chocolate chips). But where I'm still struggling is with treats in the office and the mental aspect of eating things that when I was counting macros, I “couldn’t” eat because it didn’t fit in.

So now I’m working on not feeling guilty if I have some but not having so much that I don’t eat the more nutritionally dense foods I’ve brought in.


I recently did a whole post about what I eat before I workout and why. It really comes down to how hard I’m working out, what kind of workout I’m doing and when it is. But I feel like it’s taken a lot of trial and error (plus moving into intuitive eating) to make me aware of what fuels my performances the best.


I used to be on the “I must have a ton of protein after every workout” bandwagon. But now I’m feeling that, when it comes to my workouts and my body, that it’s more important for me to get carbs in after a run than anything else. If I’ve had an easy run day, I might not even eat right away because my body didn’t burn that many calories.

I still do try to get in a balanced snack/meal (depending on what kind of workout I’ve done and what time of day it is) within 60-90 minutes of working out. But that normally ends up being my usual dinner or lunch time anyways because of when I’m working out. So I usually end up either cooking a meal (and having a protein treat later) or having a more calorie dense smoothie or smoothie bowl for my meal (aka adding in the peanut butter or coconut flakes in).


Vegetables used to be the hardest thing for me to get in. I love vegetables but i just never made much of an effort to actually eat them. So when I started intuitive eating, I made one of my goals to increase the amount of vegetables I was eating in a day. And now I find myself reaching for vegetables to add in more than anything else (that’s not peanut butter...sorry not sorry). At a minimum, I have one serving at lunch, dinner and any protein smoothies I’m having and my morning oatmeal usually has a fruit or vegetable in it.


This is the one thing I’ve keep a pretty consistent guideline from my macro counting days into my intuitive eating days is keeping the majority of my drinking to after my long run and only having one or two drinks. I just don't’ feel at my best when I do a hard workout the day after having a couple of drinks and I don’t sleep as great when I do have a drink. Of course, this guideline was also partially because i had more room for the “empty” calories of alcohol but the way drinking makes me feel while working out is still the same. Plus, a nice glass of beer or wine taste extra nice after a long run!

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Pumpkin Flaxseed Muffin: My New Favorite Fall Treat!

Since I’m not training for a fall marathon, I’ve been loving baking and experimenting with new recipes. And, of course, I had to create a pumpkin muffin recipe with one of my new favorite things: flaxseeds. These muffins come together so quickly and are perfect to eat before a workout!

Pumpkin Flaxseed Muffins

Makes a dozen muffins


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  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce

  • ½ cup honey

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée

  • ¼ cup milk of choice

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

  • ½ teaspoon ginger

  • 1 ¼ ups whole wheat flour

  • ½ cup ground flaxseeds

  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. If you use muffin liners in your pan, I would suggest greasing them (which I made the mistake of not doing, they stuck to the wrapper a little but not horribly)

  2. In a large bowl, beat the applesauce and  honey together with a whisk. Add the eggs, and beat well. Mix in the pumpkin purée and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt, and spices.

  3. Add the flour, flaxseed and oats to the bowl and mix until combined. If you’d like to add any additional mix-ins, like nuts, chocolate or dried fruit, fold them in now.

  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. For these muffins, it’s ok to fill the cups a little higher than you normally would. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats, followed by a sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake muffins for 22 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

  5. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. These muffins are delicate until they cool down but mine came out easily from the pan once cooled.

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My Favorite Add-Ins for Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls

Now that we are in summer, I’ve found myself eating more and more smoothies and smoothie bowls. Which means I’m trying find ways to keep them tasting different so I don’t get sick of something that tastes so good when it is hot outside. Today I’m sharing my list of add-ins for smoothies and smoothie bowls to help you mix up your flavors!



  • Different protein powder flavors (currently stocking vanilla and chocolate)

  • Frozen fruit mixes (I love using tropical fruit and mixed berries)

  • Bananas (either frozen and mixed in or chopped on top of a smoothie bowl)

  • Frozen spinach or kale

  • Coconut flakes

  • Mini chocolate chips

  • Ground flaxseeds

  • Peanut butter powder

If you are looking for some smoothie or smoothie bowl recipes, I have my basic chocolate smoothie bowl recipe and three quick smoothies I have enjoyed. What are your favorite add-ins? Share them in the comments!

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