Winter Running (and Snacking)

It is around five o’clock in the morning when I tiptoe downstairs. I slip on Saucony shoes, wool socks, cotton gloves, Smartwool hat, facemask, a headlamp and I’m off. It’s dark outside. The cement sidewalk is not visible underneath the thick, crunchy layer of ice and snow. It is typically between 0 and 20 degrees, though if you live in the North, you know that with wind chill it feels like negative 10. So it’s really cold. Oddly, I am not one of those people that like cold. Ask Brady about my sleep socks sometime. But I don’t mind winter running. In fact, I love it.

It is quiet and peaceful on the path around Lake Harriet in South MPLS at this hour and this time of year. The bike paths are always plowed (even before our streets) after a snow – I love this about our city. And no matter how cold it is, or how early I go, there are always at least one set of tracks before me and at least a dozen ducks in the creek. So who can complain?

“Why not run on a treadmill?” It’s not the same. I have a “busy” mind, and I am unable to find the same serenity that I get outside when I am inside on a treadmill. I bring nothing with me when I run outside – no watch, no music, no phone. Like camping, winter running requires you to embrace the outdoor elements in a way that makes you feel alive, connected and present. I don’t make it out for a run every morning, but my mind is noticeably clearer on days that I do.

Fueling winter runs means having healthy and quick snacks on hand for in between meals. I’ve got a whole list of things that I rotate through – toast with peanut butter and crunchy sprouts, Cocoa & Coconut muesli with milk and a spoonful of peanut butter, a banana with peanut butter. There is a trend…

The following flourless peanut buttery bites are my latest concoction and just what I need between meals to keep my energy level up throughout the day. They are also work well as an on-the-go breakfast and after school snack for the boys. Enjoy!

Recipe: Peanut Buttery Muesli Bites

Makes 2 dozen

1 cup muesli (Cocoa & Coconut pictured above)

1 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 cup peanut butter (Add up to 2 Tbsp of coconut oil if your peanut butter is on the drier side)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Mix the egg, peanut butter, brown sugar and vanilla. Slowly mix in the muesli and baking soda. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Form the dough into balls (about 1.5 Tablespoons) and place onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool and store in a sealed container for up to a week.

 




Hannah Barnstable
Hannah Barnstable

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