Eating Well


It doesn’t matter whether you’re a half-marathon runner, triathlete or simply a newbie getting ready for your first 10km race – if you’re an endurance athlete, your body is no stranger to the strain of working out for long stretches of time.

Proper nutrition is perhaps the most essential ingredient when it comes to keeping your body going, getting you through your workouts and ensuring that you recover properly.

That’s why, in this week’s blog, we give you our top 5 nutritional tips to help you keep optimal energy levels and ensure peak performance during your endurance training journey.

Is there a magic diet for endurance training?

There is no specific “endurance diet” for athletes looking to build stamina and better their performance. However, there are some basic guidelines that health and wellness professionals tend to recommend for those building up to compete or participate in upcoming races or long-distance events.

Nutrition for endurance is all about experimenting with a range of meals and eating plans to see what works best for your body and what combination of foods will help you reach your peak athletic performance. At the end of the day, whether you are an elite athlete or a weekend warrior, it all comes down to fueling your body properly so that you can truly perform at your best.

5 game-changing nutrition tips for endurance athletes

1. Eat carb-centered

We’ve all heard of carb-loading, and while we wouldn’t recommend scarfing down a whole bowl of pasta pre-race, fueling your body with high-quality, carbohydrate-rich foods such as wholegrains, healthy fruits and hearty vegetables is a great way to fuel your body for more intense exercise. 

A high-carb diet will enable your body to absorb workouts with less stress and allow your body to better support the high volume of glucose needed for this level of physical exertion during training.

So, exactly how many carbohydrates should you be eating as you gear up for an upcoming month of exercise and get ready to put your stamina to the test?

Typically, endurance athletes report that the total amount of carbohydrates in their diet account for 60% to 80% of their total calories, but the recommended intake of carbs in any athlete’s diet can differ depending on the type and duration of training. In general, a good rule of thumb is to increase your carbohydrate consumption to make up 70% of your total daily calories

2. Eat quality food 

The bottom line is that what we eat matters, and the role it plays in our performance is undeniable. It’s easy to eat well when preparing for a race, but the trick is to keep your body fueled and healthy during training and off-time too. 

While most elite endurance athletes can and do eat everything, they don’t eat equal amounts of everything. Instead, dedicated athletes tend to focus heavily on high-quality foods and eat low-quality foods in moderation only – since high-quality foods tend to be more nutrient dense, richer in vitamins, and contain more beneficial antioxidants.

In general, your meal preparation should focus on diet diversity, with a variety of fruit, vegetables and whole grains as the centerpiece of every meal and only a moderate amount of unsaturated fats, meat and dairy. The idea is to get more overall nutrition from fewer calories which, in turn, will allow you to maximize your performance while still maintaining a healthy weight.

3. Eat as an individual 

No two athletes are the same, and whether you’re a newbie athlete or a more experienced individual, learning how to listen to your body is essential when it comes to getting  ready for an upcoming week of intense training.

Try to pay attention to what changes occur in your body and the difference in your energy levels when you eat a specific food or consume more of a particular food group. Different athletes tend to benefit from different diets, so it’s important to adjust your meals accordingly. You might find that cutting dairy out of your diet reduces bloating, while another athlete may choose to limit their red meat intake to increase both their energy and their focus. 

Learning to listen to your body’s reactions to food can do much more than just help you lose weight. It can also help replenish energy quicker after training, build and repair tissue better, maintain an ideal body weight and boost your immune function.

4. Replenish electrolytes with healthy food

Replacing electrolytes is an instrumental part of endurance sports training – especially when training sessions exceed an hour per session or when training conditions are particularly hot or humid.

Consuming foods with a lot of electrolytes is essential for basic cell and muscle functioning, and an electrolyte imbalance could cause some pretty serious symptoms such as dehydration, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, cramping, and overall fatigue.

So, how electrolytes do you actually need?

Athletes can require anywhere from 100 to 2,500 milligrams of sodium per hour, but every athlete’s particular sodium needs depend on individual factors such as how much sodium their body is putting into sweat (aka their “sweat rate”). 

Electrolyte supplements, drinks and foods that contain a good amount of sodium should be a key part of every athletes training regime to prevent hyponatremia during long endurance events. Athletes who experience frequent cramping or muscle pain should also be sure to increase their salt intake for a few days leading up to a big race. 

5. It’s not just about the calories 

While many athletes do choose to count calories for personal weight or training goals, when getting ready for weeks of endurance training it’s important to focus on eating enough to fuel your body and give yourself enough energy first and foremost.

The dangers of under-fueling are real, and not eating enough can actually harm endurance performance just as eating too much does. Number crunching calories can prevent optimal nutrition and hydration – both of which are important for preparing and recovering from training. That’s why it’s important for any enthusiastic endurance athlete to figure out what works best for their particular body so that they can eat well without letting calories be the centre of their focus at all times. 

A simple recipe to get you started 


Asian beef noodle salad

This dish is just loaded with delicious and vibrant flavors, as well as a healthy hit of inflammatory antioxidants too.


250 g/ 8.8 oz pack of rice noodles

4 Tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime (approx. 1 Tbsp)

Knob of ginger , peeled and grated (approx 1 Tbsp)

3 Tbsp oil

200 g/ 7 oz steak, sliced into strips

1 red bell pepper , de-seeded and sliced 1/2 medium carrot, grated

1⁄2 cucumber , sliced

Handful coriander leaves, chopped Fresh chili pepper, sliced (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, for serving


Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large frying pan on medium high and cook the steak until done to your liking. Season to taste. Soak the rice noodles according to pack instructions. Whisk together the soy sauce, lime, ginger and remaining oil in a large serving bowl. Drain the noodles well, then tip into the bowl. Add the cooked beef to the bowl along with the remaining ingredients. Toss everything together, and serve topped with the chili and peanuts.

A final word 

Essentially, following these expert tips and tricks will help you feed your body with adequate fuel for endurance activity, maximize your endurance fitness and improve your all-around performance.

A word from WellBe&Co

This blog was written by WellBe&Co in collaboration with RunMalibu. RunMalibu is taking virtual running to the next level with their US-based virtual races hosted between 7th and 8th November 2021. 




Time: 30 mins prep + 45 mins cook

Serves: 2

A plant-based meal option perfect for vegan’s and meat-eaters alike.


  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 250 g butternut chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp each cinnamon & cumin
  • 1 tsp each turmeric & paprika
  • Pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander to serve

Quinoa: 140 g quinoa + 40 g dried apricots, chopped + 10 g flaked almonds

Dressing: 2 Tbsp tahini + 3 Tbsp milk + splash of lemon juice and honey, whisked together



Heat oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion over medium heat for +/- 3 mins. Add the garlic and butternut and cook for a further 7 mins. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for a further 3 mins before adding the chickpeas, tomatoes, stock and spices. Season to taste. Simmer for 30 mins uncovered. Meanwhile bring 400 ml water to simmer in a small saucepan, add quinoa and cook for 20 mins. When cooked stir in apricots, almonds and a pinch of salt. Serve with pomegranate seeds, coriander and a drizzle of the tahini dressing.





Difficulty: Easy

Time: 30 mins

Serves: 1

Feel free to use leftover and already cooked roast vegetables from your fridge.


  • 80-120 g chicken, cooked (1-2 chicken breasts)
  • 1-2 cups roast vegetables, cooked e.g. zucchini, butternut, pumpkin, red onion, bell peppers, mushroom, asparagus etc.
  • 2 Tbsp oil for cooking
  • 8-10 small cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbsp pesto
  • 1 Tbsp crumbled feta* (omit for Paleo)
  • Salt and pepper to taste



Roast vegetables with 1 Tbsp oil until done to your liking. Heat a pan with the remaining oil and cook the chicken until done. Season to taste. Chop the cooked chicken into chunks and toss together with the roast vegetables, tomatoes, baby spinach leaves and pesto. Crumble over the feta (if using) and serve.

*Omit feta for Paleo.




Difficulty: Easy

Time: 15 mins

Serves: 1-2

Because who doesn’t love pancakes? This lower sugar version means you can have them more often too!


  • 2 eggs
  • 80 g low fat cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 2 sachets sweetener, xylitol or 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1//2-1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. oil or butter for cooking

Toppings: berries, plain yoghurt, sugar-free syrup, desiccated coconut, chopped nuts.etc.



Blend all ingredients together (*batter should resemble pancake batter). If batter is too runny, add in a bit more coconut flour. Heat a large non-stick fry pan on medium heat and add oil/butter. Ladle batter into pan so that the pancake is roughly the size of a teacup saucer. Cook for +/- 2 minutes on one side (or until lightly golden) and flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook. Makes 2-4 small pancakes. Serve warm with toppings of choice.



While the holidays are usually a time for joy and cheer, for some of us they can be a time of heightened stress and anxiety as we face unhealthy temptations during holiday meals.

That’s why, in this week’s blog, we want to share our top tips for recognizing and coping with the food-related anxiety during the holidays. It’s time to ditch that food guilt and have a wholesome, happy Christmas without letting diet-obsessions get in the way! 

What is mindful eating? 

Mindful and intuitive eating is about developing an awareness of your relationship with food. This approach has nothing to do with diets, meal plans, discipline or willpower. Instead, it is about developing a more conscious, healthier and balanced response to food, and teaching yourself how to get in touch with your body’s cues like hunger, fullness and satisfaction.

Tips for mindful eating during the holidays 

The holidays can feel like a minefield for many of us, with large family meals presenting many delicious temptations. Food equals comfort and togetherness for many families but research shows that one-third of holiday stress is due to fears of overindulgence and food-based anxiety.

So, for those struggling with stress and guilt about food this festive season, here are some tips for enjoying holiday gatherings without derailing your health and wellness goals.


1.Eat more healthy, hearty foods

The fear and guilt associated with breaking a restrictive diet or eating foods we’d normally avoid during the year can prevent many of us from really enjoying a meal with our family. The key to coping with food anxiety during the holidays is to reject this diet mentality and encourage yourself to focus on healthy, balanced eating rather than restricting yourself during this time. 

Remember, it’s okay to enjoy a mince pie and some delicious Christmas pudding, but it’s equally important to stack your plate full of veggies and greens. 

Eating plenty of whole fruits, vegetables, and grains along with Christmas treats can help curb cravings and prevent you from overeating. These “high volume foods”  also tend to leave you with an increased feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction after a meal. 

2. Savour what you’re eating 

While it may be tempting to wolf down three servings of turkey in one sitting, it’s important to take a moment and really appreciate what is on your plate. Try to employ all your senses while you’re eating your food, and eat slowly to really take-in the flavour. Eating slowly increases the levels of hormones responsible for feeling full, which may help reduce calorie intake and encourage you to eat more mindfully and intuitively. Chewing slowly can also encourage better digestion and leave you feeling more satisfied after a meal.

3. Don’t channel your stress into eating

Even under normal circumstances, tensions can run high at holiday gatherings – and that was before a global pandemic was thrown into the mix.

It’s important not to channel the stress from this kind of large family gathering into eating. While it may be tempting to take this as an opportunity to self-sabotage and rely on emotional eating to cope with your feelings, try to develop healthier ways to deal with emotional triggers during this time instead. 

For example, try to incorporate more exercise and activity in your daily routine in the days leading up to this Christmas period. And, if you start to feel overwhelmed during a family gathering, practice stepping away, finding a quiet place and doing some deep breathing or even a short 5-minute meditation session

4. Listen to your fullness cues

People tend to panic if they move away from a more restrictive diet and stop calorie-counting. While breaking a diet or strict eating plan can be a source of anxiety for many people, the holidays are a time to say goodbye to this guilt and start listening to your body instead. 

Your focus should always be to listen to our body’s hunger and fullness cues – with the goal of eating until you’re comfortable, full and satisfied in mind. A good idea is to try and focus on the difference between true hunger cues that encourage you to continue eating and non-hunger triggers for eating (such as tase, emotional stress or habitual eating) which could cause you to over-eat even when you’re already feeling full.

This is the perfect example of mindful eating. Instead of overindulging, try to observe how the food makes you feel and the signals your body sends about taste, satisfaction, and fullness. 

5. Bring something of your own to share.

The fear and guilt associated with unhealthy eating can prevent many of us from really enjoying a meal with our family. So, why not bring along some of your own healthy but delicious treats like these chicken and bulgar wheat salad or these delicious raw chocolate brownies instead.

This is a great way to have better control over your food choices at this kind of social event, and you can guarantee that there will always be something on the table that works for you.

Enjoy the holidays with WellBe

Here at WellBe&Co, we believe in easy-to-implement, lifestyle-focussed health and wellness habits. The key to living a healthy, balanced life starts with good nutrition – which is why we want to share all our top nutritious and delicious recipes with you this holiday season.

Why not try some of these tasty recipes this Christmas day and enjoy some healthy, hearty food while still indulging in a treat or two. And, if the stress of the holidays is getting to be a bit too much to handle, check out our simple guide to mastering mediation and developing better emotional awareness during this time.

Want to learn more? Check out our Instagram page or contact one of our friendly WellBe team members for more information today.

Christmas pudding


Difficulty: Easy

Time: 90 minutes

Serves: 12

Free from refined sugars, this healthy and quick Christmas pudding is packed with all the flavours and smells of Christmas and it only takes a few hours to make!


  • 1½ whole, sweet oranges roughly chopped with the skin
  • 300g medjool pitted dates
  • 200g pitted prunes
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 1½ cups dried currants
  • 200g organic dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 100g pitted prunes, roughly chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 350g almond flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp clove
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt


Preheat oven to 190C. Grease a medium sized pudding bowl. Combine dates, prunes, orange and water into a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 10mins or until the water has evaporated and the dates have formed a thick paste. Stir through the coconut oil and set aside to cool. Place the cooled date mix into a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and add apricots and prunes, currants, almond flour, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and the eggs. Mix well. Pour the mixture into your prepared pudding bowl. Place the pudding bowl into a deep baking tray, then pour in hot water until it reaches ½ to ¾ of the way up the roasting tray.

Cover the tray and pudding with a layer of baking paper and foil. Make sure it is completely sealed so no steam can escape. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Carefully remove from oven. Serve with coconut cream.


Healthy Potato Bake

Difficulty: Easy

Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 6

This tasty side dish is lower in fat, healthier than your average potato bake and still incredibly delicious!


  • 2 tsp Garlic crushed
  • 700 grams Potatoes washed, thinly sliced
  • 1 Brown Onion sliced into thin rings
  • 1/3 cup Wholewheat Breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 185 ml Evaporated Milk


reheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease a shallow baking dish with olive oil. In a jug, combine the evaporated milk and crushed garlic and stir well. Layer the bottom of the dish with a single layer of the thinly sliced potato. Top it with a third of the onion rings. Repeat until all the potato and onion is used up.

Carefully pour over the milk and garlic mix and top with the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Bake for 50 minutes or until the potato is cooked and it is golden and bubbling. Serve and enjoy!

Download Your Healthy Potato Bake Recipe Here

herb-roasted turkey

Herb-Roasted Turkey

Difficulty: Medium

Time: 3 hrs 30 mins

Serves: 12

Packed with flavour, this oven-roasted turkey recipe is healthy and is sure to impress your festive party!


  • 4.5 – 5kg turkey
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs, plus 20 whole sprigs, such as thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano divided
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Onion, apple, lemon and/or orange, cut into wedges ( to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cups water, plus more as needed


Preheat your oven to 220C. Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities. Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack in a large roasting pan; pat dry with paper towels. Mix minced herbs, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the herb mixture all over the turkey, under the skin and onto the breast meat. Place onion, apple and oranges pieces and half of the herb sprigs in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Add 3 cups water and the remaining 10 herb sprigs to the pan. Roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown, 45 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Cover the breast with a double layer of foil, cutting as necessary to conform to the breast. Reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue roasting for about 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours more – the juices will run clear when cooked. If the pan dries out, tilt the turkey to let juices run out of the cavity into the pan and add 1 cup water. Transfer the turkey to a serving platter and cover with foil. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. Remove string and carve.


Download your Herb-Roasted Turkey Recipe Here



Written by Sarah Braithwaite, a WellBe&Co Neuroscience-based Life & Health Coach

We have all had that same message drummed into our heads since we were young – ‘eat plenty vegetables, exercise often and get enough sleep’ , and while we are all familiar with the physical benefits these have on our body, most are not aware of the incredible impacts had on our brains – particularly when it comes to exercise. Our brain and body is intrinsically connected and while neurology is flowing downwards, physiology is flowing upwards and to separate the dual effects on one another would be impossible.

The love-hate relationship of endurance running is real – time, commitment, pain, and pressure, versus that insane ‘runners high’ that keeps us coming back for more and more. Let us unpack the latest science on brain health in relation to exercise – after all knowledge is power, and these juicy facts may give you a whole new appreciation for those long arduous training sessions.

How exercise actually rewires your brain

More than a mood boost

The latest buzz word in the neuroscience world, ‘neuroplasticity’, means our brains are able to change and rewire depending on many factors, one being physical movement. Beside the mental health benefits of reducing anxiety and depression, regular physical exercise is actually rewiring your brain for better cognitive function as well as improvement of emotional regulation. Exercise also allows the release of the stress hormone, cortisol, from the body which is hugely beneficial and explains why we experience mood changes after a workout.

It’s all biochemistry

During exercise, the body begins to produce endorphins which are our ‘feel good’ hormones. The effects of these endorphins plus the release of important neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin, means that you are getting all the right kinds of ‘highs’ while you are running. Dopamine affects the reward pathways in the brain while serotonin stabilizes our moods – both are essential to mental health and well-being. While physical exercise is best, studies have also shown the mind boggling benefits to the brain from simply visualising a detailed exercise session in your head – what better evidence to prove the brain’s role in physical movement?



4 Ways to maximize your training for better brain health

Okay so now that we have indisputable evidence of just how great movement is for our minds, here are a few easily implementable training hacks to help you get the most out of it:

  1. Incorporate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT-style training has been shown to help prompt new cellular growth in the brain as well as increasing activity between neurons and prompting neuroplasticity. 

  1. Keep consistent

Regular exercise improves memory function in the brain. The hippocampus is responsible for memory and learning, and studies have shown that exercise improves these functions and causes neurogenesis (new cellular growth).

  1. Sweat out the stress

Use exercise as a stress release tool to rid your body of excessive levels of toxic cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that we produce, and it can become toxic when chronic. Stress can quite literally cause the physical release of cortisol.

  1. Be mindful

Combine exercise with some mindful or visualisation practices to encourage neuroplasticity. The mind battles to distinguish reality from imagination, and the power of visualization is helpful in ingraining those neural pathways that are used when performing the activity. 

  1. Eat the right brain food

The brain thrives off of slow release carbohydrates as well as healthy fats. Dr Tara Swart, a remound Neuroscientist, recommends food such as: eggs, nuts, avos, coconut oil and salmon. Other foods such as sweet potatoes and healthy grains can also be beneficial. 

Movement for the mind 

Regular exercise, like running, really has profound benefits for both the brain and body, and that ‘high’ is there as a reminder to keep coming back for more. And with that in mind, I’m putting on my trainers and hitting the road…

A word from WellBe

This blog was written by Sarah Braithwaite, of MindSight, is a WellBe&Co Neuroscience-based Health & Life Coach, in collaboration with RunMalibu.