Sue, Jim & Cody on the 14,433' summit of MT Elbert, CO - The highest peak in the Rocky Mountains


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Runtrails' 2005 AT Journal
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PREP #17:  GOOD ULTRA FOOD     March 23
"Dreams are the soul's pantry. Keep it well stocked and your soul will never hunger."  -  Cindy Williams

Harvest muffins

Back in Prep9 re: the nutrition challenges of a run this long, I mentioned two of my favorite "ultra foods."  Here are recipes for them and some comments.


One of my “real food” staples will probably be one of these  yummy muffins that I carry along with me each day (or until I get sick of them!).


I don’t remember where I got this recipe. The muffins are a bit time-consuming to make, even with a food processor, but they are well worth it in taste and good nutrition for athletes who like the ingredients. I plan to make and freeze a bunch before we begin the adventure run.




1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups oat bran

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup nonfat dry milk

¼ cup flaxseed

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups shredded carrot

2 cups chopped Granny Smith apple, including skin

1 cup raisins (and/or other dried fruit, like cranberries)

½ cup chopped walnuts (optional – we like the crunch)

1 cup fat-free milk

¼ cup canola oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large egg whites

1 chopped thin-skinned orange, peel and all

Cooking spray


1.      Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.      Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours and the next eight ingredients (flour through salt) in a large bowl, stirring well with each addition. Stir in carrot, apple, dried fruit, and nuts.

3.      Combine milk, oil, vanilla, egg whites, and orange in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Make well in center of flour mixture. Add milk mixture and stir until just moist.

4.      Spoon batter into 24 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or until muffins are browned and spring back when touched lightly in the center. Remove muffins from pans immediately and place on wire rack to cool. Eat warm, or keep refrigerated or frozen until ready to eat.


Per serving (without nuts): Calories 114 (22% from fat); FAT 2.8g; PROTEIN 3.5g; CARBS 22.6g; FIBER 3g; CHOLESTEROL 0mg; IRON 1.1mg; SODIUM 188mg; CALCIUM 61mg.



OK, weird food habit time:  my favorite breakfast at home, and especially before an ultra race, is hot oatmeal with milk, raisins, and a little granola for the crunch, flavored coffee, juice, and (ta da!!) PUMPKIN soup! 

The latter concoction grosses Jim out, making it even more fun to eat! One of my ultra girl friends likes it (hi, Dru!), so I know I’m not the only “weird” one.

There are just four ingredients in this “comfort” food, and they are nutritious:

Nuke a plump sweet potato in the microwave until it is soft. Peel it and mash it up in a big plastic bowl with a lid so you can store it in the refrigerator. Add a can of plain pumpkin, a big spoonful of creamy or crunchy peanut butter, and 14 ounces of chicken or veggie broth. Stir after each addition. I don't add any seasonings, but you can if you want. Heat and serve.

It’s yummy in the morning because it’s sweet, or for lunch if that’s your preference. It’s loaded with carbs and the vitamins and minerals found in dark orange vegetables.



I'm sure I'll have plenty more to say about food as I move up the Appalachian Trail. If I have to consume 5,000 to 6,000 calories a day, food is going to be on my mind constantly. I'll let you know what works for me, but remember we're all "experiments of one."

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, Cody, and Tater

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© 2005 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil