How Two Running Coaches Stay Fueled During a Busy Day

Healthy on-the-go breakfasts, protein-packed snacks, and sweet treats to keep sugar cravings in check.

Lisa Reichmann, left, and Julie Sapper, right, make time for healthy family dinners and don't deny themselves an occasional treat. All photographs courtesy of Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann.

Julie Sapper and Lisa Reichmann are both busy moms with hectic work schedules. As founders of the local running group Run Farther Faster, they typically run 50-plus miles a week while giving runners individualized coaching, sometimes virtually. Sapper and Reichmann also juggle part-time jobs as an attorney for the Department of Justice and the vice president for document imaging company DocuMetrics, respectively.

In February, Sapper found out that a part of her Achilles tendon had torn while she was training for the Boston marathon over the winter. “I could have continued running to run Boston, as I was not in much pain,” Sapper said, “but I decided that since I’m a competitive high-level runner, I needed to shut my running down immediately for a few months to ensure that I fully healed.”

So Sapper is making small changes to her diet while she is not able to run. “Admittedly, I’m not eating as well as I usually do while I am training,” Sapper said, “but I’m trying to balance out my low-impact exercise with the right food to fuel my body.”

Reichmann describes her average day as a “whirlwind,” so she does her best to plan dinners ahead of time, have a lot of handy snack options, and make food fun for her kids. “Some nights we do taco bars, make crepes, or have an omelet bar. It’s kid-friendly, healthy food where they get to customize their meals.”

Read on to see how these coaches create healthy meals for their families and moderate sugar cravings. Plus, see how Sapper fuels her body as she recovers from her running injury.

Reichmann: “I have 35 minutes to get ready in the morning, so I make something quick: cereal. I eat regular Special K and then I grab some fruit to eat in the car as I take the kids to school.”

Sapper: “I’m not a big fan of eating meat, so I like the plant protein in Vega—it keeps me full—and I usually add fruit, like blueberries, and coconut milk. It’s also really easy to make while getting the kids ready to go to school.”

Reichmann: “I’m a big snacker. Because I’m running around from coaching to cycling to PTO [Parent Teacher Organization] meetings, I have a stash of Luna and Lara bars in my car. I eat about two to three of those a day.”

Sapper: “I keep a bunch of Justin’s peanut butter pouches at work, and I eat them with a banana or an apple. It’s very portable!”

Sapper: “The falafel salad at Pret is my go-to. It’s probably not as protein-filled as chicken but since I don’t eat a lot of meat, it’s a way I can get healthy, plant-based protein and vegetables.”

Reichmann: “Since I’m running around, I grab sushi at either Harris Teeter or Whole Foods and some miso soup. If I can run home, I make a quick wrap with Applegate nitrate-free turkey in a tortilla. I like to make sure I steer clear of nitrates.”

Sapper: “I bring some sort of sustainable snack with me. I pick up hard-boiled eggs from Whole Foods, and I eat them around 4 PM to keep me from snacking too much before I get home for dinner.”

Reichmann: “I buy big packs of Justin’s peanut butter from Amazon. It’s great in the afternoon or after workouts—there’s some protein, but not too much sugar.”

Sapper: “I always make a salad for dinner, but this meal is always a struggle for my family—I have two really picky eaters. I’m not a short-order chef and I don’t want to make mac and cheese and chicken nuggets every night. They like chicken and I add a piece of fruit to their dinner. As long as they make an attempt to eat fruit and veggies, I’m okay with that—we can always try again later.”

Reichmann: “Quinoa is a huge go-to food for me during training. I also can’t stand salad. I like everything that makes up a salad—all veggies separately are great, but I can’t make myself eat a salad, so I try to include something green at dinner.”

Sapper: “My in-laws came into town and brought us all Peeps! I absolutely love them! I ate two…if I tell myself that I can’t have something, then a few hours later, I will still want it. I try not to deprive myself!”

Reichmann: “I can’t go a day without something sweet. My kids know to hide their candy from me! Sometimes I will even eat frosting right out of the container. Too keep from eating all of it, I eat a little bit and then I give myself 15 minutes—if I really want more, I’ll go get more. Fifteen minutes gives my body time to decide whether or not I actually need more.”

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