If you’ve ever known, loved, or spent five minutes with a triathlete, you know that food is as important to them as logging a long ride on the weekend.
Essential Eating Sprouted Pretzel Puffs ($4.99 at essentialeating.com)
According to the folks at Essential Eating, sprouting grains causes them to digest as a vegetable in the body rather than a dried seed or starch. So move over, gluten-y pretzels: these crunchy snacks are made with a one-of-a-kind organic flour made from sprouted whole grains. The proprietary sprouting process adds great flavor and unlocks the nutrients, including antioxidants, that lay dormant in whole grains. With this flour, plus some water and organic extra virgin olive oil, salt, yeast, and soda, you can’t go wrong with stashing a bag of these snacks under the tree. At just 100 calories and 3 grams of protein per serving, they make a great mid-afternoon pick up when you find yourself craving salt and crunch. (Check out Essential Eating’s website for their full line of products, including all your favorite pasta shapes.)
Vega Energizing Smoothie packets ($24.00 for a box of 12 at Amazon)
From the line formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling health author, Vega’s Energizing Smoothie packets are the best thing to stock in your favorite athlete’s stocking. Theses natural, plant-based smoothie packets provide that on-the-go nutrient boost when it’s needed most, and best of all, they need only water for proper mixing. Free of dairy, gluten and soy, and with no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, these packets are the next best thing when you can’t get a healthy meal in. They can also be added to a real-fruit smoothie to give it an extra boost. (Available in Bodacious Berry, Choc-a-lot, Oh Natural, Tropical Tango and Vanilla Almondilla flavors, at myvega.com and Amazon.)
Journey Bars ($19.95/12)
These unique bars caught our eye at our local grocery story, promising respite from the syrupy-sweet versions so many of us are stuck with. In line with Allan Lim’s genius savory bars, these bars boast flavors of curry, rosemary, and tomato for when you’re peanut buttered out. Full of the good stuff, these bars take a bit of getting used to at first, but make an excellent long-ride snack. (Or, eat them with your mid-day salad for some extra satisfaction.) Our favorites were the chewier Coconut Curry and Pizza Marinara flavors over the more cracker-esque Rosemary and Parmesan Romano. Available at journeybar.com, or try a variety pack from Amazon.)
These chewy, dried banana bites are loaded with potassium, raw, gluten-free-, and vegan. They’re a great source of fiber, and boast 20 important vitamins and minerals to keep your favorite endurance athlete going. They’re small and neat enough to stuff in a jersey pocket, or, if you’re near a jar of Nutella—just don’t say we didn’t warn you. Available on Amazon.
Vitamix ($449, www.vitamix.com)
Yes, they cost a pretty penny, but owning a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix will change your life. No more fighting with frozen strawberries, hoping not to torch your Target blender’s whimpy motor. Or at least your recovery. Available at Vitamix.com and online.