My go-to breakfast before an everyday run is a slice or two of 100% whole wheat toast topped with nut or seed butter and sliced bananas. And a half-cup of coffee. This provides just enough fuel to get me through the miles feeling strong. I’m also a big oatmeal fan, but I tend to save this for especially long runs and sometimes race day mornings.

I’ve also been known to turn to my favorite nut butter as a quick, healthy midday snack. Sometimes just a spoonful, with fruit, or maybe as a dip for a piece or three of dark chocolate.

Oval 2x4 copyI’ve written about nut and seed butters in the past–specifically those from Michigan-based Naturally Nutty which creates some of my favorites like Vanilla Almond Butter and Pepita Sun Seed Butter–and today I’m excited to announce a new partnership with this company. What does this mean for you all? The opportunity to buy these organic, all-natural nut butters at a discounted price. To kick off this partnership, runner and Naturally Nutty founder Katie Kearney is offering a 10 percent per order discount to all MRG readers through March 15. (Look for more specials in the coming year as MRG and Naturally Nutty continue to work together to encourage healthy living and eating.)

Naturally Nutty has 22 flavors of nut butters–there are peanut butters as well as almond butters, sunflower seed butters and pumpkin seed butters. Newest flavors: Sugar Free Pepita Oatmeal and Mocha Almond Butter.

Katie and I have been talking about collaborating for some time, often on long runs we’ve been on together as we both train for this spring’s Gazelle Girl Half Marathon in Grand Rapids (and she eyes an ultra run in our town this summer). Two other friends–Pam and Erin–are joining us at this April race, and I’ve definitely been hitting the jars of nut butter in our cupboards before our long weekend training runs. They’re both fans of Naturally Nutty as well.

And my most recent discovery, thanks to Katie: a post-run shake that includes nut butter. I gave the following recipe a try after my 17-miler a couple of weekends ago, and it was delish. Joe tried it, too, and really liked it.

Post-Run Recovery Shake

– 2 bananas frozen and sliced (I just used bananas off our counter but will try them frozen next time)
– 2 Tb nut butter (I used Naturally Nutty’s Vanilla Almond Butter)
– 1 cup sugar-free coconut milk
– 2 Tb of chia seeds
– 1 Tb hemp seeds
– 1 Tb cacao nibs (adds a crunch to the shake; we only had cacao powder, so I used this. Worked great.)

Combine all ingredients and blend. We used our Ninja blender we bought last year. I think Joe added a little ice and an avocado to ours, which thickened the shake. You can experiment to see what you like best.

Another runner-friendly recipe I’m looking forward to trying:

Cookie Dough Dip

– 1 1/2 cup chick peas
– 1/2 cup nut butter (pick your flavor)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 Tb flax seed
– 1 Tb raw honey
– 2 teaspoons chocolate chips (Katie uses vegan chocolate chips)

Blend ingredients. Use the dip on carrots, celery, rice cakes. Katie often spreads it on gluten-free flatbreads and pretzels. “Carrot sticks are my favorite–it’s just sweet enough,” she says.

If you like nut and seed butters, and you’re looking for a product that’s healthy AND tastes great, definitely check out Naturally Nutty–you can order online here » Be sure to use the code MRG10 when placing your order to receive the 10% discount today through March 15.

Happy fueling!




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