Nutrition & Weight Loss

Endurance Eating

Endurance Eating

Are you tired of the same old pasta with marinara sauce carbohydrate loading and reloading regimen? This is one tasty, year round dish. It’s the perfect dinner option for athletes on the go. I can wrap up a late day run at 7:30 pm and be finished with dinner by 8:10 pm. It’s so easy to prepare and tastes awesome!

Why It Works:

This carbohydrate packed meal is great for stocking glycogen stores. I actually recommend this meal as a carbohydrate loading option before big events such as marathon, ultra marathon, or half ironman; however, this meal also works fantastic for everyday eating. The photo demonstrates a single serving, but it would be easy to add another slice of bread, more gnocchi, and/or a carbohydrate-rich beverage to meet your carbohydrate needs.

The meal is low in fat and rich in flavor. The cooked zucchini and tomatoes are easy to digest vegetables.  Compliment the gnocchi and vegetables with sourdough bread to boost the carbohydrate content of the meal.  Just be limit filling up on extras like a 100 calorie pad of fat loaded butter topped on the bread if carbohydrate “loading.” Instead eat an extra slice of the low fat, carbohydrate-rich bread.

Gnocchi Primavera


  • 1 lb gnocchi with potato
  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium or 1.5 large zucchini, shaved into thin slices with vegetable peeler
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, shredded or grated
  • few dashes black pepper (optional)
  • sourdough bread, on the side


Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Boil gnocchi following directions on package.

While the water comes to a boil, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes. Then add zucchini, tomatoes, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper (optional). Cook until tomatoes are just starting to break down. Combine vegetable sauté with cooked gnocchi. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle with parmesan.

Recipe makes 4 servings.

Each serving is approximately 341 calories, 8 grams of fat, 9 grams protein, 56 grams of carbohydrate, 4.5 grams of fiber, 798 mg sodium

Per slice of sourdough bread:

Each serving is approximately 120 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 5 grams protein, 25 grams of carbohydrate, 1 gram of fiber, 270 mg sodium

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This post was written by:

- who has written 10 posts on Trail Running Club.

Jackie Dikos is a Registered Dietitian with board certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. As the owner of the nutrition consulting business, Nutrition Success, Jackie counsels both athletes and non-athletes alike. She speaks on nutrition, health, wellness, and exercise in a variety of settings including clubs, expos, conferences, and the corporate environment. She maintains a blog that is dedicated to the promotion of health, wellness, and the education of endurance athletes at She is a contributor to Running Times Magazine with her monthly column “Fueling the Runner.” She has also been cited as a source in other popular magazines including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, and Shape.

In addition to her professional background Jackie is an accomplished runner. She competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. She earned her 2012 Olympic Trials qualification as the winner of the 2010 Monumental Marathon with a personal best of 2:45:25. Jackie doesn’t limit her athletic endeavors to simply running. She can include summiting Mt. Rainier to her list of accomplishments. Although she is a member of PowerBar Team Elite, Personal Best Training, and the Athletic Annex Running Club, her favorite training partners are her two little boys.

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