One of the things I am doing as an attempt to eat better and less erratically is to make sure I have eaten properly before exercise. There’s a tendency to think of “snacking” as a bad thing, especially if you’re looking to lose some weight. I think that snacking has it’s place though, it keeps your metabolism going between meals and if you’re on any kind of exercise plan then you need to make sure you’re properly fuelled. If you eat lunch at 1pm, then head out for a run before dinner at 6pm, then that’s 5 hours since you’ve eaten, and you’re really going to feel it.

Disorganised eating me has a tendency to grab whatever’s to hand before I go out for a run or off to a Roller Derby training session, whether it’s a banana (good) or a packet of biscuits stolen from a hotel (bad). I’ve had a box of goodies send to my by Nairns sitting around for a while, so I thought it was time to actually give them a try and see how they suited me as snacks and whether I’d actually buy them again.

The first thing I tried was the Oats & Fruit Gluten free biscuit breaks. I tried them almost immediately I opened the box!


I really liked the taste of these, they weren’t too sweet as I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. My husband wasn’t so keen, possibly because he does.

As a breakfast on the go or a snack to eat before longish run I thought they were perfect. There are 47 calories per biscuit and 4 biscuits in each individually wrapped pack. The fact that they stand alone and don’t need toppings means they’re perfect if you want to take them out with you if you’re going for a run after work, for instance. As a snack if you’re not exercising I think the pack size is too big really, I’d stick to 2 biscuits personally, so share them with a friend!

Next up was Oat Cakes, both fine milled and rough oatcakes. The fine milled ones are lighter and crispier, and allegedly this makes them good for more delicate toppings. I was sent some recipes, but I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really be bothered with the faffing around, so I had them with peanut butter and banana before Roller Derby. I also used them with cheese and chutney as a less sporty snack.

Oatcakes are full of complex carbohydrates, so I think make a really good snack about an hour before an extended exercise session. Cheese maybe not so much, but peanut butter has protein and carbs and bananas potassium and natural sugars to give you a boost, plus they taste really nice.

IMG_9011This is one of my favourite snacks to have before or after a long run or training session. I love peanut butter, and any excuse to eat it is fine by me!

I’ve always liked oatcakes as a non exercise snack as well, with blue cheese and chutney and a glass of whisky in the evening,yum. I use oatcakes in place of crackers for cheese like this, so I was quite intrigued by the last product in the box, Oat Cracker Thins. They are wheat free, but not gluten free, and designed as an alternative to traditional crackers. The taste was fine, but I found they fell to pieces too easily, including before they’d even got out of the packet, let alone when you tried to spread something on them with a knife. So, for me, oat cracker thins were a fail, I’ll stick with the yummy oatcakes.

What is your favourite pre or post workout snack?