Run Energy and Nutrition By Running Divas Ambassador Cassandra Bright

Run Energy and Nutrition

By Running Divas Ambassador Cassandra Bright

In the early days when I started strength training and running I was on a very low carbohydrate diet which had been wonderful helping me shed unwanted weight after Gastric Bypass Surgery. But, I soon learnt the importance of complex carbohydrates. So, I began experimenting with different grains that are high in protein such as Pearl Barley, Quinoa, Farro and Pearl Cous Cous. I find these types of carbohydrates very filling and I can enjoy my carbs guilt free as I know they have protein and help fuel my body.

My favourite meals to help fuel my body consist of meat/fish, vegetables and a grain. Not only are these meals perfect for fuelling my body for energy they are also super quick and easy. I cook more grains than required and store them in a container in the fridge for 4-6 days, so I can just heat it and serve. I also add a handful of slithered almonds or pine nuts to my grains before serving for added protein/nutrients and of course texture.

Before a weight training session or a run, my go to snacks are generally curried egg on Ryvita or a banana. I try to always have a protein shake after exercise to help my muscles recover and grow.

I also take daily vitamins/supplements to help keep my body happy and firing on all cylinders such as:

  • Blackmore’s Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Gold Multivitamin (recommended by my dietician after Gastric Bypass surgery, very high in iron)
  • Biotin – Which plays a role in metabolism
  • B12 Spray – Every couple of days to assist with energy, nervous system health, gastrointestinal function.

I have found and continue to learn that the better quality our nutrition, the better output we get from our bodies. And that is a win, win if you ask me.


Pearl Barley and Creamy Pesto Chicken Risotto


Home Made Pesto

  • 3 Cups Fresh Basil
  • ½ Cup Grated Parmesan
  • ¼ Cup Pine Nuts
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • ½ Lemon, Juiced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Other Ingredients

  • ¼ Cup Pearl Barley – Cook per packet instructions.
  • 1 Brown Onion Diced
  • 1 Teaspoon Butter
  • 1 Chicken Breast Diced
  • 300gms Diced Mushrooms
  • Pine Nuts
  • 200ml Light Thickened Cream (or less as it is personal preference)


  • Put all Pesto ingredients into a blender until desired texture is achieved.
  • Add Cream and mix thoroughly with spoon. Set to the side for now.
  • Add butter to a pan then onion. Cook till softened.
  • Add diced chicken and cook, then add the diced mushrooms and stir through.
  • Next add the Pearl Barley you have already cooked and stir. Then add the Homemade Pesto you made earlier and stir through thoroughly.
  • Add as many Pine Nuts as you like for crunch and texture.
  • Serve with a garnish of raw Pine nuts and Grated Parmesan.


(This meal also freezes well for quick and easy lunch and dinner’s when you’re on the run)



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