Home > Health & Nutrition

4 healthy ways to use holiday leftovers

Practical and healthy ways that runners can use up their leftovers

It’s officially the downtime between Christmas and the new year. This means that many people are kicking back, relaxing and looking at a mountain of leftovers that have piled up in their fridge. This is also the time of year when people start discussing their upcoming diets, no-sugar Januarys and impending juice cleanses.

If you’re looking to lighten things up but want to go full juice cleanse (we recommend you don’t), here are a few ideas for runners with holiday food to use up and miles to run.

RELATED: Why you don’t need to burn off holiday treats

Treats are just fancy gels


That tin of cookies, fudge and butter tarts that’s sitting in your counter can be used as gels. Gels are mostly sugar and salt, meaning that the maple fudge will do the trick for a few runs just as well as your store-bought nutrition. Throw a couple cookies or treats into a Ziploc and hit the road.

Consider leftovers a big meal prep

Whatever your big meal of the holiday was, consider those leftovers your meal prep for the coming days. Roast a big pan of vegetables, cook some brown rice, and you’ve got some good-for-you sides for your turkey, ham brisket or protein of choice.

Soups are your friend

If you prepared a meat dish, don’t throw out your bones as those can be used to make bone broth. You make bone broth by combining bones of your choice with vegetables, usually carrots, onions, garlic and herbs, and cooking for roughly 10 hours. Once cooked, the broth is filled with collagen which is the structural protein found in skin and other connective tissues. Collagen intake can help with joint health–a key factor for keeping a runner on the roads.

Once you’ve made the broth, add your favourite veggies and leftover meats for a complete meal.

Re-purpose vegetables

Cooked vegetables are great in stir frys, eggs and even baking. If you’ve got some vegetables leftover from the previous days, make a frittata or fried rice with egg and broccoli for a quick and easy lunch. Cooked sweet potato is also great in baking, such as sweet potato muffins or loaves.

RELATED: Recipe: Sweet potato muffins