Clean Eating for Salty Runners: Let’s Eat Like Our Ancestors!

imageEvery runner knows that food is fuel. And every runner knows that the cleaner the fuel the better the burn, right? I mean, science doesn’t say that, but a lot of people who sound like they know what they’re talking about sell books and stuff that say that, so it must be true! I mean, clean is totally better than dirty. No one likes dirty. Hmmm, let me rephrase that: no one likes dirty in the kitchen. 

Clean eating is all the rage because dirty food sounds gross, unless you’re Alicia Silverstone. Gross is belly fat. Gross is cellulite. Gross is looking more human than mannequin. We don’t want that! We aim for perfection. We aim for purity! We aim to subsist on foods that are so clean and so obscure that Gwynneth Paltrow feels like a gluttonous pig during her cabbage soup cleanse.

That’s why we’re working on our new cookbook: Clean Eating for Salty Runners. We don’t know anything about food science, but that doesn’t stop anyone else from writing books! Just like Salty Running, though, our cookbook is full of different flavors. We don’t espouse one theory of clean eating; we espouse them all. We’ll be bringing you one chapter at a time, each filled with five delicious recipes. Up first? Our evolutionary diet chapter.  Here are five recipes our prehistoric ancestors would love that will, incidentally, also help you feel morally superior simply by cooking and eating them!

Cilantro’s Ultimate Paleo-Arctic-Tehumaran Deviled Coconut

Fat-adapting is the newest advancement in endurance eating. Sure, none of the Olympians do it, but we read on a website somewhere that it’s the key to a lean body and being able to run more than 45:00 without needing to eat (take that, instructions on Gu packets). We developed this recipe using the fattest of all the fats, along with those endurance super foods chia and coconut. Oh, and this one’s perfect for parties!


1 C organic raw whale blubber

1 tsp chia seeds

1 coconut

Instructions: Put straw in the coconut and drink in hammock. Once emptied, crack coconut in half and scoop meat onto a bare patch of dirt. Add blubber onto pile of coconut. Mix with stick. Add mixture back into coconut shell and sprinkle with chia seeds. Serve at Paleolithic Era average air temperature.

Salty’s Native Foraged Plant-Based Grain Free “Cereal”

Our ancestors did not have minivans to drive to Trader Joe’s. The ancients were forced to use the foods immediately available to them way before eating local was cool. Salty took this to heart and one morning she looked out her door at her overgrown lawn and a lightbulb went off. Forget Kashi and almond milk; fuel your morning runs the way your ancestors would.


grass-fed grass

hand-pressed dandelion milk

birdseed (optional)

Instructions: A week in advance, be too lazy to mow the lawn. On day of serving, pick a bowl-full of grass. Let sit. Head back out to yard and pick a shit-ton of dandelions. Massage the milk out of the dandelion stems into a mason jar until there is enough to cover the grass in your bowl. Photograph mason jar and man-handled dandelions and post to social media. Pour dandelion milk over grass. Sprinkle with birdseed. Eat (optional).

Karaway’s Ancient Korean Kale Kabbage and Kefir Kimchi

Inspired by our ancestors in the East and looking for a delicious way to inkrease her motivation to run, Karaway kame up with this delightful recipe, which pairs perfectly with Kombucha Wonder Drink™ available at Walmart.


1 large head of kabbage
1 large bunch of kale
a laundry basket full of dirty running klothes
3 K warm water
1 bottle plain kefir
Kombucha Wonder Drink™ available at Walmart

Instructions: In a large, ancient earthenware vessel (preferably from the Goryeo Dynasty) soak last week’s unwashed running klothes in 3 kups of warm water overnight. Meanwhile, kut kabbage and kale using ethically-produced and sustainable bamboo knife. Remove klothing from the earthenware and add the kut vegetables to the dirty running klothes water. Please note, this is hygienic because salt is a preservative and an elektrolyte. Also B12. Kover earthenware with a large metal disk from the Bronze Age and sit on top and meditate for 1-3 hours. Place all ingredients in an ancient porcelain jar, miks with hands, kover, and let sit for 1-5 days. When the smell is more pungent than your dirty running klothes, serve topped with kefir and alongside a wide-mouth mason jar filled with Kombucha Wonder Drink™ available at Walmart.

Pimento’s Mini Mammoth Cupcakes with Petrified Forest Frosting

Pimento read a book and realized her gut was leaking and she went to see a Doctor of Nature who told her that the only way to plug up her leaky gut and keep her life force inside her was to eat the way nature intended us to, but she really wanted some cupcakes.



1/4 C fresh venison liver
3 handfuls acorns, smashed with club
1 pheasant egg, beaten
1 C free-range, cage-free human breast milk

1/2 C native dirt
2 T native honey
1 C rendered deer fat

Instructions: Preheat fire to burning. Place the liver, the smashed acorns, the beaten egg into a large heavy-duty stone bowl. With deer femur, pulverize ingredients and slowly drizzle in the breast milk. Keep beating the living hell out of the mixture until it looks like Betty Crocker cupcake batter. (May take hours or days.) Pour batter into mini cupcake pans and place several inches above flames until golden brown. Cool. While baking the cupcakes, whip the dirt, honey and deer fat with tiny antlers until fluffy. Once cupcakes are cooled plop frosting on top. Voila!


Oregano’s Modern Hunter Gatherer Surprise

For those of you looking for a slightly more modern take on ancestral clean eating, Oregano’s recipe is for you. Training for marathons and ultras can really make a runner, not just hungry, but hangry. And who wants to deal with the Whole Foods parking lot in that state of mind? That’s the inspiration for this recipe, which combines time and money savings and mindful meditation to help you get in touch with your ancestral roots … and some tasty snacks.


Varies depending on native habitat

Instructions: Meditate using a guided imagery of the African grasslands for ten minutes. Place iPhone and earbuds on your desk and leave your cubicle as silently as possible, hiding behind partitions and filing cabinets as necessary along the way. As you arrive to the abundant patch, be extremely aware of your surroundings as you approach your prey. Open the office refrigerator and stuff whatever is within a month of its expiration date down your shirt. Then casually slink back to your cubicle and enjoy.

What’s your favorite way to eat like it’s 1999 … B.C.? 

Salty Running boss and mother of 3 little ones with PRs of 3:10:15 (26.2), 1:25:59 (13.1) and 18:15 (5k). I love to write about running culture, mental training, and fitting in a serious running habit with the rest of a busy life.

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  1. Is the cookbook available on Amazon? This looks like the answer to all of my dietary questions.

    You ladies look like you are having too much fun! Who’s on the other side of the camera for your photo shoots? Thanks for the laughs!

  2. I love your pictures! Funny, enjoyed reading it as I sat here drinking my chocolate ice cream Cheer Wine float that was so not-clean, it stained my teeth red!