A Celebrity Chef Shares A Recipe To Power Your Next Big Morning Run

Charley St. Cafe executive chef Dan Churchill has a lot on his plate. On top of operating a restaurant in Manhattan, he drops nutrition knowledge for his YouTube series “The Healthy Chef,” on shows like Drew Barrymore, in his books like Surfing The Menu, and when creating recipes for stars like Chris Hemsworth. But despite this heavy workload, he still finds time for his passion for outdoors running and once again is training to do the New York Marathon in support of City Harvest.


There’s a reason that Churchill makes time for running outside. It’s not only a great workout but it’s also an amazing way to find your center — since it’s one of the few exercises that you can’t really do while staring at your phone or television. Whether you are running for 15 minutes or running for a few hours, those moments are yours and being spent to improve your general well-being. So it’s no surprise that many people who start running keep running, and eventually want to take on bigger and bigger routes.

Long-distance running can have amazing benefits like increasing your overall endurance, muscle power, heart health, and mental toughness [study]. It also helps train your body to use fat for fuel. Many people who start participating in long-distance running see an enhancement in their sleep quality [study]. When put up against a mediocre session in a dark, cramped gym, long-distance running wins. But if you aren’t providing your body with the right nutrition and hydration, you can miss out on all of those benefits.

For many adults, finding time for a run is just like finding time for the gym: difficult. The moment of opportunity is usually in the morning before the responsibilities of the day start to kick in. Stopping for 15 or 20 minutes to make a proper meal can seriously cut into that window, so one strategy is to make sure that your food is ready to go already when you wake up. That could mean an already-prepped meal in the fridge or a helpful tool that marathon runners use called energy gels — which are little carbohydrate-rich packets that deliver a perfect punch of energy.


“I have found that people doing long runs and even marathons don’t find out about energy gels until late in the game,” says Churchill. The chef also notes that the taste can be a little surprising to first-timers, on top of the fact that our palate can change over the course of a longer run. “They wait until really late in their training to try them out, and they can take some getting used to. Even if I am running for an hour I will take an energy gel with me.”

In addition to the New York Marathon, Churchill is also participating in Sydney’s Running Festival this month, which means he is well-versed in the perfect breakfast to eat before a big run or marathon. We got him to share one of his favorites below.



Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: N/A… 8 hours to set

Skill: Easy

Health Facts:

Chia seeds contain all 20 amino acids and also contain plenty of fiber for digestion. Not only do they house essential proteins, but they ensure nutrients pass through the body efficiently

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

– 2 Cup Rolled Oats

– 4 Tbsp Chia Seeds

– 1/2 Cup Coconut, Shredded

– Pinch of Salt

– 1 Banana, Mashed

– 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

– 4 Cups Almond Milk


-Almond Butter

– Sliced Banana



– Combine all ingredients into a bowl and put in the fridge overnight or for a minimum of 8 hours

– Serve in the morning in separate bowls and top with almond butter, sliced banana and crushed walnuts

Get more great recipes and tips on fueling for running or a marathon on Dan’s site here.