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Everything you eat 24 hours before your race is extremely important because it could set you up for success or it could ruin your whole race.

As a long distance runner what I eat the night before a big race is crucial for fueling my body because this is one of the last chances I get to give it the right nutrients to perform at its best.

Usually I eat a meal that includes carbs, protein and vegetables, like the traditional pasta (super popular among endurance athletes), or a bowl of rice with chicken and greens.

Since the Publix Savannah Women’s Half and 5K is only a month away I wanted to share with you a traditional recipe from my country that is perfect for a pre-race dinner: Arepas.

Even though my husband is American he absolutely loves them so, I figured that if you are tired of eating pasta and rice, this could be a great healthy alternative to include in your diet!

Arepa [aˈɾepa] is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked corn flour prominent in the cuisine of Venezuela and some regions of Colombia. It is eaten daily in those countries and can be served with various accompaniments such as cheese, avocado, chicken, beef, eggs, jam, or (especially in Venezuela) split and used to make sandwiches. Various sizes, maize types, and added ingredients are used to vary its preparation (I love adding chia seeds, hemp seeds, oats and maca powder for an extra boost!). Arepas can also be found in Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Canary Islands since some of their inhabitants migrated to Venezuela and came back later. They’re vegan and gluten free.

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When I first moved to the United States five years ago I freaked out because I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to find Harina PAN (the most popular brand of corn meal, which is the main ingredient to make arepas) but I was able to find it at our local Publix! Traditionally they are made just with cornmeal but I like adding some extra love to make them healthier 😉 Oh! And did I mention that it’s been named the best breakfast in the world?


I always eyeball the ingredients to make them, but I’m going to try to break it down for you… For 2 portions (approximately 4 arepas) mix ½ a cup of corn meal with some water (just enough to make it feel like cornbread mix) a touch of salt and oil (I use coconut)


As I mentioned, you can add raw oats or super foods like chia, hemp and maca! Mix well with your hands, make patties and cook them in the skillet. For an extra crunch, once they are ready put them in the toaster and serve with your favorite toppings! I love to eat them with avocado, spinach, chicken, eggs, turkey and tomatoes.

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If you want to win a $25 Publix gift card to get all the ingredients to make arepas at home, leave in the comment section below your favorite dinner before a hard workout… And remember, never try anything new the night before your race so start practicing now!

26 thoughts on “Arepas!

  1. Well last night I had a hamburger. I think for my first half we’d have some pasta but if the girls I’m running with want to we might just make these! Sounds yummy and I love the idea of adding the seeds.

  2. I like to have pasta with a creamy sauce (never red sauce) or a small steak and potato the night before a race. Thank you for sharing your recipe, it looks delicious.

  3. Hi Claudia, great blog post! I love shopping at my local Publix in Orlando Fl. They always have the freshest produce. I love a big salad before a work out especially with lots of different vegetables in it. Along with fish and or beans of any sort. It gives me plenty of energy for a great workout.
    Thanks for all your inspirational posts Claudia, Elizabeth Perrotta

  4. I never seem to eat the same meal the night before a race! My favorite so far has been a Lentil-Barley Stew that I make from scratch…lentils, barley, tons of veggies. I remember waking up on race day (sooo early!) feeling so light & ready for that race! That stew is plant-strong & is truly a great protein:carb combination.

  5. Sweet potatoes or butternut squash are ny favorite sources of carbs! Las arepas las hago “repotenciadas” también con avena y linaza más que todo por la fibra.

  6. Clau, love your recipe..! Those ingredients make “trendy”Arepas…and very chic, BTW! Will definitely try them this week and will send you some pics!

  7. I typically eat pasta with chicken! Thank you for sharing! They look delicious. I first tried arepas in London and just loved them. Can’t wait to
    Try this recipe!

  8. I love fueling with a bowl of pasta and veggies before a big race. I can’t wait to try this recipe, I love trying foods from around the world.

  9. I never eat the same meal, but I do eat the same type of meal. A protein, a starchy vegetable, a small amount of green vegetables (don’t ever want to have to hit the porta-pot) and a single glass of red wine. And I eat early- I never go to bed full before a race!

  10. Those look delish and easy enough where the kids can help! I typically eat a chicken pasta with a side of veggies before a big race.

  11. Hi Claudia!

    Nothing too heavy for me before a workout. Grilled chicken over a salad with chickpeas, red onion, feta cheese and avocado!

  12. im going to have to go with pizza or pasta the night before. Love those carbs And always always always oatmeal the morning of!

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