A Runner’s Nutrition

Vegetarian Lasagne

Vegetarian Lasagna

A few weeks ago I was talking with an old friend an co-worker about a runner’s nutrition and what I “do” or eat.  Everyone has their own philosophy, guidelines and set of rules about food and nutrition and how to lose the last few pounds to lean out for better performance and  a smaller waistline.  I’m not going to say that I have the best way to achieve results, but I will say that those who have learned to change their lifestyle have seen sustained results that they enjoy.  Here are a few tips and guidelines to slim down, without sacrificing nutrition or the fuel you need to run 26.2.

– Changing your Habits: Eating healthy is not boring. It like training for a marathon takes effort, honesty and trial & error.  This is a lifestyle change for you, not a temporary fix to a problem, and that is the foremost idea that you’ve got to commit to.

Cheat Days: There are none.  Do NOT commit to a cheat day once or twice a week because you’re setting yourself up for failure.  Instead, eat things in moderation.  If I want cake, I eat cake, just not the whole cake.  If I want a beer, or five, I drink them.  I don’t indulge everyday, but when my body is craving something it is a signal to me that there is something my body is lacking (nutritionally) and whatever I am craving has what I need.  On the off day when I do “accidentally” eat a whole cake I don’t feel guilty.  I build a bridge, and get over it.  IT HAPPENS!! Don’t worry, don’t exercise more, don’t beat yourself up, don’t deprive yourself tomorrow.  Many people in my life can attest to the times when I ate an entire cake, and then ate some more, and more…. IT HAPPENS!

– Don’t feel Guilty:  Things happen and its nothing to feel bad about.  EVER!  If you accidentally broke a glass you wouldn’t beat yourself up over it, and the same goes for moments of weakness.  Sometimes I do eat the whole cake because I want it… Remember that depriving yourself of something you love will only make you cheat!  So have one of whatever like, and love it!  Life is too short to take away your Snickers, Cakes, or Twinkies!

– Be Realistic:  Start small.  Commit to one month of some of the following ‘tips’ and mark it down.  Don’t try to do it all!  Start with the first 5 tips, and then add-on as you feel comfortable.  Then, when you hit your one month mark, evaluate how you feel and add-on more changes.  Even I can’t do it all, all of the time.  Do you know what it was like for me to give up pig products?!?!  Torture :)

– Tips on Food:

–  Be Prepared!! Pack Snacks so you minimize the urge to buy something bad.  And make the commitment to eat everything in your 20130420-201639.jpglunch-pale.. and when you do you can definitely have the snickers you’ve been craving.. if you still want it. ( I always  over pack  so I don’t have excuses!!)

– Have a fresh juice or smoothie for one meal a day.  Not from a bottle or Jamba, but the stuff you make with none of the bad shenanigans added.  Try this simple and favorite recipe of mine: juice 6 large carrots, 1 medium fuji apple, 1/2 cucumber.  If you can’t commit to a meal, drink this as your mid-afternoon snack.  If you get hungry, snack on this!

– Cut out all High Fructose Corn Syrup (yes this means you have to read at the grocery store!  No more just tossing stuff in the cart)

– Your plate should be 3/5 Plants, 1/5 carbs, 1/5 protein (or other)

– Cut out all table salt, and switch to Kosher Salt.

Smoothie Recipe!

Smoothie Additions!

– DO NOT go carb free!  Not only does your body need the fuel, you can induce various illnesses and diseases from the lack of carbohydrates.  INSTEAD switch to cut out simple carbs and eat only complex carbs.  In a nut shell, no sugars (yes that means candy) and no white starches. This also means no sandwiches more than once a week. (That’s one meal, not one entire day!)   Need help, email me or post something!!! I’m here to help!

– Try and eat it raw.  We cook things because it is a habit but have you ever eaten raw corn kernels off the cob or a raw green bean?  It’s actually delicious!  I prefer some veggies raw now, and couldn’t imagine ever eating others raw, and that’s ok!  On this note, try a salad with no dressing!  Have you ever tasted lettuce, it’s delicious!!! Skimp on the dressing for a bit but if you have to have it try dipping instead of tossing your salad(Insert laughter).  It’s a little repetitive, but dipping helps!!

– Raw nuts & dried berries are a great snack!  Trader Joe’s has some great combinations my favorite is a Filbert and Cranberry Mix!!

– Try something again!  If you have always hated Brussel Sprouts, let me email you a recipe to try them again.  Most of the time people don’t like a food or dish it’s because of the manner it was prepared.  trust me! If I don’t have the recipe or you have a specific concern, let me know!! I can help!!

– Mise en Place!:  It’s a term we cooks have and it means “everything in it’s place.”  Or more importantly, be prepared! This is the key.  If you don’t have what you need to stay away from the bad, you’re not gonna do well.  So pack the lunch, stash some nuts in the car, and in your
– You gotta move… Commit to 30 minutes a day.. Something small to start and then push yourself, because you’re the only one who will. The basic rule of thumb is burn more than you eat to lose it! Eat more than you burn to gain it! Eat the same as you burn to maintain it!!

Color Run 2013

Color Run 2013

Pre Race Week:  The week and sometimes weeks before a race(depending on the lengths) are different and should be!  This is what I do different.

– Chia seeds in everything for the weeks leading up to a race.  They help keep me hydrated as a great source of antioxidants and they are hight in fiber!  They do however make me bloated, but it’s a small price to pay for hydration!  Costco has a product called Quia, try it in your smoothies or in your cereal!

– I eat carbs.  I eat all the carbs I see!

– I take Glucosamine, and Bio Astin Every day!  Gotta protect the joints!

– I supplement with juice and smoothies twice a day, everyday.

– Try a traditional carbo loading session!  On big races, I practice true carb loading.  This is a process originally developed by Cross Country Skiers in the 1960’s and does not mean what most people think.  The process is a lengthy one, and involves a great deal of strength!  8 days before your race, you deprive yourself of ALL carbs for 3-4 days.  This allows your body to use up some of the glycogen molecules in your body.  Then on day 5-8 you eat carbs!  In this process, your body will then store more quantities of carbs in your body, so you have a reserve tank for when you need it.  Think of it as your bodies ability to hold twice as



much carbs!  Now a days, some scientists now think you don’t need to the first 3-4 days, you just need to increase your consumption of carbs for 1-4 days before the event.

I hope this helps with your nutritional questions.  If I’ve missed something, you have a question or need a specific recipe contact me!  I want to help!

Happy Holidays!


2 thoughts on “A Runner’s Nutrition

  1. This is a great post! As a fairly new runner (*did I really just say that?!) – Having run my first Marathon, I absolutely need to improve my nutrition! Thanks lots of great info here.

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