A Peek at my Running Diet

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It’s been said, you are what you eat; there maybe some truth to that.  Nine out of ten runners will tell you that food is a very important part of their lifestyle, it dictates how they are able to perform and even if they run at all in some cases.  Starting off the year on the right foot demands that we not only address the issue of exercise, but also that of our diet, as both are equally important in helping us achieve our health goals.  Rather than go the way of a long list of suggestions of do’s’ and dont’s, I’ve decided to give you a peek into what foods work for this runner girl.

healthy-breakfast-120516Breakfast: my best and most important meal of the day.  I get an early start at 5am but don’t get to have breakfast until about nine by which time I’m so hungry, I could eat the proverbial horse.  I tend to go a little cereal crazy here and generally have a bowl of some type of whole grain and granola mixed with oats and banana. A slice of toast with either peanut butter, cheese or margarine often follows with a glass of orange juice.

Snack: generally consists of yogurt with granola and nuts and fruit. Because I’m not a big snack person, I often miss this part to my detriment as I don’t have lunch until around 1pm. Of course by then I’m entering starving mode and a build up of gas threatens. This is a recent and very uncomfortable occurrence, which my doctor explains can be remedied by eating throughout the day. According to him, my high metabolism burns calories at a faster rate than most, therefore I need to eat at least six times a day – obviously not huge amounts – to make sure that I have the proper amount of calories my body needs.

l956566279Lunch: I love food. By which I mean home-cooked meals. A Caribbean girl at heart, I’ve inherited the practice of having full-blown meals for lunch and I generally walk with my lunch which would often include vegetables ( my favorite), chicken breast of some kind, or ground beef or turkey, some type of grain such as cous cous or brown rice, or whole grain pasta or soup ( a Caribbean soup consisting of a multitude of roots, vegetables, seasonings, meats and dumplings) now that it’s winter, peas or beans or a combination of any of the above and salad.

9-10_9999_54hummus-sandwich-appleAfternoon Snack: Most times this includes a fruit such as banana and part-skimmed mozzarella cheese or apple and humus or, sometimes and, an organic peanut butter and jelly whole wheat sandwich.

fotolia_1607767_XSDinner: may include whole grain spaghetti and meatballs with veggies or some variation of a pasta dish with either a seafood or type of meat or even salami and a fresh salad.

images (2)Quick Snack: I usually have an apple or trek mix on my way home from the gym or from running.

 

Supper: consists of cereal and milk or hot chocolate, now that it’s cold, with crackers and margarine or cheese.

Of course I’m not perfect and so this is a typical day. There are those crazy days, which happen far too often for my liking, when I fall off the wagon and have to make do with some version of the above; but for the most part I stay on course during the weekdays. On weekends, I allow myself to go off schedule somewhat to satisfy the party animal in me but never to the extent that I’m left with consequences to deal with. As a runner and health enthusiast, I try to always make healthy choices, fully aware that those choices are the reasons why I look and feel great, and perform so well.

Amp up your Running with these 10 Power Foods

imageWe already know the goal of every runner: to run harder, faster and better each time. What if I told you there was a super drug out there, one that could make you realize your dream, sans side effects. I’d be lying of course. The truth is life holds no such guarantee and promises to the contrary are most likely empty. While many believe in such things as coincidence, luck, and karma; I’ve always been a firm believer in hard work. Where all else fails, application, commitment and determination will, nine our of ten times, bring about success.

As luck/karma/coincidence or as I like to think, God, would have it, we can be ably assisted in our goal by something as simple as our diet. I scouted around and came up with what runners, nutritionists, and doctors agree are the best super foods for runners; foods that will fuel performance, stimulate health, are either easy to prepare or need little or no preparation, and, are sure to give energy, power and sustenance for some super running.

-Bananas; nature’s own power bar packed with potassium, fiber, vitamin C and B6. Raisins share similar components.
-Salmon; fish has protein and Omega 3 fats and is also a great source of Vitamin D which helps with your mood and to get you motivated..
-Leafy Greens to include Kale; has folate which increases circulation for runners, here you can get creative with your salads and colors.
-Eggs; a great source of protein with multiple ways to prepare for variety and taste.
-Sweet Potatoes; you get your carbs, potassium and fiber, plus it’s versatile to prepare.
-Almonds among other nut sources are healthy high-performance fats , which should be eaten sometime before or after exercise due to digestion.
-Whole Grains; quality carbs like Quinoa and Black Rice or even Whole Wheat Pasta and good ‘ole’ Oatmeal.
-Lean Beef; a higher source of protein than chicken or pork.
-Low-fat Yogurt is loaded with calcium and active cultures, which is a great boost to runners. It also provides vegetarian protein and can be easily enhanced with fresh fruit, agave and the like.
-Avocadoes & Olives; similar to almonds as a healthy high-performance fat.

Other foods like Dark Chocolate, Berries, Cherries and Oranges boasts similar benefits and contain the protein, carbohydrates and fiber that runners need to perform at their peak. My take.. It is worth investing a little of your time to compare options when shopping to ensure you get the best deal both financially and health-wise. And of course, one must keep abreast of all the new discoveries being made these days. Who knows… about that super drug? Only, we don’t really need it; not with all the delicious, natural and power-producing foods that are already available.

Here’s to super foods for super running!

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