This is a work in progress. It’s based on what I have learned (and not always practiced) over the years of being a runner. It is the plan partially responsible from getting myself from 245 lbs to 185 back in 2006-2007, so I know it is effective. Running helped for sure but no fitness and health regime is complete without combining good eating with proper exercise. Now, I am not a certified Dietion or Nutritionist, but this has been effective for me, so I am compelled to share!
Thanks to Tara Postnikoff from Heal Nutrtion for some of this content!
Lets begin with some basic nutrition tips
Don’t drink your calories. Water should be your beverage of choice. Coffee in moderation in an acceptable alternative as are herbal teas. Most fruit juices and all sodas are high calories. Even100% fruit juices are a much higher calorie to nutrient value than is optimal. This is not to say a small amount of real fruit juice is not acceptable but an orange or anapple will give you more Nutrients and fibre than their juice equivalent of calories. Obviouse booze should be limited for optimal training effect but if you were to choose wine over beer you’ll be ahead. Diet sodas are really no better and in my opiniowe should not be putting chemicals such as sweeteners in our bodies.
Drink water as soon as you wake up. Add lemon or apple cider vinegar to balance your body’s alkalinity to get the day started right.
Every day. Rethink breakfast. It does not have to be bacon and eggs etc. There should be a well rounded variety of foods including fibre and lean protein as well as good, carbs such as whole grain bread, or fruit. Protein can be anything listed in our protein section below.
Rewards should be limited. A great run, or even a long run do not open the door to eat whatever you want for that day. You do not want to undo all that you have done with your exercise, especially if trimming Dow testing lean are part of your goals. “Athetes are also made in the kitchen”
Learn to cook if you don’t already. Cooking your own foods ensures you know all that you are eating. Get to know the calorie content of the foods you cook with. Get to know your daily recommendations. Get into good food habits and you will never struggle with weight.
Ditch meal replacements such as bars and shakes (unless you make your own shakes). We do not need the added ingredients and preservatives of over e counter meal replacements.
Shop smart. You can even shop hungry as long as you channel your hunger towards heathy choices. Read the labels. Know what you’re putting in your body and react the fact that we were never meant to ingest a lot of the ingredients in packaged good let alone the high calorie and sodium levels in many supermarket products.
Eat a Wide variety of Colours.
This will ensure you are getting all of your nutrients. Don’t be afraid to try things you haven’t before. Use the ‘net to look up a recipe. Foods that seem strange will become familiar, your taste buds will adapt and your enjoyment of these foods will be greater as you continue on eating healthy ingredients.
You’ve heard hopw good carbs are for runners so many times. They do not have to be white to be good. Yes, the white carbs, pasta, rice, potatoes, breads, convert to energy well, but they do not sustain as long and they adduneccessary calories and far less fibre than their brown counterparts. Be wise, go brown as much as possible, if not all the time.
Beacuse we need them. Try Avocadoes, Avocado oil, Almonds (raw), Walnuts (raw), Coconut oil, milk, Oilive oil (extra virgin). When it comes to cooking, Coconut oils is the most heat-stable. Avoid overheating Olive oil. Grapeseed oil is another good cooking oil. Ditch Canola and Corn Oil, they’re bad.
Plant based protein is better. This is not a polital statement. it is just a fact that I am aware of, through much research and discussion. it’s not up for debate or argument, it’s just how I feel. First of all, most peopel generally eat more protein than we need. Really, we eat more food in general than we need. Animal based protein is higher in fats, harder to digest and poses the possibilty of forcing us to consume antibiotics and hormones we do not need or should not ingest. I don’t eat very much meat anymore, basically only a small amount of fish. When I did and if I do again, eat meat, I opt for organic, grass fed beef, organic free run poultry. It’s worth the added costs. Once in a good routine, than the ocasional lapse while on vacation or a pal BBQ, night out for dinner etc, is going to happen. Just get back on track right away. Dairy falls into this same category, that of hormones, antbiotics etc so go organic if you can an davoid / limit how much you consume. As tasty as it is, cheese (most) is one of the highest calorie and fat content foods there is.
Here are some great protein alternatives to meat.
Spirulina, Tempeh, Seitan, Lentils, Black Beans, Chick peas, Mung Beans, Kidney beans, Pinto beans, Kamut, Quinoa, Bladck eyed peas, nuts, peanut butter, Almonds, Oatmeal, Bulgar, Spinach, Brown Rice, Broccoli, Baked Potato, Greek yogurt.
Organic is better.
Organic food is more expensive. So if you want to keep costs reasonable, that is fine, but do avoid if possible, the non-organic items listed here due to their high content of pesticide residue:
Fruits – Apples, Strawberries, Grapes, Pears, Peaches, Blueberries, Cherries,
Veggies – Spinach, Potatoes, Lettuce, Kale, Celery, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers
Nutrition is so important. As a runner, it is probably more important than you think. Fitness is more than running and workouts. Read, research, watch documentaries. Get to know myths and what really is truly good food. Allow som snacks and treats from time to time but not every run deserves an award. It’s not just about weight management, tyour recovery time will be reduced, your strength will be enhanced, your energy levels higher and you will sleep better. All factors for improving your fitness. So your running will improve as will your quality of life.
These items are all good sources of Omega 3s. It is always best to get your vitamins and minerals from food.
Brazil nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, kiwi, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, hemp oil, wheat germ oil, Udo’s 3-6-9 oil, Avocadoes, Fermented Soybeans (Tempeh, Miso), Kidney beans, Darlk leafy greens (Kale, Spinach, Chard), Spirulina (Available as a powder to add to smoothies), Squash
Otherwise, an Omega 3 supplement may be in needed.
Iron is a common low mineralin most people. it is important for athletes as it is needed in red blood cells to help transfer oxygen to the rest of the body.
Food containing iron should be added to your diet if you do not already consume them. Examples:
Pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, Sundried tomatoes, dried apricots, lentils, spinach, quinoa, black beans, pinto beans, prune juice (!), rasins
This is an ingredient found in wheat products. It is without a doubt a big factor in the good taste and texture of breads and what based pastas and many baked goods. It is however, hard for our bodies to handle and you will find you’ll feel much better avoiding gluten as much as possible, even if you do not have an intollerance to it.
To be continued…