Monday, January 18, 2010

Foodie for Thought

Thanks to all of you who have written in with comments - what great support! I'm counting on you to weigh (pun intended) in on today's topic as
I love to eat food, especially the kind I don't have to cook. I know very well what I should eat and what I shouldn't, but this whole running thing has changed my thinking a bit. Now, knowing I'll be running later in the day, I seem to be eating whatever the heck I want with no thoughts for the consequences. I'm really enjoying my bagels, mac n'cheese, and (I'm ashamed to say) deep-fried goodies, but I know this can't really be helping my running efforts.
I have a history of calorie-counting and I know it makes me absolutely crazy...and really crabby (think caffeine addict and not a drop of coffee in sight). I am loving the leeway running gives me, but I think I've gone a bit overboard. How do I give up all the bad carbs and sugar I so love without jumping back on the crazy calorie-counting wagon?
What do you do to balance your diet? Please tell me some of you are foodies, too?!


  1. I, too, can be a bit of a calorie-obsessed lady and have found running to be better for me in that aspect, at times, but have also been known to use running as an excuse for that extra piece of whatever-I-just-ate-that-tasted-so-good. Don't become obsessed with calorie counting but be AWARE of the foods you are eating.
    It has been a series of trail and errors for me. The most important thing I have learned, as a runner and an eater, is to find out what works for your body before and after a run in order to get the proper fuel for running and the proper nutrients for recovery. I admit this is also trial and error. I have had some glorious runs after eating a Peanut Butter Clif Bar with coffee, then waiting 45 minutes. I have also had some not-so-glorious runs when eating a Cranberry Almond Clif bar with water and waiting an hour so you have to experiment and listen to your body. Write down the foods you have so you can catch patterns of bodily behaviors.
    As for eating outside that realm of your all matters really. What you have for breakfast will definately have an effect on your run that day. Try to start thinking "fuel" rather than "food". I do think that you can still have the foods you love, just in moderation and timed so that it won't compromise your training. I still indulge every now and again (sometimes now and again and again and again) but that usually comes back to haunt me in one way or another and I learn the hard way to take it easy during training.
    I use my long run days as a way to give in to my sweet tooth. I love, love, love sports beans and Gu so I "treat" myself to those during long runs. Be careful though! It may take some time to find the ones that work best to consume while running! That's why it is important to write down what you eat...don't make the same mistake twice!
    I have a rather boring diet while training because I have found what works best for my body as my mileage increases. Now, I am no expert. Most of the info I am giving you is because I read it and followed it myself and it worked, or because I made mistakes in my eating (thinking "I have a strong gut that can handle it!)and paid the price.
    Every body is different and you really should enjoy your training and don't think you have to give up everything you love...think of it as adding something else to the list of things you love (maybe!). Find what works for may even find out you that mac n cheese is perfect fuel for you the night before a long run...who knows!
    I am currently changing my eating habits to eating vegan and have never trained while eating this way so we are both on new ground!
    I have found that research and becoming part of a community of runners is most helpful! Check out running websites and read about running and nutrition.
    Good Luck! I hope this helps!

  2. Just a general rule I try to follow is if it is processed, I try to stay away from it. It doesn't always work as it isn't easy, but I think it is a good start.

    Good Luck!