I recently started working with a nutritionist. Even though I’ve taken college level nutrition courses and spent hours researching different diets, I had so many questions. There are a lot of conflicting ideas on nutrition which makes it confusing. Here are a few tips that have helped me:
- The source of your food matters. When you can, eat grass fed meat, cheese, milk and wild caught fish. Compared to its grain and hormone-fed counterparts there are more essential omega-3’s, which reduce the risk of heart disease and manage weight. There’s also more CLA, a type of fat that's thought to reduce cancer risks, and has more antioxidants.
- Your body can only take in 25 grams of carbs at once before turning it into fat, except after a workout.
- Protein intake is by the hour, not the day, so make sure to keep fueling your needs each meal.
- Eat carbohydrates immediately after exercise to stop the breakdown of muscle and replenish your glycogen stores. The more intense and longer the exercise the higher the glycemic index and amount of carbs you’ll need. So, after a tough interval session eat a bagel, and after an easy 30 minute run opt for a banana.
- Don’t be afraid of fat. Healthy fats are needed to absorb several nutrients, increase satiety, regulate hormones, improve brain function, boost cardiovascular strength, and decreases inflammation. The food pyramid is upside down and backwards, don’t listen to it.
- Don’t blindly eat off of your body's signs of hunger. I’m not usually hungry as soon as I wake up or immediately after a workout, but both are important times to eat. In the morning I eat protein since my body has been deprived of it overnight and always bring a snack post-run!
My favorite post-run snack is this banana trail mix cookie:
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Heat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease with butter.
- In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, pecans, cranberries, and chocolate chips.
- In another bowl, mash the bananas and whisk with egg, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla.Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Wait a few minutes for the chia seeds to absorb the moisture before spooning heaping tablespoons onto the prepared cookie sheet. Since there is no butter or oil flatten the cookies slightly before baking. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Once cool store in an air-tight container.
#ProTip, place cookies in the dash of your car while on your run and you’ll return to slightly melted chocolate chips!
I'm racing next at the Friehofer's 5k on Saturday, June 2nd in Albany, NY - hope to see you out there!