How does food affect your fitness routine?

I’ve been training for a marathon for almost a month now.  My body is getting stronger and more muscular by the day (cool!), and I am actually starting to eat less!  I think it’s because I’m really putting thought into what goes in as it will show up at the workout tomorrow with me.  On days that I have eaten too late at night or too many fats (Hello avocados, olives, pumpkin seed oil, and almonds) my legs feel like lead and my breathing is labored from the start.

Now, I am focusing on getting a good source of energy in my diet.  Since I don’t eat animal flesh, that means finding raw, vegan sources that aren’t filled with soy which makes my stomach hurt and makes my body acidic.  I just discovered a great raw, vegan protein powder called Sun Warrior Protein.  I have added it twice so far to my morning smoothies and noticed that yesterday I felt super satisfied all day after drinking it.  I didn’t even eat dinner and I had loads of energy.

I’m running my long run tomorrow.  I run with the Team In Training group and will run probably between 5 and 7 miles depending on how I feel. Last week after 7 miles, not 6 as I originally thought, my kneecaps felt like someone had taken a hammer to them.  It was hard for me to walk without pain for 3 days.  So this week I’m going to watch it and not  amp up my miles too quickly since I have until October 18th to be ready.  I’ll get up early and drink a Sun Warrior Protein smoothie, to see how I feel. Last week was a complete disaster with the food thing; I was so proud of myself for making goji-chia-almond bars, and I thought “This is light, this is good, this has energy”, well my poor running partner, Glenda, all she heard  was “oooh my stomach hurts, burp, burp”…. Ahhh never again, that thing stayed with me for hours!  This week is a new experiment.  I’ll add a banana and some coconut water to the blender with 2 Tbsp. of protein powder.

This is a pretty fun experiment!  I love testing on my own body.  It’s the only way to really know if something works.  Try it out then journal the results.  I’ve found that keeping a food diary and noticing how I feel after eating has really helped me pinpoint some energy zappers.  For instance, for lunch I had a green salad with corn (starch), buckwheat crackers (starch and fat), avocado (fat), pumpkin seed oil (fat), and I feel a little sleepy now…too many fats and starches for this clean running body. I think next time, even though I know this already and even though I don’t always want to listen, I’ll limit the intake to 1 starch or protein (nuts), and 1 or 2 fats and I’ll feel much lighter.

Going dancing tonight…taking lessons at a blues club in SOMA (south of Market).  I’m supposed to be resting today before my run, but it’s so hard to pass up a good invite. I’ll take it easy and try to get to bed early!

Here is a recipe for all you athletes:

Elaina Loves’
SuperFood Chocolate Clusters

chocolate clusters hero6 oz. Virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup cacao butter (1.25 oz. by weight)
3/4 cup coconut nectar or Lakanto
2 Tbs honey
10 drops Medicine Flower vanilla essence (use cherry, almond, maple, cinnamon, etc.)
1/4 tsp. Himalayan salt
1/16 tsp. cayenne pepper
Blend until smooth
1 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
1/2 cup goji berries
2 cup coconut chips or fine shredded
1 cup brazil nuts, chopped well
1/4 cup Spirulina powder
1/2 cup raisins (not chopped)
1/2 cup chopped Inca berries (chopped fine)
1 1/2 Tbs. Maca powder
1.    Mix coconut oil, sweetener, vanilla, salt and cayenne together in a blender until smooth.
2.    Pour into a bowl and hand mix in the cacao powder and spirulina until well mixed.
3.    Add the remainder of ingredients and stir well.
4.    Spoon globules of batter onto an excellent drying sheet or wax paper using a level Tablespoon.  Freeze until set, then put in a sealable container and refrigerate.

Makes 45 clusters

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