Guest Blogger Nancy Cook
I must admit I love to eat. I love good healthy food. At our house it is always a quest to make the perfect healthy meal and make sure it is something that will fuel our bodies for the activities we endure on a daily basis. Diet & nutrition play a big part of any athlete’s performance. Ability to consume and use the food you put inside your personal”vessel” really does make a difference. I am not a nutritionist, but I have read plenty of books on the subject, and as a competitive endurance athlete since the 1990’s -I know what works for me! I also know that I cannot perform well when I am “heavy” and out of “shape” for my own body. So I am always reading up and trying to stay on top of what keeps me near that “Racing Weight”. It has always been a struggle for me, like it has been for many others I know that have taken up running to lose weight.
There are many types of powders, gels, and recovery foods out there on the market. Only you can be the judge on what works for you and take the recommendations of others and do lots of taste testing and real time run testing to really find out what works, how your stomach feels, and how your performance is enhanced. Top on my personal list is Shaklee Sports Nutrition (Performance & Physique) and lately I really have performed well with GU – GU2O and GU gels & chomps. But my latest? Jelly Belly Sport Beans — oh ya! A Swedish Fish lover, these little gems hit the spot! (Yum!). Seriously when you can say yum after a sports nutrition product – you know it is your fuel! In the Boston Marathon 2012 I had great success with 1 GU every 4 miles and I really am glad I pushed the fuel a little more than I had in the past to survive that marathon! So try some sports nutrition on your next long run and see how much of a difference it makes for you!
Like my mom, I love to cook and make things from “scratch” Today we call it the home made revolution — we as a family are trying to get away from processed food. Have you read labels lately? Look for fructose, sugar, high fructose corn syrup and check out the fat content too. When you make it yourself – you know what is inside, without the chemicals, preservatives and others things that could really reek havoc with your system. My latest lunch favorite is Chobani Greek Yogurt (great substitute for dessert if you are an ice cream lover!) — Try it with home made granola! I came up with my own recipe for “Wonder Woman Granola” last year to get fueled for the Chicago Marathon and I swear by it’s power!
If you are looking for other bar recipes that actually taste really good check out the Bohemian Revolution – they have posted quite the line up. Best part about making your own is that you can choose which tastes you want inside!
Nancy’s Top Twelve Training Foods:
Almonds – We love roasted almonds – just have 5 and it curbs your appetite and gets your metabolism going! Slivered almonds on salad is truly a treat.
Black Beans – Mix in with salad or try a little chili to warm you up!
Eggs – Try just one scrambled in the morning is a good protein to sustain your morning. We also keep hard boiled eggs for a quick protein pick me up!
Chicken - Grilled is our preference – after all it is almost summer – but we grill all year round!
Low fat yogurt – CHOBANI — with my WW granola it is such a treat!
Mixed Salad Greens - Salad every night!
Oranges - Clementines are so sweet & tasty!
Salmon - We love it in phyllo dough or just with white wine, EVOO, lemon and spices
Sweet Potatoes -My husband’s favorite cooked with a little olive oil & Montreal Seasoning roasted in the oven
Whole Grain Bread – There are so many varieties to choose from -check out the grocers shelf near you!
Whole Wheat Cereal - MY favorite morning choice – Heritage by Nature’s Path – have you tried it?
Whole Grain Pasta - My son Schuyler’s favorite !
Food is fuel. If you choose the right type of calories it will equal power and endurance. Eat to run and give your body that edge to feel strong and powerful. Recovery is as important as fueling before a race, so get on a good plan and make it work for you!
Other articles of interest: