A Day in the Life: My Daily Nutrition Guide
Contributed by Kristine Ciardello. Kristine is a 2016 Ambassador for The Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon.
You know those shirts that say “Will Run for Brunch” or “Run Now, Feast Later”? Those were made for me.
I also may have taken some creative liberties on the actual verbiage of the shirts – but, you get the point.
I’ve learned over the year how essential nutrition is to athletic performance.
Growing up, I’d finish soccer practice or a tough swim practice and head straight for In N Out Burger where I’d immediately pound a Double Double (with cheese) and fries (well done, always). I’d also probably top that off with some fro yo. Because, YOLO.
Let’s quickly take a moment of silence for teenager metabolisms.
Anyway, you can’t expect to work out as hard and as efficiently as you want to without the proper amount of fuel in the tank. And the right fuel in the tank.
It’s not about cutting out any one nutrient, or juice cleansing or any of that. It’s about eating whole foods, and knowing the differences between the good and the bad, and what will make you run your hardest, lift your heaviest, and finish strong.
So since I start planning my next meal as I eat the current one, I’m sharing a day in the life of my eats. (To note, this is a normal weekday – weekends most always include wine.)
I wake up at this time about every day. Currently, I’m participating in the Barry’s Bootcamp March Academy. Meaning I take class Monday – Friday (5x a week) for 4 weeks. I will tell you it’s doing wonders for my speed, core strength and hill work. Before class I always pound a double shot of espresso and pop a date smeared with some almond butter for a quick burst of natural sugar, carbs and protein.
Black coffee has been shown to increase metabolism (helping you burn more all day long), reduce perceived muscle pain, improve circulation (more oxygen to muscles = a better workout!) and when paired with carbs – increase muscle glycogen (the fuel “piggybank” you pull from during an endurance run or heavy lifting session!) via
Post-workout I make sure I get my protein in. I usually do this in the form of a smoothie (Almond Milk, Protein Powder, Frozen Berries/Banana, Flax Meal, Chia Seeds, Cinnamon). You want to get your protein in within 30 minutes of your workout to both repair those tiny tears in your muscles and also keep the hanger (hunger/anger) at bay.
You’re not you when you’re hungry.
Snack time! A piece of fruit or a protein bar helps to tide me over until lunch.
FINALLY. I usually have a salad or a wrap for lunch – gotta get those veggies in. My favorite make-at-home salad is to take raw kale and lemon juice, salt, pepper, avocado and massage it all together. This takes the bitterness out of the kale and makes it REALLY flavorful. Then I add chicken for lean protein, pumpkin seeds for some crunch, and any other veggies I have lying around. An egg on top would be a great addition – just sayin!
I always have an afternoon snack or I risk getting home from work and inhaling the entire kitchen and a bag of chips. I like to keep my protein up and have Greek yogurt (Siggi’s is my favorite brand – it’s grass-fed and delicious) with some berries and a spoonful of peanut butter. Protein, healthy fats, probiotics. Hits. The. Spot.
Dinner is usually always a lean protein and veggies with some type of starch (more often than not a sweet potato – I’m literally turning orange.) I try to keep the refined carbs at bay in the evening but not all carbs are created equal – when you’re working out hard you need the good kind – quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, lentils, beans, veggies. A sweet potato or brown rice/quinoa blend is usually always on my plate. I couldn’t fit them here, but know they made an appearance!
Dark chocolate is full of anti-oxidants and is a part of my day… every day. I keep a few bars of high quality, 85% Cacao in my freezer and break off a piece to finish off the day. Perfection.
There ya have it – a full day of eats! What’s your can’t-live-without daily staple?