If I’m going to write about food, you should know this: I don’t really enjoy cooking or even preparing food. I can make a mean fruit salad from scratch, and I can—and do—follow simple recipes, but I have no interest in following in Julia Child’s footsteps.
Which means I eat many of the same things in a week. (Which, by the way, is totally fine for my unrefined tastebuds.)
A typical Day
5 a.m.ish: Pre-run, always a banana. Unless we’re out of bananas; then I go for two sheets of graham crackers. (If I’m going out for longer than 90 minutes, I’ll also have a whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter.)
Post-Run: Down a medium-sized glass of lowfat chocolate milk for recovery—and to reward myself for my miles.
Breakfast: Usually two slices of whole grain bread, toasted, with almond butter and honey, and sometimes a small bowl of homemade granola with almond milk too if I’m really hungry. And always a latte, either the DIY at home with Oregon Chai (sold in bulk at Costco: $) or the Starbucks version ($$$).
Lunch: These days, I’m into half of an avocado spread on the aforementioned whole grain bread and a triangle of Laughing Cow cheese; sometimes some spinach leaves thrown in for good measure. Add some salt, and it tastes much better than it sounds. Usually I’ll add fruit or tortilla chips—or both.
Dinner: I’m all about simple and easy. I’m a huge fan of rice and black beans, dressed up with salsa, cheese, chicken (read: homemade Chipotle: $) or the real Chipotle ($$), my favorite dinner before a big workout or race. I’m on a roasted Brussels sprouts and broccoli jag right now, and I mix them with quinoa and Parmesan cheese. Salads with roasted walnuts, blueberries, and blue cheese are also a fave. I have pizza at least one night a week, and a beer (carbo loading, right?) usually nightly. I’ll have a small bowl of ice cream most nights to bookend the day.
Snacks: Streamlined and filling (a blend of protein, carbs, and fat) work best for me. LARABARs (especially the ones with chocolate chips in them) and a handful of almonds or trail mix are my go-tos when I’m hungry. An apple with peanut butter works too, but I always end up with peanut butter on my keyboard, and that bugs me. Because I work from home and because sugar is my biggest nutritional weakness, I do my best to keep junk food out of my grocery cart. When I shop from a list and realize that Oreos don’t do anybody any favors, I can generally minimize the sugar that comes through the front door.
I am far from perfect, though: I love peanut M’n’M’s, Coke Zero, carrot cake, anything with melted cheese. That said, I’ve finally realized that food doesn’t just affect my running performance; it also influences my productivity, my sleep, my personality. When I eat—excuse my French—crap, it may immediately taste good, but sooner than later, it makes me feel like crap. And that feeling ricochets through all aspects of my life. When I eat the heavy-on-fruits-veggies-whole-grains-etc. way that I—and likely, you—know you should, food is simply the fuel that gets me through the day and my miles. No highs, no lows, just steady on.
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