Danica Newon: In Nutrition, Balance Is Everything

Danica Newon drinks several glasses of water a day to stay hydrated. Photo: www.shutterstock.com

While I’m not really a great example of nutrition, I have been actively trying to clean up my diet and what I put in my body on a daily basis. Since I started really taking notice as to what I’m eating, I have seen a change in my running and how my body feels.

I do believe, however, that life is all about balance and I unfortunately love a few fast food places and I’m a cheeseaholic. I have been trying to wean myself off Chickfila and Taco Bell, and don’t really ever drink soda in general. I usually stick with sparkling water with lemon or lime because I love the carbonation. In the past six months I have been working a lot to make sure that I’m eating more of a balance of foods.

I’m really not a huge breakfast person, but I do know that I need to eat it or else I start feeling really, really hungry and overeat throughout the day to compensate for missing it. I usually start off the day with a smoothie or cereal. I keep it pretty boring in the mornings. I do like coffee, but usually only drink it when I’m out and about. For lunch, I love a good salad or sandwich. I love paninis or a fresh salad with some chicken. I am just learning to eat salad, which is kind of shocking but I never really liked lettuce at all. It’s always interesting to see what kinds of salads different places offer, and I’m finding more and more I like.

For dinner, it’s always very different. Because my husband is a firefighter, he can be gone for days on end and when he’s gone, I’m only cooking for myself. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to making food for only one person, and usually will stock up on pre-made salads from the market for dinner when I know he’s going to be gone or I’ll make a big batch of chicken and just eat some chicken and rice or veggies for dinner. Sometimes on those nights, I’ll go out to dinner with friends, since I know he’s going to be gone. I am such a steak and potatoes girl, but I have been trying to stay away from starchy foods for dinner and focusing more on light and fresh things paired with a protein. It makes me feel so much better when I have to get up really early to run the following morning.

One thing that is SO important to me is drinking water throughout the day. I feel like I’m drinking at least a glass an hour most days and my body is so used to me drinking a lot of water that when I don’t drink it, I get super light-headed and dehydrated easily. So I’m always making sure that I have an extra water bottle with me at all times.

The best life is a balanced life and though I didn’t used to eat very healthy, I’m working hard at learning to love salads and creating more of a balance to help me stay and feel healthy.

For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.

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