19 April 2012

what I eat while running

If you read Where in the World Am I? then you know that I'm running again, with goals and everything. I'm running a 10K in May and the Hyderabad Half Marathon in August. I have a training plan for the running, but despite all the nutritional articles I love to read I still feel like I'm not quite there with an eating plan. I know I eat too much sugar and salt. I know I need to eat more proteins and vegetables. I'm working on it.

Muffin doesn't eat any vegetables right now so it's been easy to slack off on preparing them. To inspire her and to force me, I am offering her one veggie per day, whether it's pepper slices on a pizza, chunky tomato sauce, carrot sticks, or steamed broccoli. She can say "No," and I won't force her but I'm making myself eat them. She watches me carefully and she tries a bite or two but she rarely asks for more. I know it's just a toddler phase but I can't use that excuse. Much like I read in Hungry Monkey, Muffin loves picking out the vegetables at the store and she loves to help prepare them, but she doesn't want to eat them.

I'm taking advantage of having a housekeeper to help prepare food. Surprisingly it's a lot of work to come up with meal plans and shopping lists and decide which foods I want my housekeeper to make and which I'll do myself. She washes the fruits and vegetables and I have her cut up the fruit so it's easier for me to make smoothies. She prepares meat rubs and marinades, then I pop the meat in the oven or onto the grill for cooking at dinner time.

In order to eat properly before and after running and to make sure Muffin is having wholesome meals as well, I've starting planning out my eating and running schedules a few days in advance. I don't stick to it strictly but it's a nice reminder of what leftovers are in the fridge and which meals needs to be prepared. It reminds me when I need to eat in order to be ready for a run and I plan certain snacks and meals to eat while Muffin is sleeping because I don't want to share every single bite that I eat. It sounds like a lot of work and it might even sound silly but if I don't do this I sit around eating chocolate all day behind Muffin's back and then I'm crabby and don't have the energy to make a healthy dinner so we end up eating macaroni and cheese.

I follow Anja's Food 4 Thought, the blog of a woman training for marathons in Saudi Arabia, for healthy, gluten-free, runner-friendly recipes and for inspiration for running in hot weather. All the recipes look yummy but I keep making the same chocolate-carrot muffins (another veggie for Muffin!) and apricot-pecan cake over and over again. They are great post-running treats with a glass of milk.

Speaking of hot weather, coconut water is my new best friend. I've heard it's a trendy, expensive sports drink in the United States. Here, I can walk about a quarter of a mile to a guy who sells coconuts on the side of the road, chops it open with a machete for you, and gives you a straw -- for about twenty-five cents per coconut. Despite that, I prefer the convenience of a little plastic bottle -- for about fifty cents -- that I can put in my gym bag to drink as soon as I hop off the treadmill.

Knowing the right things to eat and actually eating them are two different issues. I'm integrating small changes into my daily routine. One step at a time, just like running.

*I am an Amazon Affiliate. If you click on the Hungry Monkey link and ultimately decide to buy it, I will receive a few cents. I was not paid for this post; the book was purchased by me for personal reading.

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