Category Archives: Fueling

Fueling – Nutrition & Gear

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Gluten Free Pre Race Meal – NYCM 2013

I know …what you really want is the NYCM recap. I promise to post later today!

But in the meantime lets talk pre race fueling.


We all know that I have an intensely sensitive stomach, which means that the day before a marathon I am crazy strict about what I eat. This year we had a group of people over to our apartment on Saturday night. 4 of us were running the marathon and the other 8 adults and 4 kids were gearing up for a full day of spectating. Needless to say we all needed a healthy and hearty meal.

I made:


  • Baked chicken nuggets. Loosely using Anne’s recipe and subbing the corn flakes for organic Rice Krispies.
  • Baked sweet potato rounds. 3 large sweet potatos cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds and baked at 400 for 35 minutes on a non stick cookie sheet
  • Baked crispy cauliflower. 1 head of cauliflower diced, sprayed with coconut oil and baked at 400 for 20 mins
  • Low fat fried Brown Rice.


  • In a small bowl scramble 3 raw eggs and a teaspoon of coconut amino acids.
  • Heat a large sauté pan and melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Pour the eggs into the pan and cook as a pancake. Flip the entire pancake and cook opposite side. (I find this is easiest on a medium/low heat and with a cover almost as if you’re steaming the eggs through)
  • Remove from heat and the pan, cut into small strips and set aside
  • In the same pan heat another teaspoon of coconut oil.
  • Add diced carrots and broccoli. Cook 5 mins on medium heat stirring occasionally
  • Add in diced mushrooms and 2 teaspoons of coconut amino acids.
  • Sauté another few mins and add in 2 cups of cooked brown rice.
  • Let cook together over low/medium heat for 10 mins. Add in egg strips.
  • Stir together and serve!

VC also made himself a steak …

It turned out to be the perfect pre race meal. 🙂

What do you eat before a race? Any new gluten free yum recipes I should know about?


Coach’s Corner – On intuitive fueling

Man this is a tough subject to write on.  Fueling is essential to a runner enduring marathon and half marathon training, however it is such a personal thing.  There’s no single right way to fuel on the run, it takes practice and a bit of intuition about your body and its needs.

Thankfully we have weeks and weeks of a training cycle to perfect our fueling strategy before Race Day.

Problem is that the whole idea of fueling can be very confusing/deceiving.  Lets say that you are a new runner strolling into the local run store to find fuel.  First off you will see a wall of varieties …

and when you finally choose one (hopefully based on something other than your favorite color or flavor) the serving size of one package is often way more than you should attempt to throw into your virgin run-fuelling stomach.

So what’s a runner to do?

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On a run lasting 75 minutes or longer start fueling 4 miles into your run.

(Depending on your pace that could be +/- 30-50 minutes into your run.)

Take in 50-75 Calories

Continue to consume the same amount at the same time interval for the duration of your run.

2 Important things to remember

*Fuel in even and continuous intervals (i.e. every 30 minutes)*

  • This is because your body begins to expect nourishment at that interval.  If you fuel every 30 minutes for 2 hours and then suddenly stop fueling at the same increment, you risk hitting a wall or bonking.
*Dont mix a sports drink with fuel*
  • Swig water after you take in fuel, and sports drinks on their own if you use them … the mixing of too many sugars in your system is a one way street to nausea

This is just a starting off point.  It is almost completely unlikely that the above is your “perfect fueling” but it is a good way to learn.

If you find that this fueling isn’t nearly enough.  Take in 100 Calories every 4 miles.

If you need more in your system, but find that 100 calories at a time is too much in your stomach then take in 50 Calories every 20 minutes.

If you hate to eat on the run and you think all of this sounds crazy … then I ask you, how do you expect to sustain yourself as a marathon runner?  There is really only so much stores that your body has and if you don’t give it a little something, it will quit on you.  However, start out with products that you enjoy.

  • Pretzels
  • Fig Newtowns
  • Dried Dates
  • Dried Apricots
  • Raisins
  • Candy!  Swedish Fish are my fav 🙂

More Options can be found on a previous post : Fueling on the Run

If you notice, I didn’t recommend a GU or gel product.  This is 1 – because I find them repulsive and 2 – because they are hard to portion … I personally cannot consume an entire gel, swig some water and not hurl … but we all know that my stomach is dysfunctional.

The # 1 thing to remember is that you have to pay attention to your body.  If you are starving but your fueling plan says that you shouldn’t eat for another mile … EAT something.  You make the rules, only you will be able to figure out your perfect fueling strategy.

These days this is what I do

  • Every 45 Mins I take 2 Gatorade Endurance Carb Energy Chews or 4 Honey Stinger Chews
  • I drink water throughout my run, sipping small quantities every mile or so
  • I keep pretzels in my pocket and typically have a few every time I take in fuel.  They ease my stomach and give me a little sodium kick 🙂

I do best with a lighter fueling strategy.  I hate hate hate to feel empty during a run, there is nothing that makes me want to stop more than a growling stomach BUT the flip side of that is feeling full, which is equally uncomfortable.

Hope that helps!  Send me your questions, as always I am happy to help you figure out what will work best for you! 



Here are 2 other articles via Runner’s World that may interest you and help you on your way to a perfect fueling strategy

How to eat during Long Runs

Alternatives To Energy Gels

*disclaimer – I am a certified run coach but not a certified nutritionist, please consult your doctor before beginning any rigorous training plans* 


A Crohn’s Update … On Probiotics?

Last we spoke about Crohn’s I was a bit whiny.

This year has been riddled with flares. Big and small, serious and manageable. The lesson that I have learned is that I will never fully have this disease under control … much like life, the minute you try to control something is when it becomes the hardest to manage. Crohn’s is a sneaky minx, she comes around when least expected and hides away when I’m not really paying attention.

These past few weeks, maybe its a month, I have been pretty OK. I went through an awful flare followed by an equally traumatizing round of medications that didn’t really do anything. Wait, thats incorrect, they did some things … they made night sweats worse, they gave me mouth sores and they turned me into an evil short tempered person who I’m embarrassed anyone had to meet. I’m not taking them anymore. And I’m feeling better.

I will be the first to say that I am a quitter when it comes to prescribed medications. I don’t have patience for the “it gets worse before it gets better” mumbo jumbo. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that I have remission in me again and I don’t think that it will come with the help of any controlled substances. Call it a gut instinct … and lets not discuss the fact that my gut isn’t fully functional. An instinct is an instinct.

So what am I doing?

I know that certain foods trigger my symptoms.

  • Grains are my # 1 suspect. I eat grains (that includes gluten free grains) and I bloat up like a hot air ballon. Does that mean that I am a die hard Paleo now? Nope. I do my best to steer clear of grains and opt for other sources of carbohydrates to fuel my body but its not 100%.
  • Raw vegetables. Salads can leave me in a fetal position for hours … but again am I boiling all of my food 100% of the time? No, I am not.
  • Alcohol. Oh how I love wine. It does not love me. I am sad.
  • Eggs. I have tried eggs in every possible way because I love them but the sad ending to the story is that I can’t eat them. Oh Brunch, you used to be so yummy.

Here is the deal, if I eliminate all of the above I am basically a Cooked Food Only Paleo/SCD Pescatarian. Whew. That a mouthful. Thankfully I am not a fan of labels so rather than trying to stick 100% to what my healthy eating title is, I just do my best. I really wholeheartedly do. I try not to stress about it, because stress makes everything worse, and I make healthy choices. And I live a little on edge that Crohn’s will veer its ugly head again, but I remind myself over and over again that there are things that I cannot control

Some things I am doing everyday:

  • Starting my day with a green juice. There is something magical about a green juice in the mornings. I have energy, my stomach is happy and not overworked. Life is good.
  • Eating small meals throughout the day and trying not to fear food. When food is mean to you – you tend to avoid it. Until you are ravenous and then you eat and everything hurts (story of my life) … I am really trying not to do this. Small meals and not letting myself get ravenous are key!
  • Getting massages and going to yoga. Twisting and turning, taking deep breaths and relieving some pressure from my “so tense” body is a good thing. I’m a believer. I try to do one of these 2 once a week, and I am ending my days with a bit of stretching before I go to sleep.
  • Taking Probiotics. These babies fell into the category of “gets worse before it gets better” for a while … but the last time I tried to take them I think they worked?! I have no idea if that is true, but they didn’t make things worse so … win. And the research on probiotics building a healthy gut lining is very convincing.

The lovely folks at Evolve had heard about my struggling intestines and they offered to send me samples of their Probiotic Kefir Greek Yogurt.

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I figured that even if I don’t like it, the G’s are greek yogurt eating machines … so it will not go to waste. What arrived is a little slice of probiotic heaven. Seriously, I am not in a place where I’m excited about food and I just love this stuff. For me and the kids.

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They love the strawberry … and I love that it is super low in sugar for a fruity yogurt. Also, check out the nutrition fact, there is nothing bad in the stuff at all. Love.

Kefir is also said to enhance the immune system, which I think is amazing. NYC kids are basically exposed to every germ in the world, so any extra help we can get in the immunity department is welcome!

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I am a fan of the plain, I like to control the add ins. So I top my plain with a scoop of fruit spread, blueberries, hemp seeds, maybe even some dried cranberries. Delish. And 16 grams of protein in 90 calories. WIN!

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Because I love the fact that this sweet sweet NY based, family owned and operated company is looking out for my Intestinal Health … I would like to share the love with you.

Evolve would like to send one variety pack of their yummy Greek Kefir Yogurt to one luck winner.

Entry is super easy:

Leave a comment on this post telling me:

What is one healthy thing that you do for yourself everyday?

I will pick a winner via random selection on Monday August 5th.

Good Luck! And may the probiotic odds be ever in your favor …


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