This week I have been focusing on my diet. Making sure I'm eating healthy and nutritious foods. The last day of 2011 I weighed myself and realized I hit my weight loss goal. Actually, I was 1 pound under. That helped me start the year with a new mind set. After 3 years, I would no longer focus on weight loss. I will focus on my fitness, running, and maintaining a healthy diet. Unfortunately, I lost focus of my healthy diet and using my increase in activity as an excuse. However, I knew the truth...I wasn't doing all I could do to be a better runner.
My goal isn't to just finish an ultra, but to finish it with grace and in tact. My miles will start to increase significantly and I want to make sure I'm fueling my body appropriately. When I say a healthy diet, I'm not talking about diet products. I'm talking about eating more fruits & vegetables and decreasing my intake of refined sugars and unhealthy fats. A healthy diet to me equals eating foods that are nutritious and provide me with the vitamins and minerals by body needs to function optimally. I splurge and encourage the occasional splurge because I feel that it helps people adhere to a life long change to a healthy diet.
Today, for lunch I made myself a turkey burger with a sandwich thin loaded with spinach and tomatoes. I didn't want to have any sugary drinks, but wasn't in the mood for water either, so I decided to juice some fruits I had. My friend, Filipe at seasonyourfood.blogspot.com is on day 5 of a 10 day juice fast. Following his journey has really inspired me to start juicing again. Juicing is a great way to include veggies and fruits in our diets. I use to juice once to twice a day, but after moving to Washington I stopped. Not sure why, but he inspired me to start again.
Jennie-o turkey burger with cheese, onions, spinach, & tomatoes, along with a fresh fruit juice including strawberries, grapes, & a mango.
After my 6 mile run today I stopped and replenished my stock of veggies and fruits to start juicing. Tomorrow I have a 10 mile run planned with Wear Blue:Run to Remember and I plan on juicing before my run. There is a pre-run juice that Filipe recommended, but I don't have any beets, so I will replace it with an orange. I don't think it will bring any sort of miracle to my run, but I know I'll have those extra nutrients in my body as fuel.
Nutrition doesn't make a runner, but it does help make you a better runner. When going through those periods of race training, it helps your body stay strong as you increase your mileage. I love food (healthy food and unhealthy foods) as much as the next person, but if more often than not we see food as fuel, we will make better choices. Save the splurges for special events and outings. You won't feel so bad if you eat healthy 85% of the time and trust me, you will feel so much better.
If you have any doubts or questions about nutrition and fitness, feel free to leave me a comment below.