Ultra Nutrition

 Posted by on March 19, 2013  1 Response »
Mar 192013
 
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With spring almost upon us (though you might not know it here in Madison), many runners have started thinking about what races they’ll be running this year.  If you’ve already tackled a marathon and are itching to try something new, you might be considering an ultra.  And so begins the excitement of researching races and distances, deciding on a training plan, and maybe buying a new pair of shoes.  One thing that will be arguably as important as logging the miles will be experimenting with what you eat and drink so that you don’t have a miserable experience on race day! Continue reading »

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The 24 Day Vegans

 Posted by on January 24, 2013  9 Responses »
Jan 242013
 
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After our half marathon, Steve and I entered what I like to call Excuse Land when it came to running and with various injuries, being extra busy with work, traveling to see family and having friends visit us, we had plenty of them! By the time we made it past Thanksgiving, we only had a few runs to our credit, but had continued to eat like we were still training for the half marathon (and we were eating out or ordering food much too often). Needless to say, we were both starting to feel pretty unhealthy, which was pretty miserable considering we had spent over a year committed to our running, health, and weight-loss. We decided we needed to detox, and, feeling inspired by the vegan lifestyle Scott Jurek describes in his book, Eat and Run, we felt that the best way to do this was by trying out veganism. So, from December 1 to December 25, Steve and I were vegan (I know, tantamount to blasphemy in America’s Dairyland), and I wanted to share our experiences with you. Continue reading »

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Nutrition Experiment: Wrap-up

 Posted by on November 30, 2012  No Responses »
Nov 302012
 
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An amazing thing happened today.  I came home from work, had a light snack, took my time getting ready, and went for a run.  And it felt great!  Okay, not profoundly great. I didn’t run super far, set a new PR, or got somehow transformed into a sleek thoroughbred. No, I was sweaty, tired, and my legs burned as I sprinted down the last block towards my house, but I couldn’t help but smile.

The source of my sweaty smile and sense of accomplishment? My newly completed nutrition experiment.  After analyzing what I ate, crunching the numbers, and making some simple fixes to my life, I can call this experiment a success. I’ve learned a great deal over the past few months, and I’m excited to share my new wisdom. Continue reading »

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Oct 232012
 
halloween-candy-explosion

Anyone who knows me well is likely aware that I have a major sweet tooth. Seriously. I cannot be trusted to keep any candy around our apartment and have it last for more than a few days (sometimes even a single day is asking too much). My love of candy, coupled with the fact that my birthday is the day after Halloween, has forever cemented All Hallow’s Eve as my absolute favorite holiday. Dressing up in costume and getting jacked up on candy immediately followed by a day of cake and presents? BEST. THING. EVER. Especially if you’re under the age of 12. Let’s be honest, though, I’m 24 and I still get super excited about it. But enough about me. Believe it or not, I am writing today to use my candy obsession for good! We’ve talked before about the importance of fueling your body properly before, during, and after a run, and turns out candy can be a great (and often cheaper) alternative to all of those fancy energy bars and gels. They can even be the better option for people who struggle with tummy troubles from consuming gels, or for people like me who have food allergies (peanuts are a common ingredient in almost all energy bars). Of course, not all candies are created equal, so I’ve put together a list of the best Halloween favorites for runners. Enjoy! Continue reading »

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Oct 172012
 
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Protein week is at an end, so lets look at the numbers.  Surprisingly enough, more fat was consumed this week than during fat week (an increase of 33% was also seen compared to the control week).  One notable difference this week, however, is that the fat was mainly from mixed animal and plant-based sources. Overall, protein consumption increased 15% from the control week.

This discrepancy in fat intake comes from the fact that many foods that are high in protein are also high in fat.  My diet this week consisted of of eggs over easy with sliced ham for breakfast, breakfast bagels for lunch, and a meat with cheese and a few veggies for dinner. Snacks consisted of mainly yogurt. Continue reading »

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Nutrition Experiment Week 4: Protein

 Posted by on September 17, 2012  1 Response »
Sep 172012
 
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Week four is here and it’s time to delve into the fun and exciting world of protein!  So what the heck is protein, and what does it really do?  Personally, protein brings to mind images of body builders at the gym slamming weights, drinking Muscle Milk, and yelling as they do curls.  But it’s not just about building muscle.  Proteins are the Lego sets of the biology world, that your body can use to build almost anything it needs.

To start, proteins are made up of amino acids (Legos).  Our bodies break down the proteins we eat and use these amino acids to build other proteins our bodies need, just like when you use Legos from one set to build something totally different.  We use these proteins to do everything from build muscle, form DNA and RNA and boost our immune systems, to creating hormones and enzymes, and a host of other cool stuff. Continue reading »

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Nutrition Experiment Week 3 Carbs

 Posted by on August 27, 2012  No Responses »
Aug 272012
 
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It is week three, already, and that means it’s time for Carb Week!

Second only to Shark Week, this is the week that I was looking forward too.  First, I love carbs.  Bread, in my mind, is probably one of the greatest inventions in human history right after beer (which, incidentally, is also a carb and therefore fair game this week).  Secondly, carbs have forever been labeled the quintessential athletic super fuel.  I mean, I can’t count how many pre-race pasta feeds I’ve seen in my life.

But are carbohydrates really the greatest fuel for our bodies?  From a biological standpoint, yes.  Fat and protein primarily serve other purposes in the body and take many more steps to break down then carbohydrates. Continue reading »

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