- Fresh veggies (organic where/when possible)
- Fresh fruit (organic where/when possible)
- Nuts (and occasional nut milks/cheeses)
- Meat/fish (organic, nitrate-free, farm raised)
- Earth based supplements (hemp hearts, brewers yeast, chia seeds, flax seed oil, etc)
- Water (herbal tea on occasion)
What I Don’t Eat/Drink
- Grains/legumes (beans, rice, wheat, corn, oats, etc)
- Juice, coffee, alcohol, milk, sports drinks
- Pasta, bread, cereal,
- Most canned, boxed, packaged food
Now I am an endurance athlete and recently just attempted to run my second 100 miler ultramarathon. I've seen a lot of aid stations in my short years of running ultramarathons and it always baffles me the type of food they have out. From pizza to quesadillas to potato chips to gatorade to candy to ice cream to Gatorade to Ramen Noodles (yes the broth is a great pick-me-up at 1am, but watch the video below) ...the buffet is plentiful. NOTE: the food at aid stations has nothing to do with the wonderful volunteers that man them. They are wonderful.
I've been reading countless race recaps this past week and enjoying the tales, but the one common thread I've been seeing is that from the fast 100milers to the slower 50 mile & 100 mile finishers/starters is that they had stomach/digestion problems. I want to reach through the computer and share with them how the right foods will help them and how the wrong foods will hinder you!! But since I can't, I hope they will read this.
Here is a point to ponder and think about on your next long run. If you have to take antacids, Pepto-Bismol, or Imodium to control the issues that you are having, you are masking the problem, not treating it. If the foods/drinks you are putting in your body are fighting you, there is a reason. The "foods" we are eating are processed foods, not whole/real foods. If you haven't yet watched this video from a TEDx talk, please do so now. It will (hopefully) change the way you eat and drink.....by now you should be banning Gatorade from your life forever!!
To recap what the video showed, Brilliant Blue FCF (AKA: Blue 1) is made from a synthetic dye made from aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum. 95% of the dye can be found in feces. Now if that won't stop you from drinking the stuff I don't know what will!
So, if you are drinking Gatorade because you workout, running a race, or just for the heck of it, you might want to strongly reconsider drinking something else. But will I drink? Well, you can make your own electrolytes by a simple mix of water, pure cane sugar, salt, salt substitute, and baking soda. Veggies & fruits like potatoes and avocados are also great sources of electrolytes.
What is an electrolyte? A balance of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, hydrogen phosphate and hydrogen carbonate. Make your own or get in real food.
Back to ultra running food. Nutrition plays a HUGE role in running 50 miles, 61 miles or 100 miles. If runners actually put thought into the food they will eat while training and racing, they just not have issues. I remember feeling so sick during my first 100 mile ultramarathon in 2009. Now I feel like I have pretty good handle on what to eat/ what to avoid. Of course I am a work in progress and I'm always learning. I spent a month planning my race day nutrition. I made food I would eat. I knew what was in the food I would eat.
You shouldn't have to feel sick during a race or even in daily life. Have heartburn? What are you eating? Have indigestion? What are you eating? What aren't you eating? Like I always say, our body wasn't designed to digest chemicals, food dyes, additives, and preservatives. Fake, modified food. Eat real food. Eat real, fresh food.
During my 100 miler attempt I ate sweet potatoes that I made. With grated fresh ginger (helps w/ nausea), sea salt, cinnamon, a little honey, chia seeds, and hemp hearts. All real food. Homemade. I had pure, organic nut bars (four or less ingredients), avocado, oranges dipped in salt (electrolytes), potatoes dipped in salt (electrolytes), water (with Q Energy) and Gen UCAN. I stayed away from all processed "food". I have to say I never felt better. I encourage you to try it!
The food you eat and don't eat is a vital part of your life. Eat like crap, feel like crap. Eat for health, be healthy.
If you are running an upcoming ultramarathon and want help with a food plan, please let me know. I'm happy to help you!
peace, sweat, love: life