Spring Races are coming soon
Marti Chitwood, RD, CCN, wrote the following in a newsletter entitled "2008 Cooper River Bridge Run Nutrition Tips for a Healthy Run and a Healthy Year" There are some helpful-to-hear-again (or for the first time) tidbits so read on. And if you are near Charleston, SC during the first weekend in April, be sure to head over to the Bridge Run....it is a great race and in a beautiful, historic city!
It's that time of year, the time to start new goals and resolutions, and it's time to start thinking about the Bridge Run! To help prepare you for a fun and successful run and a great year, nutrition tips and strategies are offered to you.
1. Start exercising on a daily or almost daily regimen. Consistency is key.
2. Eliminate or greatly reduce consumption of alcohol and/or caffeine-containing beverages
3. Eliminate or greatly reduce sugar
These steps, while basic, can bring about a profound improvement in your overall sense of well-being and stamina.
I challenge each of you to seriously consider giving your body a break from grains, too.
Grains, which include wheat (refined white flour AND whole wheat), rice, oats, barley, rye and other grains, can elevate insulin levels, which can cause weight gain, fatigue, blood sugar fluctuations and other symptoms. Try avoiding all grains for two weeks and enjoy the benefits of calming your metabolic processes down. A diet heavy in grains can also really wear down one's musculoskeletal system, that can mean your running can suffer over time!
It is also helpful to minimize or avoid dairy products during this time.
Try the following meal plan and see how you respond:
: Fresh fruit and raw nuts OR a natural protein shake
: A large salad with varied greens and raw vegetables, lean protein(ex. Lean beef, chicken, tempeh, fish), olive oil based dressing, nuts/seeds(small amount).
: Steamed or sauteed vegetables (ex. Spinach, broccoli, squash, etc.), lean protein or cooked peas or beans, olive oil(small amount).
: 1/2 - 1 piece fresh fruit, small amount raw nuts Herbal or green tea, sweetened with xylitol or stevia, if desired.
This eating style will give your digestive system a rest, balance your insulin and blood sugar levels, and support healthy weight balance.
When looking at ways to improve your level of fitness performance, there are many nutritional issues to explore:
Basic nutritional assessment considerations:
2. Mineral Status
3. Protein status
4. Blood sugar balance
5. Fatty acid status
6. Vitamin status
7. Healthy and effective detoxification
8. Neurotransmitter status
9. Optimal hormone balance
10. This may sound like a lot more than the basic food considerations, but address these issues and you will be poised to reach your highest level of health and well-being.
It is always reasonable to look at food choices. Some general food guidelines to get your year off to a great start:
1. Aim to reduce or eliminate processed, refined sugars and starches.
2. Choose low glycemic, whole foods as much as possible
3. Choose high quality, lean protein choices, like fish, grass-fed beef, hormone-free poultry.
4. Include beans and peas on a regular basis
5. Eat leafy green vegetables everyday, as salads or as sautéed, steamed or cooked vegetables.
6. Include healthy fats, such as olive oil, nuts, seeds and small amounts of butter.
Marti had some good advice in that article. Remember to consult your doctor or a physician before making drastic changes in your diet-chances are, they know what is best for you. Always include a variety of colors n your diet, and try not to eliminate anything completely from your diet. Everything in moderation is usually okay for you, so watch your portion controls and choose healthy foods, but above all, enjoy your food! It is what nourishes your body to fuel you through your workouts and daily activities.