As a kid, I use too eat a whole box of pizza and a 2 liter bottle of soda by myself. My father use to ask me for a slice and I would not want to give him one. I would scold him because I wanted to save some for breakfast. YES, I loved unhealthy food very much. I was overweight my sophomore year in high school and this is when I decided to pursue running. I learned a lot about myself through eating since I have been overweight, anorexic, and bulimic. Throughout high school and college, I had no idea what a healthy diet for a runner looked like so I would just eat anything I could get ahold of.
Dying to be Thin My long time struggle of insecurity and not knowing what was a healthy diet for a runner made me unaware what was bad or good. As a young adult, "Not knowing,"led me to struggle with anorexia and bulimia. Fact, 10 million females and 1 million males in the U.S. battle anorexia or bulimia. As many as 13 million more struggle with binge eating disorder. You are not alone! If you are a runner who is struggling with anorexia and bulimia, let someone know as soon as possible. I recovered and YOU can too! =)
Bad Eating Habits This is somewhat embarrassing but I will tell you a quick story. As we all know, eating is very important to every athlete especially before a big race. You might think, Friday night or Pre Race night? During my first year at Oregon State I use to love DINNER; believing that I needed to shove my face with everything I saw. This included but was not limited to: Pasta, Pizza, loads of bread, chicken breast, salad, ice-cream, brownies, cookies, and BBQ ribs. I would not stop eating until my stomach grew to where I could not see my toes or breathe. I thought that maybe my body needed the extra boost to run faster, stronger, and win! Guess what, I was last place. I learned that the human body does not register fullness/satisfaction after the first 15 minutes of eating. Clearly, I had a problem! A week later I found out I had high cholesterol and I would force myself not too eat for a couple days. I came to the unfortunate conclusion that I was not immune to a crappy diet. Despite a healthy weight of 135 pounds for my 5'4 frame and high levels of exercise; I wasn't as healthy as I could be. I needed to make some changes!
Change Over the years, I redefined what I thought about food and what should be a good "diet for runners". Personally, I do not believe in diets but I do refuse in eating anything that is unhealthy. I am now 120 pounds and I am healthy as I can be. Well that's what my doctor says! :) YES, I do eat unhealthy at times but its because I am human. However, I do not crave unhealthy meals. With training and staying consistent in eating healthy, I found myself running faster as I PR'd in most of my races this past season. Instead of a restrictive meal plan, I have developed a new mindset about food. I still eat what ever I want, but I no not crave un healthy foods as much. Yes, I do have temptations at times, but I never let it get the best of me. I know that a McDonalds hamburger, fries, and a milk shake won't make me a better person. What's changed? I now know what's good for me and what is not.
As an Athlete Be Sure to Eat Three Meals A Day! Every day, I look forward to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. My mind is as if it is like a clock. Food is what gives me fuel and energy in each and every run/ workout. An example is:
Breakfast: French Toast, sausages, bananas, and eggs, with chocolate milk
Lunch: Salmon, lettuce, asparagus
Dinner: Pasta and Garlic Bread
Snacks: yogurt, fruits, carrots, almonds, bar
Dessert: sherbet ice-cream, yogurt
Favorite Snack As you read above I had high cholesterol and it also does run in my family. Dun... Dun.. Dunn...BEETS! Got to love how your hands and teeth get RED! :p (Can I suck your blood? hehe ;) ) I have done a lot of research on beet juice and drinking a cup of beet juice every day is proven to lower cholesterol. I drink beet juice every other day since beets are pretty pricey. Here are some amazing facts that has helped me and thought I'll share with you one of my healthy favorite snacks. Recent studies suggest, drinking a cup of rich beet juice; lowers cholesterol, a great source of nitrate, increases endurance athletes oxygen uptake, and helps detoxify the body. I will keep drinking Beet Juice! PS: I love mixing in some carrots and lemon. "Optional"