digestion

5 MEAL-PREPPING TIPS FOR RUNNERS

This might be bold for me to say, but I consider myself a master meal prepper. I’ve been meal prepping on and off for the past seven years. I started in 2009, after finishing grad school when I realized that living on garbage for the past few years had taken a toll on my health. To fix my predicament, I started running and then I stumbled upon fellow Canadian and fitness enthusiast Tosca Reno and her Eat-Clean Diet books. The books appealed to me because they weren’t just about losing weight, but viewed the diet as part of overall fitness. Important for us, her plans emphasized the importance of meal prepping. Being the Type-A that I am, I loved the ideal of planning meals and being ready for the week. Seven years later, and here I am running far more than ever and meal prep has become essential to balancing my running goals with the demands of daily life. Over the years I’ve refined my prep, and offer these five tips to meal prepping like a champ.

Read more at Salty Running.

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. You can find my latest articles on Salty Running here.

Why I tried a juice cleanse with Urban Juice Press

Truth be told, I've never not eaten something in a day, let alone a juice cleanse. I look back on my many years of yoyo dieting and attempts to stay fit through running {hard to do when your nutrition is out of whack}, and shudder. I do not do well with restriction. In fact, it wasn't until I started learning of the wonders of nutrition and meal planning did I recognize just how unhealthy my previous behaviours have been. Over the years I've made a lot of progress in this area. Fast forward to present day. I generally have my nutrition in order. Sure, there are always things we can improve, but I now see my body as a performance vehicle and treat it accordingly (how can I expect it to run fast, if I'm not fuelling it right?).

I've always wanted to try a juice cleanse. Some of my favourite health and wellness advocates and endurance athletes talk/write about them. Yet, I always found excuses why not to give it a try, despite knowing all the benefits (too expensive, I'd get too hungry, why are there so many bottles). I also knew I couldn't go the restriction route. The idea of drinking a class of water with lemon and cayenne pepper makes me ill. I've done lots of reading on juice cleanses over time and knew there are a TON of options out there these days. Options that wouldn't require me to live on some weird water sludge. That lead me to a local business, URBAN JUICE PRESS.

URBAN JUICE PRESS began with the idea that people can heal themselves and take responsibility for their own health. Founder, Justin Gauthier story includes a diagnosis for Crohn's disease in 2010. After years of pain, at a certain point, Justin had had enough. The current treatments were just not working for him, and he made the conscious decision to take his health into his own hands. Justin soon discovered juicing! I am so glad he did.

I chose the URBAN JUICE PRESS Kickstarter Cleanse because it targets beginners and, well, that’s what I am. It also has an appealing mix of juices + smoothies + nut milks, so I didn’t feel restrictive. I already eat a smoothie bowl for breakfast most days!

Day 1

Bottles: 9

Coffee: 0

7:10 am – Skin Tonic – Organic Cucumber, Organic Apple, Organic Lemon

I got up around 5:45 am. I normally would have a coffee before working out, but had a lemon ginger tea instead. I am reminded how much I love coffee. Can I really go two days? I worked out from 6:30-7:15 am (strength). When I got home, I drank the Skin Tonic while rolling out my legs. Normally I would be drinking my Vega Accelerator. The Skin Tonic was light and fresh. I’ve had some juices where the lemon and celery and too pronounced; this one was more subtle.

8:15 am – Green Energy - Organic Green Collard, Organic Matcha, Organic Maca Root, Organic Chlorella, Organic Raw  Cashew, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Filtered Water

I wanted to have my breakfast before leaving the house, so ended up having the Green Energy (280 cals of deliciousness) within an hour of the Skin Tonic. The Green Energy is a smoothie and not technically a juice. It was creamy to taste and filling. I filed the bottle up a bit with water to shake the remaining smoothie out. As if I would forego some of these nutrients.

9:45 am – Turmeric Avenue - Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Pineapple, Organic Carrot, Organic Lemon, Organic Turmeric Root, Organic Jalapeño

Normally I would be working on my second coffee at this time. The cleanse provides two morning snacks, so I planned for them at 9:45 and 11:30. I love turmeric and often use it in my shakes, so naturally I loved that taste. It was the jalapeno in this juice that I found so interesting. The juice wasn’t hot, but it did have a kick. Feeling surprisingly energized and not hungry.

12:00 pm – Greens 101 – Organic Kale, Organic Cucumber, Organic Apple, Organic Celery

I ended up having my second “snack” at noon. Plans change. Similar to the Skin Tonic, I found this one light and sweet, re: apple. I enjoyed it, but knew I would be hungry soon. I’m used to having a fairly substantial lunch and normally have a pretty big appetite around noon. I’ve also noticed that I don’t have the usual heart burn I experience before lunch re: coffee. That’s a discussion for another day.

1:15 pm – Green Energy - Organic Green Collard, Organic Matcha, Organic Maca Root, Organic Chlorella, Organic Raw  Cashew, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Filtered Water

Ooooh. What a treat to have this one again! 1/4 done my cleanse. Feeling optimistic knowing that I have 4 more juices + smoothies + a cashew milk after this “lunch”.  Like breakfast, I really enjoyed the taste and texture. I’m busy today, so it’s kind of nice to just grab this bottle vs. my bag of Tupperware.

3:00 pm - Happy Rabbit - Organic Carrot, Organic Apple, Organic Pineapple, Organic Lemon, Organic Ginger Root

I don't know if it's because I've only drank juice today, but this carrot juice was so good. My energy level normally dips a bit around this time of day, so I normally have a snack with me. While not my usual Superhero muffin, the carrot juice did give me a bump in energy.

Pre-dinner - Creamy Cashew - Filtered Water, Organic Raw Cashews, Organic Dates, Organic Maple Syrup, Organic Vanilla, Organic Ceylon (True) Cinnamon

I'm thinking about food and how my dinner tonight will be a smoothie. Hmmm. Don't get ahead of yourself; you WANT to do this. *Opens Creamy Cashew,* oooooh, this is good. I enjoyed the vanilla and maple I can taste in the "milk". I start to wonder more about what is in the cashew milk in my fridge and how long the list of ingredients are compared to this.

6:15 - Raw Chocolate - Organic Cacao, Organic Green Collard, Organic Hemp Seed, Organic Chia Seed, Organic Raw Cashew, Organic Banana, Organic Date, Organic Blueberry, Filtered Water

I drank Dinner right before heading into see a viewing of Patriots Day. The cacao smoothie was tasty. The bottle said it had blueberries in it; I tasted more chocolate + greens more than anything. I got a tea afterwards to sip on. I have a bad habit of snacking in the night, so I know I will need to keep busy {thankful to have the movie to go to}.

9:45 - Immune Supercharge - Organic Carrot, Organic Apple, Organic Beet, Organic Lemon, Organic Ginger

Back from the movie and I can have my evening snack. I'm impressed with this one. I've tried a number of beet juices and this may just be one of the best I've ever tasted. Is it because it's so fresh? Is it because I haven't eaten real food today? I go to bed not feeling hungry. Success.

Day 2 

Bottles: 9

Coffee: 0

Day 2 was the same as Day 1 in terms of bottles. I woke up early for a run. I felt lighter than normal {the absence of salt in yesterday's diet had an impact}. I weighed myself and was down 1.6 lbs. Again, water weight. But all in all I feel fine. I drank herbal tea throughout the day. By dinner time I had an appetite and drank my Raw Chocolate and Immunity Supercharge 45 minutes apart. I feel like this was a huge personal win to make it to the end of Day 2 strictly on juice. Wicked way to start 2017.

All in all, I am SO happy I tried this juice cleanse! After completing the two days, my body and mind are feeling pretty good. This was the reset I needed. I would highly recommend this entry-level cleanse to anyone who is seeking to improve their overall health. Press restart!

Have you tried a juice cleanse before? 

Beet juice? Yay or nay? 

You can find URBAN JUICE PRESS on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Wipeout & nutrition update

Week Five of Ottawa Marathon training is in the books. I hit 65km for the week. Long runs are getting longer, and speed work is starting to pick up. Only one run had to be done on the treadmill, due to black ice and freezing rain. For the most part, it's been a beautiful week. Shout out to the groundhog(s) for NOT seeing their shadow. Hello spring? For my long run, I had 28k scheduled for Saturday. G and I also had a commitment that day, starting at 9:30 am. I always feel better once I get my run done, so I was out the door by 5:15 am. I listened to Serial podcast for the first half, and then switched to music (loving this song right now).

I let myself zone out. Normally that's ideal for my long easy pace runs, but yesterday it lead me to missing a small lip in the road at 11.5 km. Just like that, wiped out. flat. on. my. face. I went down pretty hard. I was startled. It was dark. I immediately thought did I break anything? Thankfully, no. I could feel my knees pretty badly scraped up and my adrenaline was racing. For a second I thought about calling an Uber and packing it in. Instead, I called my Mom and walked for a few minutes. After calming down, I decided I'd carry on nice and easy.

IMG_2930

Outside of running, I'm happy to report that I've officially been off my heart burn medication (a proton pump inhibitor) for 1 week and 3 days. Given that it's been around 3 years since I started taking it every day, I'm pleased with this progress. I have to take a few Tums throughout the day, but it's fairly manageable. My diet has been completely grain free, and only a bit of dairy. Meats/eggs, lots of veg, a bit of fruit and nuts/seeds. I've started to notice that my heart burn flares up after dairy, so I may try to knock that out completely.

IMG_2902

One of my biggest changes has been substituting my oatmeal breakfast (which I've eaten for years) for coconut pancakes. Pancakes may seem inconvenient to make, but I've mastered a quick'n'easy recipe:

  • 2 tbs coconut flour
  • 1 tbs ground flax
  • 1/4 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • tiny splash of vanilla extract

Mix ingredients. Heat up a frying pan with a tiny bit of coconut oil. Pour mix in pan. Flip as needed. I then add 1 tbs of almond butter, 1 tsp of organic honey, 1 tsp of chia seeds, and 1/2 sliced banana.

IMG_2900

If I'm running that morning, I also have a beet vega protein shake. Essentially, 1/2 banana, 1 scoop of Vega vanilla sport protein, 1/2 raw beet, 1 tsp turmeric. That carries me until lunch.

In terms of natural supplements, I'm taking Apple Cider Vinegar, Swedish Bitters, and a digestive enzyme before each meal. Before bed, I take the ever so popular Calm magnesium supplement. I've been reading everything and listening to all kinds of nutrition-related podcasts. I'm loving learning about the different approaches to digestion and nutrition. I'm still amazed that I accepted being on that heart burn drug for so long!

IMG_2916

Coach has given me a rest week this upcoming week. I'm totally cool with this. I've been working some long hours, so running some shorter distances this week gives me a bit more time in the morning. My parents are also here this weekend! So the shorter long run lines up well. :D

Have you ever wiped out while running?