Lessons learned from a habitual outdoor runner

Tag: food Page 1 of 2

Resistance is futile

Really? They had to make Dark Chocolate Peanut M&M’s!

I was having a hard time resisting the regular Peanut M&M’s, now resistance is futile. I surrendered… and are they yummy. 🙂 Now, back to my regularly scheduled exercise to compensate for the “yum-factor”.

A guilty pleasure (M&M)

Hi, my name is Jerry and I am addicted to Peanut M&M’s.

These are just a few of my empty containers on their way to the recycler.

While I don’t gain weight from eating so many of these, I know the sugar-load isn’t an awesome diet choice. They just go down so easily while I am busy on something else like work, social media, reading, etc. If I ever stop running so much every day, these will be a bigger problem.

If recognizing a problem is the first step toward recovery, I am heading the right direction, but wow… these are so good. 🙂

You’re slim, why count calories?

Screenshot from 2018-12-06 09-50-44

People watch us. Over time they may be curious enough to ask some questions as to what makes you tick.

Most people in my acquaintance did not know me when I had a 38″+ waist and was around 230 pounds. When or if they hear I run a lot often the conversation turns to my habits. Some have found it strange that I track my calories after losing the weight so many years ago.

I do record my food, and my Garmin tools document my exercise. When I say I track my calories, it’s more superficial than scientific. I know folks who are into the macro-nutrients, proteins, carbs, various fat sources, etc. I think those are great, but they bore me to sleep.

I am in health-maintenance mode, where I want to remain healthy to do battle against the forces of time and environment. The better prepared the soldier, generally, the more success in fighting.

I saw a doctor posted an article on LinkedIn called “Health: One Measure to Rule Them All” where he explores so many elements of our healthy living. A few quotes from his article:

We do not routinely direct our collective will at the true, root causes of our decline.

Even despite the terrible toll of opioids, depression, despair, and suicide- diet is the single leading cause of premature death in America today.

Keep fighting the good fight!


Food and Drink on the Run

I carry a 20oz water bottle on my running belt (similar model) for hydration. I rarely need it during the cooler parts of the year, but I always carry it. As I mentioned in a different post, I use water to curb hunger pangs if they occur on a 10-mile run or less. During the hot summer months, I can easily drink most of it during my normal 8-9 mile runs.

Why water? When I first was able to actually run more than 2 miles, I read about electrolytes, sugars, and other nutrient deficits that can occur while running so I tried a few “sport” drinks in my bottle.

  • First, they really didn’t seem to help revitalize or refresh while running.
  • Next, the bottle can get sticky and can leave stains (on everything).
  • And the waste was glaringly evident. If you don’t drink it all, how long would you leave it in the bottle? Is it still consumable after being in high summer temps mixed with your sweaty lips and saliva? Eww…

Anyway, I found that sticking with water not only provided the refreshment needed, but it was also easier to deal with. Plus, on those long runs, it’s easier to find replacement water from a park or gas station than dealing with the time and hassle of money to buy something.

What about food?

Most of the time I don’t need it, but on those crazy days when I’m going for a run greater than 10 miles, I put some Medjool dates in a cheap baggie and drop them in my pocket.

About the 7 mile mark, I’ll eat a date with a drink of water, then repeat every other mile. I have found this is sufficient nutrition to maintain a run without feeling poorly during or after. My longest run at this point is a little over 15 miles, and this worked well.

I have tried other foods as well – energy bars, granola bars, nuts, etc. However, for me, those are harder to consume while running. It is very easy to choke on anything that can break apart when you’re chewing because you’re also breathing more while in motion. The dates are softer, chewy, can easily sit under your tongue while getting an extra breath, and are packed with natural goodness.

My morning foods

First thing out of bed – an 8 oz glass of water. This seems to wake up the digestive tract a bit and hydrate after sleep.

My morning exercise routine burns over 1100 calories. I have to consider what the body and muscles need to perform while not eating too much or things that will hinder the exercise.

I’ve tried various fruits, drinks, and snack bars, but what I’ve settled on a regular basis is homemade no-bake energy-bites. You can find various recipes online, ours includes the following:

After my initial in-home exercises (I’ll talk about these in another post) and before my run, I consume another 8 oz glass of water and an energy-bite. I have found this is enough for about 6 miles without getting hunger pangs. Often the hunger pangs are noticeable around the 7-mile mark which I temper with water. When I get over 10 miles, the water is not enough to satisfy, but we can talk about that later as well.

Post-run I need to rehydrate with 12-16 ounces of water. The last few years I’ve included a super-food powder (currently this) in the water to help replenish the bodies needs. I’ll do a post about supplementals later.

I start my breakfast with a Smoothie. The content has varied, so I’ll share the basic ingredients I’m currently using.

I mix this all up in my Ninja-mixer, and it’s like going to Dairy Queen every morning, without the mysterious junk, sugars, and fat.

Finally, I have a bowl of cereal. I have a few go-to combinations like plain shredded wheat mixed with Life (Kroger brand) cereal. The other regular mix is a little Kroger’s Musili with Multi-grain Cheerios. I use unsweetened almond milk in my cereal.

If I have time, I add a cup of hot tea to start the day.

With all the above, I’m usually around the 700 calorie restoration point.


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