My Emergency Snack Kit

Some days man, I feel like an bottomless pit. Seriously no matter what I do, I am really hungry all day. This kind of sucks with the job I have, because if I’m not prepared with something, I won’t get to eat for a long time, and by the time I do, I am so hungry I stuff myself and then feel lethargic all day.

Whomp.

After a few weeks of this, I had to get smart, so I started bringing a snack bag both to work and with me in my car (so I have TWO snack bags!) so that I am never very far from something to eat. I waffled through a few different types of things to keep in there, and have finally found my perfect bag.

Something to hit each of my usual cravings without being too much.


The standard apple, Barney Butter snack pack, water and my new favorite granola bar: Go Macro.

I have eaten these bars in the past when I lived in Ithaca. I picked them up when they were on sale, and then rotated them in with the other bars I like. When I moved, I forgot about them as my grocery stores changed and I didn’t eat as many granola bars. Now that I like to have a few snacks each day, they have made a comeback.

Go Macro bars are nut-butter based, which is probably the most delicious way to make granola bars. The bars have super clean ingredients and no filler. Completely plant-based protein, raw, vegan and certified organic nutrition bar.


Essentially all the good things other than taste that matter to my ethical side.

I have had a great time trying each of the flavors (there are ten) and my favorite is definitely the sunflower butter bar. I am just a sucker for sunflower seeds and that delicious creamy spread. BONUS: sunflower seeds were recommended by my blood work from Inside Tracker.


Actually, all of the ingredients fit in somewhere with the foods I am trying to eat more of. They are also a higher caloric content, so I don’t have to add peanut butter on top or eat two of them. That’s kind of great!

Always having a snack has been crucial to having more energy, recovering from whatever I am doing and just making me feel better.

I just love these bars, I can’t wait to try them in my next long run or race.


Any other bars I should try?

Inside Tracker Results

Last Thursday I had my blood drawn and sent to Inside Tracker. A few days later I received an email that my results were ready and a link that took me to my personal profile on their website.

Read about why I wanted to work with Inside Tracker here.


Another email also came with comprehensive results that I could bring to my GP or health care provider if I chose.

Before I received the results, I decided to take an off season from running. I was feeling run down and my Achilles soreness just needed time to heal. My head was not into running and I was more focused on my job. It’s silly to train through that and do races. I want to compete well in races, so I cleared my schedule (after Flower City, which I decided to do with friends) and am taking a nice break from training.


After the race on Monday my results came. I am going to break it down into three categories: at risk, moderate risk and optimal. I will provide levels where appropriate.

At Risk:

The test confirmed what my body was already telling me: I am overtrained from trying to be 110% at both running and work.

My testosterone to cortisol ratio was very high indicating high levels of stress and fatigue: 21 units


Vitamin D: 20ng/mL 


Testosterone: high

Cortisol: 20ug/dL

Moderate Risk:

B-12: 470pg/mL

DHEAS: 183ug/dL


Inflammation: high


Iron: low


Optimal:

Glucose: 79mg/dL

Liver Enzymes

Creatine Kinase: 69U/L

Sodium: 142mmol/L

Potassium: 4.2mmol/L

Magnesium: 2.2 mg/dL

Cholesterol: good

Lipid Profile: good

Calcium: 4.9mg/dL

Folate: 23.5ng/dL

Take Aways:

Overtrained, high stressed, not absorbing nutrients.

My bone health is at risk due to levels of Vitamin D.

I do not have much expendable energy due to low B-12.

I have compromised RBC function due to low levels of iron.

My sex hormones are at a slogging pace.

My body is in a state of chronic inflammation.

I take the three supplements I am deficient in. This means I am either not absorbing them or this is not enough. Likely, it is a combination of those two things. When the body is in a state of high cortisol, it is hard to use its energy to metabolize nutrients. This is why in the later stages of a marathon or ultra, runners find it hard to eat or throw up. The body in a state of stress does not metabolize food efficiently.

After reading the bloodwork, I completed the profile indicating my goals. As of right now because I am not training, that means optimal health. Then, the algorithm created a list of foods to help both with improving my deficiencies and achieving my goals.

So, this is where I am at. Since that time I have taken the recommendations, which I will discuss in a future post as I realize this is a lot of information.


I am encouraged that before I got the results I was able to correctly read my body and decide to take time off. This test could not have come at a better time as I can fix this now, get to optimal health and begin training again.

Thank you for reading.

Why I’ve decided to work with Inside Tracker

There are things in life you can control and things you can’t. As a runner without the monetary access to state of the art facilities, coaches and chefs, it is important for me to optimize the opportunities I do have.

I know that one of the most important parts of training is diet and recovery. Diet in a sense that as an endurance athlete, I need to get in all the nutrients required for daily living…at a minimum. Let me explain this a bit. Rather than thinking about diet in terms of calories or macros, I think of it in nutrients. I must eat enough things and of diverse quality to get everything in. 100% of my daily recommendations for vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium and the like.

Some days this bare minimum is 2,000 calories, some days it’s 5,000 calories, some days I get all the nutrients from 1,000 calories (when I’m eating nutrient dense, but calorically sparse foods like kale or spinach etc). However, just because I have all the nutrients in those calories does not mean I am done eating. Bare minimum means that I need to make sure I get in all the basic nutrients. The dessert I eat every night is the filler, the calories that make life fun, the emotional support I sometimes need and the calories that give me the energy to run everyday.

Basically what I am trying to say is it’s important to me to get in that base level of nutrients everyday.

In a long winded way, this brings me to Inside Tracker. I have wanted to get blood work done after my ultra season training simply because I knew I did damage, I just didn’t know how bad it was. Running 30+ miles is no joke to the body. Unfortunately, my insurance isn’t the greatest for this type of thing, so I decided to wait until I was done paying for school in July to get it done.

By chance, I was given the opportunity from Inside Tracker to get my blood taken and profiled for a bit less than my insurance. In addition to the niggles and slight injuries I’ve had this season and the fact that my emotions are all over the place, I was at a point where when they contacted me, I was very open.

I want to feel good again. All the time, not just here and there.

I am working on this psychologically, but I think that if Inside Tracker identifies a nutrient deficiency or something I can add to naturally feel better, I’m all for it.

Vegan. The elephant in this blog post.

I have made it no secret I think being vegan is an optimal way to live. I also admit that although I am a health coach, I do not know everything nor do I know what foods are perfect for my body. I know how I feel after eating certain things, but that’s about it. Using Inside Tracker will help me identify what foods will support me in both my vegan and athletic goals. I will take all their recommendations that follow an ethical vegan diet. I will stand by what I’ve always known to be true and that is I did not go vegan for health, I went vegan because I want to live my morals and ethics concerning non-violence, compassion and love toward all beings.

Today, as of writing this, I’ve had my blood draw and await the results.

Look for part 2 in the coming weeks.

It’s called BREAD.

Another one of my biggest pet peeves is when people break foods down and call them by a singular nutrient.

This irks me in a huge way majorly because I was guilty of this.

Now when I see it all over Instagram and other blogs, I just roll my eyes. This peeve of mine has helped in significantly reducing the amount of blogs I read. I simply get annoyed when a whole food is reduced to one of it’s elements.

I am studying nutrition to become a holistic health coach. Yes, I know that it is not a dietitian or nutritionist. I do not claim to be those things. Yet, I do not understand when these same dietitians and health “role models” continue to speak of foods in regard to what they consider the “most important” part of that food.

Just because you’re eating a baked potato does not mean that the only good thing about that potato is #carbsfordayz

A potato also has potassium, protein, fiber and tons of Vitamin C.

Also, by reducing a food to a singular nutrient, you take the love and comfort out of the food.

Think about it. Say you sit down to eat with your friend and ask what they’re eating and they say,

“I’m having a carb.”

What image comes to mind? Not too much right? Snore. Move on from that table and sit with someone else.

Instead, if they say,

“I’m having mashed potatoes and gravy.”

That image is a lot more relatable and fun right? Mashed potatoes sound delicious!

I also think that people want to confess to eating something like #carbz or #fatz yet brag about eating #proteinz because #gainz

I would need a few hundred hands to count the number of times the description of a meal has the hashtag #carbs when it is followed by the hashtag #legday or #gymsession

Why does this matter? Honestly I am guilty of doing this in the past too (but lets be real, my “gym session” is laughable). When describing a recipe of some sort, it makes sense to embellish it with a statement about the nutrition in the food, but for most of us, there is no need to explain your food choice.

Understand this: YOU, yes YOU, do not need to JUSTIFY your food choices to anyone.

There, you’re free. You can eat WHATEVER you want and NOT TELL ANYONE what is in it or WHY you chose to eat that.

You can leave the gym and eat apples, bread, cheese, cookies or GOD FORBID EAT NOTHING and it’s NO ONE’S BUSINESS but YOUR OWN!

Rant coming to a close:

It’s called bread.

It’s called banana.

It’s called avocado.

It’s called a cookie.

Food is more than #carbz, #protein and #fat.

Food is your own. Food is delicious. Food does not need to be justified.

Food is not CARBS or PROTEINS or FATS. Food does not need to be justified. Food is your own. #nutrition #holistichealth Click To Tweet

Have a macronutrient-free day, and enjoy your food.

 

Fueling Two Days in the Life (a double long run weekend)

This past weekend I had a double long run. I ran bigger mileage (at least for me) on both Saturday and Sunday to simulate the later miles of race day fatigue.

I noticed that as the distances get longer, I pay closer attention to making sure I get enough throughout the day. Sure, I’m hungry for breakfast after the run, but making sure enough fuel is consumed become more important later in the day when I’m not ravenous.

It is also important when I am running long again the next day.

My biggest advice for doing back-to-back long runs and recovering appropriately between them is to eat DURING the run. I honestly don’t think that eating much while running influences my performance too much. I think products like Run Gum, water and electrolytes help out immensely, but unless the run is over 25-30 miles, eating on the run is specifically for recovery.

This is just my experience. Obviously, eating while run does help on that run, but I want to make it clear that the most benefits I see from eating/drinking while running is that it aids in recovery.

That said, the following are two days of eating on double run days:

[running fuel]


Day 2

Same running fuel as pictured above.


Plus the same dessert as the night before

That was what I ate for my long run weekend.

Don’t hesitate to email me with any questions.