I have had a bad habit. I wanted to have a better diet to be healthier and run faster, but I love different types of food too much. I lived on the “seefood” diet. (Before I go further, I must say I have eaten food that is, at least somewhat, conducive to running, but I’m not on a Ryan Hall-like diet.) My seefood diet has been delicious, tasty, and helps me, at least temporarily, enjoy life. However, at what point? Was it really that good? Did it help me (it doesn’t)? Didn’t it seem a little wrong about “achieving” yet admitting it (yes, but then again telling people about something is a great way to stay accountable). In any case, I’ve, this week, decided to step up my game and make my diet a higher priority for training.
Running is an interesting sport for many reasons, one of which is the latitude it gives in what someone eats. Yes, you can be given nearly all-you-can-eat-buffet clearance, but that doesn’t actually make you faster. Many people run to eat, instead of eat to run (I’m transitioning ever moreso in the latter category). There’s nothing wrong with wanting to run so that you can eat, especially in a foodie city, like Columbus. Of course, running also helps people lose massive amounts of weight, but that’s not in the seefood conversation.
I love a good burger. I’d had burgers so big that strangers ask me if I can finish it (I’ve had the Smokey Bones Smokestack five-ish times, once with cake afterward; yes, I worked out constantly because I couldn’t kill 4,700 calories otherwise), that certainly certified me as a seefood dieter. Deep fried items are very tasty, but they are always hard-to-digest, no matter how much you work out. Pizza, in its 57 varieties, has been a staple of mine for years. Preheat the over, pop it in, wait for it to cool (I hate hot food — I want it to be slightly hotter than warm, so I can quickly devour it without any reverse-blowing my food), then BOOM dinner. It’s pizza, so I’m sure it had all of the sections of the food pyramid, even though you can basically thank big ag for it. Nevertheless, it’s highly processed with copious amounts of fat.
Why change? Well, my intro paragraph basically said I should stop half-assing it since I’m trying to be a model citizen. Plus, eating right feels better when you’re training for extraordinarily, physical activities, such as running marathons. But seriously, I spend more time looking at snack foods and other assorted foods to give me more energy.
For the first round of updating my diet, I added to my breakfast, lunch, and snack items. My breakfast I mean oatmeal, in addition to the eggs, bagels, yogurt, and bananas I usually eat. I want to up my carbs, and it has that healthy heart logo. I bought milk, just because (I’d joke the exhaustive list of things I drink are water, coffee, alcohol, and sports drinks — so I need to update it, which not sounds ridiculous because you can’t say “only” whilst listing five or more items). And for part of my post-run imbibement.
I focused on snack items, as well as omitting pizza – which is harder than you think, because there are lulls in the day in which I’m like something to eat. (I should say that all of this is lower than Nutrition 101 — this is the HS level class, but sometimes it takes you a while to do things you should have been doing all along.) Trail mixes and grain bars are nice things to buy when you’re hungry at 1500 or 0000. And they give you energy, which is something that’s nice to have when running 5/week and up to 50 miles during that stanza. I tried to make my seefood diet at least a little healthier. Yeah, there’s chocolate in some of the items, but in moderation it ain’t all bad, plus there’s bits of fruits and nuts, which I think are part of that USGA food pyramid.
The biggest thing with this changing diet is consciousnesses of what you put into your body. I’ve stopped putting so much grease into myself – like pizza – and have started to eat more pastas, as well as intaking more electrolytes. I’ve only really started to put an emphasis on exactly what I eat, but that’s the hard part — deciding to change what you’re doing. With experience and experimentation of what works for me I’ll see what I have to do to really get the most out of my diet for my training purposes.
Until next time…