LRY is very excited, and lucky enough to be able to publish a guest post from Further Faster Forever Co-Founder Jesica Cockerham – a fellow runner and holistic health fan. Jesica writes regularly on her fantastic blog ‘Run On Organic’, and has put together a specific outline for LRY readers about the most nutritious foods to include in our diet.
Nutrition for Runners
As runners, we must be mindful that what we put into our body affects our running performance and enjoyment. After an unhealthy meal, runs don’t feel as good, our bodies aren’t as cleansed and our minds aren’t as clear. Better, more conscious eating results in better running–it’s as simple as that.
Runners and all athletes alike should have certain focuses when it comes to eating. These tips help me to optimize my health as a runner:
– Eat nutrient dense foods.
1. Greens (Spinach, Kale, Chard, etc).
2. Seeds (Chia, Flax, Hemp). Soak your seeds in water & keep in the fridge for quick snacks. Soaking them helps optimize your body’s ability to absorb the seeds.
3. Fruits (Pineapple, Papaya, Berries, Citrus).
4. Good fats.
6. Coconut Oil or Manna.
7. Hemp Oil.
– Find a raw & organic protein replacement supplement like Raw Meal by the brand Garden of Life. Truition & Sunwarrior proteins are also wonderful brands.
– Lots of Fresh Produce.
– Juicing is a great way to get a lot of nutrients in one glass (Stick to about 60% veggies/40% fruit).
– Smoothies should be staples in your diet (almond/coconut milk, handful of greens, handful of berries, protein or meal replacement).
– Eat Local & Organic.
– Lots of Water (sports drinks do not count).
– Keep “Runner’s Superfoods” around in your kitchen:
a. Beet juice is a rich, natural alternative to a sports drink.
b. Chia seeds are a well rounded runner’s snack (they are nearly equal in carbs, fat, & protein).
c. Spinach- nutrient dense green chock full of trace minerals that aid in muscle growth.
All of these foods contain nutrients that are crucial to developing and maintaining a great, healthy, capable, lean running body because they enable your muscles to increase their ability to endure, recover and grow. This nutrient rich diet gives your body a solid, bountiful source to grab “fuel” from before, during and after runs.
Thanks Jesica for the fantastic tips! Catch up with Jesica on her blog, where she continually inspires with words of wisdom, and reviews of organic products. Jesica is now also offering personalized nutrition and workout plans! Read more about how to inquire HERE.
Personally, I am very excited to start adding new food and fuel, ingredients, to my diet and meals, especially considering that last week’s post (Practicing to Compete) didn’t have time to discuss the other major area of the book Eat & Run, diet & nutrition. And Jurek’s transition to a totally plant based, vegan diet, purely in an attempt to aid and assist his running career inadvertently lowered his blood pressure and cholesterol – not bad! Discovering what worked via trial and error, over a number of years, Jurek refined his diet to only include non-processed food, made simply from plants. His conclusion:
“… I could run far, fast. And I could do that, I was convinced, because of what I was eating… I had virtually no joint inflammation, even after miles of pounding trails and roads…”
As a runner, the above statement sounds pretty attractive, and I’m sure Jesica would agree. But it doesn’t mean we have to go out and drastically change our eating habits over night! In the pursuit of health & happiness, and possibly a PR/ PB (US/ UK), it’s all about patience and progress – just as it is in yoga – and a great way to start is by simply including a greater variety, and quantity, of fruit and vegetables in our meals, and snack-bag. See how it goes, keep a diary and monitor your progress. Most of all, get creative with the ingredients Jesica outlines, and have fun!