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Is The Vegan Hype Worth It?

I had the chance to interview an expert in her field, barefoot runner and journalist Caity McCardell, former radio host of runbarefootgirl.com. We did a podcast together a while back and now it was time to turn things around. I was thrilled to have the honour to ask her some pressing questions I have had on my mind about vegan diets.

The vegan diet is still highly promoted in the ultra running scene.

Is it really so much more effort to make more conscious choices each day about the foods you eat? And start feeling even better about yourself, experiencing higher levels of energy, better overall body feeling, needing less sleep, recovering quicker from running, shedding excess weight…the list of benefits is long.

Sometimes influences and opinions from the people around you can throw you back into those old habits that knowingly die hard. Sometimes even to the extent of sensing social pressure of “fitting in” with the main crowd.

Remember, though, that being an ultra runner is different from what the main crowd considers normal.

Discovering some aspects of the vegan diet will help you discover that a different way of eating spreads into other areas of life.

Small steps lead a long way as Caity shares in the interview.

It may just be the answer to many of your considerations about the vegan diet. What´s the hype all about?  😉

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What The Top 2% Ultra Runners Eat For Breakfast

It´s almost too hard to believe what the top ultra runners eat for breakfast. But why complicate things when there is an easy way to prepare your body for the next long run or ultra marathon.

I´m a great believer that, the less you turn your training, nutrition and other pieces of the puzzle that shape your being an ultra runner, into rocket science the more you get to enjoy not only your daily training but also your races.

The same applies to the non-scientific approach to choosing the right foods for breakfast. Years ago, I was far too perfectionist to do things the simple way. Again, analyzing the foods I was in eating in much detail helped me to get a feeling for the right amounts and combinations for each meal I was eating.

Surviving the Marathon des Sables on the most simple breakfast made of 100 g of rolled oats and water made me think twice and from then on, maintaining a simple approach.

If you look at the top 2% ultra runners that are ruling the races currently and understand what these ultra runners eat for breakfast then it goes to show that they don´t waste much time on measuring and calculating every bite.

Are you still looking for that perfect solution knowing that you won´t suffer from gut distress?

I´m curious what your favorite breakfast is? Which foods have proven to be your most ideal one on race morning or right before a long run?

Share your secret tip and let me know what your thoughts are. I look forward to be reading your comment. Just leave `em right below!

 

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Are Liquid Carbs A Better Overall Strategy To Use In Ultra Marathon Races?

This is an interesting question coming from John.

Do you find yourself in the situation each time you´re getting ready for a race? Not feeling 100% sure about whether to risk running on liquid carbs or rather opt for a combination of solid foods and liquid carbs?

 

 

It used to be that 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour was considered a sufficient amount for endurance athletes. Around the time when I was preparing for the Marathon des Sables in 2008 hell broke loose when experts talked about increasing the intake of carbohydrates to 80-90 grams per hour in order to reap more energy and perform to an optimum.

I followed this new “rule” and had a perfect race – not just from a nutritional standpoint.

When it comes to selecting the foods for any given race I leave ZERO to chance, nothing. I am a perfectionist, calculate and measure everything so I can have a calm time out on the race course and worry about my running.

I follow a strict rhythm and practice in training when exactly I need to ingest calories and think of my body as the tank of a vehicle I need to fuel. I use the aid stations to fuel up on water and only eat what is being offered on the last 20 K before the finish. By that stage I will often crave salty and solid foods like potatoes or plain sandwiches.

Maybe you know already whether you´re more of an “all-you-can-eat-runner”  or you need to be careful about what you ingest in order not to suffer from an upset stomach.

In any case, the bottom line is to find out what suits you best by testing various options in your training, specially on long runs. And avoiding the trap of experimenting with the unknowns on race day.

Which approach has helped you the most? What´s your tip for anyone struggling with ingesting foods in training and racing?

Join the conversation and leave your comment right below.

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How To Lose Those Extra Unwanted Pounds

It´s time for another round of Q & A.  Just recently I received a question I´d like to share with you.

Lito writes: Lately, I’ve been too busy with work with lots of late night activities on projects I’m working on.

Reason for getting some unwanted extra pounds.

Although I tried to do some running when I could free up the time and also threw in some brisk walks those fats just wouldn´t come off.  Any suggestions?

Yes, I do.

There is a simple formula that helps to understand what it takes to shed some extra weight. Forget counting calories and skip the obvious devils that are consumed without even thinking about it. 

It´s often not an easy task to lose weight and keep it off long-term.

Even if you´re training a lot, running five times per week, doing some additional swimming, hiking, climbing and biking…sometimes it´s a compensational kind of eating that lets you pile on the weight. That extra glass of wine, fast food, even too many nuts, seeds and oils can have the same effect.

What are you to do?

Simply, turn towards more conscious choices and select your food differently. Ask yourself before you eat something whether it is going to make you feel energetic or drained. And I´ve got more tips for you in this week´s video. See what you can take away for yourself and also share your tips and insights.

What do you do in times of increased stress levels so you can maintain your weight?

Or, if you are also struggling with some extra pounds, do you have an ultimate tip on how to turn away from the “bad” foods, a mental trigger and tip you want to share?

Just leave a comment below…I look forward to hear from you.

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How To Deal With Food Allergies And Other Issues…And Sticking To A Diet That Works

In our first podcast, Mary and I talked about her background and motivation going from Iron Woman to Ultra Woman out of sheer curiosity and being on a mission to find out what´s beyond the classic marathon distance.

Mary is quite an expert in the field of (raw) vegan diets. Over the years, she´s found that eating mainly whole foods influence her in such a positive way that she feels energized and is able to perform on a high level in training and in races.

When she lived in Japan for a while Mary discovered a new and healthier way of eating and gradually integrated those foods into her daily routine. The initial and long-term benefits never made her go back to the traditional diet.

In part 2 of this series we discuss pre-race nutrition, overcoming food allergies, handling food addictions, supplements and initial tips to try to eat healthier.

But - I don´t want you to think that chewing on raw greens all day does the trick.

It´s about making more small conscious choices about the foods you pick every day.

A healthy diet is not based on restrictions but on enjoying a natural, less stressful approach of making good choices for at least 80% of the time 😉

In our chat, Mary and I discuss one of many different ways to eat healthy. It is impossible to claim one particular diet as the only good one. Ultimately, eating right is as complex as finding the perfect training. It simply does not exist.

Nutritious food is about having sustained energy levels instead of eating stuff that makes you feel drained. Getting 80% of your diet right is all you need to do. The rest is about a well-structured training plan, working on the mental game and doing those highly-efficient exercises.

So sit back and relax for a few minutes or simply download the podcast and listen to it on your next easy run...

Now it´s your turn and I´d like to hear from you what type of diet works for you? Or what do you most struggle with in a world of so much choice? What are your every day staple foods?

Join the community and drop me a comment below. Because your feedback can help so many others.

 

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What And When To Eat Before Running

Do you often ask yourself what you should eat before you head out for a run? And are not 100% sure which amounts are ideal to consume before training AND also coming to grips with the timing?

Trust me, you´re not alone…and it ain´t rocket science.

 

 

Please leave me a comment…tell me about your experience with getting your nutrition right before training or you #1 food or drink that work a treat for you…I look forward to hear from you.