Can I make an intervention for myself? Is that a thing? Oh well, let’s do it.
As I read up on all these different running blogs, it seems like a lot of people write about food. Fairly simple subject, yet so much has been researched, thought, and written about it. Yesterday at the Endurance Sports Expo I was uber-aware of food and nutrition because a.) tons of different recovery, hydration, and energy product brands were present, and b.) I had just done my longest run to date and felt great…I was hungry and wanted to refuel properly. If I could have magically requested anything in the world to consume post-long run, it would have been a protein smoothie with some kind of protein powder, yogurt/milk, bananas, and peanut butter. Then, I would have spent the rest of the day munching on berries, apples, and veggies, with a chicken sandwich or something in there somewhere. In. My. Dreams. Times are tough. I can’t eat the way I want to, because it is expensive. I have not been feeling great – I am back to daily acid reflux, hunger, not-hunger, etc…and it is about time I try to fix it.
I blame work first and foremost. It is often so busy that I can’t take a break for a meal, and when I do, it’s standing up feeling anxious and guilty for not doing work – just taking in the food because I will be hungry if I don’t. This has to cause issues. Also, I am often gone for 10-12 hours every day, yet I fail to pack breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Packing all three meals for the day is hard! It takes a lot of time and thought, and it is really easy to underestimate how hungry I will be throughout the day, and what I will want to eat at a given time. Because that task seems tiring and annoying to me each night, I usually don’t pack much and end up eating whatever we sell at the store because I don’t want to go out and spend more money elsewhere. This stuff is better than starving, but it does not leave me feeling good at the end of the day. obviously, when a Clif bar is your “junk food,” you are not the unhealthiest person ever, but the problem is when I have a Clif bar, I don’t want it! I want apple slices with peanut butter, or something, but it’s not there. That is my issue – I need to make it be there when I need it as much as possible. Even when payday is far away, there has to be some random thing to snack on I can pack…hopefully. Even plain brown rice or dry cereal. It’s not taken off my dream menu of healthy, yummy things, but I need to make things better even when I don’t have the money for lots of healthy things.
It’s causing stress, anxiety, jealousy (“Did you hear that ___ is great for recovery?” “Try adding ___ to a smoothie” “I love ___, you should buy some!” <– these things have been making me cringe for weeks. I don’t have the money, and this stuff sounds so good!), and actual stomach and chest pain – and none of that is good for running.
I don’t want to get all into certain ways of eating, like Paleo, or gluten-free, or dairy-free…because it doesn’t seem like anything in particular sets these problems off for me – just food itself. In conjunction with my work schedule. Monday is usually the worst day – not eating breakfast until past noon sometimes, and not eating dinner until 11:30 because that’s when I often get home from work and the gym (I usually lift and/or swim Monday nights). I spent a lot of time packing stuff after a mini healthy shopping trip that I took tonight out of frustration. We’ll see how it goes.
Do you have any ideas for taking the stress out of eating on-the-go for a ~12-hour block of time (with no available refrigerator or stovetop…)? Is there any kind of food that sets your stomach off/causes acid reflux? Have you added anything to your diet that has made a big difference? Taken anything out? I usually don’t think twice about food; I just make sure that I am eating balanced and healthy…so this is probably the first and last food post I will make!