Run: Beans, rice and broccoli
I am so stuffed. I mean STUFFED. And the best part is, I'm not stuffed with a greasy pizza or massive burrito. I'm stuffed with healthy food. Mmmmmmmm.
I have already mentioned that I haven't been very motivated to run lately, and I think a lot of this is because my runs haven't been very fun. As in, I've been feeling out of shape no matter how much I run, and I've been feeling tired after only a mile or so. What gives?
Of course I assumed that I've suddenly became the worst, most out of shape runner ever, but then it hit me: DUH. NUTRITION. I'm not getting the nutrients I need!
The past few weeks an average weekday has looked like this:
Breakfast: Coffee, Oatmeal
Lunch: Carnation Breakfast Shake with Almond Milk
Snack: Peanuts, and an occasional vending machine binge consisting of Cheez Its or Crackers
Dinner: About a cup of rice and some veggies, 1-2 glasses of wine
The weekends, of course, look something like this:
Breakfast: Coffee, Oatmeal
Lunch: Tacos or bar food, beer, chips, candy
Snacks: Chips, candy, peanuts
Dinner: Pizza or pasta, chips, candy, wine and/ or beer
Now both examples aren't very nutritious, but honestly I'm more concerned about the former. Although I was trying to lose a little weight, cut out junk food and save money by drinking the Carnation shakes for lunch, I don't think I'm getting even remotely enough nutrients.
See, the thing about being a vegetarian is that I need to be extremely intentional and meticulous about what I eat if I want to feel my best (especially while running). This isn't as easy as it sounds. Vegetarians not only need to make healthy choices, but they need to pair different foods each meal in order to get the same nutrients that someone who eats meat would. For instance, a meal of rice and broccoli is good, but there isn't enough protein. Add black beans, more veggies and possibly some cheese and I might as well be eating a chicken breast.
The other thing is that although it's obvious a vegetarian must eat a lot of vegetables to make up for a lack of major vitamins one gets from meat, the vegetarian has to eat much larger quantities of those vegetables. Each meal should contain a green vegetable, and not just a handful. The veggies should be a huge part of the meal. They should often be the main course!
With that said, I was definitely not getting enough nutrients during the day, and, especially since I run after work, my runs have been suffering. On top of that, it's practically pointless for me to be restricting myself during the week, because I make up all the calories on the weekend!
So now that I've had that epiphany, it's time to make some serious changes. I foresee something more like this:
Breakfast: Coffee, oatmeal with raisins
Snack: Fruit and nuts
Small lunch: Steamed vegetables, salad, rice and/or tuna
Snack: Carnation shake
Post work (or am): Have a GREAT run
Dinner: Rice, beans, vegetables and dairy (cheese or milk) with some orange juice OR pasta with veggies, olive oil, and fake meat. 0-1 glasses of wine during the week. Splurge a little on the weekends.
I'm off to a good start. Tonight I made myself a WHOPPING serving of a nutritious and yummy concoction: 1.5 cups brown rice, 3/4 cup black beans, 1 teaspoon of grape seed veganaise, 2 cups of broccoli, 1/4 cup of parm cheese, a few sprinkles of salt, pepper, garlic salt and Mexican chili powder. And a cup of orange juice.
Hopefully I will feel better on my run tomorrow. Fingers crossed!