HAPPY WEEKEND. This has certainly been a roller coaster of week! Luckily, I’m properly fueled for it.
****OH and yesterday, I shared a picture of my Prana Diva vest (that I GOT ON SALE and have worn every day this week and was totally amiss and forgot to mention that I have a discount code for 15% off sitewide!! psps15SL and share the love!**
I was going to hold of on this post another week or two, but since we seem to be on the nutrition topic–making healthy, nutritious, and delicious food accessible for all–and going off of my final thoughts from my post yesterday, I thought that I would just keep the train going and talk about Marathon Training Fuel for the Digestively Challenged: Suz Edition.
Or Marathon Nutrition #LikeASuz (ps, I was going to do a post on that today, but have swapped it with this one. So expect a #likeasuz post soon 😀 ).
As we all know (and as I’ve spoken of before), any time that you are physically training for something, be it a marathon or just to get fast, bigger, stronger… you can’t just do your exercises and adhere to your training plan. In fact, without the proper nutrition and diet, you likely won’t even get through your training cycle without injury or doing damage to yourself. I spoke about how I changed my diet, put on some weight, and got better in every regard here.
But that doesn’t mean that you just get to eat all the ice cream and burgers and fries and cookie dough and donuts that you want. Sure, you get to eat them a little bit more without recompense than the average person, but in this case? The 80/20 rule is actually a great idea! Make sure that the bulk of your calories is from nutrient dense, whole foods, and then sure, have that donut as part of your 20%.
One of my greatest struggles as an athlete and someone with Crohn’s Disease is figuring out how to achieve proper fueling. As I have discussed (but for those that don’t know), my body neither optimally/efficiently absorbs nutrients nor does it handle fats/oils/cows milk that well. I am a rare Crohn’s patient in that my body prefers a high fiber, vegetable dense diet and doesn’t have a problem with gluten, and I can enjoy yogurt, cottage cheese, and light ice creams because the lactose is more broken down and the fat decreased in these cases. But cheese, red meat, coconut oil, butter, real ice cream etc, those foods often are added to diets as “weight gainers,” are no-go’s for me. I’ve done the Ensure diet before, and it will be a long time before I do so again, a) because it reminds me of being at my sickest and b) it makes me feel like I’ve been jolted with electricity and queesy, so no thanks.
So how do I get my 80% rather than relying on what I would rather have in the 20%? I know that I am going to have ice cream later, so I try to make sure that the rest of my day is low in sugar. Also, many of these healthy high protein low sugar snacks are gluten free!
Jessica’s Natural Foods (Review here) Gluten Free, Non GMO, Kosher. My absolute favorite granola, hands down, no contest. I have had all the flavors, and I still struggle to pick my favorite. I am obsessed. This is the fluffiest granola I have ever had, and I love the texture of it–light and airy but crunch and substantial. And the chocolate chips and dried cherries and everything is just… wow. Perfectly balanced with regards to flavor and sweetness. Tastes indulgent but isn’t. Don’t tell Alex but I’m actually hording a final bag of the Chocolate Hazelnut (previously Motor City Crunch) in our pantry.
TastyMakes (review here) Raw. Sprouted. Vegan. Organic. Gluten Free. DELICIOUS. An amazing flavor and texture all it’s own. Incredible stats and just the right amount of crunch. But alert alert! TastyMakes has given themselves quite the overhaul! There are so many new snacks that I need to try, and I hope to give you all a review soon! But their granola is still available, fear not, it is just in slightly different packaging.
Jolly Oak (review here and here) “Good For You” granola. Pre-portioned, all natural, and packed with goodness and flavor. And with flavors like S’mores and Almond Butter and Jelly, what’s not to love??
Fiona’s Natural Foods Organic, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Vegan, Some Gluten Free. I got to try the Toasted Almond Granola, and this is granola at its purest–clean, simple, and tasting of nature. Loved the texture of it–crunchier and oat-ier than Jessica’s and more of a classic granola than TastyMakes. Loved the addition of the coconut! The toasted flavor really comes through–this stuff was perfection on Greek Yogurt and ice cream as well as by itself, but I liked it best with something for it to complement!
Kitchfix Paleo. If trail mix and granola had a baby and was made by a Paleo cook, this would be the result! Pure, simple, and the texture was great! Just sweet enough, and smooth, if that makes sense. Though baked with maple and coconut oil, it was not overly one or the other. The addition of the flax and seeds was new for me–I don’t typically have those in my granola, but I liked it! *Kitchfix is a delivery program with a vast array of options, but they also sell certain items, like the granola, in stores.
Low Sugar Trail Mix (Loose and as Bars)
Kooee! Gluten Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free, Paleo-Friendly, No Added Sugar, Grass-fed beef, no added hormones or antibiotics. Kooee! Is a fun jerky + trail mix that combines the superfood, natural sugars, and healthy fats of trail mix with the protein power of jerky. I loved both flavors–Lime Pepper with Mango and the Smokey Chipotle with Apple. With 250 calories, 20 g of protein and 8 g of sugar, how can you not love this! When you receive the package, the jerky and trail mix are separate, and then the divider peels away and you can mix at will, or keep them separate! This. stuff. ROCKS.
Daily Serving Portion controlled, certified non GMO, organic, gluten free, vegan (for the most part) A new company that I can’t wait to fully review for you, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to give you the heads up on. As of right now, Daily Serving is only available in Chicago, but it is another great start up company that I am so happy to learn about in the early stages. Daily Serving aims to provide FUNCTIONAL nutrition to us all via Registered Dietitian created snacks and juices tailored to your aims/needs; recovery, indulging, waking up, etc. You get a column of snacks: a juice and 2 munchables, all in pre-packaged 4 oz cups (reusable and perfect for your next snack, or keeping your ponytailers and such in line!) that tell you what you are getting and why you are getting them. I recently got some samples, and they blew me away! Take your daily serving!
Mini Packs of Nuts 100 calorie packs of Emerald almonds. Especially the cocoa. Easy. Peasy. Put them in your purse and roll out!
Kind Bar Nuts and Spices Bars and Kind Strong Bars Gluten Free, Non GMO, no soy or whey. Putting these together because they come from the same place and are based on similar principles–less of the riffraff sweetness, just straight up flavor, lower in sugar and with good amounts of fiber and sugar. The flavors are less sickly-sweet and sticky than the typical Kind bars–these are bars that actually stick to you (I never feel full after a regular kind bar). My picks: Strong Sweet Thai Chili (OMG), Caramel Almond + Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate Chili, Maple Pecan, and the new Mocha Dark Chocolate.
Think Thin Crunch bars Gluten Free, Non GMO I am weird about my bars–I don’t (or very very very rarely) eat bars where the stats show grams sugar > protein. That said, I don’t handle sugar alcohols well at all. Thus, I tend to stay away from ThinkThin’s high protein bars (the protein/fiber bars don’t have the sugar alcohols). But their Crunch bars are some of my favorites. Take a Nature Valley Soft and Chewy Mixed Fruit bar and mix it with a Kind bar and you have these. And they aren’t sticky like the Kind fruit and nut bars. My faves: Coconut Chocolate Almond, Cherry Mixed Nuts, and Cranberry Mixed nuts. Although, while looking things up for this post, I’m seeing that there are some new options!
My Own Tasty Healthy Recipes
Majority are Gluten Free, High Protein, Low Sugar, and many are Dairy Free!
- Triple Chocolate Protein Muffins
- Chocolate Zucchini Oat Protein Bread
- Zucchini Pumpkin Goji Protein Bread
- Lemon Beet Power Bread
- Protein Berry Cornbread
- Pumpkin Banana Chip Protein Muffins
- Peach Protein Yogurt Cake
- Cherry Apple Pie Protein Oats
To avoid sugar overdosing, I buy plain flavors of just about everything, except for the occasional Greek yogurt if I find a flavor that I just have to try or is lower in sugar than in protein and I love my Dannon Light n Fit yogurts. I know that they have artificial sweeteners in them, but just like with the sugar–find the balance. I also take advantage of nut butters when I can (you’ve seen my ice cream concoctions).
**I also want to say that not all of these things are eaten as complete servings or all at once. For example: I know that jerky can be hard on my stomach, so I might eat that a bit at a time, or before bed. Dried fruit is the same way. Bars and smaller packages obviously get consumed at once, but having them over time is just fine, and can actually be even more beneficial by allowing your body time to properly absorb the nutrients, rather than throwing it all in there and hoping something sticks.
For more about my eating before big races and runs, check out my pre-race eating rituals, my fueling for marathons, and also this post, on snacks to keep at the work place. For general diet, this is a great post on creating power bowls (which are gluten free), or search power bowls in search for other tasty combos!
How do you fuel your fitness filled life, particularly if you have digestive limitations?
Tell me about other products to be on the look out for!