A Check-in With My Nutritionist

(As I mentioned in my last post, this week I'll be recapping some events that happened in the past couple of weeks that I wasn't able to write about immediately. This is one of them.)

A little while ago, I had my monthly appointment with my nutritionist.

March had been a challenging month for me - travel and illness distracted me from recording my diet regularly (and eating healthy as well). Irregardless, I emailed her my reports from Daily Burn to review before our appointment.

During the first appointment I ever had with her, I told her that I was training for a marathon and trying to lose 10 lbs. She immediately told me to throw that idea out the window. You can't lose weight AND train for a marathon. It just doesn't happen that way. At the time, I was a little put off by that idea. I didn't understand how I could be doing all this running and not lose weight. I mean, we're talking major calorie burn!

But that was before I got into the long distance training. Now that I've done the 13, 15, 17+ milers, everything that she said just "clicked." I get it now. Its really is all about fueling your body. I now understand how badly I was restricting my body from the calories that it needed. In order to sustain my strength and endurance for these 4+ hour runs, I need all the energy I can get.

With the race now 11 days away, I'm in taper mode, but during those long-run weeks, I found myself eating everything in sight. I even ate bagels, something I never, ever eat. I didn't care, I was just so hungry! It was like being dehydrated - when you're thirsty, you know you already are. Same thing with eating - when I'm hungry (which seemed to be all the time), its time to refuel.

I've accepted the fact that my marathon training weight is 5 lbs more than my normal weight. That's a lot for me. But the nice thing is that my weight has consistently stayed at 5 lbs. It may fluctuate about a pound and a half lighter, but it hasn't gone above the 5 lb pound mark.

After we discussed this, we reviewed my Daily Burn reports. Although they weren't as complete as the previous months, the feedback was essentially the same - I need more potassium. I told her that I crave oranges, even though they upset my stomach. That was the indication to her that I am still potassium deficient. A banana a day in my smoothie just isn't enough.

So I've added another orange and banana to my afternoon snack and have made more of an effort to eat beans, a great source of potassium. In fact, earlier this week I made a huge pot of Taco Soup and threw in some black beans into the recipe too! Unlike most Paula Deen recipes, this one is decently healthy. I cooked it with the leanest ground beef and also left out the sour cream.

To be honest, I've been eating it for lunch and dinner all week. Some people would get sick of doing this, but its so delish, I don't mind. I eat it with some blue corn tortilla chips (I count out one serving exactly).


Having meals prepared in advanced has also been a huge time and money saver as well.

We wrapped up our session with a few additional questions that I had:

* At the time of the visit, I had just injured my foot so I asked, "Are there any 'healing' foods that will help my foot heal faster? - Put plainly, she said, "No." Okay, moving on....

* I get really hungry during long runs. What can I do to help fix this? - She suggested eating a slightly larger breakfast or adding a piece of fruit before I run. Also, during the run, try to hold off eating the first GU until 60 minutes out. I normally have the first one at 4 1/2 miles, or 45 minutes. I actually tried both suggestions on my last long run and it did make a difference. But the bottom line was, I needed more carbs.

* I want to set Advanced Diet Goals/Targets on my Daily Burn account. What should those targets be? She sent me a very thorough presentation called, "What Makes Up the Food We Eat." It breaks down how much macro nutrients (carbs, protein, fat), micro nutrients (vitamins and minerals), and water our bodies need. I had to do some math conversions (thank goodness for Google conversions) to set-up my Advanced Diet Targets in Daily Burn, but now that they're set, its been a tremendously useful tool in helping me track and balance out my diet. If this is something you're interested in hearing more about, let me know and I'd be happy to share more information about it.

My next appointment with her is the week after the marathon. Although I'll still be active, my marathon training will be over, and I'll have to adjust my habits and targets once again - that's the goal for my next visit - stay tuned!