I’m so excited for Thanksgiving tomorrow. My family loves food and we always have lots of really good food especially on holidays.  This year my family from San Diego is coming in which means my Grandma will be making pies…yum!  For my family Thanksgiving is really a full day of grazing.  From spinach dip in a bread bowl (I’m making) to Hanky Pankies (you don’t even want to know what’s in them because it’s so bad for you, but tastes oh so good) I’m sure that I’ll probably take in a bit more than I normally would on a daily basis…most of which will be before the main course.  What’s a day or two of indulgence every once in a while right?  Plus I’m running the Turkey Trot in the morning at Wash Park.  That’s an extra 400 calories I’ll need to consume on Turkey Day.

The night of the premiere of this season of The Biggest Loser when we all went to Tawsha’s, we were lucky enough to have Erin, a nutritionist join us. She did a body fat analysis on me which gave me all sorts of good information. I learned that at that time I had about 19% body fat and that if I do nothing all day (like lay on the couch) I burn about 1500 calories. So with my activity level I need to be eating about 1900 calories/day to maintain my current weight and feed my body properly. This means when I go on a 4 mile run like the Turkey Trot, I need to eat about 2300 calories.   So lately I’ve been tracking my food on SparkPeople. I’ve been really interested to see what I’m eating on a daily basis and which nutrients I’m lacking on.

Now 1900 calories/day may not seem like that much (or way too much) to some but I’ve discovered through my food tracking, I rarely get to my 1900 calories/day. This is not good. I’ve been trying to include more snacks in my diet and making sure that I eat every time I’m hungry. It’s amazing how many fruits and veggies you have to eat to get a substantial amount of calories. Of course if I ate a meal at McDonald’s I’d have no problem, but that’s not the kind of food that will fuel my body properly. However last night I did get an ice cream cone from McDonalds after the gym to try to bump up my calorie intake for the day.  So delicious.  Now I know that this is the opposite of what most people struggle with and I’m not trying to complain at all.  Just thinking aloud.

Between this new information and all that I learned from marathon training last season, I’ve decided that I am approaching training differently this time around, especially when it comes to food.  Last season I know that I was not fueling my body properly and I was not cross-training nearly enough. So this season I’m looking to make sure I’m eating enough and also cross-training at least 2-3 days a week to try to avoid injury.  This is what I did foodwise last season: Before a long Saturday run I’d eat my PB&J toast, after the run I’d eat my PowerBar Recovery Bar (only on 10 mile or longer runs) and then a normal lunch and dinner. Even though I was burning lots of calories I was still worried that I’d overeat and actually end up gaining weight.  Because of this there was no way I was making up enough calories which left me tired and probably effected my performance. I had no idea how many calories I needed to eat on a daily basis, just that for most women it was between 1200-1800, which is still less than what I need.

Now with the new information I have I’m going to make sure I do it right. My plan for this season, PB&J toast or oatmeal before my run. After run, quick snack with protein and carbs or a PowerBar Recovery Bar on runs longer than 10 miles, big lunch and normal sized dinner with a few snacks thrown in there. It will be really important that I track food on those days to make sure that I’m getting enough.
I would love some suggestions on what to bring to work for lunch. I’m bored to death with the same old sandwiches and Lean Cuisines. I haven’t been cooking enough lately to have much leftover to bring either. What are you favorite lunches for when you’re at work or on the go?  Any awesome recipes I should try?  I find that I’ll make the same few dinners a lot. 

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