Day 9 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Gluten free! No artificial sweeteners! Met my water intake!

I spent the day out with a friend and decided to indulge a little. I can make salads at home! So I ordered french fries with my pulled pork, and tried a gluten free, no added refined sugar oat blueberry bar from the farmer’s market.

I was very good at resisting temptations today. My favorite gluten free bake shop was at the farmer’s market and because I know the guy who works the booth, he gave me a bunch of free treats. I contemplated eating one but since I had already eaten the blueberry oat bar, I put all the treats in the freezer right away. Maybe next weekend I’ll pull one out as a treat for all the good food I’ll be eating this coming week.

I added a tracker at the bottom to keep track of how many servings of fruits and veggies I eat a day, just to see if I can increase the number of veggies through this month. I may not be able to, but it will be interesting to see. My goal is not count calories this month and see what happens when I allow myself all the delicious foods of the earth in my body instead of the toxic sugar and synthetic ingredients.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Non-fat Greek dairy yogurt
  • Homemade Granola (oats, flax, chia seed, sunflower seeds)
  • Peach
  • Banana
  • Cantaloupe
  • Pulled pork, no sauce
  • French fries, no ketchup
  • Potatoes with curry powder, carrots, peas, and beans
  • Cucumbers, carrots, green peppers, zucchini, sunflower seeds in a balsamic vinegar dressing
  • 64 oz of fluids (water)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Oat blueberry bar made with agave and applesauce (no sugar, soy or gluten)

Total Servings:

  • Fruit: 3
  • Veggies: 4

Day 4 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: Gluten free! More Veggies than yesterday! No sweet treats!

Clean food consisted of:

  • Non-fat Greek dairy yogurt
  • Homemade Granola (oats, flax, chia seed,Sunflower seeds)
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Corn on the cob
  • steak
  • Mixed greens, carrots, egg, green peppers, zucchini, and bacon
  • Celery
  • 64 oz of fluids (mostly water)

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • GF crunchmaster crackers (added sugar, processed, long ingredients list)
  • Tropical Tea
  • Peanut butter (contained sugar)
  • One Dark chocolate square

Day 3 of 30 day Eat Clean Challenge

Victories: No gluten! Very little added sugars!

I thought I would miss Sucralose (Splenda) and have to switch to Stevia (Truvia), however, tea without sweetener isn’t so bad. =) Next I will work on eating more veggies overall.

Clean food consisted of:

  • Non-fat Greek dairy yogurt
  • Homemade Granola (oats, flax, chia seed)
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Fresh Blueberries
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Plums
  • Mixed nuts, no peanuts
  • Banana
  • Homemade pasta sauce with CSA box zucchini, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, basil, etc.
  • Tolerant veggie pasta
  • Carrots
  • Brown rice with lime juice and cilantro

Not-so-clean foods today:

  • Bear Naked Granola, Carmel Apple (added sugar)
  • Cranberries (added sugar)
  • Semi sweet morsels
  • Tea
  • GF pasta

August challenge

my August challenge includes staying under budget and eating clean.

Eating clean involves foods that have less than 4 ingredients, they have ingredients I can pronounce and find in nature and has no added cane sugar. I’m adding gluten free to this definition. 

These are ok in my book (aka my exceptions):

  • Honey is ok. 
  • French fries are ok. 
  • Spiced Meat (without sauce) is ok. 
  • Rice and quinoa are ok. 
  • Coconut milk is ok (even though it has chemicals). 
  • I may make an exception for Luna bars or potato chips with potatoes, salt and oil as ingredients (Fritos!). I haven’t decided where the line is just yet. 
  • Plant based protein is ok too. 

Home made trail mix has become my friend. I may have to use raisins instead of cranberries because of the added sugar. This also has chocolate in it, which may have to be an exception. 

For races, I can take my tried and trusted pro bar bolt chews and have brown sugar in my pre-race oatmeal. Actually I should make the day before a race a free day too so I can have my ritual pancakes and zucchini bread. 

Bye-bye sweets

Aside from that no flour-like sweet treats. Fruit (and maybe dark chocolate) will have to be my evening dessert. I’m also going to refrain from drinking Straight up juices which are as bad as sodas. 

Friend support / strategy

I’ve always wanted to do this challenge. A few folks from November Project are doing it and have set up a support group on Facebook for us. I think it’s time I did this. 

I may have to pack up all my temptations and put them at a friends place during the challenge so I at least don’t cheat at home. 


Back to Back Half Marathons

This challenge of running two half marathons in one weekend was certainly a learning event and an experiment. This post is about what I did leading up to the back to back races and also what foods I ate (and should have ate) between the two races.

Back to back race prep

Leading up to this double half marathon weekend I took some measures, also because I was going for a specific goal on the first half.

My training had been going well, and I was familiar with the course for the Livermore half so I thought it could be a PB so I wanted to do whatever might give me an advantage. This included:

  • Sitting at work and standing rarely (I stand most of the time, typically)
  • Stretching my legs (hams, glutes, calves, hip flexor) at my cube 3x/day and put Kinesio tape on my calves to loosen them
  • I fueled properly the day before
  • Two days before I restricted (not sure if that was a benefit)
  • Observed two days of no running leading up to the first half
  • In the evenings on the two days of rest, I stayed off my feet as much as possible
  • Ensured plenty of rest leading up to the half
  • No drinking alcohol the week prior
  • Drank plenty of water (thanks to nuun!) the two days leading up to the races
  • I took a low dose of magnesium 

Fueling in-between back to back half marathons

Fueling is important when running a half marathon, but what if you are running two halfs within a 25 hour time period? It takes 24-48 hours for food to be stored as glycogen for muscle use so basically you have to start eating during your run or right after! But at the same time you don’t want to be full for the race the next day. The goal is to eat simple, low-fiber carbs (high-glycemic index), which convert quickly to energy in between the two half marathons.

What I ate in between my back to back half marathons (Sat: Livermore and Sun: RnR SF)

Here’s a listing of what I ate after crossing the finish line of the first half marathon and before I went to bed. You can see what I ate the morning of the second half marathon on my RnR SF race report.

  • 1/2 Kind bar (I couldn’t finish it because my body was not interested in that right after the hard effort)
  • Banana
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • French Fries
  • Purity Peach drink
  • Kidz Clif Protein bar (peanut butter)
  • 1/2 package Pro Bar Bolt without caffeine
  • 1/2 kids clif chocolate chip bar
  • Corn bread with a little butter and strawberry jam
  • Zucchini bread with a little butter
  • Homemade Oat bars
  • Carbonated water with real lemon juice and splenda

What I learned through all of this is that next time I will plan a little better regarding fueling between back to back half marathons. (And yes, there may be a next time! I’m training for my first full marathon in Sept.) Here is a sampling of what I learned through this:

  • I didn’t eat even close to 2000-2600 calories between the finish line and the start of the next race.
  • I wasn’t hungry at 3:30am before race #2 but by the time I got to the starting corral I was starving and my tummy was audibly rumbling. I was concerned about putting more gels (sugary substances) in my stomach and whether it would hold up (it did!).
  • I didn’t plan ahead of time the list of simple, low-fiber, high glycemic index carbs that I should eat, so I just went with what I felt like eating, which wasn’t much.

Items that were on hand in my house that could have been part of the fueling plan:

  • Apple sauce
  • Oranges
  • Craisins
  • Kidz Clif bars
  • Recovery powder drinks
  • Blueberry smoothie
  • Rice
  • Candy: skittles, starbursts
  • Gluten Free Bread
  • Tator Tots

A PSA: gluten-free at Starbucks UK


Extreme Knitting

After various incidents of hysteria over the pond, I decided that it was probably a good idea to email Starbucks UK to find out what is, and isn’t, gluten-free over here. Because, it’s not clear, and there’s an awful lot of conjecture going on. I was pleasantly surprised.

The nice chap who replied did so at about midnight (graveyard customer service shift) and emailed the following. Verbatim. So this is obviously a standard reply. Why it’s not easy to find on the website, I don’t know. Information correct as of 14th November 2013. Bear in mind that there is the potential for cross-contamination because of the way the stores are organised and run, and use your own judgement.

I can confirm that none of our hand crafted beverages currently available in our stores are made with ingredients that contain wheat or gluten.

We also have a selection of food items…

View original post 146 more words


Starting to eat a hole in my pantry! =)

Today, I used the frozen gluten free pizza crust from Mariposa Bakery that I’ve had in my freezer, and then made a pizza sauce with produce box tomatoes and herbs and garlic. Then stacked on top produce box veggies (garlic, basil, onions, peppers, hot peppers too!), left over italian salami and rice cheese. YUM.

Creative and tasty.


Half Marathon #2

What a phenomenal day. Started out a windy 55 degrees with no rain in the forecast (for the past week it had predicted 70% rain on this day).

My friend, Ty and my sister were unable to be in my corral in the back because of the heightened security due to the Boston Marathon bombing. This meant I had to catch up to them so I went out at a good 11 min/mile pace, then increased it to 10 min/mile.

At mile 4 I got a text from my sister that she was waiting for me at the entrance of the Indianapolis motor speedway (mile 6). It was so great to see her. I ran up to her and hugged her and then said “I’m doing a 10min/mile pace, lets keep it up”. During the entire race I did 5 mins running and one minute walking off and on which averaged 10min/mile. My sister and I didn’t chat much because we were doing a race pace, but she did mention that the run/walk was a little difficult in terms of her breathing because there wasn’t enough time between walks to get a rhythm down with her breathing.

During the race there were people cheering at least every mile, along with bands and people dressed up in Wizard of Oz costumes. There was a fire breathing dragon and a tunnel – I couldn’t help but hip and holler. I wasn’t familiar with the route so every turn was a new adventure and I kept looking for the famous lap around the Indy 500 track. My sister and I made sure to get our photo taken on the track, but we were so excited that it was a big blur and not worth posting publicly. There were so many people running of all ages and sizes! Over 30,000 registered and ran that day in the half marathon alone. No wonder it’s the largest half marathon in the nation.

Somehow my sister and I ended up passing Ty, the best we can guess was it was around mile 11. At this point I had stopped looking for his orange shoes because I was getting tired. My breathing became out of control and I had to pull back on the pace. My sister didn’t mind because that meant she wasn’t keeping up with my weaving and accelerating to navigate around people. It was the only way to break the monotony. The wind picked up a few times late in the race and if it was a headwind I simply said to myself, “the breeze feels good” (against the humidity) to keep my thoughts positive.

I finished with an awesome time of two hours and eleven minutes, which means a challenge to break it in the future. =) My sister’s personal best is two hours and eight minutes, which she accomplished on a hilly course just a month earlier.

My sister and I finished at the same time, and my friend’s time was two hours and thirty minutes. He had some stomach issues on the course and walked a large portion of it. My brother-in-law ran the 5K and had a personal best time as well! So happy he’s become a runner.


I had stomach issues after the race and ended up throwing away 1/3 of my lunch because I was feeling ill. Glad I brought some pepo with me, I certainly used it.

This was my sister’s birthday and at dinner I had a mild meal of Mongolian beef (low salt) with brown rice and a gluten free beer. Then proceeded to eat a lot of gluten-filled cookies 🙂 because that was her birthday “cake”.

Two days later and it’s difficult to know how the gluten is affecting my sore calves, core and back – is it worse than if I had abstained? I had gluten after my last half too so it’s hard to know. I also had neck tightness before the race (stress?) so that’s not a good indicator either. I keep thinking about blueberry donuts and panera cinnamon bagels, so I may just have to splurge one of these mornings.

Lots of sleep and stretching is in my immediate future 🙂

Next week I start the Jeff Galloway speed training half marathon training. I will need to do hills if I intend to do the Nike women half, which runs across the Golden Gate Bridge. I also plan to do a flat course mid-training again.

My next race is the See Jane Run 5K in June where I will try to beat my 28 minute record.

11:06, 10:21, 9:47, 9:22, 9:29, 10:00 (speedway, mile 6), 9:50 (speedway), 9:59 (speedway, mile 8), 10:02(wall), 9:35, 9:40 (last ten mins of race)