April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere, Erika from MCM Mama Runs, and Patty from No-Guilt Life. This week's topic is Runner's Nutrition. I am going to discuss a bit of my journey with gluten free eating!
Oh gluten. I just know in the past, after I had a carb heavy meal I would get so tired but I never thought anything of it as everyone I knew was the same way. The more I have gotten into healthy eating, the more I have gotten into the primal/paleo mindset and wanted to try the low carb thing. I realized its more low grain than carbs which I decided to give it a go.
I first broke the food script of always needing a carb at every meal and next went having rice with stir frys. I found if I loaded up on vegetables I felt much better.
After a few months of that, I went over a week without grains but it was by luck. The grocery store had a huge veggie sale so I bought a ton and needed to finish them before they went bad. The next week when I had pasta, my body freaked and that's when I knew I had a problem.
Since then, I have monitored how I have felt having grains and it is always the same: brain fog, gas, bloating, tiredness. I learned from the Gluten Summit that brain fog is one of the first signs in a non celiac gluten sensitivity person that something is wrong.
The more I have adopted going gluten free, the more severe the side effects have been when I have small amounts of gluten. It is a tough adjustment to takes a lot of research and time but it is all worth it because I feel much better (the weight loss has been a good side effect!)
Within gluten free eating, I've replaced former grain based carbs with naturally free gluten free grains (rice and gluten free pasta) when needed. Usually I just have more fruits and vegetables and also added in more fat based on a primal lifestyle. Now I believe in balance so there are times I will eat gluten but it always has to be worth it. I will have brain fog, be bloated, feel off and have awful stomach pains so I have to be willing to "embrace the stomach ache". Treats like this include small pieces of cake, donuts, the grey stuff from Be Our Guest, and other fun treats.
I do try and buy exclusively gluten free and when I'm out to eat, I try to make the choice of food that is naturally gluten free and doesn't need to be modified. Oftentimes, gluten free things like bread are very dense and have to be cooked just right to taste good. I will often just avoid them as more times than not, they are kinda gross.
And also to give a shout out, Disney really does a great job with food allergies. I was about 90% gluten free during dopey weekend and never ran into problems with getting the food I needed and everyone was accommodating.
Another big tip, do research at restaurants before going out to eat. Most menus now have allergy information so know what you can have. At Disney this was crucial and also really speeds up the process.
Where am I struggling? With carb loading before runs. I started getting more serious about this on runs longer than 6 miles and any race. I eat low carb during the week (I don't think I get over 100 carbs a day on some days) and have been trying to become a fat burner-which is much harder than you would think! I have mostly been carbloading with fruits, veggies, a bit of rice and pasta and small things like adding sweetner to my coffee and tea, buying yogurt with fruit and having desserts. the only issue with adding this much sugar is I break out all over my face! eek! I promise to keep working on it.
One more thing I get asked a lot-do I count calories? Nope, I don't. I have no idea how many calories I eat-I eat when I am hungry, stop when I am full and go from there. Some days I eat more than others and I am okay with that.
Anyone else have gluten sensitivities? What are some of your nutrition rules for running?