If there's one thing I learned from running, waiting tables and now, chasing a toddler, is that my body is begging for fuel and if I don't give it the right stuff, I'm bound to crash and burn. When that happens, it's even uglier than the nastiest person I could imagine serving. I'm pretty sure there have been several confrontations that may have been avoided had I been properly nourished. In fact, we all need the right fuel to function properly. I've waited on a number of people who started off quite cranky, picking apart everything about me, the table, the restaurant and the menu, but as soon as they get a few bites in them they morph back into a tolerable individual who may actually leave a tip. Food = Success.
Sometimes, the need for calories strikes before I've had a
chance to contemplate a nutritious meal and I find myself downing whipped cream in a desperate attempt to fill my stomach as quickly as possible. Not healthy.
In the past few weeks I've ramped up my running game and just to make things more interesting, starting working out in the morning. My legs have held up to the sudden jump to 30 miles per week for the most part, except when I forget to do things like, oh, EAT. The morning routine transitions all too quickly into the afternoon rush of trying to get Alexis down for a nap followed by having to get ready for work. Before I know it, I'm at the restaurant stuffing my face with dinner rolls and old fries. That's an appealing image, right? (Actually, it's hilarious. If it's the end of the night and there's a pan of hot rolls that we know won't sell, we're all in the kitchen, devouring the fluffy white bits of bread like we're freakin' orphans - except we dive for the food BEFORE it hits the trash can. We're not THAT desperate to eat, I don't think.)
Heading into last week, I felt a little off and I knew the food issue was to blame. Naturally, I don't want to fill up with just junk every time the tummy grumbles, so sometimes I'll skip a snack thinking, "I don't need that crap." Truth is, I need something. I found this out after running six miles on Sunday, seven on Monday, and then taught spin class Tuesday night. My legs felt like lead. I'm sure my face frightened my class because I was trying to suppress the grimace with an overly-toothy grin. I felt weak and choppy and I was cursing myself that I'd only brought water to class. That night, I ate like it was my first and last meal, ever.
For a quick reality check, I jumped over to a website with a decent calorie intake calculator. I entered in my basic stats and exercise level and came back with a somewhat surprising number: 2317.
Woot! Ben & Jerry's, here I come!
Ok, it's more like almond milk, oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter, and Power Bars, here I come.
Actually, last week's bonk inspired some yummy food discoveries. I made a turkey chili by simmering ground turkey, onion and yellow bell pepper in canned enchilada sauce (a tasty and inexpensive short-cut when you don't have equipment to puree your own tomatoes with seasoning and spices). For a late lunch that I brought with me to work, I filled wheat tortillas with mixed greens, some of the chili mix, and topped it with a little cheese.
I also discovered these little nuggets of joy:
This week's take-away: Feed yourselves right! A bonk is the first clue that you need to evaluate your nutritional intake. But just like you wouldn't put regular fuel in a car that only takes premium, don't put just any crap in your belly. For me, that's easy. I ask myself, "Would I let Alexis eat this?" If not, I don't eat it, either. Another thing to make sure of is that you can read the ingredient list. If your food shares an ingredient with, say, hair gel -- I saw this once, I forget the food but the ingredient was propylene glycol, which is in a couple of my hair products -- you would probably do well to pass it up.