Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’
I was wondering, is there something bad about soy milk? I know that with your Picky Bars website, you said that too much soy can be a bad thing. I was just wondering, what exactly does too much soy do, and if drinking soy milk twice daily counts as too much soy? Thank you for your time! By the way, this is really awesome that you have this website to ask you questions!
Thanks for the question! My research tells me that good quality soy in moderation is totally cool, but you should be aware of the issues associated with it. Like corn, soy has become an extremely popular ingredient in foods and beverages because it is cheap as hell to produce, so there is a huge incentive for food companies to find a way to incorporate it into their recipes.
With mass production of anything comes genetic modifications (GMO) and the use of pesticides to be able to grow massive quantities on mega farms with minimal risks. You need to look for things like “Non-GMO” and “organic” on your soy products if you want to maximize the health benefits, (and good quality soy does have health benefits).
You might think you are having two servings of soy per day, but if you look at the ingredients of many other foods you eat, there is a good chance they are beefed up with soy products, especially if you eat packaged foods. Most energy bars and protein drinks (and a million other things) use soy, and so a lot of athletes get 5-7+ servings of soy per day without realizing it. There is research to suggest that too much soy is unhealthy (increased risk of certain types of cancer, phytoestrogens affecting testosterone levels in men, etc) as well as the usual amount of counter-research to prove its totally fine.
If there is anything I’ve learned in studying Human Biology and factors that affect human performance over the past 11 years, its that research is always changing, and its often influenced by business, economic, or government interests. You have to learn to know when you are being manipulated, and when you are being truly educated. If you don’t have time to figure out what is what, you can develop a food survival strategy similar to mine.
My vibe towards food can be summarized as follows:
- build variety into my menu.
- never go full-steam-ahead into a health fad. It’ll change within a year.
- stay as natural and local as is reasonable without making my life all about food.
This philosophy is what guides me when I create a Picky Bar recipe. I avoid ingredients that people are likely to be over-consuming, and I select ingredients that are likely to add variety and micro-nutrients that people might otherwise miss. Then I make it in a size that is appropriate to what a person actually needs. Basically, I do the Picky for you. I figure if I’m doing all the research for myself anyway, I might as well share it.
So long story short, if you start checking labels and find out that you are soy-ing it up way more than you thought, here are two different strategies I recommend:
- Buy non-GMO and organic soymilk, and avoid it in your other foods so you keep the total servings down.
- Keep your soy-filled snacks, but switch to Almond or Coconut Milk to balance things out. Silk brand Coconut Milk is AMAZING.
All the Best,
I’m a sophomore in high school in my first year of running. When you have morning practice, how much can you eat? At what time from practice, and what can you eat?
That’s a popular question! You might be surprised to know that the specifics of what you eat aren’t as important as the timing! Traveling the pro circuit around the world, I’ve seen world class athletes eat everything from pickled fish to sushi for breakfast before a workout or race. In my experience, there are three main options to pick from when deciding how to get your munch on in the morning.
- Get up 2-3 hours before the run and eat something “real” like a couple eggs and toast, or some oatmeal with some nuts, or 1 cup of good quality yogurt with berries and cereal, or other meal options with some protein and fat. Protein takes time to digest, but if you have the time, eating a breakfast like this leaves you well fueled for a tough morning session or race. I’d keep the total calories under 600.
- Eat something easy to digest 30-90 minutes before, like a piece of toast with a little butter (or a small amount of peanut butter) and jam. This is my favorite option because I like to sleep in. Calorie estimate is between 150-350 depending on how much time you have.
- If you are a roll-out-of-bedder, suck down a Powergel or an all natural Liquid Gold 5-15 minutes before you run with a little water. I do this when I have a basic endurance run, but never before a tough workout.
You can mix and match depending on your schedule through the week. Just remember to drink 16 oz of water the minute you wake up in the morning (8oz if you are going immediately out the door within 15 minutes). Sleep is dehydrating, and you need the fluid for your muscles to fire properly, to get your morning dookie, and to help your breakfast get absorbed. Without the water, breakfast might leave you with a cramp on your run.
You might need to practice pre-run nutrition. A lot of people are afraid to eat beforehand because of a bad experience in the past. You have to train your gut to get used to it, and its well worth it because having morning fuel raises your workout performance, which raises your confidence, your fitness, and your race performances.
You can get more specific nutritional advice from a professional, either in person or through a legit online service like the Run Smart Project. My friend Alicia Shay does consultations for things just like this. Best of luck to you!
Anyone had a pre-run food disaster or success story? Please share your food no-no’s and recommendations below! I’d love to get some ideas for run-friendly breakfast recipes to mix things up a little.
How do you calculate your daily carbohydrate needs? Different books say different things!
How can you not trust this face! Everything I know about nutrition I learned from Dr. Clyde Wilson. I learned how to build meals so that they are balanced well, and now I don’t have to think about it. Its second nature. I don’t count grams of carbohydrates or weigh my food. Essentially I eat between 2400 and 3000 calories a day and I follow the plate-as-a-pie principle: Half the pie is vegetables/fruit, 1/4 of the pie is starch/carbohydrate, and 1/4 of the pie is protein. Most of my snacks are carbohydrate-based with a little fat or protein to make it enter the blood stream a little more slowly (i.e. Peanut butter on sprouted grain toast).
Do you have any tips for losing weight? I’ve been running 50 miles a week for 3 months now, but I’m gaining weight. My goal is to lose 8 pounds in 3-4 months. If you have any solutions to my problem I would appreciate your help. Thanks.
Women’s bodies don’t respond to running the way men’s do. Men have the “calories in = calories out” principal. If they want to lose weight, they simply need to eat slightly less than they burn. Even if its a 100 calorie deficit per day, it will add up to weight lost over time. Add a couple more miles, eat one less snack, and guys are good to go.
Women on the other hand…oh my. Women’s hormonal profiles make is such that we are very efficient at holding onto our body weight. This means we outlive men historically in times of famine or war, but it means its really fricken hard to lose weight when we want to.
Women’s bodies are designed to hold onto fat stores so that our unborn children can survive to term in times of food scarcity. Because of this, when we are in caloric debt, we have a stronger signal to the brain to chow down than men do. Our hunger follows our expenditure with incredible precision (bummer). Check out this article about the myth of exercise and weight loss.
Another sucky thing is that we can’t simply eat less than we burn if we want to lose weight. My nutritionist told me that most women do not start losing weight until they have a caloric deficit of at least 250-350 calories. So if you are eating 225 calories less than you burn every day, your body will simply change its thermoregulation so you can stay the same weight. You will be hungry as hell, and not losing weight for weeks on end, and all that will happen is your reproductive system might go dormant to compensate for the reduced energy (a possible reason so many runners have amenorrhea).
1. Don’t follow guys’ advice on how to lose weight by running more; they live by a different set of rules.
2. Read this previous answer I wrote about what I do when I want to trim down.
3. Realize that exercise without caloric debt will not lead to weight loss.
4. When you are done stamping your feet in protest because its not fair, harness that motivation that has led you to consistently run 50 mile weeks and make a winning plan for yourself to reach your goal weight!
I want to lose 5 pounds for the track season. What is the best way to do that without risking injury?
Losing weight is hard for everyone to do, even though its simple in theory: eat less calories than you burn. As a competitive athlete, that simple formula can put you at risk of getting hurt because you aren’t just logging easy miles. You are pushing your nervous system, doing interval workouts, and breaking down your tissues in ways that demand proper recovery. If you don’t eat enough calories to meet your needs, your body will catabolize (basically eat) itself to provide the necessary fuel. Gross.
Basically, you need your overall calories for the day to be less than you are burning, but you need to be very strategic about timing and what you cut down on.
Here are ten things I do when I’m trying to slim down:
1. On mornings with an easy run, I do it fasted, followed by a higher protein breakfast.
2. After breakfast, I never go more than 3 hours without eating something.
3. Cap meal sizes at 400-600 calories, with half my plate as veggies, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 carbohydrates.
4. Cap snacks between each meal at 150-200 calories.
5. Eating 200-250 calories immediately after exercise, every single time, and drinking 32 oz water with it before the next major meal.
6. Even if I am working out pretty soon before dinner, I still eat the recovery snack, making it easier to control portions at dinner.
7. Eat a piece of fruit and a glass of milk or soymilk before bed every night.
8. Take multi-vitamins and vitamin D, helping the body handle the stress of calorie deprivation.
9. Never lose more than 1-2 pounds per week.
10. Leave a Pria bar by my bed when I go to sleep in case I wake up hungry in the night; this way I don’t need to get up and go to the kitchen.
Hope this helps you out! Even though these tips really work, they are tough to do. The best way to ensure success is to start from a place where you are positive about your body; you already love your body, you are simply challenging yourself to be more fine-tuned than you already are. Never go on a diet from a mental space based on self-loathing. You will either fall off the wagon, or end up with a messed up relationship with food. Keep emotions out of it. You have to think like a guy.
What do you eat the night before a morning race?
-Josh, New York
When I’m traveling I can’t cook for myself, so I order something on the menu resembling grilled or roasted chicken, rice or potatoes, and some kind of vegetable. I avoid creamy, heavy, fibrous, or risky foods.
Water with no ice is best for digestion, and sometimes i’ll have a glass of red wine if I’m feeling uptight. But the key is eating a Powerbar Harvest with a small glass of water in the middle of the night when I wake up to pee, even if I’m not hungry. Tops up the glycogen stores, and the heartier oats don’t give me a sugar high, like other bars.
How do I resist eating all the candies out of the advent calendar all at once (and other such temptations?)
I just got out of the swimming pool, came home and went straight for the advent calendar. Then I read your question and thought it applied a little too well. Taking my own advice as we speak: