I haven’t cooked consistently for a while. Trader Joe’s opened near my old apartment last fall, and I went a little overboard with the precooked meals. More recently, I lived out of hotel for two months, and while my room had a kitchen, I had limited kitchen gear and smells seemed to linger, so I rarely cooked.
Now that I’m settled, I dug out my cookbooks. I also dug out my scale. And although I felt like I had lost weight…well, that wasn’t the case.
Since I’ve been feeling lethargic and seem to have gained a bit of weight, I decided to use My Fitness Pal and read a book on Sports Nutrition:
My Fitness Pal has its limitations, but I love it for the macro data and an estimate of how many calories I’m eating. When I moved from veganism back to meat eating, it helped me realize how little protein I was eating, but how easily you can go overboard with protein. This time around, it made me realize that I wasn’t eating enough carbs. I wasn’t shocked when I thought of it – there’s such a stigma around carbs that I know that I unintentionally love many low carb foods (Mary Gone Crackers and Food for Life bread are two of my staples).
I recently read another book called Eating on the Wild Side:
A few things I learned: steaming veggies in the microwave is the best way to cook most veggies (YAY!), I’m storing a number of fruits and veggies incorrectly, and I haven’t been eating the most nutritious apples (another diet staple).
I recommend both of those books and My Fitness Pal if you’re a runner trying to tweak your diet. Full disclosure, I normally only use My Fitness Pal for a few days. I find it’s a bit too cumbersome and inaccurate if you eat and cook mostly unprocessed foods.
I added more unprocessed carbs (oatmeal, sweet potatoes, farro, quinoa, lentils), been more aware of fats (I was glugging the olive oil), and removed most processed foods. I’ve felt 100% times better and I truly believe my running has improved because of it.
Kate Scott is an avid runner, who has completed three marathons and numerous half marathons. She travels frequently, most recently to Toulouse and Bordeaux in France. She currently lives in Northern Virginia and is a certified public accountant.