When it comes to food, things shouldn’t be complicated, yet for many it is. I’ve suffered from an eating disorder that clouded almost a decade worth of food choices and judgment, and while I’ve been “recovered,” for nearly five years, there are still moments when food can be difficult. I write this because it’s the truth, and hopefully, by speaking mine it will inspire others to be forthcoming with their struggles and seek the help they need and deserve. So bearing in mind the utmost important concept that everybody is different, here is a peek into what a day on my plate looks like; specifically when training for an epic endurance event (running 100 miles).
If I’m running for less than 2+ hours, I won’t usually eat or drink coffee before I go. To that I will add, if I have enough time to digest food at least a few hours before running, food is always a must. Coffee too soon before lacing up my shoes gives me horrendous acid reflux, and I prefer to sip it after. However, not every morning is the same, and if my body is physically hungry, I’ll make sure to eat enough before heading out. On this particular day, I woke up with a growling stomach so chose to eat a bowl of oats (soaked in water overnight) topped with banana and a dash of sea salt and a cup of coffee on the side. Yes…on this day I decided my cup of joe was worth it as the day needed a little extra energy.
On the weekends, getting enough sleep is always the preference. This allows us to wake up a bit later than the usual 6 AM run, which means meals and recovery all get pushed a bit back as well. Because we finished our run around quarter to noon, it made sense to refuel with a meal as opposed to a recovery shake. Lunch was a plate of random things left in the fridge including flax-seed tempeh, raw zucchini, carrots, beets, kidney beans, hummus, flax seed crackers, sheep’s milk cheese and a slice of sesame seeded sourdough to clean up the remnants!
I have willingly given myself the title of snack queen, much to the dismay of my French relatives. Eating large meals doesn’t work well for my digestion, mood or happiness, so I prefer to eat smaller meals throughout the day. I also ascribe to the notion that every good savory plate should be followed by a sweet one.
One of my favorite snacks is full-fat greek yogurt with any sort of fruit and nut mixed in (as seen below). When it comes to dairy and meat (and grains), labeling my diet has never been conducive to a healthy life. I’m not vegan, vegetarian, or paleo; I’m Gabi and I believe that everything is okay in moderation and balance.
On this day I mixed in slivered almonds, hemp seeds and some chopped walnuts. I don’t have a Kombucha every day, but when I do, I make sure to enjoy it to the fullest.
If the above snack doesn’t tide me over before dinner, sometimes I’ll nosh on raw veggies and hummus and a handful of nuts. Dinner was part two of cleaning the fridge. I cooked (and burnt) some brown rice, sauteed onions and zucchini, roasted butternut squash that was about to go off, and a little “salad,” of tomatoes, tempeh and avocado!
Again, what is a good meal without a sweet treat to follow? Seasonal summer fruit is my absolute favorite. I adore pretty much any stone fruit, and if you didn’t know about my love of grapes, you do now! So the bowl below was pretty much my idea of heaven. We’ve got one organic peach, a bunch of grapes, a few squares of dark chocolate (loving earth I believe) and a handful of sprouted cacao beans.
Food for thought
Food shouldn’t be complicated. The best piece of advice I’ve ever gotten was that, “everything is nourishing and everything is poison.” And it’s absolutely true. Too much of a good thing can be bad. Being too focused on making your food “perfect,” can raise your cortisol levels, cause you to stress come every meal, and thus lead to tummy troubles and malabsorption.
Love what’s on your plate, enjoy the company beside you, and make the most mindful choices when you can. Sometimes being mindful with food means adding an extra green to your plate, and sometimes it means deciding to go out for ice cream. Whichever it is, honor that decision and stop worrying if it’s the “right,” one.