Hail Merry: You are the best.

Hail_Merry_6-thumb-620x475-48561I’m a sucker for the sweet things in life. If someone were to wave a chocolate cupcake in my face and then perhaps, threaten to take it away, I would chase them down like a dog and beat the crap out of them until they forked it over. The sugar monster makes me do precarious things. In my quest to be a better person (not threatening to kill people over sugar) and be a healthier runner, I am trying like hell to omit sugar from my diet. I have had some slips. No doubt. Sometimes, I just can’t contain myself. But it’s time to stop dicking around and be a more productive person: both in running and in life. I’ll be honest, the second anything with sugar or dairy slips down my throat, I immediately regret it. Both make me feel insanely sick. This is a new aberration, as prior to running such high mileage, my stomach was like a fortress. It forgave anything I put in there (my ass didn’t though, that’s for sure). My weakness was once a chocolate dipped waffle cone with like 7 scoops of ice cream. Yuck. Anyways, discovering better ways to eat always makes me happy. And, when I discover something that is raw, vegan & gluten free, but doesn’t taste like poop, I am in pure heaven. These aren’t cheap, I will admit that. But as I have said a million times, eating healthy is an investment. I do promise, however, that once you take that first bite, you won’t care. You just, won’t care. It’s magical to me that coconut oil, almond meal, maple syrup and other such healthy ingredients can product desserts that taste this decadent. Oh my goodness. Swoon. Cherish. Yum. You can find these gems at Whole Foods, in the organic section of Hannaford & online at: www.hailmerry.com

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Eat it.

The holidays are coming. And they are coming fast. That’s right. I said it. Get ready. Aside from the purging hopelessly of all earned money, things like anxious and social eating come right along with the territory. So, it’s time to stock your cabinets with some better options. Last year, I started dipping my fingers into the whole “juice movement” and although I don’t always have time to make fresh juice, I always slurp one of the above options down at my local market. If I’m at Whole Foods, I can have them make it fresh but sometimes, I can’t venture in there, for I fear I may spend every last dollar I have. Anyways, the cereal above will fill you up in the morning, it pairs great with almond milk, coconut milk or the traditional stuff. The coconut water is a great post workout beverage and the chocolate covered goji berries will save you from eating ten thousand Hershey kisses. Oh, and those lovely sweet potato “sticks”, they save you from the crunch monster. SO GOOD!

All of these items can be found at your local Whole Foods or natural foods market. Don’t have one of those? Go ahead and order them online. Either way, gear up for a healthy and productive holiday season. After all, we have to stay beautiful for all these social gatherings, right?????

(If you need specific product information, shoot me an e-mail)

Cram that beet juice in your face.

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Well kids, the fun times are over. With exactly two weeks till the BAA Half Marathon, I am now officially in semi-taper mode (next week is full taper mode) and I am officially on the pre-race diet. I enjoyed the last day of sticking every single thing in my mouth on Saturday, after my 12 mile run. A run that scaled some monstrous hills of vast proportions which made my running partner very happy and me kind of wanting to throw myself into traffic. I scoff at hills. Because I hate them. My running buddy laughs at them because I can indeed, scale them pretty quickly. But it’s only because I want it to be over. Desperately.

The pre-race diet is really about cutting out a lot of the junk. For example: no processed foods (which I don’t eat a lot of anyways), no red meat, no sugar, no processed carbohydrates, no fried foods, lots of healthy, lean protein, a substantial increase in fruit/veggie intake and lots of juicing. Specifically, beet juice. My aim is to cut out as much excess weight as I can (while not cutting calories, this is just about nourishing and getting rid of any bloat) so that on race day my body is rid of anything that would potentially hold me back. Also, while in taper mode, it helps me to not put on additional weight.

Now, beets are something that I loathe in life. They look weird. They’re all dusty from being in the dirt. They are bright red when you cut them open, they stain everything in sight so your counter looks like a murder scene. They taste like poop. And I hate them. However, I absolutely can’t deny the amazing health benefits they offer so I cram them down my face like a champ. Beets recently have really become the power house food for endurance athletes. A multitude of studies are showing the amount of oxygen required to maintain a given level of moderate exercise decreases after drinking beet juice. These little red devils are also packed with nitrates, which do a zillion wonderful things for your body: helps distribute oxygen to your muscles evenly and more efficiently, helps with muscle contraction, decreases blood pressure, etc. These studies note that it is best to consume beet juice roughly 2.5 hours prior to activity. Oh and an interesting side note, beet juice will turn your urine red so just get ready for that.

You can buy beet juice in some select health food stores. Whole Foods sells the Blueprint series which has a beet juice option, but for me, fresh is always best. I recommend buying your average, every day juicer and making your own beet juice. My beet intake for pre-race diet is at least 6 beets per day (3 per juice). Good sizeable ones too. My favorite recipe: 3 beets, 1 carrot, 1 cup of strawberries and 1 whole apple. Maybe a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up. Juice and gulp it down.

And yes, beets won’t make anyone win a race. You have to do the work yourself but even if this is all really horse shit, it’s still a healthy option to nourish your body.

Recover well with a wholesome, on the go snack

Recover well with a wholesome, on the go snack

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I’m not a fan of the gel packs, the squishy little dudes runners take with them on long excursions to boost their energy. Look at the ingredients, they are filled with crap. If I wanted 14 tablespoons of artificial sugar, I could just fill a zip lock bag with refined white sugar and drop it down my throat. And sure, maybe they’re not all bad but I’ve yet to meet one I like. I’m a fan of items made with real life ingredients. However, most of the time, the food I agree with eating isn’t portable enough to take with me on a long run. Yup, I’ll just stick this banana down my pants and then everyone will really want to hang out with me. 😉 Today, I discovered the Ginny Bar at the Good Life Market in Raymond. The ingredient list is a short one, maybe 10 ingredients, all things that I know well like raisins and pumpkin seeds. Calorically, this little bar weighs in at the 200 mark (see nutrition facts below), a perfect number for on the go snacking while running. The packaging is super cute and it’s small enough to fit inside most pockets or those little zip up things they put in running pants. You can buy these super yummy bars online as well, a pack of 10 is only $24.00.

So go check this little energy packed bar of goodness out. You will love them, I promise.

http://www.ginnybakes.com/

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