Sometimes I think my flex schedule and what I cram into it is going to be the end of me. I have friends lecture me about putting too much on my plate. And while they (and I) acknowledge that that tends to be a lifestyle pace I enjoy and thrive in, at times I need a breather, and I recognize when I could use help staying on track. And right now that help is in the form of my Sodastream and a new meal plan.
A month ago, I kicked off four weeks of a get-back-on-track hydration and fuel plan using my Sodastream POWER to create healthy beverages at home paired with a meal plan from Eat Train Live. I’m now kicking off a new four-week plan, this time with meals from Eats by K Catering while still using my Sodastream POWER to serve up the hydration.
I’m one week into the plan and so far, as with the last plan, both elements are a great addition to my lifestyle. The Sodastream POWER has me drinking fruit juices less often (they are loaded with sugar). It’s been a process but I’ve been able to train my taste buds to enjoy less sugar; I’ll even opt for sparkling water served plain at home or out at restaurants now; this is new, I never used to enjoy sparkling water. For at home, I enjoy thinking of ways to add natural flavour to my Sodastream beverages, like this strawberry and basil combo here. Besides being delicious, the waters you can make can turn out quite gorgeous, which is very satisfying in and of itself.
As for Eats by K, this plan is one that could fit into my budget (at $55 for five meals) and I feel the meals are close to what my body and taste buds crave. (Everything, btw, is made with wholesome ingredients and from scratch.) I don’t rule out pasta and potatoes from my diet (as a runner, I need those carbs, and actually I think they both get a bad rap from many people) and you’ll find them in the occasional Eats by K meal. As with my last meal plan, I do find myself very full with each meal. I often eat about two-thirds and then save the rest for a snack; which makes me realize over time I seem to have switched to three smaller meals but with more snacking. Except if I’m out. If I’m eating at, say, OMAW, well serve me up all of the fried chicken! (Just kidding, I’ll likely have one piece and bring the rest home. I’m a big fan of taking home half of my meal!).
(For more on my snacking strategy, though, check out this post. My snacking keeps me from getting hangry!)
The five meals a week plan from Eats by K also works for me, because I often have meals out for work or with friends, or I just want to eat something outside of the meal plan. Two meals daily, six days a week, proved to be too many meals for me last time, but I could see how that’d be helpful for many people to have two healthy meals a day taken care of.
My fave meals from Karla (that’s the K in Eats by K!) so far include a deconstructed shepherd’s pie (a great comfort food with the autumn weather) and a honey dijon crusted pork tenderloin with sweet potato and corn. And I should mention that if you’re a calorie counter, you’ll appreciate that each Eats By K menu comes with a calorie count for each meal. This week’s meals range from 351 to 440 calories.
I’ll be posting more on my social media about my Sodastream stay-on-the-healthy-track plan; I’m looking for a way to top this strawberry basil sparkling water, which may be tough because it is delicious!
October 17, 2016
As you may know, I’ve got a big fitness goal for this fall: qualifying for the Boston Marathon, and to help me, Gatorade has partnered with me to help me work towards that goal during what we’re calling the Summer of Sweat. They’ve provided me with a supply of Gatorade, G2 and Gatorade Protein Shakes for hydration and recovery, plus I’ve joined the Pace & Mind team, so I have help from running coach Rejean Chiasson.
Since officially kicking off this Summer of Sweat program, life has been a whirlwind. I now somehow find myself with less than 40 days until the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon (it’s on October 18, 2015) and I barely felt like I’d officially started training and I’m all of a sudden running the longest distances we will be doing for training. I think I was caught off guard because it took me awhile to decide on a goal race, so while I was maintaining and slowly building distance, mentally, I wasn’t officially in marathon training mode.
It didn’t help that in August, I was home in Toronto for only 11 days. I can manage shorter runs when I’m traveling, I prefer to run my long distances at home. My busy schedule also means that I have yet to make it out to run with my Pace & Mind teammates as a group. I’ve run with one team member and am regularly in contact with Rejean about my training. There’s a lively group chat of some very enthusiastic runners in the group, though, so that’s a new element to my training. The next few weeks are less travel-heavy so, it’s a goal of mine to train with the Pace & Mind team.
Given the hectic pace of August, I managed to maintain a consistent schedule for training, but I have slacked on the speed training, which is precisely what I need to get me to my goal. So I definitely need to focus, work hard and #KeepSweating from now on.
As luck would have it, Toronto was also hit with some extremely hot and humid weather, which made sure I kept sweating. My pace for long runs decreased significantly and I can’t help but find that stressful. I can’t even meet the slowest pace that coach has assigned me but he assured me that the pace he refers to is during ideal conditions (i.e.: when it’s not 38 Celsius outside).
Given the conditions, I’ve had plenty of opportunity to hydrate with Gatorade during my runs. My favourite flavour is Cool Blue, but as it gets closer to my goal race, I’ll likely try to stick more to the Lemon-Lime since that is often served on race courses.
I see so many runners without water and it boggles my mind. Even on a run as short as 5K, I feel parched; on a 32k run last week, I drank two-and-a-half bottles of Gatorade and a one-and-a-half bottles of water, and immediately downed a chocolate Gatorade Protein Shake (which has 20 grams of protein and rings in at 270 calories) as soon as I got home to help with muscle recovery. I always try to be really careful with hydration when I run since I’m not so great at consuming enough fluids from day to day (a habit I still struggle with improving) and I’m a heavy sweater. Like, seriously heavy. I think this is why I dislike sweating so much; I don’t experience just a light glistening of sweat like other girls in my NTC class. I am dripping and my gear is absolutely drenched with sweat.
If you’re not too clear as to how an electrolyte sports drink like Gatorade helps you when you work at high intensity, well, when you sweat, you lose sodium and potassium, Gatorade contains 210 mg of sodium and 55 mL of potassium per 500m to help replace what you sweat out. For more information on the importance of sodium and potassium and the science behind Gatorade, check out www.gatorade.ca
This is why I tend to only drink sports drinks on my long runs (which last for more than one hour), but not so often during my other training runs. My easy runs are a much shorter distance so I can hydrate with water or G2 (I’ll drink the G2, which is lower in calories depending on the intensity of my run and other factors such as the temperature outside.
During a recent 32k run last week that lasted over three hours, based on what I’ve read, it seems I may be on the low end of carb replenishment based on how much Gatorade I consumed, but I also ate several Honey Stinger electrolyte gummies during my run as well. I’ve taken note and will now try to up my intake since I believe I sweat more than the average person.
By the way, when running, it can be easy to fall into a zone and forget to drink so to make sure I hydrate regularly; every two kilometres I take a big sip. (If you run with regular walk breaks, say if you’re running 10s and 1s, use your one-minute break to hydrate.)
With 24 days to go until the Scotiabank Waterfront Toronto Marathon, stay tuned because my next Gatorade #KeepSweating post will be my marathon recap! And in the meanwhile, follow along with my training on Instagram and on Twitter.
September 23, 2015
(GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Congrats to Andrea L. who won via her entry on the Health and Swellness Facebook page.)
Do you drink enough water? There’s no clear answer as experts have different opinions. Eight glasses of water daily is the simple answer we have all heard of. Other say we should drink between half to one oz for each lb you weigh (so if you weigh 130 lbs, you should drink 65 to 130 oz; in cups that’s about eight to 15 cups, which is a pretty big range!). It depends on many factors, including your activity level. One simple way to gauge if you’re well hydrating is to check the colour of your pee; pale straw to honey colour is good. Anything darker or clearer could be a sign you’re dehydrated (although darker colours may also be a sign your liver isn’t working optimally).
Drinking enough water is important because it helps your body run more efficiently. For one, it helps keep you regular. Also, it may help control your weight; if you’re feeling a sense of hunger, it might actually be your body telling you you’re dehydrated. Grab a glass of water instead of the snack you would’ve gone for and, hello, your craving is gone without having consumed any calories.
I know I’m not hydrating enough. I typically drink one coffee a day (and caffeine is dehydrating) and then a juice with lunch and dinner. I tend to only drink water when I’m running. Friends who’ve travelled with me have asked how I’m still alive having witness how little I drink. For about six months when I was training for half-marathons about six years ago, I did focus on hydrating well, but then fell out of the habit as I didn’t notice any obvious changes (I also gave it up because the numerous bathroom visits were driving me crazy).
But I know it’s time to get on the hydration bandwagon. And equipped with a shiny new Brita pitcher and water bottles, I’m up to the task and doing a #BritaBootcamp! There’s a new one-litre bottle; the bigger size is helpful when you’re on the go so you’re less likely to run out of water…so no reason any of us (even me) for not doing well in #BritaBootcamp and getting the hydration we need.
Need motivation to get your hydration on track? Enter my #BritaBootcamp giveaway!
To help you get healthily hydrated, I’ve got a Brita prize (valued at $35) to give away. The prize includes:
- 1 Brita® Hard Sided Filtered Bottle, 1L – $23.99
- 1 Brita® Sport Filtered Bottle, 590 mL – $9.99
You can enter in four different ways:
- Email me at email@example.com with your name and address (please put “Brita Bootcamp” in the subject line).
- Twitter. Follow me on Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:
I want to join #BritaBootcamp and win this #giveaway prize from @healthswellness! http://bit.ly/1Ew5NkJ
- Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness) and like the photo of the Brita water bottle on Instagram, and comment how much water you currently drink daily.
- Facebook: Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthandswellness) and comment on the photo of Brita products about how you like to drink water (At room temp? With ice? With a slice of lime?)
This giveaway is open to Canadian residents and you can enter up until 4 p.m. EST, Thursday, May 7, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random and notified via the method they’ve won. If they do not claim their prize within five days, another winner will be selected at random.
April 30, 2015