Real Talk: Food for Thought

As you know, I recently hit the 17 mile mark (ahem, 18 mile mark!) in my training program. That means I’m officially past the half-way mark. Holy moly! It’s going to be marathon weekend before I know it!

I’m finding that I need to be more careful about what I eat. Not only the day of my long runs, but the few days before and after.

I’ve also found that I’ve hit a point where I need to have something extra during the run. 17 miles (or for me, over 3 hours) is a long way to go with just water. This really hit me during my last two long runs.

I asked some of my friends (on twitter, myfitnesspal and in real life) what they use for long runs.  Thanks to all who responded!

From my running guru friend, Kristy:

Water. I never brought anything with me…When I ran the marathon I had orange slices, part of a banana and a gu. They all agreed with me.

From some MFP running friends:

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

I usually take sport beans on long runs.  Anything over 10 miles gets a clif bar halfway.

I have not really used anything. I did try some energy gummy things but they left my throat phlegmy which was pretty gross. The thought of eating actual food during a run isn’t very appealing to me.

Energy Bits every 5 miles and after 10 dates or a slice or two of fresh mango!

I’ve used GU gels in the past. They work well for me if I’m going for more than an hour.

Gu gels or powerbar energy blast chews.

I use Gu gels also. It’s worked the best for me the last couple of years. I’ve tried clif blocks and they work ok (for me).

And from Twitter:

 Jess @Mywalkonmoon:  @IslandBoost is nice b/c I don’t have to take it w/ h2o & not heavy on the belly @HoneyStinger chews for caffeine

Skora Running @skoraRunning: Drink to thirst. Cals from @honeymaxx and regular MCT oil mixed in, couple hundred cals per bottle.

As I mentioned in my last post, the Clif Shots and Bloks I had leftover from a race have worked… but my finicky stomach isn’t happy after the runs, especially immediately after. They work well in a pinch, and heck, they were free! So I can’t complain…but I don’t want to use them all the time. I don’t think my digestive system could take it.

Needless to say, I’ve been searching for something easier on my stomach and a bit cleaner. If you’re a regular reader, you know that I shy away from long/weird ingredient lists and I am not big on artificial/man-made colors, dyes, and ingredients.

Enter ENERGYbits.

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I had heard about this product before from two of my favorite blogs and was actually thinking of trying them. (Shout out to Zee Lemons and Healthy in Detroit!)

Not gonna lie, the only thing that stopped me was the price-tag. $115 for a bag of 1,000…. which, broken down by serving (20-30 bits), isn’t really that much…but to buy a product without trying it…and then getting stuck with something I didn’t like…well, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Then, I recently participated in my first #runchat on Twitter and was tweeted by ENERGYbits when I posted something about long runs.

Long story short, I was sent a sample and was able to try them on my 17 mile run.

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Before I give you the dirty details, I have to say, I love that this a US company. I also loved that it was founded and is owned by a woman. Not only that, but the staff is so passionate about what they are doing. They truly love and believe in the product they are promoting. To me, that’s a very good sign. Further, ENERGYbits are 100% organic, non-gmo and have 1 ingredient. O-N-E. That’s it!

Here are the nutrition facts (check out all of the vitamins, minerals and amino acids!) taken directly from their website:

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And here is a comparison chart to other popular products:
Nutritional Comparison Chart

Anyway, I received my sample about four days after my twitter connection. The packet I received was full of information… I was still a bit skeptical because, well…it all sounded too good to be true. I’d read about the benefits of spirulina but… I still wasn’t convinced.

You’re probably wondering, how does algae taste?

Well, as Farmer Ben put it, “it kind of tastes like fish food.” The nice thing about the bits is that, because they come in pill form, you can swallow them as such, with a big glass of water. You can also chew them, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  I swallowed about 10-15 at a time with a few good gulps of water.

In all honesty, taking these during my run was a bit hard. The initial smell was hard to get past…but they didn’t upset my stomach, which is a major plus. Taking these on long runs is going to take some getting used to, but the effects on my digestion are non-existent compared to what other products do.

So, here is what happened:

  • I took 30 bits about 40 minutes before my 17 mile run.
  • I took more about 9 miles into the run (I also had some Clif Shots on this run).

I feel the need to mention that I had worked both jobs the day before. This means that I worked from 8 am until after 11:30 pm. It also means that I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep, which I mentioned in my 17 mile post.

I also feel the need to mention that after my post-run shower, I received a phone call from my boss begging me to go in to job number 2. And it wasn’t an easy night. I, once again, didn’t get home until late. You can imagine how thrilled I was to be called into work after running 17 miles.

  • I took the last of my bits about 30 minutes after arriving at work and didn’t stop moving all night.

I won’t tell you that I felt an immediate surge in energy, because I didn’t. BUT, I made it through a 17 mile run on very little sleep. I also made it through a (super insane) Saturday night dinner shift after running the furthest distance of my life. I did both of these things without crashing.  Yes, I was tired…but I made it through an extremely long and strenuous day better than I should have.  I still had pep in my step–after 17 miles and a night spent entirely on my feet.

I will also tell you that, although I was sore, I wasn’t as sore as I expected. I’ve felt worse after shorter runs.

I recovered faster from that 17 mile run than I have from some 6-8 mile runs.

All of these things speak to me.

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Love this!

I recently ordered a full bag of ENERGYbits with my own money and am applying to be an ambassador for the company, because, well… I’m finally convinced.

Side Note: I ordered these on Friday afternoon, standard shipping. They arrived today (Monday). LOVE THIS!

Will this be my only pre and during workout fuel? For short runs, yes. For long runs, not yet…but maybe someday. BUT you can bet that I will be incorporating this into my regular regimen. I am not big on powders, vitamins and supplements…I’d rather get my nutrients directly from the source.

This is a food, and your body digests it as such.

If you have any questions about ENERGYbits, feel free to comment or shoot me an email and I will answer as best I can…If I can’t answer it, I will find out for you.

If you’d like more information about ENERGYbits, visit their website: http://www.energybits.com/

UPDATE: If you’d like to order ENERGYbits, you can use discount code “NoellesNotebook” for 25% off your total order.

Have you ever tried algae? What did you think?! What is your favorite way to fuel?

*DISCLAIMER:  ENERGYbits provided me with a sample of their product for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.*

UPDATE: If you order ENERGYbits using my discount code, I do receive a little bit of money, however all opinions are still my own.

I am not a doctor, I am simply writing about my personal experience, as with any food or supplement, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional.


Speaking of Challenges…

It’s Friday.  The Friday of a very long week. A long week, but a good week.

I’ve been feeling very accomplished this week, sticking to my challenges and taking on new ones as I go. For real, I could take over the world today!

  • As far as my MFP 50 day challenge goes, I have lost a little over 2 pounds so far. Not too shabby! I also got in a run with Farmer Ben last night and have been doing well at watching what I eat. I’ve been completing the mini-challenges within the group-so much motivation!
  • My clean eating challenge? I ate out last night at one of my local favorites, but it was a belated birthday dinner… other than that, I haven’t even gotten a coffee this week! So big!
  • I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and decision-making. And prayer (or circle-making). Big things on the horizon. I can feel it!
  • 30 days of gratitude is making me count my blessings. I am overflowing with joy when I realize how blessed I am.

On another note, I got a call from a friend yesterday asking me to fill in at a performance his theatre class is doing. It’s tomorrow. I got the script this afternoon. I haven’t been on stage (in a theatre production) in about 6 years. To say I am a little nervous is an understatement. EEEK!

I also made a deal with one of my MFP Buddies to attend a spin class next week. Something new. Totally new!

But I’ll be okay. I’m just looking at both of these opportunities as another little challenge…that I will win. Or learn from…or at least get a laugh out of.

So, in the spirit of spontaneity and taking on challenges, I am asking you to branch out this weekend. Do something unexpected and out of the ordinary! Big or small, just try something new!

Then, tell me about it!!! I’ll feature your obstacles, your successes and maybe failures growth opportunities in a post sometime next week. 

I want to know what you are doing and how you are taking on the world…or yourself!

You can either send me an email at noellesnotebook (@)gmail.com or leave a comment below. Please get me your stories by Tuesday, November 13.

So fill me in!

Happy weekend!

 


Is That a Challenge?

I don’t know about you, but I love a good challenge. Lucky for me,  November seems to be the month of Challenges!

There is a little trend on some social networking site, where people post one thing that they are thankful for each day of November. I’ve decided to accept this…and to take it a step further. I’ve created a page on this site where I will post my items.  Check it out!

My second challenge? I joined an online group!  I don’t usually like to join groups on the sites I use… but I have a huge goal that I am finally going for in the next few months (more on that later…) and decided that this would be something to help me on that path…and to keep me accountable.

So, I took the plunge and joined a group called the “50 day Challenge!!” on MFP. Basically, it’s to help members stay on track to reach a personal goal by December 18. I am aiming to shed a few more pounds or a pants size, but more importantly, I just want to stay active. I’d hate to see all of my hard work from the last few months go to waste. Because of this group, I’ve added a lot of MFPals in the last week or so…and it’s great, although I do find myself distracted by all of the activity on my page.  No matter, I have people to keep me on track. Boom.

 We also started a new series in our small groups and at church. It’s called The Circle Maker.

In our first meeting, we were challenged to pick something to pray about for 21 days (“drawing a circle around it,” if you will).  We were to come up with an end goal/dream/request and ask God to help us attain that end result. Every day. I have a couple of things that I could pray about, but I’ve got it narrowed down.

So, here I am, doing this. I do pray every day. But I don’t typically ask for something for myself, so this is definitely a new experience. I’m learning as I go.

I’ve also got a race coming up! The hubs and I will be running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and I am pretty excited. Lots of running to get in before then and I am hoping for a PR!

Lastly, the hubby and I have been eating a lot lately. We’ve been eating out…And not very well…so I am challenging myself to eat better, cleaner and cheaper this month.

No, I won’t be depriving myself of all the wonderful goodies that come from November (Hello, Turkey and Pumpkin Pie!!!), but I will be paying attention to what I eat and challenging myself to eat at home. This means getting up in the morning to make breakfast, planning my lunch the night before and–gasp!!!–making coffee/tea at home instead of going to Starbucks. It’s on!

It’s going to be a month of self-discipline. But I am ready!

Do you have any challenges/goals for this month?  Tell me about them!


It’s Finally Friday!

Just kidding. I mean…it is Friday. But it was a crazy week-it flew by…seriously, where did it go? And why did I not accomplish 3134 of the 4231 items on my list of things to do?!

In other news, I’m pretty proud of myself; I’m down 15 lbs (11 since using mfp) and I’m ALMOST into another pair of pants I haven’t worn in a looooong time. Again, big surprise.

I’m also back to running-after I got that nasty stomache bug a week or so ago, I’ve been bad about pounding the pavement…until this week!

Also, I’m having a minor freakout-I am running a 5k tomorrow! For fun. But I haven’t run a race in a long time! I’m not expecting much time-wise (not yet, anyway!). I’m just hoping to keep my nerves down until I start the race. Gah! Seriously, thinking about this is making my stomach flip-flop and… I think I just started sweating!

Another plus about this weekend? I’m off. So is Ben. We have brisket to smoke, 5ks to run and worlds to conquer! I am pretty excited!

We also signed up to be “Foodie Pen Pals!” For more information, click the badge on my homepage. We find out who our match is tomorrow and I am completely stoked. It’s a really awesome concept and I can’t wait to join in. I love mail…I turn into a kid at Christmas when I get mail…especially packages!

Alright, over and out folks.

Have a great weekend!!!


Nice Pants!

Today has been a great day…for the most part.

I only hit the snooze button three times this morning.

My husband made me coffee…right after grinding the beans. Yum.

I made it to work on time. And didn’t dump coffee on myself.

I had a jelly donut for breakfast from a local bakery and made out with hardly any powdered sugar on my face/shirt/pants/desk. I also had an awesome lunch date with Ben.

I didn’t break anything…but I did manage to get a big black streak on my shirt while messing with the plotter… 

And something else happened that I was a little hesitant to post about… for no other reason than I thought it was silly…

 On a whim, I tried on a pair of pants that I haven’t worn in… a while… let’s say, last summer, and even then… they were a little tight…okay, uncomfortably tight. So, I put them on this morning. And guess what? I didn’t have to twist or suck in or do any weird manuevers to put them on–dont judge, I know you know what I am talking about!–They just…fit. And now, here I am, wearing these pants…that didn’t fit…and now they do.

It was a surprise. Needless to say, I’ve got some extra spring in my step today. 

Truth: I haven’t actually lost a lot of weight… overall I am down about 12 lbs…8 since really starting to use My Fitness Pal. But, I am starting to see some changes-including a little more toning… and a few other people have noticed. I actually weigh less now than I did when I got married. No big deal.

As good as it feels, I’m not looking for that approval or pat on the back from others. The biggest satisfaction is knowing that I am getting stronger every day. I’m not perfect, but I have definitely made some strides. I’m able to do more and feel good doing it. I don’t huff and puff walking up stairs and I look forward to getting out and being active.

Although I am not in the best running shape-yet!-I have some 5ks lined up in the next few weeks and am ridiculously excited/anxious/nervous/beyond pumped for the Ragnar Relay in September (BTW-if you’re in the Plattsburgh area and want to join our team, hit me up.)! I’m looking forward to pushing myself even further.

I’ve got this, and if I happen to fit into an even smaller pair of pants along the way, that’s totally okay with me.