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Intuitive Eating - Learning to Love Food Again

A few weeks ago, I touched on something important that has been happening around here…no longer focusing on any macronutrient, just eating my 9 servings of freggies and eating intuitively. I realized this was a huge topic and reached out to the very smart Sports Dietitan Kristina LaRue to help define it and give some tips!

Intuitive eating is a way of eating that gives your body the power to determine what, when, and how much when it comes to food.

It’s that quality that we were all born with but somewhere along the way lost it—whether you find yourself too busy to slow down to eat anymore that by the time you get to a meal you are famished and overeat or maybe you’re depriving your body in a quest to lose weight it’s hard to determine what hungry feels like anymore.

There is hope that you can get that power back to fix your broken hunger and fullness meter and by eating intuitively. I’ll explain.3 easy tips to being eating intuitively - learning to understand your hunger3 Steps to Recalibrating Your Hunger Fullness Meter
1. Eat in a regular pattern. If you’ve lost touch with your hunger and fullness cues, often the first step is to start eating nourishing food in a regular interval. Depending on where you are starting from, it can be helpful to consult with a registered dietitian to help you rebalance your food again. Eating a mix of proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits and veggies at each meal is not only necessary for health but also satiety.

For example, ever eat a bowl of cereal only to be starving in 30 minutes, or maybe right then for that matter? But how about if you at oatmeal made with milk topped with peanut butter, fresh berries, and flaxseed? That’s going to last you a longer and you will get fuller quicker too.

Eating about every 3-4 hours keeps your energy levels stable and helps you to get in touch with gentle hunger and fullness rather than extremes.

2. Accept your body as it is. Sure you might have hopes for your body to look different but focusing your attention on changing your body is futile and it doesn’t bring happiness—even at a different weight or body composition. Instead accept your body here and now, it’s curves, flaws, and imperfections. This self love and renewed outlook will motivate you even more to be your best self each day—fueling well and exercising daily.

Weight loss and improved body composition are side effects of intuitive eating, not the end goal. For some this might mean tossing out the scale, finding an activity that you actually enjoy, or cleaning out your closet and buying clothes that actually fit today.

3. Knowing your number. When you sit down to a meal, as yourself, “How hungry am I right now?”, and give it a number from 1 to 10 with 1 being ravenous and 10 being stuffed like a turkey at Thanksgiving. This simple practice will allow you to tune in. As you are eating check in with yourself, asking yourself... “How much more do I need to eat so that I feel energized for the next 3-4 hours or so”.

Eating to a gentle satisfaction (6-7) not stuffed (8-9) is a learned skill that only becomes easier with practice. Eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re satisfied turns the focus from the food and gives your body the energy that it craves.

Re-learning how to eat intuitively can take some time, so give yourself some space to experiment as you discover to how to nourish your body with food again. Want to read more about intuitive eating? Check out one of my favorite books Intuitive Eating: A Revolutionary Program That Works by Evelyn Tribole.

Read more:
Sports nutrition - should we stop talking calories
Sports nutrition - fueling runs with whole foods
KristinaQuick high protein dinner examples

Kristina a registered dietitian and sports nutritionist for the Diet Diva, Tara Gidus in Orlando, Florida. She blogs over at Love & Zest- healthy recipes, life, and nutrition tips.

She loves to CrossFit, run and hang out with her husband and our furry “kitty” child.

Connect with her on twitter @KristinaLaRueRD or if you’ve got questions about intuitive eating at kristina(at)dietdiva(dot)net.

Thanks again to Kristina for these amazing tips!!

3 easy steps to tap in to intuitive eating from @KristinaLaRueRD

Are you an intuitive eater?

Do you listen to your hunger cues?

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Honolulu Marathon Review - That was different

Let me start by saying, I wouldn't have changed a thing about our entire Hawaii trip…but the truth is I would have gone in with my eyes a little more wide-open in terms of what to expect. We had an amazing time, but part of a marathon is being mentally prepared and so that's why I'm sharing what I wish we'd have known.

Everything about this race was unique; I think that's a fair word to use.

This was the 42nd running of the Honolulu Marathon which is often billed as one of the top 10 marathons in the world…thus my expectations of organization and finisher swag was pretty high. Honolulu Marathon FinishersLet’s go through the not so great, the totally unique and the great points of this race.

NOT SO GREAT
No corrals for 30,000 runners -- Having heard horror stories the night before, Jodi and I lined up in the 10 feet dedicated to 4 hour marathoners and were far from being the one’s who were being passed. Instead we spent at least 3 miles dodging walkers and then squished in to one lane roads which caused numerous bottlenecks slowing everyone down.  Waves or corrals would easily fix this.

No pacers -- We also noticed later that even with the tiny space allotted at the start for different times, there weren’t actually any pacers. I didn’t realize how frequently during a race I look for those to have an idea of where I am or when we were looking for fellow 26 Strong runners on the out and back course.Honolulu Marathon RaceCotton finisher t-shirt - turns out they were very late getting an apparel sponsor and I’m guessing these shirts were all that Under Armour had enough in stock to supply. Which makes me wonder, why would such a great race have issues getting any sponsor?? I haven’t gotten a cotton finisher shirt for anything over a 5K in ages.

No info to help coordinate meeting family after the race - Truly the map of the finisher area was awful and didn’t have any kind of signs to really help facilitate that pre-planned meeting point.

Post race food - A cup of water, no bottles, a banana, a mini bagel and a big ol’ donut hole {malasada}. Yup that’s it. I spent the 1.5 mile walk back to the hotel saying “man I’m thirsty” and seriously I was! Honolulu marathon finisher areaWater stop confusion - For a race of this size, I was confused to find water stops on only one side of the road. In fact, another racer asked me about this post race “is that normal for a race this size??” Uh no, the flock of people criss crossing the road definitely would have slowed down most runners. BUT they were all cheerful and out in the rain for hours, so I fully appreciate them!
waterstationNo elevation map which would have dispelled their description of only 1 hill

UNIQUE STUFF
This is the stuff that we will really remember and what fun it was!

The expo was by far and away the most interesting that I have ever seen!! Japanese signage and companies abounded, creating a totally unique atmosphere…but just when you thought you’d seen it all you encountered an area that felt more like a flea market with quilts and purses.
IMG_0585IMG_0584The race was also filled with tons of unique costumes, in fact I recall Jodi asking me at one point "Is there something I'm missing, why are all these guys dressed like women?!" Of course it wasn’t just the runners, it was many of the cheer stations too! costumedrunnerIMG_0691

THE GOOD STUFF
Really I think what makes this race a Top 10 must be the views. There are other good things, but other races just can't manufacture a view of the mountains and ocean. Luckily it wasn't my first marathon, so I was able to spend plenty of time looking up at the mountains, soaking in the rainbows and pointing them out to Jodi when she was focused on her feet as we all do when it gets hard.
  • The views
  • Tons of course photogs
  • Start line fireworks
    Honolulu marathon start line
  • The views (worth mentioning twice)
  • Tons of water stations
  • Good spectators-- many offering slices of fruit and great signs! You never know what you will get through neighborhoods, but here they were fully on board and ready to cheer. Spectator signs
  • ROTC holding a diving rope all the way up the biggest hill and cheering like crazy every few feet.
  • Great fellow runners - I talked to a number of people during the race and after. Everyone was so kind and even with grumbles of the start happy as we were to be there.
  • TONS of support crew - every water station was manned by a slew of happy cheering people. I don't know that I've ever seen more volunteers on a course.
  • 2 minute walk from the finish line to the beach…ahhhh ocean water therapy.DSC06333

BEYOND CONTROL
Beyond the control of the race coordinators was our race day weather. It maintained a light mist from start to finish which I didn't complain about one tiny bit because it kept Jodi from getting too hot and ensured cloud cover the whole race.

Unfortunately, we had a few points of downpours combined with 30 mile an hour wind gusts which were a little bit less pleasant, mostly from rain pelting the face to that moment when you step in a puddle and realize your entire foot is now squishy.

Yet without that rain, I’d never have captured Jodi running under a rainbow!!! RainbowRace day report here
Jodi’s thoughts leading up to race day
More about 26 Strong here 

All of that being said, would I recommend this race?

Mmmm maybe…if you wanted a Hawaiian vacation with a race then yes go have some fun. If you are looking for any sort of PR or even a first marathon, no this isn’t the race I’d select.

Truly what a great adventure to spend this weekend running with 8 other teams from the Saucony 26 Strong program. It was such fun to hear everyone talk about their training, see them on the course and then share in the post marathon shuffle as we all began heading home. IMG_0602What’s the most unique race experience you’ve had?

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Honolulu Marathon - The short and sweet of 26.2

Marathon number 8 was a whole new experience for me.

I have never run with someone that far.
I have never paced someone on their first.
I never use run/walk.
I never wear a knee brace.
IMG_0658 It was amazing. No that's too dull a word to encapsulate the day.

Walking to the start line at 4 am with 8 other Saucony 26 strong teams felt surreal. As did the moment 4 of us peed in the bushes at the start line just as the fireworks were ready to kick off. :)
IMG_0673OUR RACE
I'll talk about the Honolulu marathon itself in another post because oh do I have some thoughts on it.

We started with Jodi's intervals of 6:1 {run/walk} from the start. I pushed her pace a tiny bit, but not much to ensure we easily hit her goal of a sub 5 hour finish. Granted her main goal was simply to finish, which is exactly what it should be for a first!!!

She absolutely has a much faster race in her, should she ever let me convince her to try again.

We trooped along, bobbing and weaving through the mass of shuffling runners in the continuous rain. Up more hills than expected, into some crazy wind gusts, but nothing unmanageable.DSC06340 Until mile 19 when she slammed headfirst into the "wall". Unconcerned as I knew she'd pull out we took a few more walk breaks and kept up her fueling plan.

LUCY'S RACE
Mile 21 fellow cadet Lucy’s  race became our race too.

I noticed a girl weaving beside me in that ready to fall down way, so I slowed and put my arm around her to see if she could talk.

Instantly I realized it was 16 year old Lucy, a fellow 26 Strong cadet.

We moved her to the side and sat down on a guard rail to try and ascertain her state of mind. No Bueno.

Officers came to check, fellow runners offered water and gels and it was heart warming to see. We held her upright as I knew she refused to quit. Eventually we agreed to walk a bit.

My goal: find medical.

About 15 minutes later we found a medical tent, sat her down and had a friend high tailing it too meet her. Once we knew she was in good hands we took off.

Lucy recovered and walked her way to that first marathon finish!!!

OUR FINISH
Unfortunately the stop gave Jodi’s body time to start sending blood back to her digestion and we spent some miles walking and praying for a porta potty.

Honestly though we were taking in the spectacular views of the mountains and water at that point {or at least I was, she might have been cussing under her breathe}. It was refreshing not to worry about a finishing time because it didn't matter.

Then again I'm am the Coach, so I cajoled her into the walk/run intervals again and pointed out the finish line as soon as it came in to view.

She rightly pointed out it was still very far away, ha!!

I cry at every finish and this was no different.

I think Jodi was to tired to cry so I just hugged the hell out of her.
DSC06361 She has inspired so many on her journey and shown that you can become a runner at any age.

Our final time was 5:28.

Today I’m tired and poor Jodi is sore with stomach issues…but still no regrets, not one. I know this was short and probably lacking finesse, but hey I ran a marathon yesterday.

Congrats to my wonderful cadet Jodi who is now a MARATHON FINISHER!!

AND to all the other 26 Strong teams who completed Honolulu with us in some crazy conditions.

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Post marathon goals - What’s next {TomTom Giveaway}

As many of you know the Honolulu marathon this weekend is not my goal race, it’s a race all about getting Jodi across her very first marathon finish line as part of the 26 Strong program.

Which means I’ve been hinting at what’s next, but have yet to announce anything so here goes….

I have no idea.

No really, I have three options and I’m waiting to see how my body feels after Honolulu to decide:

Option A: Complete my first Ultra in January {the marathon becomes a great training run}
Option B: Go after a marathon PR in January {the marathon becomes a great practice run}
Option C: Knee hurts, back off for a few months to recover and focus on half marathon goal of 1:40.

Regardless of which goal I tackle, I will continue using Low Heart Rate training. It has kept me from feeling fatigued and kept my enjoyment of running sky high through this entire round of marathon training. As the temps have started to drop, my paces are also dropping with it once again…now I just need a knee that is 100% so I can really push it.

TOM TOM RUNNER WATCH
All of this leads to one of my new toys…you might have seen it listed in my 2014 marathon must have list: the Tom Tom Runner Cardio watch. Since this is indeed a different watch for many of us I wanted to break down some of the features and give you my thoughts and why it made the list.TomTomEven for those who don't normally train with HR, but are curious I think this watch is great. Now you don't have to remember any kind of strap and can simply get the information if you want it. When you are ready to get started you just click run, treadmill or stopwatch…which is fairly self explanatory. Run is going to connect to GPS and HR, while treadmill will be doing only your HR and stop watch well that’s just for time!

HEART RATE I didn’t expect to love it. I didn’t really expect that a watch could truly get and accurate heart rate through a watch strap.

Yet, here I am head over heels after just a few weeks. No chest strap and I still get my much desired HR in a supremely easy to read screen?!
“Your heart rate is measured through a sensor in the watch that monitors changes in blood flow in your wrist. This is done by shining a light through the skin and detecting the changing light reflections.”
Tom Tom HRIn order to get a heart rate, you have to wear this watch fairly tight and just a little bit above your wrist bone. It took me a second or two to get used to this tighter feeling, but once I started running, I didn’t notice it at all. The wide rubber feeling band was comfortable, unlike some that feel very hard or stiff. All of my testing resulted in HR’s that appeared to be right on compared to recent runs with other HR monitors.

I do wonder if the heart rate sensors will run into issues after being worn for a few months or not. I have replaced many heart rate straps, so I’m eager to see if this can go the sweaty distance with me and of course I’ll let you know!

TREADMILLYou know I happen to love the treadmill for speed and all kinds of things, so I was pumped to see what the treadmill function actually did here.

First it takes away the headache I have with other watches that keep trying to connect to GPS. Instead it just does HR and attempts to guess at mileage, but once you hit finish the watch allows you to adjust the total! Now when you sync up the data you’ll still have your correct HR information with the miles!

RACE YOURSELFAnother fascinating feature is called “race yourself”. Again perfect for Maffetone {LHR} who tells you to test yourself every 4 or so weeks on the exact same course to see if you are getting faster at the same heart rate.

You pull up the previous workout and click race yourself, so while running you can see if you are ahead or behind. Love.

I hate track workouts, but I’m good with tempos or goal pace running and this is just another way to push that envelope a little bit without needing to run so hard my lungs are on fire and I want to heave.

Plus it has the added benefit of being fun.

PHONE SYNC
Since I am horrific at plugging my watch in to the computer to sync up data, I love that I can sync it to an app on my phone. That I can do while I’m walking to cool down and thus keep all my info…normally I just charge a watch from the wall and never do much with the data, whoops!

GIVEAWAY
Did you now one of the best ways to get committed and focused is to share  your own goal?? Tom Tom loves this and wants to help make yours happen by giving one of you a Tom Tom Runner cardio watch!
TomTomCardioEnter via rafflecopter below (I’ve heard it’s loading slow, so hold your horses if it doesn’t come up right away)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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I did receive this watch free for my use and review, but all sweat and pavement pounding testing resulting in opinions were my own.


2014 Marathon Must Have List

After another full year of training, it’s always interesting to look back and see which pieces of gear I continued to use and which were replaced by something new.

Admittedly I’ve come a long way in my love of testing out all new things since that first marathon where I trained using a non-GPS watch for half the time and crossed the finish line in a cotton t-shirt and mesh shorts! It never occurred to me to use gels, to carry water, wear a head band or anything else!Marathon Training Must HavesA few of this years items appeared on last years list, but as a women does I’ve changed my mind on some things! So here is what is in my bag for this weekends Honolulu Marathon.

Skins Compression Tights
You know compression and I are like BFF’s right? These are a new to me option that I’m loving because of their women’s specific fit! Personally I don’t have the hips that many of my friends do and so some women’s clothing just won’t fit right…they have a stick option, no no a athletic build option I think is the PC term. {also good for post race recovery}

Saucony Kinvara 5
When the very first Kinvara came out I was in love and even used them for a couple of marathons. The Kinvara 4 turned me off a bit as it was just a different feel, so I’m glad the 5 is back and feels cushier than ever. This is a long run training shoe for me, but over 18 miles I need just a bit more so I am racing in the Saucony Cortana.

ProCompression low cut socks
Since I often wear compression pants on race day or long runs to support my ITB and knee, I stopped needing the calf socks, but my feet still needed some love. To my surprise and delight I found low cut compression socks and now wear them all the time!

Camelbak Marathoner Hydration Pack
After years of carrying a hand held and swearing it was just fine, I was convinced to try a hydration pack during my Jackson Hole Ultra running camp and I doubt I’ll ever go back to anything else. This one from Camelbak has enough pockets to take of a light jacket or store gloves and makes grabbing a gel or my phone for a picture insanely easy.

TomTom Runner GPS and HR Watch
This one surprises even me. I have been stead fast in my decision that the Garmin 910XT was the best training watch for me due to the battery life, the screen display and my need for HR. BUT after just a few weeks with the Tom Tom I’m kind of in love. A full review coming Friday, but hello no HR strap needed!

Sweaty Bands
Such a simple addition to our running attire and yet it’s been a lifesaver for this crazy haired gal. I can finally get a picture during a race or post run without looking nutty. Also an easy way to fix my hair when being lazy.

Fabletics
People who see me in the winter in Florida might assume I literally own about 4 long sleeve shirts, which I wear when I’m not running. I’m obsessed with the fit of my Fabletics hoodies because they are just so comfy and they just hang on the body in a great way! Not too tight, not too baggy, just right. {and at my price point!}

Vega Pre-Workout Energizer
Everything Vega makes my training life easier. Post workout protein for recovery, electrolytes before, during and after workouts, all of it, love. The pre-workout energizer though is one of my favorites and I’ve gotten many friends hooked on it. I only use it before long runs because I like feeling that extra boost which comes not from caffeine or stimulants but from rhodiola which is a natural herb. {learn more }

SaltStick tablets
No more calf cramps here and I can truly thank the inclusion of these little tablets for that.

Shower Pill Athletic Body Wipes - consider this a bonus recommendation from someone who lives in a place that involves year round heavy sweating to do long runs. I love being able to clean up post run before hoping in the car for a long drive home.

A giveaway might just be coming up soon and I’m reaching out to stock it like you wouldn’t believe so tell me:
What is on your must have list??

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