I don’t think I realized how much I love food until I started running.
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No matter how long or far I run, I usually find myself eating like a horse when I get home. The problem is I’m not always reaching for the good stuff… cheeseburgers, chips and an ice cold beer make for a very delicious, non-nutritious post-run meal, if I say so myself.
Some may say, ‘Oh, well you earned it!’ or ‘You don’t need to worry about eating food like that.’ While there may be an ounce of truth to that, those greasy meals are adding pounds to my runs – physically and mentally. I know I’m slower, more heavy-footed and in general just not as motivated to get up and go when I eat like…well, crap!
Then I had a date.
No, not that kind…the fruit! I never had one before and was pleasantly surprised by its sweet taste even though its dried, shriveled appearance wasn’t exactly appealing. Said date was enjoyed courtesy of a local nutritionist (and marathon runner), Amanda Turner, the CBS4 running team met with to learn about the importance of eating right, especially pre and post run. Amanda taught us how to make small, no-bake snacks out of dates, dried apples, oats, chocolate (!!), peanut butter and a few other ingredients that are a perfect treat before a run because they’re packed with healthy carbs (I was still munching on a few extra dates as Amanda explained why each ingredient is important).
One of the biggest takeaways from our hands-on snack making lesson with Amanda for me was learning when to eat before lacing up my sneakers. I always wondered…should I chow down 10 minutes ahead of a run? 20 minutes? An hour? No one wants to have a sloshy or even grouchy stomach while running… And Amanda said it really depends on what your body needs – some people need a full meal, others a small snack – but that’s why the no-bake apple/date treats are a perfect choice for any runner. They’re not very big, so one or two are enough about a half hour or less ahead of a run and are packed with sweet and savory fuel. I also noticed how full I felt even an hour or so after enjoying a couple of the date-laced snacks…which is perfect for my wild eating habits.
Oh, what a difference a date makes.
(PS – I thought about a cheeseburger the entire time I wrote this…)
Kelly Werthmann joined the CBS4 team in 2012 as the morning reporter, covering national stories like the Aurora Theater Shooting and devastating Colorado wildfires. She now anchors CBS4 Weekend Morning News and reports during the week. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @KellyCBS4.