Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Experiment in Eating

For those of you who know me, you know that food and my body are not always friends.  While I love to eat, cook and think about food, food and my digestive system don't always agree.  For the last 2 1/2 years, I've made significant strides in improving this relationship with the help of a fabulous nutritionist and friend, Tina Shiver.   She thankfully diagnosed my wheat and gluten intolerance and that in itself has changed my life dramatically.  But we continue to try and fine tune my diet, not only to allow me to get to a healthy "race weight" but predominantly to get my system back to "normal" and healthy functioning.

Recently, I been reading up on endurance athletes and other high level athletes who switch from a normal diet to a plant based diet -- i.e. a vegan diet.  Hillary Biscay,  Rich Roll,  Brendan Brazier, Martina Navratilova and Carl Lewis to name a few.  All espouse to have found new energy and fitness with a plant based diet.  Coupled with this, I just finished reading Omnivore's Dilemma.  If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it!  Pollen doesn't draw conclusions for you but explores the food industry in a very straightforward, openminded way.   And, I suppose the third factor may be that despite my already fairly restricted diet, my stomach and energy levels haven't been great.

So, I've decided to do a little experiment in eating.  My goal for now is to gradually begin to switch my diet to a predominantly plant based diet.  What does that mean?  It means that fish -- wild caught and local to the extent possible- or the occasional pastured, grass-fed lean meat -- will be the source of protein for only one of my meals during the day.   And, if I don't know where it is from or how it was raised, I'll stick to plants.  For my other meals, it will be veggies, fruit, beans, nuts and non-gluten grains.   Lunch in particular is a big green leafy salad with lots of veggies and beans.  Milk products are out for now too -- they've been causing havoc lately for me anyway.   Smoothies (with rice/hemp protein powder) will likely also be a standard staple.

I'm curious to see how I feel and how my body reacts to these changes.  In the meantime, I'll be trying lots of new recipes and spending more time at our local farmer's market.    Last night was sea bass fish tacos (baked sea bass wrapped in cabbage leaves with homemade guac, salsa) and quinoa.   Yummy!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

One week away

My "A" race for the season, Eagleman, is one week away and needless to say my thoughts are all over the place going into this race.   Despite a winter focus on the bike and tons of progress in January and February, I feel like my bike has gone backwards each month since April.  Very few rides have felt strong and on most, I've struggled to make my power goals.  Yet some day's I've seen a glimmer of hope -- a strong ride in the mountains at Wintergreen, a great double brick the other week.   My run, for the most part, has been decent and certainly looking like the most promising for improvement.   My demon for the run however will certainly be the heat and humidity that arrived a few weeks ago and hasn't left since.  While I've tried to make the heat my friend and workout in the hot temperatures to acclimate, my body's reaction to it certainly isn't consistent and definitely not welcoming.  

With one week left, what training is done, is done and now I need to continue to work on the mental part.  My goals for next Sunday are within my grasp if I lay it out there and believe.   Time to focus