Category: Healthy Eating

Friday Feast: Marathon Nutrition Plan

My race nutrition for the WDW Marathon has been in the back of my mind for some time now, but I hadn’t really sat down and laid it out.  Earlier this week, my CrossFit coach was asking me how my shin splints were doing and I told him about the upcoming marathon, which prompted him to immediately ask about my nutrition plan.  Since I hadn’t planned it all out yet, he told me to have it to him by the end of this week.  Yikes…ok, I guess I better get going.

You mean I can't just eat pizza during a marathon like this dude????

You mean I can’t just eat pizza during a marathon like this dude????
Photo Source: Fun Running Ryan

I started by doing some research.  I found this article on the 4 Steps to Perfect Marathon Fueling to help calculate how many calories I will need to consume per hour to help maintain my energy and prevent muscle fatigue.  I determined that I would need 164 calories/hour if I was to maintain a 13 minute/mile pace.  I figure that’s a good baseline, so I started putting my plan together with that in mind.

Let’s start with my pre-race food.  I’m planning on being on a bus by 3:30 am.  My alarm will be set for 2:30 am at which time I will have a big glass of water and some green tea while I get dressed, then prep a gluten-free/egg-free english muffin with almond butter to eat on the bus.  I’ll also be bringing a banana to have on my walk over to the corrals around 4:30 am along with a few cups of water from the holding area.  GuRight now, I’m starting in corral G (boooooo!) which takes off at 6:17 am, but I’m hoping to get this changed at the expo…we’ll see.  Whatever time I end up starting, I will take a Gu (chocolate outrage ftw!) 15 minutes prior.

My plan is to have a Gu every 3.5 miles with water.  I’ll also be combining a glass of Powerade and water at various waterstations (roughly about 3 miles apart).  Fuel BeltI will be carrying a fuel belt with 2-10.5 oz. bottles of water to supplement hydration between water stops.  The marathon also has various food stations along the course where bananas and candy are available and I will definitely be taking advantage of those.  I’ve never actually eaten a banana while running before, so hopefully it will settle well.  B will be meeting me at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex around 10 am, which should be around mile 17 to bring me some salted crackers, refill my water bottles and possibly give me a nice clean shirt 🙂  Best hubs around!

Here is my mile by mile plan for fuel:

  • Mile 3: 50/50 Water & Powerade
  • Mile 3.5: Gu
  • Mile 6.25: 50/50
  • Mile 7: Gu
  • Mile 9.5: 50/50
  • Mile 10.5: Gu
  • Mile 11.5: Banana
  • Mile 13: 50/50
  • Mile 14: Gu
  • Mile 16.5: 50/50
  • Mile 17.5: Gu
  • Mile 18.3: Banana & Salted Crackers
  • Mile 20.5: 50/50
  • Mile 21: Gu
  • Mile 24: 50/50
  • Mile 24.5: Gu
  • Mile 25: 50/50

Yowza…that’s a lot!  I’m going to have to carry a cheat sheet with me.  Now onto post-race meals.  Immediately following the race, I will grab another banana, water and Powerade to have immediately.  I’m also planning on having B bring another english muffin with almond butter to the finish line with some crackers in the hopes I will be able to keep that down.

After an ice bath and a nap, I’m sure a beer (screw the gluten!) and some fish and chips will be in order from Raglan Road during the cool down party.  Yum!

Raglan Road Fish & Chips

Raglan Road Fish & Chips

So now I look to all of you experienced marathoners out there…what do you think of this plan?  Am I on the right track?  Am I forgetting anything?

If you have a specific marathon nutrition plan, please share in the comments below!

Friday Feast: A Taste of South Carolina at Magnolia Natural Market & Cafe

Last weekend I went to visit my mom in South Carolina for the weekend.  I hadn’t seen here in quite some time and it was the perfect opportunity to see her over the holiday season.  Since I now have all of these dietary restrictions (eggs, wheat, squash, etc…) finding restaurants can be difficult.  But thankfully my mom found this great place in Aiken, SC called the Magnolia Natural Market & Cafe.


This place was incredibly charming!  It is located in a small yellow house near the center of town.  They focus on healthy, organic, local food.  All the soups and baked goods are made fresh in-house daily and the staff couldn’t be friendlier.  Talk about southern hospitality!  Let’s take a look at the menu:

Front of the Menu

Daily Lunch Menu

Back of the Menu




I had to try the unsweetened mango iced tea that they make by steeping the tea with fresh mango.  YUM!  This was some of the best tea I’ve had and I love how it’s served in a mason jar.

Unsweetened Mango Iced Tea

Unsweetened Mango Iced Tea

I had a hard time deciding what to order.  The beet, pear & blue cheese soup sounded really good, but after my travel nightmare the day before and having hardly eaten breakfast, I wanted something a little more substantial.  I went with the Magnolia Burger.  I’m always happy to see local products on menus and the beef for this burger was from the local MiBek Farms.  It is served with a tangy Gorgonzola dressing, heirlooms tomatoes, arugula and I asked for some avocado. I opted to forgo a bun even though they had a gluten free option.  The burger was slightly overcooked for my liking, but it was still delicious.  The side were gluten free house made flax chips that were SO GOOD!  I cleaned my whole plate!

Magnolia Burger

Magnolia Burger

I was happy to hear that my mom was going to order the beet, pear and blue cheese soup.  This was such an interesting combination and let me tell you…it worked!  I would love to try this at home.  She ordered it with one of the crab cakes on the specials menu.  Here hubs R went the sweet route and got a slice of banana bread that was topped with some sort of honey, yogurt icing.  They both raved about their choices.

Crab Cake & Soup

Crab Cake & Soup

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

I was too stuffed for dessert, but I did get another iced tea to go.  I just couldn’t resist.  After lunch, my mom and I walked around town.  They have some seriously cute shops in Aiken!  There is also an art exhibit/fundraiser going around town with barn cat statues, so we searched those out.  So cute!

Mosaic Barn Cat

Mosaic Barn Cat

Santa Cat

Santa Barn Cat

And then we came across these creepy statue things…



Aiken is such a fun little town.  I’m so glad my Mom found the Magnolia Cafe…a definite hidden gem!

Friday Feast: Paleo Curry Turkey Meatballs

Last weekend, ground white meat turkey was on sale at Whole Foods.  What’s an aspiring cook to do, but buy the giant 3.5 pounds of turkey?  Makes sense right?  Well of course it does, if you have a plan.  Hmmm…I was missing the plan part, so I started scouring the Interwebs for some interesting recipes.

One of my recent go to websites for great recipes is PaleOMG.  Juli is hilarious, insanely fit, and knows how to make tasty food…awesome combo in my opinion!  So I searched for turkey meatballs and found this recipe for Curry Meatballs.  I love curry and I love coconut milk, so what could go wrong?  Nada.  I made a few minor tweaks to the recipe and here’s what I came up with:

For the balls
  • 1.5 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2/3 cup almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • just a hint of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut oil for cooking (or other fat you like to use)

Ingredients ready to be mixed

Meatballs and Coconut Oil (YUM!)

For the awesome sauce

  • 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Add all ingredients for your meatballs to a larger bowl and thoroughly mix together.
  2. Shape meatballs to the size you like. Mini meatballs or large ones are both acceptable!
  3. In a large skillet or pot, add your coconut oil then add your meatballs and diced onions from your sauce ingredients and let them brown for a couple minutes. Let the meatballs cook on both sides for about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Once the onions and meatballs have browned a bit, add the rest of the ingredients for your sauce and mix together until meatballs are covered in sauce.
  5. Cover and let meatballs and sauce simmer until the sauce thickens and meatballs have cooked through–about 5 minutes.

Browning the balls…

Cooking in Curry!

I found that 5 minutes was not enough to thicken the sauce.  I removed the lid after 5 minutes and let them cook for about 10 minutes more.  It still wasn’t thick enough for me.  I removed the meatballs and jacked up the heat on the sauce and let it boil down for another 10 minutes or so.  I also added some salt and pepper to bring out the flavor a bit more.  The sauce was delicious and I poured a ton over the meatballs.  I also topped it with some chopped scallions for some freshness.

Curry Turkey Meatballs

You MUST try this recipe…it’s so flavorful!  You’ll never know you’re eating bland, ground turkey.  Make sure to check out PaleOMG for more great recipes.  I also made a variation of Juli’s Southwest Meatloaf with the rest of the ground turkey, which was fantastic!

What are your favorite Paleo recipes?


Post Labor Day Recovery

Since I started Crossfit over a month ago, I’ve been trying to eat better. I large part of the Crossfit program is the Paleo Diet, which is based on eating foods that our Paleolithic ancestors ate.  Basically you eat like the hunter gathers ate with a diet consisting of natural, unprocessed foods.  You can eat lean meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits and nuts, which means all the super tasty things like grains, wheat, dairy and sugar are off limits.  I’ve been trying to follow the Paleo about 70-80% of the time and I think it was instrumental in helping me to lose pounds and inches this past month.  I have more energy and feel much less bloated when I’m eating clean like this.

Enter Labor Day weekend.  B and I traveled down to NJ to visit my Dad and Stepmom (Hi!) and sit by the pool for the last time this summer.  Their house has always been a true test of willpower for me and as usual I failed.  They are both amazing cooks and love to use all of the ingredients that are on the “no go” list for the Paleo Diet.  The house is full of temptation: cheese, chips, ice cream, cake, you name it!

We arrived to find a delicious Arroz con Pollo cooking away on the stove and I knew I was already in bad shape.  Then the cake came out of the fridge.  It wasn’t just any cake, but my FAVORITE kind.  Yellow cake with a ganache filling and a chocolate buttercream frosting.  Oh yes…I dug in!

Evil, yet so tasty!

The next morning I went for a 4 mile run to burn off that dinner and also in anticipation of all of the food yet to come for the weekend.  I was having trouble finding something to fuel me for the run.  There were no bananas, no almonds, not even whole wheat bread to slap some peanut butter on, so I ended up having a bowl of Cheerios with whole milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.  I also popped a Gu before I went out just in case.  It was so nice to have a new area to run since I’m getting kind of bored around my house.  Look at this gorgeous tree lined (and shaded!) road 🙂

I downed a protein shake and immediately jumped in the pool to cool off after my run.  After about an hour in the pool, I was famished.  Turkey club sandwiches anyone??  Another weakness of mine!  Of course the only bread in the house was good ole white bread, which I slathered some mayo on and went to town.  Yes, I probably could’ve made a nice turkey club salad with a good balsamic dressing, but that didn’t even cross my mind.  I was too excite about the deliciousness of this sandwich.  Bring on the wheat!

The Dreaded Turkey Club

So I’m sure you can see where this is going.  The beginning of a serious food bender.  After a lazy afternoon, we moved onto dinner and I made a healthy slaw of savoy cabbage, kohlrabi and carrots with an apple cider vinaigrette.  This went really well with the BBQ ribs we had.

Ribs, Slaw & Jersey Tomatoes

What this picture doesn’t show is the generous helping of potato salad and corn slathered in butter that I had.  Oh yeah and another piece of cake for dessert…ugh.

Moving on to breakfast, my Dad made his famous pancakes and of course I couldn’t turn those down.  I’m not sure what he does, but he makes the fluffiest, most delicious pancakes ever!  I spent about another hour in the pool doing laps later in the morning before it was time to head home.  Had to get some exercise in there!

I rounded out my horrific weekend of food with tacos, corn and rice & beans at my favorite joint, bartaco, on the way home, and then a nice bacon cheeseburger the following night.  Needless to say, I woke up on Tuesday feeling like absolute crap and like my body was rebelling against me.  All that hard work out the window!  My face began to break out and I was seriously bloated.  I was having trouble getting my rings on and off!  Let the detox begin…

Yesterday I got back into my routine and stuck to the Paleo Diet all day.  I started with my favorite smoothie and had a delicious lunch at Whole Foods.  They had a mango slaw with cabbage, bell pepper and red onion that I added some grilled chicken, greens, almonds and sprouts to…yummy and filling!

Whole Foods Lunch

I relaxed for most of the day and made a ton of homemade tomato sauce (info on sauce fest to follow this weekend!) and then headed to Crossfit for my first non On Ramp class.  It was a good class and it felt really good to sweat all that crap out.  I sported my new FitFluential tank to give me that extra push 🙂

Why do front facing iPhone photos always come out so grainy?!?

Last task for the day was to make a good dinner.  I roasted a whole chicken with potatoes, carrots and onions from my CSA and paired that with a tomato and bell pepper salad.  I know I’m not supposed to have potatoes, but I had to try 2.  I left the rest for B and mostly ate the carrots.  This is one of my favorite dishes!

Roasted Chicken…nice and golden brown!

Tomatoes & Peppers

Instead of making a heavy gravy, I topped the chicken with some of my tomato sauce.  It was kind of sad to leave all of those yummy brown bits in the pan, but it was for the best.  There is something about eating fresh, local foods that always makes me feel better.  By the end of the night, I felt rejuvenated and my body was thanking me for taking it easy.

Even though I felt like total crap for a few days, sometimes I feel the need to splurge.  It helps me appreciate how good healthy eating actually makes me fell.  I know what the side effects will be from eating poorly, but sometimes sharing good food with your family is just as important as sticking to a diet.  Next time we visit, I will probably be more inclined to bring my own snack foods to tide me over so as to not eat so much of the “bad” stuff.  Bananas, almonds, almond milk for coffee, etc…  Then I won’t feel so bad when I splurge a little.  The holidays are coming, which you know are full of cookies and butter, so I need to be prepared.

Do you ever go on a food bender?  How do you recover?

Friday Feast: Cheribundi Product Review and Giveaway!

I’ve been obsessed with cherries lately.  Once I found out about all of the amazing health benefits that cherries provide, I haven’t been able to get enough.  That’s why I was so excited when I was contacted by the folks at Cheribundi to try their line of tart cherry juice.  Why yes, I would love to!

Cheribuni in a Box

A box full of colorful bottles arrived on my doorstep a few days later and I was excited to see that I received all of the flavors in their product line.  Here’s what I received: 3 Tru Cherry, 3 Ginger Cherry, 2 Whey Cherry, 2 Cacao Cherry, and 2 Skinny Cherry.  Tart cherry juice is well, tart, which can be un palatable for many people for prefer sweeter foods.  Cheribundi offers a great variety of flavors that will appeal to a wide array of people, including those with a sweet tooth.  Each 8 oz bottle contains 2 servings of fruit and up to 50 cherries!  That’s a lot packed into a tiny bottle.  Let’s take a look at them…

Cheribundi Flavors

Tru Cherry
Tru Cherry is your basic tart cherry juice and I thought this was going to be the clear winner for me.  Surprisingly, it is actually my least favorite of all of the flavors.  I enjoy pure cherry juice, but this actually has apple juice added to it and that was all I tasted.

Ginger Cherry
I love the taste of ginger and it’s always a refreshing addition to beverages.  This was a clear winner for me.  There was still apple juice added to this, but the ginger juice masked that flavor.  It also brought out the cherry flavor more.  This was my favorite juice before workouts because of that extra zing from the ginger!

Whey Cherry
I was prepared to not like this juice.  I was thinking the whey protein (8 grams per bottle) would make the juice  thick and grainy.  It is the exact opposite.  It actually tastes just like cherry juice with no trace of the whey to be found.  Perfect for an after workout drink!  You get the anti-inflammatory benefits, multiple vitamins, plus all of that muscle recovery goodness from the whey protein.

Cacao Cherry
Cherries and chocolate are a natural combination.  A classic pairing in many desserts.  This juice taste good, but it a little too sweet for my taste.  This is due to the addition of sugar, which you should know if your are following a low or no (Paleo) sugar diet.  But if you have a sweet tooth, this is a great way to get the benefits of cherries without the tartness.

Skinny Cherry
In theory, I like this.  It has 1/3 fewer calories than Tru Cherry with the addition of Stevia, an all-natural low calorie sweetener.  However, I didn’t enjoy this juice very much.  I’m not a fan of added sweeteners in drinks and that was all I tasted here.  Also, with the addition of the stevia and water, there is actually significantly less cherry juice in the bottle.

While I didn’t love all of the flavors, I appreciated the variety.  I had B taste all the juices as well and he had a completely different opinion.  He loves sweets, so the Cacao and the Skinny were his favorites, and because he doesn’t like ginger (crazy talk!), the Ginger Cherry was his least favorite.  This is why Cheribundi is a great option for those looking to add the benefits of cherry juice into their diet…there is a flavor for every palette!

Now I want YOU to try Cheribundi!  I’m holding the first ever RAD giveaway for a case of Cheribundi!  You will get to try all of the fun flavors and improve your health in the process.  What can be better than that?!

Here’s what you have to do:

Mandatory Entry (Good for 2 entries!)

  • Leave a comment below telling me which flavor of Cheribundi you most want to try.
Additional Entries (Good for 1 entry each)
  • Like Running at Disney on Facebook
  • Follow Running at Disney on Twitter
  • Like Cheribundi on Facebook
  • Follow Cheribundi on Twitter
  • Tweet about this giveaway and mention @RunningAtDisney and @Cheribundi

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So you have 7 chances to win!  Entries will be accepted until 12:01 am on Friday, September 7th and the winner will be announced in next week’s Friday Feast!  Good luck 🙂

Full Disclosure: I received this product complimentary from Cheribundi and did not receive any compensation for this review.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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