January 8, 2013

No sugar, gluten, or dairy for two weeks

Today's the day I'm starting New Year New Rules with Prescribe Nutrition. I entered to win an entry to this two-week course via Sheena's site and won! I was looking for some kind of incentive to kick start better eating, and this is perfect. Basically it's a two-week clean eating challenge that gives you lots of support in the form of rapid-responding message boards, pages and pages of recipe ideas, quick tips for getting started, and lots of how-to guides. The goal is to cut out added sugars, gluten and dairy for two weeks.

Added sugar is an obvious ingredient to try and eliminate, for me anyway. I'm a sugar addict, maybe even more than I am a running addict. So I like to try and cut back on sugar occasionally just to prove that desserts don't totally control me, unless they are Kit Kats at Halloween.

Or wedding cake. Here's my niece and her new hubby cutting their cake with a sword. No one could find a knife. Not really, they're just fun and cool enough to bust out a sword at their wedding reception.

I'm glad their reception was a couple weeks ago (i.e. pre no added sugar) so I could test more than one piece of cake. 

But back to the program.

It recommends cutting out gluten and dairy so that you can see if your body has a sensitivity to either as you slowly reintroduce them. Once in high school, I tried eating like a hunter gatherer for a while, which basically meant no bread to me. I remember when I reintroduced it that I felt so sick, so there's a possibility that there's something to this. Especially considering my intestinal reactions to carb loading at my last marathon, I think the ole gluten intake could use some fine tuning.

Not really sure about dairy, but to completely give you more information than you ever needed or wanted, I can't eat soft serve ice cream because it immediately comes back up. Not like a vomit, more like an adult spit-up. If you feel like you can never come back to my blog again, I totally understand. But to make this even more spectacular (and painful for you), on my honeymoon I ate soft serve ice cream that I couldn't keep down. It was freezing outside, and we were driving an old Crown Victoria on a long road to our honeymoon cabin in the woods. I decided to spit out the window, but instead of making a clean go of it, there were giant blobs of regurgitated soft serve frozen solid all along the side of the very long Crown Vic body. My husband was super excited to be married to me.

May that image forever be embedded in your memory bank.

Somehow this post veered from useful information to disgusting antidotes -- a common problem on this blog.

OK, refocusing. I went to Costco and Publix tonight to stock up on goods. Eventually I'll need to go to Whole Foods to pick up some of the things the other stores didn't have, but I wanted to get all of the cheaper goods that I could before I go and splurge on things like unsweetened dried cranberries (do those exist?!) and teff (still not sure what that is).

There's still a little gluten (bread) and dairy (milk) in this picture, for the kids. Also, the black rice was a really good deal at Costco, cheaper than at the Asian market where we normally buy it.

One of the first things I worried about was fueling on long runs. I'm not worried about everyday eating. I think I can (sort of) easily handle that, but so many easy-to-use endurance products are filled with added sugar. Someone on Facebook (thanks, Rhaelene!) tipped me off that dried mahjool dates can be a good alternative to Shot Bloks and GUs. I found some tonight at Costco and immediately had to try one. They're tasty, which is a bonus, but also the texture seems like it would be great for eating on the run. It is a little bit mushy and doesn't require tons of chewing. That's exactly what I was looking for. I'm also considering putting a banana in a baggie and squishing it out as I go. I have a feeling that I might get to collect more disgusting stories out of these experiments, and yes, you don't have to even ask -- I'll definitely share more gross details than you would ever care to know. 

One last thing that I've discovered this season and absolutely love -- Fisherman's Friend. Still trying to shake a cough from before Christmas, and it got worse after my long run on Saturday (boo!). These are now beside my bed so that I can pop one when I go into a nighttime coughing spasm. They are like a mix between a regular cough drop and an Altoid. 

Have you ever tried Fisherman's Friend? Have you had a cold/cough yet this season? 

What alternative (meaning not GU) fuel sources have you tried for long runs? Please give me all of your ideas for fuel sources that don't have added sugar and are easy to manage on the run. I'm not so great a chewing while running, so the mushier the idea the better.

Ever gone gluten, sugar or dairy free? Still doing it?