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? 

30 comments:

  1. Interested to hear how it goes. I know I am lactose intolerant and have a wheat sensitivity, but so far have done nothing about it. Smart right?! Ugh. If you discover any awesome recipes, I hope you will post them:)

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    1. I will! Most of the things I'm doing are really simple like quinoa with grilled onions and red pepper topped with avocado. Super easy to put together. I'm not much of a cook, so it has to be simple.

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  2. I love Fisherman's Friend! Best things ever for an annoying cough. Knock on wood but I've managed to avoid the cooties so far.
    You should check out Brendan Brazier's book Thrive Fitness. He has recipes so you can make your own energy gels. I'm pretty sure dates play a big part in those gels.
    I went gluten free for a while. Can't say I've gone sugar free and I've never gone dairy free. I love my greek yogurt too much to do that! :D

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  3. I used to LOVE Fisherman's Friend. Bought them a lot when I lived in Germany. I think they have gelatin in them, which is why I don't eat them. (I also don't eat jell-o or marshmallows, well...the latter is not entirely true. If graham crackers, chocolate and a fire is present, I make an exception.) They are strong!

    LOL'd at your anecdotes. Keep them coming....The soft-serve along the side of the car reminded me of an incident in my past which involved hard liquor, a long drive home, and my then-boyfriend/now husband. If I recall, he wasn't that charmed either. Ah well.

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    1. That's when you know it's true love...or something.:)

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  4. Three years ago I cut out sugar, gluten, corn and soy from my diet. Lost so much weight so quickly it scared me, but then I hit a plateau. I hit the weight my body was comfortable at. I had been struggling with allergies, bronchitis, and sinus infections for years. After 6 weeks of this diet I felt like a million dollars. Other foods, such as fruits and veggies took on a whole new wonderful taste.
    I have left soy and corn out of my diet. I allow a very small amount of gluten in my diet each week. I watch my sugars and keep it natural, I eat a little cheese but not milk (because milk is high in lactose sugar) I have been allergy and sinus infection free for three years. Hope this works out well for you.

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    1. Wow, that's really inspiring! I feel like I've had some bowel issues lately that I'm hoping this can help clear up.

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  5. Can you do natural honey for fuel on runs? it's good alone or mixed w/peanut butter as a natural gel. you can mix it up & put it in a small ziplock, bite off a corner when you're ready for it. also raisins, dried unsweetened mango, and prunes come in packages singly wrapped & are soft, chewy like chomps.

    on a side note i've read a lot about manuka honey health benefits, and if you eat your local raw honey how it can help w/allergies, upper resp. inf., etc.

    Good luck w/the next 2 weeks! I did gluten free/dairy free for about a month last year.

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    1. Yes! I can have honey, and that's a great idea. Also, I just had a sample of a a manuka honey product. It looked like a little fig newton. It was from some race expo, and it was so delicious! Need to find more of those.

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    2. those might have been NOW bars. (no opportunity wasted) i just ordered them for business. 2 of the varieties are like fig newtons and are so good!

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    3. Yes! Those are the ones. All I could remember is that the Amazing Race guy was on the package.

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  6. For carb loading before a long run, you can always eat quinoa pasta. So many more carbs than wheat pasta and more protein!! I think it tastes better too.

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    1. My new plan is blending a bunch of this stuff up in a blender and making my own little paste, and I never thought about throwing quinoa in there. That would be perfect!

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  7. Let us know how your body reacts to this!
    one of my bestest friends dealt with a lot of stomach issues and recently cut out gluten/dairy for more than a month - she has NEVER felt better :)

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  8. I agree with the honey suggestion for fuel. I have also tried raisens but they didn't sit very well...to much fiber? I have never troed anything like that. I cut out candy in November but still managed to keep my sugar intake right up there. Haven't been sick yet, but my husband has 3 times, go me!

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    1. That's what I usually do too. Cut out desserts only to increase my root beer intake. It's all about balance.

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  9. I'm super interested to see how this goes for you. I've been considering trying a clean diet too but I really really love my cookie dough. I'm not sure I have the willpower to give it up. Is it true that if you go off of sugar that you don't crave it as much afterwards? If so, it would be life-changing for me.
    Thanks for the heads up on the Fisherman's Friend. I'll have to try it next time I get sick. Luckily I've avoided the usual cold/sinus infection crud so far this season.

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    1. I hope it's true! Day two my cravings are definitely less than day one. I'll have to post this choco-avocado pudding recipe that I made. A great substitute for a chocolate craving.

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  10. The soft serve story cracked me up.

    Good luck with the diet change! I hope it make you feel like a hundred bucks. I cut out all animal products last summer and dropped 15 pounds in just a month. I slowly reintroduced fish and I periodically eat other meats, but I avoid dairy like the plague. I used to throw up during almost every run, now I never throw up and I don't even get cramps! It changed my life. I feel so thankful for the person who showed me the way. I really, really hope your experience is just as positive.

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    1. Wow, I seriously love hearing this stuff! It's getting me pumped for no more repeats of my last marathon's intestinal blockage.

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  11. I think Fisherman's Friends are British - my Nan used to eat them and used to try to get me to eat them but they are foul so I didn't ever!! They do 'clear out your pipes though'. Good luck on the dietary resolutions - that doesn't sound fun but hopefully you'll feel really good!!

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    1. Revisit the Fisherman's Friends next time you have a cold!!!! Your Nan was right!:)

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  12. Good luck with this, I'm interested to hear how it goes for you. I have heard of carrying oatmeal in a little ziplock baggy, cutting a corner off to eat like a GU for fuel on long runs. I've never tried it, sounds potentially messy, but could make for an interesting blog post!

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  13. my alternative to gu is candy so I am no help. But I do remember in Scott jurek's book there are some suggestions for whole food energy options since he is vegan. Might want to check that out:)

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  14. my alternative to gu is candy so I am no help. But I do remember in Scott jurek's book there are some suggestions for whole food energy options since he is vegan. Might want to check that out:)

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  15. you seriously crack me up. i could use those fishermens friends right now. i'm on sickness #2 in 3 months-which is not normal for me. i think i've just run myself ragged. or maybe it's what i am eating. who knows. and yes-i tried sugar busters in high school-mainly because my parents were on it-and i was the skinniest ever. and then i ate real food and sugar again (went to college) and blew up like a balloon. i'm better with everything in moderation. i do have lots of stomach issues and have wondered about a cleanse and seeing how i do without dairy or gluten but i don't ever want to actually start the cleanse. oh well.

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  16. Are you still trying alternative fueling during your runs? Have you figured a good way to carry them? Am interesting in trying some non-gels but worried about potentially goey messes.

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    1. I tried a few homemade things, but then I switched to using mostly Hammer gels and Honey Stingers. They seemed to have slightly better ingredients and were just easier! For hydration, almost all of our trail races have HEED, which is a great alternative to Gatorade (even though it takes some getting used to the taste). My friend found a reusable/washable pouch for homemade gels, which would be cool for training runs, but on race day, I love being able to chuck the trash.

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