I have never met a Gu I truly liked, and certainly there has never been one that I would even consider eating outside of running and racing. Heck, I often look for ways to fuel during runs and races that don’t involve the sticky, overpowering and thick, fake taste that is Gu Gels. I have tried other brands with much the same result.
But! Recently I had the opportunity to try Huma Chia Energy Gels, and I absolutely love the taste. So far my favorite flavor is cinnamon apple. And I am happy to report that these gels contain the same carb content and electrolyte profile to Gu and similar gels. Here are some pictures to compare as well as the company site for Huma.
This piece is a tribute to my son and his love all things Asian Food. He saw the contestants on Fox’s Masterchef tv show have to make these in a challenge and immediately begged for us to make spring rolls at home. While the contestants on the show fried their spring rolls, we decided to up the quality and health of our rolls by baking them instead.
In part one of this series, you can read about my decision to make changes in my life and running, following Matt Fitzgerald’s 6 step plan from his book Racing Weight. In this post, I will go more in depth to the biggest change we had to make in order to get leaner, lighter, and faster: switching over to a higher quality diet.
Fitzgerald advocates not for a fad diet or for a runner to go paleo, vegan, or whatever; instead, he simply tells you to eat more high quality foods and less low quality ones. He ranks food groups according to their quality and assigns each serving a number of points. Your goal is to end the day with as high of a score as you can. So, indulging in my kids’ Cheese-It lunch snacks will dock me 2 points while grabbing a peach and having that instead will gain me 2 points.
Perhaps it is the competitive side of me, but this method was highly appealing and has helped me lose 10 pounds and 4% of my body fat.
If you bonk in a 10k, miss your PR in a 5k, or simply just have a bad race in a short or middle distance run, the fix can be as simple as waiting a week and trying again. It’s cheap, easy and you don’t need to recover too much from these distances. If you DNF a marathon at mile 23 like I did, you are left holding the shattered remains of 4 months of hard training and dedication, and your body will likely not be ready for another go at the marathon distance for weeks or even months.
In short, you get a lot of time to think about the mistakes you made.
But, for me, it also gave me the motivation to seek change. What can I change? What do I have no control over? If there is a Serenity Prayer for Runners, I found it in Matt Fitzgerald’s book Racing Weight. And I made the decision to change the things that I can change and accept the things that are beyond my control.
That was a comment I got once while on a group run when I happened to get into my “book worm” mode and started talking about the changes I have seen in my running since reading Greg McMillan’s YOU (Only Faster).
That’s me, and it always has been. I love reading, and my running obsession has combined with this love of the written word. There are many fabulous books about running, whether they are more “How to” in nature, stories of personal journeys, or in depth training and nutrition guides. I have gained invaluable knowledge from reading about this sport, and I encourage others to do so as well.
Here is a list of some of my favorite running literature:
Before our 4 kids started spending their days at school, I use to do a lot of volunteer work with our local mom/preschool playgroups. Many of these groups would have moms cook freezer meals for members who were having babies to help with the hectic first few newborn weeks. I use to use this enchilada recipe or its variations for this purpose all the time. I would cook up three trays of enchiladas, one would be for our dinner, one to stuff our freezer, and one to help stuff the freezer of a new mom from the group. They were always a huge hit. I have since tweaked the recipe a bit to make it healthier.