Thursday, August 09, 2012

Vegetarian and gluten free for running?

I like to think runners have habits that die hard. Take our nutrition. The runner in the midst of marathon training may alternate between hunger and and occasional bad-food binging.

When I'm prepping for a long distance race, I can easily plan three days of meals ahead, where simplicity is the goal and pasta, bagels and bananas (and also water and sodium) are the staple of my diet.

I recently interviewed Canadian Olympian marathoner Dylan Wykes on how he trains and fuels for performance. You may not know this, but Wykes is a vegetarian and has debated on whether he should go back to eating meat as an elite athlete.

See the interview with him here at Huffington Post Canada. He runs through some of the favourite foods he fuels with, including almond butter, quinoa and lentils.

What didn't make the piece I wrote was how he eats pre race (or what he'll be eating in a few days). Like others, he focuses on carb intake, probably rice or pasta, plua "a few vegetables." Wykes doesn't really concentrate on protein.

A typical day would look like

  • Breakfast: Toast, almond butter and banana
  • Post workout: Rice, pasta or quinoa
  • Lunch: Quinoa and bean salad
  • Dinner: Fake meat at times (ground or tofu) with pasta.

Many people I know are also trying to go gluten free and I've been toying with carb substitutes that are gluten free, which is hard when I can easily have all three meals with bread or pasta products. This past weekend, I made a quinoa salad with lentils, and R. surprisingly liked it, even while admitting that she hated the grainy texture of quinoa. By the next meal, we were having white rice and home made ma po tofo. I really can't imagine eliminating gluten as a way to get my carbs in.


marie said...

The list of foods that I can't eat would scare you. I'm now GF out of necessity although a lot of people like to tell me it's just a phase.

It's actually a lot easier than it looks. Eliminating bread and pasta wasn't that hard and I've found rice noodles satisfy my pasta cravings.

But if it's not necessary, don't do it. Gluten-free comes with a much higher price tag.

I don't understand vegetarians, though. That's just crazy talk! :)

yumke said...

I'm wiling to try gluten free, partly to see if I can do it and to support R. who's trying..