Foodie Friday: hungry

This is the time of marathon training for me that staying healthy gets a little bit complicated.  I am running a lot, I am hungry a lot, and I am tired a lot.  This is not always the best combination.  

Hungry + tired is when my bad eating habits start to emerge.  Whatever is easiest and whatever sounds good is what I go to first and I start losing my momentum a bit with keeping up with my healthy eating.

I am a big believer in rewarding myself with treats, but I also am a big believer of putting good things in your body to get good results with training.  I definitely reward myself after long runs or big workouts and try to keep it healthy and clean during the week especially.  

So how do I balance these contradicting factors?

Load up on healthy food.

We try to keep the house full of healthy food and good snacks.  That way they are available when I am on an eating rampage like this week and I to go to those first.  I keep fast options available for the days I don’t have a lot of time to cook, so I try to go to a more well balanced meal instead of eating massive bowls of cereal for dinner.


Instead I follow my brown rice and vegetable dinner with a bowl of cereal for dessert!  That way I make sure I am getting in my vegetables like a good girl.

Don’t keep the bad things in the house.

Chris and I don’t buy bags of bad chips, boxes of cookies or big cartons of ice cream very often.  I know if it’s there I will want it just because it’s there and mindlessly eat it.  Instead I wait until I actually have a real craving for something, then if I want it bad enough I will go out and get it… and trust me I do.

Maui 2010 195  

When this does happen, I don’t buy mass quantities of said craving.  I buy enough to satisfy my craving, and even a little more, and that’s that.  Ben and Jerry’s little cartons of ice cream?  Yes please!

Try the healthy unhealthy foods first.

There are definitely healthier version of unhealthy foods or at least ways to make my mind think they are healthier.  Whole grain chips, whole wheat tortillas, whole wheat pancakes, oatmeal cookies… all ways of getting my cravings satisfied while still keeping it semi-healthy. 

When I really wanted a big burrito this week, I got one with a whole wheat tortilla and black beans in it and it definitely satisfied my burrito craving.

Give in.

Sometimes you just have to give in to the cravings.  I am running 55+ miles a week right now, a cookie, some ice cream or a bag of chips is not going to hurt me.  One of the reasons I like to run so much is to eat more!  I love eating.

The only thing I have wanted lately is cookies!  

I think sometimes your cravings are your body’s way of telling you it needs something, so listen and try to respond the best way you can. 

Give your body good fuel, it will respond with good workouts, but also make sure to reward yourself for all the hard work you are putting in.   

Do you get to a point in training where you find it hard to eat healthy?

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31 Responses to Foodie Friday: hungry

  1. Page February 25, 2011 at 8:23 am #

    Totally agree with you. What’s the point of living if you can’t enjoy the foods you love? I must admit, I’m a big time dessert gal and almost always have it, but it’s all about the right choices and moderation.

  2. Kristen February 25, 2011 at 8:39 am #

    I tend to follow similar rules. Sure it is cheaper to buy the unhealthy food in bulk (Hello giant bag of Cape Cod Potato Chips from Costco…I love you so much) but far healthier to buy them on an “as-craved” basis. That being said, we did just finish the aforementioned giant bag of chips because it happened to sneak into the Costo cart a few weeks ago. But we made it last and used portion control!

  3. katie February 25, 2011 at 8:46 am #

    oh man, I am RIGHT THERE. i’m in 13.1/70.3 training right now and i can’t stuff food down fast enough!!!!!

  4. Tina (MightyMite Runner) February 25, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    That 40 mile a week mark I start thinking about food all the time which is funny since I hardly ever get that hungry feeling when i’m not running. Its almost easier for me to eat healthy when I run more because I actually am thinking about the good food I want to eat,

  5. Marlene February 25, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    I am so glad you shared this – now I don’t feel so alone in this massive hunger/craving attack! It definitely gets harder to stay healthy, but it is sooo worth it!

  6. Morgan February 25, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    You and me both! Cookies from Whole Foods have been calling my name!!! I’m typically really good about staying away from the bad foods during training and try not to keep any junk in the house, which is hard because Spike is a garbage disposal and has a HUGE sweet tooth. We’ve set some boundaries though, nothing I’m particularly fond of is allowed in his candy bowl when I’m training. :)

  7. Emily February 25, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    I am definitely at a point in training now where my volume is so high, I just don’t care if I have a cupcake every other day or mountains of cheese on my dinner. I’m definitely burning off so many calories it’s tough to refuel on healthy foods alone! That being said, 95 percent of the stuff I eat is extremely healthy.

  8. February 25, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    LOVED this post. Seriously when I am tired and running a lot of miles I need all the help I can with my eating!! Um, you are gorgeous….I love the picture of you with the ice cream. Hope you enjoy a cookie today:)

  9. Karyn February 25, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    yes and no. i always find that i can eat healthy but at a certain point there’s only so much healthy food i can take. i figure that if i’m eating and getting in all my nutrients some junk is a-okay.

    i’m at this point in my training too! fingers crossed we don’t eat everything that isn’t nailed down

  10. Laura February 25, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    Love these points…I was at this point this week…primarily cause I just got sick of planning, thinking about food etc.
    I am over it now though and ate about a pound of fresh veggies as a snack….

  11. Lauren @ Sassy Molassy February 25, 2011 at 11:02 am #

    That pic of you and your ice cream cone is so cute. Makes me want some at 11am! :) Looking forward to your fashion post… :)

    My boyfriend will buy bags of chips and literally eat them in like 2-3 days. For example, earlier this week he bought one of those HUGE Sweet maui onion chips and they were GONE the next evening. I pulled out the bag from the trash and looked at the servings and yelled “Babe, you ate 18 servings of chips in 24 HRS! 18×160 cals!” Hahaha. Oh wait, he only ate 17 servings. I did have one portion of them.

    • Aron February 25, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      YESSSS those maui chips are one of my downfalls, only small bags allowed ;)

  12. Shortskirts February 25, 2011 at 11:55 am #

    Yes! I find it hard to balance how hungry i am sometimes with what i should be eating vs what is convenient. I love this post I think your approach is totally dead on.

  13. Jenn February 25, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Totally agree! I’ve often left my apartment with a rumbling tummy for a craving ; ) It’s just a bad idea to keep the unhealthy stuff in the house.

  14. Denise February 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    this part of training i’m finding myself more focused than ever. i still have my wknd treats and wine and will continue to do so, but everything else i try to stay spot on with. if i do slip up, it always happens race week. i think b/c i’m so nervous.

  15. Jesse February 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    i always crave cookies after a long run. always. its so weird.

  16. Rachel February 25, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    couldn’t have said it any better.

  17. Erin February 25, 2011 at 9:45 pm #

    I’m VERY new to running, but have already noticed an increased appetite. Was starting to worry, but this is reassuring. Oh, and I too love cereal for dessert!

    • Aron February 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      YES its completely normal.

  18. Runeatrepeat February 25, 2011 at 10:01 pm #

    I totally use food as rewards for my running (or other tasks I dislike). There is just something about eating a cookie or ice cream after a long run that makes it more satisfying :)

  19. Keri February 26, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    I hear you! After running 20 miles yesterday I got the biggest veggie burrito…

  20. heather February 26, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    Yep, I agree, your body will tell you what it needs. Sometimes I crave fruit and veg, sometimes I crave oatmeal cookies…ok and sometimes I also crave chips and salsa, so maybe my body is not *always* right! My approach is very similar to yours – I generally eat crazy healthy, but do not hesitate to eat an eclair or a giant cookie once a week as a reward. Eat to live is ok, but sometimes you gotta live to eat!

    • Aron February 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

      100% agree with that last sentence :)

  21. Felice February 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Absolutely! You are smart not to stock up on junk but also to give in every once in a while. You have to or you’d go nutty! At least I would!

  22. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef February 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    i totally believe in moderation. personally i prefer to go for a treat or two a day instead of complete denial…. otherwise i’m more likely to go crazy. i do eat healthy first and then eat treats…case in point, after my long run, i had breakfast and then an apple and a red pepper for a snack. now, i’m making brownies. :) best of both worlds!

  23. Ana-Maria February 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm #

    I try to eat healthy but no day goes by without a treat, usually chocolate. We buy those huge bars at Trader Joe’s and eat a square every single day! One of the rules I have for myself is to eat at least 3 pieces of fruit (these days a banana, an orange and blueberries) every single day. I am very good with veggies, but I often go for rice cakes or bread instead of fruit, even though I love fruit!

    • Aron February 27, 2011 at 4:37 pm #

      I dont think I could only eat one square :)

  24. Mica February 27, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    I do okay eating pretty healthy stuff, but I definitely have too much of a sweet tooth. (Hello, brownies!) I love what you said about not keeping it in the house–but going out if you have a major craving. That’s a great strategy, and I think I will be adopting it. :-)

  25. Lindsey @ Eat, Read, Run February 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Ugh – I’ve been such a bad eater this round of training. I am ravenous and lazy, so easy and quick food calls to me, as well as bad foods like dessert and chips! I’m trying, but it’s so hard this time.

  26. Andre LeFort March 23, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you said in your post. I will purposely keep unhealthy things out of our house and drive out to get single servings when we crave them. I’ll pay the premium in order not to tempt me.

    I’ll be coming around here more often. Cheers!

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