I had the coolest opportunity a few weeks ago, I got to talk to Lisa Dorfman (aka THE RUNNING NUTRITIONIST) over the phone I was able to ask her all sorts of questions. She has ran a total of 34 marathons with a 2:52 pr and she is also a professional triathlete. The interview was done over the phone and so I was typing as fast as I could so these are not direct quotes from her but more of the general ideas that I got from her:) ENJOY!!!
Q: I am a very active person on a daily basis. What should I really focus on in order to maintain good nutrition throughout the day?
A: As busy women on the run it is sometimes really tough to take enough time to get in a quality meal. It is so important to eat carbohydrates, especially whole grains, in order to fuel everything we do. Carbohydrates help spare protein from being used as an energy source. This is great because protein is meant to keep our muscles maintained and repaired, to to keep our immune system strong and it helps with our water balance. The proteins that we take in throughout the day should be high quality sources (very important for vegetarians to eat soy because it is the only plant source based food that equals animal protein). It is necessary to get in our fats! Fats get such a bad rap but it is necessary to include it in our diets. Soy is a great way to get omega-3s into our diet which is critical for brain health. When there is a weak link in your diet it is really hard to maintain your energy levels. Focus on three good sit down meals and 3 snacks a day.
Q: What do you think is the biggest challenge athletes face when it comes to nutrition?
A: 1. Getting enough calories in their diets. There is a fear factor with some athletes when it comes to carbs even though they will keep us fit and help us to reach our potential. High intensity exercise only uses carbs for energy.
2. A calorie deficit at the end of the day which may lead to eating anything and everything at night. Make sure that you are spacing your meals throughout the day so that you don’t end up starving at night.
3. Just because you run doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch what you are eating. Pay attention to the quality of your diet!
Q: Do I need to incorporate anything special into my diet as a pregnant runner?
A: Mom is just as healthy as baby, if mom doesn’t eat the baby takes it from you. It is so important to maintain a healthy attitude about food during this time and after you deliver you will get back into shape. Foods like soy help decrease inflammation with joint pain, the pain of pregnancy and will help with your brain health. It is so important to stay hydrated during this time. There is a !5% metabolism increase during pregnancy! During the first trimester you should keep your calorie intake the same as normal, during the 2nd there should be an increase of 340-360 calories per day and during the 3rd trimester you should increase your calories 450-490 calories per day.
Q: What healthy snacks to you recommend to have on hand for a quick pick me up and that will also keep me satiated?
A: The best snacks to keep on hand with you are whole foods (the least processed as possible) that range between 150-200 calories. Keep them light but balanced. A smoothie, Soyjoy bars, coconut water, greek yogurt and fruit, edamame, organic baby foods that come in the squeeze packet are all great snacks to have. Whole chestnuts and low-fat cheese or almond cheese are also great foods to snack on.
Q: What do you recommend eating/snacking on before and after a race?
A: Everyone is so different when it comes to this but the formula is to take in 1/2 your body weight in carbohydrate grams about an hour to 1.5 hours before your race. Stick to things that are not high in fiber or fat. Dry cereal, a Soyjoy bar, fruit and sports beverages are all great things to have. After the race you should replace the fuel with both a carbohydrate and high quality proteins to help with recovery. Yogurt or low-fat chocolate milk are great things to have and it is important to eat within 30 minutes after completing your race.
Q: How would you describe the difference between the nutritional needs of someone who attends yoga on a daily basis as opposed to someone who runs and lifts weights?
A: Similarities: Both are using carbs for energy. Yoga can be high-level energy and you are always using carbs for fuel. For both activities you need to include high quality proteins but the amounts do differ. Differences: You burn more calories running and lifting even after you are done with the exercise.
Q: Do you have favorite comfort food recipe that has gotten a healthy makeover?
A: She loves to make lasagna with a mexican flare. She prepares it with corn tortillas, beans, light cheddar cheese (or soy cheese) and salsa. She has made cake with garbanzo beans and muffins with pureed berries. She believes that you can make anything more nutritious and high in fiber. She really loves to cook with spices and loves to eat a variety of foods each day.
What keeps you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle?
A: Lisa believes that her success really comes from within and is reinforced by the good life around her. She looks, races and feels nutrition. Whatever she gives to her body it gives it back to her. She has seen nutrition give her so much and it is a part of her. She feels that she maintains her base of healthiness through good food on a daily basis. She follows the 80/20 rule, don’t get too crazy:)
What keeps YOU motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle?
What is your favorite ‘comfort’ food?
We are off to go see a movie tonight…anyone else going to the movies this weekend?