Running makes me happy.
And good food makes me happy, too!
Yoga + running + good food = the majority of my health regime
The following quote sums up why health matters to me, and why I chose to begin the "Real Food" series.
“Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.” Joseph Addison.
There you go. Let's be healthy to be more cheerful :)
One way to do that is by carefully selecting natural, minimally processed foods to eat before, during and after endurance endeavors, such as long, strenuous, technical trail runs.
Have you read the first three blog posts in my "Real Food" series?
The Real Food I Ate Before, During & After a 16.3-Mile Trail Run
The Real Food I Ate Before, During & After a 20-Mile Run on Dirt Roads & Pavement
The Real Food I Ate Before & During the Kanawha Trace 50K Trail Race
Five members of my all-female trail running group, the Trail Run Tribe, and I did this run on Saturday, Oct. 6, in 68-degree balmy weather (though, when I felt SO HOT that morning, I reminded myself that I completed my first 50K in 25 DEGREES HOTTER TEMPS AND DOUBLE THE DEW POINT... #sweatinmyeyesfeelssogood).
Three of the women ran the first eight miles, where we had set shuttle, and three of us carried on to the end. It took three hours and 33 minutes to complete the run. Roadies, I know what you're thinking...
Why so long?
Because within one mile, we had to detour down a steep bank around the top branches of a six-story tree covering the trail and hillside; for the first 2.5 miles we cleared trail from recent storms, tossing aside large limbs, small trees and various debris; at miles five, 10 and 11 we crossed above-ankle high creeks; one hill had a 20 percent grade; and we love to stop and take photos of the beautiful scenery, flora and fauna!
1/4 cup organic canned pumpkin
1 TBSP organic plain sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup Oat Milk, plain, unsweetened
Lots of dashes of cinnamon
Dash of cloves and ginger
12 ounces hot Yerba Mate tea
12 ounces Dandy Blend (pictured on left in above photo)
Mile 2.5: Skratch Labs hydration drink mix with strawberries (purchased at local outfitters Wilderness Voyageurs), dissolved in 12 ounces of water
Mile 5: About 20 black grapes (I would never eat these during a race due to the fiber and associated possible stomach distress, but they were refreshing on this, slow, easy-paced group trail run)
Mile 8: Coconut water, 12 ounces (said good-bye to half the group at this point)
Mile 9: About five pickled beet chunks (because I don't like traditional pickles or mustard, a favorite of runners, and I thought that the vinegar, the common, anti-cramping/inflammatory ingredient in pickles, mustard and beets, would do my body good)
Mile 10: Three more pickled beet chunks
Small sipping throughout: I finished about one liter of water.
Three small baked sweet potatoes on two cups mixed greens with Himalayan pink salt and olive oil
Roasted cashews with sea salt, about 1/3 cup
Organic Dark Chocolate Apricots, five pieces
I hope that your physical practice of running long and far cheers your soul, and that your food choices do, too.
P.S. Follow my running adventures, yoga journey and mom life on Instagram: @brynn_cunningham