Refueling Part I

by HEAB on August 16, 2009

I’m sure many of you have read this article in Time Magazine.  If not, I highly recommend it.  Excessive exercise = hunger = more food = bigger waistline.  Stop the cycle my friends. Again, it’s mostly about the food you eat, not the hours you spend exercising. Is movement important?  Yes, our bodies were not made to sit all day.  However, nor were they made to spend 2 hours on an elliptical machine followed by a weight lifting session followed by a 700 calorie carbohydrate filled smoothie. Seriously you guys, have you looked at the nutritional info. for Jamba Juice and Smoothie King?  I don’t care how many spoonfuls of green tea extract and Siberian ginseng you add to your MangoFest Smoothie.  It’s still going to contain 69 grams of sugar in one 20 ounce serving, equivalent to more than 1/3 cup of sugar!

I cringe every time I read articles about exercising x amount of time and then refueling with a high fructose corn syrup filled sports drink or a carton of chocolate milk. Does that make any sense at all?  Why do something good for our bodies, and then fill it with crap?  Another favorite of mine is when I read, I can’t wait for that huge plate of pancakes after I finish my long run. My question for that person is why are you running in the first place?  Are you running because you truly want to get out there and do something good for your heart, or are you running for the carb fest that will soon follow? Because you know what?  All those carbs in your post-run meal are only going to erase every bit of good you just did for your heart. Carbs = sugar = inflammation = BAD NEWS.

I know many of you struggle with an exercise addiction.  Trust me, I’ve been there.  In fact, I still have my days when I think I need to exercise more because I had one too many spoonfuls of almond butter or too many chips with guac. It took me a long time to get to where I am now, but after having done very little cardio in almost 8 months, I know it’s possible. Yoga and long walks have done amazing things for my body, and honestly, I’m feeling great.  Again, I’m not anti-exercise, I’m just anti-hours and hours of excessive cardio and then filling your body with junk that you don’t need!

Yesterday, I did a 2-hour hike around a trail near the yurt.  Then, after neglecting our dogs all morning, I took them on a 45 minute walk (would have been a bit longer, but it started hailing out of nowhere…talk about unpredictable mountain weather). By the time I got back, I was starving as all I’d had was my morning bowl of protein oats.  Did I grab a bottle of Gatorade or a Clif Bar?  No, I made myself a big healthy bowl of stir-fry veggies with some hummus and a few chips.


My lunch ended with a square of dark chocolate (100%), and I was good to go.  No sports drink, gels, shot bloks, sports beans etc. required.  Wouldn’t you rather do exercise you enjoy and fill your body with the good stuff?  I know I would.

Now, there are many of you out there who truly love running and other forms of cardio, my husband included.  CD enjoys every aspect of running from his easy days to his tough track workouts. He’s talented and he works hard, but even he does not reach for that sugary sports drink after logging mile after mile.  How does he refuel after a workout? Stay tuned to find out…all I’ll say is that it does not include a trip to Smoothie King. :)