Running, Eating Clean, and Regaining my Sanity

After spending most of the summer traveling for work and eating out for every. single. meal….Not only did I pack on a little extra/unwanted weight, I was feeling totally blah.  My stomach hurt, my face was puffy from all of the extra sodium, and I was totally sluggish.  When I got back home a couple months ago I not only focused on getting back into my training (base mileage and cross training), I decided it was time to totally overhaul my diet and really start to focus on what I am putting into my body so I can get the most out of my training.


So what does that mean? First, I’ve gradually been transitioning to a vegetarian diet.  I’ve been a vegetarian off and on since high school, and I always find I feel better when I cut out the meat and limit the dairy. I LOVE cheese and ice-cream but it doesn’t love me back. 😦  I’ve also been focusing more on “eating clean”.  While it sounds like just another fad diet, the foundation of it is based on the basic principles of healthy eating.  More real food and less processed/junk food.  It makes sense to me!

I’ve been preparing all of my meals/snacks the day before so I don’t end up reaching for a candy bar from the office snack fund when the mid-afternoon munchies hit me.  It takes a little extra planning, but it’s worth it.  After a little over a month, it’s becoming second nature and I’m finding myself craving healthy foods like kale, avocado, apples, berries and almonds!



Tips I’ve been following for (veg) clean eating:

  •  Eat whole, unprocessed foods while avoiding packaged foods, sodas, salt, sugar, and alcohol.
  • Avoid gluten and dairy.
  • Fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include healthy fats like avocados, olives, nuts, and coconut oil.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, and quinoa.
  • Get protein from egg whites, almond/soy milk, Greek yogurt, tofu, nut butters, beans, and tempeh.
  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day.
  • Stay full and maintain balance by combining carbohydrates with protein or carbohydrates with fat for every meal/snack.
  • Cook your own meals, avoid prepackaged meals and eating out.

What I’ve been eating:

  • Breakfast-Oatmeal with a handful of walnuts or a protein shake (Vanilla almond milk, frozen banana, almond butter, and scoop of protein powder)
  • Lunch-Large salad with lots of veggies (kale/tomatoes/red onion/bell peppers/olives), 1/2 an avocado, and beans or tofu for protein.
  • Snacks-Fresh fruit, almonds, baby carrots with hummus.
  • Dinner-Veggie burger with steamed vegetables.
  • +Lots water with fresh lime slices (I need to add flavor or else I’m terrible about drinking enough water!)

And my new favorite treat….a spoonful of Speculoos Cookie Butter from Trader Joes! No, it’s not healthy…but it’s sooo tasty and just a spoonful is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth! 🙂 Yum!!!!

My new fav!!

My new fav!!

So what differences am I noticing?

  • Since I’m constantly filling up on fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and protein I am literally NEVER hungry.  *I’m greedy so that’s saying a lot!*
  • More energy and my energy levels have been staying more constant throughout the day.
  • Better workouts! I’m able to workout harder and longer.
  • Less tummy problems…ie No more bloating, heartburn, and stomach pains.
  • My super oily skin is more balanced and I’m breaking out a lot less!
  • And I lost 5 of the extra/unwanted lbs that I put on over the summer!

On top of trying to eat well and trying to get in some solid runs, I’ve also been working on eliminating some unnecessary stress from my life.  I have the tendency to take on too much, including stuff I don’t want to take on (Because I suck at saying no!)….but I took a couple big steps in the right direction last week.  First, we dropped a couple of Ilana’s after school activities, she wasn’t really enjoying gymnastics and swimming anyway and was feeling just as burned out and frazzled as her mama! So now it’s just Girls on the Run and guitar lessons, and less scrambling to get dinner and homework done late on school/work nights.  Second, I talked to my boss about unloading some of the additional responsibilities that I had taken on over the last couple of years.  I explained to him that I was overloaded, wanted to focus more of my energy on doing what I love (pure hands on geek work), and needed to have a better work life balance.  He was totally receptive to it, and it ended up being the perfect opportunity for someone else in the office who was wanting to take on more.  So win-win! And hopefully this means I will feel less tired, more sane, and have more time/energy to dedicate to the things that I love in my life outside of work too….like playing with my daughter and training for marathons! 🙂

This is how I feel some days!!

This is how I feel some days!!

This weeks Runs/Reflections/Fun:

  • Monday-5
  • Tuesday-Thursday-Rest+Contemplating how much stress I really wanted in my life 😉
  • Friday- Run 6 (1 mile warm-up, 8×400 meter repeats with 400 meter recovery, 1 mile cool-down)
  • Saturday- Run 7 miles
  • Sunday-Run 7 miles + 2 hours of Wii Dance Party with Lana (Hey, I was sweating so I’m counting it! Lol)

Total Weekly Mileage: 25 miles

Total 2014 Miles:1084.55


Me feeling more healthy and balanced.

Me feeling more healthy and balanced.

Do you eat a clean diet? What differences do you notice when you eat healthy versus when you aren’t eating so healthy? How do you find the right balance in your life and training?  









11 thoughts on “Running, Eating Clean, and Regaining my Sanity

  1. I’ve just had my annual physical exam and my doctor was questioning me about my diet. She advocated what you said – fill up on fruits and veggies, and eat clean and whole. Sounds simple, but it can be difficult if you don’t plan for it. I love the photo!

    • I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but you’re right it does require planning! (And can be a little more pricey than junk food) thank you for the compliment! 🙂 hope you’re having a great week!

  2. This is a great post, and so timely! Ever since I finished my marathon a week ago I’ve let my eating fall apart. Lots of frozen food, eating out, etc. I want to eat better but sometimes it just seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to cook and prep all the time (I know: excuses excuses!!).

    The biggest stress in my life is being super busy at work right now, so I can’t really just voluntarily eliminate that, but I’m usually pretty good about clearing out other stresses. In the past year I’ve gotten much better at saying “no” and avoiding overcommitment.

    Thanks for all the great tips!

    • First, congrats on finishing a marathon! I think it’s normal to be a little “off” right after running a big race. I definitely get like that…After so many months of hardcore training I’m like, ummmm….what’s next? Then temporarily go nuts! Enjoy yourself for a little while, you deserve it, then get back on track!

      I don’t think you’re making an excuse…it’s simple math! There are definitely only so many hours in the day! I think it’s about prioritizing and being realaistic. I use Sunday as prep day but most of what I’m throwing together (like my salads) doesn’t require cooking. I don’t have time for that nonsense either! 😉

      Good luck eliminating some of the unnecessary stress in your life where you can!

  3. Great post Kristine!! Glad you’re eating GREAT and feeling GREAT!! Awesome sauce!! 😉 😉 Being a vegetarian rocks!! I’ve been preparing every single meal and staying away from all Halloween candy! Yaay!! I love having a food plan. It not only helps to organize my life and meals, but it helps when food shopping. Having an exact list = no added sweets and treats! I eat lots of bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, kale, etc. and try to add something green into every meal. It really helps to keep my diet balanced. As a vegetarian, that can be tricky, but with proper planning, is definitely possible! Have a fab Tuesday!! xoxoxo

    • Thanks kristin! Whatever you’re doing with your diet seems to be working! You work out hard and look great. Yikes…almost forgot about halloween candy….anything with peanut butter and chocolate is oh so tempting! 😉 meal planning and making a grocery list has been key! Have a great day too!

      • Thanks so much!! I’m so happy you’re feeling great!! I love hearing it!! You deserve nothing but the very best and all the happiness in the world because you’re an awesome, supportive friend!! Thanks for that!! Have a wonderful night!! Love how much we have in common!! Yaaay!! I love your pinterest pins, too!! Awesome stuff! xoxo

  4. Nice post!! Glad to see that you notice a change with the clean eating. I’ve gone to more a cleaner eating form of nutrition myself which I have done since about late July and although I have not gone sugarless I’ve virtually cut them down to a little sweet treat twice a week … three times at the most. The only way I balance training and life is by being an early bird which works for me. This way I get my training in without sacrificing the family time and life.

  5. Planning, planning planning – you hit the nail on the head for healthy eating! On workdays I really like to have more snacks vs. meals, and if I don’t plan ahead and bring plenty of healthy and filling foods, it can lead to bad choices (as well as expensive ones!). 🙂 Thanks for the reminder, and for the rest of this week I’ll be bringing carrots and hummus!

  6. Good stuff! Ya know how they would say that Michael Phelps ate like 12,000 calories a day – pizza, pancakes, etc. I always wondered how he’d be different if he got those calories through more pure foods. But then again, maybe it was the weed driving his food decisions.

    • Lol! I think eating 12,000 calories of fruits and veggies might cause some digestive issues! I wonder if Michael Phelps could have possibly been any better or if the weed and cheetos helped! 😉 Hope you’re having a great week!

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