Raise your hand if you are on a diet! Me too! Raise your hand if it has been super easy to follow! Mine neither (either? neither? you know what I’m saying)! I have recently (like, last week) started my first diet ever in my life. Sure, I have had times where I have counted calories or made sure I was eating a lot of high fiber, low fat foods. To be honest though, I never knew why. Why high fiber? Why fish? Why not my favorite thing on the planet…BREAD?! For goodness sake, why is everything that tastes to good SO BAD for us??? It just isn’t fair!
We all have our reasons for dieting. Most of my friends would give me a hard time if they even knew I was “dieting.” I, like everyone else, also have my reasons. For the last five months I have been training for my first marathon. Already a big deal for most, this is a really big deal for me because I have only considered myself a runner for about 8 months now. I have used running as an exercise in the past, but the most I ever did was a once a week running club. We ran a 5K and celebrated our 300 burned calories by drinking probably 3 times that in beer. Not incredibly effective, though incredibly fun.
My first 5K race (3.11 miles), I finished in 44 minutes. There was beer after that run too. That is just over a 14 minute per mile pace. When I told my mother, she told me she used to walk a 5K in the same time. I was so embarrassed. Not to mention, I was also running it with my boyfriend at the time, who loved me so much he left me behind so he could still have a good finish! Yes, that is sarcasm you note. Don’t worry, I broke up with him a week later. Of course, he’s my husband now, so I don’t know how much that is saying! :o)
Last week I ran 20 miles in just under 3 hours and 4 minutes. That is a 9 minute and 10 second per mile pace. For 20 miles! I am very excited and proud of how far I have come when it comes to my running. I have dedicated myself to it and not only am I achieving my goals, but I feel healthier than I have in my entire life.
However, I have struggled with the “fueling” aspect of running. Energy bars, protein shakes, before, after, all day…what to do? I have recently thrown myself into researching what and when I should be eating for the different running exercises I do, which right now range from 4 miles of running up and down hills, to the 20 mile long run (the most I will do pre-marathon is 22 miles). I finally found a diet that I think is working out wonderfully for my needs.
It is a 50-25-25 diet. 50% carbs, 25% proteins and 25% fats. Carbs are split up into “good”: fruits and veggies; and “bad”: breads, pastas, you know…the GOOD stuff!!! I have everything laid out into a spread sheet that I am living by day-to-day. I count the calories for EVERYTHING I eat and place them into their proper categories. No, of course I am not going to live like this forever. But I am certainly going to do it for a while. Long enough to teach myself how to eat properly on my own. I’ll talk more about the 50-25-25 aspect of it during another post. I should probably wrap this novel up for you right about now!
The point of today’s post is that I am already tired of eating all of this stinking fresh fruit! And I LOVE fruit, I always have. I am eating quite a diverse menu of it too! But I’m bored with it already. So tonight for dessert I decided I would add a little flair to my post dinner fruit serving and I came up with these fancified pears. They were SO yummy and definitely filled me up, satisfying my sweet tooth at the same time. They also made my kitchen smell wonderful! A great winter fruit dessert! By my account, one serving comes in at under 180 calories, mostly good carbs.
Fancy Pears (serves one, multiply recipe as necessary for multiple servings)
- 1/4 cup cranberry juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1 dash ground cloves
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 1 pear (I used bosc), peeled, cored, and sliced as desired
Combine the juice, sugar and spices in a small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat until lightly bubbly (I covered mine and it was simmering in 3 – 4 minutes). Add the peeled pear slices and simmer 8 – 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally. Do not allow to boil rapidly as you do not want to overcook the pears. Remove from heat and pour into serving bowl. Serve warm.
Any kind of juice will work – apple, orange, pomegranate, you name it. Cranberry just happened to be what I had on hand. You better believe I drank all of the juice after I ate the pears too! A great warm drink on a cold winter night – spiced cranberry juice! DE-LISH! Next time I will probably add some walnuts or pecans either during the cooking process or as a garnish on top…gotta get those fats into my diet too!
In case you are wondering, I totally kick my husband’s butt running now. We can both maintain a decent speed for about 3 or 4 miles together, but then I can leave him in the dust. Just had to throw that in there :).