Recently I have had more and more people inquire about my diet and carbohydrate intake in regards to running. For those of you who don't know, I have Celiac Disease and I have recently realized that I have several food intolerances (including cow's milk, almonds, potatoes and possibly others.) I've been following an auto-immune protocol for a while now (almost exclusively since February) and am feeling better than I have in years, if not ever. I really hate the term "paleo," but for all intents and purposes, that is how I am eating currently. What do I eat? Meat, fruit, and veggies. I've recently added with success, sunflower seeds (yay!) I've also added eggs, although I'm still not completely certain that they are okay. I've also added small amounts of sugar successfully, which is nice.
I will never be able to eat gluten again and who knows about other grains. My mom and two daughters are allergic to dairy and many other things, so it's not a shock really. It can be rather frustrating at times. Sometimes I'd like nothing more than a pb&j on some nice squishy soft bread, or a bowl of ice cream, or even just a glass of milk. But, like I said, I feel fantastic. No more headaches, or asthma, or any of the other horrible problems I was having. It's a trade off. Food has become fuel.
When I first changed my diet I refused to give up my Gu gels, but I have since switched to dried and pureed fruit on the run. I was nervous about not being able to carb load or get enough carbs in my diet, but it hasn't actually been a problem. As a distance runner, I thought I had to eat lots of grains. Rice, corn, beans, etc. in order to fill those glycogen stores. Well, it may just be my body, but I certainly haven't needed those things to run. In fact, I've been running faster and with more energy than I ever have.
What carb loading looks like for me...
Obviously, I don't think everyone should go grain free. Hell, I wouldn't if I didn't have to and if it didn't make me feel so darn fantastic. And I plan to try to reintroduce grains slowly, and one at a time. But, I will say that I think eating whole foods are better for you than those blasted Gu gels. Probably less expensive too. Plus, I like the faces my friends make when I am eating prunes on the run.