To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

Three weeks in to my marathon training and have somewhat, kinda sort of conquered running in the morning. When I say conquered I mean I have woken up twice this week to run before work. This is a HUGE feat for me. As someone who was up at the crack of dawn a good portion of her life, diving into a freezing cold pool at an ungodly hour, before the sun was up; it is safe to say that morning workouts and I have seen better days. The thought of waking up before 5 and jumping in a pool has me laughing in the face of that thought. I digress. Morning runs/ workouts are great. You get them done when it’s not so hot and humid and your day is now sweaty free and open to do what you want or need to get done.


Besides tackling the weather, another topic that has been on my mind is food, and fueling before my morning run. As someone who sleeps til the last possible moment, rolling out of bed and out the door in 10 minutes, fueling for a run can pose a bit of a challenge. I am also someone who cannot workout without eating. I feel awful if I don’t eat. The reason for this awful feeling is that your body has used up its energy reserve called glycogen.

The graph below demonstrates our bodies use of glycogen and can be found here.

glycogen time curve

Our stores are out our lowest in the morning because we use these to fuel our brain at night. Our brain still needs energy when we sleep. So while our stores our low, these  glycogen stores are not empty . This is why some people can work out for for 30-60 minutes in the morning without eating. They still have some reserve. However eventually that person will hit the wall and start feeling fatigued,  tired, hungry, etc.  An easy way to fix this is to eat a protein bar, or a gu, or even have a sports drink. Personally the 90 calorie Luna Bars have been working for me.


Image found here

These are made to be easily digestible.  If this still doesn’t sound appetizing to you, about 20-30 minutes into your run, eat something little like a Gu, energy ball, a block, etc. Also make sure you eat a good meal the night before.  If you have a smaller dinner, you are more likely to be hungry on your run or hit that wall quicker due to less stored energy.

Now let’s say you are going for a longer run and want to be properly fueled for this run. The general rule of thumb is to eat 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight and then multiply that by the number of hours before you are going for a run.

So my friend who weighs 140 pounds is going to go for a morning run. She is planning on waking up 1 hour before her run to eat.

140 pounds  x 0.5 grams = 70 grams

70 grams x 1 hour= 70 g of carbohydrate.

Unfortunately for my friend she overslept her alarm and now she only has a 30 minutes before she goes running.

40 pounds  x 0.5 grams = 70 grams

70 grams x 1/2 hour= 35 grams of carbohydrate before she runs.

Now this is a GENERAL rule of thumb. This may work for you and it may not. You might a person who needs more or less food before they work out. However try it out. I never recommend anyone not eating and then working out for more than 30 minutes. Your workout will suffer, as will you.

So before you head out for that early morning workout, what will you be eating?







It’s goin down, I’m yelling timber

That line is clearly the line/song of the month. From eating it on ice, running a half marathon, surviving mardi gras, trying to balance work and play, it’s clearly goin down.  Life has been crazy and 2014 is only about to get crazier. After the persuasion of friends and family who state they miss the blog,  I’m back at it. No promises but It’s time to get back on the blog horse and share the creations from Katie’s kitchen, races, workouts, and just random stuff that I find interesting.

Here’s the last 2 weeks in review:

Last weekend was Florida for the Disney Princess Half and visiting family.

The race started with waking up at 3:15 to get the to the bus by 4. Not going to lie this sign kind of made my morning.

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This race I decided to get into the spirit of the princess half a bit and added in a sparkle skirt. I feel I really stepped up to the challenge… then realized I wasn’t in a tutu or a crown…. #failImageImage


The race went surprisingly well considering the farthest I had ran was 8.4 miles on the monday before the race. I don’t recommend running a half untrained as your GI system might not like that, or the rest of your body for that matter. Luckily only one bodily system wasn’t happy with me, so I’ll take it.

The rest of the weekend was spent soaking up the sun, visiting with family, taking trip to the Tervis outlet. Side note if you are in Sarasota, you need to go the tervis outlet it’s like a any type of non sweat cup you want you can find.

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Love the mustache :l)

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So these next pictures do not do justice to how good of a cook my uncle is. He has the Green Egg smoker/grill and holy did I eat well. The marinades and the seafood, i was in HEAVEN!!

Nothing like Shrimp and some CL’s after a half 🙂

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Salmon…. need I say more??

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BBQ chicken and pork tenderloin


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The seafood extravaganza did not stop there. I then went to dinner with the lovely Abby at West End Grill on Thursday. I was pretty pumped that I was there to experience her first oyster. They were no SKOB oysters but still tasty.

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That was followed by some amazing coconut macaroons and cinnamon ice cream. Oh what I would do for a macaroon right now!!

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We’ll end this Katie’s back blogging post with a photo of some faves. Laura from Burgersnberries and Sarah- oh the shenanigans that will ensue in the next few months.

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Stay tuned for Mardi Gras and some recipes to whip up for Tuesday celebration!! But in the mean time, what have you all been up to??





Oh you’re really doing it aren’t ya

Ever feel like this is going to happen to you during a run?


Might not be from food poisoning like in Bridesmaids but eating the wrong food prior to running can make you want to run to the nearest bathroom STAT!

This recently happened to me on a planned 9 mile run that ended up being 7 miles. I was about 4 miles in and had to go to the bathroom. Well I was still about 2 miles away from any bathroom. To make this a long story short, I did make it to the bathroom running those last 2 miles about 30 seconds faster than I usually run and had several moments that I thought I was wasn’t going to make it and would need the nearest garbage can (TMI I know 🙂 ).

This sudden need for a bathroom during a run can be attributed to the food you eat prior to your run.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your run!
1. Timing is everything.

Eating about 4 hours prior to a exercise over 30 minutes long will help decrease GI upset. Depending upon your GI system you might be able to push it a bit. Most people will have some upset if they eat within 1 hour of exercise or competition. For me, eating about 1 1/2 to 2 hours prior to exercise allows for digestion and decrease in GI upset.

2. For that 4+ hours prior to your race, here are some good precompetition meal suggestions:

Plain breakfast cereal, low-fat milk
Pancakes with syrup or honey
Toast/muffins with jam
Spaghetti with low-fat tomato sauce
Low-fat breakfast/muesli bar and banana
Roll or sandwich with banana/honey
Smoothie (low-fat milk, yogurt & fruit)

Notice that these all have carbohydrate and a little bit of protein. Carbohydrate will give you WAY more energy than a large protein meal prior to exercise or a race.

3. If you need to eat a snack prior to working out, choose a food that is high in carbs such as

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Treadmill Tuesdays

Tuesday was a day of productivity. Woke up headed into work and saw a beautiful sunrise.


It was the kind of sunrise that made you smile and know it was going to be a good day.

While work was long and I ended up missing crossfit, I realized it was going to be a treadmill Tuesday. Below is the workout I did. Go at your own pace and effort. It’s a good lung burning run 😊


To print click here: treadmill interval workout

After the run, made dinner ( recipes and pics to come tomorrow!!), cleaned my apartment, and did some homework. I was on the productivity train! Hope it stays for tomorrow!

What was your productive moment of the day?



Weekend Update

Happy Sunday!!

Not much going on here this weekend. After my excitement of the start of fall, I went to CrossFit. Good little workout with burpees and a lateral jump. You can bet I’ll be doing a workout this week with these . Then I hustled home to get ready for a presentation I had to give on low sodium diet. The group was awesome and asked lots of questions. I love when I give a presentation and the group is really interactive and asks lots of questions. Makes me feel like I might have ignited a few changes. After the presentation, went to a coffee shop to work on my weight management modules and take the quiz. In two weekends I am going to Philadelphia for the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE). Before this, I am partaking the Weight Management certifiate program. This will enhance my ability to counsel patients and weight loss. I’m pretty excited about it. I finished up the articles and took the pretest (required to take and pass before I could go to the session) and I passed (phew!). I ended up not getting home til 9 made quick dinner and went to bed.

This morning I woke up and was craving pancakes. Time to make some Paleo Pancakes.I topped mine with bananas, walnuts and some figs.

Paleo Pancakes
Makes 6
1/2 cup almond flour
2 tbsp flaxseed
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries
1/2 tsp agave nectar
1. Mix the dry ingredients.
2. Add the eggs and milk. Mix well
3. Heat your skillet or pan.
4. Add in the berries and walnuts.
5. Cook until the pancake starts to bubble then flip and cook til golden brown. Enjoy!
Nutrition facts:
Per Serving:
110 calories, 6.4g fat; .8g saturated fat; 123mg sodium; 9.8g carbohydrate; 2.3 g fiber; 4.0g protein
Printable version here: Paleo Pancakes
After breakfast went to mass down the street at the basilica. I am pretty lucky that I can just walk down the street to the basilica and go to mass in such a beautiful place. Then it was time to fuel up quick before the long run of the weekend. The “snack” was a pumpkin walnut muffin, handful of almonds and raisins, carrots, an apple with some almond butter.

I’ll be honest, I had another handful of almonds and raisins ( I’m obsessed with this combo for some reason) and another half of a muffin. I was concerned I would get hungry on the run.
11 miles later we were done (no photos of this finish, it was not the best run in the world, Sarah and I were struggle bussing the last few miles, BUT we made it!!)
On the drive home, I stopped in at World Market to see if they have almond flour. No such luck, but I did get some teas that I’m quite excited to try:
I was wandering around since I’ve never been there and was amazed at the tea and coffee sections.

As well as ALL the hazelnut/ chocolate spreads
and the selection of European candies.
Then in the spice aisle, I just fell in love with these cans, too bad I didn’t need the spices!

After the World Market experience I headed to Trader Joes to pick up a few things for the week and look what I found…..
I am now in heaven. My love for pumpkin is taking over. I also picked up some flowers and some pumpkin sticks (yes, they’re real!!) for a beautiful fall bouquet. The lily or whatever the purple flower is was left over from the last bouquet and it was too pretty to toss.

Then had an after run snack, had a repeat of this beaut, (found here Banana Delight) with a hardboiled egg; half of a muffin and of course another handful of almonds and raisins.

Well time to get the homework done and maybe a quick power 20 🙂

A good run and some Carnitas to top off a long work day

Some days just seem to go longer than others. For me, Tuesdays seem to be my long days. For the past 3 weeks I have signed up for CrossFit but haven’t been able to make it. When I got home, I looked at my couch, then to my running shoes and the running shoes won.
5 miles later  I was ready to make a delicious dinner. I whipped together a version of chili, with carnitas, eggplant, yellow squash, and tomatoes. It was a quick throw together in a jiffy and eat.
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It tasted delicious.
Carnitas and Eggplant Chili
4 servings
1 yellow Squash
1/2 of a large eggplant or a medium eggplant
2 cups spinach
1 large tomato
10-12 oz of carnitas ( I used the precooked carnitas from Trader Joe’s; recipe from to follow)
1 12 oz can of diced tomatoes ( I used fire roasted tomatoes from Trader Joes)
1 1/2  tablespoon Cumin
1 1.2  tablespoon chili powder
1 garlic clove chopped.
1.put all the ingredients into a pot or into a skillet and heat on medium until the eggplant and the zucchini are tender and cooked.
2. Then simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Eat and enjoy
printable version: carnitas and eggplant chili
Carnitas recipe from


2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
1 orange, cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil


Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork. Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno. Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork. In a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side. Serve.
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So day 2 of Paleo down. Same breakfast as yesterday just a bigger piece without pumpkin and zucchini loaf and an apple. Lunch was leftover pizza from last night with more veggies, and some almonds.
What I missed today: crackers and hummus. I was really craving something crunchy like a triscuit or a piece of bread to have with dinner. I still really want something to dip my veggies into.  The only other issue I am having is my GI is working crazy overtime and causing me to use the bathroom way too often. Hopefully my GI and I can come up with some agreement to this issue very soon!
Question of the night: what are your favorite recipes??
Have you tried Paleo? If so what recipes did you like and how did you like following the diet?