Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fueling and Re-Fueling: Running Healthy Means Craving Healthy

On Saturday morning, I ran this 8.52 mile route with my friend Hadley. This was one of the first steps in my "official" self-made half marathon training plan. It was long but not too fast and my only complaint was about my achy joints.

Afterward, I went with Josh to the farmer's market and brunch at Cacao in Cleveland Park. Having just burned 790 calories (according to Nike Plus), I was in the mood for this:

(nicoise salad)

And Josh, who had burned maybe 100 calories playing on the computer all morning, was in the mood for this:

(egg and cheese croissant and chocolate brioche)

Don't get me wrong, I love food and I will eat all kinds of it at all times of day or night. I believe that the best way to eat healthy is to consume everything in moderation and to indulge when you feel the need to. I am glad that this was apparently the best croissant sandwich Josh has ever had and, even more so, that it inspired a serious conversation between us about when we can realistically go to Paris together. But I don't think anyone will argue with me in saying that one of these meals is clearly better for you than the other. And I have learned that when you do better-for-you things, you will crave and eat better-for-you foods. It will just come naturally. At least it has for me, and I believe it will for you too.

But working your body hard will also make you crave the occasional steak frites, the frequent glass of wine with dinner, and the occasional baking spree where you eat 1/4 of the raw dough or batter. And you won't feel bad about it afterward. That is one of the many perks of exercising like a champion.

What do you crave after a workout?

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