Every couple of days I'm asked the question "How do I fuel my long runs and stay WHOLE30 compliant"?. And it's a great question, because we're so used to pumping those chemical shits-storms known as gels down our throats, and getting that short term sugar hit, that our minds draw a blank when it comes to fuelling with real food. And no, the answer is NOT cupcakes!
When we're demanding awesomeness from our bodies, like running a half marathon or greater, there's a massive demand on our energy, and the last thing our bodies want to do with that energy is digest food. If you've been eating clean for a while and then suddenly place it under attack with sugary garbage, our systems don't know what to do with it, and an upset tummy (and a search for a port-a-loo) will be the likely result.
Let's look to fuel our run with real food??? Here's my top 5 list of ways to fuel on the long run;
1. Boiled Egg
Easy to carry. Complete protein. For those hitting a half marathon in around 2 1/2 hours, you'd be looking to add one of these in at around the 12km mark.
2. Sweet Potato & Apple Mash
Boil, roast or steam your sweet potato with a pinch of salt, grate your apple and blend them both together until smooth. A small, reusable snap lock bag is great for transportation. Or they a small foil parcel. These can also be frozen into small cubes (ice-cube size) to grab from the freezer as you head out the door. If they're in a pack next to your back, your body heat will thaw them on the run. Pop a cube every 6-7km.
3. Chia Pod
Not just awesome for breaky, a small serve of this is easy to digest, packs a punch nutritionally and it's easy to make.
There's plenty of great recipes around. I love to make mine with 1/2 a banana + 1 cup almond milk + 1 tablespoon almond butter --> blend together and pour over your chia. Roughly 1/4 cup liquid per tablespoon of chia. You can make these straight into snap-lock bags so they're a grab and go option. Little serves often - roughly every 5km on a 2.5 hour half marathon.
4. White Potato
Yep, the common garden variety. Cook however you please (add salt to taste) - leave the skin on - perfect to much on the run. Adjust your spud size according to appetite. These are higher in starch and break down into sugar (energy) quicker than the other options, so you won't need as much. Midway point would work well.
Yummy yummy guacamole! Mash your avo with a pinch of chilli, sea salt, lemon juice or lemon essential oil, and enjoy a savoury hit on the track. Roughly a tablespoon every 7km would be yummy. This is a great recovery option too.
And a bonus recovery tip... try my virtually sugar-free recovery drink. Recipe HERE.
*These recommendations are based on personal use and should not be interpreted as professional advice. If in doubt, please see your primary health-care provider.