Philly Marathon Training: How to Tell If You’re Eating Enough Carbs

I’m going to state the obvious here, but running a marathon and half marathon are very different than running a 5K or 10K. I’m not talking about the difference in distance — I’m talking about the difference in nutrition needs. For the most part, nutrition isn’t a limiting factor to performance for the 5K and 10K, but once you get over two-hour mark in racing, nutrition plays a vital role in how well you perform.

As a runner, if you want to perform at your best, you need to start thinking about the food you eat as sources of nutrients: carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins. Each of these nutrients plays a crucial role that either supports or inhibits energy production, recovery and health.

I’ll be focusing mainly on carbohydrates because they are by far the most important nutrient for marathoners. Carbs are your body’s main source of energy: They aid in fat metabolism (a.k.a. using fat as a fuel source), and they prevent protein from being used as energy. A diet low in carbohydrates will certainly prohibit performance.

Carbs figure into the two essential parts of marathon nutrition: daily nutrition and long-run nutrition. Let’s break them down below.

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The Seed Breakdown: Demystifying the Overwhelming Seed Aisle

It’s hard to open your Instagram feed without smoothies bowls smothered in hemp seeds and chia seeds and pumpkin seeds and … SO. MANY. SEEDS popping up. But, um, what are all these seeds even doing for us, again? To break it down, we rounded up the seeds we’ve seen everywhere and talked with Unite Fitness nutrition director Juliet Burgh to get the skinny on when and why we should be dumping them on everything from salads to smoothies.

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The Checkup: 3 Surprising Foods You Think Are Healthier Than They Really Are

• What do granola bars, coconut oil, and frozen yogurt all have in common? Well, my friends, they are three foods you probably think are a whole lot healthier than nutritionists do, according to a recent survey done by the New York Times. I know: The coconut oil news is a real bummer. The good news? According to nutritionists, wine is better for you than you think. [The New York Times]
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5 Things You Do That Make Your Vegetables Ridiculously Unhealthy

There's broccoli in there, er, somewhere. | Ezume Images/

There’s broccoli in there, er, somewhere. | Ezume Images/

First off, kudos to you for eating vegetables. As children, many of us did not appreciate the pile of green or orange stuff our plates. We were always told to eat it, but why on Earth did we have to do such a thing? Experts say it can take up to 10 attempts after a new food is introduced for a child to truly determine whether he loves it or hates it. And because those 10 attempts can be, well, painful for parents to bear (Remember all that dinner table whining? Your parents sure do.), kids’ veggies are often topped with a heap of melted cheese or drowned in a stick of butter in an effort to get the kiddos to lift up their forks. Unfortunately for many of us, those unhealthy veggie habits linger on well into adulthood.

When I travel out on the PGA Tour (yes, my job is pretty awesome), there are some tournaments where the golfers are offered wonderful food selections: the veggies are stir-fried or steamed, and the salad bar is full of freshly picked local produce. However, in some cases, the choices saddle us with weeks of legit detox afterwards: Yeah, there’s a steamer full of vegetables, but it’s corn – swimming in butter. Or, sure, there’s a salad bar, but it’s stocked with full-fat dressing, croutons, iceberg lettuce and bacon bits — and that’s it.

So while the notion of eating your veggies is wonderful, veggies are actually pretty easy to screw up. Here, five ridiculously unhealthy veggie-eating habits that should be limited or halted altogether. Any of them, er, sound familiar?  Read more »

Philly Students Audited Their Own School Lunches

A lunch at  Philadelphia’s Charter High School for Architecture and Design.

A lunch at Philadelphia’s Charter High School for Architecture and Design. | Photo courtesy of City Controller Alan Butkovitz’s office

Scarfing down a fattening, stomach-churning lunch every day used to be seen as a normal part of going to public school in America, as much as riding the bus and going to prom are.

But in recent years, as childhood obesity has skyrocketed, parents, students and health experts have pressured school districts to make healthier, more appetizing meals.

In Philadelphia, concerned students at one charter school took it up a notch and recently decided to audit their own lunches to see if they met federal standards. Read more »

SmartPlate that Detects Nutrition Facts of Food Completes $100,000 Kickstarter

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

This plate will calculate the nutritional value of your food.

When I spoke to Anthony Ortiz on Thursday, he couldn’t help being a little nervous. His company’s $100,000 Kickstarter campaign sat at $96,258 with just three days to go. With Kickstarter, if you don’t hit your goal, you don’t get a dime.

“Talk about a nail-biting nerve-wracking process,” said Ortiz, the CEO Fitly. “That’s the risk you take with a platform like Kickstarter – it’s all or nothing.” Read more »

Broad Street Run Training: How to Fuel Up for Long Runs and the Big Race

Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by G. Widman for Visit Philadelphia

I ran my first Broad Street Run in 1982; there were only 2,088 finishers in the race’s third year.

The Broad Street Run has grown a lot since then! And so has knowledge about what athletes should eat. The 1980s marked the emergence of the field known as sports nutrition. Back then, exercise physiologists were discovering that endurance athletes benefited from consuming approximately four to five grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight daily. Read more »

Philadelphia International Airport Ranked Among Healthiest Airports in the Country



I have never thought of the Philadelphia International Airport as a healthy-food destination. I always eat before heading to the airport, but if my flight gets delayed and my stomach starts to growl, I usually see it as an excuse to eat my one Cinnabon of the year because, well, what good healthy vegetarian eats are there? A decent amount, apparently: PHL was just ranked among the healthiest airports for nutritious food options in the nation by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, coming in at 11th place out of 19 airports that made the cut.

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