Ramp up the run…raw style!

Just a quick post today – to keep in touch.

If you’re looking into raw foods and integrating more raw food into your life, you will have noticed that there is so much more information on the internet and in books these days.  Seems there’s been a bit of an explosion of information but I believe the growth in ‘solution seeking‘ walks hand-in-hand with larger issues seen in society today, and I don’t just mean the obvious ones like the high rate of obesity and alarming rates of cancer, poor heart health, strokes, diabetes.  I’m also sensing a current of overall discontent in North American society (and perhaps abroad), where we recognize that we can have anything and still feel completely unfulfilled.   We may be starting to acknowledge what we’ve really been neglecting and what we really need, as individuals and as a society,  is a focus on our whole health.

So maybe it’s just because I’ve been looking, but I really believe I am seeing larger trends unfolding: trends towards real joy, real health, better balance, and real meaning to a life.  And with it seems to have come a lot more information available for those of us who are seeking it.  While this is wonderful, it can also mean some missteps, some rabbit holes that we can get caught up in (what’s best? Raw? Paleo? Vegan? gaa!  Who cares what’s “best” – try things out and find what works for you),  and sometimes all the information can be overwhelming.

I’ll make it my mission (or ONE of my missions) to help you find the reputable sources of information, those that are easy to navigate through, and with recipes or suggestions that are easiest to integrate into your changing habits.

On that note, I have mentioned the site “No Meat Athlete” in my blog before as a great place to go when looking for ‘ratios’ – how to get enough protein in a plant-based diet, for example.  Well, because I’m ramping up my running and am setting new, challenging (even uncomfortable!) goals for myself, I went to that site today to look for ‘ratios’ for carbohydrates (or ‘carbs’ as we cool kids call them).  Not only did I find what I was looking for, I found the No Meat Athlete published the Thrive recipe for a raw energy gel!  How exciting for me!

I have to admit:  I have sometimes found the “Thrive” information difficult to integrate.  It is certainly a site for more elite athletes (in my opinion) and I haven’t yet encountered the situations in my life or level of fitness that have made me seek out solutions to ‘elite athlete’ challenges.  Know what I mean?  I’m still looking for ‘simple’ not ‘complex’ diet solutions.  So I head over to the Thrive site sometimes, and I’m glad to know it’s there if I ever need to start integrating plant-based solutions for my ‘peak performance’ athleticism.  But I’m not quite there yet….

But back to the recipe for the raw energy gel.  I was excited to find this because, as I run longer distances, I will need to provide my body with replenishing carbs (for instant and longer term energy) and small amounts of protein (for muscle support) while I am running.  Gels are how most runners do this.  However, because my body is hyperactive when it comes to processing  sugars, commercial gels scare me a little.  I had tried a Gatorade gel once and felt like I was having heart palpitations 5 minutes after consuming it, and then had a sugar crash 15 minutes later.  Not fun to deal with when also trying to slog my way through a run (or, in my case, a “lope” – one does not think of gazelles when they see me run…an image of a walrus loping its way up the sandy beach is more like it.  For now.  I’m aiming for gazelle by December).  Although I’m 90% sure (because I know my body) that it was the glucose and fructose that caused this to happen, the caffeine may have helped.

So, when in the store to buy new running shoes yesterday, I had decided to also pick up some “Gu” gels as all my interweb research has indicated that they’re a high quality gel with excellent ratios and decent enough ingredients.  I do plan to try them out on my runs to see if I can tolerate them from a blood-sugar perspective, and then, of course, get used to eating them while I run – see if the stomach accepts them, get the timing of when to use them down, etc.  But, I worried, what if I can’t use them?  What then?  There has to be a solution for me to get my carbs and protein in for when I start running longer distances.

And voila.  The No Meat Athlete provides me with a Thrive recipe (so really, Thrive provided it, but I didn’t go there first) for a raw energy gel.

Here it is! (Finally, you say…yah, yah 🙂 ) : Thrive Raw Energy Gel recipe as provided on the No Meat Athlete site.

Because I already purchased the GU gels, I’m going to give them a whirl.  Nothing wrong with having options.  But I’ll also be giving the raw gel recipe a try for obvious reasons:  non-commercial, raw, no dyes or artificial ingredients, on-demand and likely less expensive over time.  The only drawback I see that could be an issue is portability.  The GU gels are more compact and come in a pretty sturdy package, while the raw gels are stored in plastic sandwich bags which may be easily punctured and harder to carry on a run, especially when needing to carry 4 or 5 of them.  But hey!  Let’s see how it goes!  I can get pretty creative – perhaps I’ll “MacGyver” a better delivery system for higher volumes of raw gel 🙂

If you give this recipe a try, stop by here and let us all know what you think of it – the pros and the cons.

Finally, you may be asking “If you’re all gung-ho over raw, why aren’t you using the raw solution first?”  Excellent question.  I have made the personal choice (as we all must) to become a runner first, and a raw runner next.  I find the integration of more frequent running and rising to the goals I’ve set for myself so challenging, that I need to uncomplicate it by taking it one step (excuse the pun) at a time.  Run first, discover dietary needs as the goal progresses next, establish easiest way to meet those dietary needs, then, last but not least, evolve those dietary solutions to being raw.  So be kind to me: new things are both exciting and scary as hell.  I do the best I can. 🙂

So here’s to us!  Doing the best we can!  Onward…