Monday, January 27, 2014

No Grain=No Pain... 50K training update and yummy recipes!!

Image Source: CIM
Hey! Hope you all are having a great week!  

If you’ve been following my blog since the early days, you’ll know that part of my focus (besides just running.. gasp), is on clean eating and a healthy lifestyle.

In the past I’ve tried to include some posts on my travels (and my family’s) towards eating as healthily as possible.  We’ve made significant changes in the past (no more processed foods, no gluten etc).  The benefits have been tremendous, and combined with a passion for running, has helped me become as healthy as I’ve ever been (and my Dr is very happy!)

Also, you may recall that I have been struggling with a chronic Achilles inflammation issue for about a year now.  Finally last fall, on the advice of my Dr., I eliminated all grains from my diet, not just wheat (gluten).  As known contributors to inflammation, I figured it was worth a shot.

I eliminated all grains for 30 days and noticed a steady improvement with my inflammation and pain in my Achilles.  Thinking that perhaps I had gotten past it, I did bring grains back in (including a few days of caving into glutinous indulgences), and WOW… within a day it was like someone took a flame thrower to the back of my heel!

Ok… ok.. I get the message.  I muddled through the holidays taking a break from running, but didn’t go grain free again until the beginning of this year.  I recently started a 16 week training program to run my first Ultra Marathon in May and figured I need listen to my body, ditch the grains and focus on eating well, resting well, and training right to run far and to run pain free.

So…  how do you cope without eating any grains?  I will admit that it was, and continues to be a challenge, but I think going gluten free for at least a year before has helped.  Breakfast is a struggle, but I’ve settled on eggs/veggies, or a loaded smoothie for most days.

One great thing about going grain-free however, is that I’m learning to cook a lot of new things and have tuned into some really great resources like the Practical Paleo Cookbook, and just about anything from Elana’s Pantry.

So, I’m going to try and put up more posts about this grain-free adventure as well as my 50K training.  And I’ll share some terrific recipes along the way.
If you are interested in going grain free, check out these recipes below… they are really terrific!

Shrimp Pesto Fettuccine

This is an amazing recipe that I got from Practical Paleo.   A few things to note… I don’t like Cilantro… well I didn't.  A few years ago I couldn't even stand to smell it, but I've slowly grown to like it… and in this recipe I love it!  And, as for missing true noodles, my mind was blown by the texture, flavor, and ease of preparing fettuccine noodles from zucchini!  I know.. sounds crazy, but they totally rock. 

To make zucchini noodles, just use a vegetable peeler to shave off strips until you hit the seedy core of the squash. Steam them for 3-5 minutes and BAM you have an amazing noodle alternative.  The pesto in this recipe is made from 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, fresh cilantro, garlic, olive oil and salt/pepper in a food processor.. amazing stuff!

Elana's Pantry

And, for dessert,  how about these peanut butter and jelly cookies from Elana’s Pantry?  They hit the spot satisfying that need for something sweet, with a grain free delicious alternative.  I just made a bunch of these before leaving for a week long trip.. something tells me they won't be around when I get home! Super easy and super tasty!  Click HERE to get the recipe. 

Greenland 50K
Week 3 of 50K training, and feeling pretty good so far.  Popped up to a 27+ mile training week last week, and this week (week 3) will be close to 30...   trying not to get too freaked out that I'm working up to a 26 mile TRAINING run...  whoa..  can't believe I'll run a marathon just as a part of training.... but too early to get worked up about that..  I'll just keep adding a little more to my long runs each week and I'll get there..  and hopefully pain (and grain) free!

Happy trails!



  1. way to go, Jeff! You are such an inspiration to so many of us...I made a spaghetti squash with a chicken mushroom sauce that was incredibly delicious. I have not tried making zucchini 'noodles' but you can bet I will! love that you are incorporating more food and recipes into your blog, yay! Lorraine.

    1. Thanks Lorraine! The zucchini noodles are so easy! I'll try to get better about working some non-review stuff into my blog... I just need to get caught up! :-)

  2. Those zoodles are pretty cool, aren't they? We do them with carrots too, especially in winter when zucchini gets expensive around here. (After the summer "zucchini exploding in the garden" season, I can't bring myself to pay $3/lb for zukes grown in Mexico! It's like paying to plant dandelions in your yard!). Haven't tried a pesto on them yet but maybe I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the recipes and pictures!

    1. Zoodles... I love it! I'll have to give them a try with carrots as well... pesto is terrific on the zoodles... and the cilantro/macadamia pesto was pretty amazing! I'll work on posting more recipes as I find stuff that is a hit! :-)


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