Well, Gmail realized what was best for it and let me in! Apparently it wanted me to finish cleaning out my closet before blogging 🙂
I’ll fill you in on today’s events tomorrow, without further ado – the Friday Fridge! This week, Ellen, from Ellen Run’s NYC was kind enough to give me a glimpse into her eats for a few days! Very exciting for a girl who grew up in rural CO and now lives in the suburbs like me to see how the “city folk” live!
First – Ellen’s Eats!
Veggie burger with a piece of jack cheese and chipotle mayo on the side for dipping:
Local/organic eggplant parmesan with a roll and butter:
Sarah: Could you describe you and your family’s general diet (i.e. vegetarian, flexitarian, vegan, carnivore, avoid junk food, love the junk, etc)?
Ellen: I am a 22-year-old girl who lives with 2 men – My brother who is 17 my father who is 50+. They both are full on carnivores. I have been a strict vegetarian for almost 9 years and off red meat for 10. Generally, we are pretty healthy, not a lot of junk or sweets.
Sarah: That is awesome! I have to ask – how do you deal with maintaining your vegetarianism while your brother/dad are big time carnivores? Did you choose to become a vegetarian for health, ethical, both, or other reasons? This always really interests me because I eat some meat almost every day, but we really restrict meat portions in our house – like 2 organic chicken breasts can provide 2 meals for each of us, we don’t eat red meat (we did have 1 burger while we were in San Francisco in August…but other than that, I’ve been red meat free since May of 2009!) and we’ve moved to only local/organic meats 🙂 Have you ever considered being a vegan? To me – the cow and the chicken naturally make milk and eggs…so if I didn’t eat them (as long as they’re produced humanely of course) they’d just go to waste 🙂
Ellen: I have actually never really liked meat! I am convinced it is a texture thing. I am very into textures; for example, I don’t like to eat raw tomatoes because of the texture they have but I love tomato sauce, ketchup or even sun-dried tomatoes but not the natural sliced ones. As a child I would always prefer turkey burgers to normal burgers and rarely ate meat at home unless it was cooked into something like a chicken cutlet or a meat sauce. I was sent to sleep away camp when I was 11 and the camp was in NH and had vegan, vegetarian and non-red meat options. Before that I never knew there was a non meat way of life so to speak and went completely off red meat after the first summer and then the next summer came back from camp a complete vegetarian. I do love animals, particularly cows, but I don’t translate my vegetarianism into my everyday life, I still own leather etc. While I respect those that are vegans, I don’t think I could ever be a vegan. I feel like it is more of a lifestyle no leather no animal products etc. and I love my butter, cheese and skim lattes a little too much to switch fully over.
Sarah: That’s really interesting that you made the change at a fairly young age, and I’ll definitely be asking you for advice as we continue to use meat as a minimal addition to our diet 🙂It looks like you choose to eat out most evenings (I sometimes would love to do that!!), but you always make fairly healthy choices! I hear you on the dairy…I just love cheese/ice cream/etc and there’s just not a good substitute for them in my book! It seems like you and your family try to stick to a really healthy diet, do you ever “splurge” and choose fast food, or do you ever cook at home?
Ellen: Yes we do eat out almost every night. The beauty of living in NYC is that almost everywhere delivers! The most “fast food-y” place we go to is Chipotle or the diner but we generally avoid chain restaurants for more local NYCrestaurants! We do cook occasionally, more during the summer or breaks since both my brother and I are in school.
Sarah: So jealous of all your choices!! We have a few local/family places near us, but as we live in the ‘burbs we’re surrounded by chain restaurants and fast food. When you do cook, what is your favorite thing to make?
Ellen: That is easy PASTA! I love pasta! I make this white northern bean pasta with sage garlic and olive oil. The key is to simmer the beans in sage and garlic water for 4 hours, then cook pasta, add in some more olive oil and garlic, drain the beans and mix them in. It takes a few hours, but the taste is so worth it!
Sarah: That sounds so good, Chris and I both love pasta and with my new fiber guidelines are eating a ton of beans…so we’ll just have to make a trip to NYC for your dish!! I know you ran your first full marathon earlier this year, how do you organize your fuel needs around eating from restaurants? Do you spend time reviewing nutritional info before ordering, avoid certain types of food/preparations/etc?
Ellen: Generally, I don’t count calories or look at nutritional info however, NYC has a law for chains to post the caloric info both in stores and on the menu, so sometimes I get that information without wanting it haha. I tried to get a good range of carbs in and follow my huger signals, when I am craving something, I tend to go with it. The eggplant parmesan pictured, was my go to long run meal. I ate it before every long run leading up to the marathon. I tried to avoid anything overall fattening or greasy, the veggie burger picture is made from scratch and has all grilled veggies in it, when marathon training and generally, I don’t eat the fries picture or eat a few of them.
Sarah: I remember hearing about the new guidelines of having to show caloric/nutritional data in NYC and thought that was very interesting, I can see the pros to the law – obviously, but I don’t know that I’d want to be reminded that my caramel brulee latte has 300 calories each time I go to Starbucks 😉 Going back to marathon training/general nutrition, as a vegetarian, do you pay special attention to eating high protein items/counting protein at all? Did you when you became a vegetarian? Your pre-long run meal sounds delish!! When you run long, do you carry fuel like Gu, or do you carry whole foods like PB/etc? Do you think you will change anything nutrition/fuel wise before your next long race?
Ellen: I do look to get protein in but I try not to stress about it too much. I get a LOT of my protein needs from dairy. Something as simple as getting fortified skim milk or checking the different brands can get you more protein in for the day. When I first became a vegetarian my dad insisted I see a nutritionist a few times. I didn’t like hee very much, well I didn’t like her at all, but, she gave me a few good tips about checking out comparative brands etc. I try not to become obsessive about nutritional needs since I honestly believe my body will tell me what I need when I want protein I crave tofu or egg whites. I also take a multi vitamin every day and I think that helps a lot it.
I started doing my long runs on Sundays during the summer, but when I started law school I found that Saturdays actually worked better for me. The morning before I run long anything over 10 miles I very my routine. I start with oatmeal the pre packaged kind, made at home with 1/2 a cup of water with a table of peanut butter or almond butter and I also have a tall double shot skinny vanilla latte, which is a huge departure from my usual routine. I am NOT a breakfast person, I can’t put food into my stomach that early on a normal bases, but before I run long I always eat something. At a marathon medical talk I attended early this year I learned that runners are supposed to limit their caffeine intake to under 180 mg to prevent against sudden death so I also limit my caffeine. I generally have a very sensitive stomach and had never taken anything in prior to my marathon besides water while racing so I did a lot of experimenting. My go to items are: cliff blocks in raspberry, mountain berry and margarita, Justin’s P-B in honey, banana’s, water and cliff drink in fruit punch. There are a few new products I would like to try, I have read a lot about Nuun being good for those with stomach problems as well. I think it is very very important to experiment and find what’s right for you start early a routine is your best friend for the big races. Next time I am definitely going to practice more a regimented time oriented fueling plan and practice it through out my training.
Sarah: We had the Cliff drinks at the end of my marathon in October and I’d love to train with that instead of Gatorade as we’re trying to phase out products with high fructose corn syrup in our house, but the taste was just a little off to me. I definitely plan to try it this winter though while training for my 50k. I have tried Nuun and it just wasn’t for me, it reminded me of the prep liquid I had to drink before my colonoscopy…taste wise anyway 😦 I only tried one flavor though, so maybe the others are better! And there’s no denying that there are a lot of Nuun believers! I actually broke marathon rule #1 in October and ate something different before the race. Since there was longer between leaving the house and hitting the start line on race day than there normally was from getting up and heading out for a long run on a typical weekend, instead of just having a Gu packet + water I ate a piece of toast with plain peanut butter. Bad idea!! Definitely have a sensitive tummy and have learned my lesson (again, lol). Ok, to wrap this Friday Fridge up – what would a typical breakfast, lunch, and dinner in your house be?
Ellen: Typical my usual day is: Starbucks quad grande skinny vanilla latte, lunch is a salad with romaine lettuce, egg whites, mozzarella cheese, veggies, and a side of balsamic vinegar or FF vignette for dressing and then for dinner one of the picture items.
Sarah: Yum!! I’m definitely a Starbucks girl myself, trying to break the habit…but it’s so hard, and delicious! Thank you again Ellen for sharing your “fridge” with the Hoge Runs readers! It was great getting to take a look inside your eats and food philosophy!
I hope everyone enjoyed this week’s installation of the Friday Fridge. Don’t forget – I’m always looking for different fridges, food lifestyles and eating habits to feature – if you’d like to take part, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from you!