Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Where's the Beef? (and do I have to eat it?)

After a long journey this past week, I am back home and ready to kick up my running, assuming my body cooperates. I have been running maintenance for the past two weeks and my knee and shin splint are getting better. My right leg still hurts at the end of a three miler, but I can do it without stopping. I'm continuing the stretching program and plan to gradually increase my mileage like the book I got suggests after an injury.

In my ongoing quest for health, wellness, and strength, I came across some interesting information regarding metabolic types. I don't know how legit it is, but it seems like a sound concept. People are efficient or inefficient in processing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Based on what you can process efficiently, those foods should be the major staples of a person's diet. Eating too much of a food group that is not processed efficiently, say carbohydrates, results in that food being stored as fat.

Apparently a person's metabolic type can be determined through a lipid profile (blood tests) or a simple questionnaire. I happened to have recent blood work to look at, and found my type was protein-fat efficient. (73 percent of people fall into this category) I also took the survey to see if that matched up, and it did. So where does this leave me?

Answer: Confused! Running sites, like runnersworld.com suggest a diet of 50% carbohydrates to fuel a runner. However, according to my (alleged) metabolic type, I should be eating 50% protein and 25% of both fat and carbohydrates. Aside from this being contradictory information, I have been fiddling with possible combinations of foods on LiveSTRONG's Daily Plate (LSDP), and I cannot figure out how to manipulate what I eat to have a 2:1 protein-to-everything-else ratio. Not to mention that LSDP tells me I am way over my protein allowance when protein makes up anything close to half of the daily protein/fat/carbs pie chart.

Not being much of a carnivore and trying to eat only organic animal products makes this metabolic type diet even more complicated (and expensive!) However, I think it's worth a try since the research I read indicates that eating based on lipid profile can make a person feel better. However, if it makes me feel physically healthy but I'm crabby from eating all this meat- it's nothing personal, I just don't really like it- is it really a good idea?

Like I said, I'm confused. I think like anything, finding a middle ground is important. Maybe eating 50% protein is not realistic. I like noodles. And fruit. However, trying to include more protein into my diet is doable and realistic. As for eliminating all the carbs, I don't think an all-or-nothing mentality is healthy. Besides, I need them to fuel the night run I am going to do later.

Hope, Love, Run,
Marathon Girl

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