Tag Archives: running

The best snacks for race training…

8 Jul

Do you keep track of your New Year’s Resolutions? I do… or at least I try to.

I had as a New Year’s Resolution to race 3 half marathons and so far I have achieved 2/3 of those goals, racing the Miami ½ marathon in January and the Puerto Rico ½ Marathon at the beginning of May. In both, I have finished with my best times so far. I have a lot to thank to my coach, Chewi Candelario. He is strict and fun at the same time. I fully recommend him if you’re looking into training for a running event or a triathlon.


This running business is a newfound love for me… I have always been active, but never considered myself an athlete. I’ve always leaned more towards the artistic side. I’ve always been a dancer and later on, a yogi… but never an “athlete”. Now I train 4 times a week, I try to never miss a long run on Saturday mornings to the point of not going out with my friends on Friday nights to be able to get up at 3AM to be ready for our 5AM calls.  I even have a running/training group when I am in FL visiting my sister and nephews,  which is quite often lately.  I now know the beauty of ice water baths and Epsom salts. It’s a sacrifice… but I’ve gained so much from it – the social aspect of running is the best part of it all. I’ve made so many friends who are all into health and fitness… it’s a real joy.


Part of all this training is how to fuel your body… before training, after training and leading to a race. Being a vegetarian, you just need to choose adequately those foods that will fit into your training regime and your veggie lifestyle. So many people stress the importance of proteins when working out and I was hesitant I would not be able to feed my body as the nutritionists were “educating me”. One of the funny things was a list of snacks given to us as examples of what to eat before training and after training. The list was 95% all vegetarian things… this was comforting and relieved me of the usual burden of figuring out what could be applicable for me as a vegetarian.

I want to share with you what has worked for me and maybe it can take a little pressure off you if you’re training or considering starting training for an athletic event. I want to make full disclosure that I am basing all these recommendations on my own personal experience. I am not a nutritionist or a dietician nor a certified trainer. I have applied the knowledge acquired from several sources, including listening to my very own body how it reacts when I eat something in particular.

I’ve noticed over the years that I can’t have 3 full meals a day. I have breakfast, as I always get up hungry. But I can’t have lunch and dinner too. This is too much for me… I can have breakfast, a snack, a late lunch at around 2-3PM and another snack at night or after training. When I have dinner, I find it just takes longer to digest and I won’t have a restful sleep and will wake up with a queasy stomach, especially at 4AM before a long run. So that’s what works for me… 2 full meals and 2 snacks. There are exceptions to this rule, but it’s what works for me most of the time.

Snacks are what I mostly eat after training. I try to include a combination of protein and complex carbs to help me repair muscle and not feel tired and achy the next morning. This is what I tend to eat most of the time:

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread

Peanut Butter and Cream Cheese Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread

Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread

Hummus sandwich with tomatoes, baby spinach and mustard on whole wheat bread

Sandwich with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes,  avocados, lettuce on whole grain ciabatta

Cottage Cheese and Fruits

Cottage Cheese and Whole Grain Tortilla Chips

Cottage Cheese Dip 2  KFC

Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruits


Fresh Fruit Smoothie with Yogurt and Flaxseeds

Smoothie Collage

Granola with Greek yogurt and fresh fruits

Granola Bar with Peanut Butter with a glass of milk

Cold Cereal with a few slices of cheese and a banana or other fruit

Oatmeal made with Almond Milk with a banana on the side

Almond Milk Oatmeal 3

Oatmeal-based Cold Cereal and a glass of milk

I recently learned the importance of adding lots of dark leafy greens to my diet when training to optimize my performance and avoid injuries. So I’ll be adding some spinach to my smoothies more often from now on. I have shared some ideas in the past that are just delicious:

SS Smoothie

Stealth Shake

Or just add spinach or kale or Swiss chard to your favorite fruit smoothie combination. I have drunk Swiss chard juice in the past and, believe me, you much rather have it in a fruit smoothie than a straight juice format. If you rather not see the green flecks in your beverage, I suggest you use dark berries, such as blueberries or blackberries. They will mask the green bits better than using just banana, strawberries or raspberries in your smoothie.

Before a race, we’re always recommended to bulk up on carbs the day before. Like I said, I usually have a pasta-based lunch the afternoon prior to a race. These are some of the pasta dishes that work best for me:

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes mixed in with pieces of fresh mozzarella

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes and Spinach

Orzotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

Orzotto with Mushrooms and Spinach

Do you train for marathons and half-marathons?? What do you fuel yourself with??

I want my Gatorade Natural!!!

8 Nov

Have I told you???? That I am training for my 1st ever half marathon???

Well, since June I have been training for the Run Like Diva Half Marathon to be celebrated next Sunday, November 11 here in San Juan, PR. This is the second time this is taking place. My friend Tania was eager for me to join her this year because she was encouraging me since last year to make it.

It’s been a super great experience… I have met so many new friends – Annette, Maritza, Tere, Lilliam, Nadya, Alice, Zuleyka, Ada, Vanessa, Nancy, Mariano, Diana, IsaMari, Lisandra, Kimberly and Tania and Mili who now I have one more thing in common. We belong to the training group Island Divas coached by Chewy Candelario.

Since the beginning of the training, I was opposed to drinking anything filled with artificial colorants or ingredients. You know already how I feel about that. However, for a while when we started training I always felt like my body ached all over. I thought it was just my body getting used to this kind of training. Until one day, my friend Annette told me to drink a Gatorade. WHAT?!?!??! I don’t like these… “agua d’piringas”. But I caved in and had one…

To be honest ever since I started drinking Gatorade after my trainings, I started feeling like myself again. By body might have been sore, but did not feel like before. I guess all that science and technology do count for something when you’re becoming an athlete. So I have made an exception and started drinking Gatorade as a recovery drink after my workouts. And have chosen to avoid reading the label each and every time I put one bottle to my mouth.

But when I traveled to Florida recently and had to continue on my training there, I went to the supermarket to buy my trusted and usual foods that help me prepare and recover after my trainings. And much to my surprise I found out that Gatorade comes in a NATURAL version – without artificial ingredients and colorants. And the website tells you all about how the natural ingredients work just the same as the regular Gatorade formulation. And the Orange Citrus flavor is AMAZING!!!!!

But when you search any Puerto Rico zip code to find a store near us that carries it, the closest store is…. The Whole Foods in Alton Road in South Miami Beach!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!! Which tells me, my dear friends in Pepsi are not distributing this amazing product in Puerto Rico. YET!!!

This is my plea… PEPSICO people, please bring Gatorade Natural to Puerto Rico. We also have athletes which appreciate the recovery qualities of the original formulation but prefer to have a more natural formulation. Just as much as I want a Whole Foods in Puerto Rico, we also have local natural supermarkets and sport stores that would love to carry your product. GRACIAS!!!

And let’s GO DIVAS!!!!! If you live in Puerto Rico, we would love for you to join our cheering section along the route of the course. Just look for our Island Divas shirts throughout the route. I’ll be the one with the I ❤ NY cap on… OK???

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