Calcium is crucial for bone building and strength, as well as muscle contraction and heart function. You can be sure you're getting the recommended 1,000-1,300 mg of calcium daily by eating foods such as yogurt (350-400mg/cup), low-fat milk (300mg/cup), and calcium-fortified orange juice (300mg/cup).
While female runners need more calories than non-runners, women generally require fewer total calories than their male counterparts. Women need to make wise choices in order to ensure that they're getting adequate total carbohydrate, protein, and fat on fewer calories. Women runners tend to assess body weight from several angles: health, vanity, and sports performance. Many women want to know their "ideal" body weight, but it can be difficult to determine a number. You'll need to assess a variety of factors, including your body-fat percentage, your current body weight, your medical history, and your running goals. It's important to remember that the leanest runners aren't always the fastest, and to look at your total health picture.
What's a speedy gal to do? The answer: Choose wisely. Female runners need a solid nutrition foundation: a daily mix of 2–3 fruits, 3+ servings of vegetables, 2 servings of lean protein, 2–3 servings of low-fat dairy products, 3–5 servings of good fats, and 6–12 servings of grains and other carbohydrates daily. You can adjust this according to your training volume and any weight loss (or gain) goals.
Women who run need 25% more protein than non-runners. You can meet those needs by including 2-3 quality sources of protein in your daily diet. Good choices include fish, skinless chicken, eggs, tofu, Greek yogurt, Low-fat cottage cheese, beans, and whole grains.
Fuel Up to Go Long!
Many female runners either underestimate or purposely under-fuel before or during long training sessions in a misguided attempt to cut calories. Women should never skimp on crucial pre- and mid-workout calories, as this usually leads to poor running performance and higher rates of injury and illness. Your body, your running, and your weight will be best served if you eat before you head out and continue to fuel during long runs.
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla soy milk (or low-fat milk)
6 oz low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 ripe banana, frozen and cut into small pieces
2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tbsp wheat germ
Per Serving: 395 calories, 7.6g total fat, 2.7g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 166mg sodium, 58g total carbohydrate, 8.8g dietary fiber, 33.7g sugar, 27.6g protein, 426mg calcium, 1098mg potassium
Combine soy milk and yogurt in blender. Add frozen banana pieces, spinach, blueberries, and wheat germ; blend on high until ingredients are thoroughly mixed together. For a thinner smoothie, add a little water.
Barley Stuffed Tomatoes
6 servings; 1 serving = 1 stuffed tomato and 2/3 cup kale
Fun Fact: Though they are often classified as vegetables, tomatoes are actually the fruit of the tomato vine. Feel free to count them as whichever you prefer; just don't try to count them twice unless you eat 2 servings in one day!
1lb chopped spinach
3/4 cup pearled barley
8oz firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/4 cups thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup apple cider
1 tsp dry white wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp whole wheat panko bread crumbs
6 large tomatoes, hollowed out
Per Serving: 190 calories, 4g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 234mg sodium, 27g carbohydrates, 6g dietary fiber, 10g protein
Place barley in a medium-sized pot with enough water to cover by 1-2 inches and simmer for about 30 minutes. Drain, and set aside in a bowl.
Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add tofu and sauté until golden, then set aside.
In the same pan, sauté onion for 5 minutes until tender and translucent.
Increase heat to medium-high. Add spinach, and cook until wilted.
Add cider and wine, then cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in tofu, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat, then stir in barley.
Arrange tomatoes on a tray, stuff with barley/tofu mixture.
Top with panko bread crumbs and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes, until tomatoes are soft.
Brie, Apple, and Spinach Pizza
2 tbsphHoney Dijon mustard
1 tbsp apple cider
6oz Brie cheese, thinly sliced with the rind removed
2 large Granny Smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 cups spinach leaves, chopped
1 pre-made whole wheat pizza crust
Per Serving: 259 calories, 10g fat, 5g saturated fat, 28mg cholesterol, 458mg sodium, 32g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 11g protein
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard and cider. Spread evenly on pizza crust. Top with spinach, brie, and then apple slices. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is crisp and cheese is melted.