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The Runner’s Diet

by Marissa on July 15, 2009

I recently read an article in the August 2009 issue of Runner’s World touting the benefits of a “flexitarian” diet for runners. I like this term because it allows for variation and adjustment in the diet based on the body’s needs at any given time. Anyone — not only athletes — can benefit from eating this way.

According to the article, “flexitarian” means that the diet is based in plant foods like fruit, vegetables, legumes and grains and small amounts of animal protein. This approach is similar to a Macrobiotic diet. The benefits of such a diet include a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer and a lower BMI (Body Mass Index).

As I read on, I realized that I’ve adopted this diet but instinctually. A vegetarian for 17 years and a runner for ten, when I started competing in triathlons I physically felt that I needed more protein to support my increased activity so I added in fish a few days per week. It’s a testament to the body’s ability to get what it needs.

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