Yeah, so gluten is pretty much in everything. And it’s especially in carbs, which makes training for endurance events—like the, ahem, IRONMAN—kind of tricky. We recently caught up with LUNA Chix Pro Team member and professional triathlete Tyler Stewart, as well as her friend and Team LUNA Chix San Francisco Bay area member, Kelly Oliver, about their transition to gluten-free eating. Read on for how they fuel their bodies, minus the gluten!
Top 5 Tips for Training Gluten-Free
1. Get creative with your carbs. Carbs don’t have to be just come from wheat. Here’s Tyler’s usual breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner of champions:
· Breakfast: A gluten-free English muffin with almond butter
· Mid-morning snack: Fruit and/or a gluten-free LUNA Protein bar (her favorite flavor is Cookie Dough)
· Lunch: A big energizing salad with chicken for protein and roasted potatoes for carbohydrates
· Dinner: Chicken, a baked potato and brown rice
· Her favorite indulgence: Ice cream and gluten-free cookies
2. Be prepared. With a busy corporate schedule as Microsoft’s West Coast chief of staff, Kelly far too often finds herself relying on catered lunches that are far too often not gluten free. So to make sure she always has a gluten-free meal on hand, Kelly makes a big batch of her signature “Hobo Stew” at the beginning of the week and brings it for lunch. To make your own hobo stew, combine cooked ground turkey, black beans, rice and tomatoes for a healthy and power-packed gluten-free meal.
3. Find substitutions for your cravings. A self-proclaimed sushi addict, Tyler misses soy sauce but has found Tamari and a lot of ginger do the trick! Also, Kelly’s favorite Friday-night pasta dinners are now replaced with rice pastas and what she claims is a great craving killer—wine!
4. Focus on protein. Tyler knows the importance of eating a protein-filled snack or meal within half an hour after completing a workout to help repair and build up your muscles. When she knows she won’t be able to have meal right away, Tyler makes sure to stash a protein bar in her gym bag to give her the protein she needs.
5. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Tyler recognizes that training and intense workouts can put your immune system at risk for colds and illness, so she incorporates a few supplements and vitamins, both Tyler and Kelly have seen a noticeable improvement in their training, racing and overall health as they no longer have to deal with bloating, gas and puffiness. Tyler no longer has to worry about her irritable and unpredictable stomach when going on long runs, bike rides or during races, so she can keep her eye and mind on the prize…not the bathroom.
What are your favorite gluten-free foods? Any of you who are gluten free and into racing? Tell us about it! —Jenn