By Maria Kasdagly IN MAKwellness
Grandma’s Marathon Weekend starts today! It is an annual road race held each June in Duluth, Minnesota, in the United States. The course runs point-to-point from the town of Two Harbors on Scenic Route 61 and continues along Lake Superior into the city of Duluth. Grandma’s Marathon weekend features the 16th largest Full Marathon, the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, and the William A. Irvin 5K.
In honor of all those running the Grandma’s Marathon this weekend in Duluth, MN, I whipped up a healthy batch of Banana Bread that has a great combination of carbohydrates and protein sure to keep your feet movin’. Marathon runners and athletes in general should eat a diet high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat.
The body’s preferred fuel for running (or any endurance sport) is muscle glycogen. Glycogen is excess carbohydrates that our body stores in tissues like muscle. When muscle glycogen catabolism exceeds its replacement, glycogen stores become depleted. This can lead to fatigue and the inability to maintain the endurance event. To keep energy high and maintain an adequate endurance level, runners must have a diet that is carbohydrate rich. Carbohydrates should provide 60-70% of total daily calories.
In order to maintain regular physical performance protein is needed for muscle growth and repair. During any type of training our body will breakdown muscle, so that is why it is crucial to have protein in the diet to help rebuild and repair our tissues. However, when muscle glycogen stores become depleted due to inadequate calories from carbohydrate intake, protein can be used for energy instead of muscle repair. Using protein as energy is very expensive and inefficient to the body, so that is why appropriate amount of carbohydrate intake is crucial for an endurance athlete. Protein should contribute 12-15% of total calories/day (or multiply your weight in pounds by 0.6 to calculate the number of grams of protein you should consume per day).
Serves 10 slices
For Topping (optional)
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By Maria Kasdagly IN MAKwellness
Those that know me know that I am oddly fascinated by the colon. An organ often ignored by many individuals and so under appreciated, and I think it is mainly because it is associated with “poop”. Yep…I said it “poop” and once you say it a few times it doesn’t sound too bad. Many people hate to talk about or even think about their routinely domestics, but everybody poops and it’s vital for our health and survival. So now that we got that out of the way, let’s discuss our extraordinary colon!
The large intestine (colon) is comprised of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, and sigmoid colon. Its primary function includes the absorption and secretion of electrolytes and water, as well as the storage and excretion of waste materials. The human large intestine can be described as a complex microbial ecosystem. It is thought that at least 50 genera of bacteria reside in the colon, and is comprised of several hundred species. The large intestine is by far the most heavily colonized region of the digestive tract, with trillions of bacteria often referred to as probiotics (Pro= encouraging, Biotic=life). There is a whole other universe in all our colons!
Did you know that 60-70% of their immune system is located in the gut? A vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue) and the probiotics in our gut are constantly interfacing with the GALT and essentially priming the immune system for contact with other bacteria. They serve as a way for the body to learn how to respond to bacteria without actually having to suffer an infection. I know, the colon is so cool!
Most people have heard of probiotics and how important they are to incorporate in our diets to maintain optimum health, however, few know that we need to consume prebiotics too! Think about your good bacteria as a pet and you must feed your pet, that is exactly what prebiotcs do; essentially prebiotics are food for your probiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that stimulate the growth and/or activity of bacteria in the digestive system to benefit health. Most prebiotics are found in foods rich in oligosaccharides or fructo-oligosaccharides, i.e. plant foods (fiber). They are naturally sweet and often are added to other foods as the sweetener. So what foods are rich in prebiotics, you ask?
Here are a few prebiotic rich foods easily found in our grocery stores:
So take care of your colon and your health by providing a healthy, thriving, and nurturing environment for your probiotics! The more you love them the more they will love you back!
Here is a great recipe combine probiotics and prebiotics! Enjoy!
Pesto Quinoa with Apple, English Peas, and Endives