This post is a guest post by Becky Leung. Becky blogs about being a gluten-free athlete at www.fiercerunner.com.
My name is Becky Leung, and I’m a gluten-free distance runner. I started running five years ago when I began training for my first half marathon. Since then, I’ve run 11 half marathons. I’ve been gluten-free for about 18 months after years of stomachaches, headaches, nausea and feeling weak.
After I went gluten-free, I improved my half marathon time by 50 minutes and marathon time by a little more than 60 minutes. Not to mention I lost more than 28 pounds and have more energy than ever!
I met the owners of Happy Campers at my naturopath’s open house, and I fell in love with their bread. I incorporate Happy Campers bread products in my training, eating it before my runs and as snacks post-run.
Tip One: Find gluten free alternatives to eat before training.
Before going gluten-free, I would eat whole-wheat toast or oatmeal before my runs. I now stick to three snack options that I know I can easily prepare: Happy Campers bread, sweet potatoes or a gluten-free energy bar. I stock up on these foods ahead of time each week so I always have a go-to meal.
Tip Two: Eat frugally while living gluten free.
I tend to be a frugal person, and grocery budgets are top of mind for me. After going gluten-free, I had to get gluten-free versions of all my favorite foods. I also started to eat more meat, vegetables and fruit. I noticed my grocery bill increased by 20 percent. After working with a naturopath, I began eating less processed foods, which helped me get my grocery budget under control. I also buy gluten-free grains and nuts in bulk. I love getting fresh veggies or Happy Campers bread at the local farmers market!
Tip Three: Keep learning.
My biggest suggestion is to continually learn about gluten-free options, and eat food that is naturally gluten-free. I love reading blogs that have gluten-free tips and recipes to try. I especially love reading about gluten-free options for athletes so I can improve my performance.
Although going gluten-free can be challenging, it is a fun journey and truly the best decision I have ever made for my health!