While marathon training it is standard for me to run 90+ miles per week.

I’m also a Registered Dietitian with a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science.

So the question I get more than any other is “What do you eat?”

But much to many people’s dissatisfaction I don’t eat anything special. I just try to follow the standard guidelines for a “healthy diet.” I eat lots of whole grains, get at least 25 grams of fiber per day, try to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, incorporate plenty of lean meats and dairy products, and try to mix in healthier fats when I can.

That’s not to say I do this without flaw. I’m kind of well-known amongst friends for my LOVE of beer and soda, and my appreciation of fast-food and desserts.

Do as I say, not as I do.

The second most common question I’ve found myself getting is “Are you going to eat that?”

So, in all honesty, before almost every race my breakfast of choice has been Pop-Tarts and a Mountain Dew.

I should note, even though I said it above, this is absolutely not representative of my typical day-to-day dietary choices, but I do absolutely love this as a pre-race meal*. It’s a great source of very easily digestible carbs, a tiny bit of fat, and what I think is just the right amount of caffeine. And at this point, it’s largely superstitious (I’ve won 3 marathons on that meal).

But because food and diet are the things I get asked about the most. And because diet truly can make or break training and performance for most athletes (myself included), I’ll touch on this regularly in my blog as well.

*Disclaimer: I am not recommending you start eating Pop-Tarts and drinking Mountain Dew before your next race… but I am saying they’re delicious!