Have I ever told you about the time I trained for the Chicago marathon while living in Atlanta???

Yes, I trained for a marathon in the summer in Atlanta. That means I battled the 3 H's:

Heat. OMG, I get why they call it Hotlanta. Last summer, it was 90+ the whole summer. 

Humidity. I walk outside and my perfectly straight hair is poofy all of a sudden and my shirt is drenched in sweat even if I didn't go running.

Hills. I feel like a grandmother saying this, but every morning on my training runs, I literally ran uphill both ways. There wasn't a flat mile in sight. 

I worked HARD last summer. I did not skip any training runs because of poor planning. I was never hungover on Saturday morning, which is better than I did the previous year. I did miss a few runs because I had a terrible sinus infection... but I gave that training my all last summer. I pushed myself harder than I have ever pushed myself.

And yet, I didn't hit my goal on race day.

What happened? My feet started hurting after I hit the mile 3 marker.

A marathon is 26.2 miles!!!!!

I had to stop and take my shoes off and stretch and massage my feet. I had some 15 min miles in that race. I had some 18 minute miles in that race! I didn't do my best because my feet were in so much pain. 

You can watch some snaps of the marathon below.

I know myself. I have been learning about food at its effects on my body for 3 years now. I know when I eat highly processed foods, my body starts to hurt. Like I am in physical PAIN. (I'm a generally healthy 32 year old with no other health problems!!) Where does it hurt the most?

My feet. I used to have the worst pain in my feet when I woke up in the morning. I struggled walking some days. And at the end of a long day of teaching, I had to take off my shoes because I couldn't stand the pain anymore. My co-workers used to make fun of my socks every afternoon! This is before I started learning about food...

When I eat clean aka mostly vegetables, lean protein, and non-processed carbs, I feel my best.

But what did I eat before the marathon?

I had pizza (and pasta and bread) 3 days in a row. I LOVE PIZZA. I was in Chicago with the best pizza ever and visiting my Italian family. Pizza is life, right? I just don't think it was good for my body eating it 3 days in a row before the marathon.

I learned my lesson. There are other carbs I can eat to carb up before my runs. 

This year, I am focusing on eating clean the best that I can so that I can run my best. I don't want the inflammation in my body!! I don't want my feet to hurt on my long runs or on marathon day! Sure, there will be treats along the way because we are on this planet once and trying to be perfect with food sounds BLAH to me. But I want to eat clean so that all the training work I do for this race is executed on race day. :)

I keep it SUPER, SUPER SIMPLE so that I do not get overwhelmed and do not get discouraged and quit. I don't spend 5 hours on Sunday chopping things and browsing Pinterest for meals. I just eat a LOT of plants to fuel my body!!

I've worked so hard on this guide, and I am excited to share my tips and recipes with you.

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