Posted by: realifemermaid | November 2, 2013

Nutrition Facts

The USMS Magazine Swimmer came in my mailbox today, with an article in it about fueling for marathon swimming.  Yay!  It actually turned out to be a slightly disappointing article, giving advice that pretty much whatever works for you goes, and seriously put down maltodextrin and similar super-carbohydrates.  But….it got me thinking about making a post about my own nutrition. 

I don’t really know why the article bashed gels and Maxim so much.  My training partners love Maxim.  I do not tolerate liquids very well, but I love gels and even though I have a favorite brand and flavor (Power Gel’s Kona Punch…I like tropical punch stuff anyway and it reacts with saltwater to make a nice mouth-taste after eating!) I can eat pretty much any brand and flavor without serious digestive stress.  I like solid food after three hours of swimming because I can feel it filling up an empty void in the pit of my stomach…it just feels so satisfying! 

Swimmer usually publishes an article about nutrition in every magazine.  They have addressed the low-carb verses low calories verses Paleo verses every other diet under the sun.  Just recently though, I read an article from Runs on Plants about how most endurance athletes do not follow a specific diet plan, but follow “agnostic eating”.


Agnostic healthy eating has no particular rules, but there’s a simple guideline that makes it easier to practice consistently.

Agnostic eating:  (From  There are 10 basic types of foods: vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, high-quality meats and fish, whole grains, dairy, refined grains, low-quality meats, sweets and fried foods. The first two types are classified as “mandatory,” the next four as “recommended” and the last four as “acceptable.”

The one rule of agnostic healthy eating is this: Each week you must eat each of the two mandatory foods more often than any other food type; you must eat any of the recommended food types you choose to eat more often an any of the acceptable food types; and you must eat any of the acceptable food types you choose to eat less often than any of the mandatory or recommended food types.

Out of all the nutritional articles I read (including Swimmer stating to never eat a doughnut or candy…not even after swimming the English Channel!) I think this is the best, most simple, practical advice for fueling grueling workouts.  

I also do not eat meat by choice…fish occasionally….and am allergic to casein, the protein in milk, as well as shellfish.  So with dairy and meat taken out of my diet, it can take some careful planning to make my diet meet my training needs. 

I am frequently asked, “What do you EAT??” Just a few examples because this entry has Friday night ramblings all over it.  (Sorry for that.  Hope the info is at least interesting).

Currently I am obsessed with Whole Food’s dairy and meat free butternut squash (eggs though…not suitable for vegans…). 

Quinoa with fruit and vegetables (like pasta salads)

Peanut butter…too much peanut butter on lazy weeks…

Salmon, tuna, or “fake” meat…but I try to limit this.

Pasta.  I love pasta. 

Sweet potatoes.


Comments on this entry will be eaten like candy!  Thoughts on nutrition or your meals/recipes if you eat like I do!!



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