Since I started running again, I can see a direct correlation between what I eat and how I feel. Yesterday, for example, I ate a Green Goddess salad with chicken from Carrot Express for lunch and felt miserable during a "race pace" training run. I was dying for vegetables after a holiday hiatus so I ignored the need for grains before my run. It made me feel miserable during my workout—as in this drama queen nearly cried midway—and slowed me down by nearly 10 seconds per mile.
In preparation for the Key West Half, the other races I have this year, and...well...life, I have decided to put an emphasis this year on being healthier by fueling my body correctly. I'm forgoing past year goals to look skinnier or lose weight because 29 years of experience have shown me those don't stick around past January. Instead, I am going to focus on making sure I feel healthy every day (and that my "food coma" moments are few and far between) by prioritizing fresh, nutrient dense foods. I know my body will thank me for it.
Before the holidays, I stopped by Manna Life Food—a superfood café in Downtown Miami that we heard raves about on social media—in hopes that their juices, shots, and superfood dishes could balance all of the junk I was eating. As a Mexican niña used to drinking hibiscus agua fresca during childhood, I couldn't resist starting with a refreshing, fiber and Omega 3-rich Hibiscus Chia Fresca juice. For lunch I had the soup of the day (minty pea soup during my visit), the avocado superfood arepa, and a cup of their seasonal chocolate chip mint cheesecake, all of which were excellent. I want to come back to try their chia pudding, "noritos" (tofu, veggie or falafel burritos in a nori wrap) and the life bowls. Also, if you run through downtown, Manna Life Food is a great place to stop and refuel post-run with a smoothie.
Choosing to be healthier is easy when you have access to delicious, healthy food like at Manna Life Food. (I mean just look at how good their food looks in the photos below.) And, until I can hone my kitchen skills—my Matthew Kinney holiday cooking class taught me I don't have a natural talent for preparing raw or vegan dishes—I am thankful Miami has a quickly growing community of healthy restaurants to keep me on track. What are your 2017 resolutions?