Movie Review- Brittany Runs a Marathon

Or is it going to be EMILY runs a marathon…

Before watching this movie, I wondered how similar it would be to Emily runs a marathon. I’ve run 2.6 marathons; I completed 2 and DNF’ed another.

As a marathoner and dietitian, I’d like to clear up some misconceptions about marathon training.

Weight– stated in the movie is that you will lose weight while training for a marathon. Not true, it really depends on a multitude of factors including what and when you eat. I have seen  a few reasons for the opposite-weight gain. First, water weight, while training for a marathon, the muscles break down and for repair and rebuilding, it requires water. Also during taper weeks, the muscle store energy and water. The assumption that you’re burning a lot of calories, leads people to over consumption and in particular large portions of food. Just because you completed a long run, doesn’t mean you should order the large pizza.

Weight loss, it can happen. Maybe this is obvious, due to increased training and keeping diet fairly the same, people lose weight. This is isn’t necessarily healthy or unhealthy. You need to fuel yourself, for your runs, and recovery. So ask yourself, if you’re eating to support all of your goals.

Brittany mentioned she lost 34 lbs  then she threw away the scale. And I’m glad she finally threw the scale away. Marathon training should not be about weight loss. Marathon training is hard on your body and you need to refuel it. If you want or think you need to lose weight, I recommend trying to do so before marathon training or in the beginning weeks of marathon training and then maintaining weight. Marathon training should be more about your love of running than hate for your body.

So, I’d like mention that you should refuel your body properly with a nutrient dense diet e.g. lean protein, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, etc.


Sure, start training for a marathon and all of a sudden you hair will look better. In the beginning of the movie, Brittany was not taking care of herself and this included her hair. Her hair was a hot mess. Her hair improved with marathon training but likely it was from getting it color and using a brush. Really, it’s that simple- she needed to brush her hair. If anything, marathon will decrease your hair quality,  because you’ll be too busy to brush it and spend all the money on shoes rather than getting her hair done. Well, at least that was my experience…

Dating Websites

Train for a marathon, join a dating website. Okay, yes I’ve done this. It makes sense, as you train for a marathon you feel a newfound sense of confidence. Brittany as myself went on some real interesting OkCupid experiences. In the end, I appreciate that Brittany chose to respect herself and did not accept the disrespect from her boyfriend. In the end, Brittany ends up in a respectful relationship so that’s cool (not that I have any experience in that, lol). But respect!


 I appreciated that he brought up the healthy lifestyle with Brittany, but he approached it the wrong way. He told her she needed to lose 55 lbs, while this might have been her ideal body weight or might have had her fit nicely in the BMI chart, it doesn’t work. Brittany joked that she needed “to lose Siberian husky. Her sarcasm had a point. It’s unrealistic to demand and expect extreme weight loss to occur overnight.

SMART goals are effective and much more manageable. Patients should also choose their own health goals and be an active participant. Instead, I’d have rather the doctor ask some questions about Brittany and her health, maybe determine a weight goal together and refer to her to dietitian. I’m obviously biased, but I think a dietitian could have greatly helped in Brittany’s marathon refueling strategies and weight loss journey. Brittany could have formed a better relationship with food and achieved a goal weight in a more reasonable method.


Okay, friends I think you know I enjoy beer (and wine and liquor). Being a part of beer runner groups, it’s obvious I combine running and beer, although usually not simultaneously. I was sad to see that Brittany had a problem in alcohol in the beginning of the movie e.g. late night parting/ binge drinking, but while marathon training she abstained from alcohol altogether. Please do not think you have to abstain from alcohol while marathon training.

It’s okay to have a healthy relationship with alcohol i.e. 1 drinks for women and 2 drinks per day for men. And no, you aren’t supposed to stack them all from the week for Saturday night.


In response to expensive gym memberships, “running outside is $0.” Unfortunately, running outside is not $0, while it can be more cost effective than expensive studio gyms, there are certain items you MUST invest in. You are going to be running a lot and will definitely need these items:

  • Quality running shoes- let’s protect you feet
  • Sports bra- women only
  • Wicking material clothes- because you don’t want chafing.
  • Quality nutrition- all day nutrition including before, after, and during exercise

Nutrition- it’s not either or (Take out  versus Smoothie)

One scene of the movie shows Brittany looking in her fridge with all take out/ fast food and her runner neighbor drinking a smoothie. FYI, it’s not all or nothing as I felt this scene portrayed. Smoothies and takeout definitely have their place in a healthy diet, but there’s also a lot of other healthy foods for runners and all individuals.

My favorite Chinese takeout is the garlic broccoli with rice. It’s spicy and the rice is plain, so it’s kind of middle ground. I find the fried rices are sometimes too oily.

Smoothies- I just make mine at home. The fast food smoothies are usually loaded with fruit syrups or sugar and are very large. My very plain recipe is 1 cup mixed frozen berries, 1 cup yogurt,  2 TBSP hemp/ flax seeds. Occasionally, I’ll add a protein powder or vanilla extract to jazz it up.

AND the cheeseburger!! OMG as a runner, if you want a cheeseburger, please eat the cheese burger- you probably need the iron! There was a scene where, Brittany was “caught” eating a cheeseburger and felt guilty. This shouldn’t be the case, a cheeseburger in moderation is certainly healthy. Again, it’s not either or.


Also, I feel they left some of intense training aspects out. There’s a lot to marathon training like running 5-6 days per week, I don’t feel that was as highlighted in the movie as the weight loss part.

If you’re a runner and/ or dietitian, what did you think about the movie? Where do you think the mark was hit or missed?

Photo credit


Global Running Day 2017

Happy Global Running Day! Well, throwback edition! With all the hoopla of social media and Instagram,  Global Running Day exploded! I loved watching and seeing all the runs! A day just to celebrate running…isn’t every day meant to be spent enjoying life and running? But of all the special day holidays, I think this is one that makes sense! Running brings people together. During group runs, people share- people share their day’s, stories, and more. What’s better than a day created to celebrate the shares and community? Brands, run teams, people, and beer were all brought together on Global Running Day.

By being injured and not running, I’ve missed the social time with friends. So why not show up to a group run and enjoy some apple cider and food? Because, really isn’t that what Global Running Day is about? (Bringing people together.)

P.s. I also planned a couple group runs with Lane 9 and Sports Bra Squad on Global Running Day. More to come on this!

Protein Intro

Protein, Protein, Protein….Recently, I’ve seen a few athletes falter in the protein department. It might also be my most frequently asked question: “Protein, tell me more…” So, here’s a quick intro. This week, I’ll be doing a short series on the protein food group.

We all hear and read that we need PROTEIN and need a lot of it for good health, weight loss, training, etc. But is that actually true? Yes and no. Yes, protein is needed for good health and is very important for muscle recovery. However, most Americans are eating too much protein. The general recommendations are .8grams per kilogram of body weight. To put this in perspective, this is about 55 grams of protein for a 150lb person e.g. 1 restaurant steak may contain 62 grams of protein. So you can see that it is easy for someone to very quickly consume too much protein!

Dedicated Athletes: The recommendations are .8grams  of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is a baseline recommendation for the average individual trying to maintain current body weight and fitness.

Endurance athletes need more protein! Why?  Because we’re training, breaking down muscle, and we need to repair these muscles to come back stronger, faster, and fitter! Typically for an athlete in training, 1.2-1.4grams of protein for kilogram of body weight is recommended*.

Resistance Athletes need even more protein! Why? Because you’re building strength and making those muscle fibers break down. Typically for an athlete in training 1.6-1.7grams of protein for kilogram of body weight is recommended*.

*Note: These ranges vary based on the individual, sport, level of training, and various other factors. We’ll discuss this more later in the week. 🙂

Questions:  If you don’t know how to or don’t want to calculate your specific protein needs, please ask me!

Picture credit: Nuun (and the protein I ate after was some Vital Farms hardboiled eggs)

Next up: Meatless Monday and Why I do Dairy!

Sources (because, well I didn’t just make this up, haha):

1. Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2002.

2. Rosenbloom, C. (2012). Sports nutrition: a practice manual for professionals (5th ed.). Place of publication not identified: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

2017 Goals, OH HEY 5k

2017 has started off strong with a group run of 2.16 and then 2.17 miles with Best Foot Forward (and quick chat about sharing meals). My favorite restaurant trick is to split a meal with friend or eat half and take the other half home. The first November Project of the year was also a good one (pop-up at the Tribune Tower).

BBF New Year’s Run 2017

New Year, New Me? Ehh, I’m all about self improvement, year round! But it is the beginning of the year, so I’ve set some goals.


  1. Yoga! Finish Yoga Teacher Training and start teaching! That’s right in less than a month, I’ll be a legit Yoga Teacher with a fancy certificate and everything.
  2. Happiness/ Finding myself! Continue reining in the honesty/ keeping the filter on. 🙂 Continue doing things that make me happy- Running, Yoga, Brunch, nutrition work, etc.
  3. Race Smart! Since, I’m still currently injured, I’ve committed 2017 to year of short distance races. Oh hey 5k!! 5ks and weird distances only! Pss…I’m also excited to be a Chicago Athlete Ambassador (look for race recaps from me on their page).

Races currently on the books:

January 28th: F3 5k– Holy Smokes, I’m really training for it. It’s only taken me 3 attempts! 2 years ago, I volunteered. And last year, I was unable to train.

March 11th:Get Lucky 7k– A unique distance and cool swag!

April 15th: Quarter Marathon– My ONLY marathon of the year.

April 23rd: Good Life Race– I missed this race year. I’m glad to be doing it this year. It’s Oak Park’s finest!

May: TBD. Currently looking at 2 5k options- One in Colorado and one in Chicagoland. Maybe both!

July: Chinatown 5k and Hemingway 8k

October: Chicago International 5k

December: Chi-town Rising NYE 5k

Here’s to 2017 being a great year!!

Yoga Teacher Training (Adrienne is such a boss!)

2016 Recap

Jumping on the 2016 recap bandwagon….

In summary, I met a lot of great people! Oiselle Volée  and November Project people are some real inspiring people. I mean, who wakes up early to run, do pushups, and have fun? November Project! And who has an adult running camp- Oiselle Volée sure does!

November Project- I love Candy Workout
Fall Great Lakes Bird Camp 2016

Random things that I learned throughout 2016

Running- I learned I loved running the Chicago Lakefront path. There was lots of good running and races (see shadow photo?).

Yoga- It sure does help my running, but it also balances me overall. It helps me deal with daily stress, so I don’t stress.

Strength training/  bodyweight exercises- Don’t quite strength training to train for a marathon, you’ll possibly end up injured like me.

Nutrition – Yes, it’s important. Then again I guess I knew that, after 6 years of nutrition/ dietetics education. Although to be fair, I notice when I slack in eating healthy foods, my training and overall health suffer.

Work- Who knew I’d come up with Hangover Hacks?  Other highlights include connecting with other RDs, writing blog posts, nutrition facts panel updates, lots of emails, much more.

Sleep- Gotta get that in. I like a solid 8-10 hours depending on my training.

Trucker Hats- Is it just me or do I look good in hats, especially Trucker hats? (see Bend photo below).

Travel- It’s a toss up. I love Bend and Boston. Great People and food makes for  great places.

Lifepoints Weekend in Bend
At NP Boston with Jenna (check out her new blog).

Here’s to 2017!!  Currently setting some mindful goals over here. You should do the same! Hit me up, if you want some nutrition-related suggestions.

What’s in my Bag

What’s in my bag? I hear this question a lot. My bookbag is often overflowing and while I try to condense, EVERYTHING is essential!  (Cat not included.) As Grandma used to say, “My bag is my life.”

  • Food- top priority gotta fuel the machine over here. Typically, I pack a lunch and a few snacks (mid morning and mid afternoon). Example: Mid morning snack: Almonds & Orange, Lunch: Seitan, spinach, and brown rice (green mug/bowl), Afternoon snack: Banana & Kefir (from refrigerator)
  • Hydration- Even in the winter you have to hydrate! Nuun is great for all electrolytes. (Even in the winter, I am drenched in sweat after a speed workout).
  • Coach’s papers- I’m old school like that. I print Coach’s running plan, core workout, and drills for easy reference. I’m currently on my 5k plan for the F3 Winter 5k. (Thanks Coach Becki Spellman)
  • Running clothes & Shoes: socks, tights, top, underwear, bra, headband, buff, etc. Mostly Oiselle, but you probably knew that. The Runwear Pullover is my favorite, recently I said, “I love it. I’m not sure how I ever lived without it. I wore it today with some rain drizzle. I love the chest. It protects my boobs and makes me feel strong.”
  • Toiletries- bare minimum= hair brush, dry shampoo, deodorant, and bismoline. The Bismoline is actually from my Grandma and it’s great for blister prevention. Who ran at lunch? Not me….You’d never know.
  •  Massage/Lacrosse ball: You never know when you might need to roll out!
  • Doterra’s Athlete Kit: If I feel like I need a boost, feeling sick, or need some muscle pain relief? Doterra’s Athlete kit has me covered. Essential Oils for speed (peppermint), sickness (Onguard- citrus and clove), relaxation (lavender), and pain relief (deep blue rub) .
  • Not pictured: work papers (trust me, you don’t want to read my notes), flashdrive, keys, wallet, phone, maybe some other things, I forgot. haha.

And now you know, what’s in my bag! So yea, Grandma was right- my bag is my life. I’ve got a November Project shirt, a Lively headband, run your butt off Rundies, and food- which is definitely essential.


Chicago Marathon 2016, it’s coming

Okay…So I’ve been in denial since signing up for the Chicago Marathon 2016 in April. I keep asking myself, “why did I do this to myself? Won’t I just get injured, again?” And all the training, just all of the training. But, I wanted a second chance at the marathon. I ran Chicago in 2014 and ended up with IT band issues; therefore I ran/ walked.  While, I certainly finished the marathon, it wasn’t what I trained for. So, I’m tackling the marathon again with running coach, all of the glute work, and of course, great nutrition!

I’ve certainly learned a lot along the way like maybe I’m just not a long distance runner. Can I get a high five for the 5k? The 8k distance is also a great one! Anyways, it is true, I’m doing the Chicago Marathon 2016, injury-free/healthy and its taper time (aka Emily is a little nutty, ignoring everyone, and getting all the sleep)!

Although, I will say I’ve enjoyed all my long training runs especially with Lifepoints- Picky Bar Weekend and at Fall Great Lakes Bird Camp with my fellow Oiselle Teammates! More recently, I ran with Heartbreak Hill Running Co in Boston (psss…I’m excited to one day, run the Boston Marathon). My current mantra is “Make it Happen!” And I know that yes, one day I will BQ, if I want to, but until that time, please enjoy this selfie (Oiselle’d out at Heartbreak Running Co. because we all know I’m a heartbreaker! 😉


Psss….the O satellite tank is my favorite tank!  Oh, and more exciting things i.e. more personal blogs to come! Bet you just can’t wait for my Marathon recap!







Soulcycle= Spin for the Soul

Boutique fitness studios are becoming increasing popular. Barre, HITT, and Spin studios are popping up all over the place. Over the weekend, I got the chance to try out Soulcycle courtsey of Target- not once, but twice. #SoulcyclexTarget Here are my thoughts:

Loved: Format of HITT cardio, wonderful instructors, energy of the experience

Ehhh?/ Love to Hate: Loud music, variety of instructors, Upper Body Strength, the feeling that you have to exactly the same as everyone else.

Conclusion: If you love spin class, want a great workout, love loud music, and are willing to do upper body strength, then Soulcycle is the fitness studio for you. If not, do your thing- whether it’s strolling the neighborhood, running for your life, or pounding some weights- STAY ACTIVE!

Want to know more? Just ask. Meanwhile, I’ll be at gym or maybe another Soulcycle class.