When I first started running, little did I know about properly fueling my body for training and performance. It wasn’t until after a few workouts I would feel depleted, that I realized I needed to change my eating habits in order to continue training. Although, I ate a well-balanced diet, I found myself skipping meals while my body was screaming for more fuel.
Did you know that according to Active.com, you will be burning an extra 100 calories roughly for each mile that you run? After learning this fun fact and doing more research on my poor eating patterns, I started to adopt a healthier diet that includes these essentials: carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals such as calcium.
Here are my top 8 ways to stay healthy:
Breakfast – This is my favorite meal of the day, not only because I have the chance to burn the calories off, but because I like to include boiled eggs, multigrain bread, oatmeal and yogurt.
Pre-Run – Before the run, I normally don’t eat. I will have my caffeine fix and a glass of water to keep me hydrated.
Pre-racing breakfast – If I am racing, I will have a bowl of oatmeal with some brown sugar and fruit. Sometimes, I will have pancakes with fruit, about a couple of hours before the race. If there is no time to eat, I will bring a protein bar with me or have a smoothie.
Lunch – Usually, I will have some soup or a salad.
Snack – If I am running after work, I will bring an apple or any other light snack before the workout. This will sustain me until dinner.
Water – I drink plenty of water, about eight cups a day. I make sure to drink enough water throughout the day. I like to find routes that have water stops along the way or I bring a water bottle with me.
Vitamins – I take vitamin C each day to fight off any colds.
Next day racing – I am racing the next day, I eat foods that I know agree with me; otherwise, I’ll end up with an upset stomach. I also avoid creamy sauces or spices. Making healthier food choices was key to improving my running and a quicker recovery.
I still enjoy having snack foods and I do have a sweet tooth, but I keep everything in moderation. Now I keep healthier snacks around like pumpkin seeds, so I won’t overindulge.
Christine Blanchette loves to run, so much so that she transformed that passion into a career.
Run With It is a local television program on Novus TV’s Community Channel via Shaw Media. Blanchette is the host and explores Metro Vancouver’s vibrant running scene. She interviews athletes, provides nutrition and wellness advice, and showcases a number of trails in and around British Columbia. In her free time, Blanchette writes for a few other publications, including Women’s Post!
Run With It is regarded as BC’s only running, fitness, and health shows. Women’s Post sat down with Blanchette to find out how Run With It started and where she wants to be in another five years!
Q: How did Run With It start?
A: I always had a passion for running and thought it would be great to have a show on running, fitness and health. My producer friend Doug Lucas suggested I send him my show idea, and we then put together a proposal and a pilot to submit to Shaw. It was accepted and the show first aired in 2013.
Why local cable – it’s a form of broadcast that seems to be disappearing?
Shaw was accepting show proposals and it would be great to have air first on cable. I believe we still need both traditional [broadcast] and social media to engage our audience or viewers.
Your show has been around for five years – what has changed since you started? What have you learned?
The TV landscape has changed in that fewer people are watching TV. YouTube has become more popular or building your show online seems to be the best to attract viewers or subscribers.
Who has been your favourite person to interview?
That is a good question. There are so many, but I would have to say international recording artist Bif Naked. She is engaging and a delightful person.
What’s your background? What did you do prior to Run With It?
I have been in broadcasting prior to 2013. I used to be a live host [and do] half hours interviews for a show called WestSide profile on Rogers TV. I’ve done freelance hosting and was also a production assistant. I did that for about 10 years. I also studied at BCIT part-time in the evenings.
What advice do you have for women who may not be super fit, who are thinking of taking up running this summer?
I think the key is to see your doctor first before starting to run. Find a program that will allow you to [transition] your running, like an interval walking-running program.
What are your hopes for the next five years?
My hopes are to keep building my show and have my show on network television.
Watch Run With It on Blanchette’s Youtube channel.
“Country roads take me home…” this song by John Denver could have been inspired by the route to Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia. Just substitute Lillooet Ranges for Blue Ridge Mountains and the mighty Fraser for Shenandoah River. There could be no more appropriate song running through my head while driving to Agassiz, a small community located in the Upper Fraser Valley region. With picturesque mountain views, wide open vistas of farmlands with rolling hills and the smell of country fresh air, it was almost heaven, and the serenity reminded me of growing up on a hobby farm in the Eastern Townships, in Richmond, Quebec.
Outdoor Activities: Agassiz, B.C.
About 5km outside Harrison Hot Springs we made a couple of stops, firstly at Farm House Natural Cheeses. Featuring a country style store with seemingly every kind of exotic cheeses you could desire, including hand made artisan cheese produced on site. My partner and I enjoyed the company of goats and dairy cows at some of the large and tidy barns. At our next mini tour, we visited the Back Porch Coffee Roastery, where the owners, Dan and Lynda welcomed us into their studio. We noticed an antique coffee roaster dating back to 1919, as well as other collectibles and antiques. Their expansive property was immaculately kept, with manicured lawns surrounding heritage buildings loaded with character, to go with a million dollar view.
Both the Farmhouse Natural Cheeses and the Back Porch Coffee Roastery are ideal tourist stops for the whole family. It was a chance to unwind before heading to Harrison Hot Springs, which was our ultimate destination.
We were excited to visit Harrison Hot Springs, as we always enjoy running the trails or the lakeside pathway and then soaking in the hot springs pool after a workout. Harrison Hot Springs is a small, friendly resort community of about 1,500 people. There are so many outdoors activities, from boating, fishing, golfing, kayaking, etc. It is THE place for a runner’s getaway or just a gorgeous destination to escape from the city, about a 130km drive from Vancouver. Harrison Hot Springs is at the Southern end of Harrison Lake in the Fraser Valley and is world famous for its natural healing hot springs, which attracts tourists and locals alike year round.
Spirit Mask Trail:
We walked the Spirit Mask Trail, which is a circuitous 1km route through pristine forest lands just a few minutes from the village, though it seemed longer as it was enjoyable not just for the walk through the woods, but because many trees are decorated with carved masks from local artists. Each mask depicts a different mood, creating a thought-provoking setting. The walk is fun for the whole family and is a wonderful photo opportunity.
Health/Wellness – Muddy Waters Café:
After our workout it was time to refuel with some healthy eats at Muddy Waters Café, which is family owned and located in the heart of the village. We could feel a sense of community spirit upon entering the room. Located on the main strip with spectacular mountain and lake views, we were greeted by manager, Richard Fife, who recommended the yogurt plate served with an assortment of fruit along with homemade jam and healthy grain bread, while my partner, John had salmon over scrambled eggs with fresh fruit. Richard says proudly, “we source all of our food locally,” which includes an extensive menu for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. We enjoyed our breakfast in this charming café that also offers specialty coffees, which we couldn’t refuse. Overall, if you are a foodie you will want to try out this place.
Black Forest Restaurant:
You can virtually enjoy a slice of Germany – right in the village since 1975 – at the Black Forest Restaurant where naturally, you will find the most delicious black forest cake. This family-run business offers authentic German food, with all spices coming directly from Germany. If you like beer with your bratwurst, the restaurant offers the Krombacher Pilsner, which is an exquisite German brew, served in B.C. exclusively at Black Forest restaurants in Harrison Hot Springs and New Westminster. We enjoyed our meal, which was recommended by owner and chef, Vic Singh. His wife Kamal says, “we also offer vegetarian plates.” The restaurant is in the heart of the village, offering delicious German cuisine, along with breathtaking views from its upstairs patio deck.
Harrison Beach Hotel:
A better view will not be found at Harrison Hot Springs than from our suite at the Harrison Beach Hotel. Stepping onto the huge balcony from the front room, I knew instantly this was what the doctor had ordered. It not only offered stunning vistas of the lakeshore and beyond, closer inspection revealed kitchenette with fridge, separate bedroom, two TVs and coffee. If you thought you’d seen it all when it comes to towel art and design, you’d best make the trip. The design art towels for the bathroom made me feel almost guilty for actually using them. Importantly, the coffee maker, together with Starbucks coffee, was a much-appreciated convenience for runners and writers like us.
Harrison Hot Springs offers something for everyone, from a stroll through the village, to soaking in the hot springs, to running the lakeshore pathway and much more. At just a stone throw from Vancouver, it’s the perfect getaway where you are limited only by your imagination.