Shobha Reddy is a fitness guru and personal trainer based in the Bay Area. She will answer reader queries on fitness and nutrition. Questions may be sent to her via our feedback form.
1. What are the diet challenges for a vegetarian who wants to train for a marathon?
For any person training for a marathon, he or she needs to consume a lot of complex carbohydrates which will give him a lot of energy for endurance events, such as marathons. Complex carbohydrates include whole wheat bread and brown rice, NOT white rice and white bread, etc. Moderate to high protein consumption is also needed. This is one of the challenges for vegetarians. Good vegetarian protein sources are nuts, lentils, tofu, and cheese. There is nothing wrong with adding a little protein powder to a meal as well. Morning fruit smoothie shakes with protein powder is a great addition.
The key is not to skip balanced meals when training for a marathon.
2. After age 40 what are the diet no-nos and fitness yes-yesses for a woman?
Women need to cut back their sugar intake, including sweets, simple carbs such as white bread/rice, and soda, and increase their iron intake such as broccoli and green leafy vegetables. Fitness should be increased to at least six times a week. Weight training is a must to prevent osteoporosis, especially after age 40.