Marathoning: The Columbia Diet

In my last Marathoning column, I wrote about pain and rotisserie chicken.

Every Friday, an “interesting” pseudo-celebrity—often a food professional—publishes their diet on Grub Street. This egoistic and strangely entertaining exercise in narcissism seemed like fun, so I decided to keep track of what I ate for a week. Currently, I’m about three weeks away from running the Fargo marathon; tomorrow, I plan on an 18 miler. Without further ado, my marathoning diet.

Friday 4/22:

For breakfast, I ate a strawberry 0% Chobani and a banana. Headed off to my internship, where I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch: two tablespoons Jif Extra Crunchy and 1 tablespoon Tiptree Red Currant Jelly on Zingerman’s Farm Bread. For a snack, I had a Kind bar, almond cashew protein flavor. On Saturday, I planned for a 15 mile run, so I needed to carbo-load at dinner. I went to Hung Ry for some hand-pulled noodles. I had the pork belly, pork shoulder, ramps, and turnip soup. The broth tastes like an absolute distillation of ham, a pure expression of pigginess—delicious. I happened to walk past a Pinkberry and had a small lychee frozen yogurt with mochi, lime, and coconut. Later that evening, I still felt hungry, so I ate three pieces of honey wheat bread with one tablespoon Jif Extra Crunchy, one tablespoon nutella, and one tablespoon Tiptree red currant. And some Joyva Sesame Crunch candy for good measure.

Saturday 4/23:

When I woke up, I ate a piece of honey wheat bread before I headed out on my run. Unfortunately, it was raining, so I decided to run on the treadmill. I ran 15 miles on the treadmill, just staring out the window—more mentally than physically grueling. Refueling is essential immediately after a long run in order to begin repleting glycogen stores and repairing microtears in muscles, so I ate a chocolate and oats Nature Valley bar. Then, I had brunch at Bettolona. The pizza solare comes with ham, tomato, mozzarella, and an egg—I love how the yolk bursts and coats the pie. Later that afternoon, I ate a raspberry 0% Chobani, some almonds, and a banana. I craved barbecue for dinner, so I went to Hill Country. I thought much of the food was mediocre at best, and the atmosphere felt incredibly artificial. Nevertheless, the quarter chicken, half pound of moist brisket, campfire beans with burnt ends, and corn pudding I ate satisfied my tired body. I walked past a Jamba Juice (this is a recurring theme) and had a 16 ounce “Apples n’ Greens” smoothie, which tasted like sour, vegetal apple juice.

Sunday 4/24:

In order to stay loose, I walked approximately five miles. I stopped at Levain Bakery for a blueberry muffin and a whole wheat raisin roll. I definitely did not hydrate properly during and after my long run, because I felt thirsty the entire day. Drank some coconut water and munched on a greenmarket Fuji apple post-bakery. I wasn’t very hungry for lunch, so I just had a piece of honey wheat bread with a tablespoon of Jif Extra Crunchy, and a strawberry goji 0% Fage yogurt. During the afternoon, I had some almonds, a dark mocha almond Kashi TLC granola bar, and a banana. For dinner, I had a salad from Milano Market—ham, red beans, roasted red peppers, sauteed mushrooms, tomatoes, and cucumber with Dijon balsamic dressing. Around 9 pm I got ravenously hungry and ate a Kind macadamia coconut bar.

Monday 4/25:

After my eight mile run, I ate a peanut butter and orange marmalade sandwich: two tablespoons Peter Pan creamy peanut butter, one tablespoon Tiptree orange marmalade, and three pieces of 12 grain bread. I also at a blueberry 2% Fage and a banana. Over the course of the afternoon, I ate a Kind almond apricot bar, some almonds, and a honey 0% Fage. I needed to visit Warique Peruvian Kitchen again for my Columbia Daily Spectator review, so after class I hiked down Amsterdam. I had half of the Causa Peruan en Camaron—cold mashed potatoes, avocado, and aji amarillo with shrimp, and the Ceviche Mixto—fresh corvina chunks, shrimp, octopus, calamari, and scallops marinated in lime juice mixed with red onions, cilantro, and hot pepper served with a side of sweet potato and corn. I drank an Inca Kola and had two caramels after dinner.

Tuesday 4/26:

On my “staying loose” walk, I picked up a whole wheat pecan muffin from Silver Moon Bakery, which satisfied my carbohydrate craving. For lunch, I had two tablespoons of Jif Extra Crunchy, one tablespoon Tiptree red currant, and two pieces of 12 grain bread, along with a blueberry acai 0% Fage. In the subway station on my way to my internship, I had a dark mocha almond Kashi TLC granola bar. For dinner, went to Chipotle for a steak fajita burrito with green salsa and guacamole. After my meeting, I was craving fruit so I grabbed some cantaloupe at Hamdel. The fruit at Hamdel is actually amazingly ripe and fresh, I highly recommend it.

Wednesday 4/27:

Post-run I ate lunch at Panino Sportivo. I ordered the Eva, P45, but they were out of mozzarella. So I ended up getting goat cheese with ham, Dijon mustard, and plum tomatoes on that spectacular toasted bread. Before my presentation on nuclear licensing post-Fukushima, I ate a dark mocha almond Kashi TLC granola bar. In the afternoon, I ate about half a cup of cashews, peanuts, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds and another dark mocha almond bar. Dinner was two tablespoons Peter Pan creamy peanut butter, one tablespoon Tiptree red currant, and three pieces of 12 grain bread. Also, a pineapple 2% Chobani. I did not eat enough calories during the day, so after my evening class I ate some Hamdel pineapple, half a bag of pork rinds (super high in protein!) and another piece of 12 grain bread.

Thursday 4/28:

After my run I immediately went to Hamdel and ordered the Fat Boy, since I still needed to write my Tour de Hamdel post. Between classes I ate a dark mocha almond Kashi TLC granola bar, and as an afternoon snack I had a plain 2% Fage with a teaspoon of Tiptree red currant jelly. Following the Journal of Politics & Society launch party, I headed over to Tea Magic (which, in my defense, was featured on Serious Eats). I ate some chicken and corn dumplings, and drank a yogurt green tea with boba. For dessert, I had watermelon from Hamdel.

Basically, I consume between 2600 and 3200 calories most days, run about 40 miles a week, and try to eat a balanced variety of foods. My food expenditures come pretty close (without being exact) to the cost of the Columbia meal plan—this week represents a slightly atypical sample, since I found myself far away from my fridge on a few occasions. I’m interested in student diets, so feel free to post about your own Columbia/other college diet in the comments, or email me at

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