Marathoning: The Columbia Diet (Part 2)

Last spring, I recorded my diet three weeks before the Fargo Marathon. Currently, I’m building back towards marathon fitness, and so I decided to undertake another brief food diary. The hardest part about eating a reasonably healthy and diverse diet in college, at least at Columbia, is a paucity of easily accessible fruits and vegetables. Keeping a supply of produce on hand requires careful management of refrigeration space and frequent stops at the supermarket. Essentially, I’m just making excuses for randomly binging on huge bowls of vegetables (instead of spreading out my servings throughout the day) and for not eating the macronutrient proportions ideal for marathon training. Gotta live a little.


Had a piece of Arnold Oatnut bread before my run. Ran 7 miles. Had a Ronnybrook drinkable strawberry yogurt. Went to strength training—felt really tired, didn’t have a particularly good workout. After strength training, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: 1 tbsp Jif extra crunchy, 1 tbsp Nutty’s honey roasted peanut, 2 tbsp Tiptree black currant jam on 2 pieces of Arnold Oatnut. Before class, I ate a banana. After class, I had a serving of Wheat Thins Five Grain. Had a cinnamon bun Balance Bar before my next class. For dinner, I had a $5 burger with sauteed mushrooms and fries at Deluxe.


Woke up, had cream of wheat with cinnamon and 1 tsp brown sugar and a 0% black cherry Chobani before work. For lunch I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich: 3 pieces Arnold Honey Wheat, 2 tbsp Jif extra crunchy, 1 tbsp Blue Ridge Jams Smokey Mountain Special Preserves. I also had a banana. I went out for a cortado from Culture Espresso, which was delicious. For a snack, I had a serving of Wheat Thins Five Grain and the dregs of a box of Quaker Oatmeal Squares, like a third of a serving. For dinner, I went to Chop’t and had a salad with mesclun mix, farro, black beans, peppadew peppers, roasted tomatoes, peas, corn, and chipotle vinaigrette. They take this huge blade and chop everything up before tossing it with the dressing. It was ridiculously overpriced—it cost double what I pay at a deli salad bar up by Columbia and wasn’t as good. The only advantage is more ingredient choices, but the ingredients aren’t as fresh or as well-prepared. Had some Kallari 75% chocolate for dessert.


Woke up, had a serving of Alpen musli and a Ronnybrook strawberry yogurt. Before strength training I had a chocolate raspberry Luna bar. Before my run I had a peanut butter sandwich: 1 tbsp Nutty’s peanut butter cup peanut butter, 1 piece Arnold Honey Wheat, 1 piece (the last) of Arnold Oatnut. After my 7 miles run I had a salmon avocado roll from Cafe East. Before class, I had a banana and 4 tiny clementines. For dinner, I had the small Gladiator Bowl at Amir’sthe bowl includes hummus, chickpeas, pinto beans, olive oil, and pita. I had a small bag of Bare Fruit cinnamon apple chips and two figs for dessert.


Woke up, had a piece of Arnold Honey Wheat bread. Went on a 7 mile run. Had a Ronnybrook Coconut yogurt after my run. For lunch, I met Sam at Wondee Siam V, which has an $8 lunch deal for an appetizer and entree. I started with Tom Yum soup, then had spicy string beans with chicken, bell peppers, and rice. Afterwards, I stopped into Artopolis to grab a small nonfat latte. For a snack,  I had a golden russet apple and a bartlet pear. And 4 dried figs. Then, for dinner, I wanted to have cheese and crackers, but my cheese had gone stale. So I went to Subsconscious and had two eggs on a roll with American cheese, onions, mushrooms, and sweet peppers (essentially pickles). For dessert I had a slice of the cranberry bread my mom sent me.


Had a serving of Alpen muesli and a Ronnybrook peach yogurt before work. For lunch I went to Culture Espresso and had a turkey, brie, and apricot chutney sandwich on baguette and a bitter chocolate and currant scone (from Scratchbread). During the afternoon, I had an oatmeal raisin Clif Bar and a banana. My friend was having his 21st birthday dinner at RUB BBQ—we had a rack of 12 hour wet St. Louis ribs, ¼ lb burnt ends, ¼ lb pastrami, ½ lb pulled pork, bbq chicken wings, potato salad, beans, onion strings, and cornbread. On my way uptown I happened to be by the Upper West Side Momofuku Milk Bar. Snagged a corn cookie, which kind of hit the dessert spot after a really intense dinner. (This summer, I wrote, “the corn cookie is designed to trigger certain primordial pleasure instincts.”) Then, I went to a Thanksgiving party and had a slice of pumpkin pie.


Before my run, had a piece of Arnold Honey Wheat bread. Went on a 13.1 mile run. Had a Ronnybrook drinkable strawberry yogurt after my run. For lunch I went to Milano Market and had a salad with chicken, chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, carrots, and balsamic vinaigrette. For an afternoon snack I had a serving of Alpen Muesli and a banana. For dinner, I went to Aldea with a former teacher of mine who happened to be in the city. (I’ve previously written about Aldea here.) Started with the Hemingway Heat at the bar: rhum JM, luxardo, grapefruit, lime, jalapeno. For an appetizer I had the bonito tuna “rillette,” essentially like very juicy, tomato-y tuna salad on charred toast. Not a great value but I still enjoyed it, well balanced—I imagined actually getting a little pot of the rillette and some toast to schmear it on. For my main, there was a special of Scottish partridge. The partridge was cooked sous vide in two preparations: a sausage and a roulade. Texturally, it easily surpassed another recent sous vide poultry preparation I had at Per Se. Minimally gamey. It came with a concord grape puree that was super smooth and tasted like Smucker’s and didn’t really make sense in the context of the dish. For dessert, I had the chocolate pear parfait with ginger infused pears, gianduja crisp, and gingersnap ice cream. I like the idea of chocolate-ginger-pear, but the pear itself didn’t have the kind of “green, juicy pear” flavor we’ve come to expect from the artificial flavor industry. You need amazing, almost overripe pears for that. We were gifted some white port with dessert.


Woke up, had a piece of Arnold Honey Wheat bread for breakfast. For lunch, I had 2 tbsp of peanut butter on Otis Stout Bread from Cayuga Pure Organics, a honeycrisp apple from the Greenmarket, and a cottage cheese. For a snack I had a serving of Alpen muesli and another apple. For dinner I had a quarter pound of cornbeef on more Otis Stout Bread with mustard, a V8, and 3 dried figs. I was hungry later so I had a serving of Wheat Thins Five Grain.

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