I had a question on Twitter recently after I tweeted this:
The question was: “Are you still able to complete your long runs while on @nutrisystem?”
I tweeted back that my weekly long run is now only ten miles, but that I would increase the Smart Carbs as I ramped up my mileage. That got me thinking that I’ll need a whole lot of low-glycemic, marathon-busting Smart Carbs to get me through those 20 mile training runs a few months from now.
I wandered into the kitchen and grabbed a can of Bush’s Best Original Baked Beans Seasoned with Bacon & Brown Sugar, a favorite that I’ve banished since going on Nutrisystem. I had an idea that was just crazy enough to work. If I broke the can of baked beans into smaller portions, maybe each would qualify as a Nutrisystem Smart Carb, even though the can as a whole contained an overdose of brown sugar.
I did some quick nutrition-label bean counting. The results were not good for the Bush’s baked beans. I’d have to split the can into five servings to be in the Smart Carb range of 80-120 calories, but each serving would still have 8.4 grams of sugar, which seemed like a lot.
I called a Nutrisystem counselor who confirmed the baked beans as I described them were not the best choice for a Smart Carb because of the sugar. He recommended I consider a better type of bean.
I went back to the kitchen. I found a can of Goya Black Beans:
The bean counting went better this time. Now I could split this can into 3 servings with 105 calories and 7 grams of fiber in each serving. A perfect choice for a Smart Carb that fits into a marathon runner’s diet. A slightly-rounded half cup measuring ladle was just right for measuring the 3 portions. I scooped out 2 portions and saved them in a container for later:
Then I put the last portion on a plate with some spring mix and red peppers for the perfect Smart Carb mixed with veggies:
I talked more with the Nutrisystem counselor about marathon training. He recommended adding Smart Carbs as my mileage increases. As the person who tweeted the original question recognized, the standard Nutrisystem 1800 calorie per day plan I started on will not provide the amount of carbs required for marathon training. But adding low-glycemic Smart Carbs while staying on Nutrisystem seems like a good idea as I begin training for my next marathon.
And the Nutrisystem counselor encouraged me to call anytime and said they would create a tailored weekly plan to fit my marathon training.
Finally, I don’t want to get on the wrong side of Duke, Bush’s talking Golden Retriever, and so I’ll hasten to mention that Bush’s makes black beans that have the same great numbers as the Goya product I happened to have on hand. And Duke doesn’t even have to give away the secret family recipe to us runners.