Friday’s Favorite Five: Favorite Paleo “foods” while training for a marathon


**Before I even get started with this post I want to make it clear that these are my own opinions, observations, experiences, etc. These foods I have found work for me, but I can’t say that it would work for you in the same context. I am not a doctor, nurse, registered dietitian, personal trainer, coach, physical therapist, etc. I think you get the idea.


I was already planning to do my Friday five series today about my favorite Paleo foods and then I had gotten a request from a fellow blogger, fitnesscrEATures, about if living Paleo and training for marathon is working for me. I said, perfect! I will combine the two, my favorite Paleo foods that are helping me train for my marathon. Win, win!

Since going Paleo I have noticed a significant difference in my running performances. My speed has increased, my average mile/min increased, average HR decreased, recovery is shorter and my runs aren’t as taxing on my body. Going into this Paleo living was not my intention. My intention was to try to help my autoimmune symptoms (you can read a previous post regarding my autoimmune condition here–>>It’s a marathon, not a sprint) and wanting to feel better overall. About a month into Paleo I was running my first Half marathon, since giving birth to my son, and that race was one of my better ones. I didn’t know how living Paleo was going to affect my running and already at that point I knew it was for the better.


I am now running 8, 9, 10 milers @ an average pace of 9:30-45 minute miles, which I never thought would ever be possible.

Before Paleo (and my son): average pace of 10:45-11:00 minute mile and anything over 6 miles I always dreaded.

Heart Rate:

My average heart rate now ranges between mid-150’s to low-160’s

Before Paleo (and my son): high-160’s to high-170’s


Now my recovery time is so much quicker. The days after my long runs (8+) I am rarely sore, sometimes my legs feel a little heavy (or dead), but that is the extent of it.

Before Paleo (and my son): Anything over 6 miles, my legs would be feeling it for days after.

paleo food marathon training

Here are my Paleo “foods” that are helping me in my training:

  1. Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter oil blend (Green Pastures)
  2. Eggs (the whole thing!)
  3. Gelatin (not J-E-L-L-O)
  4. Avocado
  5. Sweet Potato

1.Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Oil Blend

cod liver oil

Benefits: contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2 and some Omega-3 fats

Vitamin A: maintains immunity when balanced w/ Vitamin D  +  helps to maintain the integrity of the mucosal lining of the gut** (see below)

Omega-3 fats: anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids

**This is the only supplement I take. I don’t believe in taking a whole cabinet full of vitamins and minerals to compensate for the nutrient dense foods I am not eating. I would rather eat the actual whole food than take a supplement for it. I know in the modern diet it is harder to get your adequate amount of the vitamins and minerals your body needs in order to function efficiently.

“….supplementation (except for fish oil and vitamin D) is unnecessary and antioxidant supplements may actually prevent the health promoting effects of exercise and hamper training adaptations in endurance performance.”    By The Paleo Diet for Athletes (p. 100) by Loren Cordain and Joe Friel

2. Eggs


Benefits: packed w/ protein (both the white and yolk have equal amounts) + pastured eggs include vitamin A, B12, D and E, brain healthy choline, Omega-3 fatty acids and eye- healthy lutetin (all these are found in the yolk)

Vitamin B12: essential for good health and iron

Vitamin D: benefits immune system to bone health +  sun exposure best source (Starts w/ Food p. 252)

**I know we all have been told to stay away from eggs because they will increase your cholesterol which can make you prone to more diseases. What they haven’t told you is the good out weighing the bad. Before you go run off and eat a dozen eggs in one sitting, remember everything in MODERATION!

**The part of the egg that holds the cholesterol is in the yolk, but as mentioned above the yolk is where all the vitamins and minerals are.

“Blood cholesterol and lipoprotein levels are controlled by far more powerful factors than the cholesterol in our diet. In fact, the vast majority of your health and diet, your liver makes three to ten times more cholesterol than the amount that comes from your food.”        It Starts with Food (p148) by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig

3. Gelatin


Benefits: 1 TBL of gelatin= 6 g protein, only 25 calories, 20 mg sodium + contains almost 2 dozen different amino acids

**If you have ever eaten Jello or marshmallow, then you were consuming gelatin.

Gelatin is:

animal based protein that comes from the collagen of animals

You can buy gelatin in its purest form and use it in a variety of ways: spoon into warm H2O or bone broth + add to smoothies + make your own homemade fruit snacks

I recommend: Great Lakes (unflavored) Gelatin (Porcine)

It doesn’t contain soy, whey or any chemicals or artificial additives that many other “protein powders” contain.

4. Avocado

Benefits: contains many of the 13 vitamins that our body needs in order to form a complete protein + rich in folic acid and vitamin K + high fiber content (75% insoluble to 25% soluble)***

They are considered a healthy fat (monounsaturated fat) + avocados have 35%  more potassium than bananas (by weight) ***

**Add them to smoothies, salads, on the side, etc

5. Sweet Potato


Benefits: 4 g fiber (15%DV), vitamin A 400 % DV, vitamin C 37 % DV, vitamin B6 16% DV

“In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value.” (

**bake them whole and eat like a regular potato, roast them (cut into cubes, toss w/ olive oil and bake), sweet potato fries, hash, etc

This list, obviously, are not the only foods I eat, but I do include all of them in my daily “diet”.

It has taken me almost 8 years to actually enjoy running and I account much of that too my new Paleo living.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not perfect over here, I am not 100% Paleo nor will I ever be (for long periods of time), but the ratio that I do eat Paleo is right for ME. You have to find your balance that works for you. Remember to not compare yourself to others, do what is best for you.

I believe, now more than ever, that the food you put into your body makes a huge difference in how you feel.

Any questions about my post that was unclear?

Have you found your happy balance in life (I hope so!)? I can adamantly say I have!!

Go over to fitnesscrEATures and check out their blog! I always look forward to their daily posts!!

**Practical Paleo ( by Diane Sanfilippo (from


I just thought this was funny 🙂


This entry was posted in Marathon training, paleo, running, Top 5 Friday, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Friday’s Favorite Five: Favorite Paleo “foods” while training for a marathon

  1. loloslunch says:

    I would ditto 4 of the 5 foods. Haven’t really used gelatin before. I think may have to give it a try!

  2. megbek says:

    Yay I loved this post so much. Let me start by saying I could NOT agree more with the fact that you don’t take a bunch of supplements and what not. I too, am ALL about getting nutrition from its natural source – hence sweet potatoes, avocados, lots of greens and other things. I try and take fish oil everyday (even though the pills are gigantic!) and that is the only ‘pill’ I take. While I’m not Paleo (I don’t eat meat other than seafood so it would be a little harder for me), I do eat a lot of Paleo foods simply because it’s smarter and healthier. I’ve basically gotten rid of most starches and carbs from my diet, with some exception, of course, and stick to whole fruits and veggies as much as possible. I am unsure about the gelatin though, that’s an interesting addition to the diet. I like the results that going Paleo has given you in regard to running (and obviously overall health). I can imagine that because you are eating so well, running just has gotten so much easier. I read somewhere the other day: “Eat well, you’ll have a good run. Eat poorly, you’ll have a poor run.” Couldn’t be more true – your results are a reflection of how you take care of yourself. Thanks for this post!!! 🙂

    • I take the cod liver oil in a gel form in cinnamon flavor so its a lil easier to take than a pill, but even with the cinnamon it still is a lil tough to get down. Yeah and I think eating whole foods in general even if its not completely paleo it has to be better than all the processed stuff out there! I love that quote!! Thanks for requesting this subject!! Hope it helped in some way 🙂

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  5. I can see why this is a popular post. I knew much of what you mentioned about eggs, avocados, and sweet potatoes, but none of what you shared regarding cod liver oil and gelatin. Thanks for the helpful info!!

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