A Dietitian’s Summer Fitness Routine & How I Fuel For It

After wrapping up my marathon this spring, I have decided it’s time to run another one this fall – and I’m aiming to beat my time!

Let me take you through what my summer marathon training routine will look like, along with how I fuel and recover from that training.

As I highlight fueling and recovery routine, I’ve partnered with the Canadian Beverage Association (CBA) to showcase the role of 100% juice in my diet for Juice Celebration Month.  100% juice is fantastic fuel and recovery for my workouts due to the natural sugar content (the quickest fuel), electrolytes and the water content – more on that shortly.

Let me start by explain the training routine:


My training will be consisting of about five workout days each week, with two rest days. Those workouts will consist of:

Weekly Long Runs

The weekly long runs are key to build endurance. I will be doing them on Saturdays most weekends. These runs I take at a slower pace, as I am working to build my distance back up slowly. I will increase the distance of these by no more than 10% each week.

Easy Recovery Runs
These runs I will be doing about twice a week. The purpose of these is to get my body used to running on tired legs. They will be done after my long runs and after a speed workout throughout the week. They will also help speed up my recovery from those runs.

Speed Work
Speedwork is actually one of the most crucial parts of marathon training (in addition to endurance and strength training, of course). It gets you out of your comfort zone, forces you to run with more efficient form, teaches you recovery tools, and prepares you for the rush of adrenaline you’ll experience on race day. If you always train at the same speed, you can’t expect to race any differently. Speed workouts also help increase your VO2 max, or how efficiently your body uses oxygen. The more oxygen you can consume and use properly throughout your run, the longer you’ll be able to hold a pace.

I will be doing about two sessions of interval/ speedwork during marathon training.

Strength Training
Personally, this is what I have to work on. Strength training doesn’t come naturally to me. However, running faster requires stronger muscles. Your legs, hips, and core all need to be strong to propel you forward with more power in each step. I’m incorporating two strength training sessions a week through videos from Youtube or the Pelaton app. My preference is to use body weight strength training workouts or light weights.


Fueling correctly is equally as important as doing the proper training. Especially in the warm, summer months, when your body is working extra hard during the workouts.

I will do my easy runs fasted, however I need to have fuel in my body during the long runs and speed workouts. I also bring fuel with me during my long runs. The perfect pre-run and during-run fuel is 100% juice. Let me explain why.

100% juice contains only naturally occurring sugar from fruit. The sugar content in one 250 ml glass of orange juice is about the same as two medium oranges. I prefer to drink juice right before a long run vs eating the whole fruit, because I don’t need the fibre before a run. Having fibre before a run can slow down the speed that our body can uptake or use the sugar for fuel. Too much fibre can also lead to gastrointestinal cramps – which is not desirable during a long run.

During the summer long runs, I love to make a homemade electrolyte drink with 100% fruit juice. 100% fruit juice is a great source of essential nutrients and phytonutrients. In fact, those who drink 100% fruit juice have a better quality diet than people who don’t! People who drink fruit juice have higher intakes of vitamin A, C, folate and magnesium. The 100% fruit juice electrolyte drink will replace minerals lost in sweat and also provide the needed hydration for during the run.

My favourite homemade sports drink is below. Simply mix everything together and store in pitcher.

  • 2 cups of 100% juice (my preference is Orange Juice)
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp magnesium citrate

Right after my long runs, it’s important to fuel within a half hour – I usually make a smoothie when I get home with (you guessed it) 100% fruit juice, a banana and some protein powder. I will then have a full meal an hour or two later with carbohydrates, veggies and protein.

There you have it – my summer workout and fueling routine! Thank you again to the Canadian Beverage Association for working with me to bring you this post. I hope this has provided some information for how 100% fruit juice can be part of and enhance your healthy diet.

3 Common Mistakes We Make When Exercising in The Summer

This post was developed in partnership with Florida Citrus. All opinions expressed are my own.

As we head into warmer weather (finally!), more of us will be participating in a variety of types of physical activity. The warmer weather just makes exercising so much more accessible – for me at least. You definitely will NOT find me trying to get some KMs in, during a snowstorm.

How you will find me active this summer: training for another half marathon, doing yoga, playing soccer and bike riding. As you can see, I love participating in a few different activities. How I should refuel after each of these activities, will vary widely.

In fact, most of us continue to make a number of mistakes when refueling after exercise. I see this in my practice, but also with peers. In order to reap the benefits of a workout, we need to refuel properly.

Let me guide you through principals to follow for refueling properly after different types of workouts, along with common mistakes that we should avoid.

Mistake # 1. Not Replenishing Key Nutrients After Vigorous Activity

First, let’s define Vigorous Activity:
Vigorous-intensity exercise is a physical activity done with a large amount of effort. It is the intensity at which you have a substantially higher heart rate and rapid breathing. You are only able to speak in short phrases due to the rapid breathing and effort. Activities that are usually classified as being of vigorous intensity include running, cycling, and singles tennis.

During vigorous activity, there are a number of key nutrients that we need to replenish.

These include:

  • Carbohydrates, which are needed to replenish glycogen stores, a.k.a. stored energy.
  • Minerals, such as potassium and sodium, that are lost in sweat; and
  • Fluids, which are also lost in sweat
  • After vigorous activity, my go-to beverage is @floridaorangejuice, as it covers all of these three categories! I often use Florida OJ as a base to my smoothies. The carbohydrates in 100% orange juice come only from the naturally occurring sugars in the oranges – with no added sugars. In addition to potassium, Florida OJ also provides vitamin A, folate, magnesium and 100% of our vitamin C needs in half a glass. Also, did you know that only 1/10 Canadians reach their daily servings of fruit and vegetables? A smoothie like this with Florida OJ is a great way to help us get closer to our intake of fruit and vegetables.


Mistake # 2: Consuming Too Much After Lighter Exercising

Next, let’s define Light & Moderate Intensity Activity

Light exercise includes activities that do not cause you to break a sweat or produce shortness of breath. An example would be a leisurely walk, light yoga or casual bike ride.

Moderate exercise is exercise which causes you to break out in a light to moderate sweat or makes it difficult to carry on a long conversation.  Examples would be a brisk walk, power yoga, hiking on a nature trail, performing chores around the house.
If we are exercising at a light intensity or at a moderate intensity for under 20 minutes, we don’t have to do anything special to refuel. We are simply not needing to replenish glycogen stores, as we would during vigorous activity.  We would need to rehydrate and replace some small electrolyte losses, however. So turning to water and a piece of fruit or coconut water is sufficient after this type of exercise.  I too often see those around me over-replenishing after light exercise, or a short moderate intensity exercise period. Consuming too much after these types of activities is a sure way to lead to unintentional weight gain.

Mistake # 3: Not Eating Soon Enough After Exercising

Back when I used to be a competitive rep soccer player, I would have games in places in that were about an hour away. This means that by the time I got home after the game and sat down to eat, about two hours would have passed between the end of the game and my dinner. This wasn’t ideal.
To help your muscles recover, it is important to refuel within one hour of exercise. For your post-workout meal, you should consume:

  • a good dose of complex carbohydrates for replenishing glycogen stores
  • adequate protein to decrease muscle protein breakdown and increase muscle protein synthesis
  • anti-oxidant rich foods to help reduce inflammation from exercise and provide extra micro nutrients
  • Some examples of ideal post-workout meals include a quinoa stir-fry with tofu or chicken with veg, or a hearty bean and sweet potato chili




To Whey or Not to Whey – The Protein Powder Breakdown

It’s hard to ignore the buzz around protein powders lately as they are quite popular in body building circles and with athletes. It is clear that protein is a key macronutrient that can helps us obtain our performance, weight loss or muscle-building goals. However, you may be skeptical because these powders can be costly and may contain additional additives such as sugars and artificial sweeteners. This may cause you to ask “Is protein powder really necessary for the average person?”

Evaluating Popular Nutrition Bars

Nutrition bars can be a convenient and satiating snack that you likely won’t feel guilty eating. However, is the healthy packaging deceptive? How can we be sure that we’re making a healthy choice for a snack, pre- or post-workout fuel or a protein source? I’ve evaluated 5 common nutrition bars obtained from a health food store – Larabar, Simply Protein, Cliff bar, Luna and Kind bars. I will rank my choices from best to worst.