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A Day in My Diet: Endurance Athlete Zoë Romano

A Day in My Tour de France Diet

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On May 18, exactly six weeks before the 2013 Tour de France, Zoë Romano laced up her running shoes and set out to accomplish what no other person has ever done: run the entire 2,000-mile route of the world famous cycling event. Her goal: Finish one day ahead of the pack (on July 20), which means she'll need to cover an average of 30 miles per day!

This isn't the first time Romano has taken on a daunting distance. In 2011 she became the first solo female runner to cover the 2,800 miles across the United States. Though she didn't start distance running until college, she's fallen head over heels with the sport. "I love the adrenaline rush from running, and I love being outdoors," Romano says. "For me, running is a means of discovery: not only do I discover new towns and places, I've also learned more about myself."

She's also running for a good cause—the Tour de France challenge will raise money for the World Pediatric Project, a charity that provides medical care to children in developing countries in the Caribbean and Central America. To say Romano is inspiring is a serious understatement, but her extreme physical feat also made us curious: What (and how much!) is she eating to fuel her body during day-long runs? Here, the distance runner shares photos of everything that passed her lips during one 24-hour period on her journey to the finish line.

Breakfast: Carbs and Coffee

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"I usually have a simple breakfast like oatmeal, fresh fruit, and a strong cup of coffee. I also love something sweet in the morning so when I'm logging this much mileage, I'll add some bread and Nutella, shown here. My favorite type of bread here in France is pain sportif, a dark bread with raisins and nuts in it."

Snack: Sliced Cantaloupe

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"At breakfast, I’ll cut up a cantaloupe to eat and bring the rest of it on the road as a tasty treat to enjoy at the end of the day." [Zoe’s boyfriend, filmmaker Alexander Kreher, follows her route in a car and films parts of her journey.]

Snack: Fresh Fruit

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"My favorite food of all time is fresh fruit, almost any kind. I can't handle a whole meal in the middle of 30-mile days, so I will snack on fruit instead, which I keep stocked in the car at all times. My absolute favorite fruit is a whole grapefruit—it's the perfect balance of sweet juiciness and tart refreshment. Bananas are also great to relieve cramping."

Mid-Run Fuel: Health Warrior Chia Bars

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"During a run, I'll fuel up with Health Warrior Chia Bars—usually one every eight miles or so is enough to keep me energized. My favorite flavors are Coconut and Acai Berry—so delicious! Chia seeds absorb water very efficiently so for a runner, the bars are a great way to stay hydrated on the go."

Mid-Run Fuel: Fuse Drops

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"While running, I complement the Chia bars with these electrolyte drops from Fuse Science. Balancing fluid intake with electrolyte replacement can be really tricky on longer runs, and these small drops are a simple way to get condensed electrolytes and energy back into your system after losing so much through sweat."

Pre-Dinner: Hummus Plate

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"Before dinner my French host for the night prepared a plate of snacks to munch on: fresh cut veggies, bread, olives, and a bowl of hummus.  I always try to eat a salad or some raw vegetables with dinner. Eating lots of greens makes me feel better in my body and mind and replaces a lot of vitamins to gear up for tomorrow's miles."

Dinner: Quinoa, Garbanzo Beans, Veggies

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"I'm staying with a lot of French locals on this trip who often cook for me, so dinner is usually whatever they've prepared! Tonight's dinner was made with my vegetarian preferences in mind: quinoa, garbanzo beans, and a mix of lightly sautéed veggies, including red peppers, summer squash, zucchini, and carrots."

Dessert: Yogurt and Fruit

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"I know most people eat yogurt and fruit for breakfast, but I've always eaten it for dessert. This combo is my favorite way to top off a good meal, with a mix of fruits, a couple spoons of plain yogurt, and topped off with Health Warrior Chia Seeds. It makes me feel like I'm getting a sweet treat, and the chia seeds help my body prepare for tomorrow’s run at the same time!"

To follow Romano's progress, check out her blog, Zoë Goes Running, or follow her on Twitter.