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Exercise Secrets On The Hallelujah Diet

What kind of gas do you put in your car?

If you have a run-of-the-mill family car, maybe that doesn’t matter so much. But sports cars need the good stuff.

So do sports “people.”

Good fuel (food) is important for everyone, and especially for anyone who exercises — which should be everyone!

And the more you exercise, the better your food needs to be.

We cover the basics about this in our free Exercise Essentials online training program, but we wanted to get the inside scoop on higher intensity exercise from a young athlete on The Hallelujah Diet.

Though she’s just 20 years old, NCAA cross country skier Hilary Saucy pays particular attention to her Hallelujah Diet, despite that her peers consider themselves invincible, regardless of what they eat.

Hilary knows better and gave us a few exercise secrets that are worth considering no matter how old you are:

AM/PM: What’s your favorite pre-workout dinner? 
Gluten-free pasta, rice or sweet potatoes are my favorite pre-workout dinners.  Avoid meat, cheese, anything super starchy, fatty, or greasy.

AM/PM: Do you eat during workouts? 
Hilary: Absolutely!  Any workout longer than 45 minutes I carry a snack with me.  During exercise the body’s glycogen stores begin depleting after 45 minutes to 1 hour which makes re-fueling a must.  I usually refuel with a banana or other high energy snack during a longer workout. Typically I plan on one food item per hour of exercise.

AM/PM: How do you make sure that you consume enough water? 
Hilary: There are exact methods of doing this, but a good rule of thumb is one water bottle (~16oz) per hour of activity. Drinking after workouts is something I focus on because it is close to impossible to consume enough liquids during a workout. The body can process up to 8 oz of water every 20 minutes.

AM/PM: Does a salad really fill you up after a workout?
Hilary: Yes and no.  After a hard training session, raw foods—despite the large variety—just don’t fill me up enough.  My body craves carbohydrates, which aid in recovery, which are hard to get in large doses from raw foods alone.  To satisfy this problem, I simply add a few spoonfuls of cooked grains/beans (quinoa, millet, rice) to my salad. Protein aids in muscle recovery, too. I’ve made the mistake of not eating any protein after racing and I felt terrible the next day.

[quote]Got a question about exercise and The Hallelujah Diet? Comment below![/quote]


  1. Geripeterson July 13, 2012

    If I exercise in the morning, do I eat before or after exercise? What kind of breakfast should I have.

    • Hilary S July 13, 2012

      I would recommend both!  This is what I do:  I first take some BarleyMax then usually eat something light–a banana or other piece of fruit and some raw oats and nuts.  Sometimes I’m not hungry in the morning, or I don’t feel like eating, but I ALWAYS take BarleyMax.  Depending on the type and length of workout I may force myself to eat something.  I find if I don’t eat something then I’m starving shortly after beginning my workout and have to end up stopping for a snack.  The key in eating before exercise is to eat something easily digestible.  I usually start my workout 30-60minutes after eating breakfast and have never had a problem.  The only time I will alter this slightly is if I’m racing, then I make sure I am awake and eating a good breakfast at least 3 hours before race time.  I’ll almost always end up eating something else later on before racing, but getting that first bit of fuel in the body is important.  Does this answer your question?

    • Hilary S July 14, 2012

      Another thought I had to add to what I replied below is how important it is to eat after exercising.  Within 20minutes after ending your workout is the most critical time to get something in your system.  During the first 20minutes is when your body can absorb the most nutrition and get the most gains from your workout if given the proper fuel.  Then, eating a real meal, or other substantial food within two hours continues to aid in recovery.  If you want to get the most benefit from exercising don’t let your body eat itself (therefore breaking down muscle) when it needs food, feed it something.

    • Scott Laird July 17, 2012

       Here’s what Hilary does for breakfast:

      Breakfast of Champions

      (adapted from recipe she found on US Ski team website)

      Mix together

      4 cups Oats

      Pumpkin seeds


      (optional) other nuts or seeds of choice

      Shredded coconut


      Mix in separate bowl

      1/4C Agave Nectar or Molasses (add a little water if you use Molasses)

      1/8-1/4C Olive Oil

      Cinnamon to taste

      Dash of Vanilla Extract


      Pour sauce over mixed ingredients. 
      Use fingers to gently ‘knead’ cereal until oat/nut mixture is thoroughly
      covered in sauce.  Spread a on dehydrator
      trays and dehydrate for 12-14hrs, or until dry. 
      Keeps well in sealed container.

  2. Karenann July 13, 2012

    It was interesting to hear Hilary’s comments.  I have felt I lack energy after a workout.  I thought maybe I just didn’t drink enough water before the workout.  I also have  a thyroid condition and think it is a reaction from it.  I at times want something crunchy like nuts, a Larabar treat, or crackers.  But, I also am sensitive to wheat products so I have to watch that or I break out on my hands and I am guessing this probably a silent digestion problem, I don’t very often have a stomach problem if so it is diarrhea, but maybe it must be needed. I need to keep my sugar taste to a minimum because I have a mass/tumor on my breast. I also have signs left of a cellulitis problem on my leg.,  But with the eneymes , vitamins, protein drinks, vegan diet, gluten-free diet, drinking filter water and relfexology massages on the feet and hands. After a year, the natural/alternative doctor said  my lymphs made a great flush, and I am from a Stage 3 to a Stage 1 of cancer.  That was great news and a great lift on my mind.  I really feel good, compared to the look of cancer friends struggling to handle radiation or chemo and I continue to work doing in-home care. So if I keep my attitude up with reading the Bible, good clean DVD movies/family freindly shows, laughter, and encouragement from others.  If people are calm and don’t yell, argue and scream, my nerves are good, too.

    So, everyone try to be encouraging and forgiving. Remember we are in this world to serve the Lord, if you are a Christian. Live one day at a time. Tomorrow will take care of itself. Thanks God every day for your life and another day, in the morning and the evening. If our Muslim friends can pray five times a day to their Allah. Can we not pray when we rise up, when we eat our three meals and before we sleep each night?  Can we be an example?  We don’t all live like and think like the Hollywood movies and TV show actors on and off screen. So I was told our Muslim friends have a different idea from the Hollywood movies, they think that’s the way Christians act. And don’t want to copy the movie examples necessarily.  So the Muslims are furious that we would maybe act-up, get mad and start being destructive, too.          

  3. Jeanestes July 14, 2012

    It was so good to read that gardening is good exercise.  I own two acres of land and cultivate a large part of it.  I do most of the work myself.  When actively gardening it takes up most of my day.  I do all the weeding and most of the heavier work.  There are many little hills and the only way to get mulch,compost around is by one wheel barrow full at a time.  There is no close area to dump these items for convenient disbursement.  My doctor has told me gardening was not enough exercise so I have had to fight the nag in my heart that I am not doing enough exercise.  I know I will never be a professional athlete but the work I do in my garden has to account for something.  Thank you for the vindication.  jean

  4. Flower_rose July 17, 2012

    Is it true you should only eat 1 cup of legumes per week?  If so, why is this please.

  5. Jodimail July 18, 2012

    Hillary, I’ve been doing a really intense workout called Les Mills Pump (it’s 60 minutes long).  I am like a blob afterward.  I am trying to alter my diet to help, but cannot eat before I workout as I would puke during my workout or at least feel like it.  I do barleymax and chlorella tablets beforehand.  I use Shakeology for my post workout meal, but usually wait till after i shower.  Would an apple right after be a good choice before my shower-for the carbs?  I don’t feel like eating then, but I’ve been really hitting the wall mid morning and know something has to change.  thank you in advance for your response.  (PS  please look at my website and check out Shakeology-such an awesome product

    • Hilary S July 18, 2012

      Hi Jodi,

      I’m no expert at sports nutrition, but I will try my best to offer some advice based on my personal experience and information I’ve gleaned from talking to more experienced coaches and athletes.  Please understand that I am not a professional, and what advice I have to offer is just that:  advice and suggestions.  If you continue to have problems I might suggest speaking with a coach, nutritionist or someone with some good sports nutrition knowledge or doing some research online.

      It sounds like you are working out in the morning so eating beforehand would be difficult.  It is usually recommended that your last substantial meal be no less than 3-4hrs before a hard effort.  I follow this very loosely.  When I race in the morning I wake up at least 3 hours before race start and eat a small breakfast of barleymax, banana, and cereal.  But knowing I will be racing I know I will need more fuel than that so I will continue to snack up until 1hr-30min before race time with easy to digest foods like granola bars, and bananas.

      That being said, I know from experience that if you do not fuel properly before, during, and after a workout if will affect the way you feel and thus recover.  If you can eat a piece of fruit 1-2hrs before your workout I would recommend trying that.  It is important to fuel your muscles before training, and it sounds like perhaps you aren’t giving them enough fuel.  I find that I need something more than barleymax to sustain me and give me energy for my morning workout.  But I will also say that there are days (like this morning for example) that I do not feel like eating.  I had my barleymax but nothing else sounded appetizing.  Since I was going easy I didn’t worry about it knowing that I would be snacking mid-workout anyways, but if I had hard intervals on the schedule I would probably have forced myself to nibble on something.

      As far as afterwards, how long are you waiting to have your recovery meal/shake?  See my reply to Geripeterson below….Getting something into your system within the first 20minutes, ESPECIALLY when its been a high intensity workout is critical in your body’s recovery process.  If you’re waiting more than 15-20min to have your snack/meal then yes, I would try eating an apple (or banana, my personal favorite, high in potassium which is good for preventing muscle cramps) right away, especially if you can’t eat anything beforehand.  By the time you finish your workout your body is hungry, you want to feed it so it doesn’t eat itself and so recovery can start sooner.  The faster you can give your body what it craves, the sooner your body can begin the recovery process and the more effective the recovery process will be.

      I’d also be careful that you have a good substantial meal within 2 hours of working out, especially if the workout has been high intensity.  I have learned that its important to not only pay attention to when you eat, but what you eat.  Make sure you are eating a snack with some carbs and protein immediately after your workout, but ALSO getting a full meal in within 2 hours.  (The ideal ratio is 3-4:1 grams of carbs to protein.)  I have made the mistake of not eating enough during and after a long 5hr run, and I paid for it the next day.  We deduced it down to the fact that I didn’t eat any protein afterwards; carbs are good, but you need protein too.  But you needn’t get carried away here because alot of the research out there is overkill; you don’t really need as much protein as many sources will tell you, and too much protein will negatively affect recovery.  I’m a vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free and having a handful of nuts or beans seems to satisfy the protein pretty well for me.  

      Bottom line, MAKE SURE you are getting something with the correct carbs to protein ratio within the first 15-30minutes after finishing your workout.  It is during that window that your body is able to absorb the best.  The longer you wait the longer it takes to recover.  For me, that typically means eating lunch right away, or eating a banana on my way home then making lunch first thing when I get home which is usually within 30minutes after finishing training.

      Are you snacking throughout the day?  I find that for me to keep my energy levels up its better to eat smaller portions more often.  So if I train in the morning, I’ll eat a small breakfast before, lunch right after, then usually a good snack about 3 hrs later or when I feel hungry again.  

      Lastly, I’ll touch on one other thing.  HYDRATION.  Are you drinking enough water?  Make sure you are drinking throughout the day consistently.  If you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated.  Now don’t go drinking a bucket of water, but if you don’t go through at least 4-6 water bottles in a day, not counting anything you drink during a workout or to replace water lost during a workout, then you probably need to drink more water.

      Hope this helps and I hope I wasn’t too long winded for you.


      • Jodimail July 18, 2012

        Thank you, very helpful.  I will make a few tweaks to my habits and see how it goes.  I have Brendan Brazier’s book, Thrive, that I like very much-although some of his recipes-bleck-I still like the information!  Good luck in your training!  

  6. pls can i order and get barley max in abuja , Nigeria??? am on thanks

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