"Your triglycerides are going up. That's a problem." So said Matt Mahowald, my nutrition guru. The fact is that the numbers don't lie. While working with New Performance Nutrition and training for the Chicago Marathon, I'm doing weekly visits with Matt. We review my nutrition journal, test my blood and measure bodyfat. All of my blood test numbers are going in the right direction except my triglycerides. So what are triglycerides and why do they matter? In fact they are the chemical form in which most fat exists in the body. They are derived from excess carbohydrates that your body can't process. So, if you eat too many carbs, and your system can't handle them, the biproduct is too many triglycerides. That's my problem--too many carbs, particularly late in the day.
One issue is that I've been under the mistaken impression that beans are a protein. While they do contain protein, they're also full of carbs. So some type of veggie-friendly dinner with beans that sounds healthy has way too many carbs to be eaten late in the day. "Stick with a big piece of salmon and some vegetables for dinner, then do a protein smoothie later in the evening if you get hungry" is the advice I get from Matt. So I'm starting to get the system dialed in. The only problem is that my colleague Russ Pillar now calls me the "Bean Hater."