Training for a marathon takes a lot of preparation: consistent exercise, proper sleep, good nutrition ‘ yet 36-year-old Emily Strunk-Helm plans to run the Long Beach Marathon on Oct. 9 after 31 days of eating exclusively off the McDonald’s menu. Why? She’s hoping to raise $10, 000 for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Phoenix, AZ. The only non-McDonald’s food Helm is allowing herself includes bottled water, ibuprofen, multivitamins and any medicine prescribed by a doctor, as well as Cytomax and Powerbar Energy Blasts.
She’s also keeping a blog (McRunnerette) about her 31-day journey, and tracking her daily meals and runs. Her most recent log included a classic grilled chicken sandwich, one medium french fry, a small coke, a southwest grilled chicken salad with southwest dressing, a chocolate chip cookie, a southern style crispy chicken sandwich and a small chocolate shake.
On her homepage, Helm says, "While training and raising money for a great cause, I also want to encourage people to get moving and be active," yet her message comes across a little counter-productive. Her goal to raise money is noble, and she is promoting fitness, but Helm is definitely not modelling a healthy diet.
Despite recently adding fruit and low-fat yogurt to the Happy Meal in an attempt to make it healthier, McDonald’s food can hardly be considered healthy ‘ remember Super Size Me? The month-long diet of McDonald’s food led the director and star of the documentary, Morgan Spurlock, to gain more than 20lbs, while also increasing his body fat and cholesterol levels.
Should exercise really give someone a free pass to eat whatever they want?