1/12/08

One word.... disgusted!



After a fantastic 50-mile ride this morning I was looking forward to going out to dinner with Karel tonight. I accomplished a bit of studying but spent a good amount of time on the computer for nutrition stuff. Karel and I don't eat out very often so it is always a treat when we go out. I love going to new places but I'm quick to check an on-line menu to make sure it is marni-friendly. I usually look under the salad section for something vegetarian friendly but at the same time, I don't want to spend $8 for a bowl of lettuce and a few tomatoes. I like a salad that is a filled with lots of vegetables, nuts or fruits. Karel is a big Italian lover so a couple times a month (and before his races) he really craves his pasta. As for me, I like thin crust pizza but I usually enjoy it in the summer after a weekend of hard training. Karel wanted to go to an Italian restaurant tonight so I was thinking that we would go to a chain restaurant. My choices were Macaroni Grill, Olive Garden or Caraba's. All places with great bread so I know I won't leave hungry with only eating a salad. I always check on-line nutrition menu's when I go somewhere, especially if that somewhere is a new place. I also pick what I will eat before I get to the restaurant so I'm not triggered to order something unhealthy. As for something unhealthy, I usually stick to simple foods when I eat out so if eating too much from the bread basket is unhealthy..I guess I am guilty of that!! :)
Anyways, I checked the nutrition menu at Macaroni Grill for Karel. His racing season is approaching quickly and he is in great shape with only a month or so to go until his first race. I've worked on his nutrition since we met and he's really seen an improvement in his recovery, a better body composition, more lean muscle mass and a decrease in his fat mass. Also, he has learned how to use the right fuels during training and I think we have found his no-fail pre-race meal (because he races in the morning, afternoon or night he has to be strict on his meals one or two days prior to the race as well). Ok, back to tonight's dinner. So I'm looking at the Mac. Grill menu and I couldn't believe my eyes. I found myself a good salad but for Karel, I honestly couldn't find something under 900 calories!!! 900 freakin' calories!!! Seriously! So the simple options would be Spaghetti & Meatballs w/ Tomato Sauce, although Karel loves chicken parmesean. Well, 1 dinner serving of the spaghetti had 1430 calories, 81g fat, 41g sat fat and 4540g sodium!!! I'm sure you know some of the daily recommendations but the sodium itself is enough for 4 days! OUCH! I just couldn't believe it! we ended up going to olive garden and Karel got a nice vetables and chicken mix and I had minestrone soup and salad. Dressing on the side and dry breadsticks. It was a great dinner and we really enjoyed our healthy options. So I decided to do a little looking around on the internet for a few more shock factors. I know people enjoy eating out but it is really important that you cook for yourself. Even if somewhere has a healthy, light or low-fat option, you need to check online to really see what you are eating (and how bad you are clogging up your arteries). Also, even if you find something healthy to order, based on the nutrition online, how do you know that the person preparing the item is using the same portions and quantities as the ingrediants in your food. There is nothing wrong with going out everynow and then but follow these tips: Use online nutrition menus, know what you will eat before you get there, have a small protein snack 20-30 min. prior to eating (stabilize blood sugar), eat slowly, drink water and skip desert. When cooking at home, find your favorite restaurant meal and prepare your own healthy version at home.
Macaroni Grill:
Primo Chicken Parmesan, Dinner 1 Serving 2220 calories, 148g fat, 52g sat. fat, 126g carbs, 4440g sodium.
Vanilla Ice Cream w/Chocolate Sauce (And this is recommended for kids!!!) 1 Scoop 400 calories, 23g fat, 14g sat. fat.
Chicken Florentine w/ out dressing 1 Serving 490 calories, 19g fat, 4940g sodium!
Then I see a commercial for healthier items at steak and shake...so, let's look up those "lighter" items at Steak and Shake:
Light Black Cherry Fruit 'n Frozen Yogurt shake 681 calories, 113g sugar, 11.5g fat, 7g sat fat, 0.5g trans fat. I guess that is better than the regular yogurt shake:
Vanilla Frozen Yogurt Milk Shake 904calories, 130g sugar, 21g fat, 11.5g sat fat, 1g trans fat, 78g cholesterol. I don't think any workout validates drinking that shake!
And lastly, one of my favorite places, Panera . I eat at panera as my fast food choice, next to Subway, and I like to choose the half sandwich and half soup. As for some not-so, you may think they are, healthy items:
Whole Grain Bagel: 340 calories, 2.5g fat, 0.5g sat fat, 410g sodium, 66g carbs. Add 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese and you can add another 140 calories, 14g fat and 8g saturated fat to that bagel!
Frontega Chicken hot panini: 800calories, 32g fat, 8g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 100g cholesterol, 2150g sodium, 80g carbs.
Fuji Apple Chicken salad, 570calories, 30g fat, 7g sat fat, 1010g sodium, 25g sugar.
Caffe Mocha Espresso 370calories, 15g fat, 9g sat fat, 50g cholesterol, 42g sugar.

I hope these typical pre and post training foods were eye-openers to why you might not be losing lbs with all that training. And even if you are at your ideal weight, give your body nutrients which it can use. Of course there are healthy options out there but search for the right treat or meal and enjoy every bite!

1/11/08

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!


I'm busy. Studying, nutrition, working out, going to class, coaching/personal training. I'm some how doing it all but the weekends are going to be a blessing to my crazy schedule. Just to have two days of not having somewhere to go will really allow me to get a lot done. let's start with school. I have my first quiz on wed in medical terminology so I will be studying plenty over the next couple of days. The class is really interesting because I am learning how to break down words by their roots, suffixes and prefixes and figure out what the word means. Really cool to learn but SO many words to learn. I just received an email from the Dietetic program at UNC (University of Northern Colorado) where I am starting my online summer program. I will be taking nutrition courses online until I complete the classes I need to receive a dietetic degree. Afterwards I do the dietetic internship, then take the Registered Dietitian exam...and one day (hopefully in the near future) I will become a registered dietitian. I am so confident in my education, research and knowledge within sports nutrition but as our society goes, the more credentials the more you are taken seriously. And to achieve my dreams of being on the Today show, being on Ellen and writing a book.....I am willing to do as much as possible to keep on learning for life.
As for the other things I am doing, my nutrition consultations are really exploding. On beginner triathlete, I've been working with several athletes who are noticing dramatic changes in their body composition. Since I believe your best scale is the person you see in the mirror, it is a great thing to hear that my athletes clothes are falling off :) As for the locals that I am helping (through my website), there have been so many success stories that I couldn't be more excited to see how they perform this summer. I specialize in sports nutrition so I see food as fuel in order to perform. Therefore, I look at your diet and make changes in order to change the timing, quantity and sometimes food choices in order to use the right fuels at the right time.
Oh, and I am happy to say that I am running again...actually running! I am starting off around 7 mph on the treadmill (haven't taken it outdoors yet) and after around 10-20 minutes of speeding up the pace, I ended up todays workout with 6.5 miles and the last 5 minutes were at a comfortable 7.8 mph. I have taken the time to observe the things that have helped my almost completely heal with my leg (a little soreness every now and then...but sooo small!) and walking for 10 minutes before I run and doing hip and core exercises has helped a lot!
Well, I better get back to my stuff. I am finishing up a Gatorade Athlete of the Month Article for Triathlete magazine and guess I will study....after I watch Ellen :)

1/9/08

New Article!

I'm writing a monthly column for Judy at Iron Girl. I couldn't be more excited. Here is the first published article! Enjoy.... http://irongirl.com/tasteFeature.php

Thoughts on school


It is now my third day of classes. Biology seems to be an easy class and the lab will be enjoyable. Global Marketing is going to be an interesting class and as a new area for me, I'm really looking forward to it. Aside from being 3 hours and starting at 7pm on Monday night, I think I will survive. Tonight I have Medical terminology which I have been looking forward to all week!
As far as being a non-degree student, I have caught myself comparing graduate school to st.pete college. I've listed some of my generalizations....IMPORTANT: I am not suggesting that people shouldn't get a master degree but it was one off the most stressful and difficult times of my life. I wouldn't take it back but I would have to see on the incentives if I were asked to do it all over again!
1) In graduate school you have all night classes, the staff is made up of 4-6 professors and you have class in the same room for all the classes. At St.pete I actually get to pick my classes, teachers and campus.
2) At st.pete college you leave class with a good understanding of the material. Quizzes are announced prior to class and the exams cover 3-4 chapters. In graduate school you leave class confused and stressed and your brain hurts. There are only 1-2 exams which make up your entire grade, quizzes are random suprises and the exams cover 12-15 chapters.
3) At st.pete college the teachers have office hours and encourage students to ask questions. Extra credit is offered. In graduate school, you do not want to ask questions during class because there is so much material to cover in a 4 hour class that you risk staying at school past 10pm (class ending time). Extra credit???..ha!
4) At st.pete college the classes vary from 1 hour to 3 hours. Exams are multiple choice on scantrons (no essays) and they take less than 30 minutes to complete. In graduate school the classes are 3-4 hours, not including laboratory time. Exams are multiple choice, true or false and essay. No question is without a trick answer and the exam takes 3-4 hours if you budget your time well and hope to finish all the questions. *My exit exam took me 6 hours and I wrote over 15 pages to answer 4 questions.
Well, those are just some of my thoughts on my courses right now. I know things will become much more time consuming and difficult come this summer when I start my online dietetic courses but with applicable information, I have a feeling it won't be too hard to enjoy studying.

I found these quotes and thought these were appropriate for all those students (at one time) out there:
A university is what a college becomes when the faculty loses interest in the students.

A professor is one who talks in someone else’s sleep.

College is a place to keep warm between high school and an early marriage.

Does college pay? They do if you are a good open-field runner.

The purpose of primary education is the development of your weak characteristics; the purpose of university education, the development of your strong.

The average Ph.D. thesis is nothing but a transference of bones from one graveyard to another.

1/7/08

Back to School!

I was a little nervous this morning. After a relaxing weekend of lots of running on the treadmill, watching TV and finishing up some nutrition consultations, I anxiously awaited my first day of school!!! I have been up and down about my decision to go back to school and well, I finally committed. More so, my credit card committed and I signed up for 3 classes and a lab at st.pete college. Still working on telling myself I can invest a little more $$$ on books (those things would come in handy for my classes) but it's tough when I'm just getting by as it is. Hey, I'm 25, I have no kids, the wedding is in 9 months and a sports nutrition career is the driving force for everything I do in life. This is the time that I do this and I'm actually looking forward to this next journey in my life. To start off my morning, I decided to swim. The cold weather last week kept me away from the chilly air last week. The weather was beautiful w/ a nice cool breeze so I decided to swim outside at the Palm Harbor Y. Only crazy marni was there before the sun came up so I enjoyed the pool all to myself. I guess I was super motivated with school on my mind that I actually committed myself to a swim set. I usually play around in the pool w/ a 1000 swim and maybe a 500 pull or kick and then I call it a day. This morning I did a 500 warm up and a great set of 300, 2 x 200, 3 x 100 and did that two times. The 300 was pull and the rest was swim. I even did IM on the second set of the 200's and 100's. I finished with 4 x 50's of 25 no breathe under water butterfly kick and 25 backstroke. Just working on the lung capacity. I guess this morning I started a new chapter in my life. Back to time management, discipline, balance and happiness. For some reason I feel like school is an important part of my life and I've been without it for over a year. Not sure if many people love school as much as I do, but beyond the stress, exams, late nights and sitting in class I absolutely love learning. I couldn't be more excited to have someone educate me! Maybe that's why I love educating others so much. The classes I'm taking right now are Biology (w/ Lab), global marketing and Medical terminology. Because I have always been a chemistry/exercise science nerd, I don't have any biology classes in my education background. I have a small list of pre-req courses which I will combine with the online accredited dietetic courses that I will be taking this summer. The courses at St.pete college are a big change from graduate school (my bio class actually has extra credit!!! There was minimal extra credit in grad school...let alone an opportunity to bring up a grade after 2 exams) but I'm excited to be back in class. Well, I hope my enthusiasm keeps up during the next couple of months. Just like a new training plan, a new nutrition change or a new job, things look great at first but it takes a positive outlook to stay committed to your new changes. Well, time to get ready for my evening class.... Now this is a change I will really have to get use to!