6/6/08

National Donut Day

Please....like I am really going to write about donuts. :)
Actually, this is a perfect day to talk about some of the delicious food choices that are featured on every other TV commercial. Maybe I am just hungry when I watch TV in the evenings but I can't tell you how many yummy ads I see on tv. Yummy, that is, until I check the nutritional value on the computer.
So, if these ads are tempting even the healthiest eater (ME) I am sure every person reading my blog (and more) are contemplating about some of these sweet treats I see on TV. Not only are there sweet treats but I have seen some "healthy" ads which make me wonder....are these foods really as healthy as they seem????
Dunkin Donuts:
1 Glazed Donut
Sure, there are no trans fats in the donut but I ask you to read the list of ingredients and correctly pronounce everything that is in the donut that you are eating. And, with 21% of the donut being Saturated fat (at 4.5 grams) and 90 calories from fat, I think you may reconsider your 230 calorie sweet treat
Nutrition Facts
Calories 230
Calories from Fat 90
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 4.5g 21%
Sodium 320mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 30g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Sugar 12g
Protein 4g

Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Palm Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil and Partially Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil with TBHQ and Citric Acid Added to Help Protect Flavor, Sugar, Dextrose, Contains 2% Or Less Of The Following: Yeast, Salt, Maltodextrin, Whey, Soy Flour, Mono- & Diglycerides, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Soy Lecithin, Nonfat Milk, Cellulose Gum, Guar Gum, Propylene Glycol, Annatto, Turmeric, Sodium Caseinate, Natural & Artificial Flavor, Gum Arabic, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Xanthan Gum, Agar, Carrageenan, Citric Acid, Egg.


Wendys NEW Strawberry Shake
I must say that this one looks rather good after a long bike ride with karel. However, I think I will continue with my pancakes and smoothie than filling myself with a drink filled with sugar.
1 large strawberry shake at Wendy's clogs your arteries with 8 grams of saturated fat, .5 grams of trans fat, 13 grams of total fat and 79 grams of sugar. That is enough sugar to give even the healthiest athlete diabetes! And since you are probably thinking this shake would be perfect after a workout to hold you over until your post-workout meal, how about feeling hungry after sipping down 520 calories.
Again, check the ingredients to see what you are really drinking...
Strawberry Frosty™ Shake:
Vanilla Frosty (milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, whey, nonfat dry milk, guar gum, mono and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavor, cellulose gum, carrageenan, calcium sulfate, disodium phosphate, dextrose, annatto color, vitamin A palmitate), Strawberry Shake Syrup (water, high fructose corn syrup, sweetened strawberries [strawberries, sugar], corn syrup, natural flavor, citric acid, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate [preservative], red 40, blue 1). CONTAINS: MILK.

Arbys Smoothie Shake
When Karel and I were moving we stopped at a gas station to fill up the track and attached to the station was an Arby's. Karel was hungry (as usual) and ordered a berry delight swirl shake. I had a sip and knew right away that it wasn't healthy. How'd I know? It tasted WAY too good to be healthy. Ok, so healthy food can be tasted but you know you are drinking sugar when you just can't get enough of it.
It wasn't until Karel looked it up on the computer that we realized how "good" it really was. I think we would need to go out for a couple century's to use up the energy from that drink. Actually, we'd rather stick with our post workout smoothies and something a little more healthy in our bloodstream.
I'm not going to lie..it was good but Karel and I know better for next time!

Berry Delight Swirl Shake:
Calories: 651
Calories from Fat:140
Fat: 16 Saturated Fat: 9 Trans Fat: 0.5
Sodium: 439
Carbs: 112
SUGAR!!!! AHHHHHHH 100g


Papa Johns Pizza with the NEW Whole Grain Crust
Since we all love pizza and we know whole grains are healthy, here is the new slogan for the new whole grain crust:
Our hand-tossed, 100% whole wheat crust is made from the superior-quality ingredients you expect from Papa John's. It's prepared using 100% whole grains and clear-filtered water to create an authentic crust that's delivered to our stores fresh, never frozen. The result is a full-bodied crust that's a perfect balance of flavor and texture.
I like thin crust pizza due to the crunch and flavor with an extra saving in calories from less dough in the crust. So I checked the nutrition to see if this whole grain crust was as healthy as it is claimed to be and here is what I found:
Original Crust (132grams/slice) of a 14" pizza comes in at 300 calories, 11g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat and sodium at 750grams (of course high in sodium because it is fast food/restaurant food).
Thin crust (96 grams/slice) for a 14" pizza comes to 240 calories, 13 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of fat and 500 mg sodium. I like to ask for light on the cheese when I order pizza but I ask for extra veggies on a vegetable pizza. My favorite place for pizza is Hungry Howie but I heard that Mellow Mushroom (there is one here in JAX) has a lot of great vegetarian options.
So now to the whole wheat crust pizza (132grams/slice) for a 14" comes to 290 calories and 12 grams of fat. 3.5 grams of saturated fat and 730 mg sodium. We all know that just because it is whole grain doesn't mean there are less calories but I guess adding whole grains to the diet through pizza is a good reason to order the new whole grain crust. I thought that there would be more fiber (only 5 grams in whole grain and 2 in the original, 1 in the thin crust) in the whole grain so in that case, I'd rather make my own pizza with my own high fiber bread/wrap, marinara sauce and whatever toppings I choose. Plus, I save a lot of money and the 30 minutes to wait for the pizza can be occupied with me preparing my "pizza" the way I like it.

Let me know if you have any other questions as far as foods to emphasize and de-emphasize. I don't like saying good and bad foods unless they are heart unhealthy, but i guess in this case, there are a lot of bad foods out there.

6/5/08

Training and Traveling

Training
I don't have much to talk about because I am a little unfocused for training. I have been staying busy swimming, biking and running but I find myself just doing it and not really feeling like I have to do it. I kinda like just going out and doing one or two sports every morning and coming back hot and sweaty. Since the Y is so close I have been taking advantage of my guest pass and running to the Y. After a 18 min run I am ready to get in the pool. Yesterday I ran to the Y, did 15 min. on the treadmill and then jumped in the pool for a 2000 swim. I then put on my clothes and ran home all wet. Karel was confused when I came in with my hair wet and out of breath. On Tuesday morning I biked with karel. I wasn't feeling the ride when we started but once I found myself hanging on to his wheel (we were both on our road bikes) I was really enjoying his company. It helps to have him tell me that I'm doing well so I find that inner coach in Karel coming out when we are together..and I love that! We finished with 30 miles in about an hour and 40 min. and it was a great ride. The good thing is that my cycling is finally getting better and I can actually ride with Karel. Because Tuesday morning was his endurance day at a steady pace, he was worried that he would have to slow down for me. Well, I guess Karel has a new training partner because I was able to stick to his wheel for the whole ride. I'm in no rush to pull or ride side by side so I will keep pushing hard to try to keep his pace. On tuesday afternoon I ran to work and ran home. Again, the luxury of being close to work and having a shower at work.
This morning I passed on riding with Karel during his 3 hour ride (I enjoyed staying in bed for an extra hour when he woke up at 5am) but we plan on riding together tomorrow. I am going to try to convince him to take out his tt bike so we can ride aero together. Maybe if I cook him a good dinner he will agree :) I went for a 1:10 run which totalled to 9 miles. I am getting pretty tired during my runs but I am finding it hard to slow down my pace. I am comfortable with my pace but I think I am in need of re-training myself for higher thresholds. Sure I can go the speed but without teaching the body how to clear lactate after it is produced I can only go so long before I get tired. My big goal this year is the Jacksonville Marathon in Dec so I am not worried about getting up the speed and distance anytime soon. I jumped on my road bike after my run and went for a 20 mile spin after my run. I came home thirsty and tired but no time for excuses...emails, school work and nutrition must be done. I am really focused on my cycling right now so I decided to get my cycling license and I plan to do more cycling races. Since they are so much cheaper than tri's I can train and race with cycling and then pick my tri's to really see if the cycling paid off. I am heading to Ocala with Karel (and the team) on the 15th for the state road race championships. I am hoping that I can upgrade from cat 4 to 3 before then so that I can race with the pro girls. Also, with Karel starting 2 hours after me, I will have 40 miles on a 5-mile loop to show Karel that I can ride a bike without aerobars :)......hopefully.
Traveling
It's that time of the year again. Time for the International Society of Sports Nutrition annual conference. This is my 4th year attending this conference and for the third year in a row, I am heading to Vegas! I leave jacksonville on sat afternoon and fly to tampa to spend a night with my parents. Then I leave on sun and head to Vegas until tues evening for a red-eye home.
I am really looking forward to meeting people, networking and learning. I see this conference as a way for me to learn and then educate others. There are some good speakers and some good talks planned. Specifically, I will be listening to the creatine, nutriting timing, whey protein and athlete nutrient requirement talks. Not all of the talks appeal to me but I am always looking to learn new info. Last year I spoke at the conference on sports nutrition for the endurance athlete, so this year I can be stress free all day on mon and tues. I like to remind people that the nutrition products in our sport all come from research. There are so many studies demonstrating how the ingredients in products (maltodextrin, creatine, whey, soy, glucose, etc.) work in certain controlled conditions. Well, when I go to this conference every year, I get to meet the researchers that designed the study and prove that creatine works with weight training, that maltodextrin prevents a spike in blood sugar and that whey protein expidites the recovery process after training. The best part of the ocnference is hearing research that is new and announced. Kinda like breaking news. Well, I'll be sure to share the info with everyone when I come home on wed.

School is keeping me super busy with weekly assignments that are very tedious. I have my first exam on mon so of course, it has to be during the conference. Bummer. Then a quiz in my other class on tues. Another bummer. Oh well. Things are good at the shop and I sold my first bike yesterday! Ok, so it was a 16" kids bike but I guess that counts :)

6/3/08

gatorade athlete of the month

Calling all nominations!!!! Please email me mrakes1@hotmail.com
I'm looking for the next athlete for my column...an inspirational person that you feel is deserving of the column. If your nomination isn't choosen (one per month) I am sure they are still deserving of the title :)
thanks!
*I will take 3-4 nominations for the next few columns for the summer.

6/2/08

Birthday Weekend Recap




Since I already talked about my love/hate relationship with time trials I will move on to the rest of Saturday. After the race we were all in need for food so among our choices in the interesting town of Union City, GA we all went to IHOP. Of course, with 4 healthy cyclists and 1 triathlete (ok, cyclist for the weekend) we all ordered egg beater omelets and a stack (3) of whole grain pancakes w/ sugar free syrup. After a few re-fills of water, we cleaned our plates (all but me w/ the small belly who had to save 2 pancakes and half of my mushroom omelete w/ no cheese for later) and headed to the hotel. I think all the guys (well, the ones in my room, Karel and Cody) took a nap and I was on the computer during the afternoon working on school work. The crit for the evening was about 2 miles from us, if that, so we all rode our bikes to the race. It was in the back of a mall on a semi-rolling street which looped around in the back of the mall parking lot. The guys did well with Curtis placing 2nd place which made him 1st overall for the stage race (all three races). Jeff and Karel did well but it was a tough race with a lot of action. Cody got dropped but he did awesome for being an 18-year old, who was just racing juniors and is now racing with the 1,2 guys. After the crit we all got cleaned up and headed to...OUTBACK in peachtree city for dinner. We decided to get out of Union City for a few hours. With lots of bread, I was really enjoying my b-day dinner. The team sponsor (Bob Linder) treated us to dinner so that was very nice. There were 10 of us for dinner which was great when the host brought me ice cream w/ a cherry on top for my b-day. Luckily, I could pass it around for everyone to share a bit. I think Karel's eye's lit up like a little kid in a candy store when he saw chocolate on top of the ice cream. With a chocolate and vanilla lover, I guess karel and I make a good team. I surprised karel with his anniversary gift which was a Cannon camera. Ok, so maybe the gift was for me as well, but I know karel is going to love playing with OUR new camera. And of course, I will be able to take much better pictures at the races.
After a late dinner we headed back to the hotel and jumped right into bed. The morning came early. We had a small breakfast before our road race and packed up the cars. It was a good thing that the race was only 5 miles down the road so we left the hotel at 7:15. I think we waited in line for the port-o-potty longer than it took to drive there. Karel got my road bike all ready and as I was warming up Karel and the guys were off at 8am. There were 15 women in my race (pro 1,2,3 and then women cat 3,4) who were racing for the state championship. Of course, no GA award for me so I just wanted to see if I could keep up with the pro girls and not get dropped. The course was very tough with LOTS of rollers and climbs. Up and down, it just never stopped. The hardest part about cycling is paying attention to what is going on. I am just so amazed that Karel can do these races every weekend because it is just so hard trying to respond to attacks even if your body says "ouch". I pulled a little bit and we tried to do a few rotations but it seemed when I would pull up a climb (which I found to be my strongest part of this race) someone would attack and I would have to get out of my saddle, change gears and catch them. A lot of changing of the gears so if you ever want to be good at cycling races, you have to know how to keep a steady cadence, especially with hills. The first 20 miles were kinda boring and I wanted to just get the race overwith. However, it was only at the last 10 miles that the race started to get interesting. There were two big climbs before a right turn onto a 5 mile straight away (parkway road) to the finish and it was during the second climb that a few of the pro girls attacked. I was the only one there without a teammate so I guess I was kinda working by myself. I could see the other girls working with each other and helping each other out. You really have to watch over your shoulder during this races cause anything can happen in a split second. Well, without enough time to recover from one climb, the attack was on the second climb and the 6 girls ahead of me sprinted away. There was now 4 of us trying to catch them and I was pulling my group for a few miles at around 25mph. OUCH! I told the girls I was with that we needed to work together so we each took turns pulling. Finally, after around 4 miles we were so close to the finish. My group finally caught the group ahead as I was pulling but silly me, I still needed to sprint to the finish. well, the lack of fast twitch fibers in my legs made it tough to get in a final sprint so I took 10th out of 15th girls (5th in the cat 3,4 category). The 48 mile race didn't bother me and I was happy to not get dropped . Even with my uneasiness of corners and descends I was pretty happy with my performance. I tell ya, cycling races are totally different than tri's. I give Karel a lot of credit for what he does. I know how I feel when i am sprinting to the line at the end of a half ironman so I guess Karel and I both love the pain of pushing hard when it seems like you have no more left in the tank.
Speaking of Karel.....Jeff and Curtis finished the road race around 11:50pm. They only did 3 loops which made the race 98 miles for the guys. After waiting a few min. for Jeff to catch his breath (I can't believe the guys did 3 loops of that crazy rolling course!) I asked him where was Karel? He told me Karel was helping Jeff and Curtis to not get dropped (since both of them were working for a stage placing, Karel opted to help his teammates rather than trying to get a good placing for himself) and after the King of the Mountain climb Karel got dropped. So I waited for about 30 min. and still no Karel. I assumed that Karel was going to finish the loop so I would give him another 30 min. to get back to the race. It was 1:15pm and no karel. Curtis and jeff got their money for the race..and still no karel. Ok, I was starting to get really worried. My thoughts were that he had no spare tire kit (for the pro races there is a wheel truck), no water and no food. When I asked the GA cup staff they said that the police went around the course and no one was left on the course. Oh no. Karel had to be lost. There was about 10 turns for the 25+ mile loop and because the race was over, I knew Karel was still out there...somewhere. Karel is usually really good with directions but because the race was over, all the signs on the course were taken down. At this point, there were police and motorcycle refs all around union city looking for karel. At around 1:30pm I started to break down. My thoughts again, no food and water. He is totally bonking and probably so annoyed that he is just cycling in circles. I knew if Karel was desperate that he would ask someone for help and that is how karel made it back to our car. Finally, A truck pulls up with a cervelo in the back and there is my helpless, glycogen depleted, I never want to see my bike again, let's get out of Union City Karel in the back seat of the car. I gave Karel a big hug and he knew I was so worried about him. He said that everytime he asked how to get back to Union City, someone would point him in a different direction. so 6 miles one way, 6 miles another way, up a hill, down a hill...he just got so turned around. After being dropped around mile 60, Karel ended up riding by himself for many more miles...trying to find his way home. Even with 115 miles, Karel wasn't mad...just annoyed. He said during his 50+ miles alone, he went through so many emotions. He never wanted to ride again, he was upset, he hated racing, etc...but then after many stops on the way home (subway, 2 cookies, ice cream, starbucks)..Karel said he is ready for the Florida State RR in 2 weeks. I am sure we will laugh about this later and Karel (mr. funny) was already making Cody and I laugh on the way home. He said that the couple who brought him back to Union City had just picked up a pizza. Karel was just drooling for 10 miles as he smelled the pizza in the front seat. I guess the couple was unfamiliar with cycling races and that a lost cyclist (or any cyclist) can always eat.













Well, we are back in Jacksonville and all is good. I am 26 years old and I had a great birthday weekend :)

Pics from the weekend:
http://www2.snapfish.com/thumbnailshare/AlbumID=231821283/a=49603030_49603030/t_=49603030