Essential Sports Nutrition


Tuna salad!

I just got a question from one of my nutrition athletes and she told me she loves tuna salad. She wasn't sure if she should cut it out or if I could suggest a healthier option. Never eliminate food, substitute when you are trying to eat more healthy.
Karel is also a fan of tuna salad as well as potato salad. Tuna salad seems healthy (fish right?) but it isn't until you add the mayo that the tuna salad becomes a fatty and calorie filled meal. You'd think the Tuna sub at a place like Subway would be healthy but with 530 calories and 31 grams of fat (1030mg sodium) for a 6 inch sub, you might think twice about how healthy tuna salad can really be.
I love to eat and I love to cook. I love making my own versions of food from restaurants or that I see on the food network. It is sad that the foods which we could eat without any remorse (many years ago) are now foods which are high in calories, fat and sodium because Americans want more and food manufactures are giving us more. When we use to go out for ice cream as a treat (this was a special time for me when I was young and my parents would take me to get ice cream as a treat for my good grades in school) ice cream is now a staple in the diet or the meal we eat after we have dinner. It is sad that we have to be so careful about how we eat but it isn't until you start to lose focus on what you are eating that you begin to put on pounds or the blood sugar sores out of control. I always say "eat consciously!"
Anyways, last night I wanted to make my own tuna salad for Karel and mix in something with potatoes. Karel makes a homemade potato salad which is super healthy and yummy which his mom would make for him all that time when he was in the Czech. Karel loves white potatoes (in addition to pasta) so I try to cut out some of those starchy calories to add more vitamins, minerals and fiber (there is nothing wrong with a white potato but leave off the sour cream and cheese). For those looking to reduce the amount of white starches in the diet, choose a sweet potato for more fiber (7g) compared to a white potato (4g).
I decided to make him tuna salad with canned tuna and then make a marni version. Ok, so mine wasn't anything like his tuna salad but I used some of the same ingredients.
For Karel's tuna salad I used 1 can light tuna in water (drained water) and mixed in 1 tbsp (1 little squirt) of fat-free mayo. I then chopped up 2 hard boiled egg whites and added 1/2 yolk. I added chopped scallions (you can also use onions) and added a little of canned tomatoes w/ chili's (from the other night). That's it..karel's tuna salad. I didn't taste it (the downside of a vegetarian cooking for a meat-eater) but Karel said it tasted just fine.
For me I used 2 egg whites and 1/2 yolk and added my vegetarian sausage, scallions and tomatoes. I also cooked about 1/4 cup egg beaters in the microwave (pour egg beaters in bowl sprayed with pam or butter spray and cook about 45 sec - 1 min for quick eggs) to give my marni salad some consistency.
For the rest of the meal I cooked the leftover chick peas (from my burgers) and mushrooms (I love cooked mushrooms!) and corn and I added some hashbrowns for the potatoes. Plan to cook the hashbrowns and corn first if they are frozen.
For our bread (we usually have some kind of bread at dinner) I bought whole wheat sub and I used half of one and covered it with a little swiss and mozzerella cheese. I used 1 sub for Karel and cut it in half and used the same cheeses (I used 1 slice swiss cheese and tour it into pieces to cover the subs). I put them in the microwave for about 25 sec. to melt the cheese and then sprinkled on some italian spices. This sub+cheese mixture would be a great start to a pizza if you wanted to add some sauce, veggies and a protein.
We both used our "salads" to cover the subs and filled our plates with the cooked veggie mixture. I also made a quick salad of spinach, carrots, strawberries and apples and crumbled rosemary and olive oil crackers (I bought them at wal-mart as an alternative to croutons). Another yummy and healthy meal!
*This is dedicated to all my non-vegetarians out there :)


Burger night!

I was overwhelmed with work yesterday. Nothing new. Two things in my life de-stress me: Training and cooking. Of course, spending time with karel will make me happy but I can't admit that I am always stress-free when I am with him (I'm sure he can attest to what I am like when I am stressed :0
I didn't work at the Trek store because I was busy, busy, busy with an overwhelming amount of nutrition consultations (not complaining!) so I made a quick trip .3 miles down the road to Food Lion to pick up a few groceries. Last night Karel and I had chickpea burgers.
When I start the day everyday I think about what I am going to eat for all my meals. Breakfast is usually oatmeal but occasionally I will have a yummy-filled whey smoothie with dry cereal in it (get it, instead of cereal and milk I have smoothie and cereal..a lot more filling than 1 serving of cereal). Lunch is usually some carb (wrap, bread, veggies) with egg beaters. A staple to my diet...egg whites as often as I can eat them!
Lots of snacks during the day, yogurt, string cheese, wasa cracker with natural PB, nuts, fruit and veggies.
Then for dinner I try to spice up the diet. I always have protein as the main part of my dinner meal: tofu, egg whites or veggie meat. Then I try to think about what I can make for both Karel and I using either my protein or something for me and adding real meat to his meal. I'm ok with touching frozen or deli meat but I won't cook a whole chicken or turkey.
Since I don't meausre anything I am fully aware of serving sizes. I love reading labels and it is just second nature for me to guess how much I am eating. Plus, I am aware of how much food i need to be full because I have trained by body to only need around 300-400 calories to be satisfied. Not only do I eat VERY slow (longtime habit) but I drink water with all my meals (starting before my meals) and I always combine protein and fiber with my meals. Just a habit now but it did take a while to make those changes.
Here's the chickpea burger.
Since I don't have a food processor (it will be on my wedding registry!) I blended 1/2 can chickpeas, 1/2 can diced tomatoes (drained) w/ chili peppers, some corn (probably around 1/2 cup) veggie sausage and a little water to get it going. I also added a little rice and veggies from Karel's risotto from the other night.
I then poured the mixture in a bowl and added a little whole wheat flour and an egg. I mixed it all up, added some hot sauce and made my burgers on a medium-hot pan sprayed with olive oil spray. I used a little olive oil for my veggies to increase the nutrient content.
I suggest using smaller plates for all those who like to eat with their eyes. I am use to recognizing my portions but for people trying to eat less, just use a smaller plate to make your food portion look bigger without adding extra food to fill the plate. I added a whole wheat english muffin to karel's and instead of making a sandwich he has an open face chickpea burger. I topped the burgers with cheese (real cheese when cheese is a topping, low-skim or reduced fat when cheese makes up all of the meal. Fat-free cheese is just too expensive for me and well, it doesn't really have much flavor after eating the real stuff). For the toppings (or sides) I heated up mushrooms and onions with chili flakes and topped the burgers with a tomato. We also had a nice salad with romaine lettuce, carrots and apples and for desert I made croissants.
This is a favorite of Karel and I. We take reduced fat pillsbury croissants and put sugar-free jelly inside before we roll them up. I also like to make breadsticks with them and I cut the individual croissants in half to make more with less calories for each stick. YUm!


Interval tuesday is BACK!

Ok, so I've been doing my intervals but my consistency of blogging about them hasn't been up to par.
On mon morning I prepared for my talk by walking on the treadmill for 50 min and practicing my talk in my head. Then to the pool for a 1500 swim to think about my talk some more.
Although I was nervous (as usual) the talk went great! After the talk last night at the trek store I was super motivated to train. There was around 23 people at the talk and the crowd asked some great questions. A lot of nutrition products (Hammer) were sold at a discount after the talk and I passed around my card. I received a number of emails this morning and I'm so glad that I impacted the people at my talk. There is nothing more that I love to do than to talk about nutrition and educate. I feel my take on nutrition is different from a lot of exercise physiologists and dietitians. I try to merge the physiology of the body with nutrition so that I can see food as fuel.
The best part of the talk was the beginning where Karel introduced me. This clinic was all about teamwork and I could not have had the opportunity to speak without karel. As the manager of the Trek store, Karel is always looking for more ways to bring people to the store. Besides good customer service, all the guys at the store are always looking out for the best interest in the customer. It isn't just about selling bikes. So for karel to want to put on a nutrition clinic, I jumped on the opportunity. Karel doesn't like talking in front of people, whereas the more the better for me. So a BIG thanks to Karel for introducing me and for the other Trek boys to stick around for my talk.
Karel and I got a ride home from the shop last night since we both rode our bikes to the shop and the rain was non-stop all during my talk and afterwards. When we got home karel was immersed in the Tour while I put on my headphones and studied on the computer. It was a late night for us but just another busy day for me.
This morning I set my alarm at 6:15am and I was up quickly. I made my coffee and then got dressed. I kissed karel good bye and I was out the door at 6:30am. I made my drive the Y (I am now a Brooks YMCA member!) for my interval tuesday run.
I got on my treadmill, plugged in my headphones so I could watch MTV as I run my legs off and started my run. To avoid my bonking experience from last week I decided to opt out of the bottle of water and I had a bottle of aminos for this workout. This totally did the trick because i felt amazing during the workout. Only around 15 calories and those aminos did the trick.
Here's the workout:
10 min warm-up
5 x 45 sec at 8.5 mph
8 x 90 sec at 9.0 mph w/ 30 sec recovery
6 x 45 sec at 9.5 mph w/ 15 sec recovery
4 x 20 sec at 9.8 mph w/ 10 sec recovery
Total workout: 50 min, 7.2 miles
I did about 3-4 min of recovery at 7.8-8mph in between each set and that recovery speed felt so much easier than the warm-up at 7.5mph.

I was so sweaty after the workout but felt so great. I did a few arm exercises and some abs and then headed to the pool. I was a little pressed for time since I needed to be out the door of the Y at 9:00am but I ended up with a 2200 swim.
500 warm-up
4 x 100 drill
2 x 400 swim
300 pull
100 kick
100 warm-up

I had to get to Jacksonville University at 9:30 where I am being mentored for my school Food service course. This is part of my online dietetic program so I have to observe a food service facility. I am observing the university cafeteria where I am learning a lot. Although I wish there were better food choices (now i know why people gain the freshman 15...or 25) the facility is top notch, clean and good with lots of healthy food choices (in addition to the fries and other fried food).

Well, back to work here. So much to do and the hours just fly by. I am looking forward to the weekend because this is Karel and I's last free weekend until mid Aug. We have races coming up and a trip to Dunedin (wedding stuff) in the beginning of Aug. Same old stuff here for me...super busy and trying to find time for everything!


Sports Nutrition Clinic!


15% off all nutrition products in the store!!!

Trek Bicycle Store
Mandarin, Florida

Nutrition Seminar
Marni Rakes, M.S.

Master of Science- Exercise Physiology
Certified Sports Nutritionist
USAT Level-1 Coach
Ironman World Championship Finisher

Fueling for the long workouts

July 14th at 7pm


I know you blog readers live far away...but if you are in town, please come!!!
Maybe one day I will speak in your town!


Heavy legs

Karel and I are sore. Really sore. So sore, we had our whey protein, my blueberry and strawberry with chopped walnut pancakes, lots of water, fruit, brown rice and veggie mix (that Karel made), ice cream and more water....and we are still sore. But the pancakes tasted SOOOOO good, as usual :)

Yesterday morning I left at 7am for my long run. I had a piece of toast with a little PB a few raisins and a little banana. I stick with oatmeal for my pre-ride workouts. When I have trouble getting out the door, like this morning, I try to think about the people that i am coaching. This morning I thought about kate's sis (kelley) who I am coaching for her first marathon. As of now she has only done 2 5K's but as of this morning, she did her first 1:50 run!!! I've been working with her for 9 weeks and from not ever having ran a race, she is doing amazing! So for me, 1 hour and 42 minutes, 12 miles....and a lot of soreness was just what I needed to do that morning. I finished my two flasks in my fuel belt (heed and heed + aminos) before 90 minutes and I was so sweaty when I got home. Just as I got home, I grabbed a quick sip of water before I grabbed seduza. I headed out for a nice hour spin and passed Karel heading the opposite direction. My legs were a little stiff during the day but with no time for a nap (so much studying and work). I had to go to the Trek store to evaluate some nutrition products. I love it when Karel tells me they get new nutrition products cause then I become a happy little kid in a sugar-free candy store :)
After Karel got off work we took our weekly trip to the pet store to look at fish, fish supplies and fish stuff and then we had a nice dinner at the StoneWood Grill. YUM!!! I had a great salad for dinner but the bread was just fabulous :) Karel and I had a gift certificate from a friend of ours (thanks james sweeney!) so karel enjoyed his wine, grouper, rice and soup....I thoroughly enjoyed my bread basket.
Of course we watched the tour that we taped and before we knew it 9pm and we were out!
Ok, so this morning was just torturous! Riding with the group, only a few girls and a lot of ciaos. I guess every group ride is different but riding with the Gearlinkers I was trained by the best. Now I get to these group rides in Jax and I don't understand the rotation, their lines and what they are getting out of the ride. So for drafting, by someone who has trouble drafting, I guess I was exerted a lot of effort. Karel had to change his fork on his cervelo so I met Karel at the shop at 7am with our friend Cody. We headed up to the Open Road cycling shop where the ride started at 7:30. The ride was a bit slow at first with around 40 people heading out on the road. Karel decided to make a move and a few guys followed. I didn't want to get dropped by Karel because I didn't know where I was going so I decided to chase down the 5 guys in the break away. Ok, silly me. I can't catch them...but I tried! I was pushing in my hardest gear (I blame my slow twitch fibers) and I had a few other guys helping me out. Finally we caught them but not too long afterwards, some guy told Karel that they had to slow down until a certain part of the ride. Oh jeez...Karel just laughed that he was going too fast. Well, eventually the pace did pick up and I kept finding myself in the front 5-10 people, Slowly i would make my way up to the front and then Karel and I were pulling.
I had a few pulls as we were rotating on our own time but I didn't have much in the tank. My legs were just shot the whole workout and I really don't know how I hung out.
There was one flat and a small crash so the pace slowed down a bit. I noticed that Karel wasn't with the group after the crash and a few other guys and 1 girl had pulled away from the group.
We all met at the gas station for a refill on drinks and a bathroom stop. There was Karel and he gave me a quick kiss and off he and cody went for more miles.
I finally made it home....average speed 21 mph and I ended up with 67 miles. I finished off the workout with a good 20 min. run and that was the most enjoyable part of the workout. Well, maybe because I knew my pancakes were coming soon after I cleaned myself up.
It was about 90 minutes after I came home that in walks Karel. Glycogen depleted and hot. 95 miles....slacker..can't even make it to 100 :)
I am going to sleep so well tonight. After studying, doing work and trying to take mini breaks to check my email...I can't wait to go to bed!
hope everyone had a great weekend. :)