12/20/08

NFL game

A few weeks ago, our friends James and Jennifer S. asked if we wanted club seats to the Jaguars game on December 18th. We said sure, why not. Karel and I are not NFL fas but I use to be a big basketball and football fan. We had never bee to a NFL game and we heard the game would be good against the Colts. The whole experience was new to Karel and he just thought it was crazy that people come to the game 4 hours before the game and grill hot dogs and burgers and eat chips. Now tailgating is a new word in his vocabulary. :)
We had a great time and it was nice to get out and do something totally different from our normal lifestyle. The club seats were a treat with a variety of gourmet food options (very expensive but good) and very good seats. We also saw Jeff (karel's boss and team manager) and his family there. Jeff use to play for the Jaguars. Can you believe it, football player turned cyclist? He is super strong and a lot leaner than his football days.
Unfortunatly, with a game comes germs and I only had enough room in my purse for my nuts and not my antibacterial gel. That gel goes everywhere with me but silly me choose my nuts instead. So, now I have a bad head cold. I am sniffling like crazy, my throat hurts and I feel like my head is filled with cotton balls. Then I think about my last blog on how proud I am to not get sick. Well, perhaps I keep myself away from germs as much as possible and this just goes to show how easy it is to get a virus when around other people. This is why I always cook my own food and stay in a little bubble when I am about to do a big race. Of course, with taper week, my body is working overtime to heal and repair and I'm not suprised that I got a little cold. I am still doing the race tomorrow but my goals may change as I am running. Karel reminded me that I always tell people if your symptoms are above the neck, usually exercise makes you feel better. As if 26.2 miles wasn't hard enough???









The jaguars were winning until the 4th quarter. We left at the beginning of the 4th and when we got home, the Colts had won.

12/18/08

Keeping yourself healthy

I answer a lot of emails. I just love it. However, I seem to get a lot of questions about what to do when a person is...
Injured
Craving sugars
Has a cold
Is not recovering properly
Feeling lethargic during exercise
Feeling lethargic at work


From the popular topics, I get the most questions about what to eat in order to help with recovery, being injured and to get better with a cold. I wish I had a perfect recipe or nutrient for everything, but unfortunantly the body reacts to stress by giving us symptoms that are hard to cure overnight.
I believe that the best way to help with these problems is to prevent them. I know I'm not the only one who doesn't get sick that often but when I do get sick, I get it bad. In these cases, there is very little that I can do (nutritionally) to make myself feel better. In these cases, I do my best with nutrition and just give it time for whatever is in my body to leave. I am a firm believer that being a healthy athlete is a daily effort. There may be days when your body is just off or you just can't seem to not crave sweets but for the majority of the month, you are providing your body with good sources of nutrients.
I find myself preparing the same meal every night. It is my go-to meal. Sometimes I am bored with it so I swap egg whites for tofu or I add in a little rice. Or, I might serve my go-to meal with a pita instead of bread...but there is always a piece of bread with my go-to meal and I never get bored with that :)
But whenever I am bored with my meal and think about something else to prepare (since I don't ever do frozen dinners or an entire meal that can be prepared in the microwave) I start pulling out ingredients and the stove gets turned on...and I am back making my go-to meal and I am love every bite of it.
The concept of my go-to meal is a bunch of veggies and a protein. It works for me. I started to think about my boring go-to meal but it is so nutritious and good for me. I always enjoy making it and both Karel and I enjoy eating it. All I do is cut up a bunch of veggies and my favorites in include peppers, mushrooms, onions, brocoli and tomatoes and I add in frozen corn, tofu, chickpeas, egg whites and sometimes veggie meat. Then comes the marinara sauce or salsa and I top it with cheese.
I think everyone can have a healthy go-to meal. You need to start with veggies because that will comprise the bulk of the meal. If you like cheese, pasta or rice, cook a little of the rice and pasta seperatly and use that as a topping to your collection of veggies. For the cheese, just use that as a topping. I recommend using at least 4 veggies and if there is a veggie that you think you should eat more of (for me it is brocoli) just chop that veggie finely but keep your portions of each veggie equal before cooking.
*If you think your kids (or yourself) will have a hard time eating protein-packed tofu, crumble it up (firm tofu) and then use mozerrella cheese for a topping. You won't know if you are eating tofu or cheese!
Here is my go-to meal the other night.


Although it is easy with my go-to meal, Karel really out-did me with his meal the other night.




And what is a blog about being healthy without my super healthy Campy who is still cuter than ever!

12/15/08

Probiotics



I think I have at least 6 ounces of yogurt a day. I can't even remember the last time I haven't had a little yogurt at least once a day, for the past few years (yes, I am including yogurt ice cream). I love yogurt! I am a big fan of yogurt because it is filled with healthy bacteria (low sugar is recommended).
I had to go the vitamin shop a few weeks ago because Karel needed Flex cream (he can't live without it). I don't shop much for supplements because Wal-mart has my whey protein and fish oil capsules and Hammer has all my sports nutrition products. However, if you put me in the nutrition store I am bound to read labels and see what is the latest and greatest product(s). I spent a lot of time at the amino acid section but the probiotics caught my eye. I have read about probiotics and my good friend Cassandra Forsythe is a fan of them. You may know of Cass from two books which she just published:
New rules of lifting for women
The perfect body diet
Here is her website http://www.cassandraforsythe.com/. She is one of the smartest females I know and we love being the young females in a sports nutrition society filled with males.
Anyways, I ended up buying two bags of Trail mix and a bottle of Nature's Life
Cranberry Pro-96 Acidophilus. The consistency of the product is a bit like really liquidy yogurt but when added to water or a smoothie you don't even realize that you are drinking something so good for your body.
Here is the profile of the product we have:
Purified water, super red Pro-96, soy protein blend(identity preserved soy protein isolate(including lecithin), fructose, phytored blend(cranberry concentrate, natural flavor, cherry juice, red grape juice, raspberries, red beets, tomato juice, red bell pepper and acerola berries), fiberzyme blend(psyllium seed husks, apple pectin, oat fiber, bromelain enzyme and papain enzyme, natural cranberry concentrate, live Lactobacillus culture(lacidophillus, L-Bulgaricus, L-Thermophilus, l-rhamnosus, bifidobacterium lactis, bifidum and infantis) and Fructooligosaccharides.
Not only is it filled with great ingredients and only 25 calories per serving, but it is filled with all of the amino acids (and you know how much I love amino acids).
Your body is filled with bacteria and microorganismas and probiotics refer to foods which contain the beneficial bacteria. Yogurt is extremely high in probiotics and you may see a lot of dairy products listing "probiotics" on the package. Although you have healthy bacteria in your body, a supplement form of probiotics may help you further protect yourself from harmful bacteria.
I believe that being healthy isn't just about what you look like on the outside. One of the common concerns I have with athletes is wanting a lean body but not being able to do anything with it. It is fine to look a certain way but you want to provide your body with the best nutrients possible in order to peform well and to stay healthy. Even at your goal weight, it sucks being sick in bed or with an injured body part.
Keep yourself healthy this holiday season and pick up some probiotics. Because I am not a big advocator of supplements, be sure you are eating healthy more often than not so that you don't let the holiday eating get the best of you.

12/14/08

3:35

I'm starting to think twice about my Marathon goal time. With only 1 week to go I am wondering if I did enough to prepare.
I think the marathon is one of the hardest races out there. I even think the Ironman is more comfortable than a solo marathon. Out of the 2 marathons I have done (Miami and Boston) and the two Ironmna's I have done (IMFL and Kona) I was more sore after the marathons than the IM's. I just think it is so hard to just start running and finish after 26.2 miles. I still love long distance running but it sure does hurt. I just can't seem to recover after marathon training.
On saturday I did my last long run. I think I should have ran longer but the last hour was long enough. I did 2 hours and 35 minutes and the first 90 minutes went by really fast. It was that last hour, on my familiar turf (I ran the first 90 min. on new roads) that become very boring.
I did have time to think about lots of stuff and with my radio keeping me zoning out, I didn't stop once. I was really proud of myself because I wasn't even tempted to stop and rest. Only a few jogs in place for the lights by my place but that was it. The best part of my run was when Karel road by me for a few minutes after he finished his ride. What great timing! He asked how I was feeling and I told him I was so happy to be on the street where we lived. I guess my 7-7.5 mph pace was too slow for him on his Trek TT bike so he beat me home by a few minutes. I was pretty sore most of the day but I had lots to do to keep me busy.
I waited anxiously for Karel to get home from work so that we could watch the Ironman on NBC (which I taped on my DVR). I always get so inspired by watching Kona and every year I say "that was the best one yet!". I think I have a new appreciation of watching the race since I some how hobbled my way to the finish line in 2007 but the stories and the people who race IM (each and everyone of them) are just amazing. I think it takes a lot to be a triathlete and no matter what the distance, it is an amazing sport to be apart of.
This morning I new I wasn't going to have a good ride with the guys so I prepared myself (and Karel) that I wouldn't ride the entire ride with him. I think he could tell that I was very sore because I was also a bit moody and tired. During the ride I just kept my mouth shut but after 27 miles it was time to turn around. I made the decision at that point because Jeff told Curtis and Karel that they would each rotate for 3 min each. Yep, my time to head back home. I will have none of that, even if I was drafting.
Unfortunatly my ride home was not easy and with head wind for a solid 23 miles I just listened to my music and new that eventually I would be home. I survived a long weekend of training but I couldn't help but think that a 2:35 run and 50 mile ride is going to be an easy weekend as I train for IMKY. Good thing I have many more months to go.