Essential Sports Nutrition


Tri Talk

I'm sure my nutrition talk gets a bit boring so I thought I would talk about something everyone can relate to...Triathlons!! And, even if you don't do triathlons, I hope you enjoy my new accessory to my bike (or my pics of Campy).

Tomorrow I have my first triathlon of the season. First triathlon since August! Last night as Karel and I were watching the Giro (if you have comcast, the giro is on EVERYDAY for 3 weeks straight, in addition to lots of marathons, triathlons and cycling events on the US channel, which is 200. I LOVE this channel, so much better than versus! Who wants to watch fishing and hunting? BOO for those "sports"!) and Karel told me he would die if he didn't race for 9 months. I laughed because I have done running but no tri's. Well, the time is here and I can finally race!

The triathlon (Beaches Fine Arts Triathlon #1) is a sprint (first one of the series), which is the toughest of them all for me. For a 1/4 mile swim, 13 mile bike and 3 mile run.....the race is an all out sprint for the finish line. I'm excited because I like to suffer for an hour and see how fast I can go. But I know there will be a lot of fast people out on the course.
Karel is out at the ABC store (own by Jeff) at the beach right now working during packet pickup. I'm sure he is loving all the last minute bike problems from triathletes bringing in dirty bikes with stretched out chains and gears that don't shift properly (often commen problems at the Trek store from customers).

Tomorrow morning Karel is also working tech support at the race. Once again, changing overinflatted tires, pumping tires and fixing last minute details from stressed-out triathletes. Although I say all this about newbie and veteran triathletes, it seems like yesterday when I was brining my hybrid bike to the Davie bike shop the day before a race to get the tires pumped up, getting the bike cleaned and getting talked into changing everything on my bike..the day before a race. And yes, I still take my bike to the bike shop a few days before a race to get a little check-up but luckily I have the best mechanic in Jacksonville fix up my bike :)

Speaking of fixing up..I got a little surprise on my bike yesterday.
I LOVE my new pink decals on my bike!!
I couldn't believe that Karel ordered these for me a few weeks ago and they came in on the same day that I asked Karel if I could use his powertap wheel for the race because it looked "cooler" than my wheel. Of course..looks count if you want to go fast :) And, because this is my first triathlon on my new bike, I plan to give it my all for the bike (mostly cause Karel will be there and I'm sure he will be paying more attention to my bike split than the rest of the race :)

Well, the bike is ready and so am I..this should be fun!

And a few cute pics of Campy to keep me smiling during the race:



After all that hard work, the grades are in and I can smile.
Biochemistry - A
Nutrition in the life cycle - A
Professional Development - A

And within 1 week after I finished my classes, I started up again. BOO!
Luckily, my dietetic courses don't start for another week so I am only taking 1 course right now.
The course is technical writing and I am LOVING the book! However, the online class is super time-consuming with 3-5 quizzes a week and 1-2 assignments per week. Lots to squeeze in for an 8-week course.

On a seperate note, I ordered my books for this summer and they are here! Sadly, the price of the books is close to the price for an Ironman race and in a few weeks I will be paying for my dietetic classes, equivilant to a brand new bike. Oh, the price for education over fun. But, it is all worth it!

Here are my books for this summer:
International Dietietics and Nutrition Terminology Reference Manual
Nutritional Assessment
Technical Communication
Food and Nutrition Therapy
Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism

I'm so glad that I made the decision to pursue a dietetic degree and get my RD credentials. When I finished graduate school, I knew nutrition and wellness was my passion. Even with a great graduate education in Exercise Physiology (specifically my Adv. Exercise Physiology, Cardio physiology and Respiratory Physiology courses) I want to have a career in nutrition. Although I want to specialize in sports nutrition, I see myself working with all types of people who seek improvements in performance and weight loss. Because exercise is mandatory for a long and healthy life, I see no other way to teach people how to lose or maintain weight without understanding the human body during exercise.

I'm really looking forward to my upcoming semester of dietetic courses. Not only is it my last semester before I apply to the Mayo Clinic for a very competitive internship, but these courses will really further my knowledge in the area of nutrition.
I didn't decide to go back to school in order to just get the "RD" behind my name. There is so much out there in the world of nutrition that I want to learn and I want to have as much education and experience as I can in the realm of nutrition.
I have also learned why so many nutrition gurus don't have RD credentials. It is a lot of work and a lot of time. I feel qualified to give nutrition information, as it relates to exercise, due to my master degree in exercise physiology. However, because no two athletes are alike, I want to be able to provide clinical nutrition and help people combat diseases, get off prescription meds and work closer to populations who suffer from diabetes, high cholesterol, hypothyroidism, breast cancer and many other life debilitating conditions.
I don't believe there is an excuse why people can't exercise and eat healthy. I believe there is a balanced approach to healthy eating and I am so fortunante that I am able to learn so much about nutrition from research, science and professional dietitians. I'm not learning my information from the internet, from magazine articles or from non-qualified people trying to make some money from their nutrition book, fad diet or infomercial.
As I get even closer to reaching my goal of receiving my RD credentials, I feel very fortunante that I've been able to help so many people reach their goals for weight loss and/or improvements in performance. Most of all, I practice what I preach and I thank everyone for reading my blog and appreciating my love for a healthy and balanced lifestyle and I hope I inspire others to be as healthy as possible.

A few pics of me from graduate school...oh, the memories (these were the non-stressful times)

Presenting a poster at the ISSN new orleans conference. Here's the study which I was involved in, if you are interested in brushing up with your research..
"Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on aerobic power, ventilatory and lactate thresholds, and time to exhaustion."


Goofing around in the exercise physiology lab..don't tell!

I became very good at lactate testing on the treadmill!



The other day I received an email from a cycling friend in Palm Harbor, Fl. He first sent an attachment of a card that he got for his b-day. It was a funny card on his behalf because my friend has lost A LOT of weight since I started working with him about 2 years ago. He went from a non-lean category 4 rider to a lean and strong category 3 rider. And, as a married, father of two (1 is a newborn) he is loving his new life of healthy eating and LOTS of energy.
Here's his email:

I wanted to show you the B-day card that my co-workers gave me. It's pretty funny and they hit the nail on the head when it comes to my diet. Except I do eat cake once in a while! You’re lucky you don't work in an office environment where most of the people are overweight and have really bad eating habits. I tell you it's hard to say no to Chinese buffets and barbecue but I'm dedicated to a healthy lifestyle. I try to convince them to eat healthy but they just make jokes about it all the time. Then they go to the doctor to get another pill to make them feel better. Thanks again for all your help with my diet. I feel great, my bike riding and recovery is still improving.

If you are a top age group athlete, you have probably heard a lot of nonsense from your non-athletic friends/co-workers/family members. Perhaps people are jealous of your "only 10 mile run" or maybe it is because they think you can eat whatever you want to stay lean and train for a triathlon/running/cycling event.
But, if you are an average athlete, who still enjoys buying nice gadgets for your bike, wears compression socks out in public and repeatedly explains why you don't have shoe laces on your running shoes, I have a feeling you hear it a lot from your non-athletic friends.
I find it so sad that people attempting to lose weight are surrounded by people who don't support a more healthy lifestyle. You choose to use olive oil instead of butter and people claim that you have an eating disorder. You read food labels and nutrition guides and people think you are so obsessed with food. Well, you know what I say about all that.....they have no idea what it feels like to be healthy!!

We all know that if you keep unhealthy food in the house you are setting yourself up for failure. Failure of your healthy way of eating because you feel guilt, restriction and frustration to avoid x-food when the cravings set in. Even more worse than buying unhealthy food and keeping it in the house is being around others who sabotage your choice to eat healthy.

I can't blame a restaurant because there are too many to blame. I can't blame a certain food because there are too many out there. I can't blame the TV because what would we watch during American Idol or Biggest Loser (BTW-finally of Biggest Loser tonight..I suggest watching it!!!). The people who I blame are those who feel like they can't grasp their own eating habits.

If you are at a healthy weight and you love what you see in the mirror, I am sure you have nothing but kind words for a friend/co-worker/family member who has lost weight. "You look great" "I bet you have so much more energy" "Let's go out for breakfast some time, I know a great pancake place"
However, if you are struggling to lose weight, it takes a lot of inner strength to congratulate afriend/co-worker/family member on his/her recent weight loss/body composition change. It's hard to eat around him/her, let alone talk about his/her weight loss. It's a lot easier to feel frustrated with your own body and then sabotage yourself and others with unhealthy food choices.

Yes-it is a constant battle to get the body to efficiently use food when you try to eat a healthy diet to support your exercise routine. But, when you start losing weight, you not only see the results of healthy eating but you feel them! More energy, better skin, better sleep, less colds/miss days from work, more productivity at work, better training sessions, better outlook on life, cleaner feeling in the inside and better self esteem. And most importantly, longevity and health for many more years to come!

I could easily say, surround yourself with people who believe in you and inspire you to lose weight or eat healthy. But that is un-realistic. Just look around you at all of the people who aren't at a healthy weight. Maybe that is you, sitting there wondering if you will ever lose weight, but focus on the bigger picture of healthy eating.

Life is about balance. If people see you eating a salad, they probably don't see you enjoying ice cream on sat. night after a 5 hour training session. If people see you eating ice cream, they quickly think "I wish I could eat like him/her". And if you are the one making the judgements that the lean athletes can eat whatever they want..try putting in high volume weeks of specific, intense training sessions and maybe you can eat whatever you want. But in all honesty, your body may enjoy carrying around a few less lbs but eating whatever you want is not a heart-healthy strategy to a healthy life, no matter how much you exercise.

Stop focusing on the outside world or comparing yourself to other athletes. When I help people lose weight, I try to have people focus on their own training program, own lifestyle habits and own eating habits. You need to do what works for you and most importantly, you need to enjoy the food you put in your body. Eating healthy isn't about appearances. If you are an active athlete (newbie or veteran) who loves the benefits of exercise, enjoy the countless benefits of eating wholesome and nutritious food.

So..keep on reading food labels, don't be afraid to portion control/measure/guesstimate calories, enjoy your fruits and veggies when others eat donuts and chips, smile when you order everything on the side, buy a cool-looking lunch bag for your meals outside the home, politely ask for extra veggies when you order a veggie sub at Subway and the girl behind the counter only puts 2 tomatoes on your sub and tip a little extra when you completely change the order at a restaurant in an effort to make your meal a little more heart-healthy.


Zucchini Bread

After my 82 mile ride and 43 min. run on Sat. I was anxious to get cleaned up for the Farmers Market. I had my smoothie and at 1:30, Campy and I headed to Laura's house. Campy was wore out from our 23 min. run (the last part of my brick run) and I was slowly running out of endorphins from my 5 hour workout. However, I wasn't going to miss the farmers market!

I spent $8 and got all this! What a steal!

(Sorry-Karel and I ate 1/2 the watermelon this weekend. Couldn't resist before I took the pic)

(I also got 5 zucchini's for $1. Laura and I split those)

I was determined to get a watermelon for less than $5 (I got it for $4) and I wanted to get a Zucchini. I wanted blueberries but they are still a bit expensive for me. Well, they aren't expensive if I lived by myself but my $3.50 carton of blueberries would last a day with Karel around. They were so big and they looked sooo delicious, but I think in a month the price will drop below $3 for a large container.

I am super excited about this recipe...
Although my recipe is not necessarily Low Calorie, I think I made it as healthy as I could. I am not a baker but I am very impressed at my skills for this recipe. I merged together a few recipes so I hope you like it!
*It came out super moist and it smells great! Perfect for the post workout snack after a long workout.

Zucchini Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (can you believe I actually measured!!!)
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/4 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. salt
4 eggs (3 whites, 1 whole egg)
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 green apple (shredded)
2 cups zucchini (shredded) - about 1 medium sized zucchini
1 medium non-ripe banana, mashed (best if frozen first, then microwaved for 15-20 sec.)
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup soy nuts (or chopped walnuts)
1 tsp. vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all spice, ginger and salt. Mix well in a large mixing bowl.
3. Beat eggs in a bowl.
4. Mix together honey, brown sugar, oil, apple, zucchini, banana, nuts and raisins in a bowl. Add to eggs.
5. Mix together egg mixture and add vanilla.
6. Add wet ingredients (egg mixture) to dry (flour and oat mixture). Mix very well.
7. Spray 2 baking loaf pans (I used circular baking dishes) with non-stick spray.
8. Evenly spread mixture onto both pans.
9. Cook 20-30 min. or until slightly firm on top.

*Serve with fresh sliced strawberries and 2 spoonfuls of low fat vanilla yogurt.
*Remember-just because it's healthy, it doesn't mean it's calorie free. Portion control and enjoy every bite!


Mother's Day Recipes

Happy mom day!!!! If you are a are amazing!

Happy mother's day to my mom who I couldn't love enough. My family is great and my mom has always been my number one fan and supporter. From the age of 12 when I told my mom I was going to be a vegetarian to deciding to move to Florida, alone, for graduate school... my mom supported me. There was also a lot between the years of 12 and 22 that she put up with but I think she raised me just great!
It wasn't easy when I told my mom that I met a cute cyclist with a great Czech accent(who is now my hubby), but I couldn't wait to tell her that I was engaged a year later. It wasn't until I had to tell her that Karel and I were moving to Jacksonville a year later, just a few months before our wedding that I knew my mom supported all my life decisions. I think I was the one who had the hard time saying good-bye to my short 40 min. drive (or 1:20 min. bike) to my parents house when we lived in Dunedin but at least I can see my parents once a month. What would I do without my mom! Also, my cell phone would get no use if it wasn't for my mom always answering my daily phone calls. Thank you mom for everything..I LOVE YOU!

Here are two healthy and yummy recipes for all the kids, hubby's, daughters/sons and friends to spoil the mom's out there. Enjoy!

Fruity Carrot Salad
3 large carrots or 5 medium carrots (shredded)
2 large green apples (shredded)
1 cup raisins
1 can chunky pineapples w/ juice
4 tbsp. coconut juice (optional)
2 tbsp. lemon juice

1. Pour pineapple juice in a bowl. Soak raisins in juice for about 20 min.
2. While raisins are soaking, shred carrots and apples in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add lemon juice and coconut juice to carrots and apples. Mix together.
4. Add raisins, pineapples (from can) and 2 tbsp. pineapple juice to the carrot mixture. Mix well. (save the extra pineapple juice from the soaked raisins for a smoothie)
5. Chill over night or for a few hours. Enjoy!!
*I recommend serving the salad with 1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt and 2-3 slices fresh pita bread with hummus.

Pancakes and Eggs

1 cup Just Add Water buttermilk pancake mix
2-3 tsp. Cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 cup soy nuts (or any nut)
3 large strawberries (sliced)
Dark chocolate chips
2 x 1/8 cup milk
5 egg whites and 1 whole egg

1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Mix together.
2. Add a small handful of raisins and 1/8 cup milk.
3. Slowly add water as you mix together the batter. Add water until the batter mixes easily and slowly drips from your mixing spoon/fork.
4. On a non-stick skillet, on low-medium heat, pour about 1/4 cup batter onto pan for 1 pancake. Use non-stick spray before pouring batter on the pan (1 squirt for each side of the pancake).
5. Place 2-3 chocolate chips in batter after pouring batter on pan.
6. Flip after 2-3 min. and place on a nice plate. You can top with 2-3 additional chocolate chips if you are a fan of chocolate. Cover pancakes with another plate to keep pancakes warm.
7. Scramble 5 egg whites and 1 whole egg with 1/8 cup milk.
8. Pour eggs on pan w/ 1-2 sprays of non stick spray. Scramble until eggs are cooked.
9. Serve 1/2 eggs with 2 pancakes. Top with low sugar jelly or low fat yogurt. Enjoy!
*I suggest serving with fresh watermelon slices.
*I also recommend serving this recipe for dinner. Pancakes for dinner...yum!