Essential Sports Nutrition


Big weekend ahead

Tomorrow I have race. Finally..I need to get all this stress out of my system!
2.5 mile ocean swim at Jacksonville beach. I am ready to see where I am at. This worries me a bit because I know I will re-evaluate my training if I don't have a great time but that is what I do. I guess it makes me work harder but the time is running out. If anything, I can look back on all this IM training and feel confident that I did everything I could to stay balanced with my life and get my body strong for an IM.
After the swim I will bike 112 miles. I promised myself that I would never train past 1pm on the weekend. That's just too much time to be out doing the "tri" thing because my mind would be spinning in circles of all of the homework, studying and reports that are due. Plus, I would miss Campy the whole time I was gone. I'm a very hard-working, type A person so I'm always on a schedule, with my to-do lists and I am a huge planner. Ask any of my friends (and Karel) and I'm always thinking of plans in my head. I guess this planning has prevented me from just going with the flow on the weekends and as much as I would love to hang around the beach or play in the pool after a workout, it's more like "how early do I need to get up to be home at X-time to study".
Well school days are coming to an end and tomorrow I give myself permission to be a triathlete.
Hoping that the rain holds off (since it rains everyday here from 3-5pm), I am looking forward to IM training at its finest. I've never done 2/3rds of an IM in one day but I guess its worth a try. My piriformis syndrome is hardly noticeable and without a lot of patience, ice and stretching I can run again. It's no 7 min mile but to run with pain/discomfort or tightening-up at a 8-8:15 min/mile pace, I'm head over heels about my progress. With 30 days to go and running 3 days a week, I couldn't be more happy with my situation. Still frustrating at times, why it just won't disappear, but every day I have a frustrating thought I just think it could be a lot worse. Libby wasn't able to work on me this week due to her crazy schedule but she is my miracle worker for getting me to where I am now. Also, the strength exercises for my butt and hips have done wonders and I never thought I could feel so strong with a slight injury.
Anyways, back to the workout.
This will be a long morning/afternoon but with all of my homework/assignments/papers/projects turned in for the week (deadline is mon) I can hopefully train with a clear mind. Well, I do have an exam on Mon but I think I'll be fine studying before and after the NBC broadcast of IG Atlanta on Sunday.

I never thought that IM training would be a luxury for me compared to my dietetic program. I am so excited for IMKY I can hardly contain myself. However, I have a feeling in 1 week, when I am finished with my program, all will change. I start taper 1 week from Mon which means that my race is drawing near and even with my third IM, the nerves will be with me until I arrive at the race venue.

Have a great weekend everyone! Don't forget to tune into NBC on Sunday!!
*BTW-Karel is racing in Clermont this weekend. Criterium on sat and road race on Sunday. Good luck Karel!! Stay cool in the crazy Clermont Heat!


IG Atlanta NBC Sunday!


Check out a preview...
The broadcast of the third annual Aflac Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon will air this Sunday, Aug. 2, from 2 to 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports. (Check your local listings for additional details).

The telecast will showcase a highly competitive professional field as well as a diverse group of athletes varying in age and fitness level.

Viewers will watch stories of athletes who have overcome adversity, as well as gain inspiration from women who have adopted healthy, active lifestyles and more.

The sold-out all-women's event brought more than 1,200 participants to Lake Lanier Islands Resort, located 45 minutes northeast of Atlanta, Ga., to compete in a 1/3-mile swim, 18-mile bike and 3-mile run.

Featured in the broadcast:

* 1st-place-finisher, Mirinda Carfrae, 28, AUS, (1:13:55): Carfrae is a multiple Ironman 70.3 champion, as well as the winner of the 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3. In 2008, Carfrae won the inaugural Aflac Iron Girl Las Vegas Triathlon.
* 2nd-place-finisher, Pip Taylor, 29, AUS, (1:14:56): With a swimming background, Taylor has earned top placements at well-known events such as the Iron Girl Columbia Triathlon, Eagleman Ironman 70.3 and the Aflac Iron Girl Las Vegas Triathlon.
* 3rd-place-finisher, Michellie Jones, 39, AUS, (1:18:06): An Olympic silver medalist, Jones has mastered a variety of distances. Boasting top Ironman and 70.3 finishes, she placed second in her debut at the Ford Ironman World Championship in 2005 and returned the following year to win the title. In 2007, Jones won the title at the inaugural Iron Girl Atlanta Triathlon.
* 4th-place-finisher, Samantha McGlone, 29, CAN, (1:20:11): The 2006 Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3 titleholder, McGlone has earned multiple Ironman 70.3 victories, as well as a second place finish at the world's most challenging endurance event, the Ford Ironman World Championship.
* 5th-place-finisher, Kate Major, 31, AUS, (1:21:41): Major's talent at both the Ironman and 70.3 disciplines, coupled with her natural athletic ability, makes her a formidable opponent at any event. With multiple titles, and three Ironman World Championship podium finishes on her race resume, Major is often deemed part of "triathlon's next generation."


Stuffed Shells

When I was young, my mom would make tofu-stuffed shells once a week. I LOVED the mix of the jumbo shells, marina sauce and cheese. I didn't really know what tofu was when I was young so I guess I didn't mind it.
This recipe is perfect when you are looking for comfort food and you want to feel satisfied without a lot of carb calories. It is easy to overdo it when eating pasta since the feeling of fullness/satisfaction doesn't usually come until you've devoured at least 4 servings pasta and well over 800 calories.
When was the last time you ate pasta at a restaurant? Did you have one of the following?
Ruby Tuesday: Roma Chicken Alfredo Pasta - 968 calories, 43 grams fat
Sbarro: Spaghetti with Chicken Parmesan - 930 calories, 36 grams fat
Ruby Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan with Pasta - 1275 calories, 82 grams fat
Buca Di Beppo: Macaroni Rosa (serves 2) - 2036 calories, 119 grams fat
Romano's Macaroni Grill: Eggplant Parmesan - 1240 calories, 64 grams fat
Olive Garden: Chicken Alfredo - 1430 calories

How bout my version of stuffed shells? Best part about these shells, you only need to eat 3-4 of them to feel satisfied when served with a large dinner salad w/ nuts, chickpeas and your choice of vegetarian or animal protein (ex. veggie burger, chicken). Also, if you have kids, this is the perfect meal to hide nutrients. Rather than telling your kids you are having stuffed shells with tofu, tell them that you are having pizza shells. Because tofu doesn't have a taste, they will think that the white stuff is cheese :) However, when you cook for your kids, be sure to tell them why it is important to eat healthy food and give them options to eat a little of everything rather than eating just one thing. Serve broccoli on the side of their plate and in the shell. If they choose not to eat the broccoli on the side of the plant they will never know that they had it in the shells!
Also, when you serve the shells to your self, serve the shells on a small plate rather than a large dinner plate. Often we eat with our eyes and putting 3-4 shells on a large plate will make you feel like you aren't eating enough but with 3-4 shells on a small plate and a large bowl with a dinner salad you will feel satisfied with lots of great nutrients.

Stuffed shells
Jumbo shells - Plan 4 shells per person
1 cup broccoli chopped (you could also add shredded carrots)
1 container firm tofu
2a-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
3/4 cup chopped onion (purple or white)
1 cup mushrooms
Parmesan cheese
Marinara sauce
Shredded cheese

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In boiling water, add your shells to a pot and reduce heat to medium until shells are Al Dente (a little firm). Turn off heat and empty water when noodles are done cooking.
3. In a microwavable bowl, heat broccoli, garlic, mushrooms and onion for 45-60 seconds.
4. Crumble tofu in bowl with broccoli. Add 2-3 spoonfuls Parmesan (about 2 tbsp) and a little pepper (to your liking). Stir.
5. In a baking dish (circular or rectangular), spoon around 1 cup marina sauce to cover the bottom of the the dish.
6. Arrange shells (open side up) in the dish. Spoon veggie/tofu mixture into shell to fill the shell. First fill all shells to the top and then add more to stuff the shells.
7. Cook shells for around 15 minutes. Avoid cooking too long that shells become too hard.
8. Turn off oven and spoon a few spoonfuls marinara sauce on shells. Sprinkle 1 handful (around 1/2 cup) cheese over shells while still in the oven.
9. Serve when cheese is melted and enjoy!



Things are good right now. Training is part of my routine, which I am happy about. After 3 weeks of the piriformis syndrome, and excellent results with PT from Libby, I am getting back into the swing of things. I did a long run on sat of 10.5 miles. Not a typical pre-IM training run, but I will take it. I was able to keep a good pace and I only had to stretch from mile 5-10 at the mile mark. I didn't have to walk, which was good. Stretching at each mile was a way for me to not freak myself out that I would hurt myself again. I'm just too afraid to run through anything so I stop myself before anything would start to hurt. Luckily, no pain or discomfort, just a little tightening in my leg...which I am use to.
Biking is going great! For the first time, I am actually excited to push it on the bike at IM. A whole 112 miles to myself and I'm not afraid to be out there, doing my thing. The past two IM's I was so ready to be off my bike and run. With 2 more weeks of training before taper, I hope things keep looking up with my training....since I am doing everything and anything to take good care of myself.

Although IMKY is in my mind, school is quickly coming to an end and I can't wait to be done!!! You would think that the IM training is consuming my life but instead I spend 8-10 hours a day on school-related work and try to squeeze in a few hours of training during the week. As for the weekend, well, I get home rather late in the morning but it is straight to studying and writing papers for the rest of the day. I was totally pooped this weekend with my first long run on sat (with a 20 mile easy 16-17mph spin) and 70 mile bike + 30 min water jog on sun. I could hardly keep my eyes open all day and trying to understand and remember info wasn't easy.

I am realizing that water jogging is much more difficult than I thought it would be. My legs were trashed after my 30 min jog after my bike on Sun. I have been water jogging every other day and land running in between. Let's just say that my legs are getting a workout and I'm not losing fitness from the water jogging! I've actually read many research studies where pre-injured runners water jogged and maintained their VO2 (max oxygen consumption) during the period of no land running. They came back at the same fitness as before the injury. So, I guess there is hope.

I hope everyone enjoyed the tour. What will we watch now??? I guess it is back to my reality shows to clear my mind from my books. My DVR is in overload with so many shows that I have taped but have yet to watch. I guess I will have something to do during my taper in 2 weeks.

For now, my excitement is growing for my dietetic program to be overwith!! I have learned so much and I know the day after class is overwith, I will miss it. I haven't had a break from school in almost a year and a half so I am super excited for a little break before I apply in Sept. for the Mayo Clinic internship.

And for my last ramble, I am super happy for Angela B. (
Ange was my first nutrition consultation on BeginnerTriathlete when we launched the sport nutrition program. I have worked with her on her daily diet and her training diet. We worked together to prepare her for her first half ironman and then for her first world championships 70.3. Due to her exceptional talent and determination I knew she would do great at IM lake placid, which was yesterday. Ange has a great coach, Jen Harrison ( who helped Ange get her body into IM shape. Drumroll please...Ange qualified for Kona in her first IM and placed 2nd in the 35-39 age group. This mother of 3 boys finished in 10:46!! I'm sure she will post her race report this week and I can't wait to hear all about it. I just love when I can help people reach their dreams and goals. Most of all, when it comes to IM nutrition (which I feel 100% confident about in helping others), there must be an understanding of what your body needs before and during the race but additionally, what you need to do when x-happens. The day before IM Ange and I talked on the phone about the typical IM nutrition-related problems (cramping, bloating, dizziness, bonking) and how to deal with them. I would say that most people suffer from one of those problems (if not all) during an IM but a successful IM performance (regardless of time) comes when you know what to do when those things happen so that you can reach the finish line. Ange told me she had good and bad moments but based on her time, I know she did the right thing. Great job ange!!
And to all the other athletes out there....keep working on your nutrition so you can have a great race day performance!

Back to the books.....