Essential Sports Nutrition



Ummmm, perhaps I have been a bit too busy this week. Sorry for the lack of blogging. I have 1 more month of my community rotation and I am about to end week #2 (of 3) for my last big IM build before Wisconsin (37 days til race day, but who's counting?). Oh how the time flies...I seem to say that on a daily basis.

Interning schedule for the week:
Mon - Hospice at Mayo Campus (chart notes for patients)
Tues - University of North Florida (meeting and student patients in counseling center)
Wed - Working day to work on my community nutrition project with Unison facility employees
Thurs - Preferred Nutrition (private practice which specializes in eating disorder/binging/weight loss/bulimia/anorexia)
Fri - OFF!!!

What a week. My brain is really overflowing with information and I am struggling to find my place in this world as a future Registered Dietitian. I am in a hard place right now because I find myself constantly wondering "what is my philosophy?". What is it that I want to specialize in? I feel like it changes every day but I am staying true to living a healthy and balanced life.
My preceptor and her employees are amazing. I learn so much from her every day. I guess at times I feel overwhelmed by the amazing words that are spoken when working with eating disorder clients but at the same time it is absolutely amazing to know that a person has the opportunity to change and be healthy. We live in a crazy world and eating disorders are more common than we perceive them to be. So then I think about all of the many people out there striving for a more active life and for whatever reason, choose triathlons or running to improve health or meet weight goals. So then I find myself returning to my comfort zone and I find myself thinking about the science and physiology of the body and how we can improve performance, prevent injury and increase speed and power. I guess when it comes down to it, if we don't develop a healthy relationship with food, athlete or eating disorder patient/client, it is hard to make the most out of life.
I am currently browsing through a book called Counseling Tips for Nutrition Therapists by Molly Kellogg, RD, LCSW. I will be working with my first patient, as a dietetic intern, next week and I am nervously excited. With my background in exercise physiology and sports nutrition, I am finding myself wanting to have a plan for my first counseling session (another RD will be in the room to "sign off" the paperwork since I am not licensed or registered with her company) but we all know, life has a way to make us deviate from plans.

A chapter that really stuck out to me in this book is titled
"Tip #10: REFRAMING"
The chapter is focused on clients who get stuck in ways of perceiving themselves and their world that won't allow change. A reframe can help shift a client out of a stuck place. Reframing a problem involves placing it in a different context (or frame) and thereby changing its meaning. Often, this means taking something seen as bad (problem) and shifting either its content or its context so it can be seen as useful rather than bad. The new perspective leads either to acceptance or to creativity about what to do differently.

For even myself, I think we all do this on a daily/weekly basis, especially when things don't go as planned or we expect too much from our self or from others.

Here's an example from the book:
Many clients refer to weight loss as the only outcome they want. "I need quick results" or "I'm not getting the results I want". Framing all life problems as being about weight keeps a person stuck. To get away from a rigid frame, it's important to explore what the weight loss will give a person. It may be "confidence" "feeling better about myself" or "a sense of control".
Expanding the "outcomes frame" to include larger goals can lead to addressing these goals in other ways while continuing to work on weight loss. Life is not a "black or white" world where a person fails in the reference of food or exercise habits. In a "progress not perfection" frame, you can practice new behaviors and find out which ones show promise to lessen anxiety and perhaps defeat. It takes a creative state of mind to generate reframes.

Without even realizing it, we (my blog readers) have all been on a wonderful journey of reframing. Rather than focus on athletic performance or weight loss/maintenance we are focused on health. There are no good or bad foods. I believe we should emphasize certain foods and de-emphasize certain foods but certainly ice cream, chips and french fries are not off-limit or forbidden. If you find yourself with forbidden foods, those foods only become more desirable, thus causing you to associate guilt when enjoying that occasion food. Perhaps, starting today, you can try reframing your thoughts to be more creative on how you approach your weight and athletic journey.

Here are some great reframing examples from the book to get you thinking more positively....
"For the taxes I pay, because it means that I am employed"

"For my aching muscles, because I am strong and able to work hard"

"For the alarm clock ringing much too early, because it tells me I am alive for another day"

"For the gutters that need fixing and the windows that need cleaning, because I have a home"

I'd like to leave you with a wonderful quote from the book
"It takes courage to demand time for yourself. At first glance, it may seem to be the ultimate in selfishness, a real slap in the face to those who love and depend on you. It's not. It means you care enough to want to see the best in yourself and give only the best to others"


Leftovers - Creations

I've been crunched for time lately. Hours turn into minutes and I find myself rushing out the door with no time to spare. Because I hate being late, I try to get as much done the night before in an effort to not feel too rushed in the morning. But despite waking up between 4:30 and 5am every day this week, I still find it hard to get it all done. the end of the day, I sure feel great knowing that my plant-based diet is fueling my lifestyle and my IM training.

The other day I made a wonderful veggie medley which included veggies that aren't staples in my normal diet. I will be the first to admit that I don't love the taste of ALL veggies but I sure love to eat them. Therefore, I try to find a way to make them yummy in my tummy.
I made a delicious dinner the other night and was sure to have leftovers for lunch the next day.



Do you have a race coming up? I wrote my latest article just for you!
Check out my article and many other great articles in the Free Iron Girl newsletter....

As you count down the weeks and hours until your upcoming triathlon, you're likely nervously excited to put your training to the test. If you're like many athletes, you may be planning on "carb-loading" the night before in an effort to perform at an optimal level during the race. You can't help but enjoy an extra loaf of fresh-baked bread, alongside a large bowl of pasta, to top off your fuel tank. But surprisingly, carb-loading has a few drawbacks compared to its many advantages.

Carbohydrates are your primary fuel source. By consuming adequate carbs on a daily basis (around 55-65 percent of your daily caloric needs), your body will have enough stored fuel and immediate energy for exercise as well as for daily metabolic functioning. Muscles can store approximately 500 grams worth of digested carbohydrates (glycogen), meaning you'll have the opportunity to store up to 2,000 calories worth of potential fuel on the days leading up to your race.
Avoid excessively consuming carbohydrates, i.e. three bowls of pasta the night before a race, to overflow your fuel tank and ensure ample fuel on race day. Rather, taper your training volume while maintaining a normal healthy and balanced carb-emphasized diet. Carb-loading can be a very beneficial practice for an endurance event, but shorter-distance athletes will not need an extreme amount of carbohydrates on the days leading up to a race. For a sprint or Olympic distance triathlon, which typically require one and three hours of racing, forget about loading up on a heavy, calorie-filled carbohydrate meal and focus on a balanced meal, rich in slow digesting carbohydrates.

Although many athletes associate carbs with pasta, pretzels and bread, carbohydrates can be found in many nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, as well as protein-rich foods such as legumes and dairy products. Some foods break down quicker than others, a factor that is dependent on the food's glycemic index. While immediate energy through quick-digesting carbohydrates is most advantageous during exercise, as well as after exercise for transporting amino acids to the muscles for quick repair, your body will function most efficiently prior to exercise by consuming slow-digesting carbohydrates.

On the night before a race, aim for around 500 to 550 calories (+/- 50 calories) of primarily slow-digesting carbs; they should count for approximately 70 percent of your dinner meal. You can still have your pasta or pizza, but consider the other options of sweet potatoes, veggies, fruit, brown rice or quinoa. You'll also want to add in lean or low-fat protein, such as turkey, chicken, eggs, a veggie burger, tofu, milk, beans, cottage cheese or greek yogurt, as well as a little health fat such as olive oil, fish or nuts.

Avoid eating late the night before a race, especially when you will need to eat a pre-race snack at least two to three hours before your race start. Try to eat dinner around 5 or 6 p.m. so you have a few hours to digest your meal before getting a good night of sleep. Be sure to drink plenty of water on the days leading up to a race, and although it is recommended on a daily basis, it is highly encouraged to minimize processed and added sugar in the week or two leading up to your big race.

Marni holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN) and holds a certification by the American Dietetic Association in Adult Weight Management. Marni is a Level-1 USAT Coach and is currently pursuing a registered dietician degree. She is a 2007 Ford Ironman World Championship finisher and finished the Ford Ironman Louisville Triathlon on Aug. 30, 2009, in less than 11 hours. Marni enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Hammer Endurance News, CosmoGirl magazine and Triathlete Magazine, and contributes monthly to and