Essential Sports Nutrition


Salad Boosters

I just LOVE salads. Not a fan of iceberg lettuce, cucumbers and croutons but rather my super-filling and heart-healthy salads that leave me satisfied and happy.

Salads can certainly be non-filling and extremely low in calories. There tends to be a stigma with salads that if you eat one you are either a vegetarian or you are on a diet.... or both. An an endurance athlete, vegetarian, future RD and someone who values her health, my goal is to get people excited about salads as an easy way to bump up the number of servings of fruits/veggies consumed in one day.

I believe you should feel confident when eating your salad, especially around other people. However, it's important, as an active athlete/fitness enthusiast, that your salad is exciting and a source of fuel for upcoming workouts.
Many people struggle with preparing and enjoying salads because 1) the salad is not filling 2) the salad is not enjoyable.
Because volume can fake a feeling of fullness, it is important to create a balanced salad so that your salad contains just enough filling nutrients to keep you from overindulging in something sweet later in the day.

I found a great article in the March 2011 issue of cooking light and thought I'd share with you several 100-calorie salad boosters to get you inspired to making some beautiful and yummy salads.
(I believe that 100 calories, added to a 30-calorie dark green salad, is extremely low for our active lifestyle. Therefore, based on your morning workout or upcoming workout, be creative and add a little more protein/carb to compliment your exercise routine. Ex. if you find yourself really hungry after a morning workout, first focus on your post workout recovery drink/snack + breakfast, then see if you want to add more peanuts or beans to your lunch-time salad).

1) Protein-packed: 2 tbsp edamame + 1 tbsp crunchy chinese noodles + 2 tbsp mandarin orange segments + 1 tbsp chopped peanuts

2) Californian - 3 tbsp cubed avocado + 1 slice center-cut bacon, crumbled + 1 tbsp shredded cheese

3) Southwestern - 2 tbsp rinsed and drained black beans + 2 tbsp sweet yellow corn + 2 tbsp crumbled queso fresco + 2 tbsp cubed avocado

4) Perfect pear up - 1/2 ounce goat cheese + 1 tbsp chopped toasted walnuts + 1/4 cup pear sliced

5) Greek - 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper + 2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese + 1/3 cup chopped fresh cucumber + 4 sliced olives

6) Nuts, berries and blue - 1 tbsp crumbled blue cheese + 1 tbsp sweetened dried cranberries + 1 tbsp chopped walnuts

7) Classic caprese - 2 plum tomatoes + 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil + 1 ounce fresh mozzarella


Happy DAY!

It's National Registered Dietitian Day!!!

With only 6 more weeks and 24 more days of interning (after this week) I will be eligible for the National Registered Dietitian Exam!! I'm sure you are noticing that I am super excited for this next stage in my life. This has been quite a journey, not to mention my long days that start at 4:30am (morning workout), proceed to 10 hours of interning and end with a yummy meal + studying...but that's ok, this is only one chapter in my life and I don't like moving on to other chapters without giving my all to previous chapters.

So here's to all the fabulous dietitian's out there (and future dietitians) for taking the necessary steps to earn those two meaningful letters that let the world know that you are qualified to provide nutrition-related advice.


The American Dietetic Association proudly announces the fourth annual Registered Dietitian Day. As the nation's food and nutrition experts, registered dietitians are committed to improving the health of their patients and community. Registered Dietitian Day commemorates the dedication of RDs as advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

* Registered Dietitians are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.
* Registered Dietitians have degrees in nutrition, dietetics, public health or a related field from well-respected, accredited colleges and universities, completed an internship and passed an examination.
* Registered Dietitians use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes.
* Registered Dietitians work throughout the community in hospitals, schools, public health clinics, nursing homes, fitness centers, food management, food industry, universities, research and private practice.
* Registered Dietitians are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

American Dietetic Association’s Top Ten Reasons Why Consulting with a Registered Dietitian Can Benefit You

1. You have diabetes, cardiovascular problems or high blood pressure. An RD serves as an integral part of your health-care team by helping you safely change your eating plan without compromising taste or nutrition.
2. You are thinking of having or have had gastric bypass surgery.
Since your stomach can only manage small servings, it’s a challenge to get the right amount of nutrients in your body. An RD will work with you and your physician to develop an eating plan for your new needs.
3. You have digestive problems. A registered dietitian will work with your physician to help fine-tune your diet so you are not aggravating your condition with fried foods, too much caffeine or carbonation.
4. You’re pregnant or trying to get pregnant. A registered dietitian can help make sure you get nutrients like folate, especially during the first three months of pregnancy, lowering your newborn’s risk for neural tube or spinal cord defects.
5. You need guidance and confidence for breastfeeding your baby.
A registered dietitian can help make sure you’re getting enough iron, vitamin D, fluoride and B vitamins for you and your little one.
6. Your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A registered dietitian can assist with eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and overweight issues.
7. You need to gain or lose weight. A registered dietitian can suggest additional calorie sources for healthy weight gain or a restricted-calorie eating plan plus regular physical activity for weight loss while still eating all your favorite foods.
8. You’re caring for an aging parent. A registered dietitian can help with food or drug interaction, proper hydration, special diets for hypertension and changing taste buds as you age.
9. You want to eat smarter. A registered dietitian can help you sort through misinformation; learn how to read labels at the supermarket; discover that healthy cooking is inexpensive, learn how to eat out without ruining your eating plan and how to resist workplace temptations.
10. You want to improve your performance in sports. A registered dietitian can help you set goals to achieve results — whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog.
To locate a registered dietitian in your area, visit the American Dietetic Association at


Protein requirements underestimated

Don't you just love knowing what's new in research. I really enjoyed reading my latest issue of Vegetarian Nutrition and wanted to share some great research with you. Enjoy!

Evidence that protein requirements have been significantly underestimated
Elango, R., Humayun, M.A., Ball, R.O., Pencharz, P.B., Curr Opin Clin NUtr Metab Care. 2010; 13: 52-7

Researches associated with FAO/WHO reviewed recent evidence suggesting that protein requirements in adults have been underestimated. The current DRI recommendations for mean and population safe intakes of .66 and .8g/kg/d respectively of high quality protein in adults are based on a meta-analysis of nitrogen balance studies using single linear regression analysis. When the data were reanalyzed using two-phase linear regression analysis, mean and safe protein requirements were estimated to be .91 and .99 g/kg/d respectively. The two phase linear regression analysis is considered more appropriate for biological analysis of dose-response curves. In addition to this analysis, when an alternative method, the indicator amino acid oxidation technique, was used to determine protein requirements, the mean and population safe requirements in adult men were determined to be .93 and 1.2 g/kg/d which are 41 and 50% higher, respectively, than the current DRI. Consequently, the authors of this research suggested that there is an urgent need to reassess adult dietary protein intake recommendations.


Life is a Race

I often think of my life as a race. How do you view your life?
Whenever you start something new, it is a bit scary and exciting, all at the same time. Everything seems to go really well at the beginning and in a weird way, you crave more of it. You find yourself giving more than you should and you want to hold back but you just can't. Eventually you find yourself a little tired from the extra effort but you are just so happy and excited and you forget about all those fears that you had from before you started.
Somewhere in the race you have a low point but it is easy to get over it. You certainly don't want to quit so early in the game so you find that inner strength and bounce right back.
Things start to get a little hard and you find yourself getting tired..both mentally and physically. You are nearing the end of the race and you just don't know if you have enough in you to finish. You would never quite but the words "can't" and "quit" keep popping in your head. With every movement forward your mind and body keep playing games with one another. One minute your body is strong and the mind is tired and the other minute your mind is strong but the body is weak. Despite the finish line being oh-so-close, you are really struggling and wish and wish that the finish line would move a tad bit closer.
This is the time when you have to dig deep. Really really deep. There will always be obstacles both in life and in a race. Finding your reason to get through those obstacles allows you to bounce back. Sometimes you bounce back faster than other times but eventually, with the right reason, you will bounce back.
Life is not about getting somewhere fast but reaching the finish line stronger than when you started. I always say "it's not about the fastest athlete but the one who slows down the least".
No matter if you are racing or are starting something new, realize that there will be ups and downs. Rather than looking at the past as a comparison, look at the past a tour guide. What you did before can help guide you in a positive place. Rather than wanting to do what you "use to" do in the past, ask yourself what you can do now in the present. Keep moving forward and eventually you will reach the finish line.

Speaking of amazingly strong hubby finished one of the hardest races here in the Florida Cycling series. The Webster-Roubaix race (think Paris-Roubaix race) is a 108 mile road race (Pro 1,2) on a nine mile circuit that has 2.5 miles of hard packed dirt each lap. It is a race for the mentally strong and fit as it doesn't leave room for error...or bad luck.
Karel even had a flat tire in the middle of the race and luckily the wheel truck was right behind Karel and quickly removed his tubular wheel and swapped it for his spare wheel. Karel pushed as hard as he could to catch the group and some how he managed to get back to the group, move his way up and sprint for 3rd place ....on the dirt.
Way to go super proud of you!!!