7/30/11

Quote, pics and a good read

"Don't be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves."


Me and my best friend



















I'm so lucky to have these two in my life - Hubby and Campy










Have you ever given any thought to seeing new food labels on your food? Let me know what you think of this article - I would enjoy hearing your thoughts.
New Food Labels?

7/29/11

Fruit "salad"

I can't think of a better way to help meet BOTH my fruit and veggie recommendations.
While we are all in different stages of our journey of appreciating wholesome food and developing a healthy relationship with food, I hope you feel my excitement as you make your own yummy creations. I just love making beautiful salads, filled with colorful and filling ingredients. If only my body could speak to me, I have a feeling it would thank me for providing it with wonderful nutrients to fuel workouts, reduce my risk for disease and improve my quality of life. Or, perhaps, it will just show me how good it feels while I do a long "aerobic" recovery ride on Sat, followed by my normal transition run and normal short bike + (semi)long recovery run on Sunday.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Fruit "salad"
Dark greens
Onions
Cucumber
Celery
Tomatoes
Carrots
Green peppers
Grapes
Strawberries
Pineapple
*not pictured is a large scoop of low fat cottage cheese which is under my bed of dark greens. You may choose your choice of protein to balance out the meal.

7/28/11

Exercising the mind

Our body is complex. Every individual part, whether it be your muscles, nerves, organs, tissues or bones, relies on one another (for the most part) in order to properly function. There are also hormones that like to be regulated and hate being out of control. But above all, the food in which we provide our body has the power to help control almost every function in our body. For it is the vitamins and minerals in the food that we choose to eat that help foster proper metabolism and body functioning.

So while we know the importance of food to help nourish our body, I find it equally important to "train" the mind. For we spend much of our day sitting, often doing monotonous tasks, and our brain takes a backseat. As a clinical dietitian, I am constantly learning. My brain is always working, trying to figure things out with my patients and learning about new diseases and conditions. There isn't a day when I don't use my calculator and regardless of whether or not I have a patient on tube feeding or TPN, every patient is unique and special in his/her own way. Then there are my athletes that always keep me on my toes. For every person is an individual and I love finding creative and balanced approaches to helping people reach individual goals.

I am sure that every person challenges his/her own mind in some way. Perhaps you are a thinker when you are training. I know for myself, swimming is the time when I come up with most of my blog posts and articles. I can totally zone out during a swim practice, which isn't the best if my lane mates are relying on me to keep track of yardage.

While we all love a good sweat and exercising our body, I think it is very important in this day and age that we exercise our mind. For much of our life is spent on computers and gadgets and we are slowly getting away from relying on our brain to figure out tasks. In one way, life seems more complex with all the electronics surrounding us but at the same time, life seems much easier because there is a gadget to help us with everything.

I absolutely love reading and learning new things. I also enjoy relying on my memory thus forcing my brain to think about things in more detail. With all the information available to us in magazines, on the internet and in books, I think it is important that when we read an article we don't just "assume" that the information in the article will apply to each and every one of us. We must read the info, process the info and then think about how we may want to use the new information in order to help us with our balanced lifestyle.

Here are a few articles that I found very interesting and wanted to share them with you all.

McDonald's to make Happy Meals more healthful


Counting Calories?

Athletic performance and monthly cycle

7/27/11

IM training and Hydrating Yourself for Summer Training

After three progressive build weeks, I welcome this recovery week as I prepare my mind and body for my 2nd Ironman World Championships. Although Ironman training can be tiring, one of the most often overlooked components to properly preparing for a long-distance event, is adequate rest and recovery (both for mind and body). Even though I still have 10.5 weeks until race day, this last block of training will be the only 3-week build that I will be doing throughout my Kona-specific training. Because the training intensity and volume will be increasing as I near Oct 8th, I can only reflect on years past (prior to IMWI, which was IM #4) and how my body responded to training as I approached the third week of the conventional training block of "3-week build" + "1 week recovery". In other words, 21 days of swim, bike run-specific training, "ok body, you only have 7 days to properly recover until I do it to you all over again and again and again". While I am always careful to recognize any symptoms that may mirror an injury, overtraining or extreme fatigue, I believe that most Ironman athletes are always teetering on the edge of being injured or overtrained. While I certainly have the same motivation and drive that most Ironman athletes have, to do x-miles for x-amount of time (especially on the week for "long" training), it's important to me that I make every workout be the best workout it can be and to work on the little things (which are often NOT volume-related) which will make me a stronger, faster and smarter athlete. Sure, I have my share of up and down days, some being fantastic and some feeling a little "flat", but I am mindful to respect my body during every workout and adjust training zones as needed. One thing I do not lack is motivation and I rarely find myself waking up in the morning, needing an "unplanned" day-off. With a balanced approach to living life, I believe my focus on my diet, sleep and attitude has a major affect on my energy and I sure do have a lot of it! For my training plan is structured to my lifestyle and daily requirements and we are careful to not overload my day with too much quantity-related training. Furthermore, I realize that I don't need to train for an IM to be healthy...so rather than doing two-a-days on the days when I can "quality" train in the am (when I feel best), I use the evening hours to stretch, do my hip exercises and go for long walks with Campy. So, with this 3 week build period behind me, I am really excited for the next 2 week build + 1 week recovery which will include many different types of workouts to adequately prepare my body for the Ironman. Thus, on race day, I will feel energized and confident to race my plan.
As for the rest of my Ironman training (which is designed by both Karel - hubby- and myself), we will continue with 2 week build + 1 week recover until 2 weeks before race day, which I will then taper.


(IRONMAN WISCONSIN 2010)





As for my other life, I recently started a new job as a PRN (as needed) Clinical Dietitian and I am currently training and getting familiar with the 100% electronic charting system. I am absolutely loving the role that I have when it comes to helping the lives of others and having a significant impact on the nutrition status of an acute care hospital patient. I am working at Baptist Medical Center Beaches and spending time in all units (Surgical, Progressive Care - PCU and Critical Care - CCU).



I wanted to share my latest article on Hydration from USATriathlon.org. We have all read lots of articles on hydration and it is a topic that is often discussed. However, athletes continue to struggle with the concept behind adequately hydrating AND fueling for races and there continues to be some confusion as to the best way to meet both hydration and calorie needs during training and racing. While there are lots of credible recommendations available, I find that it is important to understand the physiology of the body in an effort to recognize your individual needs based on your environment, current diet and training goals (racing venue). I hope you enjoy it, please let me know if you have any questions.
Hydrate Yourself for Summer Training | USA Triathlon

7/26/11

Pizza and Salad

There was no better way to end my weekend.... than with my favorite combination of foods and flavors, joined by my amazingly supportive hubby and furry best friend. I enjoyed a beautiful salad and a mile-high veggie-filled pizza in celebration of the last weeks of training. Three weeks down and 11 to go. I am feeling strong, confident and healthy. I am loving life and enjoying every exciting day that awaits me when I wake up in the morning. I have been motivated by my athletes who continue to amaze me, as well as my friends who never stop amazing me with their dedication to life and sport. am so inspired for the rest of my Kona journey as racing an IM is simply putting together the pieces a well-planned training plan, having the right attitude (even if the plan doesn't go as planned) and thanking/respecting the body for being healthy and strong while training for a 140.6 mile event. Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!


Pizza and Salad

For the pizza - take your favorite frozen pizza and dress it up with your favorite heart-healthy toppings. I used asparagus, red peppers, green peppers, broccoli, corn, veggie crumble "meat", tofu (cubed), onions, mushrooms and spinach.
For the salad - radishes, dark greens, carrots, tomatoes, onions, kiwi, celery and cucumber


7/24/11

Product Review Monday

Fringe
I recently received a new pair of Oakley glasses and I can't stop wearing them!

I thought my small face could only fit one type of glasses (sporty ones) but thanks to Oakley Women, I have a variety of glasses to choose from. When I was in Napa for the Oakley Women Fitness retreat, I had the opportunity to take part in the Rolling O lab..which was amazing. I knew that Oakley had amazing technology to back up their quality sunglasses but I was surprised at the amount of testing that goes into every pair of sunglasses on the market.
Check it out...


Here's a little about the product from the Oakley Women Fringe website:


Fringe Sunglasses

A little new wave and a little old school, Fringe™ is designed for the young and the young at heart. A modern version of the cat eye shape, these are the glasses for girls who want to have fun. Fresh and cool, they’re the perfect companions for a day in the sun.

With the O Matter® frame front and center, you’ll enjoy lightweight comfort from sunrise to sunset. Day after day, your eyes will thank you for great peripheral vision via 6 base lens curvature and Plutonite® lens material that filters out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC and harmful blue light up to 400nm. Oakley quality is in full effect with FringeE’s Three-Point Fit, which holds lenses in precise alignment and optical precision and impact resistance standards that exceed Z80.3.

New school options abound on Fringe with varied field of light via gradient lens shading. If you want polarized lenses, Oakley can equip Fringe with the best on the planet (greater than 99% efficiency) or hook you up with prescription lenses (+2.00 through -4.00 combined power). A metal icon at the hinge and an exclusive women’s eyewear case complete Fringe in pure Oakley style.

Lens:
•Optimized peripheral vision of 6 base lens curvature
•Optical precision and impact resistance meet or exceed Z80.3 optical and basic impact standards
•UV protection of Plutonite® lens material that filters out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm
•Varied field of light transmission (top to bottom) via optional gradient lens shading
•Available with Oakley prescription lenses (+2.00 through -4.00 combined power)

Frame:
•Durability and all-day comfort of lightweight, stress-resistant O Matter® frame material
•Comfort and performance of Three-Point Fit that holds lenses in precise optical alignment
•Metal icon

Accessories:
•Convenience and styling of exclusive women’s eyewear case (included)

Also available in: Special Editions


PODIUM LEGS



A few months ago Karel told me about a new product, which is similar to compression but perhaps a little better. As the general manager of the Trek Bicycle store of Jacksonville, Karel is typically the first to know about new products on the market. Karel was able to get the podium legs for a great price and after months of waiting, they finally arrived.
I am always excited to hear about new products and trying them out in order to provide my feedback. I recently finished my 3rd week of build for Kona and as a welcome a recovery week, I am super excited to have Podium Legs in my life.

I am a firm believer in compression, both during training and for recovery, and now I have a new addition to my recovery routine. I will continue stretching and icing post-workout but I find that Podium Legs are perfect for the evening in an effort to give my legs a good massage and great compression before bed. I realize the price may be a bit much but considering the money that many of us have spent on physical therapy, MRI's, Xrays and the time away from a healthy dose of exercise, I feel strongly that we should pay as much attention to our recovery routine as we do to daily training. If this product is out of your budget, no worries (I totally understand!!!). I recommend purchasing a quality pair of compression tights as well as two pairs of compression socks (one for training - cooling specific, and one for recovery).

Here is a bit about Podium Legs from the website:



Used and endorsed by professional cyclists to get the most out of their training and perform at a peak during multi-day cycling events

Just like the high-end compression devices used by protour teams, available to the public now!

What it does:
Podium Legs use air compression just like compression socks. However, the similarities end there. Podium Legs compress to pressures ranging from very gentle to those that mimic and go beyond a professional sports massage.

Podum Legs promote recovery and circulation. Why is this needed? Well let's say that in any given month, we have 15-20 days where we're training. Why are we doing only 15-20 days? Because that's the maximum our muscles can handle without loss in strength due to fatigue. Podium Legs fight that fatigued feeling -- you'll be able to get in those extra 3 or 4 days of training every month and feel great while doing it.

How it works:
4 air chambers fill in sequence, gradually compress each muscle group in your legs and feet, and then repeating. Several cycles of 15 minutes each, with multiple power options, and point massage options. One size fits all adults. Includes a travel bag.


Fit N Fresh
My best friend Jennifer gave me a set of Tupperware for my birthday. It makes me incredibly happy that my friends know my love for cooking and are supportive in my quest to appreciate home-cooked meals. For my last birthday I also received a cookbook and two separate gifts of farm/garden-fresh produce. I am one lucky woman!
I think the first step in preparing food at home is having quality AND FUN Tupperware. If you are chopping and cutting, you need somewhere to put everything. Plus, when you have several sets of quality Tupperware, you have no excuse when it comes to bringing your lunch to work. I don't think any of us can say that we "don't have time" for we sure do make time for swim, bike and/or run workouts on a daily basis. In my opinion, preparing food that provides us with healthy nutrients is the foundation of having quality exercise or training workouts.
I recommend checking out this website in an effort to start your new journey in preparing food at home and taking pride in what you are putting in your body.
As for those who don't enjoy cooking..that is ok! We aim for progress, not perfection. There is nothing wrong with buying frozen veggies and pre-chopped/cut veggies/fruits. You still need somewhere to put everything when you bring your lunch/breakfast to work so even for my non-cookers, Tupperware is a must.