Essential Sports Nutrition


26.2 Donna - upcoming talk!

Shortly before the Ironman World Championships in October, I applied to be a 110% Play Harder Ambassador. If you haven't heard of the company or discovered their amazing line of products, I highly recommend checking out the 110% Gear as well as the limited edition breast cancer clothing.

As an ambassador for 110%, I am proud and honored to be part of this upcoming event at Seasons 52 with an amazing panel of inspiring women.
This event will be a fundraiser to support a high-impact fundraising effort for the 26.2 with Donna: 110M for 110K

Although I will not be running the 110 miles, I will be racing the 26.2 Donna in Feb, here in Jacksonville, for 13.1 miles (the half marathon). As I will be running 13.1 miles with thousands of inspiring athletes, a group of 110% runners will cover 110 miles (on foot!)to the marathon finish of the 26.2 with Donna in an effort to raise $110,000. If they can achieve that goal of raising $110,000, the 26.2 with Donna should be able to meet the Weaver Family Foundation's $100,000 challenge. That would nearly double the contributions raised to fund ground-breaking breast cancer research and to provide financial support to women undergoing treatment for breast cancer!

If you are interested in supporting this cause, there are two ways of doing so...
1) Attend the following dinner (with cocktails included) on January 12th, where proceeds will go directly to 26.2 with Donna.
The evening includes the following speakers:

Donna Deegan
News anchor, author, breast cancer survivor and founder of the 26.2 with Donna: The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer.

Kellie Smirnoff
Accomplished endurance athlete, ultra marathoner, EPICMAN competitor (that's a triple ironman!). Kellie and her sister Heather will team up for the 110M for 110K, each running 110 Kilometers to the marathon finish.

Marni Sumbal
Exercise physiologist, registered and licensed dietitian, coach, writer, speaker and 5x Ironman finisher. Marni will provide advice about how we can all ensure our best performance on race day.
(I will be giving a short power point presentation on nutrition, exercise and creating a foundation of good health).

Jennifer Levinson
Many of you know that Jen is a Senior Director at NBA Creative Services, but she is also a 10-year survivor and active breast cancer advocate. Jen has served on the board of the Young Survivors' Coalition and the Florida Breast Cancer Coalition Research Foundation and she is a recipient of the National Breast Cancer Coalition's Advocacy Award. Jen will give us her personal perspective on the importance of providing funding to ground breaking research like the Herceptin trial that she participated in at Mayo.

The event will be held in Jacksonville, at the Town Center, at Seasons 52.
Seasons 52, who focuses on providing a Fresh Dining Experience that Celebrates Living Well, is the perfect venue for this event and will be sponsoring the event. Because of their generosity, most of the $110 charge for the evening directly to the 26.2 with Donna.
A portion of the $110 for the evening will qualify as a tax-deductible donation, and we will provide a receipt to all registered attendees.

For your convenience, here is the link to the
Paypal payment page
Please RSVP to Lori Adams @

2) If you can not make it to the event, you can still donate at the following site. Feel free to donate under any name as all of the money will be given on behalf of 110% Play Harder. Here is the link to the 110M for 110K event website: 110M for 110K

Any questions, please don't hesitate to email.

Do you live an active lifestyle and are a breast cancer survivor? Do you know someone (friend/family) who has accomplished an athletic event after being diagnosed with cancer?

I would love to provide the name of YOU or someone that you know, who has turned tragedy into triumph by partaking in a running/walking, triathlon or biking race after being diagnosed with cancer. In the comment section, please provide the name (you may use initials if you choose) of the survivor and race event (and location) so that I can include it in my talk on January 12th. I will only be including names
but feel free to share your/a story if you'd like.

"It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." ~Abraham Lincoln


A year in pics...

A new business, another year for making memories and continuing my journey for living a quality-filled life and the year in which I move out of the 25-29 age group.

As I close 2011, I'd love to share a few pics as I reflect on an amazing, life-changing year.....

Finishing my 10-month Dietetic Internship with 13 amazing weeks at St. Vincent's Hospital

Karel finishing the 2011 Athens Twilight Criterium

Celebrating my brothers' graduation from Carnegie Mellon Business School and his new job at Ernst and young

Spending time as a family...a very active family

Dedicating an entire month to preparing for the RD exam...and passing on my first attempt

Being selected among hundreds to be an Oakley Women Ambassador and performing beautifully with my new friends and family in Napa Valley for the Oakley Women Fitness retreat.

Getting my first job as a RD at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, as a PRN Clinical Dietitian.

Putting my 8 years of education (BA in exercise science with a minor in psychology, MS in exercise physiology and Registered and Licensed Dietitian) to good use as an aspiring writer, hopefully book author and speaker.

Being able to coach an amazing group of inspiring athletes and support Karel during his cycling season, as he becomes Florida Cup Pro 1,2 Series Champion for the 2nd year in a row.

Celebrating my 3rd year of marriage (and fun) with my best friend

Crossing my 5th Ironman finishing line and competing in my 2nd Ironman World Championship and being able to share this experience with my parents and well as 1500+ other amazing athletes, blog followers and Facebook friends.

Enjoying a 10K and Half Marathon PR just 5 and 8 weeks after Kona. Also, discovering that Karel can run...really, really fast.

My first triathlon in 2004...Remember that life is a journey and that with every day, there is something exciting about a change, a challenge or an obstacle. Why be ordinary when you can be extra-ordinary?


Life is challenging

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive."
-Gilda Radner

Campy is lucky to have Karel and me...but then again, I think WE are the lucky ones

I will be working most of this week and all of next week at the Baptist Medical Center Beaches. I am always so amazed as to what I learn while I am at work and the appreciation I have when I leave work. Cancer diagnosis, new tube feeding regimes, on-going testing, round the clock medications and painful symptoms. These are all things that I am sure none of us wish to have in our personal life, yet we often take for granted that good health is often in our control.

I believe we are all on a journey in life and that we need to see every day as a new day to be OK with change. Change was always something that was very scary for me. I always loved being in my comfort zone. Looking back at my life, I sometimes I wonder where I would be in life, if I didn't accept change as something good. For change brought challenges and an ability to work hard for what I want in life. For change has brought me love, happiness and a great appreciation as to how I want to live my life. Change has allowed me to cross 5 Ironman finishing lines, graduate with my Masters and have the credential of Registered and Licensed Dietitian, behind my name. Change is not easy but if we keep doing the same things, we should expect the same results.

After working at the hospital today, I watched this link sent from my best friend Jennifer. Ever think that life just sucks, is too hard or there aren't enough hours in the day to eat right, exercise or get enough sleep?

Do you ever lay down at night and feel grateful for a tomorrow? Are you thankful for the things you have in life? Do give the same respect to your body, as you do for others?

I've learned that weight loss and "healthy" eating is far beyond calories and good and bad food. I've learned that in order to succeed as an athlete (and improve fitness), there must be consistency..for one will not succeed with a "perfect" training plan, if the training plan increases the chance for sickness, illness, overtraining, more sleep, little time to recover and not enough time to fuel the body for proper health.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could instantly remove pressure to be perfect. Pressure to do exactly what you think you should be doing on an every day basis? How about the fun side of life....feeling great for what you can do today and what you are looking forward to, tomorrow.

I'm sure many people would give anything for certain parts of your life, that in your eyes, seem boring, hard, easy or challenging. Is there a key to success? Well, I believe that life requires work and certainly comes with challenges. How about welcoming the ability to work for what you want in life and being able to address weaknesses that are causing you to feel inconsistency.
If you are pretty certain that you have "a tomorrow", LIFE can only get better... if you let it. What if you didn't have "a tomorrow"?

Inspired by determination


HCG for weight loss...

Not any more.

HCG off the market

Diet fads, weight loss pills and meals plans don't help. They only confuse you, restrict you and make you feel obsessed, unbalanced, extreme and overwhelmed. Think about training..what if you were told that there was only one way to train and you had to do the same thing everyday. Oh, and everyone you know was going to do the same thing as well because there is only one way to do it correctly.

Flexibility and an open mind, along side an ability to customize training and nutrition allows freedom and a sense of balance.

I am constantly learning as a dietitian and exercise physiologist. As I launch my new business in T-minus 12 days, I have really enjoyed furthering my understanding of the human body and how it reacts to food and exercise. More so, I have really enjoyed working closely with Karel and discussing, in great detail, as to how our personal philosophy's on food and exercise will be displayed in my nutrition and coaching business. I believe that the best way to help others is to not believe there is a "RIGHT" way to do things but rather, keeping the process fun and enjoyable in order to allow a person to feel success in all areas of life...not just in diet or training.

I do not believe in meal plans and I do not believe writing pre-built endurance training plans. There are certain areas that I draw the line, knowing that there is not just one way of doing things, when it comes to changing dietary habits to support body composition changes or health gains OR to improve performance (or to cross an endurance finishing line).

What makes for a successful athlete or fitness enthusiast? In a few sentences, here's my list.....
-A diet balanced in quality protein, whole (unprocessed) grains, healthy fats and a rich amount of fibrous fruits and veggies.
-Water as primary fluid choice
-Healthy relationship with food
-Emphasizing whole foods as the bulk of the diet, prioritizing fruits/veggies as the foundation and focusing on the individual strengths/weaknesses in your diet to meet your individual goals
-Not having rules in your life but being OK with change
-Strength training 2-3 times per week, specific to sport, stability and muscle imbalances
-Quality approach to training
-Massage, visualization, compression and anything else that encourages proper recovery from exercise
-Consistency and enjoyment for diet and training
-Proper sleep on most nights of the week
-Stress management
-Surrounding yourself with people who give you energy, not take it away from you