Essential Sports Nutrition


Goal-Setting 101

Great tips on Goal setting from my friend and Oakley Women ambassador Caitlin.
Goal-Setting 101

Fitness Challenge!

This is great Caitlin! I am all about body weight "strength training". A vital component of my triathlon training. Great exercises!
Fitness Challenge!


Quick Studies - dairy, carrots and magnesium

YIPPEE. Just received the 2012 April issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

I wanted to share some quick studies with you.....

Dairy and prostate cancer
It looks like men who have been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer needn't worry that dairy foods may make their cancer spread, as some studies had suggested.
For 8 years, researchers tracked nearly 4000 men who had been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer. Those who reported eating the most milk, cheese, cream or other dairy foods were no more likely to die or be diagnosed with metastatic cancer than those who ate the least dairy.
The only linke: men who drank the most whole milk had an increased risk that their cancer would spread, while those who consumed the most low-fat dairy had reduced risk. However, it's possible that something else about people who drink whole milk or eat low-fat dairy explain their risk.
What to do: If you've been diagnosed with localized prostate cancer, you needn't avoid dairy foods. But it's worth drinking low-fat or fat-free instead of whole milk to protect your heart, whether or not it affects your risk of dying of prostate cancer.

Breast Cancer and Carrots
Eating carotenoid-rich dark green or deep orange fruits and veggies may lower the risk of some breast cancers, says a new study.
Researchers pooled data on 1,028,438 women who participated in 18 studies for up to 26 years. Those who consumed more alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, or lutein had about a 13% lower risk of breast tumors that don't respond to estrogen, which are called estrogen receptor-negative cancers.
Carotenoids weren't linked to the more common estrogen receptor-positive tumors.
"we are excited about the findings because there are so few ways to prevent or treat estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer, and it tends to have a poor survival," says senior author Stephanie Smith-Warner or Harvard School of Public Health.
What to do: Eat spinach, broccoli, canteloupe, carrots, apricots or other dark green or orange fruits and veggies that you enjoy. Though these kinds of studies can't prove that carotenoids help prevent breast cancer, eating fruits and veggies may help lower your blood pressure, weight and risk of heart disease.

More Magnesium
More magnesium may mean a lower risk of stroke.
Researchers looked at seven studies that followed a total of roughly 240,000 people for 8-15 years. The risk of an ischemic stroke was 9% lower for each 100mg of magnesium the participants reported eating per day.
What to do: It's worth eating magnesium-rich foods even though it's too early to know if magnesium prevents strokes (or diabetes, as other evidence suggests).
Among the best sources: Leafy greens, beans, seafood, nuts, tofu, yogurt, and whole grains. Most daily multivitamin and mineral supplements have only about 50-100mg of magnesium. The recommended Dietary Allowance is 320mg for women and 420mg for men - over 30.

On the last page of the newsletter there was a recipe for roasted asparagus. I have received a few emails from blog readers, trying to make the perfect asparagus - not too mushy, not to chewy.
Here you go....

1) Toss 1 lb asparagus with 1 tsp canola oil. Roast in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes.
2) Drizzle with 1 tsp of toasted sesame oil, 1 tsp of soy sauce and a squeeze of lemon.
3) Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
4) Serve hot or cold.


Sun-dried tomato avocado dip

Thank you 110% play harder, Oakley women and Hammer Nutrition!!

Also, a big thanks to the Tri Warriors for letting me speak about two topics that I am so very passionate nutrition/fueling and recovery. My camera decided to stop video recording in the middle of the talk so I plan on doing a similar lecture in Jacksonville in the near future so I will be sure to record that and share on my blog and follow up with a handout on my website (Check the Recent News - EVENTS AND MEDIA for more info as I will often update this page with helpful info and upcoming events).

Alongside talking in great detail about the physiology of the body and how important it is to prioritize sport nutrition during training, I really enjoyed talking about some of my favorite products for recovery.

Over the past few years, I've learned how to train harder by recovering faster. Rather than trying to train more, I train smarter.

Here are my top 4 suggestions for athletes (and fitness enthusiasts) who want to take their training to the next level:

1) Can your training be enhanced with a better recovery routine? My philosophy is train hard but recover harder. A weekly rest day isn't always necessary but assess other areas in your life (work, sleep, meal prep, committments, travel, family, friends, etc.) that may be pushed aside because of your dedication to scheduled training. I encourage at least one day a week where you wake up without an alarm, enjoy a slower-than-normal day (you know you will train tomorrow, what's one day of doing nothing?), take a walk and provide yourself with a day that encourages productivity the rest of the week.
b) Can you work on your daily diet, to ensure adequate nutrient-intake to enhance training? Keep in mind that achieving success in athletics and with your body composition starts with having a healthy relationship with food and appreciating the fuel you put inside your body. Certainly, you don't have to run marathons or do an Ironman or call yourself a triathlete to be a healthy weight or to live an active lifestyle. It is within the daily diet that you can fuel workouts, boost metabolism, increase lean muscle mass and improve immune system. Not to mention increase longevity and reduce risk for disease and illness. Health first, performance second.
c) Are you getting adequate sleep or is stress affecting your ability to enhance performance? Two words - consistency and balance. Are you consistently monitoring your daily limiters that are affecting your overall lifestyle routine? If you are trying to squeeze in a cardio workout before or after work but find yourself neglecting other important areas of your life (ex. strength training, yoga, sleeping, meal prep/eating at home, spending time with loved ones, etc.) that can bring you balance and consistency, assess your current training plan and how it may not be working to your advantage. We all have the same number of hours in a day, but it is a case-by-case basis on how you need or want to use them.
d) Do you train with gadgets AND do you understand how to use your training gadgets for quality training? Training Peaks, Golden Cheetah and Garmin are three great software programs that are FREE that you can download your data and analyze it. After you optimize daily nutrition for optimal health and maximize sport nutrition for fitness gains, it’s important that your training plan is designed to allow for the most optimal performance gains with the least amount of stress. You don't have to be a coach or exercise physiologist to spend 5-10 minutes after your workout, looking over your training data and seeing what your body is doing during training. I do not encourage any athlete to just train more miles/volume or to train harder. Learn how to train smarter. I believe in a quality over quantity approach to training and that means addressing the many areas in your lifestyle as well as gadgets and products available to you, that may enhance your training routine. And no matter what fitness level you are at, you ARE worthy of these products so don’t think you have to be a professional to wear compression socks, have a Garmin, wear quality training clothing and sunglasses or train with a power meter.

I hope you enjoy my yummy avocado dip. I am assuming that you will like it since I had an empty bowl by the end of my talk.

Sun-dried tomato avocado dip
1 avocado
1 container Fage 0% greek yogurt
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2-3 tsp parmesan cheese (to taste)
Pinch of thyme
1 tbsp chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1. Combine in container, mix well with fork.
2. Refrigerate.

I received great reviews on my dip creation, alongside introducing many of the athletes to WASA crackers. I absolutely LOVE WASA crackers as they are often my regular pre-training snack (with Smuckers Natural creamy peanut butter) for workouts during the week. Karel likes them as a post-dinner snack, with a smear of hummus and spicy Cabot cheese or Farmers cheese.


To-do's on triathlon/running race week

First off...if you are in the Palm Harbor, Clearwater or Tampa area, you are invited to my talk this evening at the Palm Harbor YMCA.

Did you know that the more volume in the stomach, the faster rate of emptying of sport drinks from the stomach to the intestines for absorption? On the flip side, high intense exercise, high calorie/carb drink and stress/anxiety will slow emptying and may increase GI distress. Want to learn more???...come to my talk tonight at the Palm Harbor YMCA at 7pm. Also a Trimarni creation, Hammer freebies, 110% Play harder discounts will be provided! Email me with any questions.
(Thanks to the Palm Harbor Tri Warriors Triathlon club for letting me speak tonight!)

It's Spring!! Which means for many, it's the start of Triathlon Season!

(1 day before my first Ironman, IMFL in 2006)

(morning of my first Ironman! Can you tell I am excited about the Ironman??)

It still feels like yesterday when I was counting down the days, sleeps, hours and minutes until my very first 140.6 mile event. The memories will stay with me forever but luckily, 6 years and 4 Ironman's later, I still get excited to put my training to the test.

But no Ironman for me this year.

However, that same fire for training and competition burns inside of me and with the triathlon season quickly approaching, I decided to step WAY outside my comfort zone..let me repeat...WAY WAY WAY outside my comfort zone and do an Olympic distance triathlon.

My last Olympic distance was in 2008. Excited for this relatively "Short course" triathlon, I am looking forward to setting up a transition area, feeling my heart beat outside my chest, being around athletes of all different fitness levels but with the same finish line to cross and of course, being finished with a triathlon race in less than 2 1/2 hours.

Karel will be racing a crit in downtown Winter Haven on Sat evening at 6:15pm so after I watchin him race, I will head 20 minutes away to Clermont (as Karel and Campy head home) to stay the night and race the Clermont Triathlon on March 25th.

Here are a few to-do's for race week that I feel are very important for athletes, no matter what race you are participating in and the racing distance:

*5-6 days out - review your training schedule and maintain a very good relationship with food and body. It's better to go into a race feeling slightly overtrained than to try to squeeze in 2-3 more hard workouts that may limit your performance on race day. Focus on consistent eating, combining carbohydrates with protein and fat and staying hydrated. Limit simple sugars and focus on recovery nutrition (even if you are tapering all week). Do not try to "drop" pounds on race day. Give your body a big thank you for allowing you to get to race week, feeling confident and strong to put the training to the test.
*4 days out - Review past training logs. Have an idea of your paces for your upcoming sport, with an idea of pace, perceived exertion and heart rate and/or power for different distances and intensities. Keep in mind that racing isn't about the fastest person but who slows down the least. Regardless of what you feel you want to do on race day, your race day plan is 100% dependent on your current fitness level, which relfects previous training.
*3 days out - go over your packing list. don't wait until the last minute to tune-up your bike and make sure that your race day outfit is washed. Check and re-check everything you need for your race race, today, knowing that in the case of an emergency, you still have 2 more days to get last minute items. Don't let stress wear you down on race week. use today to plan ahead so you can sleep restful and relax on the days leading up to the race.
*2 days out - Take the day off from exercise/training and if you need to move, go for a leisurely walk. Do yoga to stretch the body and a light massage (not deep tissue) along with epson salt bath is encouraged. Review all course maps (ex. expo, transition area) as well as the race schedule. Mapquest all directions so you know exactly where you are going and double check any reservations. Write down your schedule/plan so you know exactly what you will be doing, eating and going from the time you leave your house, until the time you cross the finish line. Not a planner? Start now.
*1 day out - after a quick warm-up for the race (as early as possible, not sacrificing sleep but not wasting the day away) and a filling breakfast, spend 30 minutes reflecting on the past few weeks and visualize yourself in the race. Keep in mind that races rely on mental and physical strength but in more cases than not, it's your attitude and mentality that will allow you to feel confident no matter what the day brings. Review the weather so you can be prepared for any condition. You can only control the controllables..don't waste your energy on things that are out of your control.
*Race day - Have fun, enjoy getting out of your comfort zone and don't be afraid to push your limits. You signed up for the race and you did the training. Don't compare yourself to anyone. This race is all about you! Don't forget to thank the volunteers.

Top 10 Powerful foods

Feeling strong today? Check out my top 10 powerful fooods! #performbeautifully @Oakleywomen
Top 10 Powerful foods


Healthy Aging Food Strategy

Yummm. Mixed roasted vegggies and fresh red chopped potatoes, tossed in olive oil and seasoned with parsley, pepper, a pinch of sea salt and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Cooked at 425 degrees until golden brown, this is an easy way to "cook" without having to stand around in the kitchen.

In the April 2012 issue of Environmental Nutrition, I enjoyed reading through 12 anti-inflammatory eating approaches on pg 4, in order to reduce risk of age-related chronic diseases and promote healthy living.

According to the article, "in order to reduce inflammation, aim for optimal diet patterns. Follow a diet rich in whole foods, including carbs such as whole grains, fruits, fats like nuts and avocados, protein sources such as fish and legumes and include regular exercise and don't smoke. All simple lifestyle practices that seem to "cool down" inflammation, according to a 2006 review published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "

"Conversely, researchers found that a diet high in refined starches, sugar, sat fat, trans fat and low in fruits, veggies, whole grains and omega 3 fatty acids appears to turn on the inflammatory resonse. "

My favorite part of the article was at the end..
"Your best bet to reduce disease risk is to include an array of plant foods in your diet in order to gain the benefits of their interactive and naturally occurring nutrients and phytochemicals which can tamp down chronic inflammation and promote optimal aging."

Here are the 12 eating approaches listed on pg 4 for a Healthy Aging Food Strategy.

1. Balance your calorie intake to maintain a healthy weight.
2. Load your diet with a variety of fruits and veggies - in every color, size, texture and shape to provide a range of nutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds.
3. Choose carbs that are less refined and high in fiber - such as unsweetened fruits, veggies, whole grains, including whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, bulgur and barley.
4. Focus on eating more fish and seafood, such as shrimp, crab, and scallops - shoot for at least 2 servings per week. Don't over-do animal protein intake by consuming excessive amounts of red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
5. Include more plant proteins - such as beans, lentils, peas, soy foods (ex. tofu, soy milke, edamame) and nuts.
6. Select healthy fats - like extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, nuts and avocados. Minimize sat fat from meats and dairy products and trans fat found in processed foods like French Fries and snack foods.
7. Boost omega-3 fatty acids - through seafood choices like salmon, sardines and herring and plant sources such as walnuts and flaxseeds.
8. Flavor your foods with anti-inflammatory spices and herbs - such as garlic, green herbs, ginger, black or red pepper and turmeric.
9. Drink green, white or black tea (Unsweetened) more often.
10. If you drink alcohol, enjoy red wine in moderation - one glass per day for women, 2 glasses per day for men.
11. Enjoy antioxidant rich dark chocolate - at least 70% cocoa in small amounts, up to 1 ounce as a treat.
12. Avoid foods that are refined, overly processed and low in nutrients - such as those made with white flour, sugars and refined oils, including donuts and sugary cereals.

The advice sounds simple and easy to follow. No long list of bad foods and it seems as if variety is key. To get started on your journey of healthy aging, as well as just feeling better both with activity and in daily life activities, try assessing your current diet and finding areas that you can work on today, to make for a better tomorrow. Make small modifications that make an impact. The idea is not to cut out food nor to just add food. With a few swaps and replacements you may find yourself feeling more control over your eating, appetite and cravings during the day, thus benefiting your workout routine, your sleeping pattterns, your relationships with others and how you are living your life.


Campy on the mend

What an eventful last few days....
On Thursday afternoon, I took Campy to the vet and the diagnosis was that he needed to get his anal glands expressed. Lovely.
Scared to put Campy under, I have been putting off getting his teeth professionally cleaned for the past year. I figured now is the best time as I fear putting it off too long would only hurt campy's health in the long run.
Of course, I asked all the important questions that any good doggy-mommy would ask "When can I pick him up, how long will he be under, can I bring a blanket for him?"

Combined with teeth cleaning and getting his anal glands expressed, Campy also had an ear infection that needed looking into as he is a bit too squirmy (even with a muzzle) and previous medications have not helped. Oh, we also decided to microchip him as well.

Poor Campy. He thought he was going for a car ride with Karel and instead he was going to that scary place that he would rather never see again.

I've recently been taking Campy to the Bartram Park Animal Hospital and the vet and techs are extremely nice. I like the feeling that they care about Campy almost as much as me...not possible for anyone to love campy more than I do.

Because of schedules on Fri, I went to the Y at 5am for strength and swim and headed straight to the hospital (I try to get there between 8 and 8:20am) at the beach. Karel rode the trainer and then took Campy around 9.
From 9-1 Karel and myself were just texting back and forth...missing our little furry one.

To keep me busy, aside from seeing some very interesting patients, I did another demo at the hospital for National Nutrition Month. This time it was on a plant-strong diet, demonstrating ways for individuals to eat more plant-based protein, thus more variety in the diet. This time around, I had very positive feedback. Perhaps because I never once mentioned the word "vegetarian" and like always, I never talk about bad or off-limit food. Therefore, I tried to express my excitement for many different options to increase protein in the diet, and even had a sheet showing how someone can consume 90grams of protein a day on a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet (but without those words of course).

Finally around 2pm as I was looking up charts for my patients, I heard from the vet. Campy was awake and in recovery. Phew...I called Karel and we couldn't wait to see him later.

I got off work around 4 and stopped by the grocery to pick up a few things (killing time that is....)
Finally, it was 5:30pm and I was allowed to pick up Campy.

The tech told me that campy would be tired, in a bit of pain and wouldn't be his normal self. Campy ran to me when he saw me and he was full of energy.
Well, that wore off fast. I guess anything to get him out of there, in his mind :)

Later that evening, Karel and I had an event at a new bike shop to attend and it was incredibly hard to leave campy.

Karel was super thoughtful and gave Campy a new "bear" (we refer all toys for campy as "bears"). Campy loves it.

So, what's a doggy mommy to do when Campy is in recovery mode...take pictures!!!
I just love this little guy...can't wait to get my running partner back!