6/1/12

Ready to Rock n' Roll!

                         



There's something about this course that makes me feel accomplished when I cross the finish line.
But despite the high I get when nearing the end of the race, over the past 4 years, I raced this race two times and both times I finished the race completely exhausted.



What I love about this race is being able to focus on myself. There are qualifying slots to a world championships and there is nothing to prove to anyone with a finishing time.

I will be racing in the open category with some stellar athletes...certainly, on paper these ladies are exceptionally talented. In real life, they shine with talent and I am so excited for them to challenge me and to help me reach my full potential. For on race day, I am out there to race my own race but having a little friendly competition doesn't hurt for me to realistically, test my limits.

I will stay in my zone and stay focused on each task at hand. This course has no shortage of hills and the heat will be blarring.

As soon as we exit the beautiful lake swim, we run right up a steep hill to the transition area...and for the next 69.1 miles, we will be going up and down until the finish line.

To place top 5 overall would be amazing...prize money! However, that's not my ultimate goal. On this course, I know what the conditions will bring and how mentally and physically tough the day will be for my mind and my body. With a little history with this course, my ultimate goal is to break 5 hours. I have had this goal since I started doing the half ironman distance and being realistic based on data, I believe I have it in me on a flat, fast course. But on this course....this has been on my mind with every training session.

Tomorrow I will be pulling out my bank of memories with a few challenging training sessions and races that will remind me that I am ready to give my best effort. No matter the time or place, I am excited to be out there with a healthy body...and with a new age behind my name.

Thank you everyone for the amazing birthday wishes and for reminding me how much I love inspiring others to live a more healthful and active lifestyle....at any age.







5/31/12

30 years of memories

Wow....30 years have gone by and I have to admit....I feel great!!


I've always been a positive person....ever since a young age. I always wanted to make sure everyone was always happy and I feel so uncomfortable with conflicts or around mean people. Realizing that age is just a number, I can honestly say that I don't feel 30 years "old" and I'm really happy about my life and who I am as a person.

I think this is going to be a great year.  A new age group, a new number for my age and lots of exciting opportunities.....and I sure don't expect to slow my life down anytime soon.


When I was born, my mom insisted that I was going to be a May baby and luckily, I came into this world with just a little time to spare on May 31st, 1982. If it wasn't for my amazing parents, I wouldn't be here today. They did an excellent job raising me and my brother and although they had their share of freak-outs during my teenage years, somehow I turned out ok and I believe that is due to their unconditional love and support...never pressuring me to be anyone but myself.

Like the goal of many of us - I was always encouraged to be confident and to do what I felt was best for me and to not compare myself to others. Thanks to the performing arts, piano, public speaking, competitive sports and higher education, I was forced to be confident in front of others and I think that helped me in so many more ways than I could believe.


Growing up, Iwas always outgoing, a bit on the talkative side (no surprise there!) and a go-getter. I love my parents and my brother and we have a great close family where there's lots of love and support...and lots of laughs.

Perhaps at times in my life I was hesitant to accept things that were out of my comfort zone but I didn't let that stop me from trying. My parents always encouraged me to never give up on what I wanted in life and most importantly, they sacrificed a lot for my brother and me to be able to be student-athletes from an early age, all the way through the end of college.

This is an incredibly special day for me because I have the opportunity to reflect on the past 30 years and remind myself of all of the amazing memories that I have created, the wonderful people I have met along my journey of life and all that I have accomplished in the past 30 years.

Luckily, I can think of more than 30 memories that leave me with a smile on my face so I'd like to give you 30 words that describe me and my life, over the past 30 years.... and a few pics that my mom dug-up of me from the photo albums.


1. Happy
2. Obstacles
3. Love
4. Priorities
5. Sacrifices
6. Family
7. Outgoing
8. Type-A
9. Writer and speaker
10. Endurance athlete
11. Educator
12. Motivation
13. Wife and doggy mommy
14. Vegetarian
15. Friend
16. Optimistic
17. Sensitive
18. Worry, stress and anxiety
20. Laugh and smile
21. Health
22. Student
23. Fitness enthusiast
24. Mentor
25. Respect
26. Relax
27. Reflect
28. Grateful
29. Honest
30. Creative

4 days old

My mom said I was the perfect baby - always happy!

I've always loved music


Future dietitian

Making creations

Performing in front of a crowd

Me and "chickey". I always loved animals.

No aerobars yet..just a little brother-sister bike riding

I could never get enough of being in the water




 
It might not be a Trek, but it's PINK!

Piano competition (pink dress of course)


Swimming competition



 

All grown up - I love these two guys!!





                                                                What a great family!


The best parents in the world!


I'm so proud of my brother and all that he has accomplished in his life. Go Blue! Aaron works for Ernst and Young now and completed 4 years in the business school at UM while being a Division 1 athlete (Aaron was Big Ten high bar champion as a Senior - I can't find the pic of him on the High Bar but he was also a great all-around NCAA gymnast)


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!
                             

On this special day, I also want to wish my best friend, my supporter for everything I do and my one and only love, a very wonderful 6-year anniversary. We met on my birthday in 2006, on a group bike ride (Gearlink Wed. night ride) thanks to a few people wanting to set us up. I didn't think I wanted a boyfriend at that time in my life, but somehow, I kept falling in love with Karel the more I got to know him. Karel, I love you so much..thank you for letting me be me and for being a great teammate.  You believe in me and because of that, I can set higher goals and be more successful in everything I choose to do in life. You take such good care of yourself and I thank you for that because I want to spend forever with you. I am so lucky to share my life with you and I look forward to many, MANY, many more years to come....riding bikes and eating yummy creations, of course....with Campy.



5/29/12

Recipes galore (Girls night in!) and dietetic award

Last week my amazingly awesome friend Laura had a few girls over for dinner. Laura is an amazing cook and she did not dissapoint. Laura and I both have dogs who are best friends so rather than paying each other for babysitting, we just "pay" each other with food. :)

Laura is not only a mom, wife, great friend and amazing cook but she also is a RD, triathlete/runner and individual living with lupus nephritis. Laura often blogs about her highs and lows with lupus along with posting some of her yummy creations on her website.

I am so excited to share these creations with you because they were soooo mouth-watering good. All fresh foods and no need for pulling food out of a box. Forget about reading food labels or trying to decide on the "healthiest" option.....we had an amazing evening with great food, strong and confident women and fun stories.......YUM!
(to see original recipes and credit for the creations, hold your mouse over the title of each recipe)


Tomato and Avocado with Boursin cheese




Spinach and strawberry salad w/ balsamic dressing




Graffiti Eggplant with White Bean and Basil lemon spread -(Laura used regular large Japanese eggplant (apparently the skinny one is considered Chinese eggplant) and sliced, placed it in zip loc bag with a tiny bit of salt and fresh lime juice. She left this in the fridge over night to take some of the bitterness away from the eggplant (the lemon juice keeps it from browning too much). Then she grilled it on both sides for about 3-4 minutes on a hot grill pan. Followed the recipe for the rest)






White bean and basil lemon spread (from eggplant)





My plate (first helping :)  )

Campy waiting for food to (accidently) drop from plates.





In other news, the Jacksonville Dietetic Association had their annual May social at Urban Flats last Thursday. After an early-morning 45 minute run + campy mile, I had a really exciting day at Baptist Beach hospital. I typically see patients in med surg, the progressive care unit and any other unit besides the ICU but Susan (the other RD at the Beach who I was working with) let me work in the ICU. It is always a challenging situation for me to work with such complicated patients but in order to get better with my knowledge as a RD, I do enjoy the challenge.
There is never a day that I don't learn something as clinical RD!
I have to admit, working with athletes for coaching and nutrition also keeps me educated as I am always learning from my athletes or researching to better understand the physiology of the body during exercise.

Alongside catching up with other wonderful dietitians and future dietitians and enjoying some yummy food, I was absolutely surprised to receive the award for the 2011-2012 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year award.



This award means so much to me as I have really enjoyed changing lifestyles for the past year.  I have met so many amazing and inspiring individuals and I feel so grateful to have so many motivational people in my life.

Deciding to go back to school to earn my RD credential, back in 2007, was not an easy decision. With 6 prior years from 2000-2006 beind devoted to obtaining my Bachelor degree in exercise science (minor in psychology) and Master of science in Exercise Physiology, putting life on hold was not an option. Finding the right balance was the hard part...and believe me, it has not been an easy journey for me to find the right balance.

But with every day, comes a new challenge and new appreciation for life. I love that every morning, it is up to me to decide what I want to accomplish for the day.

I have learned that I have control over how I choose to live my life and I have also created a great toolset to help others reach their ultimate nutrition and fitness goals. Certainly, the learning never stops....good thing I just love to learn in order to help others!


With the end of June being the 1-year anniversary since receiving my RD credential, I can only think of the many sacrifices I have made in the past 4 years to giving everything I could to becoming the best RD I could be. Finding my voice as a RD AND as an Exercise Physiologist has be fun and challenging at times. Trying to find that right balance between nutrition and exercises is my passion and this award means so much to me.

Thank you to all the dietitians who voted for me and felt as if I was deserving of this award.
Also thanks to my blog readers for coming back to this site, in order to get inspired to live a more healthful lifestyle. 

5/27/12

Czech inspired, Yummy-licious Rhubarb muffins


Feeling super creative the other day, I came home from the grocery store with a new vegetable Rhubarb!
Although many people may think of it as a fruit, since it is often used in pastries and pies, I was excited to search the web to get inspired for a new Trimarni creation.
(you can learn more here about this tart vegetable).

When Karel opened the fridge later that evening, the first thing he said was
"It's Rebarbora - I haven't had that in forever!!!"

Speaking Czech-lish....Karel told me that Rebarbora (czech for rhubarb) reminded him of his mother's recipes, specifically her desserts. He was so excited for me to make something with it and that really made me happy.

Sadly, many people in our society have such a bad relationship with food that stories are lost, memories are not shared and traditions are forgotten. We are told to be so overly obessed about calories, fat and carbs and often times, we forget the beauty that comes with home-cooked meals and making memories with good food.

Speaking of memories, here's my favorite cyclist at the young age of 4....on his first bike.


Here's Karel at 17 years old in his hometown of Znojmo, Czech Republic.
For the bike fans, here's the specs of his bike:
Bike: Bianchi Columbus SLX tubing
Shimano Dura-Ace/Ultegra gruppo (model year 1990)
Selle Italia Turbo Matic saddle
3ttt handlebars and stem
Wolber rims and tubulars



As much as Karel and myself love living an active lifestyle, we both know that we need to place just as much emphasis on our diet as we do with everything else in life. Finding that right balance is so important in a quality life and I am so happy I can share my life with Karel....oh, and this furry little one.


(Campy's first race - the Trek Store 4-mile beer run!)

Prior to making my muffins, I enjoyed Karel sharing some of his stories with me of his mom's rhubarb recipes and of course, I can't get enough of hearing all the stories about how much great food came from her garden.

As you enjoy this absolutely amazing creation (they are SO good!!) I invite you take some time every day to think about your own life, how you are choosing to live your life and what you can do to find that perfect balance to make your life that much better.


Yummy-licious Rhubarb muffins

2 cups chopped, fresh or frozen rhubarb
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Banana (mashed)
Pink lady apple (you can use red) - whole apple, shredded
1 large carrot (or 8 baby carrots) - shredded

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
cinnamon (5 shakes from container)
all spice (2 shakes from container)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients (top ingredients  down to carrot, except rhubarb).
3. In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients with fork (flour until salt ingredients).
4. Slowly pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined.
5. Add chopped rhubarb and mix until combined.
6. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray (I rubbed a little olivio butter in the muffin tins instead of spray) and pour muffins into each tin (this recipe should make 12 large muffins).
7. Bake for 18-28 minutes or until top is firm.


Nutrition facts:
Serves 12
Serving size 1 muffin

Calories - 140
Fat - 2g
Carbs - 28g
Fiber -3g
Sodium - 46mg
Sugar - 12g
Protein - 4.3g