Registered Dietitian.....M.S. in Exercise Physiology...Vegetarian...Writer...Speaker...5x Ironman finisher.....2011-2012 Recognized Young Dietitian of the Year...Doggy-mommy...Wife to an amazing Czech cyclist turned triathlete...2x Ironman World Championship finisher...USAT level-1 coach...Oakley women, Brooks Running ID, 110% Play Harder and Hammer Nutrition Brand Ambassador.
It's never easy saying good bye to this guy (and the hubby) but I knew a lot of positive energy was waiting for me in Napa.
It wa a looooong day of travel with getting up early (in the middle of the night) to drive to Orlando, to wait in ATL for 5 hours for delays and to battle San Fran rush hour traffic for over two hours to get to the resort....
But - 18 hours later.... I MADE IT!
After checking into my room, I quickly changed and headed to the welcome reception and to see some new and familiar faces.
It was great to meet the new 10 ambassadors for Oakley Women and although only briefly speaking to most of the last night, I know they will bring a lot to their respective communities for they each have a lot to offer in terms of performing beautifully and inspiring the world.
The evening was very inspiring and we were able to preview some awesome items from the 2013 collection. Once again, Oakley Women spared NO expense to create European-inspired gear and stylish yet active shades to make us feel beautifully when we are performing.
When I returned to my room, I had a bag full of clothing and swag from Oakley, Trek, Garmin, Asics, Tone it Up and more...
Although the free swag is great, what I love the most about these events is the energy that I feel from strong, confident women. From people in the fitness industry, to magazine editors/writers to professional athletes and to the Oakley Women crew...there's a lot of doing and very few (if any) excuses when it comes to performing beautifully.
I'm so excited for today - a Garmin and Oakley O lab demo, along with Yoga at Trefethen vineyard. Followed by a 5K run through the vines.
Then a beautiful lunch at the Silverado followed by an entire afternoon of bike riding with Trek Bicycles to 3 different winery's, followed by dinner at our last stop this evening.
So to inspire you to perform beautifully, here's a fantastic video that was shared last night (parts of it) with Oakley Women athlete Lolo Jones who describes her "Beyond Reason".
Off I go to Napa for the Oakley Women Fitness Retreat!!
Over the weekend I will be joining 100 fabulously strong, confident and passionate women for: A 5K in a vineyard, Trek Winery bike tour, great fresh food, hiking, nutrition seminar at the Culinary Institute (guess who will be doing this!!!), yoga, networking and fun...and testing the 2013 line of Oakley Women clothing and shades.
When I was picked to be an Oakley Women ambassador in 2011, I won a contest that asked me what it means to "perform beautifully" and how I inspire others to "perform beautifully". Shortly after finishing my Dietetic Intership I got word about winning this contest wth 9 other amazing girls (Lacey, Amanda, Kim, Katie, Caitlin, Brittany, Deanna, Katie, and Francesca) who are now my close friends who are inspiring the world to live a healthier lifestyle. The best part about this lifetime opportunity last June -I received the most amazing trip to Napa just a few days after passing the RD exam!
It was a great honor to receive the opportunity to return to the Fitness Retreat (this Fri - Mon) as one of three returning 2011-2012 Oakley Women ambassadors to share the Oakley Women love with the NEW 10 amabassadors for 2012-2013!!
Congrats ladies!! Cheers to a weekend of memories and year of performing beautifully!
Charlotte Neitzel Aj Govoni Carly Swanson Cari Shoemate Christine Donaldson Emily Sukiennik Fitz Koehler Maria Romaine Natalia Maldonado Page Williams
Stay tuned to the blog over the next few days as well as Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition (Facebook) for lots of updates. and pics My nutrition seminar and cooking demo at the Culinary Institute is on Sunday.....who thinks I am a bit super excited for this opportunity!?!?!?
I suppose this is a good description of Florida at times during the summer. For right now we are dealing with Tropical storm Debby. I know for certain, however, no storm will seperate me and Campy.
As a triathlete, I have a selection of sports to choose from to keep me exercising indoors when weather is not corporating. For runners and cyclists. This may pose a problem if you don't have the right equipment to train indoors. Before I give a few tips on training indoors due to weather, I will first say that there is no need to waste energy on something out of your control - like weather. The great thing, believe it or not, is that you can use your energy on things that are within your control. However you may need to be a little creative and be ok with changing up your structured routine.
1. For cyclists and triathletes - I LOVE my Cyclops Powerbeam pro trainer. It is really use to tolerate for those who don't like the trainer and I love that the joule always me to adjust my watts and provides resistance to keep me in my specific zones.
2. For triathletes and runners - find a treadmill. If you don't like the treadmill or don't fel comfortable on the treadmill, I recommend bumping up the incline and doing a power walk to get the heart rate up.
3. Change up the routine - head to the gym (drive safe) and do some strength and cardio. Do an aerobic class, the stair stepper, elliptical, rowing machine, take a dip in the pool, water jog or do a spin class. Don't set yourself up for failure by saying you don't like those things and think black or white. Something is better than nothing and you may end up getting a quality workout - which beats lying on the couch wishing you could train outside.
4. Get creative at home - not only in the kitchen but find something to keep the body moving for at least an hour (either continuous or total). Dance, do aerobics from the web, strength train with equipement at home or do some heavy duty cleaning. Stop worrying about losing fitness and not burning calories...the body always enjoys a new exercise and a change in the routine and nbelieve it or not, your body will eventually appreciate your effort (when you can return back to your normal routine) to not stop your workouts when it is stormy outside.
5. Find your connections - ask your training buddies if they belong to a gym. Often, members get free guest passes (or at a cheaper price than normal) and it may be fun to workout somewhere new with your friends.
6. Invest in your fitness - spend $15 or $25 for a week temporary guest pass at a local gym if you don't belong to a gym. The great thing about going somewhere new is the chance of making new friends and perhaps being motivated by others.
I recommend keeping indoor workouts around 60-90 minutes unless your schedule requires you to do more for your upcoming races (or phase of training). .I enjoy intervals all the time but find them great for indoor workouts when it can be easy to feel bored starring at a screen (or walls).
Here are a few workouts (2 different main sets listed for each sport) that you may want to try to spice up your indoor routine:
*2-3 x 1000's (swim like this continuously: 50 easy, 50 fast, 100 easy, 100 fast, 150 easy, 150 fast, 200 easy, 200 fast)
If you are a new swimmer you can give yourself rest breakfast between each part of the set for 10-30 seconds.
*400, 2 x 300's, 3 x 200's, 4 x 100's, 5 x 50's
(rest as needed, effort 75-90%. Try to keep same interval. Ex. if you can swim a 50 @ 90% in 1 minute, your 400 should be on 8 minutes)
2 min under, 1 min over, 2 min under, 1 min over, 2 min under. Recover 5 minutes (find your threshold zone (or functional threshol) or around 85% max HR and your goal is to be a little under and a little over for each interval)
*10 x 30 sec "sprints" w/ 60-90 sec recovery
(this can be in or out of the saddle - focus on good form, not bouncing on the saddle. RPM should be 100+)
*5 min easy, 5 min fast, 4 min easy, 4 min fast, 3 min easy, 3 min fast, 2 min easy, 2 min fast, 1 min easy, 1 min fast
*2-3 x's 3 x 1/4 mile (or 90 seconds) @ 90% max HR (or mid to upper Z4) w/ 1 min recovery. Then 5 min "tempo" (75-80% or Z3 low to mid). Recover 1 min, then repeat 1-2 more times.
On Friday morning (5:15am), I had a small pre-training snack of a WASA cracker w/ a smear of PB and 1/2 banana w/ my coffee and skim milk. I sipped on water on the way to the YMCA near my parents for a leg-shaking, core-on-fire, strength workout. It didn't feel that tough when I started but the lunges, squats, deadlifts (all with free weights) and adductor/abductor machine + core/lower back/hip exercises had my legs shaking as I was putting on my swim gear.
My swim was relaxing. 3 x 1000's - outside. I absolutely love swimming outdoors, especially when the sky goes from dark to light within a main set.
I made a smoothie on Thursday evening (at my parents house) and froze it in a giant mug/cup to consume on Fri morning on my way to Clearwater beach. I left it in my car during my 90 min workout and defrosted just enough to slurp on my hour drive to the ISSN conference. With the smoothie - my favorite mixture of Shredded Wheat cereal + Cheerios.
I couldn't complain much about lunch. The view was priceless and I was in great company as I enjoy my vegetarian boxed lunch (whole wheat bread w/ some kind of cheese spread + sauteed veggies and lettuce + noodle salad + raisin cookie) provided by the Hilton Hotel.
I was not very satisfied with this lunch so good thing I brought an apple and nuts to keep my tummy happy.
There are not too many times in life when you can get free advice from someone who you look-up to but it was great to spend one-on-one time with Dr. Susan Kleiner, author of many books (Power Eating, Good Mood Diet, High Performance Nutrition, Powerfood Nutrition Plan). I picked her brain about how to get started in the "book" industry and she provided me with a wealth of valuable information on furthering my vision and philosophy.
I don't have pics of the happy hour eats on Friday evening but next to the pig-carving station (obviously not Marni friendly), I enjoyed a super yummy made-to-order stir-fry w/ wild rice and the best nutty/seed rolls I have ever eaten! For dessert, angel food cake cubes w/ fresh fruit and chocolate dipping sauce. Oh boy, was I well-fueled for that run on Saturday morning and I felt great going to bed with a happy and fueled belly.
On Saturday, I was treated by James (who I stayed with and an athlete of mine) who prepared the most delicious lunch that I once again enjoyed overlooking the beach (I love fresh air).
Pineapple, corn, carrots and herb quinoa and a tomato w/ basil and fresh mozzarella (and a little balsamic)....oh - so mouth watering. On the side, green beans w/ garlic and almonds and a little oil.
Heaven in my belly.
And Monday night......
Steamed - asparagus
Tofu, corn, peas, onions, cilantro, orange and yellow sweet peppers - cooked on low heat in olive oil
Canned black beans (rinsed)
Canned no salt added tomatoes (basil, oregano)
1. In large pot, I cooked tofu mixture in a little olive oil.
2. After 8-10 minutes (Stir occasionally), I added 1/2 can beans to mixture. I also added 1/4 can of the tomatoes to mixture (feel free to save leftover beans and tomatoes if you or your family want extra in their own dish). I added one large handful arugula at the end and stirred lightly and left it covered for a few minutes.
3. Serve 1/4 - 1/2 cup Kasmati rice on bottom of shallow dish and top with veggie mixture.
So flavorful - no additional seasonings needed!
If I could give you one take-home message it would be to consider all your food choices to be fuel. Keep in mind that you are always fueling, repairing and energizing your body. Any food can fit into a healthy diet so long as you are emphasizing the nutrient-rich foods that can be used and metabilzed effectively before, during and after workouts and not overflowing your "gas" tank. Think about it - if you are taking a trip you wouldn't put more gas in your tank than you you need -especially when gas is expensive and that would just be wasteful. At the same time, if you are planning a road trip, you wouldn't start on empty an just wait until the light goes on...you would hopefully fill up the tank and continue to check the status of your fuel as you continue on with your trip.
There was a wealth of valuable and credible (key word - CREDIBLE) information provided by a group of brillant individuals at the International Society of Sports Nutrition annual conference. Info presented on research, not found on blogs or from strong-minded nutrition guru's.
Whereas most of the population hears info like this "the amino acids in protein will help you recover faster after a workout", this is what I hear at the ISSN conference from the PhD's:
"Essential amino acids (EAA), particularly leucine, also have been shown to activate the mTOR signaling pathway, which turns on the translational machinery necessary for muscle protein synthesis in both rodent and human models. Recently, it was shown that EAA apparently activate mTOR via a unique class 3 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), hVps34, which stimulates mTOR by an unknown mechanism, bypassing the insulin-induced activation of mTOR through Akt. However, mTOR activation due to nutrient intake of both essential amino acids and carbohydrate (EAA+CHO) may be accomplished via the insulin-stimulated signaling pathway through PI3K-Akt-TSC2 as well as the insulin-independent amino acid-induced pathway just described (i.e., hVps34).
More recently, we measured mTOR signaling and muscle protein synthesis after ingestion of a leucine enriched EAA+CHO solution. After ingestion of EAA+CHO, muscle protein synthesis increased ~100% within 1 h. The rapid increase in muscle protein synthesis was associated with a significant increase in Akt and mTOR phosphorylation as well as phosphorylation of downstream components S6K1 and 4E-BP1, indicating that translation initiation was enhanced. In addition, eukaryotic elongation factor-2 (eEF2) phosphorylation decreased significantly compared with base-line, suggesting that elongation of translation was also stimulated by this leucine-enriched “anabolic” nutrient solution.
Postexercise nutrient ingestion, in the form of EAA alone or in combination with carbohydrate (EAA+CHO) has clearly shown that muscle protein synthesis is elevated above that measured following resistance exercise alone."
(Source) - this research study specifically was not discussed in the conference but there was a lot of great recent research on leucine and protein for increasing protein synthesis.
Certainly, this is heavy duty stuff for even me to understand in terms of fully understanding the mechanisms of action...I'll leave that to the PhD's. However, in my Master Degree program, we did learn a lot in term of HOW nutrition and exercise affect the body, specifically on a muscular and chemical level.
And, I must add that this is why it is so very important for the public to consult a qualified professionals to help with training, nutrition or health for research can answer questions but it doesn't answer all questions. Science must always be applied to real world situations and it can certainly be confusing and misleading when bloggers, websites and guru's are citing every single research study OR can not adopt the information in a real-world setting.
Although I didn't completely remove my clinical dietitian/RD hat at this conference, I am leaving this two -day conference with an abundance of information on nutrient timing, supplements and exercise physiology. As a professional in the field of health and wellness, I can firmly say that my ongoing (and always evolving) philosophy and POV with diet and exercise is supported and validated by a bunch of great research presented this weekend....specifically on the topics of a plant strong diet, not avoiding carbs, consuming quality protein, prioritizing sport nutrition before, during and after training consuming dairy in the diet. And, to the relief (or surprise) of many there was absolutely no support or discussion on ANY diet that restricts or limits carbohydrates (aka "carbs are bad" in order to increase lean muscle mass or to improve performance and I strongly caution anyone who chooses to follow a mass-marketed diet that severely restricts critical nutrients in order to boost performance and help with health and body composition.
Now, I will say that EVERY individual has his/her own prescription for the distribution of macronutrients in his/her diet but this should not come with a list of dietary rules or off-limit lists that make you feel restricted or guilty. I strongly support a balanced diet - I believe fat, carbs and protein should all be consumed as macronutrients within a plant-strong micronutrient-rich diet. ...for health, body composition and performance gains.
I have a great appreciation for professionals who provide sound advice and this is why I choose to treat my athletes and fitness enthusiasts as individuals and do my best to keep up with research and apply in real world settings. I'm so excited to take all this amazing info and continue to help others fuel for life and for sport. I am also happy to have a roller dex of emails and go-to contacts for when I need a second opinion or clarification for a research study or topic.
I am very excited to sum-up the conference as there was SO much awesome info I just couldn't help but soak it all up....in an effort to help all you athletes and fitness enthusiasts that have athletic, health and body composition goals. I may be a RD, but I am an exercise physiologist at heart. It is this nice balance that allows me to (legally) help individuals reach all types of body-related goals.
Speaking of exercise physiology...my "long" run on Saturday morning was a successfully challenging one. I stayed with one of my athletes at Clearwater Beach to help me save some time from driving an extra 2 hours (there and back) to my parents on Friday evening. I still didn't have a lot of time for training on Sat morning so I did what I could and focused on what I "CAN" do. I normally bike before I run but there wasn't enough time before my 9:30am conference + 90 min run (plus making sure I didn't sacrifice too much sleep because we all know sleep can make or break consistent performance gains) so I did about 10 min of active running drills before my run plus a solid warm-up around the streets of Clearwater Beach.
Mentally, this workout wasn't bad because I love running on new roads. Physically, the workout was tough but doable.
1:20 - 1:30 run (instructed no more than 12 miles by Karel if my distance was reached before the time)
3.5 mile warm-up
3 x 1 mile mid to upper Z3 (or holding 7:10-7:20 pace goal) w/ 45 sec rest.
4 min EZ jog
3 1 mile mid to upper Z3 (same pace as above) w/ 30 sec rest.
4 min EZ jog
Pre-workout 45 min before *Piece of flat bread + smear of PB + banana slices, 8 ounces water + cup of coffee w/ skim milk.
(Typically I have toast before my run specific workouts but since I was not biking before, I know I need a little lighter carb choice on my system but one that still supplies a similar amount of carbs to toast)
1 bottle water and 1 bottle w/ 1.5 scoops HEED (Hammer) at my "stopping" point. I refueled after warm-up (sipping sport drink and using water to rinse mouth and cool body) and took a sip to simulate aid stations between every interval.
12 ounces - 8 ounces milk + 4 ounces water + 1/2 scoop whey protein + handful shredded wheat cereal (had this as I was getting ready).
My amazing host/athlete, James, made me the most delicious egg omelet w/ beans, spinach, cheese, spinach, tomatoes, onion and 2 slices whole grain bread (I couldn't finish it all so I saved 1 slice of bread for a mid morning snack w/ the other half of my banana). I also had 1 FIZZ during the morning at the conference and had a glass of water with breakfast.
Stats from run:
Average pace: 7:55 min/mile (didn't stop my watch during the workout - this includes walk breaks)
Average HR: 139 beats
Mile 1: 8:23
Mile 2: 8:00
Mile 3: 7:51
Mile 3.5: 8:03
Mile Intervals: #1: 7:08 (HR 144) #2: 7:13 (HR 147)
#3: 7:06 (HR 150)
4 min EZ jog (8:35 pace, HR 135)
#4: 7:14 (HR 146)
#5: 7:18 (HR 149)
#6: 7:35 (HR 148) - didn't have much left so went by perceived effort...this was my 80% effort and I'll take it vs quitting and not doing the last interval
4 min EZ + cool down: 9:31 (130 HR)
I believe we all have moments in life that we feel are "life-changers". The special occasions of finding your true love, getting married, having children come to mind but then there are the moments where you land that big job that allows you to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Perhaps it was a trip abroad, breaking news from a family member or passing a big exam. I am sure many people reading this blog can relate to crossing their first multisport finish line or maybe learning a new skill. And sadly, there are the days when someone is given a diagnosis or bad news and everything in life seems to freeze at that moment in time.
What's so great about life is that we have so many opportunities for these life-changers. It's not necessary to look for these life-changers because if you are working hard or are in the right place at the right time, great things will come. As for the not-so-great life changers, hopefully your quality of life has never been compromised up until that point and you refuse to allow excuses to stop you from living the life YOU want to live.
I contemplated about the title of this blog, feeling that "a day" is more appropriate than "the" day that changed my life.
So, what is the day that I am speaking about???
On June 21st, 2011 - I became a Registered Dietitian.
Three years of hard work, stress, anxiety, nerves, exams, projects, papers and books to read....not to mention many checks to Universities/Colleges in order to fulfill my goal of obtaining the RD credential.
Without the support of my friends, family, blog readers (yes - you all!) and of course, my loving and supportive husband, Karel, I don't know how I would have met all the requirements of being qualified legally, to provide nutrition information to the public, counsel individuals and treat medical conditions.
It would have been easy to take the easy way out and provide nutrition info without the credential. Spend the money on a downpayment for a house, buy a new car, travel the world or race more often.
But as we all know, life-changers often come with sacrifices and that, my friends, is what makes hard work so rewarding.
Tomorrow is a very special day for me and very fitting that I will be working at Baptist medical center Beaches - solo. That's right - the whole hospital for me to see (well, not everyone but it will be a busy day for me).
Following my day of work (which of course, starts with an early morning bike-run workout), I will be heading to Clearwater for the International Society of Sports Nutrition annual conference. I am SO excited for this conference for a few reasons.
I have been a member of the ISSN since graduate school in 2004 and I always learn so much from this brilliant individuals. I am very excited to soak up as much info as I can for two packed days and of course, I can't wait to network and meet some of my favorite researchers.....with MS, RD behind my name.
Here's the program guide if you are interested in reading about the lectures that I will be attending on Friday and Saturday (as well as the bio's of the presenters).
If you have a bit more free time, I would love to share some of my favorite "RD" related posts with you for your viewing (or re-viewing). Thanks again for your support!
Over the past few years, I have never lost sight of the habits I have created. Thus, with each habit came a greater appreciation for how I want to live my life. And with that, a great lifestyle has been born and I am soaking it up every single day. I realize I blog and write a lot about food but to me, food enhances my active lifestyle.....and we can't live without it!
At the end of a busy day, I enjoy surprising Karel with a new Trimarni creation and hearing his yums, confirming the creation is blog worthy. When my day is long and tiring at the hospital, I can't wait to get home and share some outdoor time with my happy and loving furry best friend Campy who gives me tons of energy every time I walk through the door.
Back in December 2011, Karel tried vegetarianism and enjoyed it for almost 4 months..that is, until we started traveling more for his races and he was really struggling with food (and feeling satisfied) when eating on the road.
Aside from whey protein, I am not a pill pusher, bar eater or powder obsessed. I'd rather get my vitamins and minerals from real food and because of that, I never encouraged Karel to continue being a vegetarian and suggest other ways for him to get his protein or to feel satisfied by suggesting the other non-food options. For in my mind, we eat consistently well on a daily basis and we certainly enjoy eating occasional foods when we travel or on yearly celebrations and because of that, I am not too concerned about us not living a healthful lifestyle. It's all about balance and making sure we feel the gift of health as well as respecting the body with maintaing a healthy weight (not too much, not too lean).
I hope that this message transmits to others as I firmly believe that we must all find what works for us as individuals, in creating a healthful lifestyle. We can support one another and motivate one another but suggesting to someone else that they have to do this or try this or eat this in order to be healthy is something that should be left to the professionals, especially when greater goals are on the menu such as weight loss, clinical reasons or performance. Karel's labs are 100% and all within normal limits. He burns calories like a machine and he will never give up beer or chocolate. I'm cool with all that because I know that from morning to night, the food he is prioritizing to fuel his lifestyle and exercise routine is plant-strong. ....well, I do often hear about the cookies and brownies he is enjoying from the local bakery near the Trek store from the guys at the shop...but hey, at least it is homemade and prepared with love.
Speaking of homemade - Karel got me this poppyseed Czech-inspired "cake" for my birthday a few weeks ago and I forgot to share it! This brought back a lot of memories for Karel when he lived back in Czech Republic and for me, I remember Karel sharing this with me once back in Clearwater, from a polish bakery and it was one of my absolute favorite things to enjoy with Karel.
With me being a vegetarian for 19 years, my "meatless" lifestyle comes with me wherever I go.
In April, 2012, I told Karel he had nothing to prove in giving up meat but he wanted to prove something to himself that he could do "it". I simply told him that it is his life and he needs to feel good on a daily basis and if he is struggling with eating out there is no sense in feeling hungry and overwhelmed with being meat-free on the road.
Karel re-introduced chicken and continues to eat fish but I'd say that his diet hasn't changed much in that it is still primarily plant-strong....and he still enjoys cookies, beer and chocolate :)
As you know, I try very hard to not to preach vegetarianism, discuss the horor stories with animal factories or the clinical aspects of eating a high fat/high meat (aka paleo) diet. For I am here to inspire others to appreciate a more plant strong diet and in order to do that, you must be willing to try new things and more importantly, change habits within the home.
And with that..... I did it again! I made the most amazingly, delicious plant-strong meal with a non-vegetarian plant-strong option for the chicken lovers. Enjoy!
Plant-strong grilled veggie w/ tempeh and orzo.
Large carrots (remove a little of each end)
Sweet peppers (whole)
Dark greens (I used romaine)
Green bell pepper (sliced)
Tempeh (for vegetarians) - I used a flax seed added tempeh I got at Whole Foods
Chicken (prepared to your liking for non vegetarians)
Orzo - prepared according to package (1 serving per person)
Optional: Mozzarella part-skim cheese
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. On a large cookie sheet, place veggies on sheet and cover in 1-2 tbsp oil. Sprinkle with a dash of sea salt and pepper if you wish.
3. On a seperate small pan, cube tempeh and toss in a little oil (1-2 tsp).
4. In a glass baking dish, place chicken and prepare to your liking.
5. Bake veggies for 15-20 minutes or until soft and slightly brown (you will begin to smell them).
6. Cook chicken to minimum 160 degrees.
7. Bake tempeh for 8-10 minutes or until slightly firm and brown.
Non - vegetarian plate:
handful dark greens, 1 serving orzo, chopped mozzarella and sliced grilled veggies.
1 serving orzo with fresh basil, veggies and green salad topped with mozzarella slices and tempeh
There is so much flavor to this meal I can't even explain it. The sunflower oil brings out a nice sweetness with the veggies and the warm orzo goes so nicely with the cold greens and grilled tempeh. I love mixing warm and cooler food to provide a nice twist to my taste buds. As I was enjoying this meal, I really savored every bite and there was no need to think about what was going to come next after I finished this meal. Although this meal didn't take a lot of time to prepare, I certainly took pride in what I created and I couldn't justify eating any other food option after this meal for nothing could replace the amazing feeling in my belly after finishing this meal.
If you struggle with not appreciating your dinner meal and always needing that extra something post meal, take a moment and recognize what you consumed and if the meal was balanced for your needs. Also, more importantly, do not go into the dinner meal starving. Keep in mind that every eating opportunity is an opportunity to provide nutrients to your body for fuel and for fuel from the moment you get up until you go to bed. Although there is nothing wrong with 1/2 ounce dark chocolate post dinner or a small cup of fruit for something sweet, don't un-do the goodness that comes from a healthy, plant-strong meal by "needing" that bowl of cereal, cup of ice cream or sugar-free processed food. I promise, you will survive until the morning and likely, you will wake up feeling amazingly light and refreshed due to a restful night of sleep and the charge you are needing to have a fabulous day.
Karel and I met on a group bike rid in 2006, on my birthday. I was a newbie cyclist, barely able to ride 18mph without suffering. I had no skills on the bike and I was scared to ride with others. It was just a few weeks prior that I did my first half ironan at Disney and I was 7 months away from my first Ironman.
Karel came into my life and ever since then, we have shared some amazing memories on our bikes.
If you read my blogs or know anything about Karel, he lives and breaths cycling. As the GM of the Trek store, Karel is the guru of anything and all things bikes and people in the community know that. Karel can disect even the smallest noise on group ride and fix it in a blink of an eye. He is just that good with bikes but also, being a perfectionist doesn't hurt him when it comes to perfecting his skills both on an off the bike.
As we all know, Karel's fire burns for cycling and he has never stopped loving the bike since the age of 3. From the suffering to daily bike riding to following riders on the internet and on TV, he loves it all...and I have learned to love it with him.
I have never asked Karel to do a triathlon because he loves his lifestyle of road racing, mountain biking and the occasional 10K and half marathon in the off-season where he effortlessly runs sub 7 min/mile pace without much training. Certainly, knowing there is a beer at the end of a run never hurts either.
Realizing that there are many multi-sport families and relationships out there, we are just like everyone else. We love competing and we love training. We love understanding our sports and keeping things balanced to profit from living a fun and exciting life.
Keeping in mind that Karel titles himself a "cyclist" and I am a "triathlete", I firmly believe that couples who are active should share similar lifestyles and it's perfectly fine to have different passions.
I think of us as a team and with us both being able to ride our bikes and have that in common, Karel has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and do some amazing things on my bicycle...of course, things I never thought were possible without his support, guideance and knowledge.
(Our very first trip together after 4 months of dating in 2006 - we rode our bikes around Lake Tahoe and enjoy some amazing scenery. I'm pretty sure this took me all day as I loved the climbs but the downhills - not so much)
(Georgia mountains trip 2007 - climbed Brasstown Bald which is the highest natural point in Georgia)
(6-Gap century event completed in Georgia in 2009! The HARDEST event of my life - I wanted to quit 10 million times but sadly, no cell reception so I had to keep going.)
(My first time mountain biking in 2011 - why not on the Smokey Mountains??? Karel gave me pointers all the way up but waited a long time for me to finally make my way down the mountain)
And with all those accomplishments being shared together, it's been a joy over the past 6 years to feel like a team when it comes to reaching our own personal goals.
(Athens Twilight criterium finisher - 2010 and 2011)
(Karel coaching me to a 4th place, roll-down Kona slot, 10:57 finish at 2010 IMWI. I love this pic because Karel is literally holding me up before my legs give out,)
(And what better than to share my 5th Ironan finish and 2nd Ironman World Chapionship finish in Oct 2011, than with my best friend, coach and bike mechanic :)
So, with no further hestitation.....
Karel has decided to put the bike racing on hold for a few months as he is now a Tri-geek!!
Ok - sorry, I had to say it. :)
Karel is always looking for a challenge and he needed a change. Still enjoying his road bike at times and his mountain bike, Karel has added goggles and Newton running shoes to his gear collection....and I have a new multi-sport training partner!
I will save the details of his progress over the past few weeks, for another blog so I suppose you are all waiting for the announcement as to what triathlon we will be doing together this summer.
A sprint...no, too short.
An Ironman...his swim skills aren't ready for that yet.
On September, 23rd, 2012, Karel and I will be heading to the Vegas of the Midwest......Branson, Missouri for the Branson 70.3!!!
There are several reasons why we picked this race - but I will spare you the details for another blog as I am sure you are ready to see the new addition to our bike family...
(Di2equippedSpeedConcept - quark, electronic shifting, garmin 500...I'll have to get the details on the rest of the components for the bike gurus)
According to Karel, "this ride is sick...all I have to do is steer it, it's so freakin' fast".
Looks like my blogs will be a bit more exciting over the next few months as I will have the opportunity to dedicate a few blog here or there and share our journey together - cyclist turned triathlete. Also, I am excited to put on my coaching hat a bit more than normal on this blog and provide some helpful pointers for all the newbies out there who are considering diving into a new sport....for even if you have fitness, it's all about the skills and focusing on the bigger picture.
Always keep in mind that your love for competition, racing, training and fitness is a lifestyle and there is no rush in the journey....be sure to enjoy every day by recognizing at least one thing that you are able to accomplish for that day.
From the reports of bloggers and your training buddies, it's evident that we are in the midst of racing season. Training can be very exciting but of course, what's the point of training without a race to put all that hard work to the test.
With the release of a new Ironman next year in Lake Tahoe (2013), it's important to take into consideration a few key factors when registering for a race. Here's my top 10 suggestions:
2) time of the year
3) cost of race
4) cost of travel
5) support from friends and family
6) weather on race day
7) similar training conditions for the race course
8) ease of travel and loding on race day
9) other life stressors during training that may interfere with training and/or racing
10) any current injuries, weaknesses, set-backs or concerns
And of course, consult with your coach or mentors to get other opinions for a race. It's ok to look at forums but always keep in mind that a POV from a person who lives in the mountains may be completely different than the POV of someone living on flat roads and who is able to train year round in warmer conditions.
Always think before you register for a race. Signing up for a race with your friends can be fun and motivating but at the end of the race day, you are in control of getting your body from the starting line to the finish line....and every "body" needs to be trained with proper training. For on race day, it is both mental and physical......you are putting your training to the test as you control the controllables - nutrition, attitude and pacing.
Be sure to stay tuned later today for some exciting triathlon news!
The July 2012 (issue 14) LAVA magazine was filled with fantastic info.....no surprise - it is one quality magazine with amazing photo's and brightly colored ads.
The issue featuring Lance Armstrong was wonderful and I am sure I'm not alone when I report how sad I am about the recent USADA allegations, which is now causing Lance to be banned from triathlons. I think Lance has done wonders for his own sporting career as well as helping the lives of so many cancer survivors and families of those who fought a hard fight. But most importantly, in relevance to the current media frenzy of banning Lance from triathlons, this makes me incredibly upset because I think Lance is doing amazing things for the sport of triathlons - not only for the professional and sponsors but also for inspiring people around the world to take part in this amazing lifestyle of swim-bike-run. I'm trying to not to spend too much energy on this issue but it really does make me sad as the human body is an amazing piece of work...and I love watching Lance's body go to work. He is purely a gift to science and above all, he loves to race and we all love that as well.
I remember when I was a young swimmer and I couldn't wait to watch Janet Evans and other notable swimmers take the blocks at the Olympics. At the age of 30 - I still get excited...counting down the days for the Olympics. I feel many people understand my enthusiasm for competitive sports as it isn't just about watching gifted athletes go for the gold or cross a finish line in first but rather empathizing with the sacrifices that were made in order to pursue goals and to defy the odds. In our house, triathlons, cycling, running, swimming, boxing...these are the sports we love to watch and the DVR has not shortage of recordings to keep us entertained on a daily basis.
Back on topic now...
There was a lot of great info in the July issue of Lava and if you don't subscribe to the magazine, I highly recommend doing so. But of course, you can always keep up with my Plate not Pills Colum ONLINE - for FREE! There's lots of great info about some amazing nutrients that will help you reach your health and performance goals.
On page 32, there was an awesome picture of Mirinda Carfrae (looking like the strong woman she is!) and a great article about triathlon-related companies offering casual clothing lines.
Although I don't consider myself much of a fashionista, I didn't have to think twice as an Oakley Women ambassador to dress head to toe (well more like tank, shorts, headband and Drizzle sunglasses) in Oakley Women when I was checking in my bike at the 2011 Ironman world championships in Kona, Hawaii.
On Pg 34:
"Oakley has long offered an extensive line of casual clothing and glasses, in addition to the sporty shades we al know. While not always for the faint of wallet, they have great quality and great style to meet the needs of nearly any conceivable social event. From ski pants and jackets to T shirts and sweaters, they've got you covered. They even have backpacks, duffel bags, golf bags, luggage and shoes. And while you're wearing these clothes, why not ditch your Oakley Radar glasses for something a bit more subtle in its declaration of your bib short collection? Their lifestyle collection could serve you well if you want to make a trip to the store without looking like you're from the future. "
And on pg 36. you can take a look at the Oakley Jupiter Squared and Overtime shades (I am a BIG fan of the overtime!)
-Matt Dixon's article on pg 56. "A fresh approach for the great dane" was awesome. I don't think I have ever read an article by Coach Matt Dixon of Purple patch fitness that I didn't love (I agree with his philosophy of training and enjoy keeping up with his athletes as well) and I think of him as a mentor I have never met but long to say "thank you" to one day.
-Jesse Kropelnicki wrote an article on body composition evaluation on pg 64. and although I don't agree with every word (which is fine - I'm sure people don't agree with all my writings as well), I do like how he explained the purpose of breaking down the training plan from a periodized training standpoint as well as not being strict on the changes of body composition and repeatedly instructing athletes to contact a Registered Dietitian to help in this process. Overall, a good read to get you thinking about your body composition from an athletic standpoint...but as you know from my philosophy - health first, performance second. There's not point of having a lean body if you can't do anything with it.
-Mark Allen (no introduction is needed here) wrote a great article on pg 73, emphasizing the importance of going short and hard first as you train for endurance events. Something that I 100% believe in is intervals and a structured training plan that is balanced to allow for proper recovery between intense/long training sessions. At Trimarni Coaching, I do not emphasize miles but rather time and what we can accomplish within that time frame...every athlete has his/her own struggles with time management and life getting in the way of training and because of that, you have to make it all work and the easiest way to do that is through interval training.
-Ben Greenfield touched on short-course racing and fueling on pg 82 which I think is a great topic for athletes of all fitness levels to better comprehend. Again, I don't agree with everything in the article but he did do a great job of explaining the physiology of the body and keeping things really simple. Also, I was brought back to my exercise physiology days of graduate school and doing resting metabolic tests and VO2 tests on subjects in the laboratory.
If you get a chance to read the magazine and have any questions for me, send them my way via email and I'd be glad to answer them in a future blog (or answer your individual questions via email).
It's really the little things in life - like a pink chain for my bike, Campy's hugs and kisses, watching Karel try my "creations" and fresh produce - that make me happy ;)
Before I share sme of the amazing varieties of lettuce - to inspire individuals to "break out of the iceberg box", here's a little from the article:
"If not for lettuce and salads, many Americans would hardly eat any green vegetables at all. Lettuce ranks behind only potatoes and tomatoes (technically a fruit) among the most popular vegetables. A nice, big salad can go a long way toward the two to three cups of daily veggies recommended by the federal government's My Plate, though you should count every two cups of raw, leafy greens as one cup toward that goal."
"Plain lettuce, after all, contains 14 calories in two cups. But you can easily turn a "healthy" salad into a plate that's no better for you than a burger and fries. First pile on the leafy greens, then the other vegetable and fruit toppings - for example, shredded carrots, raw broccoli, pieces of fruit. These salad items should cover most of the plate or bowl. After that you need to ask yourself, what else do I really want and what am I willing to forgo? For example, if you really want a bit of the creamy dressing, that's fine but you need to pass up the cheese. If you really want the cheese, then you are going to need to go lightly on the dressing, perhaps with a bit of oil and vinegar or lemon juice."
"Deeply colored greens contain vitamins A, C and K, beta-carotene and other carotenoids like lutein and zeazanthin, calciu, folate and of course fiber. Green and red leaf lettuce contain nearly 15 times as much vitamin A as iceberg lettuce, 6 times the vitamin K and 20 times the beta-carotene and 6 times the lutein and zeazanthin. Greens other than iceberg also score higher in measures of phytonutrients, which can act as antioxidants and may combat inflammation and chronic diseases."
"A good formula for building a salad is to toss together at least three different kinds of greens:
-Start with a milder lettuce like butterhead, red leaf or green leaf.
-Toss in a crisp choice such as romaine or cabbage - any type.
-Finish with flavorful, peppery or bitter greens like arugula or radicchio or a milder but hearty pick like spinach. "
"For safe handling and storing:
-bag fresh greens to keep separate from faw meats and poultry.
-Refrigerate greens at 35-40 degrees.
-Wash greens thoroughly under running water just before using, including local or organic. Do not wash with soap, detergent or commercial produce washes.
-Blot greens dry with paper towels or a salad spinner.
-If the label on the package greens indicates "pre-washed and ready-to-eat", FDA says you can use the produce without further washing."
Here's some suggestions for a green-er salad:
1) Arugula - part of the mustard family, "rocket" (also know as), has a peppery taste, good source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
2) Butterhead - including bibb and boston, butterhead is sweet, mild and tender, often sold in a protective clamshell. It beats leaf lettuce in potassium and folic acid.
3) Cress - in US markets you're likely to find watercress, but other types include curly, upland and land cress. Cress is high in vitamin K and the small green leaves have a bitter, peppery taste.
4) Endive - Also known as Belgian endive or witloof chicory, comes in oval heads that separate into scooplike leaves that are pale yellow because the plants are grown under cover. Endive is smoothly crunchy and slightly bitter; the paler the colore, the midler the flavor. It's a good source of folic acid, vitamins A and K, manganese and higher in potassium than lettuce.
5) Escarole - The frilly leaves range from light to dark green; its bitter quality increases with coloring. The dark color is a clue that it is packed with nutrients - notably vitamins A, C, K and folic acid.
6) Frisée - A curly version of endive, with frilly, yellowish-green leaves (the color varies depending on how much the developing plant is shielded from the light) and typically a more bitter taste. It's often sold as part of "mixed greens" to add variety and texture to salads.
7) Leaf lettuce - These large ruffled leaves have a mild flavor and can be either all green or highlighted with red. Either red or green, little nutritional difference. Red leaf is slightly higher than vitamin C while green leaf has more vitamin K.
8) Mâche - Also sold as lamb's lettuce, field lettuce or corn saald, this unusual, nutty-tasting green's delicate leaves belie its nutritional might. It's richer than ordinary lettuces in iron, potassium, vitamin C and folic acid and is a natural source of the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids.
9) Mesclun- Not a true lettuce variety, this is French for a mix of tender young greens - typically chervil, arugula, leaf lettuce and endive.
10) Mizuna - a Japanese mustard green that has a pungent flavor (often in salad mixes), with smallish, jagged, oak-like leaves. It's high in folic acid, vitamin A and other carotenoids and vitamin C. As with other members of the mustard family, it's related to broccoli and like that veggie contains sulfur compounds called glucosinolates that are being researched for anti-cancer properties.
11) Oakleaf - A looseleaf lettuce whose large leaves have an oak-like shape, oakleaf comes in green and reddish varieties and is easily mistaken for green or red leaf lettuce. Its more delicate with a softer texture at the top and is actually a type of butterhead lettuce. It's rich in minerals and vitamins A, B, C and E.
12) Radicchio - another member of the chicory family, it stands out for its red-to-purple color. The bitter taste turns sweeter when cooked. It's a good source of vitamin C and potassium.
13) Romaine - Most familiar from Caesar salads, this large, leafy lettuce can add crunch. It tops all lettuces in lutein and zeazanthin, which promote eye health.
13) Spinach - besides the canned and cooked spinach familiar to Popeye cartoons, raw spinach makes a hearty, slightly bitter salad staple. Baby spinach is more tender and blends more readily into mixed salads. It's among the the healthiest vegetables of any type. Two cups of raw spinach deliver more than 25% of your daily value for vitamins A, C, K, folate and manganese.
14) Tatsoi - Also called spoon cabbage and rosette bok choy, tatsoi resembles baby spinach and has a mild, mustard like taste. Nutrients include vitamin C, potassium and calcium.
I'm all about a plant-strong diet but as you know - it's all about balance and with an array of foods out there, there's wiggle room for everything at times.
I eat for health to prevent risk for disease and for fuel to support my love for triathlons, activity and to live an exciting and busy life. For me, when I eat I feel better afterward than when I started - regardless if it is a dessert with Karel when traveling, a pizza dinner with friends or my every-day creations (from morning to night). Every food can fit into a your daily diet so rather than thinking about each seperate food in terms of calories, think about nutrient density.
As you can see from the list of lettuce (which is just some of the many types of greens), there are many nutrients ranging from calcium and potassium to folate and vitamin E found within green plants.....and I didn't even discuss the nutrients found in food sources covering all the colors of the rainbow!
So next time you choose the granola bar, sport drink or enhanced-vitamin water to support your active lifestyle needs or find yourself overlooking the importance (or perhaps, excusing/rewarding "x-foods" because you just worked out) of your selections of foods for meals and snacks (as an athlete or fitness enthusiasts), why not head over to the produce department of your local grocery store (or better yet - your local farmers market) and stock up on some amazing sources of vitamins and minerals to support metabolism and overall health.