6/15/12

Oakley spotted and good LAVA magazine reads

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. "
-Greg Kopecky

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!)

Skipping ahead.......
-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).

Happy Friday!

6/14/12

Going green-er: A guide on salads

                         
(Source)
In the June 2012 issue of Tufts University Health and Nutrition letter I was so excited (no - more like super duper excited) to see a 2-page spread on lettuce!!

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.

(All info from the newsletter - pg 4 and 5)


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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.

6/13/12

Cherry, pistachio and amaranth stir-fry

Amaranth - a whole grain, kinda like quinoa.



(Source)

Used in soups, dressings, breads and baked goods, I was really excited to get creative with a new whole grain....

Here's the nutrition facts of Amaranth:
Ingredients: organic whole amaranth grain (from Arrowhead Mills bag)
Serving size 1/4 cup (47grams)
Calories: 180
Fat: 3g
Potassium: 170mg
Carbs: 31g
Fiber: 7g
Sugars: 1g
Protein:7g

About Amaranth:
"Amaranth has been cultivated as a grain for 8,000 years. The yield of grain amaranth is comparable to rice or maize. It was a staple food of the Aztecs, and was used as an integral part of Aztec religious ceremonies." - Wikipedia

Many people fear whole grains....because they are "carbs". Others, because they have "calories". Knowing that most people need at minimum 1500 calories to support daily living and activity, where are you getting your calories from??

It is very common for individuals to justify eating "this" or not eating "that" and to excuse eating "it" because they burned it off in training. Certainly, with the many hundreds and hundreds of calories that you can consume on a daily basis, is it really worthwhile to pass on a delicious, high fiber, high protein, highly nutritious option (such as a whole grain) and to choose the 100 calorie granola bar or sugar-free pudding?
To repeat myself, if you know you need to eat calories, where are they coming from in your diet? There is room for everything you want in the diet but at the end of the day, you have to address your health, performance and body composition goals when determining what and how much you should be eating to improve quality of life...and in my world, dark chocolate is needed for a quality-filled life :)

Secondly, once you assess the composition of your diet, identify your reasons for eating both at meal and snack time as well as any other time of the day.

Food is for fuel and for health. It is also at every celebration party and holiday. But sadly, it is not a way to solve problems, cure emotional problems, de-stress you or keep you awake when you should be sleeping. Be kind to your body, always thinking of the now and the future.

I try to keep my diet simple...real food. Because this is a lifestyle for me, I want to stress that for other people, you may still be in a stage of changing habits and it is hard to appreciate a more real food diet. That's ok...everyone is in their own journey and you can not rush the journey.

Here's a few suggestions:
1) Bulk up on greens for your meals. This is not a "diet" trick..this is a powerful nutrition suggestion. I will be discussing some options for greens in a future blog but as you can see in my pics below (w/ recipe), there is a lot more volume that comes with eating greens (or veggies) without sacrificing flavor or even some of your favorite foods. Whereas many people see salads as "diet" food, for me they are meals.
If anyone wants to argue with me about this.....how can you make a sandwich without two pieces of bread? Now a day, there are countless "diet" breads available and in all honesty, how much can you actually stuff between two slices of bread. When it comes to salads, greens are simply my "bread". It is something to hold all the goodness that comes with my toppings, such as healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, oils), whole grains and protein. So, next time you are eating a salad, be sure it isn't boring and be proud of your "meal".

2) Shop seasonal and shop around. If you think I pay a lot for groceries, you are kinda right. We go through fresh food FAST in the sumbal household but we also eat meals prepared from home (breakfast, lunch, dinner). However, I shop around for the best purchases. I found the most beautiful cherries at wal-mart today for almost $2 cheaper per lb compared to Publix. But at Publix last Thurs, Plantars Pistachios were on sale - buy one get one free for $6.37 - so I got 4 for less than $13! Peaches were on sale at Whole Foods Market (I rarely shop there but fun when I go and not always that much more expensive than non-organic) so when I got my whole grains, I also found red leaf lettuce for a great price. So for a change, we bought some organic produce and used a coupon for a discount. The most important thing in your diet is that you are eating variety - the more color you can eat in your diet...the better.

To say that eating healthy is expensive is not a true statement for many reasons. For it may be more expensive than what you are use to but according to some research, it's all about feeling more satisfied with more volume but not necessarily more calories. It does take some work but it's likely you won't be eating as much throughout the day (feeling more satisfied) and really appreciating each meal and snack. By increasing nutrient density, you are focusing more on nutritional value and really, you can't put a price on that.

But at the end of the day, you have to think about the investment you are putting into your health and life......
For prevention is cheaper than medicine.

I hope you enjoy my latest creation...DE-licious!

Cherry, pistachio and amaranth stir-fry

Cherries (tip for cutting - slice like an orange all the way around the pit)
Peaches (chopped)
Firm tofu (cubed)
Frozen sweet peas
Sweet red pepper
Pistachios (chopped)
Fresh basil (chopped)
Sunflower oil
Amaranth - or you can use quinoa or brown rice if you can't find amaranth
Your choice of dark green(s)

1. In large pot, set to medium heat and add peas w/ 1-2 tbsp oil. Cook for 2 minutes, stir every 45-60 sec.
2. Add cherries, peaches, tofu, pepper and pistachios to peas. Cook for 8-9 minutes, stir every few minutes.
3. Place 1 cup greens in large, shallow bowl.
4. Turn off heat and add basil.
5. In smaller bowl, add ~1/2 cup mixture + 1/4 cup amaranth and combine with fork.
6. Place on top of greens and enjoy!
(the amaranth is kinda gooey in terms of being clumpy but very shiny - almost sugary looking. Not sure if I didn't cook it right but I suppose the amaranth is best in bakery items because it can likley be mixed in well with wet and dry ingredients).



 You decide - what would be more satisfying for you?
(and with more satisfaction comes more powerful nutrients!)

(1/2 cup veggie mixture + 1/4 cup amaranth)

(1/2 cup veggie mixture + 1/4 cup amaranth)

(Same bowl - 1/2 cup veggie mixture + 1/4 cup amaranth + 1 cup red leaf lettuce)

(Same bowl - 1/2 cup veggie mixture + 1/4 cup amaranth + 1 cup red leaf lettuce)

6/12/12

Inspired by whole grains - Spelt Berries

There was a great article on whole grains (pg 14) in Today's Diet and  Nutrition magazine (Thanks Jennifer P. for sharing with me!) and I was so inspired, Karel and I went to Whole Foods to stock up on some whole grains (and other fun stuff) after we recovered from our morning training on Sunday.
I typically shop at Wal-mart, Publix and Winn Dixie (depending on specials, deals and staple items) so I couldn't wait to bring some new foods home and get creative in my kitchen.

This recipe is brought to you by: Spelt Berries




  (Source)

Not a berry...but a whole grain! According to the Bob Red Mill package
"Spelt is a non-hybrid primitive relative of our present day wheat that dates more than 9,000 years. Spelt has a unique nutty flavor and because of its high water solubility, its vital nutrients are quickly absorbed into the body. Bob's Red Mill Spelt makes a pleasantly chewy hot, whole grain cereal and can be used in place of rice and other grains for a wide array of side dishes. When ground, spelt makes a wonderful baking flour that can be used in most recipes calling for wheat flour."

Here's the nutrition profile:
Ingredients: Whole grain Spelt (wheat)
Serving size: 1/4 cup raw (45grams)
Calories: 150
Total fat 1.5grams
Total Carbohydrates: 32grams
Dietary fiber: 4g
Sugars: 2g
Protein: 6g
Iron: 10% (based on a 2,000 calorie diet)
Excellent source of manganese

To prepare:
Add 1 cup spelt berries to 3 cups boiling water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 1.5 hours.

According to some articles, spelt does not seem to cause sensitivities in some people who are intolerant of wheat. Even though it has gluten, it is a different molecular make up which can be better digested and absorbed than regular wheat.
I love the heartiness of whole grains, especially at dinner. I really savour my dinner meal and I have learned to appreciate the time I put into  preparing my dinner meal as I enjoy each bite. I find many people (myself included at one time many years ago) eat dinner too quickly or a meal that lacks satisfaction, only to long for what else is available because of boredom, an empty spot in the stomach or cravings (without room in the tummy).

Whatever inspires you in the kitchen, I invite you to get creative with Spelt Berries and discover a love for this whole grain. YUM!

Edamame, tempeh and mushroom stir fry with spelt berries

Edamame
Tempeh
Mushrooms
Orange sweet peppers
Low Sodium soy sauce (~1 tsp per person)
Mint leaves (fresh - 3 per person)
Olive oil
Spelt berries (prepare ahead of time according to package)

1. On non stick skillet, cook edamame, tempeh, mushrooms and pepper in 1-2 tbsp olive oil on low-medium heat until slightly golden brown.
2. Turn off heat.
3. Prepare a bowl with 1/3 cup spelt berries and top with your portion of veggies. Mix in soy sauce and top with mint leaves.




Have trouble with portion control??
-Eat slowly and be sure to have water with your meal
-Bulk up with veggies from the stir fry (always prepare extra for leftover for lunch the next day)
-Learn to love dark greens which can compliment any meal. Simply place a handful of washed, chopped dark greens (take your pic - there are lots of them out there!) under any meal for more volume and of course, more nutritional value.
-Give yourself time to digest the meal. Appreciate the meal you just put into your body and ask yourself if you are as hungry afterward as you were when you started your meal? Then ask yourself if you could eat an apple? If you say yes, eat an apple. If no, give yourself time to digest the meal and if you do get a little hungry an hour or two later, enjoy a small snack such as a few fresh delicious strawberries.


6/11/12

It's your life...focus on YOU

A bit before leaving work at Baptist Medical Center Beaches on Friday afternoon, I got word that Nick Vuijicic was speaking at the hospital. One of the case managers googled his name and up came a video that kept us all from working for a few minutes....


Every Saturday and Sunday morning as I am enjoying my coffee, water and pre-training snack, I enjoy searching for motivational quotes to give me the motivation and inspiration to get me out the door with the right attitude to see what I can accomplish for x-hours with my morning training session. I was having a hard time leaving my computer because I was so engaged in Nick's story as well as the message he sends to others. On Sunday, my friend Lindsay with USAT Triathlon posted something on her facebook page that I couldn't wait to share with my Trimarni facebook readers;

60 quotes that will change the way you think.


With Saturday being my last day of an enjoyable week of unstructured activity, following my half ironman last weekend, I had plenty of time to think about life....yes, one of those days were it's hard to not overthink.

You see, when it comes to training or nutrition, it's your life. You are responsible for you and ultimately at the end of the day, it is you and your body that go to bed to start a new, fresh day.

  For if you are eating out with others, training with friends or hanging out with others, you have choices to make all day and every day. Resisting a piece of dessert may be tough when everyone else is eating one but you know you are satisfied and it isn't necessary at that moment in time.

For many people, saying no when it comes to food is really difficult and uncomfortable but remind yourself, at the end of the day, you are eating for you and others do not know your eating habits, nor your short and long term goals.  You also don't need to explain or give excuses to anyone as to why you are doing something that you are doing...simply inspire, don't lecture....believe me, eventually they will follow and if they sabatoge you or put you down, ask yourself if they are someone in your life that is giving you energy or taking it away from you.

Don't be afraid to politely but confidently say "no thank you" - for it is your life, focus on you</i> Training with friends can be fun. It is mentally stimulating and at times, can get you out of your comfort zone. This is one area where athletes often struggle because there is often a struggle of finding the happy place in the middle. For training with faster people may keep you extremely fatigued and tired and lacking consistency and the understanding of what your body can actually handle depending on your upcoming race/event. For training with people slower than you may keep you from reach your goals - for not because you aren't being pushed all the time but rather, because on race day you have an expectation of what you want to accomplish and sadly, you didn't train your body to do so in training.

Don't hesitate to ask a trained professional to help you design a suitable training plan that will allow for quality training. Keeping in mind that it is your life and you need to focus on you - don't put too much energy is telling yourself what you need to accomplish every week with training. Rather, figure out how much time you have to devote to training and establish zones for heart rate, power, pace and even perceived exertion so that you are making the most of every training session - with or without training buddies.

This morning I had the pleasure of looking at Karel's butt for 2.5 hours.....despite it being a nice butt (what cyclist doesn't have a nice rear end??? :), riding behind Karel is no easy workout and there was little time to enjoy the scenery. :)


We had talked about this workout prior to leaving the house this morning and with my next half ironman in Sept (surprising announcement to come in 2ish weeks regarding my next half - stay tuned!!), I know I need to be pushed in all three disciplines for I improve the most in a short amount of time, when I am pushed.

And when I say short amount of time - 16 weeks goes by very quickly (believe it or not) so I make sure I am focusing on balanced training so that with every workout, I reap the most performance gains, as physically and mentally possible.


With Karel being my coach, he had all confidence in me that I could stay on his wheel while we both did the same set. (which is an excellent set for any long course athlete or athlete seeking build/endurance-type fitness)

Main set:
2 x 8 min Z4 w/ 2 min EZ
12 min Z3 w/ 4 min EZ
15 min Z3 w/ 4 min EZ
2 x 20 min upper Z2 w/ 2 min EZ

(brick run followed - 4 miles: all under 7:25 min/mile)

I was sure to focus on myself during this workout and with us doing many loops in Nocattee (safe roads - although wet this morning), I was mindful that if I got dropped I would be doing my intervals solo. Amazingly, I made every interval sitting on Karel's wheel! This is a huge improvement for me considering that this was a tough "long" workout for me because of the steady power that was required for each of the intervals. The focus was not on speed- just hitting the power zones at this point in the build phase of my training.

But as you will see below, it is possible to maintain consistent speeds with changing of power zones - all because of pacing and adjusting gears to control cadence and power. Karel's says "it's magic" how it all works out :) I am not sure how we did it but Karel was able to hit his zones and I was able to be really close to my zones and be extremely consistent with the intervals as well. This is one of the major bonuses in training with power- in that we were both going the same speed but my power and HR was different than Karel but absolutely within my capability.

Here's the stats of drafting behind karel (my data from my Garmin 500).
8 min: 166 watts, 139 HR, 23.9mph
8 min: 167 watts, 139 HR, 23.8mph
12 min: 150 watts, 133 HR, 23.0mph
15 min: 152 watts, 132 HR, 23.4mph
20 min: 136 watts, 125 HR, 22.3mph
20 min: 143 watts, 130 HR, 23.0mph (I was getting tired and not drafting very well so I was surging a lot to prevent getting dropped - thus the higher watts and HR for me)

Talk about consistency!
If I was alone, I would not be able to go those speeds but the watts are very similar (a bit lower than normal but still close) to what I would need to hold if I was riding alone. If you have any questions about training with a power meter, please let me know (email) - happy to help!

TIP:
This week, see if you can be more attentive to your needs and what works best for you. One of the best things in life is being in control over your choices and in order to be in control, you have to be a good planner. Think ahead, assess situations and determine the best game-plan to receive the most favorable results. Keep on performing beautifully!
Happy Monday!