Essential Sports Nutrition


NIKE: Find your greatness

Thank you Nike for this commercial.

As a coach, I don't care about numbers on the scale or what size clothes you wear. I don't care about the jiggle and the wiggle and I don't care about what you think others think about you.
As a RD, I don't care about what foods you think you shouldn't eat or what foods you think are bad.

As a human being, I care about what you can accomplish in life.
What I care about is making things happen and not making excuses.

I don't care about the list of excuses, but's, if's and can'ts....I care about what you say you can do today to make for a better tomorrow.

"Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing."
-William Arthur Ward

Food for fuel - creations

This pic was from Tues...another 6:30am workout on the track. I'm absolutely LOVING the track but oh does it hurt-so-good. Even with a mile of warm-up and dynamic stretching, the first interval burns the very few fast-twitch fibers I have in my endurance body.
But, the only way to get better is to train smarter...and with faster people. This gives me fitness and confidence for race day because I know when my body is forced to work - the mind is likely my only limiter.
Jeff (Karel's boss) is a super strong athlete and we are about the same pace for the run. He is a great person to run with as he is very steady and smooth.  Karel is often in another time zone, so we just let him do his thing.
I'm so excited for Saturday! Karel and I will be doing our first triathlon together - Jax Tri Series #3. This will be Karel's first Olympic distance and my first triathlon since May (last Olympic in March). I am really enjoying this tri-journey together and as a coach, I think the best part is seeing someone else grow as an athlete and discover new strengths while overcoming obstacles.

So...moving on to food....
I'll let the pics speak for themselves. There's no need for me to explain the reasons for my creations - just yummy, hearty and nutritious food to fuel my active lifestyle.

Cold Barley salad
Vine tomatoes
Sweet green pepper
Barley (cooked according to package)
Pumpkin seeds
Olive oil

Cherry oatmeal
Fresh cherries (Sliced)
Sliced almonds
Milk + water
Sunflower seeds
Flax seeds

Karel's pasta creation
Bowtie pasta
Homemade sauce - Ragu veggie sauce, frozen veggies (Frozen bag), garlic (sliced), boca vegetarian crumbles)
Green leaf lettuce
Sharp cheddar cheese (on lettuce, under pasta)
Sliced peaches


The media and olympics - RD approved!


 When our society has something like the Olympics to direct our attention to, all we hear about are inspiring stories, motivational performances and exciting moments in history. Although many people may be sitting more than normal (or being a little less productive at work and at home), there is no better time than now than to feel the itch to become something greater than you ever thought was possible.

Did I mention, I LOVE the Olympics? I love bodies in motion!

The interesting part is that there are hardly any commercials on food products, fast food or diets, aside from the notable sponsors like chobani, Coca-cola and subway (and a few alcohol ads which seem to be popping up the most). Right now the media is all about showing commercials involving the many Team USA athletes, who are inspiring spokespersons.

The IOC tell us on their website that they aim “to control sponsorship programs to ensure that partnerships are compatible with the Olympic ideals”.
But here's the catch - with all the TV watching that our society is doing, perhaps we have a little moment in time where the media is not driving our attention to fast foods or grocery store aisles but rather, to be inspired to set goals and to eat for fuel. Althoug there may be food ads on TV during the Olymics, it is a far difference from what we are use to.

Sadly, this will eventually end and social media, the news and every channel on TV will go back to promoting products, diet foods, diet pills, ground-breaking research, good food/bad food and anything and everything to turn around a profit and to help people "get healthy"...and confuse the consumers.

"Focus, discipline, hard work, goal setting and, of course, the thrill of finally achieving your goals. These are all lessons in life."

-- Kristi Yamaguchi, gold medalist in figure skating in 1992

Would it be great if your reason to get out of bed everyday was to become better, smarter and stronger than yesterday? Do you go to bed excited to see what tomorrow will bring? Perhaps, consider spending a bit more time and energy on the "media" that will enhance your lifestyle, rather than the media that often does nothing more than to confuse and overwhelm you, with info as to how you should be living your life.
Let the inspiration continue....

Eating "naturally" - it's not a diet fad

You read it on a box of food and you hear people telling you to eat "naturally" but in terms of this blog post:
Natural - listen and trust your body. 
In looking at the performances of the Olympic athletes, it not hard to overlook the machine that powers great performances. Not sure about you, but I see strength. I don't see skinny.

This is something that I strive for in my eating style and that I challenge my athletes (both coaching and nutrition) to consider when changing dietary habits. It's not about restriction or the freedom to eat whatever you want but rather, having a "prescription" as to how you eat, what you eat and why you a non-obessive, non-restrictive and balanced way. It's not about eating without limits or eating in a strict manner - it's all about prioritizing the nutrition around workouts (I call that "sport nutrition") and knowing what will make you feel energized and satisfied throughout the day, all to enhance overall health.

Allowing yourself the freedom to eat whatever you want may seem overwhelming as if you will overindulge and not reach diet, body, health or performance goals. But, when the focus is off a number on a scale and rather on your body in motion and how it performs throughout the day, there is an endless amount of freedom as to how you will see your diet and what foods will help you feel alive and well.

Life isn't about depriving yourself of food that can enhance your lifestyle. Don't let your diet or food control you.

As you think about the food in your diet and how it makes you feel as you are eating it, consider the nutrients that will allow you to have great performances as you are training/exercising.

An appropriate quote for this yummy creation.....
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Albert Einstein

This bowl of yumminess left me so was one of the best meals to enjoy as we watched the olympics last night. Super simple as well...

Buy one get one free - 2 bags of frozen veggies
1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 container tofu (extra firm)
Seasonings - curry, parsley, marjoram, cumin, pepper
Asiago cheese
Bagel chips (from Bagel World - love these! 1 bag of "old" bagels, made into chips for just a few bucks!)
Olive oil

1. In large deep pot, cover bottom with just a little water and empty bags of veggies into pot.
2. Cook on medium heat (slighty under), covered until veggies are steamed.
3. Microwave beans for 1 minute, until slightly warm.
4. When veggies begin to soften, break tofu into large cubes with your hands and stir gently into veggies.
5. After around 10-12 minutes or when veggies ae cooked, add seasonings. Recommend to keep water in pot for tofu to soak up the nutrients lost in the steaming process.
6. Add seasonings and stir. Leave covered for a few minutes as you are getting your bowl ready.
7. Spoon a serving of beans in your bowl, then add veggie mixture. Combine with a few bagel chips (or you can use whole grain crackers) and a cheese that will make your taste buds happy.
8. Drizzle with olive oil to help absorb the vitamins in the veggie mixture.
Optional - top with seeds. I had some pumpkin seeds (not pictured) that I added at the end.


Smart with leftovers and frozen veggies

In case you missed my latest article from LAVA online, I hope you enjoy this article on Zinc and the yummy amaranth custard that I created to help boost your immune system (and recover from training).

Since I will be at the hospital all day on Monday, I thought I'd leave you with a few good reads that I have discovered via the facebook:

Chariots of fries - McDonald's and the Olympics

The other day I had an athlete email me for suggestions on quick meals to eat on the go.
Stop there, I thought to myself.

As busy, active individuals, we often try to make our diet work for our lifestyle. But if you think about it, without proper intake of food and water, we would not be able to function very well in life.

Often a disconnect as to how individuals view the diet. Perhaps, instead, we should address the priorities in life and why we feel it is necessary to eat in the car, skip meals, eat at the computer screen, have snacks from a vending machine, eat bars and drink bottles of calories for meals and sit in a line to order a meal through a window.

I understand that we are all busy but to allow yourself 30 minutes at minimum to eat, is something that should be prioritized in your daily life, 3 times a day. For rewarding yourself with enough time to savour your meal, will not only help you with your nutrition journey but you will also find yourself tasting your food rather than just swallowing it - in a hurry to get to the next task/place on hand.

The other day I made a quick stir-fry, thanks to leftovers and some frozen veggies.

In a large skillet, I cooked a bag of mixed frozen veggies, bag of peppers and onions and bag of mushrooms, in a little olive oil.

I had a bag of kale that I used to toss into my stir-fry for some deep color and flavor and like usual, I spiced things up with lots of herbs and spices for antioxidants.

For my protein, I scrambled some eggs. Super simple or you can tofu, beans, legumes or tempeh.

I always try to keep whole grains (cooked) in the 'fridge so this time I had millet which has a plain taste but is delicious in a stir-fry.

To add some flavor, I spooned a little tomato soup in the stir-fry- Karel made soup the other night and had a little left which was just calling my name in a stir-fry.

As usual - I love cheese for the flavor so I topped with some bold asiago cheese (not pictured) and drizzled with olive oil.