Essential Sports Nutrition


Where do you spend your energy?

Does your life give you reason to smile everyday?

With the off-season in full force, I was excited to get on my bike today for the group ride in Nocatee. I suppose my bike was a bit lonely for the past week since I haven't ridden it since last Saturday but all is good because I am enjoying the needed break from structured training. Also, after a well deserved almost two week break from running I'm using this time to work on my HR control, pacing and form/efficiency with running as I gear up for a fall half marathon, which will ultimately help me out at Lake Placid next year for the Ironman.

The morning started out cool which was pleasant. Karel was a bit speedy for his warm-up, likely because he is peaking at the right time before he does Rev3 Florida Half Iron next weekend. I am looking forward to watching him race his second half ironman distance for he is continuing to get stronger on the run and his swim training is really paying off. He's still crazy fast on the bike which is helping me get faster as well.

Still lots of room for improvement for him but he is still having fun with his new (since June) triathlon lifestyle. As for me, I gave everything I had in both mind and body out on the course in Branson 70.3. I think my body would enjoy racing again (especially with this beautiful fall weather in FL) but I don't want to take any risks  for I know my mind wants nothing to do with a race right now. Because I like to focus all my energy in both mind and body on a race, if I feel that just one part of me isn't prepared (mind), there's no point for me to put my body through another triathlon race, just for a shirt and a medal. Campy and I are looking forward to the weekend, cheering on Karel and of course, traveling and to support the other athletes.

Speaking of energy......

I feel as if there has been a lot of negative energy in the triathlon community lately. Funny thing is that the tri-world is rather small if you think about it, but thanks to social media, forums, blogs and word of mouth, things go around quickly and it's hard to step outside the triathlon bubble. Certainly, the tri bubble comes with positivity, motivation and inspiration but it also brings bullying, bad-mouthing and lots of assumptions.

I have a lot of natural energy. No, I don't drink energy drinks or sodas or pop pills to give me a boost. Certainly good sleep and a balanced diet help me out but I also try to direct my energy to things, people, tasks that will make me feel better about myself and my life. I hope you do the same.

Sadly, many people waste a lot of time not doing things that will make their life better. Isn't that what life is about? Time is such a precious thing and considering that we are about 2 months away from 2013, we can't go back in time. We can only use our energy to enhance our life, thus stopping habits that move us backward. Relating to the diet, the body, work or performance, almost everyone is guilty of wasting energy, giving excuses, making assumptions and comparing to others, which give little purpose to life in terms of making memories for a quality filled life.

Stop comparing yourself to others. Be proud of what you have, what you look like, what you are able to do and what you can become. You will never find enjoyment in your own life if you constantly waste energy thinking, trying and wanting to be like others.

Since I work in a hospital as a clinical dietitian, I feel as if many people would stop wasting energy on trivial things (including extreme quick fixes with body weight, wanting to always know what others are doing to be "successful" as well as feeling the need to rush performance gains) if they put themselves in the shoes of others. Sure, I deal with alcoholics and drug seeking patients but I also have newly diagnosed cancer patients and patients with a life changing diagnosis. Consider the time you spend wanting to have what others have and think about what makes your life so great. Perhaps people are looking at you, wanting what you have but you are too busy wanting to change your life to be like others.

Stop the assumptions, the bad-mouthing, the bullying and taking the time to speak/write negative words about others. You won't find me posting negative words on facebook, discussing others on my blog or wasting my time on things that I feel will not enhance my life. Words can be very unattractive so if you want to feel beautiful (guys included), stop the negative energy in our life by focusing on how you can make your life better. Sure, we all have freedom of speech but I feel the world would be a happier place if we would all smile more, live more and love more.


Color In Motion 5K - DISCOUNT!

Run this am: 2 mile warm-up. Main set 4 x 1 miles descending (staying in Z3 - 7 min/mile, 6:58 min/mile, 6:48 min/mile, 6:43 min/mile), 1 mile cool down + 1 mile campy run
After all that work to prep for the races I did this past season, I am fully enjoying the off season. Around  an hour a day of exercise, whatever I feel like doing. I am finding myself running, strength training (mostly hips and core) and swimming, more than biking during the week but I am giving my legs some excitement on the weekends with a fast group ride on Sat and cruising around on Sunday. No set schedule or training plan and it is just what my body deserves. I took about 10 days of no running post Branson 70.3, followed by 2 full weeks of on and off exercise (45-60 min) to allow for proper recovery. I am gearing up for a half marathon sometime Nov/Dec but haven't decided which one yet so right now I am just throwing in a few 1/2 - 1 miles repeaters w/ 1-2 min walk recoveries to keep my legs in good fitness. My mind is in a good place and I know I will have plenty  of time to train for Ironman Lake Placid when I start building my base in Dec/Jan.
Realizing that not everyone is an athlete, training for a race, I firmly believe that we should all enjoy exercise and what it provides our body and mind on a daily basis. Here are a few tips to enjoy your exercise routine and/or off-season training routine:
1) Have fun!
Training” never stops during the year – focus on skills/form, sleep, strength, nutrition, flexibility
3) Change things up – step outside your comfort zone and try new things
4) Set short and long term goals and track progress – Garmin, Training Peaks, My fitness pal
Start slow, have a plan – consult a professional
6) Invest in ne
w (quality) stuff – clothing, gadgets, location
7) Involve others for motivation – group, classes, kids, family, friends, employees, etc.
8) Exercise with a purpose but not always with a plan
9) Use perceived exertion and/or effective tools (ex. Heart rate, pace)
Make it a priority – when is the right time for you?

I was recently contacted by Color In Motion and I was excited to share a discount code for anyone who is interested in a fun event in Jacksonville, FL (there are other events - check out the website). I am a big encourager of individuals having goals when it comes to training for an event but sometimes we all need something a bit more fun and different to keep things exciting with exercise.

Here's a little about the event:
You just show up wearing white and we do the rest! As you sprint, jog, waddle, or leisurely stroll along you will be bombarded with bright colors that transform a group of ordinary runners into a moving rainbow. The color that you will be showered in is completely safe and washes off easily. If you don't think you can beat your friends with speed, see if you can be the real winner by coming out of the race covered head to toe in a vibrant springtime camouflage.
Color in Motion 5k is coming to Jacksonville on December 29th, 2012. A portion of all registration fees will be donated to the Hubbard House.
Find out more information here
Use TRIMARNI15 for a 15% discount!


The impatient athlete

2004 - first triathlon (sprint)

April 2012 - Iron Girl Clearwater - Overall winner

September 23rd, 2012 Branson 70.3 - 1st amateur female
I don't need my mental coach (and friend) Gloria to confirm that I have a type A personality.

"Type A individuals tend to be very competitive and self-critical. They strive toward goals without feeling a sense of joy in their efforts or accomplishments."

I think many active individuals (runners, triathletes) would feel comfortable using the title "type A" at times when it comes to training, racing, the diet, work and life.

However, I feel over the past few years, I have learned to become a more relaxed type A. In other words, this is what I try to be less of on a daily basis......

"Type A personalities experience a constant sense of urgency: Type A people seem to be in a constant struggle against the clock. Often, they quickly become impatient with delays and unproductive time, schedule commitments too tightly, and try to do more than one thing at a time, such as reading while eating or watching television.
Type A individuals tend to be easily aroused to anger or hostility, which they may or may not express overtly. This appear to be the main factor linked to heart disease."

Interestingly, Type A personalities may have traits that lead to better performances in life and sport. Type A personalities generally have higher need for achievements and their behavior pattern is often associated with the success of an entrepreneur.

(Reference here)

Since I started competitive swimming at the age of 10 or 11, I have always been an athlete. I don't consider myself a hardcore athlete, for my competitive spirit desires the opportunity to be beat by those who are faster than me in order to help me push myself to be better. I try to look at the positives in every race rather than a finish place or time.

Because of my natural desire to be challenged in life, I have learned to enjoy the journey of reaching goals. If you know me well, I am an open book when it comes to goals and I am not afraid to talk about my goals and how hard I am willing to work for them. I firmly believe that life has not been easy for me. Sports, school, life....I have encountered many struggles, obstacles and set-backs while trying to reach my goals.

Patience is the most powerful weapon that I carry with me in my journey of life.

If you are impatient and wish time to fly by, it's likely that you will struggle with reaching goals. Accumulation of hard work leads to great performances. Life, work, sports...even if you work hard but are impatient you will find yourself trying to take short-cuts or too many risks to try to progress too quickly.
You don't have to be an athlete to carry the unfortunate trait of impatience. Want to lose weight quickly? The fitness/supplement/diet industry can help you with that. Quick fixes and extreme efforts sell well. Instant gratification is what our society thrives off of as very few people desire to be the tortoise when you can be the hare. When people want results yesterday, it's no surprise that something that can be accomplished quickly is much more fulfilling than something that takes time to achieve.
Some progress is better than no progress. But if you have a goal and don't see extreme results in a week or two, how long will it take you to forget your goal and move on to another method to see if "that way" will be faster. Bouncing around from attempt after attempt is nothing more than feeling defeated by a challenge without realizing your true potential to achieve success.

There are no short cuts in life. I learned this about a year after obtaining my Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology.
Wanting to do more with nutrition for active bodies and desiring to take my passion for public speaking and writing to the next level, I was told by many that I would need to obtain a Registered Dietitian credential to be qualified and licensed to "practice" nutrition.

For three years, I was forced to be patient. You can't rush time, especially when it comes to education. Unlike sports, doing more and wanting it now was not going to happen. The saying quality of quantity could not have been more true than during my 10 month dietetic internship. I learned more than I ever imagined and my initial dreams of having my own business and taking my passion for speaking to the next level were combined with a new love of clinical nutrition.

Throughout my dietetic journey, I realized the true value of patience. Hard work in both sport and life will pay off but you can't expect results tomorrow if you haven't put in the time to learn lessons, to overcome obstacles, to feel defeat and perhaps, become someone who you never imagined you could be.

Life is not easy. "I can't" is part of my vocabulary but I have never allowed it to override "I can." If there are any takeaways from this blog post, my hope is that you will never give up on your goals. Its much better to achieve a goal in 1,2 or 10 years than to think to yourself in 1,2 or 10 years....."what if I only tried a bit harder to be a bit smarter with my approach and didn't give up."

I have dreams in life and then I have goals. A goal like qualifying for my third trip to Kona at Lake Placid next year is a long term goal that will be on my mind over the next year as I put in all the hard work that is necessary to race strong against my competition in the 30-34 age group next July. Dreams, on the other hand, are a different story. Unable to determine a finish-date as to when a dream will come true, I figure why not work hard with my passion for public speaking until an opportunity is presented to me show my love for speaking.....speaking about topics in which I am very passionate about.

On October 16th, 2012, a dream of mine came true.

I hope you enjoy my first ever live TV segment (featuring four of my very own new Trimarni creations) which is part of the Baptist Heart Wise Program for Women with Baptist Medical Center Beaches.

Healthy eats with whole grains


Breaking news! Trimarni creations are going LIVE tomorrow am!

Two of my passions in life are public speaking and writing. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak to a room full of women, wanting to learn how to eat better to improve cardiovascular health.
Baptist Heart Wise is a program that was recently created by Dr. Rama. The program is a comprehensive prevention program addressing the unique cardiovascular needs of women at every stage of life. A leading edge program designed by women who are experts in women’s cardiovascular care, HeartWise connects women across North Florida to the medical services, information and resources you need to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.
For less than $130, you can get screened to know your numbers, learn how to eat heart- healthy in a 2-hour nutrition lecture (incorporating the Heart Wise Eating plan) and get a fitness assessment to get the body more active. Talk about the truth in "Prevention is cheaper than medicine."
What I love so much about this program is that it is everything I believe in....and more. I don't have to fake anything when I talk and I am surrounded by a room full of passionate women (alongside working with a team of well-educated and passionate health professionals).
Recently, I also had the opportunity to speak to, on behalf of the Heart Wise Program. My very first time on TV and I could not have asked for a better platform to talk about food and health.

Here are the clips:
Back to class

Inside the kitchen
As I mentioned above, this program has been a dream come true for me because it has provided me with several opportunities to speak passionately about food for fuel and for health. I get to endorse a plant-strong diet as well as introduce women to the importance of a balanced diet - whole grains, lean/quality protein, healthy fats and low-fat dairy. As an endurance athlete, it is easy for me to express the importance of daily activity as well as food to support a healthy cardiovascular system.
Speaking of dreams coming true......
Tomorrow I will have my first ever LIVE segment on TV during the 8am hour of Jax4News!!! Nervous???? Kinda.

First off, I get to talk about food and the Heart Wise Program. YIPPEE!
Secondly, 4 of my new whole grain creations will be showcased on the segment. What a dream come true!!!
Third, an early morning interval run should shake out any last minute jitters. I'll consider it a healthy dose of medicine to calm any nerves.
Finally, I had the best audience ever to "prep" for my taping (although it is live so I am not sure what questions I will need to answer and how it will flow)

I'll be sure to post the link on my Trimarni Facebook page after the video is on the website. I encourage you to also check out the Baptist HeartWise for Women Facebook page as well (lots of great articles, tips and recipes).
For your viewing are the creations that I will be talking about tomorrow morning (I'll try to do the nutrition facts tomorrow on my software program):

Carrot Cake oatmeal
1/2 cup oats (dry)
1/8 cup packed shredded carrots
Pinch of all spice
1 Tbsp raisins
1 Tbsp almonds
3/4 cup non fat milk
1/4 cup coconut water

1.Mix together in large bowl.
2. Microwave for 2 minutes (watch to prevent spillage, the oatmeal mixture will grow)

Quinoa, chickpea and avocado salad1/2 cup quinoa dry (cooked in 1 cup water)
1/2 avocado (diced)
1 Tbsp cashews (chopped)
1/2 cup chickpeas
1/2 cup diced no salt added tomatoes
Seasonings to taste: Parsley, chili pepper, pinch of sea salt, pepper, basil

1. Prepare quinoa according to package (allow ~15 minutes)
2. Combine other ingredients in container.
3. Add quinoa and mix well.
Serves 2

Pear and walut pita (a nutrient dense replacement for a granola bar snack, with less than 180 calories)
1/2 whole wheat pita
1/2 medium pear thinly sliced
3 walnut halves (chopped)
1 tbsp farmers cheese (or whipped cream cheese)

1. Slice pita bread in half, open carefully.
2. Spread cheese on bottom of pita w/ fork or back of a spoon.
3. Lay pear slices on cheese.
4. Stuff w/ arugula and finish off w/ chopped walnuts.

Rosemary and Parmesan popcorn
2 tbsp popcorn kernels
brown paper bag
2-3 tsp Sunflower oil
2 pinches rosemary
2 tsp Parmesan

1. Place kernels in brown paper bag. Fold bag over two times (don't do a big fold, just about a thumb size).
2. Microwave for 90 seconds.
3. Place into large zip lock baggy.
4. Drizzle w/ sunflower oil (I will be using a spritzer on the show that I purchased in the travel section of Wal-mart)
5. Add rosemary and Parmesan and shake.

Although these may be Trimarni creations, these are 4 simple ways to boost your intake of whole grains, which is an important component of the Heart Wise Eating Plan.


Inspired by Kona

Likely, the most sedentary day of the past year, after a 45 min run + 2 hour group ride, I was glued to my computer from noon until 10pm. Then, I woke up at 4:10am to head to Amelia Island to support Karel (who was working pre-race bike support for Trek jax) and I was stuck to my iphone to watch the final finishers.
Karel saved the day for many triathletes this morning at the DRC Atlantic Coast Triathlon. Flat tires, cassette issues, brake issues, saddle issues, etc. You name it, Karel was there to solve the problem and relieve the worries from many newbie triathletes.

Someone was a bit tired due to missing his morning nap. He struggled to keep his eyes open but made sure to give a few barks to cheer for the athletes.
We had a big crew from Jacksonville, FL participating in the Ironman World Championships yesterday and everyone finished! Watching and cheering for friends (many who I have never met) from around the globe was so motivating and inspiring. I had chills when the gun went off for the age group mass start, I had tears in my eyes for almost every Kona Inspired story, I was celebrating with Pete Jacobs as soaked up his first place finish for over 2 miles (loved his post race speech about "love") and I was on the edge of my seat, rooting for Leanda Cave as she was relentless out on the course - focused and determined. She is the first female to win the 70.3 and 140.6 Ironman World Championships in the same year and she gave a dramatic effort out on the run course.
From the young to the old, to the nail-biting performances and to those who made it look easy. I have watched this race year after year and I have been given the opportunity to cross two World Championship finishing lines, alongside 3 other Ironman finishing lines. Amazingly, I am still having so much fun as a triathlete - learning more about the sport and learning more about myself. I continue to dream big and I absolutely love the journey that I get to go on with my body and mind as I prepare for the bigday.
The Ironman is a distance is far from normal. Ironically, those who choose to race/participate in an Ironman consider it a lifestyle. Work, sleep, eat.....140.6 miles in less than 17 hours - all for a medal and t-shirt. For the majority of us, we choose to do this voluntarily and we pay a lot of money to do the race and prepare for the race.....long before we actually get to the starting line. But with that confirmation of registering for an Ironman, your life suddenly changes. You start the process of building endurance, mental strength and of course, overcoming obstacles as they pop up and interfere with the commitment to train for an Ironman.
From my first IM finish in 2006 at Ironman Florida, to my last Ironman finish in Kona in 2011, I can't stop smiling when I race in triathlons.

I can't stress the importance of balance when it comes to training for a long distance event. It's not about the miles, being lean or bragging about past performances.
What does it take to feel successful (regardless of finishing time) as an endurance athlete?

-Sport nutrition - understanding individual needs before, during and post training
-Daily diet  - learning how to eat for fuel and for health, throughout the year.
-Off-season - importance of resting the mind and body
-Periodized training - understanding the importance of long "steady" miles in the base phase and building in order to peak at the right time
-Mental training - learning how to stay focused,be confident and to trust yourself
-Sleep and stress management
-Recovery - train hard, recover harder
-Training smart - knowing when to push and when to back off and how to train for quality
-Strength and skill training - year round training (specifically in the off season) to work on  weaknesses and to build off strengths
-Massage, stretching - keeping the body in an anti-inflammatory, relaxed state as much as possible
I could go on and on but my focus for this blog is to remind you that "fitness" (however you choose to do it - at the gym or training for a race), should be fun. Sure, there will be downs but you will remember those downs on race day....and how you pushed your way through those walls. But above all, do not feel pressue when it comes to training or living like others, who also do endurance events. There are no pre reqs as to how long it takes to reach your starting line and surely there is no age for retirement. Whether you are hoping to do an endurance event or feel inspired to jog your first 5K or join a gym, never stop having fun and DON'T rush the journey. Be patient. Sure, you may want to "get healthy", change body composition or improve risk for disease. Those things will likely happen so long as you are consistent and you are respecting your body. Consistency is your best friend when you are training for a long distance event but more important than putting in the work, you have to love what you are doing, know where you are going, be kind to your body and reflect along the way.