Essential Sports Nutrition


Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

When in Utah, I was inspired by one of our dinners at the Oakley Women house. It was pasta night and we had a variety of pasta's for every type of dietary preference. We had regular lasagna w/ meat, gluten free/vegetarian lasagna and spaghetti squash lasagna. All but the meat lasagna, I sampled them all and really enjoyed my first taste of spaghetti squash lasagna. I just love the flavors of pizza and you can't go wrong with cheese and sauce so I figured this would be a great creation to try at home.

Wow - it did not disappoint us and Karel absolutely loved it (aka "husband approved"). Feel free to switch up the veggies and use your choice of protein. I had a super busy day yesterday - non stop work after my morning interval run so I tried to keep this recipe super simple. In the morning I had planned for this for dinner so I prepared the squash earlier in the day (I work at home when I am not in the hospital) so that it would be easy for preparing, later in the day.


Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

1 spaghetti squash (small - for 2 people)
Marinara sauce (~1 cup - for 2 people)
Tofu (1/2 container firm)
Onion (1 medium, sliced)
Garlic (2 large cloves, chopped)
Shredded cheese

Allow 45-50 minutes to cook the spaghetti squash.
Squash prep:
-preheat oven to 450 degrees. Use a casserole dish for the squash (recommend a rectangle one)
-slice squash in half (for easy slicing, instead of sticking your knife all the way through the squash, take little slices around the center as the inside of the squash is hollow so it is easy to cut without having the knife go all the way through)
-cook squash for 45-50 min or until top is slightly brown.
-Let cool. Remove seeds w/ fork or fingers and use fork to shred the squash to make "spaghetti"

For lasagna:
1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Spray a large glass casserole dish w/ a little non stick spray.
3) Spoon a little marinara on bottom of dish until lightly covered.
4). Layer with small handful of spinach to cover the sauce, then top with squash (dropping bunches over the spinach - it doesn't have to be evenly covered).
5) Then crumble 1/4 of your 1/2 container of tofu on the squash (if you aren't a fan of tofu, you won't even taste it - however you can use ricotta or your choice of protein).
6) Sprinkle with onions (I used a lot). Then repeat again starting with the sauce and finish with layer of spinach.
7) Sprinkle a little cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes. (In the last 10 minutes I sprinkled more chopped garlic on top).


Active kiddos - Marathon High Program

A few weeks ago I spoke to a group of half marathon runners in the Jacksonville area on the topic of daily and sport nutrition. This is not my normal crowd as these individuals are not running for PR's...and they are not allowed to drink. Some of them can't even drive yet.

That's right....almost 200 High School kiddos in the Jacksonville area (divided among 5 schools) are training for their first or second half marathon - 26.2 with Donna

If you are not familiar with Marathon High, it is a non profit program that encourages high school students to develop self-respect, confidence and healthy lifestyles through training for and running a 13.1 half marathon. 
Here's a bit more about the program:
"We are a proud partner with the Galloway Training Program and the 26.2 with Donna Foundation. This is a free, after-school running club open to teens of all backgrounds and abilities in grades 9-12. The program is non-competitive, which means speed does not matter. What does matter is showing up, being committed and completing the goal during each training session and on race day.
Marathon High may appear to be all about running, but it's more about the life lessons that happen because of the running. Marathon High is about changing lives, inspiring dreams, and making a difference. It’s about helping teens rise up and become the people they were meant to be. It’s about shifting the way young people think about themselves and their place in the world. And it’s about challenging them to make the “impossible” possible. All while doing something most teens never do: running a half-marathon."
If you'd like to get involved or donate, here's the link w/ more info about the program:  Marathon High - Florida
One of my friends and fellow Oakley Women ambassador (Fitz) has a similar program that she developed called the Morning Mile. Morning mile is "a before-school walking/running program that gives children the chance to start their day in an active way while enjoying fun, music and friends. It’s supported by a wonderful system of rewards, which keeps students highly motivated and frequently congratulated. It’s a proven project geared towards fighting childhood obesity and increasing the physical activity levels of school children nationwide."
I don't think we can disagree that kids need a lot of activity in their life.....and so do adults. When was the last time you said to yourself  "I feel like a kid, I have so much energy!" Or perhaps, maybe you are saying "I wish I was a young again." Either way, there's something to be said by having an indescribable amount of energy and wanting to use it without tracking miles on a Garmin or software program. Why can't we get back to moving the body without a purpose (outside), inventing games that are best played with a healthy imagination and eating until satisfied (even if food is left on the plate) because you are eager to keep on playing until it is time for bed. There is something that is removed from our society....physical activity yet we place blame on so many factors affecting childhood and adult obesity and we have all these ideas as to how we can be a "healthy" society but the bottom line is that we just aren't moving enough....yet we eat (and crave foods) as it we were moving our body all day long.

Even if you exercise daily or train for a sporting event at an age-group level, it is likely that while you are working for 8-10 hours a day, the primary times that you get up out of your chair is to eat or use the restroom. There's a lot of research on sitting too much but I also believe that we would have more energy if we had a balanced lifestyle....good restful sleep, stress management, healthy work and home environments, consistent exercise and a diet to support individual lifestyle, health and performance needs. 
I really enjoyed speaking to the kids about fueling their bodies with foods that would help them get stronger and fitter and keep their bodies healthy as they get older. Although the Marathon High program is not a competitive program, all children like to see improvements - whether it is exercise or learning, it is nice to see hard work be put into action. 
If you have a child who is active (or is trying to become more active) and you feel their eating style can be improved, my best advice is to inspire. Do not speak of food as "healthy" and to categorize food as "good or bad" but instead, show them in a way as to why they should be eating certain foods.
Carbohydrates like grains, starches and fruits and veggies give the body energy and keep the immune system strong to prevent sickness and reduce risk for disease. We want to keep the body in great health so that we can make sure all our dreams come true as we get older.
Proteins like fish, lean meat, beans, lentils, milk, yogurt and tofu/tempeh are all great options to keep the muscles strong and to help with appetite control.
Fats are not bad and can be wonderful for the heart. Without them, food wouldn't taste that good and we would be hungry all day long. Nuts, seeds, oils, avocados and nut butters are a few that can be enjoyed with meals to keep the tummy happy.
To help with energy before workouts, encourage kiddos to have a small pre workout snack - something that will digest well and will not cause stomach discomfort. Keep it simple and easy to consume, like a PB&J sandwich or a small wrap. Other simple options include cheese and crackers and a piece of fruit or yogurt and raisins.
During the workout, kids should emphasize water and encourage kids to stay hydrated all day long.
Post workout, don't let the child "wait" for dinner - have a post workout snack ready such as a chocolate milk (low fat), low fat milk w/ cheerios or a banana with yogurt. Again, be sure the food is tolerable post workout and leaves enough room for the next meal to nourish the body.

As you work on inspiring your children, consider your own personal diet. Consider the snacks you are eating as well as meal time. Is there a connection between your eating habits and energy levels? Do you eat with a plan and a purpose and do you expect willpower to be your #1 reason to stop changing habits? Create a positive food environment and set yourself up for success. 

If you  head over to my website and click on Events & Media, I have a few articles (one featured above) featured in USAT magazine dedicated to active kids. 

Any questions or concerns about kids and nutrition? Feel free to send me an email. 
I would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to Oakley Women and Hammer Nutrition for providing all 200 kids with a water bottle (Oakley) to help the kids stay hydrated during all workouts and a few samples of Hammer Nutrition products. I feel 100% comfortable recommending Hammer Nutrition to children who need the added electrolytes and carbohydrates and as a long-time Hammer Nutrition user, I couldn't ask for a better company to help fuel active bodies. 


Back to the routine

It was sad to leave my Oakley Women friends (family) but I am back at home now and filled with memories. There's nothing better than a trip to get you excited about coming home with ideas, dreams and goals and the inspiration to start making things happen.
To get me back into the routine, Campy wasted no time for his daily tummy rubs. 

While in Utah, I enjoyed a change of my routine and trying new foods. I was sure to not skimp on my protein so every morning I enjoyed an omelet filled w/ veggies alongside toast w/ PB. 

Thankfully, the altitude didn't get to me when snowboarding or when sleeping but I made sure when I was running on the treadmill on Sunday morning, that I didn't go by my normal "at sea level" pace. I was sure to stay extra hydrated while in Utah as we were about 8,000 feet up and I also tried to do the best I could w/ fruits and veggies, which was easy as Oakley Women had a wonderful dinner prepared for us every evening.

When I got home last night, Karel had the most delicious sandwich ready for me. Talk about a creation!! Toast w/ hummus and melted spicy cheese w/ a cooked egg, thinly sliced apples, tomatoes, mixed greens, a veggie burger and two slices of tempeh. What a great chef!

Back to the routine this week and it was wonderful to be on my bike. The weather is rather nice here in Florida.....upper 60's and nothing like Utah!

This morning's workout was tempo intervals on the bike for around 90 minutes, followed by a 30 min run off the bike. It felt great to sweat and think about the 10 weeks left until my first triathlon of the season. Campy joined me for my last mile as I knew he wanted to enjoy the fresh air with me. I'm looking forward to jumping in the pool tomorrow for Master's Swim and getting back in the weight room for strength training.

After a full day of phone calls, emailing and other to-do's, I couldn't wait to get back into my kitchen for a yummy dinner creation.

Arugula and red quinoa salad

-Frozen peas and corn (cooked at 425 degrees in a little olive oil, w/ a dash of sea salt and pepper for ~15-20 minutes until slightly brown)
-Cooked tempeh (in same oven until golden brown and firm, around 15 minutes)
-Egg (scrambled on stove top - to save time, you can do this in the microwave in a bowl sprayed w/ non stick spray, for 30-60 sec and then scramble and reheat for 15 sec intervals).
-Red quinoa (prepared 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water. I used 1/2 cup quinoa to 1 cup water on stove top on low heat, covered for 5-8 minutes, then I fluffed w/ fork and turned off heat and covered.
-Topped w/ shredded cheese

I hope everyone is enjoying their start to 2013!! Keep on working toward your goals and establishing a routine that helps you make progress. Instead of living up to the standards to others, live up to the desire you had on January 1st, 2013 to move you closer to reaching your personal health, fitness, diet, performance goals.

New Year, New Contest!

If you agree that the best days start or end with a workout, be sure to stay involved at #oakleypbc.
New Year, New Contest!


Hello from Utah!

Two years ago I won a contest with Oakley Women describing how I "perform beautifully". It was a life-changing contest to be an Oakley ambassador and the opportunities with Oakley Women have been amazing. I have met some amazing women from around the world and because of them I have been incredibly inspired and motivated to continue my quest to live an active and healthful lifestyle. I believe that every opportunity in life has the opportunity to change a person, whether it is good or bad. I don't believe that we should wish for opportunities nor get jealous for the opportunities of others. We all have experiences in life that can change us but we just have to be open, willing and accepting of the change.

Oakley Women has sent "us" ambassadors on some amazing trips - Napa Valley, LA, Laguna Beach and now, Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Although it may look like all fun and games, there is a purpose behind getting a group of passionate, active individuals together. For when we are together, we brainstorm, we discuss and we do what we do best - be active! Oakley Women is working really hard on growing the women brand and the gear and products that are behind the brand and it has been so much fun testing products, giving feedback and just being around like-minded individuals.

For our trip to Utah, the purpose was to try 2013 gear, specifically snow gear. So what better than for us to test out products at Snowbird resort.

Here's a little about our weekend itinerary:

Depart Jacksonville, arrive to Utah. Check in at the Snowbird Resort.
Dinner at the Oakley house (Homemade Sushi)
Welcome reception and learning about Oakley goggles (presentation)

Snowboarding or skiing - all day from 9am - 4pm.
Product testing review on the website
Preview to exciting things to come in 2013 for Oakley Women (So excited to share this info with everyone....but you will have to wait!)
Dinner at Oakley house (Tacos)

Yoga at the Cliff Resort Spa
Product testing and photo shoot
Lunch at Oakley house (salad and wraps/sandwiches)
Breakout sessions - tech eyewear/tech apparel, ambassador program (exciting things to come with this too!), event activation and Oakley PBC
Dinner at Oakley house

A shout-out to the other companies that have supplied products for our winter summit:
Coola Suncare
Nature Made
Paul Mitchell
Zico Coconut water
Kind Bars
Pear Sport Training
Yogi Toes
Neuro beverage
Stance Socks

Hope you enjoy the pictures! Lots of memories made this weekend...