9/17/13

Food Freedom: Anytime pancakes



Not too long ago I overheard a conversation with a personal trainer and his client at the gym. The trainer had been away on vacation and the client asked her trainer where he went and if he went to any good restaurants when he was away. As I was working my core on the captain chair, I couldn’t help but listen to this conversation about food.

I remember when I was growing up in Lexington Kentucky, there was a place downtown that had the biggest, most scrumptious cinnamon rolls that would put any cinnabon to shame these days. A cinnamon roll the size of my head and a belly that would get sick if you ate the whole thing (of course, speaking from experience). But oh were those cinnamon rolls the best…when my mom and dad would take me to get them for a treat once a year.

                    

It wasn’t that the cinnamon rolls were off limit or “bad” food but instead, my parents would reward me after my piano recitals/competitions with a walk downtown to the cinnamon roll shop. I didn’t spend my entire year planning for the cinnamon roll or saving calories for the cinnamon roll but instead, we celebrated my piano recital (which was judged) with the cinnamon roll.  Relief that the hard work with my piano practicing was over and support from my parents as we all enjoyed the cinnamon roll.  If the cinnamon roll was consumed every day or even once a month, I just don’t think it would receive the same yum factor for it was extra special on a special day.


A few months ago, I took my first trip to Europe with Karel. With a bag packed of Marni friendly travel food for me and Karel, once we stepped foot in Czech Republic, the bag wasn’t opened until we flew home 10 days later. I welcomed my trip abroad with Karel to enjoy his country and we 100% lived like a local. Even as a vegetarian and Karel’s mom preparing some of the most long-awaited not-so-vegetarian foods for Karel, I didn’t consume a single food brought from the US the entire time when I was away…and I survived just fine. And because I don’t know Czech, I couldn’t read any food labels... and I survived just fine. All I needed was Karel’s “ok” that a food didn’t have meat in it and it was complete food freedom to put all that hard work to understanding how to eat mindfully to good use in another country and to be able to maintain my active and healthy lifestyle abroad.



Riding our bikes to Retz Austria 


Enjoying (real) coffee and pastries mid morning. 

When it comes to creating a diet that works for you, we shouldn’t forget that there is no diet “staple” that you have to follow but you do have to figure out what works best for you. Yes, all diets should be plant strong as the research strongly supports a real food, balanced, whole food, plant strong diet to improve longevity and reduce risk for disease, but in terms of figuring out your style of eating, that all relates back to your goals in life and how food can enhance your lifestyle. And for the extra stuff like treats, desserts, sweets, large portions, fattier options, etc. sometimes you have trust your diet enough to know that even with an occasional treat you are not going to become “unhealthy” or for many, “gain weight.”

Although Karel and I don’t have a working scale at home, we left Czech feeling clean, light and healthy and I confirmed to myself that my diet enhances my lifestyle. I love to train, travel and use my body to make memories and for me, that means understanding what foods work for me and my body. No time am I eating for calories or a body image….somehow it just all works better that way.


Prague, Czech Republic

So if you are someone who is currently working on the diet, remind yourself that food freedom is the ultimate goal. There will be a day when you can 100% enjoy something occasional and feel absolutely great about it. Hopefully that day is sooner than later. What you can also look forward to is the day when you start eating for fuel, for health and for pleasure but in a way that improves your quality of life. So right now, eating out with your co-workers every day for lunch may not be ideal if you are trying to figure out the best foods to help control your blood sugar, to fuel your workout routine and to meet your nutritional needs. In other words, right now you may need to be in control of your meals to figure everything out. But, what you don’t have to worry about is being in control forever. As scary as it sounds, food freedom means not having rules or a strict routine but instead, knowing what works and being able to apply that “style” any day, no matter where you are in the world. Eventually, there will be a time when you eat out, enjoy that meal of foods not typical in the daily diet and feel absolutely great about. Although now I can help others with learning how to eat for fuel, for health and for pleasure, I spent a good 2-3 years learning how to have a healthy relationship with food and my body and figuring out what works best for me as an active, health conscious individual, who loves to race for 140.6 miles, is a 20 year vegetarian, is married to a Czech cyclist turned triathlete who will eat anything and works as a clinical RD..oh and is also a doggy mommy.
Oh, so what did I hear from the personal trainer that inspired me to write this blog????

The trainer told his client that he didn’t eat out at all on his trip because he didn’t want to get fat and gain 10 lbs so he hired a personal chef to deliver 6 small meals a day of chicken and veggies to his hotel room and then when his wife and kids were playing at the pool, he would go upstairs, eat in the room and then head back outside to spend time with his family.

In honor of food freedom, how about we all enjoy pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, anytime during the week without “deserving” them after a 3 hour bike ride, a 15 mile run, a hard spin class or because it is Sunday.

Happy eating in your happy kitchen!
Pear and carrot muffin-inspired pancakes

Makes 7 pancakes (1/3 cup serving) - So delicious, I wish this recipe made more!

½ cup rye flour (you can use any flour, I like the consistency of rye and soy flour – a bit lighter than whole wheat)
1 egg
½ cup skim milk
1/8 tsp iodized salt
1 tbsp honey
1 small pear shredded (about ½ cup packed)
1 large carrot (peeled first) shredded (about ½ cup packed)
1 tiny mini box of raisins (I keep these in the house for on-the-go snacks or traveling)
4 large strawberries – sliced (if frozen due to season, defrost for 30 -60 sec and then slice)
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
Olive oil (1 capful per 3-4 pancakes)

1. On large skillet, heat to medium heat (just above low). Drizzle with olive oil.
2. With all ingredients mixed in a bowl (I mixed with a fork), use 1/3 cup to portion each pancake and press down with bottom of the measuring cup for a flatter pancake.
3. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, flip when firm and cook additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
4. Repeat until the batter is finished (I always make a mini pancake to taste while cooking  ;) 

In the Trimarni kitchen, we don't ever speak about bad or off limit food, fast, diet or cleanse. I eat to reduce risk for disease. I fuel the body and I love the food that I put into my body. The Trimarni kitchen is a happy place filled with food freedom and creativity.

9/15/13

Kona training update + Karel's weekend workouts

8.5 quality, "train smarter to train harder" hours of Ironman World Championship training this weekend. My whole wheat pita bread pizza topped with marinara, cheese, BRAGG powder and oregano and olive oil, stir fried veggies (mushrooms, mixed frozen veggies, red and yellow sweet peper, garlic) with tempeh hit the spot tonight. Body and mind are feeling strong, healthy and happy.


Another week of training is behind me and I am excited to recover tomorrow. I am always amazed that with one recovery day per week (sometimes two) that my body can recover from 6 previous days of training and be strong for 6 more days of training and keep this cycle going for x-weeks. One thing that really helps me stay balanced is constantly changing up my routine and only limiting my "key race training" to around 10-12 weeks at a time. When I started endurance sports, I was like many athletes and had a specific schedule Mon - Sun and would repeat that same routine week after week, month after month. Over the past few years, Karel always changes up my workouts, often with Thurs - Sun being the key workouts and then using Mon - Wed as active recovery. I love how my body is always getting use to something new and I think that is why I don't get burnt out from training. There is a lot of flexibility and challenge so I never get bored and my body never feels run down (tired and sore at times but nothing I can't recover from). After my two week recovery from IM Placid, the first few weeks of my IM training for Kona had a routine of an intense brick or interval run on Tues but now I know that my body can't take the added stress after the weekend training with my training on the weekend being much more intense and specific to the IM (now that the building is overwith). As an athlete, it is always important to weigh the pros and cons with training. Ask yourself what you can accomplish each day and week to move closer to your goals for you don't want to have 3 weeks of great workouts and then find yourself 4,6,8 weeks away from race day feeling tired, on the verge of injury or burnout. Keep it fun and never lose sight of your goals and dreams. 

Self doubt can be a challenge for an athlete, let alone any individual trying to reach goals. My belief is how do you know you can't do it unless you try and give your best effort?
This morning I woke up excited to train but the typical thoughts of "can I do this?" were on my mind as I drove 6 miles down the road to Nocatee to train. I never let my mind win when it comes to controlling my body but I do have to use my mental skills to hush up those thoughts. I never want to miss an opportunity to give a good effort just because I think I don't have "it" for the day. Of course, this is not an appropriate thought for an athlete who is sick or injured and that is why I always focus on training smart for I respect my body too much to push it went it can not adapt to training stress. My ultimate goal is to always have my mind as my only limiter when I train and race. BTW - I can't tell you how excited I am to have my personal sport psychologist and friend Gloria with me in Kona from Oct 7th - Oct 15th.

Sunday training:
After a 1 hour warm-up on the bike (18 miles and oh did my body really benefit from that) I started my long run:
First 8 miles steady @ IM Pace w/ 30 sec walk in between
2-3 min break - bathroom/refill flasks w/ sport drink
Main set:
5 x 1 miles Descending from IM pace to whatever my body would give w/ 30 sec walk in between
Last mile cool down
1 hour EZ spin active recovery (16 miles - oh this felt sooooo good to loosen the legs and sip on Hammer FIZZ - so refreshing to replace electrolytes as it was a major sweat fest this morning running from 8:30-10:30am in the Florida heat). 

Stats from my run:
2:08 hours
Average pace 8:37 min/mile (including walking and cool down, not including break)
Total miles: 14.93 miles
Average HR 140 bpm
Mile 1: 8:27, 120 HR
30 sec walk: 112 HR
Mile 2: 8:18, 126 HR
30 sec walk: 120 HR
Mile 3: 8:22, 131 HR
30 sec walk: 125 HR
Mile 4: 8:29 (incline), 139 HR
30 sec walk: 135 HR
Mile 5: 8:23, 140 HR
30 sec walk: 133 HR
Mile 6: 8:30, 140 HR
30 sec walk: 134 HR
Mile 7: 8:35, 142 HR
30 sec walk: 140 HR
Mile 8: 8:28, 143 HR
Break
Mile 9: 8:20, 141 HR
30 sec walk: 139 HR
Mile 10: 8:12, 147 HR
30 sec walk: 141 HR
Mile 11: 8:10, 145 HR
30 sec walk: 141 HR
Mile 12: 8:10, 143 HR
30 sec walk: 153 HR (body was getting hot - look how my HR went up during the walk to try to cool my body)
Mile 13: 7:56, 153 HR (but I had just enough mental strength to convince my body that I could do this! And fueling was perfect so had plenty of energy for this run)
30 sec walk: 153 HR
Mile 14: 8:26, 150 (steady effort before cool down)
.57 miles: 9:07, 141 HR


Karel is currently training for the Miami 70.3 so his training is a lot more intense. It took him a few weeks to recover fully from Placid and a few more weeks to get his snap back into his legs. Here's his weekend training:

Saturday: 2 hour bike + 30 min run
Bike - first hour warm-up until steady "fast" pace (draft legal behind two of our athletes JM and Josh)
Main set: 10 x 6 minutes @ Z4 watts w/ 1 min recovery in between (about 1 hour of hard efforts)
Run off the bike: 30 min negative split run - 6:50, 6:40, 6:30, 6:13

Sunday: 13.1 mile run (1:30, 6:52 min/mile including walk breaks) + 1 hour social spin (active recovery)
2.5 miles - warm-up (7:17, 7:00)
Stopped and stretched for a few minutes
Main set 3x's:
3 miles descending w/ 1 min walk in between  (start at 6:50 min/miles and descend 10 sec each mile)
6:49, 6:39, 6:29
6:47, 6:39, 6:29
6:48, 6:40, 6:15 (with strong finish)
Walked 1 minute
Jogged cool down 1.4 miles - 6:50 min/mile

We train smarter to train harder and in order to do so, we recover even harder.