Essential Sports Nutrition


Thanksgiving creations

I hope everyone had a wonderful day of giving thanks and the rest of 2013 brings happiness, love, more memories, movement with your awesome body and lots of yummy eats.

For everyone who was worried about Campy after Karel shared some pictures on Facebook, from Campy's vet appointment on Wednesday, Campy is doing great. Thank you for your kind words for our furry child!

Campy has an on/off ear issue inside his left ear and I really like my mom's vet, Dr. Griffin, who Campy saw in September for his ear. Campy's ear has been much better after Dr. Griffin treated him a few months ago, so we decided to get another check-up since Campy still gets a bit sensitive with his ear.

Sadly, Campy had to get a little sedation for his treatment because Dr. Griffin had to get deep inside his ear. Campy was not his normal self that evening but not to worry.....

After a good night of rest, he was back to his opinionated, loving, active self. 
 I wanted to share a few creations that I enjoyed for my 21st (or 20th - hard to remember) vegetarian Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for that it is no problem for me to enjoy a delicious Marni-friendly meal around my non-vegetarian family (and Karel) as we aren't spending our meal discussing good or bad foods but instead, sharing memories and of course, doing a lot of yumming. 

Here are a few creations, along with the normal staples of mashed potatoes, steamed veggies, sweet potatoes and stuffing (made out of the bird for me to enjoy with everyone else).

Tempeh celery salad

 2-3 stalks celery (chopped)
1 packaged tempeh (cooked in a little olive oil on medium heat until golden brown)
Chopped onion (about 1/4 cup)
A few spoonfuls greek yogurt (to taste)
Parsley (2-3 tbsp - to taste)
Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
1-3 tbsp of lemon juice (to taste)
optional: chopped pickles

1. Mix together and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. Serve cold.

Cranberry apple cobbler
 (I recommend to use a large casserole dish and not a 9" pie dish - I took this pic before the topping started oozing over so I switched dishes - oops!)

3 Granny smith apples and 2 pink lady apples (peeled and chopped)
1/2 bag cranberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp cornstarch
juice of 1 lemon
pinch of salt

3/4 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

2 tbsp butter (I used Olivio butter)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, toss together filling ingredients.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk topping ingredients.
4. Spread butter on bottom of casserole dish. 
5. Fill with fruit mixture.
6. Pour topping over fruit filling.
7. Bake for 1 hour or until juices are bubbling or cobbler is golden.

Orange cranberry sauce
 4-5 oranges (or 2/3 cup orange juice)
1 bag cranberries (12-ounce bag)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt 

1. Using a sharp knife, remove peels from oranges and squeeze juice into measuring cup to make 2/3 cup orange juice.
2. Combine the juice, cranberries, brown sugar, cloves and pinch of salt in saucepan. 
3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low and stir occasionally until thickened around 10-15 minutes.
4. Serve warm, room temperature or cold (a great "jam" for bread)
(adapted from Eatingwell  magazine - December 2013 issue)

The final masterpiece! Happy tummy!

 And Campy was wide-awake to enjoy his own Thanksgiving plate. What a lucky doggy!!

 The best part of having a vegetarian mommy - lots of leftovers for Campy.

Guess what day it is tomorrow????

Small business Saturday!!

We would like to thank everyone who has already placed an order for a custom Trimarni kit - which includes tri top, tri shorts, cycling shorts and/or cycling jersey (purchased together or separately) as well as ordering a Trimarni t-shirt.

Our Trimarni store is only opened for 1 more week so if you are interested in sporting and supporting Trimarni in 2014, check out our store with our NEW design and colors for 2014 (designed by Karel).

Order here: Trimarni Store

Thank you for supporting small businesses!! 


Happy Thanksgiving (20 tips)!!!!

First off, Karel, Campy and I would like to wish everyone (near and far) a very special Thanksgiving! Hopefully you have lots and lots to be thankful for this year!

I guess it's assumed that as a dietitian, I should write a blog about  "how to eat Healthy on Thanksgiving."

All day I have thinking about what dietitian-friendly blog I should write before our society enjoys the Thanksgiving feast.

But as much as I love my "RD" title to help our society be "healthy", it's more important to me (as a coach, dietitian, exercise physiologist and endurance triathlete) to maintain consistency with my philosophy on how we should be eating - for fuel, for health and for pleasure and to spend less time giving rules for eating or talking about fad diets, especially when our society thinks they need a "quick fix."

And thus, my passion continues to help others learn how to develop and maintain a healthy relationship with food, all year long. 

In my opinion, trying to eat "healthy" around the holidays is like telling your child (or if you had one) all year long that on November 28th, he/she would be going to Disney World for a very special, once a year treat. But then, let's say, that the child hasn't been on his/her best behavior on the weeks leading up to the trip and instead of addressing the issue prior to the trip and making progress to prevent that bad behavior in the future, you instead tell the child she/he is punished while she/he is on the trip. So, when everyone else was having fun at Disney World, that child had to stay in the room on that very special day to "regret, feel guilty or feel upset" about his/her decision to misbehave 4-6 weeks ago. 

I feel that we can eat in a healthy way on holiday's and still indulge and feel great about it and thus, we shouldn't take away from the joy of enjoying occasional food on special occasions.  

Here are a few of  my Thanksgiving (holiday/anytime) Tips to help you have a better relationship with food (and your body) especially around "occasional" eats: 

1) Thank your body
2) Plan for a workout on the day after the meal (how about my 1 hour Trainer workout on Triathlete Magazine online?)
3) Yum when you eat
4) Don't lecture others about what they are eating
5) If someone lectures you about what you shouldn't eat, start yumming
6) Find a recipe that intimidates you and go for it! You will really appreciate home cooking when you take the time to prepare a recipe from start to end.
7) Create a plant strong meal. Bulk up on your veggies and portion out a little of the top foods that you really, really, really want. If you are not sure if you really want it, pass on it.
8) Survey the scene and pick out your most favorite desserts that will feel the best after you eat them. Homemade wins over store-bought (unless store-bought was from a homemade store). 
9) Talk about a memory that comes to mind when you eat a traditional/family recipe. 
10) Eat slowly - enjoy your food, don't devour it. 
11) Don't restrict food all day for one meal. Starving is not the best way to enter a meal, especially if you want to savor the moments. 
12) Be inspired by all the home cooking and discover new recipes from others. 
13) Finish the meal satisfied, not stuffed. Save yourself from second portions and instead, remind yourself how lucky you are to be able to enjoy "too much food" on your table. 
14) Talk about your goals for 2014 and reflect on 2013. Can you inspire others or will others inspire you?
15) Laugh, smile and don't be too serious (on yourself, included)
16) Don't be extreme - with your eating, with your thoughts or with your exercise. Some progress is better than no progress. 
17) Don't make the day only about carbs, fat and calories. As you enjoy your meal, express interest in the food you are eating, ask how someone created the recipe, what inspired them to create that recipe and what makes that food feel so great when you eat it
18) Be realistic - how can one day off-set the past few months of your "routine/plan" or ruin the next 1.5 months of consistent habits?
19) Don't body bash - getting mad at your body will do you no good and will only increase the chance of you making extreme or quick decisions as to how you will go about trying to change your body composition. Give yourself 5-10 reasons why you love your body, what you love about your body and what you want to accomplish with your body in the next 3,6,12 months. 
20) Enjoy the gift of health - your health is allowing you to read this blog right now. Your health is allowing you to share Thanksgiving (holidays) with others. There may be special people in your life that are not in as good of health as you are or may not be able to share this day with you. Never take a day for granted when it comes to healthy eating, healthy living and daily exercise in order to improve quality of life. 


Pomegranate creations and his/her interval run workouts

It takes a strong athlete to train hard, but a stronger athlete to accept weaknesses in the body. 

Karel has been having a lot of fun (and when I say fun, I mean "oh, I feel it!") with our transition plan as we build a resilient body to prepare ourselves for the upcoming season. I just love Karel's face when I show him a hip/glute/core exercise or circuit and he looks at me like "that's not that hard" and then I get to see his face as he is performing the exercise. I just love seeing Karel suffer with my "fun" hip/core/glute work because there's been plenty of times that he has made me have "fun" and suffer by telling me to "just sit on my wheel."

For our interval runs this morning, we each went out to do our own thing, specific to our own fitness level at this phase in our transition plan. Also, at this time, most of our main sets for running are around 20-30 minutes. 

"His" workout:
Main set: 4 x 5 min @ 5K pace (or max sustainable effort for the 5 minute interval) w/ 1 min walk in between.

"Her" workout:
Main set 3x's:
4 min @ 90%, 1 min walk
3 min @ 95%, 1 min walk
1 min @ "hard", 3 min jog/walk recovery, then repeat

Karel was holding sub 6 min/mile for his workout and he was really happy with how his HR was dropping between each interval.
For my workout, it felt so good to put some speed into my legs and to see 5:55-6:30 min/miles for my efforts.

We felt the effects of our hip/strength/core workout on Monday but that's all part of the plan. Whereas in the triathlon "season" strength training should only enhance cardio work, now is the time where the strength is part of the run training so strength training dominates over the cardio work. 

I've been enjoying the season of pomegranates so here are a few delicious creations that will make for a delicious and beautiful looking meal.


Spinach salad w/ pomegranate
Spinach and mixed greens
Pomegranate seeds
Mozzarella cheese
Daisy Brand 2% cottage cheese

Quinoa mint pomegranate salad
1/2 cup dry quinoa (cooked in 1 cup water)
Pomegranate seeds (about 1 cup, which should be 1 pomegranate or a little less)
Chopped walnuts (small handful)
Fresh mint (about 1/4 cup packed)
1 pear and 1 apple (chopped)
Splash of OJ (2-3 tbsp)

1. Mix together, toss and refrigerate. 


Recipe - Stuffed shells

Every since I was young, I loved my mom's stuffed shells recipe. 

Shells - cooked to al dente in large pot
Marinara sauce - for topping
Mozzarella cheese - for topping
Stuffing - firm tofu (container) mixed in a bowl w/ 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and spices, like basil and oregano and 1 egg. 
Stuff the shells and top with spoonfuls of marinara sauce and top with the cheese and cook in microwave safe dish (in microwave) for 3-5 minutes or until shells were warm. 

Talk about a yummy and quick dish!

My mom told me that back in the early 90's, she would have a hard time to find tofu so she would have to go to a specialty store where she could find Asian cuisines. 

Despite choosing to be a vegetarian when I was 10 for animal reasons, I didn't see this dish as "vegetarian". I didn't even know much about tofu until I was in my 20's to fully appreciate the many plant based proteins that I could eat in my "meat free" diet. Also, even though my family does not follow a vegetarian diet, we can all enjoy similar meals together because they taste really really good.

Although I didn't grow up in a house where processed food was off limit and we could never drink Dr. Pepper, I have always grown up with a healthy relationship with food. 

For my brother and myself, being such active kiddos and student athletes all throughout high school and college, food was always fuel for our body. 

Also, we were very involved with the arts - piano and art for me, dance for Aaron. We were always using our minds for creative expression through the arts and thus food was also fueling our brain. 

We never grew up with dieting in our vocabulary and I thank my parents for never mixing food for fuel and for a number on the scale. 

Today, I have even more appreciation for food because as a clinical RD, I also see food for health and for disease prevention. 

So as much as I would love to enjoy the entire casserole dish full of stuffed shells like I did when I was swimming competitively in high school and college,  I also know that I have the ability to plan meals to be balanced in a way that they can fuel my active life and also keep my immune system strong. 


To maintain a healthy relationship with food while changing dietary habits, avoid "off limiting" any one food and instead, making replacements and re-think the planning of your meals. 
 How about  "main dish" of a beautiful colorful salad to compliment a serving (3 or 4) of stuffed shells. 

In my mind, there is nothing "bad" with the meal and doesn't need to a title as to what diet-fad or eating style it is or isn't. 

If you are struggling with your relationship with food - identify the purpose of your eats as an easy way to move forward.
For fuel, for health or for pleasure...or as I like it, for all three?

Colorful salad
Mixed greens
Orange slices
Bosc pears