2/15/14

Feeling "off" with your workout routine? Recharge with these tips


We all love to dream  big and working hard is not out of the question for us to reach our goals. 

But what about the days when you are feeling a bit "off"? 

Missing a workout due to weather is understandable. 
As much as we would all love perfect weather for training (everyday) the weather is out of our control. 

Here are a few of my tips from USA Triathlon that I wrote a while back, to help you understand what to focus on when your workout doesn't work out. 



Do you need more info on sport nutrition, workouts, strength training or daily nutrition to support your active lifestyle? 

Check out my TIPS page and PRE-BUILT PLANS 

Happy Training!




2/14/14

Happy Valentine's day smoothie

Strawberry chocolate ginger smoothie


Ingredients
30g protein powder (grams are protein amount. Vegan, soy or whey protein are fine).
1/2 tsp chopped ginger
1 large celery stick (chopped)
5 baby carrots
1/2 cup organic soy milk (or your choice of milk)
Dash of cinnamon
5 coffee beans (optional)
1 square dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli 86% Cacao)
4 pineapple chunks
4 large strawberries
1/2 banana
1 tbsp chia seeds
3/4 cup water
1 cup ice cubes

1. Place ingredients in blender (except protein) and blend until ice is crushed. 
2. Add protein powder and blend until you reach your consistency needs (the longer you blend, the more volume you will make for a thicker smoothie). 
3. Optional - top with a little granola for a crunch in your glass.

Serves 2 people (16 ounces each person)
I recommend to treat this as a "meal" per person. This is a great way to recover from a workout or to just enjoy a smoothie as a balanced, wholesome meal, filled with flavor, vitamins, minerals and quality macronutrients. 


Happy Valentine's Day!!

You are an amazing, inspiring, hard working, motivating and passionate athlete or fitness enthusiast!!

Don't forget to thank your body today as you spread love to others. 

56 things that I love.



1. My family and Karel's family
2. Karel
3. My furry family (Campy, Smudla and Madison)
4. Animals and all creatures
5. Public speaking and changing lifestyles
6. Writing
7. Laughing and smiling
8. Positive people
9. Kind people
10. Passionate, inspiring and hard working individuals
11. Helping others
12. Traveling to new places
13. Local brick-oven pizza
14. Coffee and pastries in Europe
15. Water
16. Swimming
17. Biking
18. Triathlons
19. The Ironman distance triathlon
20. Challenging myself
21. Overcoming obstacles
22. Learning
23. Dreaming big
24. Sleep
25. Trail mix
26. Berries
27. My body and all it allows me to do
28. The human body in motion
29. The athletes that I coach
30. The athletes and fitness enthusiasts that I work with on nutrition
31. Changing lifestyles one bite and workout at a time. 
32. Being able to call myself a registered dietitian
33. Nature
34. Real food
35. Taking pictures of food
36. Farmers markets
37. Friends that will be there for me when I need them
38. Being there for my friends
39. Technology and science
40. Companies who have quality gear/products to keep my body happy and healthy
41. Massages
42. Finishing a hard workout or race
43. Comfy clothes
44. Music
45. New experiences
46. Making memories
47. Good news
48. Diversity 
49. Uplifting videos on youtube.com
50. Life
51. Hard work
52. Reaching goals
53. Campy sleeping
54. Being a vegetarian since 10 years old
55. Setting new goals
56. Taking pictures 
































2/13/14

Broccoli and tempeh ginger stir-fry





It's no fun coming home hungry after a long day/commute, evening workout or late meetings and feeling the pressure to cook. 

We all have crammed-packed schedules but even if you want more hours in the day to get everything done, you'd likely fill-up those hours as well. Rather then beating yourself up that you are failing on certain areas of you life that may improve your overall health, remind yourself that regardless if you find the time or make the time, you do have time that you may not be using wisely and nothing is more important to your busy life than keeping your body in good health.

You know a home cooked meal will make you feel great inside and with you in control of the portions, ingredients and timing, there is a lot to benefit from when it comes to preparing food at home.  So the hope is that when you make small changes with your diet and keep them up, you will feel the effects of those changes and not only form new healthy habits but you may also feel so good that you are even more motivated to change other areas of your life to feel even better.  

The next time you are about to sit down at home to relax, watch TV, fold laundry, clean, get on the computer, call your family or do anything that my take 30 min or longer, STOP before you get going on whatever you are about to do and head to the kitchen. 

One of the best investments to your health is having a plan when it comes to eating real food. But in order to implement that plan, you have to have food at home to prep for upcoming meals. 

Here are some options: chop, cook, grill, steam, bake.  

Whatever you can do in 30 min, consider it 30 min that you don't have to spend on food prep later that day (or next day). 

A few options: 
-Cook 2 types of whole grains per week (I recommend plan 1 cup dry of each grain so you have enough to last for a few meals) on your stove top
-Chop veggies and fruit so you have a salad bar of tupperware in your refrigerator
-Buy frozen veggies for easy steaming or microwaving
-Bake proteins in the oven which require no attendance until they are finished cooking

-Use your crock pot for stews/soups/chili's (large) or oatmeal, beans, lentils (small)
-Hard boil eggs (1 for each day)

-Have go-to options for a quick, easy meal when you feel overwhelmed with life (Ex. yogurt, fruit and granola parfait or potato w/ Greek yogurt and steamed veggies drizzled with olive oil) or bagged lettuce with cottage cheese, fruit and pumpkin seeds on top)


                            

Broccoli and tempeh ginger stir-fry

3 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen) - steam until cooked
1 package tempeh (chopped)
2 small baked potatoes (cooked in microwave and then chopped)
1 leek (washed and chopped)
1/8 cup peanuts
Olive oil (2 tbsp olive oil)
1 tbsp ginger (chopped, skin removed)
Rice vinegar (2-4 tbsp)
Water
Wok
Turmeric, pepper
Optional: top with greek yogurt, salsa or shredded cheese.

1. On medium heat, add 1/2 tbsp olive oil and cooked tempeh until golden brown (5-8 minutes) - toss as needed. 
2. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil and add potatoes, broccoli, leek and ginger. 
3. Turn heat to low and add 2 tbsp rice vinegar (may want to turn on your vent on your stove at this time). Stir to combine. 
4. Add 2-3 tbsp water and additional olive oil/rice vinegar as needed if creation starts to stick to bottom of your pan. 
5. Toss well, add seasonings of your choice and cover for 5 minutes. 
6. Add peanuts, toss and serve. 

2/11/14

The athlete's body - love your body in motion


This is one of my favorite pictures to use in my presentations when I talk to athletes and fitness enthusiasts about learning how to have a healthy relationship with food and the body. I'm sure that you can see immediately why I love this picture. Both athletes are incredible because of what they are able to do with their body. 

If you are currently training for an event or have ever trained for a race, you may have noticed that through hard work, consistency, a balanced diet and proper sport nutrition and nutrient timing your body became stronger, faster or more powerful to carry you through longer and/or more intense workouts. 

Sadly, many athletes are not only seeking great fitness gains for an upcoming event but chasing the "look" of an athlete. 

In reference to the above picture, place the two athletes side-by-side at the beach, in bikinis, and Zelinka will likely gather a lot of attention for her defined body. Put the two athletes side-by-side at the track, and you may say that one athlete is "fitter" than the other. How many times have you arrived to a race and with one look at a body you immediately assume that an athlete is "fast" because of his/her body composition?   

A body performs based on how it was trained to perform. A healthy body will be at a healthy body composition based on balanced training, a good diet and proper fueling around/during workout. 
But because our society is so body-image obsessed, we have this perfect image of what an athlete should look like and many times that look coincides with the picture of health. 

This picture is from the 2012 London Olympics  - the heptathlon. Both athletes are extremely fit and have arrived to the greatest stage for an athlete. Both athletes performed based on how the body and mind operated on race day, after months and years of dedication.  A 6 pack of abs or having no jiggle when you wiggle is not a guarantee that you will PR at your upcoming race and not having a lean, strong body now does not mean that with months of consistent training and proper eating/fueling that your body will not change naturally in result of training stress. 

Because a disordered style of eating alongside extreme exercise habits are not uncommon among athletes and active individuals – of all sizes and fitness levels and in men and women - who strive for the "look" of an athlete, it's important that you see your body for the masterpiece that it is. Your body does not have to allow you to do what you love to do with it so as you train for your upcoming race/event, don't forget to thank your body......daily.  

Obsessed with every moment of the Olympics (winter and summer), I am just so amazed by how athletes perform under pressure. All that hard work, for years and years, just for one day or one event. The athlete's body is absolutely amazing. 

And regardless of what the body looks like on race day (completely covered or with minimal clothing) when a body is trained to perform to it's full potential, there's no denying that it's easy to marvel at a body in motion. 

There is a broad spectrum of shapes and sizes when it comes to the physiques of athletes. Professionals, competitive age groupers and the novice. I hope you recognize that your body is unique, special and beautiful. Please love your body and treasure everything it allows you to do on a daily basis. Never bash your body - especially when you expect it to be incredible when you train it to perform for race day. 



The 2014 Trimarni kits (and jerseys/cycling shorts) just arrived!! They were worth the wait and are now ready to be worn by a body in motion. 
Disclaimer: performance goals may be reached while you are wearing your awesome outfit while training with your awesome body.


2/10/14

Boost athletic performance with restful sleep


After 6 consistent, quality workouts last week, it's time to reward my body with a restful night of sleep. 

As an athlete who is passionate about training smarter in order to train harder, I feel absolutely no guilt when I see all of my alarms set on "OFF."

Yay for no-alarm Mondays!!

As a coach, I see and hear far too often of athletes waking up super early for a recovery workout. Or, after days and days of early morning wake-up calls to squeeze in the training in a time-crunched lifestyle, the body is no longer performing but the athlete feels a sense of guilt if he/she doesn't workout the same time, every day. Sure, active recovery is great and I am all for it in a balanced training plan, but never at the expense of getting a good night of sleep. 


Restful sleep is not only important for overall health but for athletes, it's crucial for rest and recovery. 

For the fitness enthusiast and health conscious

Did you know that restless or inadequate sleep can increase risk for depression, weight gain, cravings, health problems (heart disease, heart failure, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes) , poor concentration, faster aging, forgetfulness and can impair judgment. Try to aim for around 7-8 hours of sleep most days per week. It's likely that for most people, you can not sleep in any longer to get the recommended amount of sleep for you may risk being late for work or you may not be able to workout first thing in the morning (which may help with better sleep in the evening). So I recommend getting to bed earlier, especially if you are a 11pm or later "lights-off" type of person. Address late night snacking, computer or TV use as well as your diet patterns which may be causing you to stay up late or get a restless night of sleep. 

For the athlete
I think most athletes and coaches understand the importance of quality sleep and how sleep is a big part in the recovery process from intense training. However, this is one area where many dedicated, hard working and motivated athletes fail to succeed because a "no-alarm" morning or day-off from training may cause you to think you are slacking, being lazy, will gain weight, will not perform well, etc. because of a missed workout day. Also, many athletes are stuck in black or white thinking and a day off from training means no movement, no stretching, little focus on wholesome eating etc. Once again, I stress the importance of balance in the life of an age-group athlete. 
So in reality, sleep deprivation or inconsistent sleep, alongside not allowing room in a periodized training plan for adequate recovery will only increase the risk of a decrease in athletic performance and increase risk for injury, sickness and burnout. 

When it comes to adequate sleep vs the sleep deprived, there is not one specific category for those who sleep well and those who do not. But I think most athletes who sleep well, know how much sleep they need to feel rested.  If you want to see if you are in need of more consistent sleep, try going to bed without an alarm as early as possible on a Friday after a long week of training and balancing life/family/work and try waking up without an alarm. Be sure to keep your room dark and without outside noise. This may show you how much sleep your body is in need of to fully recover. However, although 9-10+ hours of sleep after a hard training block or week of life/training may be needed, on average, most healthy individuals will report needing around 7-8 hours of restful sleep a night to perform optimally in sport and in life. For many, this may be a fantasy to get that much sleep. 

For many athletes, even skimping on 30-60 min of sleep a few days per week can cause a host of health and performance issues...especially if the inconsistent sleep habits are occurring overtime. 

-Sleep deprivation may negatively affect glucose metabolism and cortisol which may increase the risk for insulin resistance, impaired recovery, a suppressed immune system, inefficient use of energy during workouts and increased cravings. 

-Sleep deprivation may affect mood, concentration, alertness, skills and judgement. All very important components of performance when it comes to using and moving your body especially for triathletes while riding a bike or for other athletes who require skills and concentration to perform. 


The key to any balanced training plan is consistency. Perhaps one or two nights per week you are sleeping only 6 hours due to an early morning workout or a late night of meetings/errands, etc. That may be fine for you can catch up the following day by going to bed a bit earlier so that you do not put yourself into sleep dept. Just like with training, you do not want to take too many risks with your body or else you may fall into a deep hole that you are unable to get out of. 

Try to make restful sleep part of your routine and this may mean modifying your workout routine slightly in order to get your body into a good sleep cycle. Although you may not have to modify every workout, every day, consider allowing at least one day per week to wake up without an alarm for a workout (you still need to go to work). You want to make sleep a priority in your routine, just like wholesome eating, stretching and training smart.  

If you are an athlete who is training for an event and is following a 8, 12 or 16+ week training plan, remember that you are using your body to perform in order to adapt to training stress. If you feel strongly about your "EZ" am workout of strength, swim, bike or run am because you are stuck in a routine and feel like life can not go on if you don't workout every morning, keep in mind that every movement you make burns calories and planning intentional off days can help with consistent training. Consider an evening yoga class, a long walk with your dog, a lunch break stretch or playing with your family in the evening as great energy boosters on a day "off" from training. As you sleep in and/or take a day off from training, bottle up all that unused "training" energy for a quality and consistent next 5-6 day block of training. 


Campy - the cutest professional sleeper. 
 




2/9/14

Trying for a triathlon?

A few of my tips for planning your triathlon season. #oakleywomen #oakleypbc #madeformore

Trying for a triathlon?

Signing up for races is easy. Training can be fun and challenging. Finishing a race can be rewarding, knowing that all that hard work paid off. But how do you know if you are training for the best race for your body and mind, at the right time?   I find that many athletes jump the gun when signing up for races and do not consider the time, money and energy that it takes to participate in a race. In addition to the effort required to train for a race, an athlete needs mental toughness to face obstacles and setbacks.  It's important to pick the right races. You never know if a race will be exactly what you planned for, but with a little thinking ahead, you can set yourself up for a great racing season and...Read More
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