Essential Sports Nutrition


Beauty, Balance and Badassery - for the ladies

I'm so lucky to have a few very special, amazing women in my life who give me positive energy, strength and wisdom. I would like to introduce you to two of them. 

The first is Kelsey Abbott. My friend, Trimarni athlete, owner of Find Your Awesome and creator of BBB (read below)
The second is Beth Chernosky of Transformative Wellness ME. I met Beth through social media and she is a beautiful person, inside and out. 

I'd also like to add Gloria to this list. As you may know, Gloria Petruzzelli is my best friend, a Trimarni athlete (we coach her amazing hubby Ken as well) and my mental skills coach.

There are many more amazing women that I follow on social media, ALL of the inspiring Trimarni female athletes, my Oakley Women family and so many more that are just so amazing!
I think it is just so awesome that there are too many amazing women to add to this list!

So now I bring you to the purpose of this post.
I want to welcome you to Beauty, Balance and Badassery which is an online, private Facebook group designed just for women. As a monthly contributor (nutrition chat) to this group,  I can't tell you how my life has changed since being part of this group. Kelsey and Beth make you a really strong, beautiful, balanced, powerful and BadAss way.

If the following information makes you smile, makes you think, makes you believe that this group was designed with you in mind, I hope you take advantage of being part of this group to make 2015 an amazing year for you. 

The information below is from Kelsey at Find Your Awesome. You can contact her via her website for more information about joining the group. 

Imagine…a supportive group of inspiring women.
Imagine…a safe place where you can share life’s challenges and celebrations.
Imagine…an inspiring place to grow into your awesome self.

It’s real.

Imagine…weekly coaching office hours.
Imagine…weekly distance Reiki.

It’s all yours.

Imagine…virtual hugs when you need them.
Imagine…unicorn bitch slaps on demand.

And finally, imagine a place where beauty is universal, balance is a common topic of discussion and badassery is infectious (in a good way).

That place is Beauty, Balance and Badassery
It’s a group coaching program for awesome women who are ready to live and love the hell out of their lives.

If you’re ready to toss your invisibility cloak and show up as your awesome self in every aspect of your life, this group is for you. If you’re ready to go outgrow your old habits and beliefs, Beauty, Balance and Badassery is calling your name.

Join us.

It’s time to feel empowered. It’s time to feel awesome. It’s time to BE the rockstar/super hero/goddess that you really are.

No more waiting. No more hiding. No more putting your desires on the back burner while you take care of other people. No more excuses.


Make a commitment to yourself. Join our safe space. Join our team. We’ve got your back.

It’s time.

I just want to say how much being in this group has meant to me and continues to mean to me. You women are amazing and the insight and thoughts you've shared with me about my situation and about your own have blown my mind on too many occasions to count! I can't even express how glad I am I joined in on this group! I remember telling my best friends in Vancouver about it at the beginning and not even knowing how much more it would mean to me now!!!
-Nicole Tunstall

Let’s talk details…

As a member of Beauty, Balance and Badassery, you’ll get:
-weekly coaching office hours with me
-access to weekly distance Reiki sessions with Beth Chernosky of Transformative Wellness ME
-monthly coaching calls with me
-badass challenges
-spontaneous coaching from me
-10% off any confidence coaching packages with me
-monthly chats with guest experts like:
            Marni Sumbal, RD of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition
            Karen Taube, CPC of Elationship Coaching
            Shauna Gullbrand, CPC, International Radio Host and Tarot Maven

-And surprises….lots of awesome surprises are in the works!

Feeling like a beautiful, balanced badass shouldn’t be a logistical nightmare. We use the magic of technology to make group participation as easy as possible. You can be anywhere in the world as you participate in all the action. The month coaching calls take place over the phone and everything else happens in the private Facebook group.


Beauty, Balance and Badassery is a team of awesome women. 
We work together to support and inspire each other. 
And to make sure we do that in the best way possible, we have a few ground rules:

1. Be here and be you.

2. YOU define yourself, your desires, your comfort zone and your fears.

3. No judging yourself or others.

4. Everything that happens in the group stays in the group. All coaching is completely confidential.

5. Support others in the group. We’re all in this together.

6. Share yourself, your adventures, your awesomeness, your victories and your struggles.

7. Strive to live a life of HELL YESes and HELL NOs. There are no HELL MAYBEs. (HELL MAYBE would be half assery and we believe in BADASSERY, not half assery.)


What’s the value of all this awesomeness?

Oh my, it’s about $1000. BUT you pay only $97/month.

Can I try before I buy?

No, Beauty, Balance and Badassery is an intimate group based on trust. You must commit to three months at a time.

Why three months?

Because it takes a while to build relationships and this group is all about relationships.

Your fearless leader - Kelsey

Hi, I’m Kelsey Abbott and I really truly believe in your awesomeness. I also believe in the power of community. That’s why I created Beauty, Balance and Badassery. You see, we’re all on this wild ride together and by supporting, challenging and inspiring each other, we grow together, we excel together and we shine together.

I believe in freedom, passion, curiosity, unicorns, triathlons, playing big and being open to awesome possibilities.

And for those of you interested in the nitty-gritty details, I’m a Certified Professional Coach (CPC), Energy Leadership-Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) and COR.E Performance Dynamics Specialist. I earned my coaching certifications through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and my Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credentials through the International Coach Federation (ICF). I’m also a USA Triathlon-certified coach who coaches swimmers, bikers, runners and triathletes to their best athletic performances.


Athletes: 4 mistakes that you keep making

You were born to make mistakes. No one is perfect. Some of your greatest achievements will grow out of the mistakes that you made in your past. 

As an athlete, I like to think of mistakes as learning opportunities. There are no bad decisions but instead opportunities to adjust, learn and to improve.

When Karel raced his first IM in Lake Placid in 2013, he told me he made a few rookie mistakes. He grabbed his wrong transition bag from the hanging rack of bag as he was entering the T2 changing tent so he had to run back to the rack to exchange his goggles and wetsuit for his run shoes and visor.
On the bike, he took a swig of his gel flask and put the flask upside down in his tri top pocket...opened. A few miles later, his leg felt incredibly sticky with every pedal stroke. It wasn't until he reached back for his flask that he noticed that his entire flask emptied out in his tri pocket and essentially onto the side of his body. 
Now I wouldn't call this rookie mistakes as I feel even a veteran athlete is vulnerable to these mistakes but as athletes we must be able to reflect on races to learn from them to hopefully prevent the same mistake happening more than once. 

Thankfully, Karel has made it a habit to repeat in his head as to what color bag to grab before entering the changing tent in an Ironman and he always remembers to tightly close his gel flask and put it in his pocket right side up. 

If there is one thing that I have learned in endurance racing over the past 8 years it's that there is always something new to learn on race day. 

As athletes, we know that race day comes with a variety of uncontrollables so when it comes to focusing on how we prepare our bodies for race day, we want to direct a lot of energy to how we train for races. Unfortunately, for many athletes, the season starts with a high level of motivation and energy as well as good intentions so on paper, you look perfect. But I find that for many athletes, it takes a few seasons to learn some valuable lessons as to how to train smarter, reduce risk for injury and to keep the body in good health. 

As an athlete, the best investment you can make on your future success as an athlete is to be able to identify your own weaknesses. If you find it easy to put blame on yourself for making the same mistakes over and over but do not hold yourself accountable to making the necessary changes, you are not learning anything from your mistakes. 

As you know, life passes by very quickly when you are in the peak of your season and it's very hard to fill in the gaps when you did not do what you should have done when it needed to be done. Far too often I hear athletes saying the following statements when they recognize their weaknesses and this usually happens when an athlete gets injured or a few weeks out from a key race. 

"I need to stretch more."
"I need to do more strength training."
"I need to eat better."
"I should have recovered better."

As we enter a New Year, you have the opportunity to start a new season of making good habits AND sticking with them. Admit that you did not stretch enough last season, you stopped strength training after a few months, your healthy eating habits got pushed aside when your training volume increased and you pushed too hard on your easy days which caused you to feel tired on the days when you were expected to perform hard. 

It's ok to admit that you made some mistakes but I am here to make sure that you do not make those same  mistakes again in 2015. 

So here are your lessons learned for 2015:
1) Stretching Make stretching part of your daily routine. This includes dynamic warm-ups before all workouts, foam rolling/trigger point therapy to identify "hot" spots and active stretching to loosen-out the body post workout and in the evenings before bed. You can find 5 minutes a few times during the day to make stretching happen. 

2) Strength training
All athletes should follow a periodized strength training routine that addresses functional strength exercises that will transfer fitness gains in your sport. There must be a smooth progression of how you incorporate strength training in your routine as you do not want to risk injury as you try to prevent injury.
In the Trimarni 8-week transition plan, I have your first 8 weeks of foundation strength all laid out for you with corresponding swim,bike, run workouts as well. This is an easy way to not only help you build good foundation strength before you start incorporating more dynamic/complex, intense strength exercises into your strength routine but it is also a no-excuse way to kick-start your strength training routine. If anything, you can at least tell yourself that in 2015 you followed a well-designed strength training routine for 2 months which may be longer than you lasted last year. 

3) Healthy eating
What's eating better? Perhaps you define it differently than my definition but the bottom line is that you likely have a few key areas that you'd like to focus on that you feel are preventing you from reaching your health, performance and/or body composition goals. This doesn't mean you need to be extreme, restrictive or obsessive about eating in order to "eat better." But perhaps you need to make more time for meal planning and cooking. Maybe you find yourself overeating in the evenings because of poor eating choices throughout the day. Maybe you aren't spending enough time understanding your sport nutrition before, during and after workouts. Maybe you are just trying to get more fruits and veggies into your diet or eat more real food. Whatever eating better means to you, focus on making only a few small changes at a time or else you are destined for failure as you can't expect to change everything all at once and keep those new habits for the next 10-12 months.
If I can give you one tip it would be to recognize that your eating habits will change throughout the season accordance to your training plan. Be mindful of how an increased training load will affect your cravings, appetite and macronutrient distribution. Don't let this scare you if you feel like you don't know how to eat in a periodized training plan. My tip for you is to not start the year eating a plant-strong diet made of real food and then find yourself skipping meals, eating ice cream for dinner and passing on your pre-workout snacks when your training load increases. Put a great amount of energy on your daily diet and fueling regime throughout all phases of your training plan to get the most out of every workout. 

4) Recover harder
Athletes are notorious for making easy days too hard and hard days too easy. You must understand the purpose of rest days for they have a place in every athletes' training plan. Whether you choose to take them or not is certainly up to you but I highly encourage you to take advantage of your intentional rest days before you find yourself taking too many unintentional rest days with a tired, burnout or injured body.  Your goal as an athlete is to adapt to training stress. Yes, you may look like a really great exerciser but more so, you want to be a really great athlete. And really great athletes rest their bodies hard. 
Athletes strive for improvements in fitness and this is often the reason why athletes are scared to take a day off. Or even worse, an athlete makes the excuse "it's my recovery day" so the alarm goes off at 5am for an easy swim bike or run. Hello...when did sleep stop being a form of recovery??
As a suggestion, I often find that my age group athletes do really well with a day off (or at least a morning off from working out) later in the week as the season progresses (around 4-6 weeks out from taper) whereas Monday off or a true active recovery day (following waking up rested) is best applied in the beginning part of the season when athletes are more fresh and motivated to start a training plan but also slowly adapting to training stress so that continued stress as the week progresses is very important mentally and physically. Because the entire point of training is to place intentional stress on the body AND adapt to it, there is certainly going to be more to balance as the season progresses so there really isn't a time in your plan when rest isn't allowed. My suggestion is to take advantage of all of your rest days and active recovery days when they come and this includes taking care of yourself emotionally, nutritionally and spiritually when you aren't training on those days. Pay attention to red flags that your body needs a rest day or a change in the routine to ensure that you are training hard but recoverying harder. 

 You know the mistakes that you made last year and perhaps one or more of the mistakes listed above are on your list. So should you once again go into next season being more focused, disciplined and serious? 

I believe that part of the reason why athletes make these mistakes is because they are so performance focused. There is such great passion to all things related to training that the athlete starts the season with very high expectations as to what he/she can focus on to be a better athlete but then life happens and it seems like all of a sudden, there is less time to get everything done. So training takes priority and everything else that can help make you a better athlete gets pushed aside. 

Remember that your season success relies on your consistency with training. Rather than spending all of your energy on training harder or training longer and getting in the workouts, focus on training smarter. Believe me when I tell you that your sleep, recovery tactics, fueling, daily diet and stretching/strength training routine unlocks great performances. These mistakes that you keep making are possibly the keys that you have been forgetting to make a high priority in your daily training routine. 

I'm sure there are other mistakes that we  have all made that are not on this list but I find that season after season, I hear athletes making these same four mistakes over and over as the season progresses. 

Everyone makes mistakes. That's life. But the key is acknowledging that with a little more effort in 2015, you may find yourself preventing these mistakes from happening and setting yourself up for a great season of training and racing

Did you stretch yet today? :) 

Are you ready for the Triathlon Challenge?

When Karel and I were putting together our 2015 race schedule, we had a variety of races to choose from. Since sharing our race schedule in October, there have already been a few changes.
 There are races all over the world on almost every weekend of the year so that makes it very interesting and fun when planning a racing season. 

In the initial stages of our season planning, we wanted to make sure that every race that we registered for had a purpose. We are not known to race just to race. Although we do not expect to be at top fitness for every race, we take every race seriously and do our best to arrive to every race healthy and injury free. The most important goal of a triathlete who is planning his/her season is to remember that every race is simply a step closer to the big season goal where you hope to race in peak fitness.
You can have good performances at all or most of your races but when it comes to maximizing your fitness and being in the best shape all season, you want to limit that to once or twice in a season.
And above all, be ok with your building fitness and body composition throughout the season. If you are accepting that you don't need to be in peak fitness all year long, you certainly do not need to be at race weight all year long. 

 When planning our season, we wanted to make sure that our races helped to build confidence for the 2015 Ironman World Championship (our big season race) but that our races were placed appropriately so that we could periodize our training for proper peaking for Kona. The biggest mistake I find is that athletes register or plan to race a variety of races throughout the year but because of when they occur in the season (too early, too late or too many close together), there is not ample time to get through various phases of training. And unlike a cyclists racing and training schedule, triathletes do need different phases so they can not race a lot (specific to endurance triathletes).
And lastly, we wanted to make sure that our race schedule was practical in terms of logistics, race fees and course designs to match our strengths. We look for safe and challenging courses, a great vibe at the race, a beautiful location to race in and affordable race fees + travel. 

We are so excited to be supporting the Challenge Family race series in 2015!!!!
Not only will Karel and I be racing at Challenge Knoxville and Challenge Williamsburg but many of the Trimarni athletes will be racing a Challenge race in 2015. 

For a list of all the North America races:

Also, in case you missed it:

Challenge Family regional championships and prize money confirmed in the Americas
Posted on: Friday 14th November 2014

The Americas region has a new championship series with today’s announcement of the Challenge Americas Championships, to be held at Challenge Knoxville, Tennessee in May 2016.
Encompassing all 13 half and full distance Challenge Family races in North, South and Central America, qualifying for the Championships will start at Challenge Knoxville on 17 May 2015.
To celebrate the launch of the first qualifying race of the Championships, Challenge Knoxville 2015 will offer all athletes who register for the race 50% off a second entry for a friend. This special offer is available until 30 November and equates to two half distance entries for just $382.50.
Throughout the year, professional and age group athletes will have the opportunity to qualify at Challenge Knoxville, Challenge Quassy, Challenge Williamsburg, Challenge Atlantic City, Challenge New Albany, Challenge Pocono Mountains, Challenge Maine, Challenge Rancho Cordova and Challenge Florida in the USA. Canadian qualifiers are Challenge Penticton and Challenge St Andrews while Challenge Ixtapa in Mexico will be the Central America qualifier and Challenge Florianopolis the South American qualifier.
The regional championships announcement was accompanied by confirmation that all Challenge Family races in the Americas will feature consistent prize money across all races.
Challenge Family CEO, Zibi Szlufcik said the Challenge Americas Championships was an exciting development for athletes in the region.
“With 13 races throughout the Americas and an outstanding championship venue in Knoxville, athletes will enjoy a quality race series, culminating in a grand finale and the prestige of calling themselves regional champion. Challenge Knoxville 2015 will be a test event for the 2016 Championships and all athletes are invited to test this beautiful course.
“We’re also delighted to be able to confirm a pro field with prize money at every race. We’ve had many requests for this and are extremely happy to be able to offer our valued athletes with a strong series of races paying 10 deep throughout the Americas region.”
Challenge Americas board member, Charlie Patten said, “”We are excited for the 2015 Challenge Americas Age Group series and Championship race! The hard work of amateur athletes often goes un-noticed and this is our chance to celebrate ALL athletes.  From the working mothers to the retired grandparents and everyone in between, now we get to celebrate your amazing accomplishments!”