2/6/15

Be creative in the kitchen



I grew up a very creative child. I went to Montessori school and then from 4-8th grade, I went to an Arts School where I "majored" in piano and "minored" in art. My parents let me paint my bedroom walls so I was  able to express myself through drawing anytime and then there was extracurricular activities when I wasn't at swim practice - singing, playing piano, drama class or dancing. When I went to High School, it was a tough transition for me because I was quickly forced to learn information in a different way - through textbooks and lectures. I had a hard time retaining information that was spoken to me because I was such a visual learner. Although I am no longer spending my weekends making scrapbooks or collages, I feel as if my business keeps me super creative as I am always looking forward to a new project (ex. training plans), I really love working with my nutrition athletes and I love figuring the best individual journey for my athletes. 

A meal is simply the combination of ingredients. The more creativity you have in your kitchen, the more nutrients you can provide your body in your varied diet.

The kitchen is a wonderful place to be creative. So many kitchen tools, gadgets and equipment to heat, cool, dice, chop, freeze, blend, puree and bake, it's really hard not to enjoy being in the kitchen when you have so many food options, herbs, spices, sauces and condiments to choose from too!

For many, the kitchen is seen as an evil place. Ugh, the prep process, the cooking time, cleaning dishes. But we need to change this thinking because you need to eat to live and your kitchen is the primary place where you can improve your health, boost performance and create some beautiful memories with your spouse, friends and/or family.

I invite you to improve your love for home cooking. Perhaps this starts with improving your knowledge of how to cook. It's not hard to start, you just need to throw in a little creativity with your food ingredients. 


Creative Egg Salad

Ingredients:
Serves 2

2 hard boiled eggs

Sliced baby tomatoes (~6-8)
Sliced cucumbers (1/2 large)
Chopped onions (1/2 small)
Chopped carrots (4-6 baby)
Copped red pepper (1 small)
2 tbsp hummus 
Paprika, salt, thyme and pepper - to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix together and season to taste.
3. Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

-Serve on it's own as a side or on a bed of greens, on cottage cheese or on your favorite slice of fresh bread, pita or in a wrap. 

2/5/15

Traveling to Reno/Lake Tahoe - let's eat!


Karel and I are settling back into our normal routine again in Greenville, SC after our 5 day trip out west. It was so great to visit with our best friends, Gloria and Ken (and Frida) and to visit my Grandpa and his wife in Reno, Nevada. Karel and I always enjoy changing up the training environment so it was nice to do a few runs and snow sports at 4,500-9800 feet above sea level. But now we are back to the daily grind, training, work, training and home cooking. 

Speaking of food, I just love eating at new places when we travel. It's the best way to feel like a local but to also enjoy good local food.
I also enjoy simply eating around others. I love to yum over food that is home-cooked and prepared with love.
We accomplished both during our trip so I thought I'd share some of our yummy eats.



To keep our bellies happy during our travel, I packed a snack bag filled with healthy and satisfying snacks.
It was a good thing that I had extra snacks because in route from Atlanta to Sacramento, a passenger had appendicitis! It all started like an episode of Lost "is there a doctor on the plane?" and eventually we were re-routed to St. Louis so that the passenger could get to a hospital. After a 90 min delay, sitting on the plane, we finished our 5 hour flight (which ended up being around 4 hours I think from St. Louis) and finally landed in California. 


The key to getting adjusted to a new time zone quickly is to focus on mini meals rather than trying to follow a breakfast, lunch, dinner strategy. If traveling to the West Coast from the East, you may feel like you are eating 4 big meals so the best way to combat feeling like you are eating all day is to well, eat all day starting with a satisfying breakfast and then continue to eat in smaller portions and then finish your day with a satisfying dinner.
We ate dinner at Hot Italian and it was amazing. I got my salad on my pizza. Yummo!
                                                                                      

On Friday morning, Gloria, Ken, Karel and I woke up at 4:40am to get ready for swim practice. We all had a pre workout snack and coffee and then it was time to drive to the DAM swim practice. Post workout, a recovery drink (Whey Protein and almond milk) was in my belly, followed by delicious stove-top oats, prepared by Chef Ken (YUM!). Gloria and Ken had a buffet of toppings so I went to town with banana slices, chia seeds, almond butter, cranberries and walnuts. This felt good in my gut!


In route to Reno, Karel and I met Trimarni follower Julie. What a breath of fresh air to yum over food with Julie and her positive attitude and contagious energy. It was like we had known each other forever but I think good food does that for two strangers - it connects people very quickly with good conversations included. Thanks Julie for meeting up with us at The Ugly Mug Cafe in Loomis. 


I debated about getting a standard lunch or breakfast (since breakfast is served til 2pm here) so I opted for a "healthy choice" option on the menu - a delicious egg white scramble with cheese, sun dried tomato, peppers, mushrooms and probably more but I can't remember! I added two slices of buttered sourdough bread on the side. I cleaned my plate - it was SO good!

After returning our rental car to the Reno airport, Karel and I were picked up by my  92-year old Grandpa Joe and his wife Barbara.


Just a little history of why Reno is a special place for me and Karel.....



4 months after Karel and I had our first date on my 24th birthday (5/31/08) after being set-up, we took our first trip together...to Reno! I was training for my first IM and had NO biking skills so why not ride our bikes around the entire Lake Tahoe?!?! Karel was amazingly supported despite a few minor mental breakdowns from my fear of climbing and descending and we really started to fall in love with the mountains...and each other. 



2.5 years later, we returned to Lake Tahoe for our honeymoon!! 



And here we are back in Reno, 6 years later. 



It was very special for us to spend this time with my Grandpa as he is getting older but still sharp as a knife. We all yummed over a homecooked meal on Friday evening - my grandpa's special Salmon recipe (for the fish lovers) and tempeh for me. I also made a large salad and roasted potatoes.



On Saturday morning, we had a pre-workout snack and then Karel and I did a little workout in the fitness center (strength and short run - treadmill for me, outside for Karel) and then we had a delicious breakfast of stove-top oats, fresh fruit and yogurt - all prepared by Barbara. 



A few hours later we were out at Kirkwood for some XC Skiing (Karel skate skied). We fed our adventure on the snow with Clif Bar products. 15K for me, 25K for Karel - 2 hours of XC ski time! 



Karel and I made sandwiches for after we skied, PB&J for me and ham and cheese for Karel. We used fresh bread from Whole Foods and I had a side of ginger snap cookies. Hit the spot!



Since we had a late/light lunch, we headed to dinner at 1862 David Walley's Resort. Since the restaurant dinner open until 5:30pm and it was 4:40pm when we arrived, we ate in the Saloon. Excellent food and I think I found more to eat on this menu that I would have on the restaurant menu. 



I was craving some veggies so I got a beautiful salad and a veggie packed pizza that I shared with my grandpa. 


Karel had beer (local IPA), french onion soup and wings.


The next morning we started our day with my grandpa's french toast made on Challah bread. It was SO good - my grandpa is a great cook! Perhaps he is doing something right after 92 years!
 I topped mine with Fig Butter (a new fav of mine!) and 100% Maple Syrup and had a side of fresh fruit, Cara Cara oranges and a hard boiled egg.


Then, it was off to the downhill slopes for some snowboarding (for me) and skiing (for Karel) at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe



I packed a lunch for us and kept to the same foods we had the day before at our XC ski adventure but with a glass jar of mixed fruit and a banana. 




On our last day in Reno, we headed up to Virginia City in the afternoon. Karel and I remembered going there on our "date" travel trip back in 2006 (by car and also by bike) so it was nice to go back once again. We had to get some fudge at Grandma's Fudge Factory and since we couldn't decide on which ones to get, we got a sampler package of a pound n' a half. Can you guess which one is my fav? Yep - Peanut Butter Chocolate!

Well, hope I didn't make you too hungry. 
If we ever travel to your neck of the woods, be sure to let us know some great places to eat! 





2/2/15

The First Bourn experience


Coaches 
Imagine a facility where you can bring all of your athletes to train for a long weekend or a designated training camp. A facility that included endless beautiful views for a can't-miss train-cation.  Your athletes would never forget their one-of-a-kind top notch training experience because every workout starts from their doorstep in this all inclusive resort-like facility. Every meal is provided by a professional trained chef and is RD approved. You never have to worry about your athletes slacking on quality nutrition (or missing a meal from rushing from one training location to the next) as all meals/snacks are designed to nourish, fuel and satisfy the needs of your athletes (and their "reward" indulgences).  Rarely are training camps associated with simplicity but First Bourn has thought of everything so all you have to do is show-up and coach/train your athletes.
  • High-end accommodations with private rooms for all athletes
  • 25-50m pools
  • 2 Continuous Swim pools (salt and fresh)
  • Massage rooms
  • NormaTec compression recovery rooms
  • Farm-to-table meals
  • Recovery smoothie stations and world-class java bars
    Coaching areas and team rooms
    Custom fitness room for endurance athletes
    Sauna and steam room
    Private changing and locker rooms
    A pain cave with computrainers
    Pro/VIP quarters
    Miles of trails
    In-house bike mechanic and bike barn (no storing bikes/gear in rooms!)
    Vehicles available to venture to the nearest town
    Fully supported point-to-point village based training experiences
Athletes
Imagine a facility where you can bring your family but not feel as if your wife/husband and children would be alone/bored while you are out training. An active and beautiful environment is enjoyed by all. Have you always wanted to attend a training camp and learn from your coach, one-on-one but it hasn't happened yet because your coach didn't have the means/logistics to plan a training camp? Is there a coach/training methodology that you follow and would like to attend a camp from a coach you've never met? Perhaps you have always wanted to learn from a coach or professional athlete and be surrounded by like-minded athletes but didn't have the location to make this all happen? Have you ever considered having a home away from home, anywhere in the world, that you could  just travel to alone or with a friend and simply check-in and all of your training needs were covered?

That place is First Bourn
World-class training destinations for endurance athletes and fitness enthusiasts of all fitness levels. 

Every person who sets foot in a First Bourn location will remember the experience, accommodations and support that will help you reach your goals. First Bourn doesn't only fuel the multi-sport and endurance lifestyle but it caters to the individual who wants continuous improvement in areas of health, fitness and/or performance. 

Supported by elite, professional and age-group athletes, the First Bourn team is lead by passionate, experienced experts, looking to give you the best training environments, all with diverse training experiences at each First Bourn location. 

Above all, First Bourn is committed to supporting local communities and their resources. Environmental sustainability, economic development, education & mentoring and health & wellness are among the key four pillars that are essential to all thriving First Bourn communities. 

To learn more and to keep up with the latest info on the First Bourn experience and membership options:
Twitter: @FirstBourn
Facebook: First Bourn​
Instagram: First_Bourn ​
Website: First Bourn