2/17/17

More Run Fast Eat Slow recipes - Yummy carbs!



I can't believe it. We are now under 4 weeks away from the start of our first Trimarni camp of 2017 in Clermont, FL, which means that we will be racing our first triathlon of the season (Olympic distance) in just 4 weeks! And then three weeks later, Karel and I will be returning back to Florida to race the Ironman Haines City 70.3 event as our first endurance event of 2017.

To keep us well fueled, healthy and happy, I have been keeping our house filled with carbohydrates. In addition to making sure that our fridge always has some type of cooked grain/rice/potato assortment in it, I've been making good use of my Run Fast Eat Slow cookbook as there are so many delicious recipes that are perfect for helping us meet our daily carb intake. Plus, we love carbs so it's not that difficult for me to get excited to make something new.

I tried out two new recipes from the cookbook and I think you will just love them. Of course, I had to make another loaf of the banana bread.

Enjoy!

(All recipes are from the cookbook. However, the ingredients listed are with my modifications.)





We love having muffins in our house - homemade, that is. I love that this recipe includes zucchini and carrots to bump up the nutritional value of each muffin. The chocolate chips and walnuts give it a nice texture (and yummy taste) and the muffins are not too dense - just moist enough to yum with every bite. 

Superhero muffinsPg. 42


INGREDIENTS

2 cups gluten free flour (or almond meal)
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated zucchini (about 1 zucchini)
1 cup grated carrots (about 2 carrots)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups (I sprayed the tin with non stick sprayed and ended up with 17 muffins instead of 12 as I filled each 3/4th full instead of to the brim).
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, walnuts and chocolate chips.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, zucchini, carrots, oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. The batter will be thick.
4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each about 3/4th full. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. About 25-30 minutes.




Let's get real. Pancakes are amazing. I can't imagine my life without pancakes. My dad loved pancakes so every time I eat one, I think of him.
Pancakes taste great after a hard or long workout but they are also amazingly good for brinner or for breakfast, on a recovery day. I love pancakes as they provide a great source of carbohydrates and a fluffy base to dress up with yogurt, syrup, butter, nut butter, berries and anything that your taste-buds desire.
Having pancakes pre-made is such a great feeling when you finish a long or hard workout and you know that homemade pancakes are ready for you and you don't have to spend 20+ minutes mixing together ingredients and flipping pancakes on a skillet.
These pancakes came out really fluffy and they offer a nice pumpkin taste that isn't too overpowering. This recipe made ~23 pancakes so I kept about 15 in the fridge and froze the rest. 

TEFF PUMPKIN PANCAKES
Pg. 44

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups teff flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp nutmeg (it called for pumpkin spice but I used nutmeg)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups milk (it also called for 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt but I left that out as I didn't have any - still turned out ok!)
2 tbsp sugar (It called for 2 tbsp honey but I used sugar instead)
(it called for currants or raisins but I left those out since I wanted to make these plain - more fun for dressing up later!)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the teff flour, baking powder, nutmeg/pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin, milk, (yogurt if using) and sugar (or honey). Pour over the dry mixture and stir until just combined. 
3. Fold in the currants/raisins if using.
4. Heat a stove-top griddle or skillet over medium-low heat (I used two skillets so that I could make more at the same time). Use oil for brushing the pan.
5. Ladle a heaping spoonful of the batter into the hot pain. Cook the pancakes on one side until the bottom starts to brown, about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Using a spatula, flip the pancakes over and cook on the other side until nicely browned and cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Continue with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with oil as needed.
(The book recommends to place the pancakes in the toaster to reheat from the freezer - great idea!) 





We are just loving this banana bread recipe - it's oh-so-good. I prefer my bananas on the yellow side but now, it makes me excited to see my bananas get brown spots as I have a recipe to use them for! 


For the recipe: banana bread. 
In this recent creation (picture above), I used walnuts and raisins and it was so good! 


2/16/17

Athlete Spotlight: Angela Bancroft - Family first but never give up your drive to tri




Name: Angela Bancroft

Age: 47

City/State: Paris, Maine

Primary sport: Triathlon

How many years in the sport: 11

What Trimarni services have you used: Nutrition consult.

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Describe your athletic background and how you discovered your current sport?


At the age of 8, I joined my first swim team and was instantly hooked on swimming and racing. I swam competitively through High School and in college at The University of Vermont. I also ran track and Cross-Country in High School. When my swimming career ended after I graduated at UVM, I ran to stay in shape. That evolved into racing short road races and marathons as well. In 1994 I raced my first marathon and qualified for and raced The Boston Marathon. I have raced 15 marathons since that time. In 2005, I was a young mother of 3 sons ( ages 6, 4 and 1) and my hunger for racing returned. My brother had entered a few triathlons and I decided I would give it a try as well. In the summer of 2006, I raced my first Olympic distance triathlon and had a blast! That was just the beginning.


What keeps you training and racing in your current sport?
I struggle to answer questions like this because I don't have a firm answer for myself. I love to race. I love to train. I am now a mother of three teenage boys, and while they are all bigger than I am now, I am still able to "keep up" with them if we go running, hiking, or skiing or swimming! I feel strong, I feel healthy and I have plenty of energy. Other than limited time, I continue to enjoy myself and my body is strong and healthy enough to keep going, so I really see no need to stop.


What do you do for work?

I am a Triathlon coach (I own TriMoxie Multisport Coaching) and I am raising my sons.

                                    

How does your work life affect training and how do you balance work and training?As my children have grown into High School athletes, our schedules can be extremely hectic. They have a many sporting activities and since we live in a rural area in Maine, most of their events are at least an hour from our home. It is very important to me that I am there for them at their games, races or band concerts! They are first on the priority list so there are plenty of times that my training takes a back seat. I plan ahead for that and I accept it. I work out of my own home so I am very lucky that I can fit in my workouts on my own schedule. The key is planning ahead and being flexible when changes need to occur.

Any tips/tricks as to how to balance work and training?

Planning ahead and flexibility. I find that early morning workouts are key during very busy times. If an hour or two of training is done before the day starts, you are ahead of the game and probably have more energy to tackle the rest of the day too.



Do you have kids?

I have 3 sons. They are 17, 15 and 12 years old.

What tips/tricks do you have for other athletes who struggle to balance training with family?
I feel the trick is to plan ahead, get up early before the house rises and also, allow flexibility and changes in the plan to occur as needed all in order to keep things well-running for the family. If you are scheduled to run for 60 minutes on a Tuesday but can really only fit in 40 minutes, that is OK! Forty is better than zero and those 20 minutes are not going to change things in the big picture. Keep it all in perspective.


How do you balance your training with your partner? Any tips or tricks for keeping your partner happy while you train to reach your personal goals?
I have been married to my husband (Mark) for 18 years. We met about 4 days before my first marathon and thus, being active and involved with competitive racing was something that was part of our lives since our first years together. Mark is 100% supportive of all my goals. We live a life of compromise for each other. That being said, I work very hard to do the bulk of my training hours during the work week so that our weekends are more family oriented. Since I work out of my house, I am able to do this. I work very hard but I also have tons of fun doing other activities on the weekends. It's all about balance for me and not letting one thing overwhelm the other. I am 100% present for my husband and family when I am not training and but during my workouts, that is my focus. Unless it's the final week before an Ironman, I admit to being  very self-focused!! :)

Do you have a recent race result, notable performance or lesson learned that you'd like to share?

In 2011, I raced Ironman Lake Placid (it was my 3rd Ironman at the time) and I had what I called, "the race of my life." Everything came together for me that day. I was 41 years old. I finished as the 2nd amateur woman and first in my age group. Six years later, racing my 8th Ironman in Mont Tremblant, I matched that day in Lake Placid. I was only 4 minutes off my time and I won my age group by the same margin (and qualified for Kona). The thrill of being in my 'late 40s', an age when people assume and often tell you that you will slow down. I was thrilled that I was still able to go as fast as I did in 2011 - this was incredibly empowering to me. It convinced me that I can continue to do anything I set my mind to, if I work hard enough. I can't stress that to people enough. If you set your mind to something and work hard, you can be successful.


What are your top tips for athletes, as it relates to staying happy, healthy and performing well?
After a lifetime involved with competitive sports, I have learned many things. If I had to narrow it down to five I would say this.
  1. I believe in maintaining balance in order to be happy. Allow yourself time for things that you love to do AND time with people you love outside of the sport.
  2. Set goals that are meaningful to YOU and nobody else. That will drive you day after day. Meaningful and realistic goals.
  3. Work hard and work consistently. If you are patient and follow a smart plan towards your goals, it will pay off. There will be many hard and bad days along the way when finding the greatness and successful outcomes that are within you. It's part of the process. Be patient and keep working.
  4. Make an effort to work on mental toughness and keeping a positive attitude while you are training. The body must be physically ready for the challenges you put it through but the mind must be fit and ready to have full success. On race day, I believe it is 95% a mental game.
  5. Be kind to yourself. Enjoy the journey and process of taking care of yourself through sport. It's a gift to have the ability to be active and engaged with life in this way. Embrace the challenges but if things don't go well, learn from it and move on to what's next.

 
How would you define athletic success as it relates to your personal journey?
My answer to this has changed over the years. Along the way, one definition of success for me as a triathlete was qualifying for the Ironman World Championships. I have now raced there four times and I've also placed in the top 10 AG in Kona two times. And of course, when I was younger, athletic success was achieving certain times in swimming and places at our Championships meets. However, my kids are now athletes. Now, I gauge success as an athlete in a different way. I strive to guide them through the challenges they are facing by sharing my similar experiences. I believe in showing by example with my own training and racing and talking them through the highs and lows of being an athlete. Now, a personal goal of mine is to be their role model and through example, show them that daily hard work and dedication to training despite challenges with time or logistics, will pay off. They are watching me as their mother and I feel success if I can help them through these years as they grow into adults.


What's your favorite post-race meal, drink or food?

I definitely do not have a go-to meal that I have every time. Chocolate milk often appeals to me and occasionally, a piece of pizza. After Ironman racing, I find it hard to eat for several hours.
What key races do you have planned in 2017?
I plan to race the Patriot Half Iron Distance and the White Mountain Half Iron Distance race. In August, I will race in an Adventure race with my brother as my partner. It is called the Casco-Bay Swim Run Challenge. The race is a total of 6 miles of open water ocean swimming and 16 miles of running across rocks around the islands of Casco Bay in Portland, Maine. We will be tethered together and must finish the race carrying and wearing everything we started with. It will be a new challenge for sure!

What are your athletic goals for the next 5 years?
At this point, my biggest goal is to stay fit and strong. I am not sure where racing will take me. My two oldest sons are currently in their Junior and Freshman years of high school and my youngest is in 7th grade. Over the next 5 years, I will be sending two of them to college!! Life is changing and evolving every year so I will take it day by day and see where it all takes me.


Anything else?
Thank you, Marni!!!! I reached out to Marni in 2006 for my very first sport nutrition consult. She was SO knowledgeable and helpful as I started my triathlon journey! Since that time, Marni has become a dear friend that I am lucky to see at races around the world! We have met up in Canada, Clearwater, FL, Lake Placid and Hawaii! Truly across the globe. I continue to learn from Marni and her husband, Karel, both of whom are incredible athletes and such amazing people. I am grateful to have her in my life.



 To follow Angela:
Blog: Anges Drive To Tri
   Facebook: TriMoxie Coaching
 Instagram: @asbancroft70




2/15/17

Eat To Thrive: Is your relationship with food/body affecting your athletic performance?



        


In our recent interview with the Intelligent Racer Podcast, I talked about my passion for helping athletes with nutrition. A lot of my nutrition counseling is helping athletes with the application of using food and sport nutrition properly in order to improve health and performance. But another aspect of my nutrition services is helping athletes overcome an unhealthy relationship with food and the body in order to improve athletic performance, health and quality of life. 

From my experience, by improving your relationship with your body, you can actually improve your relationship with food, which will enhance your athletic performance. When you begin to thank your body (instead of bashing it), respect your body (instead of starving or overexercising it) and appreciate your body (instead of wishing you looked differently), you begin to make better lifestyle choices that actually promote health and performance. It is through these choices that you can better understand how to best train and eat for your fitness and health needs.

It's unfortunate, but it's the truth, that many athletes do not feel comfortable in their own skin. They train and eat for the wrong reasons. Instead of working out for performance gains and to improve skills, to dial in fueling and hydration and to stretch the comfortable zone, athletes are working out to burn calories or to work off previously consumed "bad" food or to deserve reward food. While this strategy may work for an exerciser or fitness enthusiast without significant health risks, this approach can greatly compromise health and overall well-being when an athlete uses marathon running or endurance triathlon training alongside dieting (or restrictive eating/fueling), to lose weight or to change body composition.

Whereas sport should make you feel strong, confident and healthy, for select athletes, it does the opposite when an unhealthy relationship with food and the body is in place. Working out should never been seen as a punishment (or strategy) to burn calories or to fix the body. Food should be for enjoyment, fuel and nourishment, it should never give you guilt, frustration and fear.

Thanks to social media and magazines promoting unrealistic body images and bloggers offering unsafe and impractical/unsustainable dietary advice, many athletes are not feeling motivated to train for performance and health improvements, but instead, are dealing with the constant comparisons of idealized images of "an athlete's body" or whatever dietary strategies are promoted be fit, race ready and "healthy".

I was recently thinking back to an article I wrote for March 2015 issue of Triathlete Magazine, where I discussed the topic of achieving performance breakthroughs by paying attention to current eating behaviors and thoughts about the body. Making smart dietary choices will help you reach your athletic potential so it is important to recognize if your commitment to your racing and training goals is steering your relationship with food in an unhealthy direction.

In my Eat To Thrive article, I provide you with three red flag situations and how you should address them. Of course, if you feel like your relationship with food and the body is compromising your health, performance and/or quality of life, it is important to reach out to a Registered Dietitian for help. He/she can take away the guessing so that you can start living a productive and successful life where food is not the enemy and you learn to appreciate the goodness in your body.



                              To read the article: Eat To Thrive

2/14/17

Intelligent Racer Podcast - Listen to our first interview together!


For the first time ever, I am so thrilled to announce that Karel and I recently had our first interview together. We talk about our athletic backgrounds, our favorite race courses, a bit about our coaching and nutrition business and our best advice for athletes when wanting to experience improvements and excel on race day.

As the public speaker of our house, I'm usually the one speaking in front of others on behalf of Trimarni. When I was asked by Adam, who is a Trimarni athlete and host of Intelligent Racer Podcast, to be interviewed for this podcast, I knew that Karel needed to be part of this podcast with me as he has so much life, career and athletic experience to offer athletes. For those who know Karel, he is a great sarcastic/funny side to him but he is always upfront, honest, truthful and to the point with his advice. Plus, he is my business partner, training partner and life partner so it was only natural that he would join me on this podcast.

We met 11 years ago and I did my first endurance triathlon 11 years ago so it goes without saying that Karel has been with me for my entire endurance triathlon career and since 2012, we have shared many triathlon race accomplishments together.


I couldn't be more excited to share this 30-minute podcast with you for your listening education and entertainment. We hope that you enjoy the podcast and are able to have a few "ah ha" takeaways to help you with your individual nutrition and athletic journey. As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us via our contact form on our website. 

                                    

  • To listen to the podcast on the website: CLICK HERE
  • iTunes Link (be sure to subscribe for new episode updates): CLICK HERE
  • Facebook link (like this page for podcast updates): CLICK HERE
  • Twitter (be sure to follow for updates): CLICK HERE



Thank you Intelligent Racer podcast for this interview.
It was an honor and privilege to be on this podcast show and to share our story together.  

2/13/17

Weekend training - training hard & fueling smart



There's a lot of training that happens between Monday AM and Friday PM but most of my training pictures happen over the weekend so that is why I am having so much fun sharing my weekend workouts with you.

The weekend started on Saturday morning when we woke up around 6:30 am without an alarm (only a cat alarm) and it wasn't until 9am until we made it outside as we had a few things to get done on the computer first. I enjoyed two mega sized Trmarni pre-workout pancakes loaded with maple syrup, some peanut butter and homemade granola, alongside a side of Sigi strawberry yogurt with a cup of coffee w/ water (I'm a one small cup of coffee a day girl). Karel had oatmeal w/ fruit and yogurt and a homemade orange cranberry scone with his double shot espresso (Karel is European and loves his coffee - let's just leave it at that :)



It felt SO good to ride outside in only arm warmers, light gloves, a base layer shirt, my cycling jersey and cycling shorts. It was around 50 degrees when we started and it was so nice to be outside without tons of layers on.

                                             

Karel and I picked the double bakery ride route for our 4 hour ride and I was really looking forward to one of my fav routes that includes a lot of climbing (about 5200 feet). Here's the route starting from Furman (we rode from our house which is about 2 miles from Furman).

Double bakery ride

We had some nice tailwind heading to Flat Rock and we made great time heading up the watershed and into NC. Of course, the wind hit hard on our way back home but I was feeling very strong. So strong that Karel kept telling me how great I was riding throughout the entire ride as I was able to stay on his wheel for the entire 30+ minute climb up the Watershed and on every climb for our entire ride. It wasn't easy for me but I refused to get dropped today. I only got dropped 3 times on downhills (on three sharp turn downhills) so this was certainly a ride to remember for me.



I kept myself fueled with 3 bottles of my Infinit Trimarni base fuel (2 scoops per bottle) + 1 Luna peppermint bar. If you know me, I don't like to eat solid food when I race long distance triathlons as I prefer only liquids but as I progress with my cycling fitness, I am finding myself feeling more comfortable training my gut to take in a little solid food here and there. Plus the peppermint bar is super tasty. I also tried out the three new flavors of Clif bloks that Clif Bar sent me, which included Ginger Ale, Salted Watermelon and Spearmint. More on these new flavors and my thoughts about them in a future blog post.




As I mentioned, I felt extremely strong and I have been intentionally increasing my carbohydrates in my diet to support this added volume. I never ever go into a workout without eating and I never neglect my post workout nutrition (which is either a recovery whey protein drink w/ milk or a real food meal). I am putting in a lot of consistent work and I really believe that proper fueling and daily eating can keep the body in good health and I have been using food and sport nutrition products (sport drinks) for fuel and for health for many, many years. I can't believe that this will be my 11th year of endurance racing and as crazy as it sounds, I feel stronger than ever before. I still remember my first long ride with Karel about 11 years ago, oh boy, it was SLooooooow. Thank goodness I never gave up during all those times that I wanted to give up because I was frustrated with my slow speed and fears of riding my bike on the open road (especially on hills).



After the 4 hour bike, which was extremely fast for us in our Gville terrain (18 mph!!), it was time for a quick transition run. Karel and I didn't run together off the bike but we both ran outside. We live on the bottom of a hill so I walked the 1/4 mile up to the top of our neighborhood and then ran on semi flat roads (the flattest that I could find where we live).

                                                       

20 minutes later I was back home and ready to enjoy a nice cold glass of OJ to bring back my appetite after the long workout. Karel made a recovery drink w/ yogurt, vegan protein powder (that we had, I was trying it out for some vegan athletes of mine), milk and fruit that we shared before it was time to clean up and enjoy a real food meal.



Karel found ourselves rather busy during the afternoon and before we knew it, it was time for run #2 of the day. We don't always do two runs on Saturday but it does happen once or twice a month. My legs were tired (as to be expected) but with good afternoon fueling (small meals of carbs and protein every 2 hours and adequate water), I found myself with energy for a 30-60 minute afternoon run around 5pm.

                                             

Karel ran outside for his run (he ran 55 minutes) and I stayed home and ran on our treadmill. I've learned to be mindful of my body when it comes to run workouts and I have to be careful of all the outdoor pounding with all my previous back/hip issues (thankfully, I haven't had any setbacks in the past 3.5 years). Since our treadmill has a little shock absorbing to it, I do about 70% of my running on the treadmill and I believe it's helped me out a lot over the past year as I've also gained more confidence with my running because I can now run a lot more frequently with better form.

I ended up running for 40 minutes (including a 5 min walk to warm-up). Of course, I warmed up with a bit of mobility work before the run to ensure I didn't go into the run with any tight spots.

                               

Finally, it was time for dinner! Karel made us pasta w/ homemade veggie packed tomato sauce while I took Campy for a nice long walk. Not to worry about Campy while we are away for our longer training sessions as my mom likes to walk over from her house (1 mile away) and steal Campy from our house and she takes him to her house (spoiled doggy!). And Campy has lots of furry friends in her neighborhood!

It was a relaxing evening for us and by 9:30pm, it was lights out.

We woke up to even warmer temps on Sunday morning but it took us a few hours before we made it outside as we had a few things to get done on the computer before our morning run.

To ensure that we could recover from the weekend training (and previous 5 days of training), we told ourselves that we would run for no more than 75 minutes today (60 min minimum). Instead of adding on extra run mileage on very tired legs, we spent extra time with mobility work in the morning (about 20 minutes) before our run. While we didn't leave together, we somehow met up just a mile down the road and Karel wanted to show me some of the Furman running trails that I haven't yet been on.



Well, surprisingly, with tired legs, I felt light on my feet and I was able to run with Karel. While he wasn't running super fast, I was still really excited to be running with Karel. This is a huge deal for me as my confidence for running has never been super high but I'm putting this run in the memory bank for St. George in May (I may pull it out early at Haines City in April). The trails were awesome and it felt so good to not pound the pavement for our entire run. About 70 minutes or so later, we arrived back home. And to conclude the weekend of training, a refreshing glass of tart cherry juice and a cold glass of milk with chocolate Clif Recovery protein powder (Soooo good).

                               

Then, it was time to EAT!!



Karel made a czech inspired dish of spinach and onions stuffed inside a crepe (all from skratch) and it was amazing.
                                            

We ate outside while enjoying the beautiful weather but the relaxing was short lived as Karel spent the next 5+ hours installing electronic shifting on an athlete's bike and I had some work to do on the computer, followed by hanging out with my mom for a little bit at our house and then I walked my mom back home with Campy and then I did a big grocery shop to get food for our meals for a big week of training.

Well, there you have it.

Lots of training. Lots of eating. Lots of sleeping.

I'm incredibly grateful to my body for what it allows me to do and I feel I owe it smart training, well planned and organized eating and fueling and consistent restful sleep. I never ever take a workout for granted. Is it race season yet???