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Showing posts from December 15, 2013

The need for swimming speed - three key swim workouts

I couldn't believe my eyes on Friday morning when Karel joined me for part of my main set at the Brooks YMCA. For the past two months he has been swimming at UNF with a Master team that emphasizes form before distance. Karel kept telling me how much more he was enjoying swimming and that he was getting faster without significantly working any harder. Also, no shoulder pain and a true enjoyment for being in the water. Yes, all coming from my bike-loving hubby who just learned how to swim in June 2012. There are so many health benefits to swimming. Plus, it' so much fun to pretend you are a fish.  I think swimming is a fantastic exercise of choice for almost anyone because it is non weight bearing but I often see triathletes swimming and swimming and swimming - focusing on the yards or time and not on what is happening within those laps. There's a constant need for speed but triathletes have trouble training smart sometimes. I see/hear it all the time.... "I h

Minty Chocolate Trail Mix Bark with coconut

As a dietitian, there are many food and lifestyle related topics to discuss when it comes to heart health. Last year, when I was asked by News4Jax to talk about the health benefits of chocolate and wine, I thought to myself, " this will be one yummy segment!"   You can watch the segment  HERE: EAT DRINK AND BE MERRY As we all know from the media and research, dark chocolate packs a great heart-healthy punch. Although bitter to many, up to 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day (I recommend >60% cacao) alongside a balanced heart healthy diet is the way to go. Whether it is due to the nutrient compound found in chocolate or just the way it makes most people feel inside after taking one bite, chocolate alone has been shown to improve cardiovascular health (lowering LDL cholesterol and blood pressure), reduce inflammation, control appetite (ex. overeating/excessive snacking), increase insulin sensitivity, reduce blood clot risk by improving blood flow and improve

Plates not Pills - this blog will tell you why

Recently there has been more and more talk about eating our medicine instead of relying on pills (or believing in the hype) for an additional intake of vitamins and minerals to improve overall health. I agree that we should not be spending money  on over the counter supplements as a first response to wanting to be healthy especially if you have access to a variety of real food options to boost your immune system. Supplements are designed to supplement what you can not get in your diet and there are cases (ex. folic acid for pregnant women, B-vitamins for vegans, etc.) when a single vitamin or mineral supplement may be needed. Although I don't feel that athletes need supplements like antioxidants and anti-inflammatories to boost performance there are some supplements (ex. BCAAs, protein powders) that may assist in proper functioning of the body during times of extreme intentional training stress. I love the concept of plates not pills because it emphasizes the opportunity f

Fixie and Food for a FUN weekend

    Leave it to Karel to "fix" himself another bike. Only this one doesn't have brakes and is fixed in one gear.   I don't know how these guys do it but on Saturday a handful of guys (and one female) lined up for the last fixie Time Trial of the year.   20 minutes - all out for Karel. He said his legs haven't hurt this bad in a long time....not since racing bikes.  As a triathlete, he has to conserve his effort for if he smashes the bike then he won't have the gas in the tank for the run. I'm sure he enjoyed his leg-burning "race" alongside joining the group ride for a total of 57 miles on a fixie with his legs moving non-stop the entire time.     For my workout, I warmed up with a few guys and Karel for an hour and then did my own thing. Main set: 6 x 5 min Z4 watts w/ 2 min EZ spin. 10 min EZ spin 5 x 1min on/1 min off (high cadence spin-ups on tired legs) 10 min EZ spin 5 x 1 min single leg drills (1 mi