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Showing posts from December 20, 2015

Permission to eat

Earlier this week, we received a box of homemade Gingerbread cookies from Karel's dad. We are still waiting for another box from Karel's mom. Every cookie was handmade, individually designed and then sewed into the paper before being shipped from Znojmo, Czech Republic to Greenville, SC. With every bite, I yum. I can taste the ginger and just a subtle hint of sweetness from the icing. After one cookie, I feel great.  With so many diet fads and "lifestyle" ways of eating, we, as a society, have learned to see food as good or bad. Depending on the latest research study, expert or top media post, it's easy to have a one-sided view on "healthy" food and everything else is given a reason to avoid it.  I can tell you that these gingerbread cookies would not taste as good in May, or February, as they do in December. Because these cookies are tied to the holidays and for Karel, they bring back a lot of memories. Furthermore, eating one cookie feels grea

Minty Chocolate Trail Mix "cookies"

 Dark chocolate packs a great heart-healthy punch and is a great cure for a sweet craving. Although it may taste bitter to many, up to 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate a day (> 60% cacao) can be a great addition to a heart healthy diet. 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 help 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 stress and mood.  Now that's a great list of reasons for you to enjoy dark chocolate!  Here are a few ways to get creative with chocolate: *Add 1 tbsp cacao powder to smoothie, oatmeal or pancake/waffle combinations *Enjoy an individually wrapped or piece of dark chocolate within 30 min after finishing a meal, combined with a few

Athletes, please don't diet.

A few things are going to happen in the next few months. In a few weeks, you will see and hear a lot of people trying to kick-start a new way of "healthy" eating in order to lose weight. People will say they are ready to get "back on track" and may say other things like "I'm going to be so good" "I'm so tired of being fat" "I ate so bad over the holidays" "I need to get beach body ready." Sometimes, people will talk about making a lifestyle change for a health improvement. In a few months, I can assure you that most of these people will find it difficult to maintain their "healthy" eating plan if the plan was not realistic, flexible or non-extreme.  But if the plan was extreme and strict, they will likely say "I couldn't follow it any longer," feeling like a failure (crazy how diet plans make you feel like that) and move on to the next diet plan. But for you, the athlete, you don't