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Showing posts from October 18, 2020

How to build your daily diet

An optimal athlete diet is made of many inter-related parts that are constantly moving - all in an effort to support your training. In other words, every meal and snack that you consume during the day is an essential part of your training plan. Many athletes fail to construct the diet in a way that supports the demands of training and supports health. There’s no value in putting all your effort and energy into your training if you lack a solid foundation of nutritious eating. As the saying goes, you can’t out-exercise a poorly planned diet. Your diet is the foundation in which your body can function optimally in life and during your workouts.  Just like a training plan, your diet requires nutrition modifications throughout a training season. There will be many times throughout the year when you need to build from your “normal” style of eating. This increase in calories, carbohydrates and more energy-dense foods allows you to support the more rigorous times of training (higher volume

Responsible indulging - can it be done?

  What's your favorite comfort food? My favorite are pancakes. My dad loved pancakes and I think of him every time I make a homemade batch. I also LOOOVE any type of warm bread - banana bread, zucchini bread, cinnamon rolls.....yum! There's nothing wrong with loving comfort food. A comfort food is something that makes you feel good - it brings you comfort. Comfort foods have a strong psychological link - reducing loneliness, improving mood and possibly connecting you with childhood memories. Interestingly, comfort foods aren't connected only to emotions. For many, comfort foods are consumed because you feel you deserve a treat. Or, perhaps it's because you survived a long day or accomplished a physical feat. Maybe it's because you are celebrating a special occasion or having fun with friends. And sometimes comfort foods are turned to out of habit - without any rhyme or reason.   Sadly, comfort foods don't always bring positive emotions - sometimes they bring gre

Facing your food fears

  Have you recently taken healthy eating to the extreme? Have you rid your diet of all processed or non organic food? Has your fear of sugar reached a new level of obsession? Do you put carrots, bananas and raisins in the same "off limit" food list as candy, ice cream and cookies?  Food restriction is a common disordered eating symptom. This avoidance behavior involves setting rigid rules that tell you which foods are "allowed" in your diet and what foods are "off limit."  While calorically-dense foods are the most commonly avoided, fear foods vary from person to person and they may even vary depending on the day. Fear foods are foods that you may feel anxious or uncomfortable eating - thus the reason why they are feared. The fear may come from thoughts of how this food may affect your weight or body composition, how this food may affect how you feel about your body or any past negative experiences from a food. With no underlying medical, ethical or religi

Training on empty

Do you intentionally underfuel during workouts and/or on race day?  Intentional calorie/carb/fluid/sodium deprivation is not uncommon. As a Board Certified Sport Dietitian, I often work with athletes who struggle with their relationship with food and the body. There's a fear of consuming calories around/during workouts and often train and race with the mindset of "how low can I go??" In other words, the athlete tries to complete a given workout or event with the least amount of calories/carbs possible. Although many athletes learn the hard way through a performance or health decline, it's a wonderful "ah ha" moment when an athlete experiences what a body can do when it is well fueled.  For many athletes, the desire to lose weight and/or change body composition or to become more "metabolically" efficient are the primary motives for underfueling. Intentional insufficient fueling is often the result of a desire to lose weight (or to avoid gaining weig