Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blogging Elsewhere (for today!)

Check out this blog post on real food for athletes I wrote for my amazing and talented preceptor, Penny Wilson! She is the registered dietitian at Ironman Sports Medicine Institute at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston. She is also certified specialist in sport dietetics and works with endurance athletes to get their nutrition dialed in and perfected so they can perform their best. I have learned SO much from working with her. Thanks Penny!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Snack Attack!

(Yummy, fast, easy, portable, whole food snack! Yeah Larabar!)

Yesterday I had a 12-mile training run. Sometimes on the day after long runs I am hungry, like all day long. Today is that kind of day. This morning I planned on that and packed a morning snack, apple and peanut butter. I also packed a yummy lunch, leftover couscous salad with veggies and garbanzo beans. I also threw in some grapes and snap peas to munch on in the afternoon. Yum! Around 10:30 I am ready for my apple and peanut butter and I reach for my lunch sack and…I forgot my lunch! So much for all my planning…

I’m a snacker. I always have been. Jon tells me that I need to carry a bag of nuts with me at all times. I get hungry between meals and if I don’t eat something I get really hungry. Then when it comes time to eat, I binge. Everyone does this, and the best way to avoid it is to snack. When we make healthy snack choices, it’s easy to make a wise decision at mealtime about what to eat and how much. When you go into a meal feeling super duper hungry because you haven’t eaten in 6 or 7 hours, you are likely to eat WAY too much. I have been seeing a lot of clients in my sports nutrition rotation that are interested in weight loss. The first thing that they do, before talking to a dietitian, is cut calories by cutting out snacks. Bad idea. First of all, when you are exercising more, you need a steady stream of calories throughout the day to balance your blood sugar and to give you fuel for your workouts. Second of all, everything I just mentioned.

(Watch out. It's easy to eat the whole bag of trail mix. Portion out 1/4-1/2 cup before you start munching!)

Not sure what to snack on? Here is a list of healthy “real food” snacks between 100-200 calories to get you through your day full of energy! Carry one with you in car, bag, or purse for when hunger strikes.

Snack ideas

  • 1 medium apple and 1 oz cheddar cheese

  • ½ banana and 1 tablespoon peanut butter

  • 6oz, 2% Greek yogurt and 1 cup strawberries

  • 1 brown rice cake and ¼ avocado

  • ¼ cup 2% cottage cheese and 1 cup diced cantaloupe

  • 1 slice of deli turkey, one slice Ezekiel whole grain toast, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 1 string cheese and 1 Wasa cracker

  • ¼ cup trail mix

  • 1 hard boiled egg and 14 baby carrots

  • 1 corn tortilla, 1 oz pepper jack cheese, and 2 tablespoons salsa

  • ½ whole wheat English muffin, 1 ounce part skim mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons marinara sauce

  • 3 celery stalks and ¼ cup hummus

  • 10 whole wheat pretzel sticks and 2 tablespoons low fat garden vegetable cream cheese

  • 2 whole wheat graham crackers and 1 cup of applesauce

  • Small bowl of miso soup with tofu and seaweed

  • 1 oz smoked salmon, 1oz goat cheese and 2 Ak Mak crackers

  • 1 stalk of “ants on a log” celery with peanut butter and raisins
  • 1/2 cup pistachios with the shells on
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds in 4 tablespoons milk of your choice with a couple drops of stevia
What did I end up eating today? 1/2 a Lara bar that was in my bag (thank god), and a so so sandwich from Au Bon Pain. What is your favorite healthy snack?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Real Food Cheater

Grocery Gal does Chocolate milk?!  
I am currently in my sports nutrition rotation at UH athletics.  I am super duper lucky because there are only 13 full time collegiate sports dietitians and I get to work with one of them!  I was really excited to work with athletes because we didn’t have a sports nutrition class at Bastyr.  It turns out, athletes are a wonderful group to work with.  They are super motivated and pretty much do anything you tell them to.  Complete opposite of working with weight loss or diabetes.  I am learning so much from this rotation for the student athletes AND for myself! Since I am training for the women’s ½ marathon in Austin, all this info is going to come in handy in the next few weeks for me to get me through my long training runs.  I always knew that if you eat poorly it would impact your performance, but I never realized how important WHEN and WHAT you eat are to your ability to gain muscle and endurance! 

Another example of a great post workout snack, fresh mango with cottage cheese.
Here is a little run down of some of the cool stuff I have learned so far… While you are working out you are in “break down” mode, your body is breaking down glycogen (stored carbohydrates) and muscle protein to use for energy.  When you finish, you switch into “building mode”, and for the next 30 minutes your muscles are like sponges, ready to soak up nutrients so they can start the rebuilding process.  This is called the “anabolic window”.  It’s best to get about 10-20 grams of protein and 30-60 grams of carbs in right away after your workout!  This was news to me.

The dietitian at UH supplies fresh fruit and chocolate milk for the athletes after their workouts.  It is the perfect recovery fuel!  Chocolate milk has an ideal balance of protein, quickly digesting carbohydrates, and electrolytes for a post a work drink.  Add a piece of fruit and you have met your carb quota to begin your recovery fueling…genius! Additionally, chocolate milk helps contribute to rehydration post workout. 

Here is what I was doing before on my running days:

5:45 am- stumble out of bed and into my running shoes.  Slam water for the next 15 minutes.

6:00- run for up to 2 hours, drinking water all the while. (I bought a Nathan hydration belt and I love it!)

Upon returning from my run I would drink more water and shower.  I would usually eat oatmeal or something within the next 2 hours.  (Not that hungry after running in 90 degree heat.)

Here is my better more fantastic nutrition plan:

5:45 am- stumble out of bed and into my running shoes.  Sip water and have a small piece of fruit for pre run energy!

6:00- run for up to 2 hours, drinking water all the while.  If I am running longer than 6 miles, I have options, fill 2 bottles on my hydration belt with double diluted Vega sport and have some fruit snacks at about mile 6.  OR go just water and have 3 cliff shot blocks or a shot gel.

Return from run and have a shot of espresso and chocolate milk over ice and a handful of crackers or a piece of fruit immediately!  Now shower and dink around for a while, then breakfast when I am ready, within about 2 hours.
Fueling during the run

Nutrition is just as important as what you are actually doing for your workout.  If you don’t eat right, all the effort that you put into training can be lost because your muscles and liver can’t properly restore.   I realize that “fruit snacks”,  “chocolate milk” and “energy gels” aren’t “real food” but your body needs quick digesting carbs after and during your workout so as long as you are using these foods properly (only after or during working out and not while you are sitting around on your tush watching Biggest Loser, you’ll be just fine!)

Anyone else have a “fueling plan?” I’d LOVE to hear what works for you! 

Read more about Sports Nutrition at: