Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Nursing Sports Nutritionist's Race Report: Twin Lakes Triathlon

This past Sunday, I competed in the Twin Lakes Triathlon, which I lovingly called a "sprintlympic" distance: 700m swim, 14 mile bike, 4.5 mile run. I considered this a training race since I had not competed in a triathlon since the exact same day 4 years earlier. Therefore, I needed a race to work out the kinks and see how my body would handle triathlons after having 2 babies (currently 2.5 y/o and 8 months). So here is what went down...

The Day Before
When counseling athletes, I tell them to stick to foods they know and tolerate the day before a race. Don't eat anything new or unknown. Unfortunately, I had to break that rule, as I had to be at a wedding the day before the race. However, I knew this going in as I chose to compete in the race after I had the wedding on the calendar. So, I ate and hydrated well leading up to the wedding dinner. The dinner itself wasn't too bad: chicken, mushroom cap, risotto, roasted potatoes, beans, salad and rolls (my husband and I got two different entrees and split them). Lots of water all day and especially during the wedding and reception. I got to bed around 10:45pm - not bad, all things considered.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why I Won't Belittle My Athletes as Motivation

This morning - for the third week in a row - I shared the lap pool with one of the local swim
teams. And for the third week in a row, I watched one of the coaches criticize, belittle and embarrass swimmers in an effort to get them to "do better". Today, a young swimmer who I would estimate was around 8 years old teared up after the encounter with the coach. Now, I am not a team coach, a personal trainer or a fitness class teacher. As a sports dietitian, I am a different type of coach - a food coach.  But, like any other type of coach, it is my job to motivate my athletes to make changes that will improve their performance. You might disagree with me, but one thing I have not done and will never do is belittle or - even worse - swear at my athletes. These practices have unfortunately become expected in some settings. Other coaches and trainers often ignore this type of treatment of athletes, believing that this is what needs to be done to make athletes "the best". Whether the athlete is 6 or 60 years old, I disagree. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pre-workout Eating: Don't do what I did

Because I work professionally as a sports dietitian, I consider myself pretty good at workout fueling. So good that sometimes I forgot to use my head which results in really bad workout fueling. That is exactly what happened this morning. To benefit all of you, I want to share my mistake. I will tell you what happened first and then explain why it happened along with what I should have done differently...the same process I use with my clients.

What happened
Wednesday morning is my spin class morning. Spin is at 8:15am. My kids are generally up early (6am-ish). Typically my husband is up with my daughter at 6am, I get up to feed my son around 6:30am and the morning progresses from there. This morning was different in that I got up with my daughter at 6am and my son slept in, which meant I woke him up at around 7am. I ate breakfast with my daughter at 6:15am before tending to my son. I left the house around 7:45am for class.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kitchen Clean-up: 4 foods to toss in the garbage today

A few weeks ago, I posted about spring cleaning the pantry. Building off of that theme, I sometimes am asked if there are any foods that shouldn't even be regularly brought into the house. While I am a fan of moderation and treating oneself on occasion, there are some foods better left un-stocked and only purchased in small quantities when "treat time" arrives. Here are just a few of those foods...

1. Bulk bags of chips or cheetos
Chips, cheetos and other snack-type foods should not be stocked in large quantities. It is too easy to grab a handful here - a handful there - and suddenly half of the bag is gone. Instead, purchase the individual-sized bags only on occasion. This makes the snack portion-controlled. When the bag is gone, the treat is over. Because - lets face it - there really isn't anything "healthy" to be found in these snacks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

3 Nutrition Practices I Wish Would Disappear

As a sports dietitian, I spend a good amount of time dispelling myths created by the media, movie stars or the like. Whether it is some supplement that promises toned abs and gigantic muscles or some method of eating that is SURE to result in 20 pounds of weight loss in a week, the media is never short of ways to play to the emotions of those desperate for a solution. But of all of the practices I despise, hare are a few that top the list.

1. Detoxing
By far the one of the most irritating practices that continues to be encouraged is detoxing. By detoxing, I mean using a product (shakes, pills, powders, etc.) or elixir (think lemon juice and chili powder, for example) to "clean out" the gut from months or even years of food byproduct build-up or toxins spread throughout the body. This entire practice is based on a fallacy, as digestive by-product does not build up in the gut, so there is no need to clean out anything. Plus, the body rids itself of toxins very well on its own using the liver without the need for additional help. What most of these products do is irritate the lining of the intestines, resulting in diarrhea...which makes the user feel like he/she has achieved something. Want to detox? Regularly focus on eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water to keep the body and intestines working properly - no products required.