Wednesday, March 10, 2010

don't bike on empty

Think biking on an empty stomach will improve your performance. Think again! Just as you would put fuel in your car before a road trip, you

should put fuel in your body before a race or even intense training. Our bodies need adequate fueling for the following reasons: to prevent

low blood sugar which can cause light headedness, fatigue, and blurred vision; fuel your muscles with carbohydrate as well as feeding your brain;

and help settle your stomach by absorbing gastric juices and warding off hunger.

You can play around with what pre-exercising snack works best for you. Each person reacts differently to different foods. Cyclists tend to have less gastro-intestinal problems because they maintain a more stable position than runners who jostle their intestines. Your best bet is to start with something simple and familiar to snack on along

with some type of liquid. Work your way up to 200-300 calories within the hour of your event/training.

Choose a snack that is primarily carbohydrate because it becomes more readily available for use by your muscles. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a snack/meal. Anything eaten within an hour might give you a jolt of energy and ward of hunger but it doesn't replenish your glycogen stores. If you are exercising for less than an hour pick a high carb, low fat choice, but if you are going to be training hard for over 60 minutes a little protein and fat will sustain your energy. Be careful when consuming soft drinks, jelly beans, gels or other sports drinks because the quick sugar may revert to low blood sugar and the symptoms that result. Be sure to allow for digestion time...more for higher fat foods and more for intense exercise. Most of all drink adequate fluids to keep you well hydrated.

Still not sure what to choose....let me give you a few examples.

Pre-morning workout - two slices of toast with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and banana or1 cup oatmeal with dried cranberries, honey, and chopped pecans

Pre-afternoon workout- homemade sports drink (see recipe below) and bowl of cheerios with lowfat milk

Homemade Sports Drink ( makes 1 quart)

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup of hot water

1/4 cup of orange juice plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice

31/2 cups of cold water

Be creative with different juices to keep things interesting!

200 total calories

about 50-70 calories per 8 ounce serving (comparable to

most sports drinks)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

National Nutrition Month

Every year, March is dedicated as National Nutrition Month. National Nutrition month is a national campaign that is designed to not only promote eating and exercising habits but also to increase awareness to the public and media about ADA (American Dietetic Association) as a reliable source of food and nutrition information. This year's campaign is titled "Nutrition from the Ground Up." ADA has encouraged dietitians to write what that slogan means to them. Well, for me, nutrition from the ground up means "filling our plates" with the basics-whole natural food from the earth and then as needed or if needed adding commercially prepared foods. When devising a meal plan for my clients i encourage as much consumption from natural foods as possible. Listed below are five steps that will help you eat healthfully.

1. When it comes to fruits and vegetables fresh is best but frozen and canned are suitable options too! Aim to consume 2 cups of fruit a day! Shoot for at least 2-3 cups of vegetables a day!

2. Whole grains, whole wheat pasta, brown rice are all excellent sources of the whole grains we need to promote growth and well being.

3. Don't forget dairy! Two to three servings of Low fat milk, low fat cheese or low fat yogurt will ensure you are getting the calcium and vitamin d that you need.

4. Choose 5-6 ounces of lean meat, chicken, fish, beans per day to help you to build strong muscles.

5. Fat found in nuts and oils are also essential to a balanced diet just watch your portion size since they are calorie dense.

Be sure to include physical activity into your schedule! Best of luck on building your health "from the ground up."

See for more information.