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Work.It.Out & Silence the Stomach

11 Jun

(pics to be inserted when I’m reunited with my Mac tonight)

I mentioned I’d write a quick post (and this could be very lengthy because underneath the exterior I’m the biology nerd-girl at heart) about what to eat before you exercise.

Caveat #1: if you’re eating a balanced diet throughout the day you really shouldn’t need to “fuel up” before a work-out. Fuel for exercise doesn’t come from food consumed immediately before your workout. Your body use glycogen stores – a.k.a. the carbs and fat stored in your muscles, liver and fat cells – while working out. The overall storage will provide enough to fuel you through 1-2 hours of very intense exercise or 3-4 hours of moderate exercise.

Caveat #2: DRINK WATER! A hydrated body is a happy body and one that will perform optimally for you.

There are many individual factors at play – your diet is the biggest one. I generally eat 300-400 calorie mini-meals throughout the day and have found through much trial and error that foods with high glycemic values are my optimal pre-workout foods (read fast digesting, low-fat). But I cut that number in half, eating no more than 150-200 calories before working out. Again, this will vary based on your body weight, fitness goals and the intensity of your workout. My advice is to start small when discovering what works best for you.

Choose simple, as close to the whole-food source items that your body can process quickly and keep your stomach quieted while you engage in your fitness activity. For me, Lara bars are a convenient (raw) food bar with 3-4 ingredients that process simply and keep me happy while pushing through exercise(s).
A few more good examples:

    • Fruit; Higher-glycemic fruits include things like pineapple, apricots, banana, mango, and watermelon
    • Tomato or vegetable juice
    • Pretzels or bagels – again, watch the serving size
    • Food bars (again, I recommend Lara – keep it close to a whole-food source; Clif isn’t too bad – just keep an eye on sugar and calorie content)
    • Hummus & veggies
    • High quality dark chocolate 🙂
    • A small smoothie (low-fat yogurt and fruit based – preferably made by you)

What are “raw foods”? A whole other post, dears.

Just to note, I’m not a dietitian, simply someone who has more than a few years of experience in food + fitness. If you want an fantastic read on sports nutrition, please see the work of the wonderful Nancy Clark. Her book, Sports Nutrition Guidebook (Fourth Edition), is one of my fundamental nutrition reads for active people or anyone who wants to be more active (that covers everyone, right??).

What do you eat before working out? Any other suggestions or recommendations are welcome as comments.

HAPPY FRIDAY (finally)!

P.S. Happy birthday to my momma! xo



8 Jun

It’s been a week. And it’s only Tuesday. I have a few items to get to for this week. Promise not to forget! I’m trying to tweak the look of the site and determine the smartest way to integrate the social media forms available. I’m learning, but it’s a bigger task than I anticipated!

Posting a few RealRyder videos (taking the Flip to classes today).

TRX – let’s have a chat. I want to train with you.

Savor – Parts II & III.

Eating – what to do before you do what you do (here’s today’s snack for me).

"C’mon Baby Light My Fire"

4 Jun

In the kitchen, that is….

I promise to get to the review of Savor tonight.


I’m cheating on the first entry of the day with a re-post of sorts.

This meal makes both the man and woman happy in our house, which isn’t always easy. I’d be content without eating meat at most meals; he can’t imagine a meal that doesn’t have something that once moo-ed, oinked or clucked (insert other animal noises here) as the foundation for the meal. I respect his vantage point on this as we both were raised in the Midwest, where meat is the centerpiece of the meal. That doesn’t mean it has to always be this way… especially now that we’re living in SoCal with a surplus of health-crazed foodies. I say that with the utmost love, SoCal-ers.

Cue picture and recipe! (courtesy of Women’s Health)

Asian Salad with Vietnamese Pork, Maureen Callahan, R.D.

This healthy salad is heavy on the B vitamins (biotin, thiamin, niacin, and riboflavin)

    • 1 (12 oz) pork tenderloin
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 3 Tbsp lime juice
    • 3 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
    • 6 c shredded coleslaw mix
    • 1 1/4 c thinly sliced scallions
    • 3/4 c chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/2 c lightly salted chopped peanuts
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place pork on a foil-lined baking sheet; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and cook until thermometer registers 160°F, 20 to 24 minutes. Let meat rest for 10 minutes. Cut meat crosswise into four sections and then shred.
  3. Place lime juice, sugar, and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap and microwave on high until sugar melts, 20 to 30 seconds. Let cool. Stir in fish sauce and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  4. In a large bowl, gently toss coleslaw mix, scallions, and cilantro. Pour lime mixture over veggies, add pork, and toss gently. Divide evenly into four salad bowls. Top salad with nuts before serving.

The “damage” per serving: 300 calories, 13 g fat (2.8 g saturated), 581 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 25 g protein 

I like this recipe because the meat content isn’t the main attraction, even though it’s present. If you don’t like meat substitute tofu or try it without meat. I have not yet tried it, but I think a more hearty white fish, such as tilapia, could stand up well with the other ingredients. The flavors, such as fish sauce (please don’t smell it, just add it to your sauces and eat) cilantro and lime juice shine more than the meat for me. Watch the salt content in the recipe… it can be a little high. And if you like heat throw in a diced jalapeno. Bonus – this recipe takes under an hour from start to finish.

Orange You Gorgeous! A Review of "Savor"

2 Jun

The cover of  Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Lilian W. Y. Cheung’s Savor is beautiful, simple: 

I read through Savor rather quickly, but am planning to expand on this post about mindful eating and how this book can help. It provides quick, simple meditations and a plan to ease you into mindfulness regarding dietary behaviors. I read a post earlier today on another site that made me realize there’s a little more that needs to be explained when it comes to the concepts of mindful eating and immediately thought “ahh…’Savor‘ must be shared!” – and yes, I think in italics (jokes, jokes).

We spend billions… upwards of $50 BILLION a year on diet/obesity related products and services. Imagine how much could be saved – time, money, health, heartaches – if everyone invested a little more in the up-front (ahem, prevention) aspects.

Más to come…

Food Rules

26 Mar

Food is a very personal choice embedded within our interpersonal relationships and our environment. Take a minute to think about your own “food rules” and how they are impacted by:

– People or groups you interact with (co-workers, certain friends)
– Occasions (family gatherings, dinner out with friends)
– Travel (potentially more options but less control over preparation)
– Marketing (think about navigating the grocery store!)

Reading and learning more on the topic of food choice (or lack thereof) makes it difficult it is to ignore the number of factors beyond our control when we make our food rules – such as marketing, the environment and people or groups. Below is a quick intro to two people advocating for personal and environmental changes to “food rules”.

Micheal Pollan: offers great primers through his books and articles. He offers insight into the way and “whys” of how we eat, quietly provoking us to be more conscientious in our selections. Start with an article, perhaps move onto “Omnivore’s Dilemma” if you’re intrigued.

Bottom line: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” Beautifully simple.

Jamie Oliver: Celebrity chef with a heart, using his fame to make change. Jamie is trying to change the way we feed our children and ourselves. He had successes in England changing school lunches and is bringing his passion for food and health to the U.S., specifically Huntington, West Virginia. Check the series premier tonight on ABC or view online with limited commercials.

Bottom line: Invest in real strategies with real money to re-educate and empower people to make healthy choices. Do it for yourself first, then move onto your community.

My personal food rules:
– Not hungry? Don’t eat. Taste not worth the calories? Don’t eat it!
– Eat small & frequent meals.
– Be prepared and you won’t be caught off guard ;)!
– Bring a healthy dish to gatherings or eat before to minimize eating “off course”.
– Stick close to the original (whole) source of your food.
– Avoid anything with more than 5 ingredients.
– Ditch foods comprised of polysyllabic chemicals.

Now that you’re grown up, would you eat your gradeschool lunch?

18 Mar

With Mrs. Commander In-Chief rallying behind the nutrition and obesity issue via “Let’s Move!” there is a renewed sense of energy and focus on the topic of child and adolescent health.

The Child Nutrition Act is currently being debated in Congress with a focus on school lunches taking center stage. For many children the free or reduced school lunch is the single meal they have in a day. If this is the case it is our responsibility to encourage legislators to make that one meal the most nutritionally dense, healthy and tasty meal possible. A tall and perhaps idealistic order, but nothing is achieved without vision.

Mrs. Q, a teacher, has vowed to eat the lunches served at her school for all of 2010. A brave soul, in my humble opinion. Her year-long ventures, as well as photographs of her daily meals, are chronicled in her blog Fed Up With Lunch: The School Lunch Program.

I’m not a mother (yet), but I do plan to teach my future child or children how to cook. Learning to cook is one of the greatest skills my parents and extended family provided me with as a child.

Post to comments if you would eat the lunches from your K-12 days! Or any other thoughts on the matter.