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Epic Nutrition Series Part 2: Pantry Staples

Due to long training days, volunteer and family commitments, both professionals and age-groupers can benefit from pre-planning by stocking up on pantry staples.  Furthermore, many endurance athletes, unless they are professionals, are limited on grocery shopping time due to full-time job commitments. Here are my recommended pantry tables followed by discussion of benefits: Spices Nuts Seeds/Nibs Oils Grains Canned Black Pepper Almonds Cacao Avocado Amaranth Black Beans Cayenne Coconut (shredded) Chia Olive Buckwheat Chickpeas Cinnamon Macadamias Flax Coconut Farro Coconut Milk Cloves Pecans Hemp Flax Millet Lentils Ginger Walnuts Pumpkin Quinoa Pumpkin Green powders Sesame Red Beans Rosemary Sunflower  Other Sea salt  Balsamic Vinegar Turmeric No one is exempt from needing micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to maintain homeostasis and even better – to thrive.  Endurance athletes have an increased need for micronutrients as they put additional stress on their bodies during training and racing.  This is why booster foods – such as anti-inflammatory spices and concentrated green powders (spirulina and chlorella) or other super foods such as maca powder are integral to a healthy diet.  These foods pack a powerful punch in small amounts and are easy to incorporate into smoothies, wraps, salads, smoothies, muffins and nut milks. Seeds are the center of life. Plants grow from seed and nuts, making them life-sustaining. They can be easily mixed into most dishes, can be obtained at a low-cost to stock and are portable. Most of the time we prepare food dishes cooking oils are required. They are drizzled over vegetables, stirred into soups, sautéed with meats, and have many other uses.  They are usually consumed on an everyday basis, which...

Chef School, Here I come!

To satisfy my nutritional curiosity and expand my culinary skills, this fall, I will be enrolled as a natural chef student at Bauman College Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. This program is complementary to my nutrition consultant program and I was super excited to be accepted! I chose this program because of the whole-foods, restorative, therapeutic, evidence-based approach to cooking that the wonderful teachers provide to students. It is in complete alignment with the nutritional philosophy I utilize working with my clients → incorporating fresh, seasonal, organic, unprocessed and local foods into their diet and lifestyle. As Bauman College proudly states on their website: ”The professional culinary education we offer emphasizes the use of fresh, seasonal, organic, unprocessed, and local foods and goes beyond traditional culinary schools by teaching students how to cook for optimal health.” Clients always ask me for recipes to incorporate into their meal planning. This career move will provide an additional level of expertise to my kitchen skills and incorporate farm-to-table to world cuisine cooking and everything in between. As I continue to focus on sports nutrition, I plan on modifying meals and recipes from the classroom to provide the best fueling and recovery meals, snacks and beverages for an athlete’s life to boost overall health and race performance. And maybe one day… a cookbook? 🙂 I will happily maintain my personal nutrition consulting business, accepting a limited number of new clients, so that I am able to focus on my studies. If you are interested in one of my nutrition programs, please contact me today to schedule a one-on-one consultation! In good health – Heidi    ...

Epic Nutrition Series Part 1: Supportive Supplements

Supportive Supplements for Endurance Athletes Supplements are an important addition to an endurance athlete’s diet.  They provide missing nutrients that are not obtained by food in their diet or synthesized within the body. While whole-food sources of micronutrients are usually absorbed better than supplement forms, it can be challenging to obtain the optimal amounts, so a careful review of an athlete’s individual requirements is crucial to strong athletic performance. When it comes to selecting supplements, make sure to review quality level and ingredients. All supplement brands and products are not created equal and therefore require a careful review of nutrition labels.  Try to avoid excess fillers and opt for whole food vitamins. They are more bioavailable than synthetic vitamins, which means your body can absorb them better. Here are my top recommended supplements and whole foods source list: B-Complex* Benefits:  Energy production, protein synthesis, tissue repair and maintenance, faster recovery, increased performance and nervous system support Top Whole Food Sources: Non-animal: lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast Animal: salmon, tuna, cod, scallops and beef Bromelain Benefits: Aids in digestion, reduces inflammation in cases of sports injury and enhances wound healing Top Whole Food Sources: Pineapple Omega-3 Fish Oil Benefits: Increases protein synthesis, increases muscle strength and physical performance, reduces exercise-induced muscle damage and may strengthen bones Top Whole Food Sources: Salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna Magnesium** Benefits: helps to convert food into energy, relaxes muscles, regulates nervous system, reduces muscle cramping and lowers blood pressure Top Whole Food Sources: Pumpkin seeds, spinach, swiss chard, sesame seeds and cashews...

Epic Nutrition Series

  When I was asked to be part of a crew for an Epic endurance challenge this fall, I almost jumped out of my seat. The challenge, which consists of 5 full Iron Distance Triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands, finishing in under a week is only entered into by some of the most talented, hardest-training athletes in the world. In it’s seventh year running, Epic5 accepts a maximum capacity of only 12 athletes per year – divided into 2 sessions. This year, 10 athletes competed (and finished!) in the May 2017 session and 9 athletes are registered for September 2017 session. To have an opportunity to be a nutrition consultant for an ultra-endurance athlete is an amazing opportunity and an ultimate test of my knowledge, as last year, I chose to focus my nutrition research and education in the athletic space. Participating in a rigorous training schedule and 5-day IM event requires special attention to micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrient (carbs, protein and fat) levels.  I will provide recipes and resources to guide you in your own epic adventure. Over the next few months, let me take you on an Epic Nutrition Adventure, beginning with important supplement recommendations, pantry staples and how to navigate sports nutrition products. Stay tuned! Aloha~ Heidi...

Willpower: Can it be strengthened?

Recently, someone mentioned that they don’t have my willpower and it’s preventing them from eating healthy.   I thought about this a lot.  Two thoughts coincided in my mind.  First, it’s not a superpower of mine. I struggle just as the next person with the decision of eating chocolate cake with chocolate icing that is offered to me – our brains are wired to do so. Second, I usually have a strategy in place:  always have healthy options.  It doesn’t mean I choose them every time, but having a plan — whether cooking/baking ahead on Sundays or stocking my car/purse/backpack with packets of nut butter and seeds so that I have food available ensures I have healthy options, in case I feel hungry. So what can you do?   Identify your weak areas – is it the office, home, in the car? Where are you consuming these high sugar/high trans fat laden goods?  Who are you consuming them with? Strategize and create a plan. If you’re office has temptations, have some healthy food options available instead.  When you satiate your body with nourishing nutrients, you will feel less likely to eat a few donuts with your coworkers.   Another option at the office – bring your own goodies!  I love baking muffins and pies with healthy ingredients (often swapping applesauce for sugar) so that I can have a satisfying snack.  Create a small group within your office of home-baked goods and make it a group goal to eat healthier foods.  And home? Don’t keep refined sweets at home. You are much more likely to consume these if you’ve had a bad...

Boosting Anti-Inflammatory Food Intake

  One of my most important diet recommendations is increasing anti-inflammatory foods. This concept is important for everyone.   Why? Chronic Inflammation is associated with many diseases. Heart disease, asthma, cancer, obesity, thyroid, dental issues.. The list goes on. High inflammation in the body is at the root of all these conditions. Chronic inflammation increases recovery time. Whether chronic stress is imposed by food, a life event, illness or athletic activity, your body needs time to heal. If you have chronic inflammation in your body, it will take longer to recover. (Athletes: Shorter recovery time means better results and more effective training days!) How can you get more anti-inflammatory foods in your diet? Saute veggies/meats in coconut oil. Bake wild-caught salmon for dinner. Make a smoothie with dark, leafy greens. Add turmeric, cinnamon and cloves to dishes. Dilute ¼ cup tart cherry juice with pure water. Eat less-processed foods (avoid refined sugar/flours). Reducing or eliminating inflammation-causing foods and increasing anti-inflammatory foods can have a positively profound effect on your life.  Looking for more anti-inflammatory foods to add to your diet? Click here.    ...
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