Thursday!

_dsc5198So I haven’t written in a while! Not because I didn’t want to! I have been trying to work a little, you know…bring home some bacon… earn my keep… rake in some dough. That paired with my training schedule leaves me no time for blogging. Not to mention, keeping up with Facebook, Twitter and just regular emails…I have NO TIME!!! But today my bike ride got delayed slightly, so I thought I would try to shoot out a quick Thursday morning howdy-ho! Sup? NM, U?

So today is a tri day! I already went for my morning 5k run, my bike ride is within the hour, and I’m swimming tonight! I do love the days that I can actually do all three events at their full length! I feel that if I can do all three spaced out throughout the day, I should definitely be able to do them back to back the day of! Well, that’s what I’m hoping anyway!

Fast Forward…doooododoooo dodooodooddooooo

OK, so I just got back from my bike ride and I went a tad over the 12 miles, that I have to ride in the Danskin Tri. I actually did 20 miles!! Huh, go figure! Now if I just need to keep a float for 1/2 mile swim tonight! I am sooooo hungry! I am finding out that the diet of an athlete is totally different than the diet of a non athlete. I am hungry all the time!!! And not just hungry…STARVING…FAMISHED!!!! I started looking at what I eat in a day and what I should eat in a day. Yeah, I don’t eat enough! Nice problem to have, right? Not really! Let me explain!

I am a vegetarian. More specifically, I like to call myself a pescetarian, since I eat fish. But, I also eat dairy and eggs, so I have many ways to get my protein. I’m also now trying to eat more fresh foods and pulling away from the processed and manufactured foods. If it has an ingredient that I can’t say, I won’t eat it. I just feel better when I keep to the real food! The problem is trying to come up with an on the road, mid-workout snack that is packed with carbs and proteins. My standby is a baggie filled with almonds and craisins, but that gets a little old after a while! I would love a power bar, but again, there’s a lot of junk in those bars and they actually tend to be as bad for you as a candy bar. I tried making a power bar, but the ones I made are gooey and just don’t travel well! So a lot of times I go off for a long run or bike ride without a snack. That’s not healthy, and it makes it really difficult to get the calories I need for the day!

So according to my computations, with all the exercise I did today, I should take in 2500 calories to sustain me. And this will allow me to lose 1 pound this week. Don’t get me wrong, I can’t eat 2500 calories everyday, unless I am working out like I did today! My base calorie intake should be around 1400. Then, when I add exercise, I can add calories. It makes you aware of how your body works and what it needs in terms of fuel. I didn’t reach my 2500 calories today! I am soooo tired I can’t stay awake! I have to go to bed….RIGHT NOW!!!!

GOODNIGHT!!!

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How to eat like an Athlete!

dsc_2796I’m hungry! I’m hungry all the time!!! This is expected since I’ve upped my workouts, right? I don’t know! I am trying not to gain weight while training for this triathlon, but my body is making it really hard! It’s screaming for FOOD!!!! I tried the “fill up on water” trick….NOPE, didn’t work! So what am I doing wrong? I want to look like an athlete, not a blubbery whale! How? What do athletes eat and when do they eat it? I am beginning to believe that it’s all in the timing! So I did a little research and here is what I found…

Weight Loss

Weight loss is a numbers game! It’s actually basic math! To lose 1 pound you have to expend 3500 calories more than you consume. Sounds like a lot right? Well break it down a little farther. If you want to lose a pound a week you would divide that 3500 calories by 7 days which gives you a 500 calorie deficit per day. Sounds doable right? Just cut out two 20oz Cokes…right?  Turns out there are a number of ways to lose this weight. You can eat less (not an option when you are training hard), burn off 500 calories through exercise (I’m doing that), or you can combine the two, eat less and burn more. This sounds simple, but doesn’t help me stop the cries for food! There must be more!!!

Fuel

Turns out that the body is fueled by carbohydrates. Hmmm! So what are those low carb dieters using for fuel? If you think of your body as a car, the carbohydrates are the gas, and protein is the oil. Would you put oil in your gas tank? Wait…I really don’t know anything about cars…so, let’s think of it as laundry, since that’s what I know! We have a load of clothes that needs washing. Think of the detergent as your fuel and the fabric softener as the protein.  Would you pour just fabric softener in your washing machine to clean your clothes? No! So why eat high protein when you are trying to fuel your body? Protein is used to repair the muscles after an intense workout. Like fabric softener is used to soften fabrics and prevent static. While the protein will fill you up, they are not as efficient as a carbohydrate in providing energy! Just like fabric softener will make your clothes smell good, but it won’t clean your clothes like detergent!

OK, now I feel like I am beginning to understand my diet flaw. I tend towards protein packed foods, because, being a vegetarian, I just figured that’s what I needed. I’ve been trying to stay away from carbs, thinking that they were BAD!!! Turns out, not all carbs are bad! The complex carbohydrates that come from whole grains found in oatmeal, multi grain bread and whole wheat pasta, are much more effective at fueling your body. Simple carbs that come from highly processed, white flour found in white bread, regular pasta and processed cereal, do not work your body to it’s maximum. So eat your carbs, but eat the brown ones!

Timing

DO NOT SKIP MEALS!!!! This is key to eating like an athlete! You must eat breakfast! I’ve heard my mother tell me this for years! But I’m just not a big fan of breakfast. I like my coffee alone! But according to everything I have read, you must “break” your fast in the morning with a high quality complex carbohydrate, such as oatmeal. If you exercise in the morning, make it a smaller size portion so you don’t feel weighed down.

Evidently, if you eat a big meal you should do so 3-4 hours before exercise. Smaller meals are fine 2 hours prior and snacks can be eaten right before and even during exercise, depending on how you feel!  Really, I can eat while I am exercising? This sounds wrong! But I will try!

And contrary to popular opinion, eating after a workout is a must! The experts say you must eat a balanced meal within 2 hours after your workout! This meal should include complex carbs, proteins and healthy fats. This will help the body repair the muscles and rev up the metabolism, so more calories are burned throughout the day!

So I have found that I was just doing the wrong foods at the wrong times. I am making the change and with any hope my body will stop screaming for food! I’ll keep you posted!

Food for Thought

Quinoa with Peppers and Beans

Quinoa with Peppers and Beans

I have to share a recipe with you that is just AMAZING!!! Quinoa with Peppers and Beans from Runner’s World. I found the recipe after reading an article about foods runners should eat.

Quinoa, known to the Incas as the “mother of all grains” is a great alternative to pasta. It offers more protein than pasta, and it’s an unusually complete protein source, which is great for vegetarians. And because it is gluten-free, it’s much easier to digest.

I am going to give the recipe as it is on the Runners’ World website, but I made a couple alterations. I forgot the ginger so I added a little allspice (I don’t know why). I didn’t have cumin seeds so I used ground cumin instead.  I like my food with a little kick, so I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Try it either way, I am sure you’ll like it!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 medium red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 large onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 can (14-19 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear.
  2. Bring 2 cups of the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and cumin seeds and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the bell peppers and onion and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the beans and the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and stir in the cilantro. Place in a serving bowl and top with the pepper mixture.

Ingredients

CALORIES 342 CAL
FAT 9.9 G
SATURATED FAT 1.2 G
CHOLESTEROL 0 MG
SODIUM 2311.8 MG
CARBOHYDRATES 54.1 G
TOTAL SUGARS 4.8 G
DIETARY FIBER 9.9 G
PROTEIN 13.5 G