Naturally Fuel Your Fitness Routine!

I was back on Let’s Talk Live this week sharing a plethora of ways you can naturally fuel your fitness routine. Over 60% of DC residents are active, and as I always say — if you can’t fuel it, you can’t do it! So, check out highlights from the segment and maybe you’ll find a new pre- or post-fuel idea for your next workout.

Watch the entire segment here:

For this week’s segment, I worked with recipes that are made from Pure Canadian Maple Syrup which is 100% natural and rich in carbohydrates that provide our bodies the energy we need before workouts. Just remember to check the label and make sure it says “100% maple syrup”. Most of the “pancake” brands actually use high fructose corn syrup and don’t have the same vitamins and minerals. I also shared tips for protein-rich foods like smoothies and pistachios that can be great for recovery nutrition by helping our muscles repair themselves after a workout.

Step 1 — Fill Your Body’s “Gas Tank” With Carbs 

Carbs give your body quick energy so you can go the distance — check out these great pre-fuel ideas:

  • Pre-Workout Rice Pudding: Try this pre-fuel rice pudding with pure maple syrup and berries.  It’s got the right balance of carbs and protein for workouts. You can have it warm or cold and is a cinch to put together. Because the maple syrup is unprocessed, it contains beneficial vitamins and minerals, including potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance and normal muscle function.

  • Anytime Maple Energy Squares: These maple energy squares are another good choice for fueling your workout — either before or after. They’re a great “make ahead” item, and have nutritious oats, eggs, sunflowerseeds, almonds, coconut, dried fruit, and Canadian maple syrup, which contains 54 different antioxidants.  Exercise increases “oxidative stress” which can lead to cell damage so the antioxidants help protect our cells.

  • No Time to Cook? No Problem! If you’re short on time before a workout, you can always opt for fruit like bananas, apples, and pears. They’re nature’s perfect on-the-go foods and are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Step 2: Hydrate As You Go

Most people can drink plain water throughout their workouts and be totally fine. Sports drinks are meant more for endurance athletes (think marathon runners) or team sports with lengthy practices. Aim for about half a cup of fluids every 20 minutes of exercise.

Step 3: Mend Those Muscles With Carbs and Protein

Smoothies are great after a workout because the carbs in them help replace what you burned so you aren’t as sore afterwards. The protein they contain helps repair and rebuild muscle tissue. Canadian maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese and zinc, two minerals that are vital for muscle recovery. It also contains the electrolyte potassium that helps with normal muscle function. You can get these nutrients in the Fruity Maple Refueler Shake that I make with strawberries, bananas, quick cooking oats, Greek yogurt, and maple syrup.

Lowfat chocolate milk is another great recovery option if you don’t have time to make a smoothie — it has a good mix of carbs and protein too.

Step 4: Smart Snacks and Meals

I love recommending pistachios as a nutritious and easy on-the-go snack.  Wonderful Pistachios are one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat, and highest fiber nuts. And they have protein, electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which are important for recovery nutrition.

Wonderful Pistachios on Let’s Talk Live set

Plus, you can’t beat the serving size — 49 kernals!! 1 serving has 300mg of potassium which is way more than a sports drink (only 30 mg potassium in sports drinks). Reach for roasted and salted pistachios to replenish the sodium/potassium you lose during your workout.

Nutrition Main Page Image

For meals, I like to keep it really simple and use whole foods – quality ingredients. This is something you can do for lunch and dinner. Combine any 2 non-starchy veggies – cucumbers and tomatoes, and 1 type of bean – chickpeas, any one type of lean protein – tuna , one herb – flat leaf parsley, any one fat – feta cheese. All you do is mix up these ingredients, and add some fresh lemon or vinegar.

You have a simple, healthy meal ready in no time, it’s packed with nutrients, and will keep you fueled all day long.

What are your favorite “go-to” pre-fuel and recovery snacks?

Disclaimer: I worked with Pure Canadian Maple Syrup and Wonderful Pistachios as part of the TV segment. I was not compensated for this post.

The Secret to Sticking With Exercise

One of my recent blog posts on U.S News Eat+Run was all about sticking with an exercise plan. People know that they need to exercise to look good and to live longer, so why is it that the average American only gets 17 minutes of exercise a day?

Sticking to an exercise plan and making it a part of your lifestyle goes beyond weight loss and stems from the meaning behind it. That’s the secret! You can change … if you want to. All you have to do is find your meaning, your value, your motivation.

Here’s a snippet from the post on how to make exercise more meaningful to you:

1. Come up with a list of reasons why exercise is important to you. Take note of what exactly you get in return for your investment in exercise.

2. Take a look at your list, and find a deeper meaning for each one of your reasons. Ask yourself, “Why do I care about _________?”

3. Open your calendar and schedule your workout time every day for the next two weeks. That’s right, every day. This way when something comes up, your time is protected for the next workout and you don’t have to feel bad about missing the current one.

For more tips on sticking with exercise and finding your motivation read the full article

Smart Marathon Training Event in Washington, DC!

I am so excited to be joining Jeff Horowitz at the Water Street Gym this Sunday, February 12, 2012 for the Smart Marathon Training book event! Jeff Horowitz is not only a great friend, but he is a great author and ultra-marathoner, as well! Join us, and hear me dish out some great advice about sports nutrition! Pack in the most benefits to your training program, while enjoying tons of complimentary services!

Here’s the info:

Time: 11:00am – 1:00pm

Place: Water Street Gym, 3255 K Street, Washington, DC 20007

Contact: Tel: (202) 812 – 5050 or E-mail: Trish@Waterstreetgym.com

Reliving My New York City Marathon – In Pictures

The ING New York City Marathon is one of the world’s great road races, drawing more than 100,000 applicants annually. The 2011 race had 46,795 finishers — and I was one of them with a time of 4:36:44. Check out my race recap – and apply for the NYC marathon lottery. You won’t regret it. (Good luck getting in. It took me three years.)


Even though I have finished 7 previous marathons and ultra marathons I have never done the “red recovery routine” before. As a “powered by red” team member for NYC marathon, I had the perfect opportunity to try it out on myself.

Basically, I added in 10 ounces of tart cherry juice a day the week leading up to the marathon and for a few days after the race.

I’m completely sold. I cannot believe the difference in my post marathon recovery. I had minimal pain and inflammation compared to other marathons. I thought I’d eventually feel it 1-2 days post-race (due to DOMS) but I didn’t. Watch my full video experience here.

I seriously hope you consider trying the red recovery routine yourself. If you are curious about what is “special” about tart cherry juice, it’s the anthocyanins. Tart cherry juice has anthocyanins I and II in large amounts and they have been found to help reduce pain and inflammation in endurance athletes.

Race Preparation

I do so much to get ready physically and mentally for a race. One major thing I need is sleep. I was lucky because it was “fall back” time. I also got good sleep 2 nights before race day. I absolutely LOVED this from my race packet – a door sign for the hotel. Ha! It reminded me I needed to get that shut eye. It was lights out by 9:30 p.m. I woke at 3:30 a.m. for a minute but then got good rest/relaxation until 6:45 when I had to get out of bed to catch a cab by 7 a.m.

Getting to the Start

It was basically a race in itself. I took a cab to a ferry to a bus and walked to the start. But check out some of the cool sites along the way!

Leaving Manhattan – We had an escort with a machine gun! Don’t mess w/ marathoners!


She is so beautiful in the morning sun. Thanks to the People of France for this gift – Libertas – the Roman Goddess of Freedom!

Pre-Race at Staten Island

Here I am with an 87 year old woman who has completed over 20 New York marathons! You go girl…

I made a friend on the bus from the State Island ferry to the start line. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be invited to start the race with them. They were doing a 4 min run, 1 min walk pace for a 4:45 finish. That was in the zone of my time so I figured, what the heck! It was great to have some tempo buddies. And… I got someone to draw cherries on my face to help me “rock the red”!

 

Random Race Photos

It’s not easy to run and tweet, let alone grab pics, but I managed to do it. Here are a few things I captured that weren’t completely blurry :)

Mile 1-2

I think this was the prettiest bridge. Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from Staten Island to Brooklyn

I took more pics but they were very blurry so I didn’t include them here. It was basically crowd shots — awesome spectators — and shots of bands. There were 130 bands total. THANK YOU for keeping it fun! There were great signs. My fave “Because 26.3 would be just crazy”. I also enjoyed the kids passing out oranges and suckers. So cute!

Bridge Queens to Manhattan – Right before mile 16 – Hubby is waiting for me at 63rd St


Mile 18 – Have U Hugged a Firefighter?

(don’t know this guy at all, but things like that happen when you’re that far into a race!)

Mile 22 – Wow, more firefighters!

Mile 25 – Central Park – Just capturing the last mile!

Post-Race in Central Park

We got a goodie bag that included an apple (of course) so I took a pic of me getting my own “bite” out of this BIG apple.

The Bling

And of course, it’s all about that BLING :) so here’s mine….

We Need Wellness Policies to Create Healthy Communities

By: Hannah Barker, Dietetic Intern, with assistance from Rebecca

This week I participated in a webinar called, “Looking Upstream: How Income, Education and Racial Disparities Shape Health.” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was the host. The expert panel included: Dr. James Marks from the Health Group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Paula Braverman from the University of California in San Francisco, David Williams from the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard University, and Steven Woolf from the Virginia Commonwealth University.

We Spend a Lot on Healthcare for Such a Sick Country

I learned that the United States spends so much on health care, yet ranks poorly in terms of several health indicators, like infant mortality and life expectancy.  However, the cause of the United States’ poor health cannot just be attributed to the factors we normally consider – medical care, genetic make-up, natural environment, behaviors and nutrition; rather, the cause of poor health can also be attributed to “upstream” factors such as race, income, and education.

You might have heard that non-Hispanic whites are likely to have a five-year greater life expectancy than other races and poverty is linked to poor health. But while this may seem unsurprising to you, the solutions to these problems may come across as unique and inspiring.

Policies Needed to Prevent Disease in Communities

The panelists urged prevention.  They advocated to support policies that promote more walkable cities, affordable housing and worksite wellness programs – just to name a few – to help promote the health and nutrition of our communities.

Currently, the poorest neighborhoods are the least likely to have access to recreation centers, playgrounds and even sidewalks. Why is that?  Why are we not investing there? American communities need walkable cities to help ensure that more children and families have space to walk, ride their bikes and achieve the necessary physical activity to prevent chronic disease.  You can’t bake a cake without eggs and you can’t drive a car without gas – how can people exercise without fun and safe places to do so. Imagine, a working mom takes an odd shift to be home with her kids, wouldn’t it be great if they could play together before dinner at a nearby park, which they walked to on the sidewalk. It’s basic.

I think D.C. does a good job at providing access to physical activity to residents. We have programs for kids and families, recreation centers and indoor and outdoor pools! Check out their website: DC’s Department of Parks and Recreation

Healthy Employees, Happy Companies

Worksite wellness programs should be implemented in all fields of employment. Are there incentives for small businesses to educate and motivate their employees? What about the local deli owner or dress shop? They may have 5 or so employees – is there incentive for them to help keep their employees healthy?

Take a Page from Community Programs

Organizations like Operation Frontline and Brain Food currently lead programs to teach parents and children about cooking nutritious (and delicious) meals and eating healthy on a budget; however, these organizations cannot do it alone.  They rely on the kind hearts of volunteers to make a difference in the lives of those with the greatest NEED by the statistics.

Be the Change!

You can make an “upstream” difference by just volunteering for one of these organizations, or attending local meetings (town halls, open local government sessions etc.) to support policies related to health and nutrition. You can help be a solution to these statistics!

What do you think is needed to improve the health of our communities?

Dr. Oz Viewing and Twitter Party!

January 3, 2011 is a day you wanna mark down, sit down at a computer and turn on your TV. Cause we are gonna blow up Twitter with a fun live chat during the Dr. Oz episode “11 Weeks to Move it and Lose it”. Check time and channel by zip code.

This one of–a–kind online initiative will provide customized tools to knock off the pounds and transform people’s bodies and lives by giving participants their very own personal trainer and their own individually tailored weight loss plan (a value of $99 a month) absolutely free. During the show, Dr. Oz will
go through the easy step-by-step process of how and when to sign up for the program plus reap incredible benefits and giveaways.

Did someone say incentives???

To help kick off the “11 Weeks to Move It and Lose It” campaign, THE DR. OZ SHOW is partnering with the Nike SPARQ Training Network (NSTN), selected based on their unique expertise and knowledge in the health and fitness field. This team of experts (11 trainers and 11 health/nutrition experts) will be able to provide guidance and motivation, results–focused webcasts, exercise videos, behavior modification tips and answer health and fitness questions all at the touch of a mouse. (have not been able to find a link on the experts yet). On the website www.doctoroz.com, participants can track their progress and food intake with these unique tools:

  • Food logging – Participants can enter virtually any food from a database over 70,000 foods (even from popular restaurants) to keep track of calorie and nutrient intake as well as receive suggested lifestyle menus to help plan out meals.
  • Setting weight loss goal /tracking – In order to help participants determine a realistic goal for 11 weeks, a customized calendar will monitor progress and set goals with reminders of where you need to be every day based on height, weight, BMI, age, and lifestyle.
  • Health assessment – Participants can take a quiz to evaluate diet and exercise based on current health.
  • Weight loss community – Participants will get the chance to talk to others on the plan and gain support as they work through the challenges. People can also see real–time updates on their progress and get tips and professional advice from the NSTN for motivation.
  • Exercise – Videos and webcasts will help participants lose the pounds and get them on the road to healthier living.
  • Product – Participants will receive recommendations from the NSTN with regard to specific products that will support their chosen exercise programs.

Tweet with Us (and Fit Bottomed Girls)

Whether you are already a guru, in the middle of your journey, or feel inspired to start changes in 2011 — your thoughts matter. Use your voice on Twitter. Watch with us and send your tweets out there to share your thoughts on the program. Let’s use #DrOzMILI (Dr. Oz Move It Lose It) as the hash tag. Share your blog posts too. Will you try the program? Why/why not?

Follow @ScritchfieldRD and @FitBottomedGirl and let us know you will be on the Twitter chat on January 3rd!

11 Weeks to Move It Lose It

Viewers can sign up for the “11 Weeks to to Move It or Lose It” program simply by going to www.doctoroz.com. Enrollment is available free of charge for the entire 11 weeks. THE DR. OZ SHOW will be monitoring progress of individuals and exploring various components of the 11 week program throughout January and February.

Knowledge Doesn’t Necessarily Lead to Smart Choices

This is a direct line from my “Nurture Principles – find wellness within” keynote. I can honestly say that there are things I know I should do but don’t. So big deal we’re human, right? Well… not so fast. I think the disconnect here is that we don’t think about the long-term impact of our day-to-day choices. We’re just getting through the day. Hence, we easily say we don’t have time, motivation, or money to exercise. We not only need to know our DAILY CHOICES MATTER, but we also need to BELIEVE that our ACTIONS can make a difference!

I was reading this MSNBC article about a recent survey that demonstrated our lifestyle choices don’t match our fears.

The Bupa Health Pulse survey found that four in five, or 80 percent, say they are worried about developing chronic diseases.

According to the Geneva-based World Health Organisation, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases accounted for almost a third of all deaths around the world in 2005.

Nearly half of the 12,000 people questioned across 12 countries admitted they only exercise for an hour a week or less.

When asked to name their biggest barrier to making healthier lifestyle choices, 24 percent of those surveyed cited lack of time, almost a fifth cited motivation and 14 percent blamed the expense.

“We know from research that exercise is one of the most effective lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing long-term conditions,” said Julien Forder, a senior research fellow at the LSE, who worked on the report. “Nearly a third of cardiovascular disease and more than a quarter of diabetes could be avoided if everyone started to exercise.”

When asked about the fears of developing chronic diseases, a third of respondents were most worried about cancer compared to only 11 percent being most worried about heart disease, and only 8 percent about diabetes.

(Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Paul Casciato)

It seems to me that they are “worried” but not that worried. They don’t want to face it right now. Too much “else” going on. Well, if not now, then when? Hopefully it won’t be too late. Because you can’t wish away years of unhealthy behavior. What are YOU doing to take care of yourself? What would you say to people working on taking that first BIG step?

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: Diet Therapy

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female hormonal disorder, affecting approximately 5%-10% of all females. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that involves multiple tissues and organ systems within the body, and is believed to be fundamentally caused by insensitivity to the hormone insulin Diet and Nutrition play a large role in treatment of this disorder, and food is medicine in this disease state. Registered Dietitians can help to maintain weight, and alleviate some of the symptoms by adjusting diet and lifestyle choices. Here are some important things to remember if you have been diagnosed with PCOS:

Signs and Symptoms:

According to MayoClinic the symptoms often begin soon after menarche, but it can also develop later in life. Infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods, excess hair growth, acne, and obesity can all occur in women with polycystic ovary syndrome. Additionally, PCOS is also the most common cause of female infertility.

Insulin resistance occurs frequently in those with PCOS, meaning the body cannot use insulin effectively to regulate blood sugar. This can result in high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. The long-term complications are quite serious and include heart disease and stroke. Compared with women of a similar age who don’t have polycystic ovary syndrome, women with PCOS are more likely to be overweight or obese.

When to see a doctor

Early diagnosis and treatment of polycystic ovary syndrome may help reduce your risk of long-term complications. Talk with your doctor if you have menstrual irregularities — such as infrequent periods, prolonged periods or no menstrual periods — and have excess hair on your face and body or acne. Regular checkups are key to timely diagnosis. Find a medical professional that specializes in PCOS here

Treatment:

There is no cure to PCOS, but there are methods to control it and reduce the risk including:

  • Weight control
  • regular exercise
  • healthy diet
  • not smoking

Lifestyle modification through diet is an effective and important part of the treatment for PCOS. There is no doubt that making changes to your eating can result in weight loss, improved fertility, and overall improvement in health. Obesity makes insulin resistance worse, and weight loss can reduce both insulin and androgen levels and restore ovulation. Exercise also helps lower blood sugar levels, so should be part of your daily regime.  A Registered Dietitian would be able to help you create a meal plan for optimal health; find one near you!

While PCOS is a serious condition, through behavior and lifestyle modifications the symptoms can be treated and reduced. Registered Dietitians are here to help you become a healthier you! Newly diagnosed? Check out the MayoClinic or PCOS Support pages.

Do you or anyone you know have PCOS? What has been some of your experiences and what role did you find diet played?

Food and Health Survey Results Indicate a Change

’77’ seems to be a key number in weight management, according to the 2010 Food and Health Survey.  77% of Americans are currently attempting to lose or maintain their post weight loss bodies.  However, another 77% report not meeting the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guideline.

The Food and Health Survey’s goal is to assess the current population’s vision on eating and physical activity habits.  The organization responsible for producing the survey is the Nutrition and Food Safety at the International Food Information Council Foundation. The foundation’s senior vice president ,Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, states that Americans continue to hear about the importance of overall health, but from a large variety of sources.  She states that there are organizations all over, from the White House’s Let’s Move campaign to similar smaller programs, which are all concentrating on reducing the obesity epidemic. But in order to do that, you have to take baby steps.

Edge is referring to proper calculations of ‘calories in’ versus ‘calories out’.  The same survey indicated that 58% of the population does not concern themselves with the balance of calories, therefore eliminating a key weight loss or weight management tool.  Another issue is the public’s estimation of those calories.  Unless you are relying on a very up to date program, it’s possible to get incorrect numbers.  In addition, portion size, and keeping track of snacks throughout the day need to be taken into account. Everything adds up.

Here are some more survey stats:

  • 53% of the population is more concerned with sodium intake in their diets
  • 72% are consuming more fiber
  • 73% are consuming more grains
  • 64% were concerned about money issues with foods while in 2010 it increased to 73%.
  • When purchasing 86% of individuals buy because of taste, with price in second, health factor at 58% and convenience at 55%.
  • Overall, 73% of Americans are pleased with the types of foods they have offered at their local supermarkets.

For more information about the foundation or the survey, visit www.foodinsight.org.

iPod App Review: Nike+

If you are a fan of Nike running shoes, and crunching the numbers from your run, this app is for you!  Just head to your local sporting goods store and purchase the Nike+ indicated shoes, then download the app!  Note that you’ll still need to buy  the Nike+ package sold separately which contains the pedometer piece to insert into your shoe, but from there just sync up and hit the trails!

Pros:

  • Multiple options for workout goal
    • Open-ended time, timed goal, distance goal, calorie goal
    • Allows customized setting if your goal is not indicated
  • Allows the option for song choices during run
    • Shuffle all songs or pick a playlist
    • Include a Power Song, which you can press at any time to keep pushing through
  • Can create custom workouts to include one or more the goal options
  • Holds your history of runs
    • Includes goal chosen, date, distance, time, pace per mile and calories burned
  • Shoe piece and ipod synched to create accurate pacing and distance
  • With each resume of page, Nike+ Lady indicates distance traveled and time ran so far
  • Updates during run when distance markers have been hit
  • Very simple, just turn on and run!

Cons:

  • Requires special Nike+ shoe to work, as well as package or ipod app
  • If you have traveled past indicated time or distance, you only have a set amount of time to continue exercise before the program ends
  • Indicates ‘best mile time’ at top of history page, but doesn’t update for all goals
  • Only when you are on ‘basic goal’ does Nike+ Lady indicate pace of each mile as you’ve run, which would be nice in other training programs, like distance
  • Music option not as fun to maneuver, starts each playlist from the beginning so very often I run to the same songs everyday.

Overall, if you’re a running, walker or just like a good pair of Nike shoes, this app is great.  There are constantly new updates for programs and if you’re an iphone user, the newest version also can track your running path!  I’ve never had a better running partner!  Happy trails!

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