Monday, July 1, 2013

Pro Athlete - Dietitian - So.. What do YOU eat? A day in the life!

It's fairly common that I get the question "What do you eat?"  If you would have asked me the same question two years ago, the answers would have been quite a bit different than today.  The fact was, even though I knew what I technically "should" be doing, it didn't mean I actually was doing it.  The reasons for this were twofold.  The first reason was related to laziness.  The second was related to just not committing fully to myself and my body's needs.  In terms of weight, I've always been about the same within 3-5 lbs.  My reasoning was that since I was eating a fairly healthy diet, I could get away with a bit more added sugar or an extra glass of wine because I was working so hard.

Then over the last year something really changed.  Between working with my coach and really feeling like I either needed to go ALL IN or ALL OUT with this pro thing, I knew it was time for a change.  DISCLAIMER: I'm no where near proclaiming myself a perfect example of good eating habits and everyone needs to find their own balance of eating for pleasure, eating for health, eating for training and their likes and dislikes.  Far from it!  However, some very positive changes have been made and I've believe that I have improved my recovery time, am sleeping better, feeling more energized and making sure I was getting adequate nutrients and antioxidants.

We log thousands of hours of training time for these events.  Why not spend the extra bit of energy it takes to make a few positive changes in our lives that will ultimately benefit our health (first and foremost) and eventually our performance?

So here is a day in the life.

I swim early every day so a typical day starts with a granola bar on the way to pool and 24oz Powerbar Perform while I'm training.  On the way home I will drink a chocolate milk or drink Endurox R4 in water.  After I come home, my first goal is recovery.  A staple in the routine is a smoothie with a mix of 1 cup of frozen berries, kale, 1/2 cup (0%) greek yogurt, 8oz of organic 1% milk, and lastly 8oz of water.  I may also have one to two eggs depending on what's next!

 If it's a long training day, then I may have another workout 2-3 hours later so a great snack about 1.5 hours prior is a whole wheat wrap with peanut butter, banana and a little bit of honey drizzled on top.  It's a great blend of quick digesting carbohydrates and a little protein to keep you satisfied for a 2-4 hr bike and transition run.

When I get home from workout #2, I usually make a salad that includes fresh kale from our garden. I just took this picture tonight and am so thankful it did well and we have enough for many a salad!

If I make a salad myself, I like to include spinach, kale, cherry tomatoes, cran-raspberries (unsweetened), chopped turkey or chicken, pecans or walnuts, avocado and a lite raspberry vinaigrette dressing.  If I'm out running around then a Panera salad, like their strawberry poppyseed chicken salad, is an option.   I really like to look up the nutrition of most dishes out prior to arriving so I don't end up getting to the counter and not knowing what will fit within my calorie needs and nutrient needs.

Through the afternoon, my snacks are either carrots and hummus or an apple with 1-2 Tbsps of peanut butter or almond butter (sometimes both depending on how hungry I am).

Another snack I've been loving lately is Medjool dates that I pick up in the bins at Whole Foods.  They satisfy my sweet cravings and provide 2 grams of fiber and only 70 calories per date.  You've got to try them!

Dinner for us on the porch in the summer is a regular routine that we love.  This week I tried my first cedar plank experience with wild Alaskan salmon.  I marinaded the salmon for an hour in soy sauce, garlic, a little brown sugar, dijon mustard, red cooking wine and added some chopped green onion while the cedar planks were soaking in water.  We grilled it for about 15 minutes after the grill was hot.  It came out really well and we didn't set the plank on fire so I think that was a win!

One of my other summertime loves is basil (garden) on mozzarella & tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.  It's another great way to get in my veggies for the day & it's delicious!

If hunger sets in again during the evening I may go for a bowl of greek yogurt with frozen berries, glazed pecans and sometimes I'll chop an apple or a peach and drizzle a little honey on top.

I've definitely noticed a difference in the way I feel on a daily basis.  I'm sleeping better and yes, there is a glass of wine in the dinner picture because I do have two glasses on Friday and Saturday nights (which is a fairly sizable downgrade from last year's 2 glasses 5+ days a week!).  One day a week I'll do a bit of a meal that I've been craving such as pizza, pasta or a big hamburger.

Hopefully, this gives you some ideas of a typical day in the life of eating and some ideas for things you might be able to incorporate in your training diet.  The goal is always to fuel in a way that enhances health and improves your energy and lifestyle!

What are your favorite foods and snacks?  How do you use them to fuel your body and mind?



BriGaal said...

This was great and it gave me some good ideas!

Anonymous said...

All looks great!

If you every want to get that cedar plank flavor with smaller portions, you might like to try cedar planks:

Keep up the great work.

m said...

I love tomatoes and mozzarella!

Sounds like some good variety! It's great that you have kale from your garden.

m said...

I love tomatoes and mozzarella!

Sounds like you have a good variety. You;re lucky to have Kale in your garden.

Lauren Paulson said...

Love it! Thanks for sharing! What do you fo for fueling workouts??

Cerys said...

This is cool!