I am incredibly excited to announce a project that I've been meaning to start for years and finally - at 33 weeks pregnant of course - have managed to launch...The Eat for Endurance Podcast!
I know, I know...there are SO many out there, especially in the health/nutrition/fitness space. But I hope to offer something a little unique - or at least some inspiration, knowledge, and entertainment.
You can expect a variety of formats, including solo episodes on various nutrition topics, interviews with fellow dietitians and other people of interest, and - what I am most excited about - my Athlete Nutrition Profile Series, which explores the life and careers of my guests through a nutrition lens. I would also love to record shorter episodes dedicated to answering YOUR burning nutrition questions! Email me if you'd like to submit one (or several) questions for my next Q&A episode!
Clients always ask me about carbs. How much to eat, should you avoid, do carbs make you fat, etc. This is a VERY broad and far-reaching topic, as it encompasses many other “hot topics” (e.g. gluten/wheat, Ketogenic diet, dairy, added sugars/refined carbs, FODMAP diet, and so on). So let’s focus today on carbs within the context of exercise.
To start, I will summarize some basic but key points to consider:
1. Carbohydrate is a macronutrient found naturally in healthy plant-based foods like fruit, starchy veggies (peas, corn, potatoes, winter squash), beans/legumes, and whole grains, as well as in dairy. Non-starchy veg have carbs too, but in low amounts.
2. Carbs are also found in less nutrient dense foods like white pasta/rice/bread, chips etc as well as in candy, baked goods, soda, etc. (this is where “added sugar” and “refined carbs” come into play).
3. All carbs break down into simple sugars, including glucose (i.e. energy), which is the preferred fuel source for worki...
We often hear the words mindful and mindfulness being thrown around – often in relation to eating. Mindfulness essentially is a state of awareness – being present in the moment, acknowledging what you’re feeling and thinking, and being conscious of your body and your environment.
The concept of mindful eating is important because we’re often distracted from the act of eating – we’re watching TV, eating at our desk (guilty as I type this!), in the car, etc. Also, food is not just made up of nutrients (as much as I like to focus on them) – food also has meaning, making up a huge part of culture, social events, hobbies, celebrations, times of grief, and other aspects of life. Food is fuel for our bodies but also emotional fuel at times – certain foods and certain smells may evoke specific memories, good and bad. As a result, many people have a complicated relationship with food.
Note that hunger is not the same thing as appetite, even though you may feel both simultaneously. For example, w...
Consistent exercise tends to rev up your appetite - no surprise there! It’s important to adjust your energy intake to account for what you are expending during your workouts (exactly how much will depend on your weight goals), but as discussed in previous posts, you need to consider the sources of those additional calories to keep your hunger in check.
Fat, fiber and protein each contribute towards feeling fuller longer. Fat in particular is your friend when it comes to meeting increased energy needs and feeling satisfied, as it packs in more calories per gram compared to protein and carbs (9 versus 4) and makes food taste great. Yet I still see clients who are trying to be “healthy” and lose body fat by overly limiting fat in the diet. Fat itself is not fattening; eating too much and especially eating more carbs than your body needs to burn for energy will lead to increased fat production. At the other end of the spectrum, some people are exploring very high fat and low carb diets...
Why is recovery so important? High intensity and/or long workouts (>60-90 minutes) tap into your glycogen (energy) stores, damage muscle tissue, and stimulate muscles to adapt, while recovery through adequate rest and nutrition facilitates muscle recovery and growth, decreases risk of injury and illness, and prepares your body to crush your next workout.
Nutritionally, the recovery process involves consuming carbs for glycogen re-stocking, protein for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, and fluids and electrolytes lost to sweat for rehydration. Protein often gets the most attention where recovery is concerned, and that’s because athletes need more per day than healthy sedentary people – anywhere from 1.2 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight depending on how active you are, compared to 0.8 to 1.0 g/kg, respectively.
Research supports eating 15-20 grams of protein along with carbs within 30-60 minutes after exercise to increase muscle protein synthesis and optimize reload...
This week’s nutrition tip focuses on what to eat immediately before you exercise to make sure you don’t burn out before it’s time to cool down.
The duration, intensity, and timing of your planned exercise along with your individual tolerance determine what and how much you should eat. Generally, the more time you have, the more you can eat, and the more types of nutrients you can include, and the less time you have, the more important it is to choose easily digestible carbs that quickly deliver glucose (energy) to your tissues and help delay the onset of fatigue. Fat, fiber, and protein-rich foods slow down digestion and may cause stomach upset, so you may wish to limit these nutrients just prior to exercise, unless you prefer and tolerate them.
Early morning workouts can be tricky to coordinate with nutrition, especially if you have a sensitive stomach and/or can’t sacrifice additional sleep to eat and digest. For easy to moderate intensity efforts under an hour, you’re probably fine wa...
Summer is rapidly approaching, which for many of my friends and clients means the start of Fall marathon training. Please find below my comprehensive Marathon Nutrition Guide to help you get to the start and finish line healthy and strong!
Marathon Nutrition Guide
Marathon runners often focus heavily on their training but neglect their nutrition, which can have a significant impact on their health and fitness goals. Perhaps you can get away with just “winging it” during shorter training runs and races, but the marathon is another story. Whatever your goals may be as you embark on your training program – achieving a specific time, just finishing the race, losing weight, etc. – you need a tried and tested nutrition plan to help you cross the finish line injury-free and feeling strong!
Building Your Nutrition Base
When you think about marathon nutrition, you may conjure up images of gels, chews, protein bars, electrolyte drinks, and lots of pasta. Sports nutrition products and carb-rich food...
Whether you are a seasoned athlete or are thinking about starting a new exercise routine, it's important to take a good look at what you eat to make sure that you’re getting the most from your workouts. Just as you seek to establish a fitness baseline in your sport of choice at the start of any training program, consistent good nutrition forms the base of a successful sports nutrition diet. This requires more than simply eating enough to offset what you are burning through exercise. You have to make sure those calories are coming from the right food sources and in sufficient quantities to stay healthy and fuel and recover well from your workouts.
Generally speaking, try to create balanced meals and snacks (i.e. include protein, fat, and fiber, not just carbs) that feature a variety of nutrient dense foods (e.g. colorful fruits/vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds, different protein sources) to optimize health and performance and keep you satisfied. What you eat immediately before workou...
Exercise, generally speaking, is without a doubt beneficial to mom and baby, assuming a healthy pregnancy. I am grateful that my body allowed me to run 1,000 miles throughout my pregnancy - a challenging but very rewarding journey as I prepared to meet my baby girl!