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Categorized as: Nutrition

Feed Zone Portables: Blueberry Coconut Sticky Bites

In their new cookbook, Feed Zone Portables, Chef Biju and Dr. Lim offer 75 portable food recipes for athletes.

Have you ever had bloating or digestive distress in a race or long training session? If so, the culprit may be the highly processed nutrition products such as gels, chews and bars. It occurs when highly concentrated carb (sugar) solutions enter the gut. These unnatural, high concentrations can temporarily dehydrate athletes and cause negative side effects. Real foods, with much higher water content and natural sugar concentrations, digest more easily, more quickly, and with less likelihood of dehydration, GI bloating and distress.

Ready to try something different? Feed Zone Portables features REAL food recipes that are SIMPLE, DELICIOUS during exercise, EASY to make, and ready to GO.

Here is a sample recipe from Portables to try on your next ride or run:

Blueberry Coconut Sticky Bites

SERVINGS: 12
TIME: 
15 minutes prep + time to cook rice and pastasticky bites

Most athletes are used to eating gels or energy blocks. A sticky bite uses everyday ingredients to deliver that sweet kick in a more palatable way. The moisture in the carbs (rice, pasta, bread, or oats) allows the body to more quickly digest the nutrition.

  • 4 ounces uncooked orzo or other small pasta
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1½ teaspoons raw sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Fold in ¼ cup fresh blueberries. Top with raw sugar + coarse salt

TO MAKE STICKY BITES

Cook the rice or pasta and let cool to the touch. (*To keep your bites sticky, cook pasta until al dente and don’t add oil after draining the water.)

In a small food processor, combine the rice or pasta and the sticky and wet ingredients.

Pulse until you have a coarse, sticky mixture. Transfer to a medium bowl.

Fold in chocolate chips or blueberries. Sprinkle with topping. (*Be careful not to add too much salt.)

Press into an airtight container or wrap up in individual shapes.

Per Serving: 54 kcal, Fat 1 g, Sodium 18 mg, Carbs 8 g, Fiber 0 g, Protein 2 g, Water 42%

Reprinted from the new cookbook Feed Zone Portables. This is one book worth owning! Learn more at feedzonecookbook.com.

Breakfast in 10 seconds!

We’re all busy in the morning. But it’s still important to eat a healthy meal to start the day off right.

Follow our steps to a 10 second breakfast! 

20131014_0833471 – Throw in your fruit and veggies. Our favorites are bananas, strawberries, peaches, and spinach or kale leaves.

2 – Add your liquid. We like fruit juice and yogurt. You can even use water or milk.

3 – BLEND! Now your breakfast is ready! Enjoy!

The best part? You can eat it in the car on the way to work, or workout!

Deliciously Sweet Kale Salad

Why eat kale? Well, it’s loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and more! Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale 

This kale salad is fast, easy, healthy and delicious!

What you need: 

20131002_150127

  • Kale
  • Whole, dried cranberries
  • Blanched, slivered almonds
  • Maria’s Raspberry Vinaigrette (located in the refrigerated section of the produce/salad isle)

 

How to prepare: 

20131002_150605In a bowl, add chopped kale leaves, almonds and cranberries. Pour the raspberry vinaigrette dressing on top and stir well.

Look at this salad!!! Yum!

Teach Your Body to Burn More Fat

How many of us have said or thought, “I train to eat”? Probably a lot of us. We think exercise gives us the excuse to eat whatever we want. While we all deserve a splurge every now and then, we must be careful to not overindulge, especially if we want to perform well during training and on event day.

So what does our body need and how do we achieve improved athletic performance?

It’s all about metabolic efficiency. This simply means improving the body’s ability to utilize nutrients at the right time during training and on event day. Simply stated, it will allow the body to use carbohydrate and fat more efficiently.

Most of us love carbohydrates. Who doesn’t? But we tend to overindulge. This overindulgence of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain, as well as make it difficult to lose weight, and teaches our body to use carbohydrates as a primary energy source (and not fat).

Our body will use what we feed it. If we eat a diet large in carbohydrates, our body will primarily use carbohydrates as fuel. Carbohydrates are good sources of energy, we are not saying to completely cut them out, but there’s a great energy source we often miss out on – fat. If we eat more (healthy) fats, then we teach our body to use fat for energy. Fat provides more energy per kg than carbohydrates. (Note, this doesn’t mean to eat more fat than carbohydrates, rather to eat more fats in your diet).

Want to teach your body to use more of it’s fat stores for energy? Then follow these guidelines for improved athletic performance and metabolic efficiency.

Step 1: Eat healthy fats. Foods like dairy, meats, nuts, avocados, and oils are great sources of healthy fats. Fats from foods and stored body fat are excellent sources of energy.

Step 2: Eat healthy carbohydrates. It’s important to keep eating carbohydrates and not completely cut them out of your diet. Make an effort to reduce your intake of grains and favor fruits and vegetables. We don’t have to work hard to get carbohydrates in our diet, they are everywhere. We need to learn to be selective in the types of carbohydrates we eat on a daily basis. So that means reduce the intake of brownies, muffins, sugary cereals, etc., and favor the healthy carbohydrates – fruit and vegetables.

Step 3: Be patient. Diet changes take time to implement. It takes about 3 weeks or more to build a habit. As you make it a habit to favor healthy fats and eat more fruits and vegetables, monitor how you feel. In a short time you should discover you have more energy, feel better, and may have even lost a few inches!

Step 4: Give yourself ONE cheat day per week. It’s impossible to eat perfectly all the time. It’s impossible, really. Giving yourself one day per week to eat whatever you want will help you keep those cravings at bay. It’s when we cut them out completely that we overindulge and give up on our diet goals.

Step 5: Try this recipe!

We challenge you to give this a try! We would love to hear your feedback!

Reference: Bob Seebohar, Author of Improved Metabolic Efficiency, 2009.

Paleo Inspired Diet: A quick, healthy meal

Are you looking to improve your diet and athletic performance? If so, it’s easier than you might think! Begin with your diet and improved athletic performance will soon follow.

Think of food as fuel. What you consume affects how you feel and perform. Poor eating habits negatively affect performance and conversely, good eating habits positively affect performance. So, what are good eating habits? Eating foods in their natural, whole state (minimally processed).

How to adopt good eating habits: It’s hard to eat healthy. In our fast-paced life, we want convenience, but not always is convenient healthy. Here’s a fast and easy diet we have adopted at Alamo 180, and we LOVE it! We feel and look better. The best part – its’ easy!  

Here is our Paleo inspired diet:

Step 1: Start with a toddler plate that has sections. Use these sections to help with portion control. You can purchase a toddler plate at Target, Walmart or HEB Plus in the kid’s section of the store.

Step 1: Begin with a toddler plate.

Step 2: Select foods in their natural state. More colors, the healthier. We like to go to Costco and purchase bulk fruit, a large veggie tray and deli meats. You can also get these items at your local grocery store.

Step 2: Colorful, whole foods.

Step 3: Load the plate! We like to wrap up the deli meats and cheeses. Fill each section with colorful fruits and vegetables. After you load the plate, your meal is ready! How easy is that!?! While this meal may not look filling, it is! It has all the nutrients your body craves and it’s fast and easy to prepare.

step 3: Load the plate!

So next time you need a quick, easy meal, try our Paleo inspired diet. In a few days you will feel better and your athletic performance will improve. Don’t believe us? Try it and see for yourself!

Have any other diet tips to share? We would love to hear from you!

Breakfast for Athletes

Breakfast for Athletes: What to eat before morning training sessions and races.

By Bree Soileau, Nutritionist and Coach

Breakfast literally means to break the fasting period of the prior night. This is done by eating a meal or drinking fluids upon waking up.

For athletes, it’s important to consume something before a morning training session or race. What exactly? That depends on what your body can stomach and how long your training session or race is.

For shorter training sessions and races lasting less than 60 minutes, stick with carboydrates. Preferred carbohydrate sources: fruit, grains, juice.

For longer training sessions and races lasting 1 – 2 hours, consume carbohydrates and protein. Preferred carbohydrate sources: fruit, grains, juice. Preferred protein sources: non-fat dairy (yogurt, milk), eggs, peanut or almond butter. Try our delicious green smoothie recipe.

For training sessions and races lasting 2 hours or more, carbohydrates, protein and fat. Preferred carbohydrate sources: fruit, grains, juice. Preferred protein and fat sources: low fat dairy (yogurt, milk), eggs, peanut or almond butter, lean meats (turkey, ham). Again, green smoothies a delicious option.

When’s the best time to eat breakfast? The sooner the better. It’s preferred athletes eat breakfast 1 to 2 hours before exercise. We suggest you plan your meal based on your event start time. Why? Carbohyrates leave the stomach within 30 minutes and becomes instant energy. Protein and fat take a couple of hours. If your event is in less than an hour, opt for carbohyrates. If you have more time, you can also eat protein and fat. Nothing like having a full meal sitting heavy on your stomach causing cramping and discomfort during exercise. Keep in mind you can always refuel during a training session or event if you didn’t consume enough for breakfast.

Pre-Race Breakfast Example: Jeff and I ate a large breakfast before our Half Ironman in 2011. We went to Denny’s at 5AM and ate pancakes, eggs and bacon. We also enjoyed some coffee and lots of water. Our event (a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) was going to take us at least 5 and a half hours to complete. We needed to consume a large amount of calories pre-event. Start time was 8:00AM, so there was plenty of time for the food to digest. We had a great race and part of it was the breakfast.

If you have any questions about what types of food to eat before exercise, let us know. Want to share your favorite pre-exercise meal? Share with us! Post below in the comment section. Your favorite meal may become someone elses too!

(Disclaimer: Denny’s did not endorse this post. The race was out of town and this was the closest restaurant. We enjoyed every bite!)

 

Athletes NEED Salt

Salt gets a bad rap. It’s been long believed that too much salt (sodium) causes hypertension and high blood pressue, which in turn can lead to heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular ailments. But a recent study published in the August 2011 issue of American Journal of Hypertension involving 6,250 subjects, found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death. In fact, it was found that the risk for heart disease was 56% higher for the low-salt group. The conclusion that researchers came to was, the less salt you eat, the more likely you will die from heart disease, something that completely contradicts conventional views.

So how much salt do we need? According to a study in 1991, people need about one and one-half teaspoon of salt per day. That’s about 7,400mg. This number is higher than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of 2,400mg. Why the difference? The study found that anything less than 7,400mg triggers a cascade of hormones to recuperate sodium from the waste stream, hormones that make people vulnerable to heart disease and kidney problems. What happens if you consume “too much” salt? You will become thirsty, drink water and then urinate out the excess sodium. Your body is wise, it will self-regulate.

What does this all mean for athletes? Salt is a necessary electrolyte. As athletes, it’s imperative we get the proper amount of salt in our diet as we lose salt during exercise through sweating. The more we sweat, the more we lose. It’s important to replenish the loss through electrolyte drinks post-workout or post-race, or by adding a little extra salt to your diet.

So next time you want to pinch a little salt on your food or enjoy a margarita with salt on the rim – do it! Your body body needs it. It will thank you.

Listen to Your Body to Lose Weight

Nutrition is a science and an art, but it is not complicated like we make it out to be. It’s simple. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Before the scales and portion charts, that’s what our ancestors did. They listened to their body.

How to listen to your body: The hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that controls certain metabolic processes and other activities of the nervous system. Related to nutrition, the hypothalamus controls hunger and thirst. When you’re hungry, it sends signals for you to intake food. When you’re full, it sends signals for you to stop.

We have conditioned our body to ignore the signals. We are distracted when eating – watching TV, eating while driving, visiting with friends, or eating to satisfy emotional needs. We have also been accustomed to finishing our plate, especially at restaurants. If you eat out, restaurants have doubled or tripled portion sizes. Eating everything on your plate means you are eating more than your body needs. When you begin to feel full, stop eating. Ask for a take-out container and save the rest for later.

You don’t have to measure every portion you eat. You don’t have to count calories. Eat to satisfy the hunger and stop when full. Learn to listen to your body.

By Bree Soileau. (Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Incarnate Word Univ).

Fluid Needs For Athletes

Guidelines for Fluid Needs During Exercise

Hydration Before Exercise

  • Drink about 15-20 fl oz, 2-3 hours before exercise
  • Drink 8-10 fl oz 10-15 min before exercise

Hydration During Exercise

  • Drink 8-10 fl oz of WATER every 10-15 min during exercise
  • If exercising longer than 90 minutes, drink 8-10 fl oz of a SPORTS DRINK every 15 – 30 minutes. This is important as it will replace lost electrolytes and provide the needed calories for continuous performance.

Hydration After Exercise

  • Weigh yourself before and after exercise and replace fluid losses.
  • Drink 20-24 fl oz water for every 1 lb lost.
  • Consume carbohydrate and protein within 30 min – 2 hours after exercise. The carbohydrate will replenish glycogen stores and the protein will repair muscle tissue. (Chocolate milk is a favorite among many!)

 Fluid Needs Throughout the Day

It’s equally important to hydrate throughout the day. Limit the intake of soda, coffee and tea as these drinks, while delicious, contribute to dehydration. You do not have to eliminate them from your diet, just reduce the intake. For those that have a hard time drinking water, get creative. Put it in a coffee mug or use the plastic cups that come with a built-in straw (people tend to drink more fluids when sipping from a straw).

Green Smoothie

A green smoothie is simply a green colored smoothie. Add your favorite fruits and vegetables, throw in some spinach, blend it up and what you have is a healthy, delicious green smoothie!

Nutritional benefits:

By adding yogurt, Kefir, and spinach, green smoothies are rich in calcium and protein. Perfect for post-workout recovery!

Spinach is a good source of omega-3 unsaturated fats, contains all essential amino acids, and calcium, dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium. That is a lot from a tiny, green leafy vegetable!

How to make:

Green Smoothie = Liquid Base + Leafy Greens + Veggies + Fruit + Special Ingredients

Liquid Base: Organic White Grape Juice and Kefir (Kefir is amazing for the protein content and a superb probiotic source!)

Leafy Greens: Spinach leaves. The more you add, the greener the smoothie (and healthier). You can even add fresh kale.

Veggies: To add some healthy fats, throw in some avocado. You can even add carrots, and red or yellow bell peppers.

Fruit: Bananas, apples, oranges, mangos, grapes, etc. To ensure your smoothie has a beautiful green color, keep the fruits in the orange and yellow category.

Special ingredients: To make the smoothie even more nutritious and creamy, we add plain yogurt. This adds additional probiotics, protein and calcium. We never measure out the ingredients on purpose. Each one tastes slightly different and that’s the appeal for us. We also add local honey to boost our immune system (by exposing us to local allergens).

**No smoothie has all the stuff listed above.  We never make the same smoothie

Here at Alamo 180, green smoothies have truly changed the way we fuel and snack throughout the day. We use them as post recovery as well for a quick snack during the day.  It has helped with our training, nutrition, and hydration. We hope by sharing our recipe, you get the same benefits we do! Enjoy!