The EALM Blog Shelf

While Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Team work on some new and exciting projects, you may notice less posts on the Eating and Living Moderately Blog. We have created a “blog shelf” below to keep you entertained and educated. Get caught up on the latest nutrition education by clicking on each year below. We will send you nutrition updates, but we will not be inundating your mailboxes on a weekly basis. If you want weekly “love” and inspiration, subscribe to our Mom Dishes It Out blog for weekly posts and recipes. Mom Dishes It Out provides expert advice from mom Registered Dietitians and mom Speech Pathologists on the “how to” of health promotion!

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The EALM Blog Shelf

Please feel free to peruse our posts organized by year below. Or take a look at the categories listed at the bottom of the page to find a post in the desired.

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

What Happens on the Bike…

Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: RambergMediaImages via Compfight cc

What Happens on the Bike…
By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD

About three years ago, my good friend Jaime invited me to go to spin class with her. She would come over every Sunday and literally stand above my bed and ask me if I was ready. I was a mom with two very young kids, a professional career, and a husband who worked all of the time. Was I ready? Of course not! But all I had to do was throw on leggings, a tank top and sunglasses to cover the mascara smudges around my eyes from the day before! The spin studio was rather dark inside so no one would see that I hadn’t used my make-up remover. Well, what happened on that bike was more than I ever hoped might happen! Thank you, Jaime, for dragging me out of bed! Thank you, Robert, for watching the kids! And thank you, Janet, for reminding me of my own possibilities.

 

Once I got to class that first morning, I never looked back. Now please realize…I’m not talking about spinning right now, but rather about having the time to dream again, to set goals again, and to just feel the remarkable joy of moving in my own body. I had been in a motorcycle accident in 1996; since that time, I’d never been able to ski, run, or even wear my stilettos without severe consequences and/or extreme pain. But cycling was easier on my leg…and it gave me back “my edge.” It provided me with the opportunity—as Janet, the spin instructor advised—to set an intention on the bike for when you were literally off the bike. She didn’t talk about calories (well, maybe sometimes); instead she spoke of envisioning something you wanted to achieve and riding for that purpose. I took her every word seriously. And while on that bike, I decided that I was going to pursue my dream of writing a book.

 

Week after week, I went to my church (“Soul Cycle”), as Janet would say—to envision my book and sometimes to ride for a friend or family member in need of positive energy. But I have to admit that it was in Janet’s class every Sunday morning that I reminded myself that I really could do this.

 

I soon learned that writing a book and getting it published by a big publishing house was, in short, a seemingly backward process. Instead of writing a book and then trying to get your name and book into the public eye, I was advised by all the top editors to start a personal blog (that project eventually became MomDishesItOut) and then to go straight to television. Many advised me to skip writing a book altogether, but a book was important to me—a stepping stone in my career, something I personally wanted to do, and something I really wanted to accomplish for my mom. So I decided to take the route of working in the media while trying to write the book too. But my time was limited, and after six months of media appearances, I received my first offer to write a book. This was not necessarily my dream book, but then again, I’d never specified which book I wanted to write while I spent all those Sundays spinning away! The book’s subject was, however, close to my heart because it was about diabetes. You see, all the men in my family have diabetes. Each had helped me in my career. Whether it was letting me come along on their appointments with dietitians or introducing me to their doctors, it was meaningful to me. So, this book could, and would, be my tribute to all of them.

 

In the fall of 2013, what happened on that bike actually became my reality. Rodale published my first book, The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook, authored by me and the editors of Prevention Magazine. And then, just one month later, I self-published my second book, Healthy Habits: 8 Essential Nutrition Lessons Every Parent and Educator Needs. I dedicated my first book to my family members with diabetes and, of course, to my mother. My second book is not dedicated to anyone specifically; rather, it’s for every person with great hope that each will one day create a positive relationship with eating and a neutral relationship with food. It’s for my children, my clients, and all the parents out there who receive mixed messages on nutrition. This is the book that focuses on self-care and nutrient density, not weight loss and what you can’t have. It’s sort of like spinning. I spin to take care of myself and set goals rather than to lose weight or punish myself for eating a holiday dinner.

Photo Credit: rachel a. k. via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: rachel a. k. via Compfight cc

So find your vehicle—whether it’s a spin bike or a yoga mat or even a pew in your own spiritual temple. Set your intentions for 2015. And then let us know what happens! And again, thank you Jaime, Robert and Janet.

Life after Menopause…

Life after menopause…
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Menopause, the permanent end of menstruation and fertility, is defined as occurring 12 months after your last menstrual period. Women typically enter peri-menopause and then menopause in their 40s and 50s. The average age for menopause is 51.1 The transition into this phase in a woman’s life cycle and living optimally thereafter can be ameliorated through diet and physical activity. Embrace life after menopause by following these five tips for living life healthfully.

 

Photo Credit: brendan-c via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: brendan-c via Compfight cc
  1. Eat your estrogen through soy! Soybeans contain a hormone-like substance called phytoestrogen. It can mimic the effect of estrogen and have a vast impact on your overall health before, during, and after menopause. Fermented forms of soy are ideal. So choose miso, tempeh, natto, tofu and young soybeans in the pod known as edamame. Stick with eating soy in the real form rather than via supplements and bars.2
  2. Stand up straight. Now is the time to use light weights to counter osteoporosis. Osteoporosis, otherwise known as weak bones, is due to risk factors such as age, genetics, and dietary deficiencies in both calcium and Vitamin D. Women experience an increased rate of bone loss during menopause and for the ten years thereafter. Though osteoporosis is not reversible at this age, woman can manage, slow and or even stop it by strength training among other things. The act of weight training increases the activity of osteoblasts (bone building cells) and increases muscle strength which counters the effect of gravity. The effect of gravity on weak bones is observable as a “hunch back.” So stand strong—and be sure to incorporate light weights or resistant weight training twice a week.3
  3. Prevent weight gain in the waist area that is often associated with menopause. All you have to do is curb carb consumption at meals. With a decrease in estrogen, women are likely to see an increase in belly fat. While you cannot reverse aging, you can prevent a wide waist by limiting carbs at mealtime. When you eat carbohydrates and even protein, a hormone known as insulin increases to transport the carbohydrates (also known as sugar) into your blood cells. When insulin levels rise, research demonstrates there is likely an increase in belly fat deposition. Therefore, if you prevent insulin from spiking by minimizing the amount of carbohydrates you eat at a meal, not only will you be cutting calories, but you will also be preventing excess belly fat deposits. Women should use 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal and 15 grams of carbohydrate per snack as a guide.4
  4. Stay happy and heart healthy with essential fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are associated with decreased depression, inflammation and triglyceride levels.5 And women are more likely to experience both depression and heart disease after menopause.6 The key to omega 3 fatty acid intake is first ensuring that you are eating the right form—the fish form such as wild salmon, trout, bass and canned chunk light tuna. These fish contain higher amounts of the omegas known as DHA—docosahexaenoic acid. DHA is the specific fatty acid studied whereas the vegetarian sources of omega 3 fatty acids (pumpkin seeds, walnuts and even algae) contain ALA—alpha-linoleic acid. Only ten percent of ALA gets converted to the beneficial form of DHA. So go fishing for dinner.5
  5. Decrease vaginal discomfort…including dryness and incontinence. Some tricks of the trade help to reduce the pain and improve your sex life. During and after menopause, there can be thinning and inflammation of the vaginal walls. The decrease in the hormone estrogen affects the moisture level causing vaginal dryness and “pelvic relaxation.” Incontinence is the inability to hold urine from your urethra due to pelvic relaxation.7 The positive news is that research from the Mayo Clinic suggests limiting alcohol, caffeine and or acidic foods to lessen irritation. Practicing yoga and kegel exercises and participating in vaginal physical therapy can reduce pain and even incontinence.8

 

References

1. “Menopause.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/definition/con-20019726>.

2. Hyman, Mark, MD. “How Soy Can Kill You and Save Your Life – Dr. Mark Hyman.” Dr. Mark Hyman. DrHyman.com, 25 Feb. 2013. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://drhyman.com/blog/2010/08/06/how-soy-can-kill-you-and-save-your-life/#close>.

3. “General Facts on Osteoporosis.” National Osteoporosis Foundation (n.d.): n. pag. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://nof.org/files/nof/public/content/file/2681/upload/899.pdf>.

4. Cipullo, Laura. The Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook. New York: Rodale, 2013. Print.

5. “Fish Oil: MedlinePlus Supplements.” MedlinePlus. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 04 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/993.html>.

6. “Depression in Older Persons Fact Sheet.” NAMI. NAMI – The National Alliance on Mental Illness, Oct. 2009. Web. 24 May 2014. <http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=7515>.

7. “Urinary Incontinence.” NAMS. The North American Menopause Society, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/causes-of-sexual-problems/urinary-incontinence>.

8. “Yoga, Kegel Exercises, Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy.” NAMS. The North American Menopause Society, n.d. Web. 23 May 2014. <http://www.menopause.org/for-women/sexual-health-menopause-online/effective-treatments-for-sexual-problems/yoga-kegel-exercises-pelvic-floor-physical-therapy>.

Diabulimia: Learning More about your Teen and their Type-1 Diabetes Diagnosis

Diabulimia: Learning More about your Teen and their Type-1 Diabetes Diagnosis
By Laura Cipullo and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

 

Diabulimia is an unofficial term, used by both the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, to define a serious condition effecting, but not limited to, adolescent girls diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Photo Credit: via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: via Compfight cc

An adolescent diagnosed with diabulimia (known formally as ED-DMT1) is characterized by the intentional misuse and manipulation of insulin for the purposes of weight loss and control. By decreasing, or skipping the necessary dose of insulin, the individual’s body cannot absorb the carbohydrate, which affects weight and causes high blood sugar. This is very dangerous state as high blood sugar can cause Diabetic Ketoacidosis.

 

Did you know diabulimia’s prevalence is most widely recognized in adolescent girls? Studies conducted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Pediatric Nutrition, report that an adolescent girl, with T1DM, is 2.4 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than her peers. While it is difficult to pinpoint the culprit behind diabulimia, the current assumption is the hyper focus on diet, control and weight. The strict diet associated with diabetes care and the pressures associated with women, eating, and body image could “exacerbate preexisting disordered eating tendencies.” (Childers)

 

If your tween or teen has diabetes, here are signs that may signify there is an element of disordered eating or an eating disorder:

  1. Frequent Diabetic Ketoacidosis
  2. Excessive Exercise
  3. Use of diet pills or laxatives to control weight
  4. Anxiety about or avoidance of being weighed
  5. Frequent and severe hypoglycemia
  6. Binging with alcohol
  7. Severe stress in family
  8. Frequent Insulin omission (Franz)

This is a relatively new branch to the field of nutrition, displayed by its mixture of symptoms and heath concerns.  It is important to remember the American Diabetes Association (ADA) continues to stress that there is no “one-size-fits-all” eating pattern for individuals with diabetes. When it comes to dietary recommendations, there is a strong emphasis on personal/cultural sensitivity and care. If your adolescent shows the above signs, it is highly recommended to seek a registered dietitian who specializes in both diabetes and eating disorders.

DiabulimiaPostAdditionalResources

What do you think the prevalence of Diabulimia suggests about adolescent girls perception of health? How can we help to reframe this image?

 

 

Resources

  • Nancy, Childers, and Hansen-Petrik Melissa. “Diabulimia in Adolescent Females.” Pediatric Nutrition 37.3 (2014): 13-16. Print.
  • Franz, Marion J., and Kulkarni, Karmeen. Diabetes Education and Program Management. Chicago, IL: American Association of Diabetes Educators, 2001. 159. Print.

Is Your Trainer Trained?

Is Your Trainer Trained?

Do you ever wonder what the initials after your trainer’s name stand for? Or what initials should a trainer even have? EALM asked fitness trainer Tiffany Chag, CSCS to let us know what credentials a personal fitness trainer should have and what they mean. Here is her response!

Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Compfight cc

Chag shared “It is most important that the trainer has an up-to-date personal training certification accredited by the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).”  Just so you know, some require a four-year college degree while others take only 20 minutes to complete online.  She let us know there are many personal training certifications out there, but there are three widely recognized personal training governing bodies and their respective certifications.”

 

  1. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA): offers both the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification and the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification.  The CSCS is the most recognized and respected certification in the fitness profession, intended for trainers focused on maximizing athletic performance.  In order to sit for the four-hour exam, you must have a four-year college degree.  The CPT, also highly regarded, is intended for trainers working with the general population.
  2. American College of Sports Medicine—Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM-CPT):  Like the NSCA-CPT, this certification is intended for trainers working with the general population.  As stated on its website, the ACSM, “advances and integrates scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.”
  3. National Academy of Sports Medicine—Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT): This certification is also meant for trainers working with the general population and focuses more on corrective exercise through balance and functional movement.  They created the Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model to design personal training programs.

 

Tiffany made us aware of additional certifications trainers may earn. “Many trainers complete certifications for special populations such as triathlon training, pre- and post-natal, weight loss, and youth or seniors. Trainers can also obtain certifications focused on different modalities of exercise, such as: kettle bells, TRX (the black and yellow rope you see hanging around your gym), or spinning/cycling.  If you’re looking for something in particular, ask if a trainer has a specialty certification or if they’ve ever worked with someone in a similar situation.  Most trainers will gladly provide referrals, if you’re interested.”

Photo Credit: Justin Liew via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Justin Liew via Compfight cc

Tiffany Chag’s Words of Wisdom for the World of Fitness:

“Ask questions!  I can count on one hand the number of times a prospective client has asked about my background—this always surprises me. The more you learn about the trainer, the more likely you are to find the right match to help you reach your health and fitness goals.

Working with a trainer should be challenging and should push you outside your comfort zone, but mostly…it should be fun.  In between catching your breath, ideally you’re able to eke out a smile!”

Thanks Tiffany!! You can check out more about Tiffany Chag, CSCS and her certifications at: www.tiffanychagtraining.com ~ Facebook.

Laura Cipullo and EALM’s Words of Wisdom for the World of Fitness:

Look for the initials CSCS, CPT and or NASM-CPT. Ask questions and make sure you don’t push too hard to cause injury!! Also check out www.destructivelyfit.com to see if your trainer has been trained to work with eating disorders.

Healthy and Happy: The Positive Role Team Sports Play on Adolescent Girls

Headline: Sign Your Girls Up For Team Sports this Fall!

Photo Credit: evoo73 via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: evoo73 via Compfight cc

Healthy and Happy: The Positive Role Team Sports Play on Adolescent Girls
By Lauren Cohen and Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services

 

Do you remember what middle school was like for you? If you’re like me, you probably try not to remember. Being a teenager is difficult. Between the physical changes, social changes, and mental changes, overwhelming is probably an understatement—and that’s not even including schoolwork! And then there are the girls. The pressure and social anxiety to “fit it” is exacerbated by the feeling that you need to wear the right clothes or carry the right backpack or have the right friends. As many times as we try to profess that all girls feel it (yes, even that “it” girl!), it is an isolating and lonely sensation. While we can’t eliminate the discomfort that comes along with being a teenage girl—we can work to improve it.

 

New research suggests that team sports may be the answer to helping adolescent girls live happier, healthy lives. While research is continuing to expand our knowledge as to why this is the case, the results show a varied and wide impact. In an essay published by the World Health Organization, the benefits of participation in team sports are classified into five categories; physical, mental, social, intellectual/ educational development and reproductive health.

 

Physical Health

Physical health is improved in two ways. First, it can reduce the risk for diseases that often affect children and adolescents including diabetes and high blood pressure. Secondly, it can reduce the risk for chronic diseases that often develop later in life including cancer, diabetes, and coronary heart disease. Physical activity also continues to prevent childhood obesity, which has a close relationship with adolescent depressive disorders.

 

Mental Health

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that roughly 11% of adolescents develop depressive disorders by age 18—and girls are twice as likely to have a depressive episode then boys. While that is a scary statistic, it is important to remember that there are many ways to combat and understand depressive disorders. Team sports are one of them. It has a positive effect on a young girl’s physiological well-being and can reduce levels of anxiety and depression. There are new studies that suggest physical activity as a treatment option  – since it often acts as an anti-depressant and lowers stress levels.

 

An article published by the LA Times in April 2014 recently addressed a study suggesting that calling a girl “too fat” by people close to her are more likely to become obese by age 19. The link seems to be emotional—if girls feel bad about themselves, they turn to food for comfort.

 

Social/Intellectual/Educational Health

With lower levels of stress and increased physical health, studies show an upward trend in academic and intellectual success. There is also a higher rate of interest in graduation from high school and college with a lower rate of dropouts and higher GPAs—particularly in math and science. Socially, these team players experience a sense of belonging, a community, and teammates who share a common interest and goal.

 

Sexual Health

Limited research also suggests that inclusion in team sports gives young women a sense of pride, respect, and empowerment towards their bodies.

 

In many settings, adolescents may be encouraged to view their bodies as sexual and reproductive resources for men, rather than sources of strength for themselves. Early studies conducted in the US have found that adolescent girls who participate in sports tend to become sexually active later in life, have fewer partners, and, when sexually active, make greater use of contraception than non-sporting girls.

-Girls Participation in Physical Activities and Sports: Benefits, Patterns, Influences, and ways Forward; Bailey, Wellard, Dismore

 

With increased rates of adolescent pregnancy and poor sexual health & education, the hope that young women will display bodily empowerment and respect is certainly desirable and correlates with participation in team sports.

 

As we already know, physical activity already has such a wide range of positive impacts that reach from muscle toning to mind toning. When we add the element of team building and comradeship, it really might be the best mixture for adolescent girls. Even if practice is just once a week, sign up! The tools she gains and the resources she learns are the very skills that teach us to live a happy and healthy life.

 

 

 

Resources

 

http://www.icsspe.org/sites/default/files/Girls.pdf

 

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression-in-children-and-adolescents/index.shtml

 

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/07/11/peds.2011-2898

 

http://www.newkerala.com/news/2014/fullnews-27523.html#.U0LBgK1dVK4

 

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/24/team-sports-help-children-be-healthier-do-better-in-class-study

Fueling for a Moonwalk

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This coming Saturday night (7/26), thousands of people will walk together for Walk the Walk America’s 2nd Annual NYC Moonwalk. Participants will walk  the streets of NYC in a fight against breast cancer. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to speak to some of these participants last month. On June 26th, I spoke with Moonwalk participants about the importance of nutrition when completing a marathon. Please read on to see some of the items we discussed:

 

What to Eat Before a Marathon

2-3 Days Before:

•Mostly carbohydrates, moderate protein, and low fat
•Carbs provide the muscles with adequate glucose (sugar) for glycogen storage

3–4 Hours Prior:

•Eat simple, easy-to-digest carbohydrates (moderate protein & low fat)
•White bread, pasta, etc.
•Avoid high-fiber foods to limit intestinal residue

•Prevent the need for bowel movements
•Prevent bloating and gas

Photo Credit: flowercarole via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: flowercarole via Compfight cc

 

Pre-Competition Meal Ideas

•Cheerios with low-fat milk, fruit-flavored Greek yogurt, and banana
•Omelet with cheese and baked hash brown potatoes
•White English muffin with avocado, hummus, and applesauce
•Bagel with natural peanut butter and jam
•Turkey on white bread with a low-fat yogurt
•White pasta with pesto and shrimp
Photo Credit: shecodes via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: shecodes via Compfight cc

 

Hydration
Before, During, and After

2 cups 2 hours before, and 2 cups during

•Recommended to drink 16 oz. of fluid at least 2 hours before event
•Remember to drink 2 cups for each hour of event
•If > 1 hr. replete electrolytes especially sodium and potassium
•Drink 16 oz./2 cups of electrolyte beverage for every pound of body weight lost during the event
Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc

 

Eating on the “Run/Walk”

•Eat 30–60 grams of carbs for every hour
•15 grams of carbs every 15 minutes
Eat 90 grams of carbs for events lasting > 3 hrs
ž•Get carbs from your sports beverage (typically 6–8 percent carbs)or gel packs

 

 

What to Eat After

•Eat between 30 minutes and 1 hr. after
•Reload glycogen muscle storage
•Replenish your body with carbohydrates
•Eat protein (about 3 oz.) to help to repair your muscles
•Antioxidants repair free radical damage
•Muscle recovery lasts 30 minutes to 4 hours post-exercise

 

For more information on the 2014 NYC Moonwalk or Walk the Walk America, please click here to be redirected to their website.

Your RD’s Top 25 Things To Do/Not To Do to Be Healthy

Your RD’s Top 25 Things To Do/ Not To Do to Be Healthy
Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE, CEDRD
Photo Credit: Courtney Dirks via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Courtney Dirks via Compfight cc

1. Do order Blue Apron or Plated; Do not order thru Seamless (likely a binge)
2. Do eat all food in moderation; Do not think that this means saying “yes” to all foods all the time in any portion
3. Do go to Soul Cycle; Do not go 7 days a week or do double sessions
4. Do go to yoga; Do not exercise only to burn calories
5. Do eat kale; Do not eat so much kale that your hands turn orange
6. Do gain knowledge regarding calories; Do not count calories
7. Do food shop at health food stores; Do not think that all these foods are healthy for you
8. Do make your own dinner; Do not think that I or other RDs cook every night ☺
9. Do monitor your well-being; Do not use a scale to weigh your wellness
10. Do use a scale if necessary; Do not ever use a scale more than once a week
11. Do monitor for a trend over three weeks; Do not freak out over 1–2 # changes
12. Do buy organic fruits, vegetables, and dairy; Do not buy organic from other countries
13. Do buy local foods first; Do not forget that many small local farms can’t afford organic certification
14. Do know that you can only absorb lycopenes through cooked tomatoes; Do not follow a raw diet
15. Do eat some fruits and veggies raw; Do not only eat fruits and veggies

 
Read more: http://www.yourtango.com/experts/laura-cipullo/your-rd-s-top-25-things-do-not-do-be-healthy#ixzz37NLysDLQ

Fueling Your Passion: Ensuring Adequate Nutrition for the Athlete

Fueling Your Passion
Ensuring Adequate Nutrition for the Athlete
By Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

In this post, please note that another name for sugar is glucose.

Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: chuddlesworth via Compfight cc

Calling all athletes!

Whether you’re running the NYC marathon or your first triathlon, nutrition is an important key to performance excellence. Knowing the best foods to eat before, during, and after you compete is essential for a successful event and, of course, not “bonking out”! Here’s the lowdown for fueling your race.

 

2 to 3 days before the event:

Consume a meal consisting mostly of carbohydrates, moderate amounts of protein plus some amounts of fat; it’s the most favorable repast for athletes before entering a competition. Eat simple, easy to digest (lower in fiber) carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta approximately two to three days before you compete. Louis Burke, PhD, recommends this lower residue intake to minimize intestinal contents —and therefore prevent the need for bowel movements during the event.1 Eating this way is a key element of running free from bloat and gas during the competition.

 

This meal focuses on carbohydrates because they are digested faster than protein and fat, thus providing the muscles with adequate glucose (sugar) for glycogen stores (your body’s storage form of glucose). This gives athletes enough energy reserves to maintain higher and longer levels of intensity during the event.2 Adequate glucose storage in the muscles will prevent you from experiencing weakness and fatigue when participating in events requiring extra endurance.

 

Pre-competition meal:

Eating your pre-event meal three to four hours before the game or race is another key element to performing at your very best. A balanced meal will provide you with the maximum available energy you need for competition. Giving your body enough time to digest the meal is key.3

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Here are some good examples of pre-competition meals—to be consumed 3 to 4 hours before the event:

  • Cheerios with low-fat milk and fruit-flavored Greek yogurt with banana
  • Omelet with cheese and baked hash brown potatoes
  • White English muffin with avocado and hummus and an applesauce side
  • Bagel with natural peanut butter and jam
  • Turkey on white bread with a low-fat yogurt
  • White pasta with pesto and shrimp

 

 

Hydration: 2 cups 2 hours before—and 2 cups during!

Keeping yourself well hydrated both before and during exercise is essential to successful performance. Drinking two cups of fluid (8 oz. per cup) at least two hours before your event can be helpful in preventing dehydration. It’s also important to make sure that you drink another two cups of water for every hour you are competing.5 Preventing dehydration can keep you from feeling fatigued and can prevent your muscles from cramping during your competition. If you’re an athlete participating in an event lasting over an hour, you should also think about electrolyte depletion. Excessive sweating causes you to lose important electrolytes such as sodium and potassium—and can adversely affect your performance. To replace lost electrolytes, consider choosing a sports drink such as Gatorade which will aid in electrolyte repletion and rehydration. Sports drinks usually contain carbohydrates, sodium and potassium. Gatorade (and other sports drinks formulated especially for athletes include water, glucose/sugar and electrolytes) provides the ideal ratio for rehydration and repletion of electrolytes and glycogen stores.6

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Recovery foods:

Recovery foods to consume at your post-event meals are just as important as your pre-event meals. During exercise, your body breaks down its muscle glycogen stores. When your body uses the available glucose in your blood, it needs to switch to reserves. It can quickly break glycogen down into glucose which causes the glycogen stores to become depleted. Due to this breakdown, replenishing your body with carbohydrates is crucial for adequate recovery.7 Make sure you eat enough carbohydrates to restore the glycogen in the muscles that was depleted during the event. Protein will help to repair the muscles that were stressed. Antioxidants are also beneficial at this time; they aid in repairing any free radical damage that occurred during your intense exercise. In general, consuming carbs and proteins within thirty minutes of your workout is ideal for muscle recovery. This muscle recovery period will last for about 30 minutes to four hours post exercise.

 

Here are some post-event meal ideas to help you recover and prepare for your next workout:

  • Oat bagel toasted with almond butter and fresh strawberries
  • Whole grain wrap with grilled chicken, hummus and tricolor peppers
  • Whole-wheat burrito with white rice, beans and veggies
  • Grilled salmon and quinoa with steamed squash
  • Smoothie with low-fat milk, banana, peanut butter, protein powder and wheat germ
  • Spaghetti and meatballs with spinach

 

On average, it’s recommended that a female athlete (about 5’4” and 140 lbs.) consume approximately 500 grams of carbohydrates and 76 to 89 grams of protein per day. It’s recommended that a male athlete (about 6’0” and 180 lbs.) consume approximately 700 grams of carbohydrates and 98 to 113 grams of protein per day.7

 

Providing yourself with the proper energy foods both before and after your competition can make a huge difference in your performance. Eating a low residue, carbohydrate rich diet is important for your pre-event meal while eating within thirty minutes of a competition is crucial for your post-event recovery. What you feed your body both before and after competition can be the most important key for turning an adequate performance in your event into an excellent one!

 

What do you eat before and after an event? What foods work for your body? Do you have any secrets to your success that you can share with our readers?

 

Don’t miss out on our giveaway! Click here to enter for your chance to win some great fitness prizes!

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Looking for some great ways to stay active this Spring? Check out House of Jai’s fundraising event this Mother’s Day weekend benefiting Saving Mothers!

 

References:

1. “Conference Highlights.” Scan’s Pulse. Spring 2014; 33(2):16-18. 06 Apr. 2014.

2. “Pre-Event Meals.” American College of Sports Medicine. www.acsm.org. Accessed April 13, 2014.

3. Berning J, Neville K. “From The Sandlot to the Olympics Fueling Athletes A Key To Success.” Dry Bean Quarterly. Beaninstitute.com. 2014. Accessed April 6, 2014.

4. Berning J, Manroe M, Meyer NL. “Recommendations for Fitness Athletes on Food and Fluid Consumption.” Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Accessed April 13, 2014.

5. Jeffrey, K. “How to Hydrate Before, During, and After a Workout.” Active.com. N.p.n.d. Web. Accessed April 6, 2014.

6. Caldwell J. “Sports Drinks: Are they effective in improving Athletic Performance?”  Vanderbilt University Psychology Department. http://www.vanderbilt.edu/AnS/psychology/health_psychology/gatorade.htm. Accessed April 13, 2014.

7. The Position Statement from the Dietitians of Canada, the American Dietetic Association, and the American College of Sports Medicine, Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research in the Winter of 2000, 61(4):176-192. Accessed April 13, 2014.

Olympians at the Office

Photo Credit: PhotoshopScaresMe.com via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: PhotoshopScaresMe.com via Compfight cc

Olympians at the Office
By Lauren Cohen, NYU Nutrition Student and the Laura Cipullo Whole Nutrition Services Team

Walking through a hall of chiseled, marble statues in various athletic positions can make you wonder who that discus thrower’s trainer was and if his 450 BC workout is still available. This renaissance Photoshop, and very real Photoshop of the 2014 Sochi Athletes, may even elicit a google search for an “Olympic fitness routine.” But before you embark on your new training, consider this; “Olympian” is not a workout regiment—it’s a career.

If you have a job, go to school, are a full-time parent, or do all of the above, you already understand what kind of intense commitment goes into your profession. Being an Olympic Athlete isn’t just doing the workout, it’s doing the work. Let’s deconstruct this idea by taking a closer look at the United States ice dancing gold-medalists, Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

Davis, 27, and White, 26, have been ice dancing together for 17 years, training roughly 1.5-2 hours everyday—when they were young teens. These part-time students at The University of Michigan are now full-time Olympic Athletes. Davis and White are on the ice every Monday through Friday starting at 7am at the International Skating Academy in Canton, Michigan. They typically go through techniques, watch old performance tape, and develop new routines on and off the ice. They stay in their skates for about 6 hours. After work, they hit the gym.

A typical after work-workout consists of cardio, three days a week, and then strength training. They do agility, balance, and weight training and, on occasion, ballet. While it is not their favorite, it is essential to help with their balance practice. White often steadies a kettle bell on his shoulders during ballet practice in preparation for the lifts and carries during their skating routines. Davis and White enjoy their weekends off.

Despite the more offbeat nature of their professional life, their workday is very similar to your average adult. The main different is that their body is their office. It’s where they spend their business days and where they put in overtime; it’s their trade and their skill and it’s what pays their bills.

Training like an Olympic Athlete is taking on an entirely new profession; one where the most skilled are constantly subjected to injury. During the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, over 11% of the athletes injured themselves. More than half of those injuries occurred during training. These figures do not even include the athletes who were injured prior to the Games. Canadian ice-dancer Tessa Virtue famously skated through compartment syndrome in both her legs during the 2010 Games and went on to endure two painful surgeries and over a year of recovery. She and her partner, Scott Moir, withdrew from a series of 2012 competitions due to a faulty landing on Moir’s neck. Luckily, they were able to compete in the 2014 Games and took home the silver medal.

The very same attention and devotion you put into your work, they put into theirs. So, in a way, we are all Olympians in our field! You would never ask an athlete—or more importantly, any untrained individual—to take over your job. Maybe, from now on, we can just meet Davis and White at the gym when we all get off work.

 

References

  1. Longman, J. “Behind Meryl Davis and Charlie White, U.S. Is Close to Its First Ice Dance Gold.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/17/sports/olympics/behind-meryl-davis-and-charlie-white-us-is-close-to-its-first-ice-dance-gold.html?_r=0
  2. Junge, A., L. Engebretsen, J. M. Alonso, P. Renström, M. Mountjoy, M. Aubry, and J. Dvorak. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 07 Apr. 2008. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18390916
  3. “Meryl Davis & Charlie White.” Classroom Champions. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.classroomchampions.org/person/37/Meryl-Davis-Charlie-White
  4. “Meryl Davis & Charlie White.” Shape Magazine. American Media, INC, n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.shape.com/topics/meryl-davis-charlie-white
  5. Cardarelli, L. “Ice Dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White Shape Up for the Olympics | The Fit Stop.” The Fit Stop. Fitness Magazine, 30 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/blogs/fitstop/2012/11/30/fitness/ice-dancers-meryl-davis-and-charlie-white-shape-up-for-the-olympics/
  6. “Canadian Pair Scott Moir, Tessa Virtue Continue to Deal with Injuries – CBC Sports – Figure Skating.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.cbc.ca/sports/figureskating/canadian-pair-scott-moir-tessa-virtue-continue-to-deal-with-injuries-1.1284273
  7. Seidel, Jeff. “Jeff Seidel: Michigan Ice Dancers Meryl Davis, Charlie White Make Perfect Pair.” Detroit Free Press. N.p., 02 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014. http://www.freep.com/article/20140202/SPORTS/302020058/Jeff-Seidel-Michigan-ice-dancers-Meryl-Davis-Charlie-White-make-perfect-pair