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What I Learned from a Sports Nutritionist

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I just spent the past hour typing up a new blog to tell you what I learned from my session with a sports nutritionist. Somehow I hit a wrong key and lost everything. So, here I go again . . .

Reason for appointment: Increase protein intake; reduce or eliminate leg cramps; increase lean muscle mass.

Resources: 2-week nutrition report generated from the nutrition tracker and a 2-week activity report generated from fitness tracker. These are an invaluable resource.

What I learned:

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Sources: flax seed or oil, fish oil, cod liver oil (yeah, I made a face at this one, but it now comes in flavors like strawberry, lemon, orange). In my pre-school years my mother forced us to take a spoonful every day (Mommy Dearest??). I used to cry and fuss and throw a fit, but she always won this battle. Omega-3 is good for reducing inflammation, maintaining proper blood clotting, keeping cells fluid, reducing other dangerous fat in your bloodstream, prevents cancer cell growth. Donít go without it. Iím adding 2 T of flax seed to cereal, yogurt, salad, etc. You can bake with itóuse as substitute for some of the flour. The oil is good too, but without the benefit of fiber. Use it in salad dressings; it loses its benefits if itís heated so you canít cook or bake with it.

2. Protein. Increase to 69-90 g a day. I am waaayy under that. Eat at least 20 g per meal each day. It builds healthy tissue, transports substances in body fluids, has antibodies, aids in digestion, regulates hormones. Post heavy exerciseóeat 10-20 g with 50-100 g carbs within 15 minutes. Continue every 2 hours until next meal. She also recommended protein powder as an easy way to get enough protein. But reports are coming out that there are unhealthy amounts of heavy metals in almost all of the brands that were tested if taken as recommended on the package. Iíll use powder only on occasion and only if itís organic. Greek yogurt is an excellent source (yum!!).

3. Calories. Eat more Ė possibly as many as 1700 a day. More importantly, donít focus on calories. Focus on getting the right balance of proteins/carbs/fats. The calories will take care of themselves. (I will do this with caution and a close eye on the scale.)

4. Vitamin D. Supplement diet with 2,000 IU daily now. Next dr. visit; get levels tested (specifically, D3). Many, many people are deficient or borderline. Vitamin D regulates calcium and is necessary for bone mineralization. Researchers are investigating the links between deficiency and diseases like lupus, diabetes, MS, depression and many more.

5. Magnesium. Consider taking a max. of 250 mg per day. Magnesium relaxes muscles, but thatís not the only thing it relaxes. In higher doses, itís a laxative.

6. Calcium. Begin taking 1500 units of calcium citrate. Calcium citrate doesnít require stomach acid to break it down for absorption so it can be taken any time of day. Take at least 2 hours before or after taking iron as they interfere with one anotherís absorption.

7. Strength training. Continue. This, with more protein, will help grow a leaner physique.

8. Sweeteners. There are lots of substitutesóstevia, agave nectar, Whey Low, etc. She didnít have a strong opinion about these since I eat very little processed food. She recommended I continue whatever Iím using now (mix of half stevia, half sugar or honey).

9. General diet. Continue eating fresh fruits and vegetables and lean sources of protein.

10. Iron. Continue with supplements.

Iíve already added the flax seed to my diet (yum--it has a slightly nutty flavor) and today I ate 77 g of protein. In fact, Iím going to have some dessert later tonight because Iím still a couple of hundred calories under goal. I may like these diet changes!

A lot of what I learned yesterday confirmed my confidence in the SparkBlogs and Articles. The nutritionist backed up a lot of the information I've gathered from SparkPeople.

And now I am headed out to take Daisy for a stroll around the neighborhood. She loves to strut her stuff after a day at the spa getting groomed.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSCLEMOM_2 7/28/2010 10:28PM

    Great info!!!!

Here's a couple of things I would like to share with you as well:

The body can only absorb calcium in 500 mg doses at a time with the rest being "eliminated" from the body. I advise my clients to take one 500 mg 3 X a day so as not to waste their money..or their supplement and tax the liver.

The protein article by CR was based on a person who would drink 8 scoops of protein powder a day. It's a meal replacement not suppose to be an individual's daily food. Also there are questions as to the labratory's ability to test the products accurately. Time will tell whether the report in that particular magazine is accurate. Lean Dessert assured me that their product is safe. I spoke with a rep a few days after the article broke. That's my choice and what I advise my clients to add in to their daily intake if they find their protein is on the low end. Generally speaking, I find most women are on the low end of their protein and adding one scoop a day to yogurt or water should be safe.

Sounds like you got some really great advice. Thanks for sharing with us!!!


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RENA1965 7/28/2010 9:43PM

    Trust sparks nutrition tracker also mimic the generated meals putting your own stuff into get the ratios right.. I used a professional concept and it fits perfectly into sparkspeoples..
Also eat within the recommended calories.. Log your exercise it will give you the calories you need without worry of over eating..
Rena emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/28/2010 9:47:45 PM

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ACTIVE_AT_60 7/28/2010 9:28PM

    2WHEELER - great blog. Lots of wisdom. A couple of things/comments

Greek yoghurt is a great source of protein and calcium. I strain regular no fat yoghurt - it is almost the same.

Vitamin D - I am surprised by her recommendation without a level. I was put on 1000 units - with a low level. It is fairly safe, but your need in the summer is less than the winter.

Iron - there are lots of food high in iron. I feel it is healthier to eat you out of the deficiencies than take supplements. http://www.all-creatures.org/health
/ironcont.html - word of caution - iron supplements tends to constipate you.

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BOBBYD31 7/28/2010 8:50PM

    valuable info, thank you. yes much of that information is on spark also which is a great resource. did she give you % for carbs, protein and fats? ok i looked at your food tracker and you are way below your calories, did she say anything about eating more on of the calories you burned for the day or just keep at an average of 1700.
thanks again.
now what happened with the toe???? i broke mine monday night and have a tri next weekend.... could be fun

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Waiting for Xray Results

Monday, July 19, 2010

Four weeks ago I broke my little toe--at least that was the consensus of my pals--while loading the get away vehicle for vacation. Of course, I didn't sit still for any longer than it took us to reach our destination. Then it was kayaking, hiking and biking--all in moderation--followed by R-I-C-E and lots of good wine to reduce the pain and swelling (RICE for the swelling; wine for the pain) Try it, it works.

Today I finally made a doctor's appointment to have the toe checked--it's still quite sore and I can't wear anything but open-toed sandals; thank goodness it's not winter. Doc looked at me skeptically and asked why I didn't get an x-ray weeks ago; didn't really have a good answer for that. She reluctantly agreed to an x-ray.

I went to the hospital, gave the x-ray technician the short story and mentioned twice that it was my left little toe. So what does he do--starts positioning my right foot for the x-ray. At first I thought he was just getting the foot out of the way, but when he started tying my toes together to get them out of the way of the little one, I knew he didn't know his left from his right. I jokingly told him it was my left, not his. He took it well and said I'd be surprised at how many people don't say a thing until after the x-ray or procedure is over (this happens often???).

So in a couple of days I'll know the results. I just want to know if it's healing okay; a previous break took 7 mos. before the bones were knitted. I'm eager to start running, but don't want to do anything that might cause more harm. Who knows, I could find out that it's healed or it wasn't broken; just severely bruised. And if that's the case, there's still hope that I could fit in a half marathon this fall.

Two good things have come from the rest--I'm getting in more strength training and swimming. And, oh, does that water ever feel great!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIAN36 7/23/2010 8:08AM

    Ok, I've been pretty absent from spark and totally missed the broken toe. I got unsubscribed from almost all my blogs and yours was one. I'm so sorry to hear you're injured. At least it doesn't sound like it hampered your vacation at all. Good friends and good wine can cure just about anything. LOL Speaking of wine, did you get a chance to sample that bottle I gave you at the marathon. Curious to know what you thought of it. You'll have to let me know what type of wine you usually drink so I can bring you something sure to please next time we meet.

I've registered for the Wild Woman Challenge in Somerset. I'm going to guess you won't be attending, but let me know if you are so we can firm up some plans. I'm finally all healed up and have my long runs back up to 6 miles. Sounds kinda lame after 26 miles, but I'm just glad to be back out on the road.


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UROPA40 7/23/2010 6:01AM

    The best thing about cross training and summer is that it gives you something else you can do instead of run. I did rent a kayak for the first time and went out in the lagoons at presque isle. It was really fun and we plan to go again this summer. Hope your toe is better soon. Suzy

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CHOESCH 7/20/2010 11:08AM

    Hope they find that all is well. Sometimes you can break the bones in your foot and not even know it. Good idea to get it checked out and make sure you are safe to run - wouldn't want to do anything that could keep you from being active! Let us know what they find out.
Have a GREAT Tuesday!

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BOBBYD31 7/19/2010 10:49PM

    yea same thing for me with the buddy tape and i was playing college basketball??? i hope it is ok for you but i will pass on the wine and go for tequilla on the next injury, won't feel a thing! LOL

let us know.

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TRILLIUM22 7/19/2010 9:45PM

    Hmmm, I broke a toe in college and all they did was buddy tape it. Felt like a total waste of time and effort going for the x-ray and all---and that was student health, just a quick stop on campus.

I think I broke a toe several years ago when I had little kids. No way I went to do the x-ray thing, just buddy taped it. So I'm not at all surprised if you didn't go to get it check out.

Have to let us know if they find anything and do something about it. Maybe they do something different now---it is something like 30 years later.

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Another Ride on the Roller Coaster of Weight Loss

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's been awhile since I've stepped on the scale or posted my progress. I can ignore the small, but slow weight gain when I don't record it. It's easier to step on the scale, look shocked, then forget what I just saw. I'd make a great ostrich.

But today I stepped up and recorded my weight and I'm tracking food again. There's no way I can maintain any weight loss unless I hold myself accountable by recording what I eat and my weekly weigh in. Recording and seeing it in black and white makes it harder to ignore. And it's very rewarding to watch as I slowly creep to the goal line.

Tomorrow when I get back into the office, I'm calling for an appointment with a nutritionist. There are two goals to focus on: 1. eat more protein without eating more fat and 2. determine what nutrients I need to help prevent muscle cramps when I exercise. Potassium is undoubtedly one of them, but I think there are other nutrients that would help as well.

Vacation is over and I'm glad there are no more chips, chocolate, dips, and beer to tempt me. It's time I get off this roller coaster.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOESCH 6/29/2010 11:13AM

    So glad your vacation was so fun! Welcome back! I've been working on getting more protein into my diet - I read somewhere that increasing your protein helps you burn more belly fat and that is one of my problem areas. So...I have been eating hard boiled eggs - two a day - if cholesterol is a problem you can eat just the whites. I also have added raw almonds for a snack and almond butter on whole grain toast. If I eat 6 small meals a day I seem to do better than if I try to eat three regular ones. It keeps me fuller longer and I don't have the cravings I originally had. Anyway...hope you find the answers you are looking for and that you see those numbers on the scale continue to get smaller and smaller. Just remember that you are amazing and totally worth any effort to be healthier and happier!

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DRAGONFLY1974 6/28/2010 4:59AM

    Let me know about the protein!!! I'm battling the slow gain too and I am also quite the ostrich! Good luck, but I know you can do this!!

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BOBBYD31 6/27/2010 2:47PM

    good luck, i hope they can give you some answers on the cramps

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Kayaking and Sleeping Under The Stars

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I am in the midst of a wonderful vacation with 6 fabulous, fun, adventurous women in the Adirondacks. We have a house on Lake Algonquin and we're here before the throngs of tourists arrive. It is perfect. We've been hiking, biking, and kayaking followed by wonderful evenings of bonding over good food and a few libations. I love and treasure this time with girl friends.

Two nights ago a friend and I began our kayak tour of the lake at 10 p.m. Not a sound anywhere except the swoosh of our paddles. The moon was about half full with just a few clouds. It was a little disorienting because the usual markers to know you are moving forward or sideways aren't there. So you have to trust your instincts.

We finished kayaking about 11:30 p.m. and set up to sleep under the stars at the back of the house. It's been awhile since I've done that (usually I'm in a tent) and I was a tad frightened. It seemed noisy with the sounds of night animals scurrying about. I couldn't help thinking I was the warmest body on the ground and would a snake seek out that heat and slither into my sleeping bag. Then I heard great plops in the water like someone was throwing in large rocks--I sat up and turned on my headlamp, but I couldn't see anything. it could have been a beaver, muskrat or otter. Earlier in the day I saw a mink swimming along the shoreline. The only sound I recognized was the deep bass of the bull frogs; it was very comforting. Eventually I fell asleep, but it took awhile to calm myself.

Tomorrow they are calling for rain; we could use a day of R&R.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOESCH 6/25/2010 1:07PM

    Wow! I haven't slept out under the stars for years - I don't know if I would be too afraid to fall asleep - I don't like the little critters of the night and I hate the mosquitoes - but the kayaking and everything else sounds amazing! I'm sure being out on the lake in the moonlight was awesome! I'll anxiously await your updates - looking forward to the whole travel log! Have a GREAT time!

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DRAGONFLY1974 6/24/2010 4:55AM

    Super jealous! Sounds like an awesome vacation!!

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WANDAC2013 6/23/2010 11:42PM

    OH, I am soooo jealous!!! Have a wonderful time!!!

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My Morning Ride

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Warm, bright sunshine
Cool refreshing breeze
Cotton ball clouds
Birds chirping
Cows passively watching me ride by
Horses frolicking
Gentle rolling hills
Tumbling, rollicking roadside stream
Farmland and forest
Ridge and valley
Freshly mowed grass
Honeysuckle perfume

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHOESCH 5/17/2010 11:59AM

    Sigh...sounds like the perfect day! We are having some beautiful weather - wishing that I wasn't working today! Enjoy that fresh air and sunshine - it is amazing how that can lift your spirits and help you get motivated.

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DRAGONFLY1974 5/16/2010 11:05AM

    makes me want to go ride!

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KATEPRUDE 5/16/2010 9:22AM

  Sounds beautiful! Getting outdoors to exercise is the best!

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BARB827 5/16/2010 9:22AM


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