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.
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!
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.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Warm, bright sunshine
Cool refreshing breeze
Cotton ball clouds
Cows passively watching me ride by
Gentle rolling hills
Tumbling, rollicking roadside stream
Farmland and forest
Ridge and valley
Freshly mowed grass
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