All posts filed under: Nutrition

First of Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude.

Anyone attempting to train at sea level and, also loves mountain running has probably experienced the challenges of  a high-elevation race. What is the challenge? Well, let me put it this way, my first attempt at climbing mountains in a race felt like being pregnant while also having a big pile of bricks on my chest.  In was difficult. But, as challenges are, also a great opportunity to learn. Mountain running used to just be me going on a run in the mountains. That however, was when I lived IN the mountains adapted to elevation. Now a seasoned sea level dweller,  mountain running requires more attention to nutrition to feel good and have fun. Why? Consider the dry climate, potentially abrupt temperature swings, and the exposed climbs.  In conditions like these, even the most fit and altitude adapted athletes suffer many of the same effects of altitude. There are four key nutrition considerations that I take into account to help me ascend new heights above tree line. Here is the first consideration I will be …

World Ski & Snowboard Festival, Whistler, and Smoothies

Whistler, British Columbia is a magical place in summer and winter. I have delighted in experiencing both seasons at their best. In April I returned from an event inspired once again to explore wild places both outside and within myself – adding the Spearhead Traverse to the list of places I want to run. This event was the World Ski & Snowbird Festival. This celebration brings together people who love to hang out in the snow and the mountains.  From roller derby competition to skiing powder along side back country snowboarding wonder Tamo Campos, this event had just the right amount of quirk, inspiration, and beauty all wrapped into one. As part of this event, I  hosted “wake-up and get-after-it” nutrition talks with Canadian journalists and entrepreneurs. What did we talk about? We talked about rethinking our approach to food. Instead of over thinking food, I encouraged them to focus on “that thing you set out to do or accomplish”. In this case it was a day of chasing after patches of untouched powder over …

Adventure Nutrition for Mountain Projects

  Last Saturday I co-hosted a Adventure Nutrition Workshop at The Mountain Project structured around giving mountain athletes nutrition tools to train and prepare for big days in the mountains. It was day of working out, learning and applying nutrition, and eating! Too often what we eat (or don’t eat), when we eat, and how we eat limits our ability to meet new challenges and achieve goals. The group who joined us on this day was not only motivated by a broad spectrum of mountain projects (from day hikes to ultra-running races), they were also inspiring athletes committed to their quest, open to trying new things, and just plain fun people to spend a Saturday with! We closed the day experimenting with nutritious ingredients in the kitchen to make four varieties of one-of-kind energy snacks! While each group made it their own, here was the basic premise of the recipe. Base Layer Ingredients: ¼ cup chopped flaxseeds 1 cups dates or figs chopped 1 cup steel-cut oats (could substitute with rolled oats or quinoa) 1/4 cup whey …

Performance Nutrition Behavior Number Three: Stop Comparing Your Food Choices with Others

For some people, I get the feeling that eating a meal with their friendly dietitian is like going out with their hair dresser on a “bad hair day”.  Let me set the record straight. I pass no judgement on anyone else’s food choices when we are enjoying a meal together. Just as my hair dresser saves his comments on my hair for the chair; I reserve my comments on the diet of others only when prompted.  I believe in everyone’s right to make their own choices about what best serves them. Their reasons are different from mine. Comparisons of food  choices and habits to anything other than our own intentions leads to mounds of unnecessary shame and guilt over food. Performance nutrition behavior number three is to stop this comparison game with others. Never “yuck someone else’s yum” and never rate the quality of your choices to those of others. Also, “should eats” get you no where. Adopting performance nutrition behavior number two provides a standard worth comparison – your own intentions. It allows for …

Performance Nutrition Behavior Number Two: Determine Your Higher Purpose

Here is something for the next person who tells me “all this running can’t be good for you” to read. It is also an example of a man who truly gets how running is training for life.  Not only that, he does not look his age at all. In this Forbes’ article it says he runs to stay fit for a higher purpose. He doesn’t run to be skinny or prove himself. He runs to stay fit for doing “whatever he wants”, which is also how he defines retirement. Nutrition is no different.  Eating for the purpose of achieving a certain weight, body, or blood lipid level isn’t enough to overcome the barriers keeping so many from eating in a way that they intuitively know is healthy. Eating for a higher purpose  can help. Are you eating in a way that helps you accomplish what it is your want to do?  If not, why not? Maybe it is time to identify a higher purpose to the food you choose. I want to eat in a …

Performance Nutrition Behavior Number One: Eat!

Working along side some of the world’s most talented athletes and athletic adventurers I  see and hear a lot of interesting food-related behaviors. Not all are good.  Some folks seem to have a challenging relationship with food that gets in their way of helping them accomplish their goals. Whether those goals are to pick up running again after having a baby or to traverse the big ridge lines in the mountains, it isn’t just what you eat that is important but, also HOW you eat. Through my work and my  own experimentation with food as fuel for my tara-sized adventures  have identified  three easily stated but, most difficult to accept practices around food. I refer to these behaviors as practices because like a yoga pose, there is always somewhere to realign or let go. Over the next three weeks I will share my food practices. Eat! Yes, just eat. That is practice-pose number one. Eat in a way that helps you achieve what you have in mind for the day. For example, if you plan …

Energy from Your First Chair to Last Chair

The layers of clothing are on. The gear is packed. Poles, boards, boots, and helmet are ready for a great day of whatever the mountain has to offer. Only one thing can stop us is now, lack of energy and dehydration.  When I say “energy” I don’t mean the kind you get from the stimulating effects of a good cup of coffee. While that is a nice boost to help feel energetic, it is not actually the energy muscles and mental focus need to keep moving all day. Hitting the last chair as hard as the first is challenging for us all. You can however, increase your odds of sustaining the energy you need if you plan good nutrition to support your activity. As a snow sports enthusiast, a mom of two boys who love to charge, and a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) at Clif Bar & Company, I know a thing or two about nutrition for sustained energy. Her are my top nutrition strategies for full day of snow packed adventu Make the activity …

Hits from the “Debunking the Diet” Archive: Fools for Fiber

For some the word diet is a four letter word that means deprivation, restriction and missing out on the sexy food in the world. To me, diet is simply a word describing the food that goes into the body each day. This little video was made as part of a “Debunking the Diet ” campaign I did for LUNA BAR several years ago. While the campaign is long over, the nutrition information and humor still stands. What also still stands is LUNA’s mission to empower women to rise above, and be the leaders our world so desperately needs right now. We are not trapped in this world that white men driven by power and wealth have created. Today, more than ever before we need the sensibilities of the feminine nature in leadership. Yeah, kind of a hard to follow that paragraph up with a video about fiber. It isn’t just about fiber. It is about using humor to ditch the obsession with how our body looks, and to start being proud and grateful for the …

Dietitian Confessions

I don’t survive on broccoli, beans, and blueberries alone. I eat ice cream OR chocolate almost every day. It IS Dreyer’s Slow-churn and only fair trade  dark. I love good bread and have zero interest in pre-sliced, manufactured variety. I eat candy corn out of childhood nostalgia. ONLY in the fall I eat candy pumpkins out of college-days nostalgia  and sometimes mail them to my friends  even though it costs more to mail and they can get them where the live (probably) I feed my kids cinnamon-sugar-butter toast (whole wheat) for breakfast and have been known to eat their leftovers…..off the floor I am not behind the removal of donuts from company breakfast meetings. I love donuts, but most of all, love getting donuts at Bob’s in San Francisco I struggle to get one son to eat vegetables and the other to eat fruit BUT I NEVER GIVE UP! Stand tuned, there will be many more confessions.

Setting 2017 Diet Goal? Start Here First. Seriously.

  Along my journey tinkering with my dietary habits and eating patterns I consciously reshaped my relationship with food to support the way I live. So many people live to eat or just eat to live. Either one of those relationships with food can seriously mess with the mind and body! I eat to support what I set out to do each day.  I don’t eat for some result in my physic. The results are a side benefit of eating to support my active lifestyle.  The purpose of food is to support my experiences by keeping me nourished, energized, and ready to try the next thing that interests me. Recently that thing was skate skiing! Most people interested in being healthy and nourished  know what to eat. They too often let their judgement be clouded  however by negative thinking about what should or shouldn’t be eaten. Eating based on mood can also lead people astray from what they know. Here are five things to get in order before setting course for dieting in 2017: 1. …