All posts filed under: Nutrition

Basic Framework for Fueling Activity

I love the simple nutrition framework of eating before, during, and after activity is one tool in the toolbox for optimizing the body for more fun in whatever athletic adventure awaits! Whether hiking, climbing, running, sking or anything in between considering what to eat before, during, and after can mean more energy to do the “thing” and better recovery to do the thing again! Looking at the table you will see that there are ranges. These ranges help people to adapt what to eat based on moving time. Going out for a sixty-minute bike ride won’t require much eating during the activity because the body has enough stored on board. It does, however, require consideration of eating a meal about three to four hours before to ensure energy storage is topped off and recovery is primed. When returning from an hour of activity, a small snack will suffice. Planning on being out there for more than one hour requires some carbohydrates during a ride to stay fueled and prime the pump for utilizing fat as …

Caroline Gleich: Everest Nutrition Plan

Right now, I sit here at my desk. Before I got here I fed the kids breakfast, took the dog out, fed the dog, made lunches and snacks for the kids, and got the kids off to school. Then I finally sat down at my desk to write when I read my sticky-note reminder taped to my screen. “Drink water!!!” Why do have I note to myself to drink water? Because in my daily juggle of priorities and meeting the needs of others, I need constant reminders to meet my own basic physiological needs.  Breath, eat, and drink. At this very same moment, that is exactly what I hope Caroline Gleich, ski mountaineer, and activist is doing while on Everest expedition. Anticipation, excitement, and altitude can certainly be a distraction when it comes to remembering basic needs. It is my hope that the summit nutrition plan I put together of her is now serving as her “sticky note” reminder. She has begun her Everest expedition with fiance Rob Lea and the team from Alpenglow Expeditions. …

Nutrition Daze and Concussion Recovery

Literally it has been a few months since my last post.  Recovery from a concussion incurred when walking my dog has set me back months on 1) Resigning my from eighteen year post as the lead nutrition strategist for Clif Bar & Company 2) Launching my own nutrition strategy company, and  3) Training for mountain adventures! No matter how a head injury is obtained, it is no joke. After a febal attempt at slowing down for two weeks and coming back to full speed the third week post concussion, I set myself back further. Big plans and big ambition have had me in over drive for the last year. When my doctor said take two days off and take it easy for a few weeks, she had no idea how ampt up my baseline was. Leaving one of the best offices and companies to start my own business from the mountain town of Truckee has been a year in the making and had me in a whirlwind of driving, texting (not while driving, thank you!), …

Practice Discipline in these Three Areas to Support Athletic Performance

Speaking on a panel at the Spartan World Championships in Squaw Valley, California may be one of the most interesting angles I have come at nutrition from yet. The panel topic is discipline. Learning to eat in a way that supports what you set out to achieve – in this case completing thirty plus obstacles, over thirteen or more miles while running up and down mountain peaks at elevation – requires discipline to change from eating behaviors that do not support what you hope to achieve. For many non-competitive athletes who want to improve and achieve in sport as a hobby they first have to shift in mindset from exercising to burn calories to then be rewarded with food  to that of an athlete who exercises to train and who eats to train for the reward of achieving something more than the calorie credit to eat lots of pizza after a race. How does someone begin to change the mindset? Well, in my experience as an athlete and working with the pros I have found applying discipline  …

Third in a Four Part Series on Getting High: Nutrition Considerations at Altitude

Planning to spend fourteen to twenty one days at altitude before competing is not directly a nutrition consideration. It is however, worth mentioning because adjustment time can indirectly impact nutrition by altering appetite and, how the body feels overall. Unfortunately, before some of my biggest mountain races I haven’t had the extra time to hang out high up. So I searched for clean short cuts of which I learned, are limited. In short,  there are not short cuts for adapting your body at altitude. It takes the time it takes. How much time it takes specifically will vary because, as with nutrition, how the body responds is individualized.  Everything I have read says get to your altitude twenty-one days ahead of your race. With work, kids, and other obligations it just isn’t realistic to get that kind of time at elevation (unless I move there!).  So here are some the strategies that helped when time at elevation is limited: Go up the night before if you can’t do two-three weeks! So save the PTO and …

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

While I am a back at sea level for the moment, my attitude remains elevated post adventures above tree line.  My Broken Arrow Sky Race  experience has my giddy weeks later. The run started off slow for me as one can expect going up a mountain at elevation. The air, however, was crisp, sky clear, and snow (in June) slushy for bombing down the mountain without wiping out on jagged rocks! Toeing the starting-line a running friend asked me for last minute nutrition advice for running at elevation. Scanning my mind for tidbits that would be useful to her on short notice, I opted for this piece of intel:   Eat early and often! Experience (aka fails) has confirmed for me that the body indeed runs at a higher intensity at altitude (as if there is room to doubt) due to the stress of less oxygen. This stress results in an increase basal metabolic rate, respiration, and heart rate creating increase demand for energy (food with carbohydrate calories). The trick is to remain conscious of …

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 …

Mother’s Days. Adventures Are On!

Mother’s Day doesn’t seem right unless I am on the Northern California Coastline unplugged and with my dudes soaking up all the outdoor adventures we can squeeze into a long weekend of car camping. Some moms long for breakfast in bed, pampering of the nails, or brunching fine-dining style.  Those things are great but, me? Nah, I ask for a family adventure. Even car camping is an adventure when you add kids and a new puppy to the mix! I wouldn’t have Mother’s Day any other way right now. Last year we opted for a Mother’s Day of regularly scheduled little league and a nice home cooked dinner. It was great but, we all longed to be under the oak tree near the stream hiking, biking, trail running and roasting s’mores. So this year we went back to the tent. This time of year Mama is usually training for some kind of mountain running/scramble race. My sights are on running the  Broken Arrow 26km which, covers some of Squaw Valley’s  famous terrain ascending to elevation of 8750 …