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Nobody Should Go Hungry

Last year I did a little to help people of the world buy food they needed to feed their family. I can’t do a lot. My mantra however, is always “I can always do something. I chose to support through the ShareTheMeal app. Donations not only give someone food, but also provide the hope. Hopeis powerful. It can change the mind. If the mind can be changed for positive thoughts, lives can be changed.  The ShareTheMeal app is a product of The World Food Programme(WFP), the world’s leading humanitarian agency dedicated to solving global hunger. From providing school meals to hungry children, to feeding victims of natural disasters and conflict, WFP makes a tangible difference in the lives of more than 90 million people each year. Consider helping WFP do whatever it takes to feed hungry people in need.

At the three hour mark of a long run I am always on the edge of cramping. Is cramping more fitness related, nutrition or hydration related?

  The answer is that it could be both. Muscle cramps are general caused by tired muscles, which is inevitable in distance running. They can also be caused by a sodium imbalance and dehydration. Staying hydrated is a tricky proposition because there are so many variables that impact how much fluid and sodium you sweat out during your run. Intensity, fitness, heat, humidity and altitude are some of the things that will impact how sweaty you get. How much any body sweats can vary between ten to eighty ounces per hour! That is a high amount of variability. The concentration of sodium in that sweat also varies greatly with an average concentration of about one-thousand milligrams per thirty-two ounces. In other words if you lose two pounds of sweat you may have also lose around one-thousand milligrams of sodium that needs to be replaced by drinking and eating sodium! Of course these numbers are highly variable with the environment and individuality. Determining your sweat rate can be a useful tool in bench-marking how much sodium …

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 …

Come back Home After Long Holiday

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About

Tara is an Adventure Nutrition Expert who believes that when we eat in a way that helps us (ambitious adventurers) accomplish what we set out to do each day, great things happen in both body and mind. Food is just one tool at out our disposal to make every summit attainable. Tara writes from her knowledge and experience as a nutritionist (registered dietitian), mother, and athletic adventurer. Add children and family to any activity an it instantly becomes athletic and adventure that needs nourishment to keep up! She is an endurance junkie, mountain lover, and runner up for new challenges. She believes that everyone has the capacity to accomplish that thing they think they can not do once the begin living in the possibilities.

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Atop of massively high peak or the depths of a wooded trail I feel small and free, and I smile. Being in the presence of nature’s grandness provides me faith that there is something bigger at work beyond my individual little world that can seem all-encompassing. This thought is gift to my efforts in living with  more grace and ease.  It is in the acceptance that humans are not at the center of the universe that makes everything “doable”. It does’t mean I am insignificant.  It does mean that those overwhelmingly difficult struggles are manageable no matter how unmanageable they may feel at times. Preserving the grandness of special places in nature that provide me with “smallness” is close to my heart. Kevin Fedarko, author and speaker at the Conservation Alliance meeting inspired these thoughts with his request that we protect and honor one of the grandest natural places from becoming yet another amusement park. Preserving The Grand Canyon as National Monument protects it for future generations and ensures it remains one of those places where we …

Dietary Guidelines Bore Me

A few weeks ago the United States Department of Agriculture published the eighth annual update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  I used to get very excited about the guidelines. I would read the advisory committee report line by line and anticipate the publication of the guidelines based on expert review of science.  Each year I would read the guidelines and feel a little more let down that “this was it” and think “we know all this already”. Now, the guidelines just bore me. It isn’t because the guidelines are bad or wrong. And it isn’t because I don’t love nutrition.  I think it is because after being a dietitian for eighteen years it always comes down to the same simple recommendations of eat more vegetables, eat more fruit, eat more beans, lentils, legumes. Basically, eat more plants and less of everything else. It is commons sense. I would feel bad having someone pay me to give them this advice. It’s just not that exciting anymore. Every five years a committee of the brightest and …

January is Diet Month

It is that time of year when well-intending people set themselves up for a miserable battle with that thing we can not live without: FOOD. Resolutions turn into obsessions and suddenly the very ingredients that invigorate us are leaving us to feeling guilty and bad about ourselves. This doesn’t have to be however. I cringe when friends and family tell me what is on their list of restrictions for “diet season”. Often times these restrictions are self-imposed and nonsensical, nutritious foods like bananas, carrots, or whole grains. In life, where a lot of things are out of our control, food can take the brunt of our control issues. Imposing rules and restrictions on calories, fat, carbohydrate, gluten, dairy, or protein can make us feel we have control over something  that  can seem uncontrollable. Even as a dietitian I have been there. Dietitian confession alert! Once upon a time I would get up in the middle of the night and munch like a little mouse in the cupboards. I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t fully awake, and I would …