What’s New? Nut Butters, Nathan, and Compression!

So was asked recently what are some of your favorite must haves!!! Ha, the list is long and varied so thought what better place to start writing about them.

 

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Pocket Fuel 

Let’s start with nut butter!! Always a fan of peanut butter but in the past few years have tried to stay away from peanuts as much as possible. Research has shown that other nuts have increased benefit for your health and now we have so much more to choose from out there, so why stop at peanut butter. But, then I found a product called Pocket Fuel  , Pocket Fuel Naturals was founded in Oregon, by athletes for athletes. To fuel athletes with natural, many are vegan, gluten free, whole real food. There line of nut butters and now cold brew coffee energy shots are amazing. These products have saved me many times before, during, and after workouts. Even first thing in the morning perfect for a treat before a training session on a piece of toast or waffle with a shot of espresso or soy cappuccino.

 

 

IMG_7705Fusion Compression Sleeves

Many ask, do they really work? Won’t I just get hot wearing them. No and no? I am a firm believer in compression sleeves and socks for training and racing. Fusion PWR Tubes compression sleeves are the best on the market without doubt! There have been years of research done to prove the benefit of increased circulation and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Sure, you will always get someone who will find something contrary to wearing them, but I choose to wear them for both training and recovery. Usually not both on a given day. If I train in them I will not put them on immediately after for recovery. If I choose not to use them for training that day, I will use them for recovery following the workout. I will often sleep in the socks but never the sleeves as you can get pooling under the ankle of the sleeve band (better to use the socks to sleep in or for driving/flying). I feel Fusion has developed a top of the line compression sleeve, the fit is right on, staying in place and proving graduated compression. They are comfortable when on for extended periods of time and stay nice and cool when training in hot climates such as Arizona. I don’t go anywhere without a pair of compression sleeves or socks when training hard or racing. Thanks Fusion for providing athletes with the very best apparel on the market.

 

 

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Nathan Sports

What doesn’t this company provide us athletes with these days, thanks Nathan! But most importantly Nathan has provided me a way to hold water and hydration for more than a decade of my life. My absolute favorite would be my insulated QuickShot Plus. For me it is the perfect size for most of my runs, and I can often find a spot to refill it. It is insulated so my water stays cool in the Arizona heat. It hits perfectly in my hand and the pocket can easily hit some money, a key, and any other small necessity. I have many other Nathan products that are part of my must haves as well, which will be reviewed soon!!!! Thanks Nathan for providing athletes so many ways to stay hydrated, in addition to a huge assortment of other products to use out playing on the roads and trails.

 

 

 

Stop eating crap!

Over the last year I have pretty drastically changed my nutrition. In the last 3 months especially I have cut a lot of sugar out and have taken a hard look at what I put into my body. Is is because of my training goals? Is it because of overall health benefits? Yes and yes. What we eat affects everything we do. Whether it is our everyday health, performance, how we feel, etc.

What I eat is simple. I eat fruits, vegetables, nuts (in natural forms), natural unprocessed nut butters (no hydrogenated oils), beans, tofu, wild fish (in small quantities), and gluten free grains such as quinoa, brown rice, corn tortillas, some amounts of chocolate.

Am I perfect? Absolutely NOT.  However I stay away from dairy, I try to limit fish to only the highest quality fish sources that I can obtain the highest nutrients from. I try to eat organic fruits and vegetables as often as I can. I am an athlete. What I put into my body comes out in the training I do. I want to give myself the best chance to perform at the highest level. Most race car drivers don’t put sub par fuel in their cars before a race so why would we put sub par fuel in our bodies.

Being an athlete is a full time job when talking nutrition. It is an ongoing process of constant good fueling day in and day out. Yes, there is always time for a treat every once in awhile, but then it’s time to get back to the grindstone. Because you can only blame yourself for poor nutrition and bad fueling. It’s not rocket science, it’s not difficult, and there is no excuse.

So what to eat … here’s what I do:

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Bkft ideas:

1. Smoothie: 1 c. unsweetened almond milk, 1 c. berries, 1 frozen banana, ground flax seeds, 1 sc. hemp/pea protein, handful spinach or kale OR an Isagenix shake

2. Sweet potato w/ earth balance and cinnamon

3. Oatmeal or quinoa with blueberries, walnuts, almond milk, agave or maple syrup and cinnamon

4. Gluten free waffles with natural peanut butter and honey, cinnamon or w/ maple syrup and berries

Lunch/Dinner

1. Arugula/Kale salad w/ beans, avocado, raw vegetables and homemade hummus dressing, pumpkin seeds

2. Brown rice or quinoa w/ black beans, diced tomatoes, salsa, lettuce, avocado, a few corn tortilla chips

3. Raw vegetables and hummus and fresh fruit

4. Vegetable or Bean soup and gluten free toast w/ hummus or dipped in olive oil or sweet potato fries

5. Smoothie (see above)

6. Baked tofu on gluten free bread with avocado or hummus and vegetables

7. Sushi

8. Grilled salmon or grilled halibut for special occasion… best quality available.

Obviously… eating healthy can be simple and easy. Not very complicated right. So stop eating crap and put good fuel into your body. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible.

As far as snacks between meals… I eat raw fruits and vegetables or whip up fresh raw smoothies. 🙂 Occasionally along with a great cup of quality french press coffee or a shot of espresso.

Relentless Forward Progress

Wow, where does the time go? It’s been a couple weeks since I have written a blog, life as been crazy. A lot of exciting things in the makings and sometimes I wonder if my head is screwed on straight half the time. Just the other day I searched for my sunglasses for 30 minutes only to finally look in the mirror and realize they were on top of my head. At that point all I could do was laugh. …. (2 shoes mis-matched, variety is good) LOL, j/k

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Tonight I taught a stretching clinic to a great group at Sole Sports in Glendale. What troopers as they went through the exercises despite 100+ degree temps. I think they were surprised that flexibility work can really blend in strength and balance as well. More bonus for the buck 😉

I had a great talk with the Barrow Foundation this week. A couple new events in the making for the non profit. Exciting. So a special cause close to my heart. If interested in donating to spinal cord and neurological research and treatment at Barrows (click here). Whether a dollar or more, every penny helps and can change lives! Please help if you can.

I am also on board with the best all natural non-toxic nutritional company in the world. Their products are helping me realize my full potential without putting anything toxic in my body. Their plant based gluten free lactose free meal replacement shake is a lifesaver, among so many of their other products. I couldn’t be happier and so look forward to getting all my friends and family introduced to these products as well. WITHOUT YOUR HEALTH YOU HAVE NOTHING! For more info on Isagenix check out my site here  or the Isagenix website. Any questions shoot me an email at ultimatestamina@gmail.com

I am also so excited for what the future holds in many different areas; professionally and in sport. With FAITH, COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, AND DETERMINATION… ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

A Wonderful Christmas

Wow, what a wonderful Christmas I have had with family and friends. Yesterday (Christmas Eve) started with a nice long run as the sun was coming up, then off to my amazing job I love, and after that met my parents at the most wonderful church for a great service and message by our Pastors. Back to my parents for some wine and appetizers before a wonderful meal of tossed greens and salmon on garlic mash potatoes with sun dried tomatoes, asparagus, and olives on top and more red wine. So delicious and healthy.

We had some great laughs as we reminisced highs and lows of the year and of course I got teased about a lot. I seem to get that a lot and have learned to take it well. We talked of how fortunate we are to be together. To all be “for the most part” healthy but most important, we are together and together will get through the health issues I continue to fight.

We finished the night with some great java and homemade gluten free cookies and fudge while watching a Christmas movie.

Christmas Day:

I slept to almost 9 AM, a full 3.5-4 hours later than a typical day. It was AMAZING! Then went to the kitchen for coffee just as Dad asked me if I had looked by the door. He said, “looks like Santa left you a little something”. We exchanged smiles and it was true. My original stocking that I had as a baby was at the door and filled. Some things never change. 😉

As a kid it was candy and as I grow older coffee replaces the candy goodness. Plus some great monthly subscriptions to Success and Coastal Living. Maybe Santa is telling me to make time for coffee and reading (relaxing). I will try to take the clue!!!

Then more relaxing with some running magazines and much more coffee. On to a beautifully prepared Norwegian brunch of smoked salmon, capers, hard boiled eggs, and red onion with cream cheese and gluten free crackers. Lefse was replaced with gluten free waffles with berries and whipped cream. Dad even made me a bloody mary to top things off.

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Then presents. Still one of my favorite parts but now not because of the stuff, because of the traditions, memories, and times laughing together. But way cool cause it looks like I was a good girl this year, lots of very thoughtful gifts were given to each of us. Yes, I still play the piano. 😉

Then more time relaxing and watching The Christmas Story on TV while Mom made a handed down recipe of home made fudge in honor of Grandma. When she is done, I get to lick the pan using a spatula. Pretty cool deal as Dad has to stir but gets what I can’t finish.

Finished off the day by heading back home and heading out for a good 40 minute easy run as the sun set behind the mountains. I am a lucky girl.

…. tomorrow starts round 1 of IVIG antibody infusions. I will get a 5 hour infusion tomorrow in hopes it can help maintain some immune system function. Most likely this will be something I have to do for the rest of my life, but a small price to pay for the ability to stay out of the hospital and live my super fun and rewarding life. Fingers crossed tomorrow goes ok.

Much gratitude to all my friends and family, you have been with me in my heart and will continue to be. HUGS

 

Olympic Tears and Gluten / Dairy Free Nutrition

Wow, seriously… am I the only one that sits here with tears watching these athletes give so much of themselves. Hearing the sacrifices and determination they give each day is really meaningful. So proud of ALL of our Team USA.

On to nutrition. As I spoke to a Mom about her daughter, an athlete, struggling with food intolerances I could hear fear and frustration in her voice. Her daughter, just wanting to fit in like so many of us. I reassured her that it can be done. Food intolerances are very frustrating. They can wreck havoc on our bodies, it can mean the difference between training and not training at all. The effects of food intolerances can cause injury and limit recovery. I really felt for this young athlete as I spoke with her a few hours after speaking with her mom. What did I say? I simply said “I understand”. I spoke to her not as a Coach, Doctor, Therapist… I spoke to her as a friend and someone that is at her level.

At times it can be overwhelming when you see Doctors more than your friends. When everyone seems to talk above you and in language that doesn’t always make sense. They use big words and seem to never want to meet in the middle. They say No but don’t give any alternative options. So I simply spoke to this young athlete as a friend that has been there.

Here are a few ideas for those that want to or have to limit or eliminate dairy and/ or gluten. It can be done. Listed below are my “go to” meals that I eat most days… 5 or 6 options should be enough variety.

Breakfast:
1. Smoothie: I use 1 c. almond milk, small frozen banana, frozen berries, scoop of peanut or almond butter
2. Gluten free cereal (Nature’s Path, Fruity Pebbles, Chex) with banana and berries and almond milk
3. Eggs on gluten free toast (I eat Udi’s brand and always toast it) I add avocado to the toast with egg as well to get essential fatty acids
4. Gluten free waffles (Trader Joes are only 1.99 for a box) with whatever on top (agave, maple syrup, or PBJ)
Lunches:
1. PB & J on Udi’s gluten free bread, piece of fruit, raw veggies, and almonds or trail mix
2. Brown rice or rice noodles with 3-4 oz. protein and veggies
3. Quinoa with veggies and piece of fruit
4. Salad with turkey/chicken/edamame/or tofu and veggies, gluten free salad dressing
5. Raw veggies, rice crackers, and hummus
 
Snacks:
1. .5-1 avocado (made into guacamole), corn tortilla chips, and salsa
2. piece of fruit and almonds
3. if in hurry …. gluten free fruit and nut bar (I like Lara Bars and Kind Bars)
4. popcorn .. I make my own but you could just get microwave Smart Pop
5. Applegate Farm gluten free deli turkey rolled up with some hummus or mustard
6. Smoothie (see breakfast)
Dinner:
1. 3-4 oz. lean protein or veggie burger, 2 cups vegetables, 3/4 c of brown rice/rice noodles/ or quinoa
2. Gluten free pasta with marinara or extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar / veggies and 3 oz. protein
3. Sweet potato or baked potato with veggie stir-fry
4. Trader Joes gluten free dairy free black bean enchiladas (only 1.99 for the meal in the freezer section). I add corn tortilla chips and salsa ..sometimes avocado
Desert:
1. Bowl of cereal (see breakfast)
2. Edy’s whole fruit bars.. a lot of flavors and gluten and dairy free
3. No sugar added natural applesauce

T-Minus 6 Weeks Till Boston and Home-made Granola

Wow, I can’t believe I will be in Boston in less than 6 weeks. Time has flown by and training has been somewhat of a blur. So much has happened in the last several months I can barely keep my head straight but all is moving towards positive and with a minor speed-bump (my foot issue)..it looks to be an exciting upcoming several months. The training programs at Performance Running Outfitters are starting soon, I just recently moved to historic downtown Cedarburg and I am excited to be right downtown when Farmer’s Markets and Festivals begin. I am super duper crazy excited to see my friend Bev in Boston and stay with her over marathon weekend. I am somewhat nervous but excited to run my first 50K at Ice Age on May 12th. I am crazy excited for the 2 block move of Performance Running into our brand new store location sometime close to June (we hope).

I am working (somewhat diligently) on my book…a work in progress. I am also working on putting together some nutritious recipes and an anti-inflammatory response to nutrition and dietary choices…another major work in progress!

Here is home-made gluten free granola prior to adding dried cherries

Cristin’s Granola

3 c. gluten free oats

1-2 c. crushed almond/ cashew mix

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. butter or Earth Balance

1/4 c. brown sugar

Splash of Apple Juice

Mix all wet ingredients together and add to oats and nuts

Bake at 275 for 45-55 minutes.. watch so it doesn’t burn

Add 1-2 c. dried fruit and store in air tight container.

So I’m looking forward to finding (or making) time to do more cooking and baking, reading (new goal is 2 books a month); and of course running, writing, working eat PRO, training at Froedtert Performance Enhancement, coaching some great athletes, being super grateful I get to spend time with such wonderful friends. While things have been really difficult I feel I have been blessed in many ways.

Boston, hope you are ready for me 😉 !!!!! A dream come true!

 

 

Pantry Detox

Protein:
Tofu
Veggie burgers
Range free Omega eggs
Tera’s whey protein powder
Hammer Nutrition products
Other
Lara Bars
Clif Bars
Fish: (sushi grade only)
Salmon
Tuna
Fruits:
Berries fresh and frozen
Fresh Apples
Avocados
Bananas, but not more than one a day
Citrus fruits

Vegetables:
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Kale
Spinach
Arugula
Sweet Potatoes
Squash
Bell Peppers
Tomatoes
Cauliflower
Cucumbers
Beverages:
Herbal Tea
Water with lemon
Mineral Water
Green Tea
Chocolate soy milk
Nut milks (almond, cashew)
Grains:
Brown Rice
Quinoa
Cream of rice
Rice crackers
Gluten free oats
Legumes:
Black Beans, canned or bulk
Chickpea, canned or bulk
Hummus
Gluten-Free Flour (for baking)
Dairy
Greek yogurt (Chobani)
Laughing Cow Cheese
Feta
Seeds and Nuts in Bulk:
Sunflower Seeds, and Sunflower Butter
Pumpkin Seeds
Pine Nuts
Almonds, and Almond Butter
Cashews, and Cashew Butter
Walnuts
Nut butters
Oils/ Fats:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Veganaise
Grape seed Oil
Sweeteners:
Agave Nectar
Stevia
Helpful Spices and Fresh Herbs:
Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cayenne Pepper, Turmeric, Curry Powder, Mustard Seed, Minced Garlic, Sage, Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary, Cilantro, Coriander, Cloves, Basil, Cumin
So better go shopping, it’s time to make up some fuel…