Ever wondered what a registered dietitian eats? Look no further – it’s pretty much tasty.
‘Tis the season for all foods orange, am I right? Carrots, pumpkins, yams, sweet potatoes, etc. If you’re like me, you appreciate a good sale at the grocery store. Enter: sweet potatoes. I found ’em for only 29 cents/pound, at my local Food Lion.
After Thanksgiving, most individuals are looking for ‘lighter’ meals, and other low calorie meal options. Look no further! This sweet potato waffle recipe is not only nutritious, it’s delicious! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself🤣) What’s even better, it only contains FIVE ingredients. Win-win. I’ll save you any further reading, and let you get to what really matters: making these suckers pronto!
- 2/3 cup mashed sweet potato
- 1 banana, peeled and mashed
- 2 tbsp peanut butter, heated in microwave
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat waffle iron and coat with non-stick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. Spoon half the batter into waffle iron (I used an ice cream scoop to evenly disperse batter). Cook until done. Top with additional warm peanut butter if desired!
*I would be remiss if I failed to mention the above Thanksgiving shenanigans lacked some VIP’s…y’all know who you are😘
For many Americans, this time of year equals unwanted (although easily avoided) weight gain. With what seems like everybody and their brother following some sort of fad diet (ketogenic, intermittent fasting, etc), it is no wonder the holidays are a welcome excuse to throw moderation to the wayside and consume every tasty treat in sight. However, I hope this article provides some food for thought, in regards to your current eating/drinking habits!
- Drink 16oz of water upon waking. Have you ever noticed the color of your urine is (for most people) so much darker, compared to the rest of the day? Going all night without drinking any fluids results in a slightly dehydrated state in the morning… no bueno! Adequate hydration is necessary for a normal functioning metabolism, temperature regulation and may help decrease appetite. Some studies even suggest that drinking plenty of water may help promote weight loss. Who wouldn’t raise a glass to that? (Click here to determine how much water you should be drinking each day.)
- Move more in the morning. Alliteration anyone? I digress. As few as five minutes of gentle stretching/body weight exercises is enough to get the blood flowing and your heart pumping. Why does it matter? Increased blood flow equals more alertness and you may feel more energetic. This is because blood transports oxygen throughout the body, via iron. More oxygen may make you feel more alert. Need some ideas? Hip bends, arm circles, body weight squats and if you’re feeling really good, some push-ups! More energy may make you less inclined to reach for that sugary energy drink, saving hundreds of calories!
- Drink at least 64oz of water (or zero calorie/low calorie) fluids each day. While we discussed starting off on the right foot as soon as you rise for the day, it is equally important you build on that momentum. The holidays are an especially busy time of year, but ensuring you drink enough water throughout the day is an easy way to help you stay on track, nutrition-wise. If you find yourself getting tired of plain water, try flavoring it with fresh produce (pineapple chunks, lemon or lime wedges, even cucumber slices and mint!) Other ideas: LaCroix Sparkling Water (no calories, sweetener or sodium) or True Lemon (perfect to throw in your purse and go!)
- Limit alcohol. Speaking of beverages, this one sure gets a lot of attention this time of year. If you enjoy libations, be sure to do so in moderation, for a variety of reasons: added calories, promotes lipogenesis, increases appetite, disrupts normal sleep cycles and even more importantly: DRIVING BUZZED IS A FOWL PLAY ON TURKEY DAY. Seriously though, don’t do it! If you are planning to enjoy a free drinks here a few tips to cut back on calories: use calorie free mixers, stick with clear liquors, avoid high calorie bombs (eggnog, hot buttered rum, white russian or spiked hot cocoa to name a few), drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages.
- Add 10 minutes to your current exercise routine. If you don’t currently work out on a regular basis, what better time of year to start?! I recommend building up to working out (heart rate elevated to 60% of max) at least five days a week, for thirty minutes. Not only will this help keep your waistline trim, you’ll get a boost of feel good endorphins! That is something to be jolly about! 🎅😀👍🏻
- Aim for 8 hours of shut eye. Running here, there and yonder during the holidays can leave you short on sleep…which can wreak havoc on your waistline. Studies indicate inadequate sleep results in increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This hormone, in large quantities, has been associated with inability to lose weight. Not only is weight loss harder to achieve when we receive fewer “z’s”, but, we are also crave high carbohydrate containing foods, double whammy! Physiologically speaking, carbs are more quickly metabolized than the other two calorie containing macros (protein and fat). It’s nature’s way of ensuring we have enough energy when we are sleep deprived.
Well, there it is! Drink plenty of water, move more and get adequate sleep, to help prevent unwanted weight gain this Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa etc! Easier said than done some days. I always encourage folks to focus on the most immediate goal, myself included. For example, when you wake up with a million things on your to-do list, focus only on the first item. Once that is completed, cross it off, and move on to the next task. So much easier than biting off more than you can chew, pun intended😉
Happy Holidays, Y’all!
Talk about how time flies. I was honored to speak at my alma mater earlier this week, and I can hardly believe it has been TEN years since I graduated high school. I was invited to present for the Cross Country Team. Our discussion covered nutrition basics, nutrients of importance, hydration and touched on competing at the collegiate level.
From macros and micros, to discussing nutrients of concern and hydration – there for sure were some new facts shared. For example, most folks don’t realize that calcium, in addition to maintaining strong bones and teeth, also serves as an ion in the bloodstream, assisting sodium and potassium. That being said, if not enough calcium is consumed on a regular basis the body pulls calcium from storage in bones and teeth to maintain homeostasis in the bloodstream…increasing the risk of a possible stress fracture. We covered how much calcium is needed, micronutrient inhibitors and facilitators of the nutrient and best time to consume said nutrients.
Aside from enjoying presenting, it was great to catch up with my old coach and I even ran into some of my high school teachers. They all remembered my name…not sure if that is a good or bad thing 😬.
While we focused on fueling strategies for distance runners, it is imperative to mention nutrition goals vary greatly depending on the sport, and even from one position to another, i.e. offensive lineman v. running back. Whether a team is looking to make another run at the state championship, or looking for their first “W”, Elevate Athletics is here to help!
Best of luck this season, Lady Spartans!
(someone was sidetracked this visit and forgot to take any pics…photo cred: Cincinnati Enquirer – military wall logo)
Ever wanted to know exactly how much you should be drinking to replace fluid losses during exercise? If not, you should. You could be slightly dehydrated and not even know it!
*Information taken from the Sports Nutrition Care Manual published by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Ensure that the athlete is well hydrated before exercise. Instruct the athlete to warm up for 5 to 10 minutes until he or she breaks into a sweat. Advise the athlete to urinate if needed. Then, follow these instructions.
- Record nude body weight before exercise in kg (lb/2.2 = kg)
- Record nude body weight after exercise in kg (lb/2.2 = kg)
- Record change in body weight in g (A – B x1,000 grams)
- Record drink volume consumed during exercise in mL (oz x 30 = mL)
- Record urine volume excreted before postexercise weighing in mL (oz x 30 = mL)
- Determine sweat loss (C (g) + D (mL) – E (mL), oz x 30 = mL)
- Record exercise time, minutes or hours
- Calculate sweat rate = F/G in mL/min or mL/hr
(Murray 1996; Sawka 2007)
I am the Infantry. I am my country’s strength in war, her deterrent in peace. I am the heart of the fight – wherever, whenever. I carry America’s faith and honor against her enemies…I forsake not- my country, my mission, my comrades, my sacred duty. I am relentless. I am always there, now and forever. I AM THE INFANTRY! FOLLOW ME.
It was October 2014 when I first heard the above (part of the Infantryman’s Creed.) I was sitting in Ft. Benning, GA, watching my younger brother perform his graduation ceremony from Army Bootcamp. I had tears streaming down my cheeks. Let me tell you, military graduation ceremonies are one of the most emotionally moving events…ever.
Fast forward three years later and I found myself here:
My husband’s Navy Bootcamp graduation in Great Lakes, IL. (Go Navy. Beat Army 😆). It wasn’t until later in life that he (we) decided to pack up our little life and join the U.S. Navy…but that’s a story for another day. At the time, I was 12 weeks pregnant with our little girl and whether it was my pregnancy hormones, or the emotional mess anything honoring our country and servicemen/women makes me, I was a puddle.
As I sit here and reflect on that fateful day (9/11/01) seventeen years ago so many emotions flood me. Pride for country, anger at the men who plotted and carried out such a tragic event, honor toward those in our military fighting for our freedoms and even more love for those closest to me who sacrifice more than most, to serve and protect.
To those whose loved ones have been killed in the fight against terror, my heart goes out to you. I have no words that could ever suffice. All I have to offer is that my husband and our family support you as he (we) serves as an airman in the United States Navy.
In light of today’s significance Elevate Athletics is excited to announce we are a proud U.S. Military supporter. As such, a portion of all profits is donated to the USO (United Service Organizations). The USO is a non-profit organization that provides services to help boost morale for service members and their families. It is perhaps most well known for live entertainment shows performed for military men and women overseas, but the USO also has over 200 installations on military bases around the world. It was created in 1941 and operates primarily from private funds and donations – hence why people like you and me are important in keeping the USO thriving.
Should you be interested in learning more about the USO, you can do so here!
Thanks so much for reading and to any and all service members, thank you for all you do! 🇺🇸😊
*Featured photo cred: 173rd Airborne Brigade
That “bird” you see above, I love it and hate it. It represents the strength and power of the United States Navy, it provides a livelihood for our little family, it serves as a mine countermeasure aircraft, searching the ocean floor for mines that would take out ships in our fleet (primarily off the coast of NoKo), it keeps my husband late at night, or even months at time…it is the MH-53.
While I wouldn’t trade my college experience, nor my current life for any other…there are some similarities between a NCAA student-athlete and Navy Wife that one might describe as “undesirable”. That being said, life ain’t always easy; can I get an Amen?! In all seriousness though, I am sure any and every athlete is able to reflect on a past experience and somehow relate it to their current season of life. I 100% believe, if we allow it, we can use our life experiences, for better or worse, to grow not only as athletes, but also into a better person.
So, as you read this article, I challenge you to reflect upon your current circumstances and determine how you might be able to better yourself by learning from past successes/failures and apply it to your athletic game. Read on, mis amigos!
1. Some days, it is literally just putting one foot in front of the other. Truth be told, there were more than a few days where I wanted to pull the covers up over my head and leave my dirty shoes on the porch. Running was the last thing I wanted to do. If I am totally transparent, my lowest came when I found myself dreading running so much I called my mom crying, the night before a race. It sounds insane, I know!!! Looking back, I can say it was too! There I was, sitting on a hilltop in Arkansas complaining about the fact that I was representing Baylor to do a thing I used to LOVE. Fortunately, through some tough love and a friend, I got through the self-pity slump. What a big baby I was!
Fast forward six years later and I find myself sometimes calling my mom crying because I don’t know what to do about the shrieking Junie McDiva who cannot seem to be consoled for anything! It doesn’t make it any easier that my husband is frequently gone (Thanks Uncle Sam, but hey, somebody’s gotta do it! 🇺🇸😉) Case in point: some days you just keep doing your best and plugging along, one step at a time!
2. The little things can make or break ya! At the collegiate athletic level, crossing your “t’s” and dotting your “i’s” is a non-negotiable. If you aren’t taking care of the little things, you’re going to be a broken toy on the shelf, collecting dust. During my time at Baylor I suffered an IT band injury and a fracture to a metatarsal. I had a few other bumps/bruises, but nothing too detrimental. Warm ups, cool downs, stretching, strength training, cross training, proper nutrition, adequate sleep, not being too stressed, taking off days when needed, etc. Each item is a little piece of the puzzle, and when one is missing, it keeps you from prime performance.
Navy parallel: ignoring the “little things” in a military marriage typically = divorce. Sailor Man has been in the service just over a year, and within that time he has been gone about half of it.😢 It is very sad, but we signed up for it. Consequently, if we don’t ensure we are on the same page, it can make things more difficult than what you might consider a typical relationship. For example, really LISTENING when the other is communicating, understanding what the others’ responsibilities are (when he is home and abroad), managing finances, making the most of the time you do have together etc. In fact, divorce is so high in the Navy, that if a Sailor is caught cheating on his/her spouse, the Navy intervenes. I am not even kidding! If Sailor Man were to have an affair and his CO (commanding officer) found out, he would get called to Captain’s Mast (somewhere a Sailor NEVER wants to go) and be forced to call and tell me, in front of the Captain. When things are in sync in a marriage, it makes all the difference and allows your family to thrive, similar to an athlete churning on all cylinders.
3. Always focus on the positives. It can be SO easy to dwell on the negatives, but I encourage you to make it a priority to regularly list out all the things for which you are thankful. I am guilty of walking around with a rain cloud over my head, from time to time, but thank goodness I have a glass is ALWAYS half full kinda man. He is the yin to my yang, and quickly steers me in the right direction. Even though we have endured a billion (ok, not quite that many) sleepless nights since entering parenthood, he is the first to remind me how blessed we are to have a June 🐞. When I mope around before a deployment he grabs me by the waist and reminds me he isn’t gone yet. If he works longer than usual hours he rubs his fingers together, serving as a reminder of all the monetary benefits we have: AWESOME healthcare (thanks Tricare), free college tuition for our daughter, pretty penny bonuses and not to mention a roof over our head.
At Baylor, I’d say I was a happy go lucky gal 99% of the time, aside from a brief stint. But then again, how can you not love life when your sport is helping you fund your education, you get free gear, travel the country, early class registration, access to state-of-the-art facilities and per diem money to spend however you choose?! Sure there were times of disappointment: missing my family, sub-optimal races, stress related to scholarship for the upcoming year…but looking at the big picture, they were all first world problems. My time as a Baylor 🐻 was a once in a lifetime experience.
There is a saying in the Navy, ‘Bravo Zulu’, it means well done. A term used to congratulate a Sailor for the effort and desirable outcome he has achieved. While our seasons of life change, our mission remains the same: to excel at whatever is placed before us. Here at Elevate Athletics, it is our goal to use our experience and expertise to help you achieve greatness in your college athletic career. Take care of the little things, when things get tough keep trekking and always focus on the good…over and out.