Eating for Endurance & Health

Most people don’t consider eating when working out besides the occasional Gatorade or Powerade drink that is glowing fluorescent blue, green, yellow or red beside the handrail of the elliptical machine or treadmill on which they trod.   Most people I know exercise to burn calories so why on earth would they CONSUME calories at the same time.   Fortunately or unfortunately, I grew up with this “exercise to eat” mentality so I am well versed in the non-sensical rationalization of in order to lose these two must match.  Additionally, after damaging my mind and body with such rationalization, I learned what was really true about dieting, exercise, racing, and winning (the war against weight gain – mentally & physically).

TRUE/FALSE: If I consume 2000 calories/day (based on my height/weight/activity level), then I need to burn via exercise at least half of those calories in order to lose weight.

chicken lasagnaFALSE!  Caloric intake should be based on height/weight/current activity level in order to maintain current weight.  Cutting calories/increasing activity will allow for weight loss BUT cutting your intake by over half or even 1/4 can be dangerous.  It can actually cause your body to hold on to fat because it thinks your starving to death….because you are in that moment.   Slow changes are best.  Remember, your body needs a baseline amount of calories from fat, carbs, and protein to simple keep your organs and brain functioning – without extra activity.

TRUE/FALSE: It isn’t necessary to consume calories when you are exercising.

IT DEPENDS!  If you’re workout is less than an hour, water will do.  If you’ve eaten in the last 3 hrs prior to activity, your body will probably have enough energy/glycogen to fuel you without a bonk.  As in the picture below, if your activity (triathlon) is over an 1hr and you haven’t eaten within an 1-2 hrs of the start of your activity, then you will need some fuel.  I’ve got an Ignite REFUEL Energy Gel hanging from my bike which will top off my glycogen storage for the later half of the 45 minute bike and 3.4 mile run I am about to endure. If the race/activity was longer I would need to keep fueling with gels/energy drinks/water/etc. every 15-30 minutes adding more fat/protein as the length grows.  (FYI – because of good clean nutrition…and solid training, I won that race.  Thanks Ignite Naturals, Arbonne Nutrition Line, and Coach Craig Cecil of Peak Performers!

Use coupon code IN0730 for 10% off Ignite Naturals!
Use ARBONNE ID #13270083 to sign up for 20-35% off gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan protein powder, energy drink mix, fit chews, & more!

LR carrollton bike

TRUE/FALSE: It’s important to eat carbs/protein right after I workout to help my body recover.

TRUE! Within the first 30 minutes after workouts ~1hr or more, you need to consume 100-200 calories of sugar/carbohydrates to keep your body from burning muscle mass and producing anti-healing stress hormones like cortisol. Often times, it’s hard to stomach much after a long or hard workout/race but at least consume some sports drink or fruit. Within two hours, you also need to consume a 4/1 or 3/1 ratio of carbs to protein to help muscle recovery and healing. Post-activity nutrition is vital to keeping you healthy during those long training periods so that you can reach the start line AND the finish line of your next race!

So who is willing to take the opportunity and commit to 18-20 weeks of training for the Asheville Marathon? We start Monday November 4th, for the 19-20-wk training program or Nov. 11th for the 18wk program. Run/walk, run, or walk your way there with a group of new and experienced marathoners. Anyone can do it, just read “The Non-runner’s Marathon Guide for Women” – a hysterical read for anyone considering their first race of any distance or wondering why anyone would want to run any distance.

Let me know your thoughts, feedback and if you’re interested in running/training with me.

Happy trails!


No-Bake Energy Balls

No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Balls*

no bake oatmeal peanut butter balls

 For those with peanut allergies, please substitute another nut or seed butter (tahini or pumpkin butter from pumpkin seeds are two favorites!) of your choice.


  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (use gluten free, if applicable)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed or shelled hempseed
  • 1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds (raw or barely salted, no oils)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon or ginger (to help upset stomachs)
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (or almond or tahini butter), melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds


Combine oats, almonds, flaxseed, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir until combined.

Melt peanut butter, allowing it to cool slightly. Stir in honey and vanilla extract until it’s combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with your hands. A spoon will not bring it together well enough – get messy! Once mixture is sticking together, roll dough into balls.

Roll the balls in the sesame seeds and keep in an air tight container in the fridge. They are great cold and great to bring to work for that afternoon craving.

*From on the Ignite Naturals blog by GET IN on November 23, 2012

Garlicky Lobster & GF Spinach Pasta

Garlicky Lobster & Gluten-Free Spinach Pasta

Garlicky Lobster & Gluten-Free Spinach Pasta

Lobster can be bought cheaply at Costco & kept frozen until needed.  It is high in protein but low in calories, fat, cholesterol, & carbs.  This is a great post-workout dinner for the gluten-free, semi-paleo athlete.


2 c wild caught lobster tails

3 spring onions (chopped, separate white from green tips)

3 garlic cloves (minced)

4 TB coconut butter/regular butter

S & P to taste

1 TB arrowroot starch

2 TB water

3 TB coconut creamer / half & half

1/2 box GF angel hair pasta (according to box directions w/ broth)

1 c finely chopped spinach



Begin cooking pasta according to box directions.

In coconut butter, saute garlic & white of onions until soft. Add S&P then lobster.  Combine arrowroot w/ water until smooth, add creamer.  Pour mixture into pan with lobster. Stir until thickens (medium-low heat).  Remove from heat immediately.

Toss spinach  & EVOO with drained noodles.  Pour lobster mix over pasta.


Banana Bread

There are two recipe options. 1) Instead of traditional flour, almond and coconut flour are used to add protein and reduce the glycemic load typically seen in breakfast foods. This bread doesn’t rise as much as traditional bread and can either be split to form two thin small sheets or one larger loaf.
2) Uses the Namaste Foods “Perfect Flour Blend” which can be used for breads, cookies, etc. It also rises more and requires less “odd” flours to buy separately.


Recipe #1


1 c almond flour

1/2 c coconut flour

1/4 c flax seed meal

1.5 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

4 eggs

2 TBS coconut oil (melted)

1 TBS maple syrup/agave

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large ripe banana (mashed)

*OPTIONAL: add extra bananas for more moist bread


Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan w/ coconut oil.

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl. Combine wet in small bowl & whisk.

Pour wet into dry until fully incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Pour into loaf pan & smooth the top.

Bake 35 minutes or until done in the center.

Cool on cool in pan for 5 minutes then on wire rack.

Recipe #2


2c Namaste Perfect Flour Blend
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 c. walnut or other oil blend
2 TBS cane sugar
1/2 c organic brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 bananas, mashed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (not imitation)
1/2c toasted walnuts, chopped (optional)


Heat oven to 325F. Grease loaf pan with same oil used in recipe. Combine dry ingredients: flour blend, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, combine wet: oil, sugar, beaten eggs, mashed bananas, & vanilla. Fold in dry with wet and add nuts (if using).

Pour in loaf pan and bake 65-75 minutes or until center is cooked. Cool immediately on a wire rack.
(see picture)


These scones are gluten-free made with almond flour adding extra protein.


2.5c Almond Flour/Meal

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/3c grapeseed or avocado oil

1/4c honey/agave nectar

2 large eggs

*Optional Add-Ins:  chocolate chips, blueberries, dried fruit, cinnamon, etc.)


Preheat oven to 350.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  In bowl, combine almond flour, salt, & soda.  In separate bowl, mix eggs, oil, & honey.  Stir wet ingredients into dry, then fold in optional “add-ins.”  Drop 1/4c batte on baking sheets about 2″ apart.

Bake 12-17 minutes until brown or done in the center.  Let cool 30 minutes.

Paleo Brownies


2 TBS Coconut Oil

16oz Walnuts (or Almond Meal)

1 cage-free egg (vegan option: 1TBS flaxseed meal whisked with 3 TBS water)

1/2c. honey or agave nectar

1/2c. cocoa or carob powder

1 TBS Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

2oz chocolate chips (optional; substitute with soy-, diary-free chips)

*Add 1+ TBS water if dry


Preheat oven to 325.  Grease 8×8 (smaller) dish with coconut oil.

Use food processor to pulse walnuts until smooth, butter-like.

In separate bowl, beat egg then add walnut puree, vanilla, honey & combine.

Add cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda then chocolate.

Pour into baking dish & bake for 30-40 minutes (until done in center).

*It’ll rise then fall in the center.  Cool 15 minutes before cut/eat.





Healthy Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse is raw, vegan, and tastes fantastic. Use as a dip with fresh fruit or as a frosting.  Feel free to reduct the amount of dates or maple syrup if it’s too sweet.  Dates are fairly high in minerals, including potassium, manganese, and magnesium.


1/4 c. dates (pureed with 1-2 TBS of water)  OR  maple syrup

1 avocado

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c. cocoa or carob powder


In  food processor, puree dates with water until smooth then slowly add avocado, vanilla, & cocoa/carob, one item at a time.  Refrigerate to keep it fresh.


Calories: 254

Fat 9g, Potassium 572 g, Carbs 38g, Fiber 11g, Sugars 24g, Protein 6g