Give this recipe a try! It’s perfect for this wintry season. It’s a perfect mix of protein and carbohydrates. You can “cook once and eat twice” saving yourself time and energy for the long week ahead. Oh, and it’s quite simple to make!
This dish has all the benefits of a balanced, protein-packed, energy boosting meal. It’s an excellent way to replenish both protein and carbs after working out. Plus, this recipe is easy to make into a vegetarian option by omitting the ground turkey.
So, big news. I’m preggers! Yup. There is a tiny human growing inside of me. Such a surreal experience, when you really think about it. My husband and I found out on Father’s Day; indeed a special day for my hubbie to learn that he’s going to be a dad! It was even more significant though because I felt like my own Papito was sending me a message or giving me his blessing, or both. He is deeply missed.
As you have probably guessed, this post is going to cover prenatal nutrition and the joys of pregnancy.
How Much Is Enough
When you become pregnant, you often hear the expression, “Eat up! You’re eating for two now!” This statement is very deceiving. My doctor quickly put it to rest by clarifying, “Alanna, you are eating for 1.1, not 2.” Which means that even though your appetite may be off the charts with weird cravings and a hunger that tells, nay, screams at you to eat every two seconds, the reality is you should only be eating an additional snack of approximately 150-200 calories during the first trimester. If there is only one baby, the second and third trimester requires about 300 calories more - the size of a small meal a day, not double your food intake.
So what’s the trick to making you feel like you’re eating more without packing on the pounds uncontrollably? Eat throughout the day. I found it helpful to eat at least a little something every 2-3 hours. I went to town on fruits such as cherries, watermelon, and plums. I snacked on yogurt, cottage cheese, and hummus, being mindful of the types of “dippers/sauces” I was consuming. I couldn’t get enough peppers, cucumbers, and celery. And anything with lime and a little sea salt was like a little slice of heaven!
Taming the Symptoms
I consider myself pretty lucky. I’ve had mild symptoms of nausea, headaches, and fatigue, which are all quite common but nothing overly debilitating. I found that the following tips really help subdue the symptoms significantly:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
- Simple carbs
- Simple carbs with lean protein
- Don’t overdo it on fat, especially fried food
- Light smoothies
- Small meals
Why the baby-glow?
I personally believe that the famous “baby glow” has more to do with the absence of alcohol (and other “bad habits”) than anything else. Not that I have ever been a big drinker, but I have been known to indulge in an after-work drink now and again; cutting all alcohol from my diet entirely has made a HUGE difference. After all, alcohol is a toxin, regardless of the traces of resveratrol! FYI: Resveratrol is an antioxidant.
Another culprit of that glow, being pregnant has forced me to listen to my body and get an enormous amount of shuteye. Living in a city like NYC, it’s hard to say no to that cool new art exhibit or even an invitation to just hang out with friends. But when you’re pregnant, the fatigue sinks in and you have nowhere to go but your bed.
Make the glow happen! I’ll keep you updated on any other new awakenings!
It was estimated in 2012 that the running shoe market is a $3 billion industry. There is no doubt about it; running is popular! Having run a marathon and two half-marathons in the past decade, I am well aware of all the fun gadgets one can accumulate—the latest shoes, heart rate monitor, GPS, Dri-Fit ensemble, iPhone armband, water belt, you name it! But sometimes people forget to ask about the most important equipment of all…food!
In anticipation of NYRR NYC Half-Marathon taking place on March 16th, here is some key nutrition advice to help you enhance your training; it sure helped me along the way.
THE CARBOHYDRATE LOWDOWN
Carbohydrates are incredibly important to runners because they act as our primary fuel source. We store carbs in our muscles and liver by way of glycogen in order to maximize energy while on long-distance runs, like half or full marathons. Distance training enables us to increase our glycogen storage capacity up to 1,500-2,000 calories, on average. Assuming that we burn 100 calories per mile, we can run on stored energy for 15 to 20 miles. That means, for half-marathons, as long as we properly “carbo-load” throughout our training, and especially a few days prior to the race, we will avoid hitting the dreaded “wall.” But just to be on the safe side, I always carry a snack. Easy grab-and-go snacks are granola bars (KIND, Cliff, Luna, Mojo, Larabar), dried fruit, or trail mix.
How many carbs are enough?
To ensure proper carbohydrate intake while training, you want to source about 45-55% of your total daily calories from carbohydrates. Therefore, an average intake of 2,000 calories per day would equate to 900-1,100 calories from carbs. Another general rule of thumb, for a moderate to high activity level, is to consume 3 to 5 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight. This is especially important if you are competing at moderate intensity or greater for 90-minutes or more. Translation: jogging on the treadmill for 5 miles does not mean you get to eat a whole plate of pasta after!
Which carbs should you eat?
Starches such as bagels and pasta are staple runner’s foods, but all wholegrain/ unprocessed complex carbohydrates are ideal for training. Integrating these foods into your diet will promote stable energy levels and prevent sugar lows. Tip: I would not recommend experimenting with new foods a week before the race. Stick with what you know works for you.
- Fruits & Vegetables. Eat the skins for added antioxidants and fiber. Sweet potatoes are a great runner’s snack!
- Beans & Lentils. Dry or canned.
- Dairy products. Milk, chocolate milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and Greek yogurt.
- Whole grains. Brown rice, quinoa, millet and buckwheat, to mention a few.
- Whole grain pasta. Try Barilla Plus with added omega-3 and protein!
- Whole grain breads.
- High protein cereals. Try Nature’s Path Optimum Rebound, Back to Nature Flax & Fiber Crunch, or Kashi Go Lean.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR PROTEIN INTAKE
While training, your body will also need adequate protein for repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue, especially after workouts lasting longer than 1 hour. Dairy and legumes are great sources of protein, but be sure to include others such as lean meats (chicken, fish, low sodium turkey-jerky), eggs, cheese and seeds with each meal to compliment your carbohydrate choices.
REFUEL & REPLENISH: POST-RUN SNACKS
Recent research suggests that a post-run snack or meal should be consumed within 30-45 minutes of working out to avoid muscle fatigue, as well as injuries like tendonitis. A strong combination of protein and carbohydrates are recommended to help your muscles recover faster.
Smart and delicious post-race snacks include:
- 6 ounces of Greek yogurt with 1 cup of fruit
- 1 cup of protein-rich cereal with 1 cup of milk
- 1 cup of chocolate milk
- 1 piece of toast with 1 teaspoon of almond butter & half a mashed banana
- 1 small sweet potato with ½ cup of cottage cheese
- A serving of whole wheat crackers with 2 ounces of tuna
- Smoothie: 1 cup of milk with ½ cup of fruit + 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds
- ½ cup of cooked quinoa with ¼ cup of crushed pistachios and dried fruit
HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATION
Runners should always carry a water bottle, period. Calculating fluids lost while exercising can be tricky, but a quick tip is to monitor the color of your urine; you want to maintain a pale yellow color. Another tip, especially before your long runs, is to weigh yourself immediately before and after exercising. One pound lost is essentially 16 ounces (2 cups) of water. When you need to replenish significantly, make sure to drink from electrolyte-rich drinks such as coconut water.
Are you training for a race? I want to hear about it!
Written by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD, CDN
Picture by Rob Zand.
Clark, N. Active. Carbo-loading: Tips for endurance athletes.
What are my carb needs half training. Runners World.
Edited by Tamara Cabrero & NYHRC Team