The Last Supper

2 sleeps to go. Race day is looming and you need to know what to eat before you rush out the door to the start line.  While rushing make sure you factor stopping at the bowser 90-120 minutes before the gun goes off. Actually eating breakfast is the important thing.  Next is what you choose.  Around 100 grams of carbohydrate with some protein mixed in will be good prep for your running event.  This pre-race meal could be:

  • 1 cup cereal with milk and 1 banana
  • 2 slices of toast with jam or honey

If these options have you reeling, you could try a couple of crumpets or 2 slices of toast with banana or tinned spaghetti. If breakfast is not your thing, try an Up and Go or Sustagen Sport, it will still give you some petrol.  If you are not used to eating before an event or any exercise lasting longer than 1 hour, it may be too late to start for this weekend but embark upon training your stomach to accept food as soon as you can.  Its just like training any other body part. Just remember, Datsun 120Y or BMW? Imagine yourself crossing the finish line, arms raised in the victory position.  Sure, there will be much celebrating but don’t forget to recover and grab some sports drink or fruit within the first 15-30 minutes after you stop running.  Your blood is pumping and enzymes are at their peak, lying in wait to pick up carbohydrate and take it back home to your tired muscles and liver. Recovery mission complete, give yourself a pat on the pack.  Well done.

Load ’em up baby

Carbohydrate  loading.  Do you need it? Not for the 12 km but if you are trotting out for the 1/2 or full marathon, yes indeedy. Carb loading is effective for 24 hours prior to an event lasting longer than 2 hours and is calculated at a rate of 10 grams for each kg of body weight.  If you weigh 6okg then you are looking down the barrel at 600 grams of energy producing carbohydrate.

  • 2 cups cereal with 1-2 cups milk with 4 slices of toast with jam/honey
  • 4 tablespoons Sustagen Sport in 250ml milk with1 large cinnamon bun
  • 2 cups cooked rice or pasta with 150g meat/chicken or fish and vegetables or salad plus 1-cup jelly with fruit
  • 4 tablespoons Sustagen Sport in 250ml milk with 50 grams jelly beans
  • 150g meat, chicken or fish with 2 cups cooked pasta or rice plus veggies or salad
  • 1-cup jelly or custard with fruit

Carb loading always sounds so appealing on paper but is actually hard work in reality.  Boy, it makes a BIG difference on the day. Want to find out what to eat for breakfast on race day?  Check in tomorrow.

Surf ‘N Turf

5 sleeps to go.  I know that many people are counting down to the 2010 Rebel Sport Perth City to Surf and the options are many.  You can choose from the running menu of 4km, 12km, Half Marathon (21.1km) or the the Marathon (42.2km). If you are participating in this event, now would be a good time to start thinking about what petrol you are going to use.   Continue reading “Surf ‘N Turf”

Run like the wind

Woohoo, I made it.  The Perth 1/2 Marathon that is.  There was actually never any doubt in my own mind that I would finish it, although I did have to give myself the toughen up talk a few times along the way.  I learnt a few things today. Continue reading “Run like the wind”

Clever Dogs

Sunny has sniffed out one and a half tonnes of the elusive truffle and Izzy has only managed 7kg this year.  Izzy clearly needs some performance enhancement.  I’m referring to the two truffle sniffing dogs that showed us their tricks at the Mundaring Truffle Festival over the weekend.  These dogs, one a beagle and the other an undetermined breed walk 84km per week during peak season in their search. No need for pedigree either, any will do.  Of course, pigs will do the job too Continue reading “Clever Dogs”

Calcium + Vitamin D = Tough Bones

Calcium + Vitamin D = Tough Bones

This week is National Healthy Bones Week and it is always a reminder to stop and do a quick audit of where your calcium intake is at. Aside from food, there are hereditary and lifestyle factors to consider too. I love dairy products, but still need to do a daily check just to make sure I’m ticking all the boxes. Depending on your age group you will need somewhere between 1000-1300mg per day.

There are plenty of good sources (see box below) but it becomes obvious that it is not easy to get what you need from non-dairy sources. Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables but I can’t eat almost 400 grams to get one serve of calcium!

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The other key factor in strong bones is Vitamin D. The best natural source of Vitamin D is sunlight, but many of us don’t get enough. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Australians are Vitamin D deficient due to our diets being low in the vitamin and our decreasing exposure to sunlight. Slip, slop, slap is obviously integral for our wellbeing but it does limit our ability to synthesize Vitamin D. With regards to osteoporosis, high risk categories include; those who smoke, those who suffer inflammatory bowel disease, Type 1 diabetes, liver problems or an overactive thyroid. Early menopause or family history of early menopause or broken bones can also be a factor.

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If you feel as though you are at risk, go get a bone density test and do a calcium check.

Quick, easy custard (and great source of calcium)

500ml low fat milk
1-tablespoon custard powder
1-tablespoon sugar

Mix custard powder and sugar together with a small amount of the milk to make a paste. Add this to the remaining milk and whisk together.
Microwave on HIGH at 90 second intervals (whisking in between) until custard is smooth and thick.

Serves several if in a sharing mood or just two if you love custard.

How to get a top score

Green apple on stack of red books.
Green apple on stack of red books.

Studying and preparing for exams is like being an athlete and training for an event. You know that it takes discipline, tests of endurance, endless concentration and skill. That being said, none of this is possible if you don’t look after what you are eating. You may have done the training and the studying to get you to the exam but have you fuelled the tank with the right petrol?

Top 5 Performance Tips – do they fit into your game plan?

Does caffeine give you a buzz?
Try and avoid relying on caffeine to keep you alert and awake. Caffeine stimulates every organ in your body and in small doses can be a useful study tool but too much can mean over-stimulation of your nervous system, increased heart rate and erratic sleep patterns. Sources of caffeine include coffee, tea (to a lesser extent), cola drinks and energy drinks eg. Red Bull, V, Lift Plus etc. Energy drinks contain a mix of caffeine and sugar, which gives you an extra hit but they are equivalent to drinking a cappuccino, flat white or latte.

Boost brainpower
Omega-3 fats are known to boost brainpower and should be an essential part of every students diet. Fish, shellfish and fish oils are good dietary sources of these fats and are found in particularly ‘oily’ fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines and salmon. Canned, fresh or frozen fish are all good sources of omega-3 fats. Try and include them 2-3 times per week.

Bugs
Probiotics are foods or supplements that contain live beneficial bacteria (bugs) that keep your gut healthy. Exam stress is one thing that can upset intestinal balance and probiotic’s may be especially useful during this time. There are a number of sources of probiotic’s including liquids, yoghurts, capsules and powders.
Yakult is one of the leading products on the market and can be found in the dairy section of the supermarket. Just drink one every morning for a boost.

Pump the Iron
Iron is essential for getting enough oxygen around your body and this is obviously important during study and exam time! The best sources are liver (try reduced fat pate if you are not keen on liver), lean red meat, breakfast cereals and legumes (baked beans, chickpeas, kidney beans etc) and to a much lesser extent chicken, fish and leafy green vegetables. Include some fruit or vegetables, which contain Vitamin C with your iron-rich food and this, will help with the absorption.

Liquid refreshment
Don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids while studying to avoid brain drain. There are no rules that say you have to drink 8 glasses of water every day but regular intake is key. Water will always be the best choice but you might mix this up with some coffee, tea or Milo for a change in pace. Avoid getting stuck into sugary drinks like soft drinks, cordials and energy drinks, sure you will get a blood sugar boost but they will get smacked back down again quick smart.

Breathe in, Breathe Out

If you happened to tune into the morning show on 6PR last week, you would have heard Simon Beaumont trying to inhale some chocolate dust through a product known as Le Whif. Perhaps I shouldn’t have made him do that live to air, but it was amusing all the same.

Apparently there is no need to actually eat food anymore, one can just breathe it in. My first impression of Le Whif when it arrived in the mail was a cigarette pack full of asthma inhalers. It scared me. In reality, the small package contains 3 small cannisters of ‘whiffable’ chocolate.

Le Whif was developed by Harvard professor David Edwards using ‘particle engineering.’ In real words this means forming natural food substances, like chocolate, in particle sizes that are small enough to become airborne, though too large to enter the lungs.

But back to my experience. After preparing my puffer I eagerly awaited my ‘whif’ of chocolate. Sadly, all that registered on my tongue was a ‘whif” of fresh air with an ever so small suggestion of chocolate. Fabulous way of losing weight though, as the Le Whif experts suggest. The brochure attached to the product states that “When you eat a chocolate bar, most of the chocolate passes through your mouth without actually contacting your taste buds.” Objection, Your Honour. It does so. They go on to postulate “from a taste point of view, most chocolate is not serving you, apart from delivering calories.” Not so sure about that one either and I know that others will agree there are a number of ways that chocolate can serve us. Aren’t there?

Anyway, new experiences are essential in life and although I spent 4 puffs trying to work out what was going on, all was not lost. I laughed a LOT, got some extra air into my lungs and only inhaled only 4 calories.

The final word

If you have a hot nutrition question or you are interested in finding how to improve the performance and productivity of your team, contact me at julie@juliemeek.com.au.

Until next time, tune into my blog.
The best days go the fastest. Keep up.

Until next time,
Julie