Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Water In Your Body

I talk a lot about hydration on this blog. I thought it would be a good idea to talk about everything water does for us in our body, besides just cooling us off through sweat. Proper hydration is important to perform best at your sport, but it does so much more! Water helps control our internal body temperature through sweating. Athletes know all about that! 

It is the water in our blood that carries nutrients (glucose, oxygen, and fats) to the muscles and also removes the by-products from metabolism. The waste products are rid from our body through urine. Darker urine means that the waste is more concentrated. Being properly hydrated will reduce the stress on the kidneys and liver, whose job it is to remove waste from the body. Water also lubricates our joints and provides cushion to our organs. Drinking enough water will also help prevent constipation

So as you can see, water has many roles in our body. As an athlete, you are at a greater risk for dehydration due to the amount of sweat you lose. This post serves as another friendly reminder of the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day!

Mayo Clinic
Clark N. Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 4th ed. Champaign, IL; Human Kinetics; 2008.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Your Questions... Answered!

Question: What is the best way to eat for someone who works a desk job and has not yet made regular exercise a habit and needs to kick start his metabolism and help him lose weight?


1. Add in exercise. Exercise will help to boost lean muscle mass and muscle burns calories while sitting still which will kick start your metabolism.
- Try sneaking in exercise to get started: instead of fast-forwarding through commercial breaks, do crunches or push-ups.
- Consider enlisting the support of a personal trainer to help you create an exercise routine that is right for you!
- A bit more extreme but interesting is treadmill desks; check out this recent article from NPR on companies that are providing treadmill desks for their employees.

2. Sip on green tea.  Adding in plain green tea to your routine is linked to boosting metabolism; the benefits seem to be from the most abundant catechin in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Research shows the link to metabolism boosting when about 5 - 6 cups of green tea is consumed per day (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2007)!

A word of caution... each cup (8 fluid ounces) of green tea has about 25 milligrams of caffeine. If you are drinking other caffeine containing beverages, cut back on other sources of caffeine coming from soda, coffee and skip energy drinks.

3. Sleep. Getting enough sleep (7-9 hours per night) is linked to helping keep weight in part by controlling appetite hormones. This partly because during sleep appetite hormones are regulated - specifically leptin (keeps you full) and ghrelin (makes you hungry). Without enough sleep here is what happens: leptin levels in the body decline and ghrelin levels increase... the result a bigger than necessary appetite!

Do you have a nutrition question you would like answered? Sumbit your questions at my Web site:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving! Nine nutrition myths busted!

Happy Thanksgiving, Summit League Athletes! Here is a little information for you to read as you prepare to head home for Thanksgiving break. We have all heard that turkey makes us tired, but is that really true? What health benefits do cranberries provide? 

9 Thanksgiving Nutrition Myths, Busted

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Skinny on Snacking

The healthiest eaters snack more, in fact, 36% more per a new report out by The NPD Group. As we all head into the holiday season which kicks off next week with Thanksgiving, try sticking with a snacking routine to help you through the holidays without packing on the pounds. Here are some suggestions of what to snack on:

photo from
- Trail mix popcorn: Pop a batch of air popped popcorn and then in a large bag or container, toss in a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of your favorite nuts! Then place 2 - 3 handfuls of the snack in a bowl for a sweet and salty treat.

- Salsa hummus with sliced veggies: Combine equal parts hummus and salsa for a delicious dip for cucumbers, red peppers or carrots. Tip: every few days slice a bunch of vegetables and keep them in a clear container at eye level in the refrigerator to visually remind you to snack on them!

Peanuty pear slices: Slice a pear and then thinly spread crunch peanut or almond butter on each slice (about 1 tablespoon total) for a tasty twist to the traditional pear. 

- ALT skewers: On tooth picks or mini skewers add a cube of avocado, a few bite size pieces of lettuce and finish with a grape tomato. These are fun to serve to guests! Tip: Eat or serve these quickly because avocados brown quickly once they are sliced.

- Fruit and nut bars: Keeping a bar or two in your purse, work bag or car is a must! It will provide a single serving snack that will fuel you up and keep you going. Some of my favorite brands: KIND Snacks bar, Larabar or Clif Mojo Bar Peanut Butter Pretzel. When you are in a hurry this can even stand-in for lunch, pair it with a piece of fruit and a bottle of water!

Recipe: Homemade Granola Bars

Granola bars are a great snack to take on the go. They also pack a lot of nutrients and are a healthy alternative to sugary, high fat snack options. The best part about making them homemade is that you can switch up the ingredients to meet your preferences.
Yield 24 servings.

Serving size: 1 bar.


  • 1 cup honey 
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy 
  • 3 ½ cups rolled oats 
  • ½ cup raisins 
  • ½ cup carrot, grated 
  • ½ cup coconut 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel and grate the carrots 
3. Put the honey and peanut butter in a large saucepan. Cook on low heat until they melt 
4. Remove the pan from the heat. Turn off the burner 
5. Add oatmeal, raisins, carrots, and coconut to the saucepan. Stir well, and let it cool until you can safely touch it with your hands. 
6. Spray a baking pan, approximately 9x9x2 depending on how thick you want them, with cooking oil. 
7. Put the mix in the baking pan. 
8. Press the mix firmly into the bottom of the pan. 
9. Bake for 25 minutes. 
10. Cut into 24 bars. 
11. Use plastic baggies or plastic wrap to individually store them.
Alternatives: Add almonds or peanuts for more protein. Add ground flax seed for additional fiber. 

Recipe adapted from the USDA SNAP-ed website:

Guest Blogger: Emily Seidl, USD Dietetic Intern

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What are omega-3 fats and why are they good for me?

Omega-3 fats are polyunsaturated fats that can be very beneficial to your health. These healthy fats are considered essential because we have to get them through our diet in order to receive their many health benefits. They have anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against heart disease, decrease blood pressure, prevent arthritis, decrease asthma and speed recovery from injuries. 

The richest source of omega-3 fats is fish, specifically fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and lake trout. It is recommended that we consume two servings (8-12 ounces) per week of a variety of fish. If you’re turned off by the “fish” smell, try cooking it with lemon juice or seasoning it with dill, basil, rosemary, or parsley.

If you don’t care for fish at all, you can choose to incorporate some of these other foods which contain lower amounts of omega-3 fats: 

  • Flaxseed 
  • Walnuts 
  • Canola oil 
  • Soybean oil 
  • Chia seeds 
  • Eggs 
  • Chicken 
There are also fish, krill, and flaxseed oil capsules available over the counter. Take caution when choosing these supplements though as large doses of omega-3 fats can thin the blood. Quit taking these supplements at least two weeks before a major surgery.

Guest Blogger: Jaime Williams, USD Dietetic Intern

Fresh Guava juice recipe

guava fruit nutrition guava fruit facts
Guava fruit information, Juice can be used for treating hypertension / high blood pressure, cholesterol, used in detox, weight loss programs / weight loss, anti aging juice for health

Guava Juice

300g guava
150g strawberries, washed
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons fresh lemon / lime
100g of ice

How to Make Guava Juice:
Wash, cut - split guava, seeded and cut into pieces.
Enter a piece of guava, strawberry, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and ice cubes into a blender. Puree until smooth.
Prepare the serving glasses, pour the juice. Decorate and serve immediately.

Guava fruit nutrition facts

Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Easy Snack Ideas for Athletes

1. Almonds—One ounce provides about protein, heart healthy fats and is high in Vitamin E. 
2. Greek Yogurt with Fruit—Greek yogurt is higher in protein than other yogurts and when paired with fruit is a very satisfying way to replenish after a workout. 
3. Peanut Butter Sandwich—This provides carbs, heart healthy fats, and protein for after that hard workout. 
4. Low Fat Chocolate Milk—Provides high quality protein and carbohydrate. This is the newest craze out there and the science behind it really works. 
5. Fruit and Cheese—This combines the natural sugars and fiber of fresh fruit with protein and calcium for an all around good snack.

Guest Blogger: Alyssa Gehle, USD Dietetic Intern

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Your Question... answered!

Q: I need breakfast ideas to lose 20-pounds!And I spin and do yoga four days per week.

A: First, eating breakfast is key! Simply eating breakfast may help you meet your weight loss goals because stats show people who eat breakfast weigh less. Plus, something to consider is new research from the British Journal of Nutrition (October 2012) found guys that exercise before breakfast burn 33-percent more fat compared to those who exercise after breakfast. Although, keep in mind, depending on the intensity and duration of your workout, breakfast maybe best to fuel your body before you workout.

What to eat? Combine whole grains, fruit/ vegetables and protein. The fiber from the grains and fruit/ vegetables will help to keep you full plus the protein will help with longer lasting energy to keep you going all morning long.

Here are some ideas to try:
- Oatmeal (prepared with low fat milk or almond milk) topped with sliced bananas, chopped walnuts and a drizzle of honey.
- Whole grain cereal with sliced strawberries (tip: fill 1/2 of your bowl with strawberries!) and low fat milk or almond milk
- Breakfast scramble (a personal favorite) paired with a slice of whole wheat toast, click here for the recipe
- On the go: bring a bar like (KIND Snacks Bars*, Energy Squares* or Clif Bar Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel) and
- Slice of whole wheat naan or pita bread topped with a thin layer of hummus, cucumber slices and a drizzle of honey mustard

Do you have a nutrition question you would like answered? Sumbit your question to me at my Web site:

*Disclosure: Molly does spokes person work for KIND Snacks and it's "health nut".