Vegan Turtles

These turtles have wow’d those who had no clue the recipe is vegan. Still, I’m sure anyone who is dairy free, but has at one point enjoyed the taste of a good turtle or caramel, will be even more blown away!

Vegan Chocolate Covered Caramel Continue reading

Lentil Tacos

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to share this delicious recipe with you. Tim and I have been eating these easy lentil tacos for years, but I suppose it’s better to let you in on the recipe now than never!

lentil tacos | Eat Real Live Well
I love fish tacos, and black bean tacos, and there’s plenty of other tacos, too. But, why lentils? Continue reading

Fit Fuel: Intuitive Eating for Fitness

See our feature in Women’s Running Magazine!

Do you ever skip breakfast or a snack before you exercise whether due to time, nervousness, or in an effort to lose weight?

Ever finish a tough workout or race, not felt hungry, and then eaten everything later that day or the next?

I used to experience the above, too, as a college swimmer. After my division I career ended and I wasn’t active 20 hours per week, I really convinced myself that I didn’t need to fuel much once I started to train for half marathons, too. And boy was that first one brutal. I remember crossing the finish line on a hot June day of the Fairfield Half and my friend’s mom and my own mom talking about how awful I looked. I don’t think I realized the level of dehydration I experienced until I ran a half marathon and completed triathlons properly fueled. It wasn’t due to lack of fluid intake though. It was due to lack of carb and electrolyte intake. I never made that mistake again (and know exactly what fuel is right for me to be smiling at the end of a tough race). Continue reading

Introducing Kelly Jones Nutrition Business Page with Free Hydration Guide

Happy Friday everyone!

I hope you’ve all been amping up your fruit and veggie intake all week and noticing positive changes. Even if you didn’t completely meet your daily goals, it’s still a positive change to be thinking more about including these nutrient powerhouses. Don’t beat yourself up over not reaching exactly what you had planned, just start over the next meal or next day with a clean slate!

While I’ll be introducing a new challenge on Sunday, today I’m writing to introduce you to my new business page for Kelly Jones Performance Nutrition. While my blogging and recipes will remain here, at EatRealLiveWell.com, more information on my services will be available on my business site, KellyJonesNutrition.com. Continue reading

Low Carb or Adequate Carbs? A Dietitian’s Experiences and Insights

In recent months, I have realized despite my social media posts and how I educate in seminars and nutrition classes, some of my friends, family, and co-workers still assume dietitians “don’t eat carbs” and have diets labeled “low-carb”, or “gluten-free”. First, if I were to put a label on my diet, it would be “plant-based”. Do you know where carbohydrates come from? Plants (and the lactose in dairy). Your veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, and whole grains are all primarily carbs. My diet, therefore, has a lot of carbs, especially since grains paired with legumes are often my protein source in a meal.

Now let’s talk about what you think of when you hear “carbs”. You’re thinking bread, pasta, pizza, right? Well, I eat those things too. When you hear “gluten” you probably think of bread and pasta or the perception that a gluten-free version of them is healthier. Continue reading

Philly Tri Rock Recap and Ultima Giveaway

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by Ultima. This is a sponsored post. I received product samples from the company to share with clients. All opinions stated are my own.

Happy fitness Friday everyone! Happy 4th of July weekend, too 🙂

Last weekend I finally competed in a sprint triathlon after a couple of year hiatus due and I had a blast. This past year I acted as the sports nutrition advisor for the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Fit to Lead group. They have a few fabulous and fit leaders itself who put together a program each year to show women how being active can improve not only their health but also their careers. The Philly Tri Rock sprint is the goal for the group but, they aren’t only given a training plan, they are also coached on leadership, sports psychology, and nutrition. Since I was doing their sports nutrition webinars and providing tips, I thought I might as well make my triathlon comeback with them, too!

The Race

If you didn’t already know, I was a competitive swimmer and swam for the University of Connecticut’s DI team so, while everyone else dreads the swim, that is the easiest part for me! In 2015, the swim was cancelled due to weather/river conditions. Not only did that make me nervous for this year (what swimmer wants to have to run twice instead?!) but, it also made me nervous about how clean that river would be! This girl grew up in clear pools seeing everything below her. Lucky for me, we had a gorgeous day! This is unlike the cloudy, rainy, cold weather for the Newport 10 Miler I completed with friends 3 weeks earlier! It was still the most beautiful course I have ever raced, I have to add. Anyway, for the tri, it was sunny and low 60’s at the start of the race, the river water was 80 degrees and according to what they told us, as clean as can be. While it wasn’t moving much to push us downstream and make the swim easier, I was totally OK with it feeling like a pool! I wound up being the 14th overall female finisher for the swim (out of over 800) which was exciting since I only hopped in the pool 3 times to train all year before this!

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Transition went well and I hopped on the bike. I felt like I was really moving. Key word felt! I hadn’t biked outside all year other than a total 20 mile casual bike in Nantucket that Tim and I did to Siasconset and the Cisco brewery. I won’t make this mistake again!! Looking at the results, this was the weakest part for me and I know training outside would have made a big difference.

The transition from bike to run was speedy. The run felt as expected – harder in the beginning and easier as it went on as my legs were accustomed to not being on the bike anymore. I have to say though, when I saw the 1 mile marker I was thinking “how the &%^&* did I only run one mile?!”. As I said, it got better after that.

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I had an amazing time doing this. I really enjoy the tri’s much more than long running races and will be competing in an Olympic distance in early September. I know I can’t slack on training like I did for this one so, once I return from our family vacation after next week, I am going to have to stick to my plan.

The Fuel

Yes, it is only a sprint but for me that “sprint” took an hour an 45 minutes – for most people in the Fit to Lead group, much longer! So, thinking about fuel is important. You may have followed along on instagram but, I did a one meal carbo-load with some delicious Zavino whole wheat pizza on Friday after the race expo and packet pick up. I had some brussel sprouts on the side too with Tim – gotta get those veggies!

For race morning, I had to get up at 4:45, be out of transition set up by 6:45, and my wave wouldn’t start until almost 8:15. Friday night I threw together some overnight oats in a pyrex container (1/2 C quick oats, 1 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon, maca, vanilla extract, 1 tbsp almond butter and 6 ounces of almond milk). In the morning it was ready to grab from the fridge and I ate it once I got to Philly with a banana around 6:00. This left me plenty of time to digest, get energy into my blood stream, but keep me from getting hungry while racing. [Sorry, no picture!]

At the first transition, I had Energy Bits with water and hopped on the bike. I had 2 water bottles on the bike – one was mixed with 2 packets of lemon Ultima, my go-to electrolyte drink for intense exercise ever since Expo East last fall (see below to get some for free). FullSizeRender (23)

By the end of the bike I needed a boost for the run and the salted dates I’d packed were perfect. I couldn’t eat too much so I just grabbed one, swigged some water back with it and off I went!

Fueling went perfectly for me and I felt energized the entire race without ever feeling hungry or having an upset stomach or cramps. I have a sensitive GI tract and can feel bloated really easily so, I practice what I preach, and never have anything new within 48 hours of a race.

Now the post-race food was for sure something to write about. I have never completed a race and seen food like this. Typically you’re looking at bagels and unripe fruit or worse, just donuts and bars. Winnie’s LeBus killed it. In addition to the amazingly fluffy yet hearty whole grain roll, quinoa/arugula salad, and hard boiled eggs you see on the plate, I also got a cup of delicious berries with a touch of granola – and a banana that I couldn’t finish (eyes bigger than my stomach). They also had a veggie-full pasta salad, marinara foccacia, and yogurt available. It was so perfect we didn’t even think about going to brunch after. The chocolate chip blondie was amazing too!

The Ultima Review and Giveaway

I had spent several years trying to convince teenage and college athletes that they would love coconut water (with a dash of salt) for their practices and competitions but some of them will just never like the flavor. Thankfully, I saw that Ultima provides a natural alternative to sports drinks, with a great blend of 6 electrolytes, that wasn’t adding tons of added sugar. It also is gluten-free (if you need it) and vegan, which is fabulous!As I mentioned above, I found Ultima for the first time at Natural Products Expo East and right away had an interest. I am still surprised it took me that long to find them since the product has been around since the 90’s and aligns with my values!

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At almost every sports nutrition talk I give to a team, an athlete will raise their hand before I mention hydration and ask “Do I have to drink Gatorade? It hurts my stomach!”. Nothing you eat or drink should bother your stomach or, any other part of you for that matter! Having concentrated sources of added sugar can cause GI discomfort in some people as the sugar is being absorbed. The lower level of carbohydrate in a serving of Ultima, only 4 grams, is just enough to keep your blood sugar normal without giving your intestines that stress. Of course, if you are training for two hours or more, you will absolutely need more carbohydrate than that. Most athletes are eating something in between events or at half time and often runners prefer gel products to get their carbs in during long races. Cyclists often just eat actual food! So, Ultima is a great compliment to that intake of dietary carbs as it provides not only electrolytes but a {natural} flavor to enhance thirst and ensure adequate fluid intake.

While I still do like coconut water, sometimes I really don’t need the amount of carbohydrate in it and Ultima has done a great job keeping me from feeling sluggish at the end of a workout. I also never finish a whole container of coconut water and then it spoils. Ultima, is a shelf stable powder that I really like in the sticks versus the tub because I can take it anywhere. It also gives me just enough carbs to prevent me from feeling overly hungry when I am done exercising! I started to use Ultima during intense workouts that were over an hour. I first used it for a race when I did the Newport 10 Miler that I mentioned above. For that race, I drank some before and a little after because I couldn’t add the packet to anything on the race course. I also gave a packet to each of my friends that was racing and got their stamp of approval. The Tri-Rock was the first race that I had the Ultima during and it worked out great just like it had in training.

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My favorite flavors are the lemonade and tart cherry but, when I brought samples to an event in Atlantic City with some NFL players on Monday, raspberry seemed to be the preferred flavor! They are still getting their “rest” in before training camp and in this case I told them to try it on the spot since i found out they were out a little late the night before and could use some extra hydration!

So, if you’re an athlete or active individual who wants to maintain hydration and energy during workouts and races, and who wants to prevent excessive thirst and hunger after a workout, Ultima is sponsoring a giveaway! Between the flavors I mentioned plus the grape and orange, there is something for everyone.

Head to my Instagram or Twitter pages for details on how to enter to win a free tub of Ultima in your flavor of choice to fuel your training or active lifestyle this summer! The last day to enter is Thursday, July 7 and a winner will be announced next Friday, July 8!

Even if you don’t end up being the winner, you can sign up for their newsletter and receive 15% off your first order at ultimareplenisher.com.

What’s your favorite way to fuel your exercise, whether it be pre-workout or during?

Quick, On-the-go, Real Food Breakfast

Each year my life gets busier – which is a good thing professionally (and personally since I love what I do)! But, it also means I am relying a lot more on prepping ahead and when I don’t have time to make my own energy bars from scratch, I’m finding minimally processed, whole food based convenience foods. I already have a post on some great convenience snacks, but here I want to talk about convenience for my favorite meal: BREAKFAST. Continue reading

Raw Cashew Cacao Goji Protein Snacks

My first National Nutrition Month 2016 creation is um…. YUM! After spending a zillion dollars on Whole Foods delicious raw cacao goji energy bites I thought I should probably just make my own! While they didn’t come out quite as dense as the ones in Whole Foods bulk section, I kind of liked the texture of these better! As you can see, they can be made into bars or balls easily, whichever your heart desires. I am a huge coconut fan so I rolled the balls in coconut for some extra flavor, texture, and to elevate the eye candy effect. Continue reading

Distillery Run and Nourishment Events 

February has been a fun month so far, coming off of a fantastic January, too. I had a couple of speaking events in the past two weeks that were open to the public that I thought I would review since they were so much fun and at such great venues.

The first event on February 6 was the Distillery Run, held in conjunction with the Oddyssey Half Marathon. Their founder and race director is heavily involved in the Philly running community and has seasonal running series and events that support local running charities. This run supported Open Streets PHL.  Carl also directs the Great American Brewery Run series in the greater Philadelphia area. They sound fun too! As long as you enjoy your brews in moderation, of course 🙂

For this event, runners (and myself & another speaker) ran about 3 miles together from the Art Museum steps to New Liberty Distillery. Upon arrival everyone was greeted with a new Philly runner glass on the first floor. We then moved to the second floor, which still has a lot of its old architecture. There, I presented information on nutrition for training, Dr. Michael Ross from the Rothman Institute spoke on injury prevention, and David Wisniewsi from Philadelphia Running Concepts spoke about training for races. The distillery, which used to be horse stables, was such a fun venue due to its ambiance and simple barrel decor! The upstairs, which we spent time in after the presentation portion has a bar and is decorated to enhance its rustic feel. I am not a huge fan of whiskey but enjoyed the tastings. They also have vodka and mixed drinks at the bar if you aren’t a whiskey fan too. I hope to bring other group events here in the future!


Below is first a pic pre-presentation showing off the barrels. Old horse stable doors were still up, too! Next is a shot from my presentation. I think I was talking about medjool dates here!

A special thanks to Siggi’s for donating yogurt for every runner at the event. We had a little leftover which I was able to give away 2 days later at my nutrition for hair, nails & skin event. From a running perspective, yogurt is a great post-workout snack for recovery since it contains quality proteins and carbohydrates that work together to repair and re-energize your muscles. Even though I am allergic to dairy, and I believe more people are than think they are, if you can tolerate it, dairy can be a good source of protein and nutrients for athletes. Siggi’s is a good option because it has such a low amount of added sugar but (per all of my client’s feedback) has great flavor. Another thanks to Energy Bits for 25% off bags of bits for attendees.


My event the following Monday was held at Urban Allure Salon and Spa in Newtown, PA. It was outside the norm but a lot of fun! I educated the group on how to eat to support your hair skin and nail health while hearing best practices for external care from the experts at the salon! I covered the nutrients most essential for skin health, including but not limited to fatty nutrients and water. I also spoke about the benefits of foods over supplements, and how your GI health is related to your biotin status. Below are some foods I was showing off on the left and on the right are some Kneipp natural products.

  

The salon staff popped in here and there to relate my nutrition topics to services provided including massage, scalp treatments, and nail treatments. Jason from CryoSource hopped in to chat about the benefits of cryotherapy (cold therapy) for anti-inflammatory effects since inflammation can impact your skin health. Finally, the seminar ended with a rep from Kneipp products who spoke about the over 100 year old company’s Ayurvedic and natural ingredients that support your skin. From hand lotions to facial masks to bath salts, she had me sold really quickly! Since dryness in my hands seems to be my worst winter issue, I booked a hot oil manicure that night that was SO nice right before my trip to Austin. More on that Saturday!


Above you can see attendees were offered a discount on services and the NAC Cafe also whipped up some Kelly Approved smoothie samples that will be on the menu soon.

In case you missed it, I shared a couple of tips for winter skin in the latest #AskKellyRD nutrition video. Check it out here.

Purple Power Smoothie

Shhhhh, don’t tell your kids… There’s a full serving of mixed greens in this post-exercise purple powerhouse!

Or you can tell them after. I’m not usually into “hiding” veggies and healthy ingredients in dishes because I want kids to learn to enjoy and want these foods. Continue reading