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 ūüôā

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 Рone 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?

Snap Kitchen Philly Review

Disclosure:  I received free samples from Snap Kitchen while at the event as well as meals to take home. All opinions stated are my own.

 

I had such a great time checking out the brand new¬†Old City Snap Kitchen location in Philadelphia last week before the grand opening! Local bloggers and IGers were invited to not only try whatever foods we wanted but also snap blog-worthy photos with the picture station they had set up that you can see below – so much fun! I’m sure you can still see a collection of the pics on Instagram by searching #snapkitchenphilly. Continue reading

Dairy Free Jalape√Īo Poppers & Heart Month

Looking for some heat and crunch on Super Bowl Sunday without all the grease? Since it’s Heart Month we should be doing what we can to build habits that support our current and future health. That never means compromising on flavor and texture!

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Heart disease is known as the biggest killer in the US, costing us over $500 billion per year. While we say it is heart disease, we should think of poor diet, lack of activity, and smoking as the leading causes of early death! In women, even birth control pills increases risk. Continue reading

Habanero Rosemary Hummus

These flavors just mesh so perfectly! My first experiment with habanero and rosemary was in my sweet and spicy white bean soup and it went perfectly. This new experiment resulted in an equally delicious versatile hummus. I have used it as a dip for veggies and Flackers crackers, as an omelet topper and as a spread for my veggie packed wraps. If you are looking for a Superbowl dip packed with flavor and nutrients to help fill you up, this quick hummus is perfect! Continue reading

Garbanzo Flour Flatbread and Pizza

Want a pizza that is filling enough that you won’t overeat? Looking for one that is gluten free and free of additives? How about one more rich in fiber, protein, potassium, iron¬†and not “empty” processed carbs? On top of all of that do you also want it to taste good and be able to make it in 15 minutes? This recipe has you covered.

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Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

I realize I should have posted this pre-Thanksgiving but if you are like me and continue eating pumpkin through the rest of winter, you can enjoy this recipe for the rest of the holiday season!

We traveled to Jacksonville, FL for Thanksgiving this year to spend the holiday with my in-laws. While everyone is very supportive of my dairy allergy and choice to not eat meat, I hate to ask for dishes to be altered – it makes me feel too high maintenance. While we had plenty of dairy free side dishes, I didn’t want to feel left out during appetizers and dessert. In addition to packing some pistachio stuffed dates and Treeline cheese spreads, I thought I’d make a dairy free pumpkin pie. In my searches I continually saw tofu as an ingredient. While I hated it just a couple of short years ago, I have¬†grown to love tofu and am better at cooking it on my own but, using it in desserts has never worked well for me. So, I scrapped any recipes I had found and threw together a cashew base and sweetened with¬†dates with a little cocoa added in for fun! Continue reading

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad

Warm kale salads are my fave. I get into patterns where I want to eat this salad every day for weeks so I am perplexed as to why I have not yet posted it. Better late than never to share with the world, I suppose! While this salad started out dressed with both tahini and sriracha, I made it a little more “clean” by adding in cayenne and ginger with the tahini instead of sriracha. Sometimes I mix it up but as I am posting this before the “jump start” week for the new 13 week wellness program pilot at the NAC, I went with this version since sriracha always has added sugar and xanthan gum (even if you choose Organicville or Trader Joe’s¬†brands).

Warm Kale and Butternut Squash Salad (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients (for one serving):

1.5 C chopped Kale (any variety)
.5 C diced butternut squash (pre-cooked)
1/4 C diced onion
2 teaspoons sesame tahini
Ground black pepper, ground ginger and cayenne powder to taste
1 teaspoon hemp seeds

Directions:

Heat a small pan over low-medium
Add diced onion and cover 1-2 minutes
Add a splash of water to keep onion from sticking, stir.
Add kale and butternut squash as well as 1-2 tbsp of water and cover immediately. The steam from the water should keep contents from sticking and quickly soften the kale without over-cooking.
After 1-2 minutes, remove cover, sprinkle with black pepper, ginger and cayenne.
Transfer contents to a small serving bowl and drizzle tahini over top.
Sprinkle hemp seeds over the salad and serve!

Kale never gets old for me – please share your favorite way to enjoy this nutrient packed “superfood”!

Spelt and Oat Pumpkin Muffins

Happy Autumn! While I waited until it was truly fall in late September to start enjoying fall foods, I am completely embracing and enjoying fall tastes with apples, winter squash, and of course pumpkin. I do have to say though, that while at Trader Joe’s last week, the amount of processed pumpkin foods on every end cap and stand in the store was scarier than anything I will encounter on Halloween.

Anyway, I am so excited to share this recipe! While I love my gluten free almond meal pumpkin muffins, the texture of these new ones really hit the spot with Sunday brunch this past week. I actually adapted it from a pumpkin cookie recipe and originally intended to put chocolate chips and nuts inside the batter but was distracted with other food prep. I am happy I forgot because the drizzled chocolate and crushed maple chia nuts on top add a little crunch to the light, fluffy and tender  texture of this delicious pumpkin spice muffin.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oats

Chocolate and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. But most products and recipes are loaded with tons of sugar, meaning you feel you can’t have this pair any old day. Not with this recipe! Nutritious, delicious and super filling, this oatmeal has no added sugar with all the flavor ūüôā And let me tell you, it was perfect this morning to warm me up on a snow day! As most people know, I am not a big supplement fan¬†but the Garden of Life brand Raw protein is an excellent option every so often when you need a little boost in a carbohydrate dense meal for balance or after a workout. Another great protein¬†is Manitoba Harvest Brand’s new Hemp Pro protein powders. Enjoy this healthy breakfast that seems like a treat ūüôā – there is even a slow cooker option if you think you don’t have the time!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Oatmeal (V, GF, DF)

Ingredients for 1 serving:


Just double, triple, quadruple as needed!

1/2 cup oats (40 g)
1 tsp chia seeds
1/2 scoop Garden of Life Raw protein (original)
1.5 tsp cacao powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp maca root powder
Optional: 1.5 tsp unsweetened coconut
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 banana, sliced

Directions:
-In a small saucepan, boil 6-7 ounces water (or non dairy milk)
-Add the oats and chia seeds at once and reduce heat to simmer
-Stir frequently to prevent sticking ‚Äď quick oats should thicken within 2 minutes and rolled oats within 5
-Add the protein, cacao, maca, vanilla and stir well
-Pour into serving bowl and top with peanut butter, sliced banana, and coconut
Slow Cooker Version:
-Quadruple above recipe
-Use steel cut oats instead of rolled or quick oats
-Add all ingredients except banana and coconut to glass bowl that will fit into slow cooker basin
-Place bowl in slow cooker, fill slow cooker with water up to 1 inch below top of bowl
-Set on low for 6-8 hours, wake up and enjoy!

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories: 395
Total Fat: 14 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 49 g
Fiber: 11 g
Sugar: 9 g
Protein: 24 g

Sodium: 76 mg 5 % Potassium: 375 mg 8 %

Thiamin: 4 %         Riboflavin: 6 %    Niacin: 20 %
Vitamin B6: 21 %    Folate: 7 %
Vitamin C: 7 %        Vitamin E: 10 %    Vitamin A: 1%
Calcium: 4 %         Iron: 37 %             Zinc: 12 %
Magnesium: 21 %   Phosphorus: 18 %

Omega 3: .65 grams (recommended intakes 1.1-1.6g/day)

**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more
than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns

Easy, Creamy, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Hummus has been super popular for years and I don’t see it going away anytime soon! While it is a healthful snack or spread, you are spending¬†way too much money on it! This recipe can give you 4 times what you’ll get in a store bought container for¬†a lower cost and with a better, fresher taste.¬†Even if you think you can’t cook, it is so easy that I promise you can do this! Since red pepper is one of the most popular flavors, I figured it was a perfect one to post.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus (GF, V, DF)

Ingredients :

2/3 C Roasted red peppers (I buy organic jarred or roast my own!)
1.5 cans or 3 cups soaked garbanzo beans
1.5 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic
Black pepper to taste
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup warm water

*Purchasing tip: If I do purchase canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the carcinogenic chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.

Directions:
-Add all ingredients except the water to your food processor.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.com

-Pulse for 30-60 seconds. If the mixture is very thick and difficult to blend, add 1/8 cup of water. If you use canned beans, you are less likely to need to add the water. Pulse for another 30-60 seconds and then gauge if you think you need the remainder of the water.
-Pulse an additional minute or until mixture is very creamy.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.com
-Add to a serving dish or pour into a storage container and enjoy within a week!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus // Eatreallivewell.comShown above on the right with black bean dip on the top and cashew cheese dip on the bottom. Who doesn’t love a variety of dips for your veggies?! Looking for another fun dip? Try my spicy sweet potato hummus or my dairy free creamy spinach & artichoke dip.

Since my home only consists of myself and my husband, I sometimes will freeze half for next week if we won‚Äôt be having anyone over. Just throw it in the fridge a day before you want to eat it ūüôā

Real Ingredients with Real Benefits:

Garbanzo Beans, aka ‚Äúchickpeas‚ÄĚ, contain protein, fiber, manganese, folate and even some iron.

Tahini which is a paste made from sesame seeds, is an ingredient in the hummus you buy at the grocery store that you maybe never knew was in there. It provides great flavor but also gives you some protein, omega 3 fatty acids, and plant sterols. Vitamins and minerals in tahini include thiamin (a B vitamin), vitamin E, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc.

Red Bell Peppers provide you with tons of Vitamin C (even more per serving than citrus!), lots of Vitamin A and fiber as well as Vitamin E, B6 and potassium. Phytochemicals include lycopene (associated with reduced risk for prostate cancer & heart disease) and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are great for eye and cardiovascular health.

Garlic provides the phytochemical allicin and sulfides which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health and act as antibacterial agents.