Fueling Your Fitness

This past week I had the opportunity to talk to a group at Endurance House in Zionsville about nutrition. Endurance House had a 5K running group that were gearing up for the Zionsville 5K in June. The leader for the running group, Sarah Hill-Abel, was a friend from Lafayette. I had met her and worked with her at Tri-N-Run up in Lafayette for several years. Both her and I had moved to the greater Indianapolis area and I was excited to work with her again when she reached out to me a month ago. 

Since this running group was new to the whole running scene, I wanted to just touch on some of the basics of exercise and nutrition. 

  • Discussed Healthy Snacks
    • Find snacks that you enjoy that pair a carbohydrate with a protein. This will help keep you feeling more full and will help to rebuild some of that muscle you broke down while exercise. It is best to have this protein after a work out and stick with carbohydrates prior to exercising. 
    • Bring your meal/snacks with you on the go (to work, while running errands, etc). This helps ensure that you are reaching for a healthy option. It removes the temptation to stop by the drive through or picking out something unhealthy from the grocery store. 
    • Have something to eat prior to working out. If it is in the morning, make that food item something light that you can easily tolerated (banana, granola bar, smoothie). Then add in some protein after the work out to help keep you feeling satisfied through lunch. 
  • How to Stay Hydrated
    • Make sure that you have water with you. Water is going to be the best thing to use for refueling for any exercise  taking < 60 minutes. Water is great because your body can easily use it and it is refreshing. 
    • If you are working out for > 60 minutes, then you can consider a sport beverage. This will provide carbohydrate and electrolytes, which are necessary to replenish after a long work out. 
    • There is water in foods that count as well. So drinking to thirst is a good way to know if you are hydrated. Don't stress about a "magical" 8 glasses as a day. Instead focus on making sure that you aren't feeling thirsty. 
  • Fueling for Exercise
    • Eating 3 meals a day with snacks is important and necessary when you are working out. We want to make sure that you are fueled properly so that you can complete the activity you want to do (running, walking, biking, etc). 
    • Making these meals/snacks healthier is key. Find ways to work in plenty of fruits and vegetables. Remember to fill your plate with at least 3 food groups to keep variety in your diet. 
    • You will quickly learn if there are foods that you need to avoid prior to exercising. If you eat and then wait 2-3 hours before exercising that is normally enough time to cause any GI distress.

We had a great time talking about nutrition and hearing what this woman do currently to help them make healthier choices. Lots of time, being healthier and setting yourself up for success looks different for different people/families. If you hate cooking, then maybe you look to purchase pre-made food items from Whole Foods that have fresh vegetables already in those meal items. Maybe your buy your veggies cut up, because you know you would never spend the time doing that. Whatever helps you be successful in your diet journey, that is the key. Figure out what that is and try to make those chances so that you can be properly fueled for life and your upcoming run. 

Kids Eat Right

I know that I kind of missed the mark with this post. It is a little late, because August was Kids Eat Right Month and I know it is now the beginning of September, but I am think this is such a great topic that we should continue to talk about it into September. 

As many of you know, I am a pediatric dietitian and I feel passionately about good nutrition for our kids. This week I am was asked to put together a display booth as a Elementary/Jr High Wellness Night at a private school. I also have the chance to be on Indy Style again talking about school lunches (tune in tomorrow at 9am on WISH TV). I thought this would be a great topic for the blog this week and really focus in on recommendations for school-aged children.

There was also a great news article that was released at the end of August from the American Heart Association talking about children and sugar consumption. This statement came from research put out in the publication Circulation, looking at how sugar affect children's overall health. The recommendations are that children/teens (ages 2-18 years old) should not be consuming more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Added sugars are classified as table sugar, fructose, honey found in processed/prepared foods or beverages, sugar that is added to foods at the table or eaten separately. It has been determined that children eating more than this per day (> 6 tsp added sugar) are often consuming more unhealthy food items. 

Now you have to be wondering what in the world can you do to cut back on your child's sweet treats? Well thankful there is a great handout from the USDA on this exact topic. 

In addition to just sugar intake, overall diet is important as well for children to grow/develop to their full potential. As a parent/caregiver, the responsibility falls to you to help make sure that your child is getting the proper nutrition that they need. You should be aiming for a well-rounded, balanced plate at every meal. I know that feel intimidating, specially if you have a picky child. But keep offering healthy options and encourage your child to take at least 2 bites of each food item offered at that meal. 

Your child's plate will be smaller compared with yours, but it should still contain all of the above mentioned food groups (Fruits, Vegetables, Protein, Grains and Dairy) with each meal. Now I know it can be challenging to fit in vegetables with your breakfast, so if that doesn't happen every morning, make sure to offer another vegetable at lunch/dinner and move a fruit to a snack in the afternoon. 

Tips for a Healthy School Lunch

  1.  Incorporate fruits and vegetables in a fun way. Variety your produce options in the lunch bag. Use different dips throughout the week with the veggies (hummus, ranch, sunbutter) or with the fruit (like yogurt). Cut up the fruit/vegetables so that your child is more likely to eat them. 
  2. Make the bread on their sandwich whole grain. This could be sliced bread, crackers, pita or a wrap. You can have a variety of types of sandwiches (lunch meat, PB&J, chicken salad). 
  3. Have a snack for them in their bag for later in day – for the ride home on the bus or in between school and a sports practice. Make this something easy to carry that doesn’t need an ice pack – granola bar, crackers, dried fruit, or nuts.

If you  have more questions or want more information about planning healthy, meals for your family, feel free to get in touch with me! Have a great Monday and hope your Labor Day weekend has been amazing! 

Pregnancy Nutrition Misinformation

I have felt this "need" to write up a blog post about pregnancy nutrition. As a now pregnant woman, I have heard so much misinformation about pregnancy nutrition that I kind of want to address a few of these issues. I have always felt as a Registered Dietitian that it is so important to have all the scientifically accurate facts when it comes to your health. So hopefully you find some of this information helpful and insightful for yourself or someone that you know who is pregnant. 

Pregnancy Nutrition Myths Unmasked 

  1. "You are eating for two" This is one of the most common things that I have heard lately. Unfortunately I don't believe that as a pregnant person you should be operating under this assumption. Not until your third trimester should you be increasing your calorie intake significantly. 
    • 1st Trimester - do not consume any extra calories. Continue to eat your normal, healthy diet. Nausea is often challenging at this time so finding foods that sound appetizing is important. Try to balance your fruit/vegetable intake and make sure to aim for small, frequent meals if nausea is an issue for you.
    • 2nd Trimester - it is recommended to consume an additional 340 calories per day. That is not a lot of extra calories. If you enjoy sweet treats, that could easily just be 1 donut or 1 Starbucks drink a day worth of calories. To help keep our calories under control, it might be helpful to count your calories. I have been using MyFitnessPal to help keep tabs on my calorie limits per day. Also continue to be active and make sure that you are exercising on a regular basis. 
    • 3rd Trimester - this is where your baby ends up growing the most. You need an additional 450 calories per day. Make sure that if you are adding calories, you are choosing healthy food items to increase your intake of - fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and dairy options. Keep up on activity during this trimester as well. As you increase in size, some activities can be challenging but do what you can and try not to become a couch potato. 
  2. "Pregnancy cravings are a thing" Now this is a comment that causes a lot of contention among people. I think that lots of time, people use this myth as an excuse for their excessive weight gain. We, as people, have cravings and have foods that we really love. For example, I got some Albanese gummie bears and they are weak spot for me. I love them and I could sit and eat the whole package. I know this though and I choose most of the time not to buy these "trigger foods." It is not that I am pregnant that I want them, it is because I find them delicious and I have always had a weak spot for them. I have also had certain foods that during pregnancy sound more appetizing than others. I have really grown to LOVE bacon recently. Again, I don't think that this is a craving or a food item that I eat excessively. I think that mindful eating and maintain moderation is the key to success in life and in pregnancy. 
  3. "Your baby will get whatever nutrients it needs from you, so what you eat doesn't matter" There is a grain of truth to this myth. Your baby needs certain nutrients and if you are not eating a well-balanced diet, the infant will try to obtain these missing nutrients from your body. Calcium is a great example - if you aren't consuming enough dietary calcium, your unborn baby will start to pull calcium from your own bones to meet their growth needs. Now with that said, your diet as the mother, if very important. You need to maintain your own health and meet the needs of your growing child. What you eat has a huge role to play on your child's overall health (in utero and after they are born). 

For more information about maintaining a healthy weight during pregnancy, check out the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. One of the biggest challenges for pregnant women is to maintain a healthy weight. This has a huge impact on their own pregnancy and their infant's health. Take the time to make this a priority and if you have additional questions, let me know! 

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Every 5 years there are new Dietary Guidelines that released from the U.S Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and of Agriculture (USDA). The last set of guidelines were released in 2010 and so this year it was time for the update. The guidelines are designed for health professionals to help individuals consume a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet. Previous editions of the dietary guidelines focused on individual dietary components - such as food groups and nutrients. With these new guidelines, released yesterday, the focus is now on combination foods and the total diet forms one's overall eating pattern, because people do not eat just food groups and nutrients separately. This was a big change and took the guidelines in a slightly more general direction. 

So let's get to it .... listed below are the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans: (for more information check out health.gov)

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy and reduce the risk of chronic disease. 
  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts. 
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns. 
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain. 
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.  

One new thing that was added to the guidelines in this release was a specific number given for recommended amount of added sugar. The goal is to keep added sugar consumption to <10% of your total daily calorie intake. In the 2010 edition recommendations were given to limit your consumption of added sugar, but no hard and fast value was given. 

As you can read these guidelines are broad and are applicable to all people. For a more personalized interruption of these guidelines, speaking with a health professional or a Registered Dietitian would be helpful! 

Certified Specialist in Pediatrics

I got the letter. I have been waiting to hear how I did on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics National Board Exam for the Certification in Pediatrics. I took the exam back in November, just prior to Thanksgiving. I had been waiting while they graded all of the exams and determine who passes. I felt better about this exam and after reviewing some flashcards for the exam I felt like I had a better handle on the material. 

For those of you that may be confused about what this means ... the accreditation body for the dietetics profession is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. They have several certification exams that you can take in a variety of speciality areas - for example Nutrition Support, Diabetics, Pediatrics, Sports Nutrition, etc. To be eligible to take these exams you must complete a set number of practice hours. For the Certification in Pediatrics it was 2,000 contact hours with pediatric patients. You also must have at least 2 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian. Once these requirements are met you are eligible to sit for the exam. Once you pass the exam you can place these certification letters after your name. I have been wanting to obtain these credentials for several years, ever since I developed a love for pediatrics and working with families in a nutrition setting. 

I got my letter this past week, congratulating me on passing this exam. Now I can sign my name Anna Busenburg, RD, CSP. It is quite exciting to see all the hard work, hours of studying, finally pay off!


Watching out for Added Sugar!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a recommendation on a daily cap for added sugar. This is the first time this has happened. The guidelines are that Americans should not be consuming more than 10% of their total calories for the day from added sugar. This equates to about 12.5 teaspoons or about 50 grams per day. Now if you are wondering what 50 grams of added sugar might look like, think of a can of regular soda. The regular, sugar sweetened soda contains about 50 grams of added sugar. Other common food items were added sugar can be found would include any type of sweet treats (food or beverage). 

Photo by OcusFocus/iStock / Getty Images

There are some foods that contain sugar naturally - like fruit, dairy, honey, etc. These items are NOT included in the added sugar recommendation. The dairy and fruit contain other nutrients (vitamin and minerals) as well has fiber in the fruit and protein in the dairy. This makes these naturally sweet food items, great and healthy picks. The honey or agave are good sweeteners, but they will contain the same amount of calories, just the source of the sugar will be different. 

You may not have thought about this, but there are some food items that contain "hidden" sugar that we perceive as "healthy." For example, yogurt with added fruit, granola, bread, ketchup, canned fruit, canned coups, salad dressing and pasta sauce. Now, none of the items are inherently bad, but we do need to make sure we are aware of the sugar that is added to them and maybe limit our intake of them if the sugar is a problem (for example, with diabetic individuals).

  • To make your yogurt healthier, get the plain or the vanilla and add your own fresh fruit to it.
  • Watch out for granola because it not only has added sugar, but also fat. Eat this in moderation or add a little to plain yogurt.
  •  Bread does have some sugar added to it, but normally this is a small amount and I wouldn't worry too much about it. 
  • Condiments can have a lot of added sugar, especially the low/non-fat dressings. They have removed the fat and added sugar in its place. I would also choose a regular fat dressing and just use it sparingly. 

Hopefully these tips and tricks have been helpful when it comes to trying to abide by the recommend of keeping added sugar to 10% or less of our total calories each day! 

Having a Healthier Holiday Season

I know that is just now the beginning of November, but in case you haven't noticed Thanksgiving is in 16 days and then Christmas is in 45 days. That means that there are lots of celebrations, family gathers and time spent around food in the next 1 1/2 months. 

It is time to put together a plan so that you are prepared to have a healthier and hopefully happier holiday season. I absolutely love fall and celebrating Thanksgiving, but with this time of year comes lots of delicious food and often less physical activity. I have included with tips that might help you actually make some healthy choices over the next 1 1/2 months. 

  • Don't skip breakfast! Starting off your day with a healthy breakfast will help you to eat less and make sure you are focused on making healthy choices. The key is to start that process of putting healthy foods into your mouth at the beginning of the day. 
  • Aim for 3 meals a day with snacks. Think about it as eating every 3-4 hours. Eating these small meals/snacks more frequently will help with keeping your blood sugar and energy levels steady throughout the day. Also if you have a party to attend, you can avoid arriving famished and eating everything in sight. This will equip you to have more self-control. 
  • Stay hydrated. make sure that you are consuming low calorie beverages and not just filling up on alcoholic drinks. That can be tempting with holiday parties, but those alcoholic drinks can be loaded with extra calories. Sometimes making a trade off can be helpful to limit your empty calorie intake. Promise to do 30 minutes of physical activity for every drink you consume. This can be a good way to motivate yourself to be active and still enjoy a delicious mixed drink in moderation.
  • Portion your plate. Make sure to keep the MyPlate in mind as you fill your plate at the next holiday gathering. Try to fill 1/2 your plate with fruit and vegetables, limit your protein to about 1/4 of the plate and the other 1/4 for grains. Filling up on the vegetables, provide nutrient dense and low calories options for meals. Save a small part of your plate for your favorite dessert or treat, because it is the holiday season and everyone loves a treat. 

Check out the MyPlate Holiday Handout below for some other great recommendations about making healthier holiday substitutions. 

Fitting back into the pants ...

I wanted to share some encouragement for you if you reached into your closet and found that some of the pants you have aren't fitting quite right. That exact thing happened to me back in August. I went to put on a pair of olive green dress pants to wear to work and they were SO tight. Oh  my goodness, they would button and snap, but they looked like spandex and like I was trying really hard to fit into them. That is when you know you put on a few pounds and those are no longer acceptable to wear those particular pants in public. 

That was the moment that pushed me into counting my calories. I love those green dress pants and I have worn them a lot last year. I wanted to be able to wear them again. I dusted off My Fitness Pal app and decided I was going to make this commitment. 

I want to share this with you, even though it is personal, because I want to show you that it is possible to make some small changes in your life and see positive outcomes. I hope that you are encouraged to try a food tracker app and work to be more active. There are lots of options out there these days and I encourage you to find something that works for you!  It can be that simple, own what you put in your mouth and work towards your goals, whatever they are. 

Well I am happy to report that today I am wearing those olive green pants and they fit perfectly! I have been counting calories and exercising for the past 2 months and I have been able to lose 7 pounds. I know that doesn't sound like much, but it has been just enough to get me back into my favorite pants. 

Please note the 130lbs line from July through the beginning of August - I didn't use My Fitness Pal for a long time until ~August 14th.&nbsp;

Please note the 130lbs line from July through the beginning of August - I didn't use My Fitness Pal for a long time until ~August 14th. 

I also wanted to show you the calories and physical activity that I have been doing. My calorie goals have been 1500 calories per day. At first that was rough, because I was definitely eating way more than that and I spent a couple of days kind of hungry. I chose more fruits/vegetables, because they are filling and fewer calories. There were even a couple of days that I missed and a few days where I totally rocked out ~3000 calories in one day. I owned each of those days and tried to make better choices the next day.

calorie chart.jpg

I know the idea of tracking your activity and what you put in your mouth can be challenging, but I would you encourage to try it. Take it one day at a time and next thing you know you will find your a couple of weeks into a healthier lifestyle and making healthier choices. 

Hopefully, sharing my green pants story with you will help motivate you to find what goal you want to set. Make it a measurable goal (like getting back into clothes that don't fit) and set off on your own adventure towards attaining that goal. Good luck and have fun being active!

Navigating the Grocery

Grocery shopping. It is something that we all do. We may all go to different stores, but each week we all head out and purchase food to eat. Most of the time grocery stores are set up in a similar fashion. I liked this diagram (see below); because, I thought it was a great visual to help you navigate the grocery. 

Most the time the outside (or parameter) of the store is where you want to stay. Along the outside of the store, you will find the produce, meat and dairy items. In the aisles of the grocery store, you will commonly find processed foods, frozen foods and packaged food items. Choosing to stay on the parameter of the grocery store is going to help you purchase more fresh produce, meat items and dairy choices. Then you can take these food items home and prepare delicious meals. 

To get ready for your grocery store trip, take a few minutes and plan your meals for a week. Take the time to find some new recipes and write down the ingredients you will need to purchase. Taking time to plan menus will help ensure that you eat at home and hopefully help you eat healthier. When you head to the store, remember to take a list with you. Only purchase the food items you have on your list. This will help you to save money and avoid buying unhealthy food options. 

Have fun as you head out to the grocery this week. Remember stay along the parameter of the store and try some new foods as you cook meals at home! 

Featured as the RD of the Day on Today's Dietitian

So I totally have to geek out on you for a minute. I did a news story with WISH TV, which aired this last week. It was about Sports Nutrition and Children. If you happened to miss it, well head over to my media page and check it out. 

Well Today's Dietitian decided to choose me at the RD of the Day on their Twitter page. I know it doesn't seem like the coolest thing to you ever, but it totally made my day.  This popped into my email and I felt honored that someone had noticed my work and decided to share it with their 8,000 followers. 

It is so neat that because of social media we can connect and share what we are doing all over the world. I think that is a huge win for nutrition education we can provide people with tips for wellness via these social platforms. I just love being part of that! 

Restaurant Food versus Fast Food

Well guess what ... restaurant food is just as unhealthy as fast food. To some of you that might be shocking news. I think we all like to think that because we are paying more and sitting down at a meal we expect that meal to be better for us. That is not always the case. Research from the University of Illinois was released this month and it was talking about a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. They found that Americans eating out, at a sit down restaurant or a fast food restaurant, are still consuming 200 calories more per day compared to eating at home. To read a summary of this article - CLICK HERE.

So let's take a look at a couple of restaurants up close and personal ... 

Olive Garden - 1 serving of salad, 1 breadstick and a plate of the fettucine alfredo pasta = 780 calories, 45.5g fat and 1650mg of sodium

McDonald's - 1 McChicken sandwich with 1 medium fry = 710 calories, 33g fat and 840mg sodium 

McAlister's Deli - 1 veggie Spud with light sour cream, side of fruit and cole slaw = 820 calories, 38g fat and 1230mg sodium 

Subway - 6 inch spicy italian sandwich on 9-grain wheat bread with a bag of Lay's baked chips = 610 calories, 26g fat and 1690mg sodium 

Eating at home is clearly the best option, but if you do enjoy eating out or have to on vacation this summer, make sure to watch your portion sizes. Think about it. The burger at McDonald's versus the burger at Red Robin are very different. The Red Robin burger is huge in comparison and is going to contain more fat, sodium and overall calories compared with the McDonald's burger. Be mindful of the portion of food that you are ordering and remember you can always save part of that meal for later. 

Healthier July 4th Weekend

This weekend is July 4th! Can you believe it. That means lots of time with friends & family, cooking out, fireworks, yummy desserts and time off from work. With any holiday, this can some times be stressful if you are trying to eat healthy. I have some tips for you to help you make this July 4th a delicious and healthy one! 

  • Don't skip a meal. Often times, people like to skip a meal if they know they will be eating a large meal later in the day. Don't do this! You need to make sure that you eat 3 meals a day and you don't need to skip a meal. People who do skip meals, tend to over-indulge when they finally do sit down to eat. They also tend to be more grouchy leading up to that meal, because their blood sugar may go low. If you know the picnic/party you are headed to might not have healthy options, bring something with you or have a healthy snack before you leave your house. 
  • Pick a smaller plate. When you head to the picnic or party try to pick a smaller plate to load up with food. It has been found that people tend to eat less without noticing if they are using a smaller plate. This could help you consumer 50% fewer calories at that meal. 
  • Choose the "healthier" food first. After you have picked up your smaller plate, make sure you choose the healthier foods to put on that plate first. Start with a salad or delicious grilled vegetables. Some times there are fruit salads or fruit trays available. Reach for those fresh options first. The goal is fill your plate with 1/2 fruits/vegetables. 
  • Be active. The weather sounds like it is going to be lovely on July 4th so make sure you get outside and run around! This would be as simple as going on a walk with your dog, playing football with your kids or playing corn hole at the cook out. If you are going to an event like Carmel Fest you will have lots of time to walk again and work off some of those calories you have eaten. Find was to be active throughout the holiday weekend. 

Have a wonderful and save 4th of July. Enjoy the weekend and the sunshine. Stay healthy and have fun! 

A Week at Diabetes Camp

This week I am spending my time at Diabetes Camp in Noblesville. I am playing lunch lady because I am in charge of the allergy diets. I have 16 kiddos who are on some type of special diet. That means I am cooking up everything from Vegetarian meals to Gluten free + Dairy free + Soy free. So needless to say it at times can be complicated. It  had been fun though! I have learned so much! I haven't had to work this closely for an extended period of time with diabetic patients. Doing clinical work means that we see patients for a short period of time (3 to 5 days) in the hospital. So hanging out with a bunch more of kids for 7 days has been fun. 

My scheduled consisted of cooking/preparing food for 3 meals a day + 2 snacks each day. I ended up preparing food for about 13 kids throughout the week. I spent my mornings making breakfast and then getting the lunch and snack items ready. I would get a few hours off before lunch to do work things, wonder around camp or go for a run. Then I would make lunch and finalize the evening snack. Then I would have another couple of hours off to do something fun. Then back to the kitchen for dinner preparation. I would then normally hang out around the camp in the evening, watching the camp game, going to campfire and then evening snack was at 9pm each evening. 

Camp has always held a special place in my heart. I love spending time at camp during the summer. I even had the opportunity to work in a kitchen at Camp Lakeview for a whole summer. I feel quite comfortable in a camp kitchen. This week at Diabetes Camp was great. I felt like I was able to make a positive difference and able to help this kids with allergies have a "normal" week. I also was able to learn lots more about Type 1 Diabetes in the process. It is amazing how much fun  you can have when you decide to enjoy yourself, work hard and make friends. I am thankful to have this opportunity and be able to serve these kiddos and staff for a week. 

Hanging out watch the camp activity for the evening.&nbsp;

Hanging out watch the camp activity for the evening. 

Thank you to my co-workers Kara and Kim and for all their helping preparing for this week at camp. They both helped so much with inventorying food items, making food labels and creating a chart to help organize the meal preparation process. Thank you to the two Tracys, who were in the kitchen, with me for the week. It was so much fun getting to know them and work with them each day. Also one last thank you, to my other co-worker Kristin, for letting me go to this camp for a week and leave her alone at the hospital. It is tough to be short one person, but I am so thankful to be able to have this experience! 

The Dining Hall at Camp.

The Dining Hall at Camp.

The Gluten Free Prep area in the kitchen.

The Gluten Free Prep area in the kitchen.

Great week being able to work with some great people!&nbsp;

Great week being able to work with some great people! 

First Marathon

This past weekend marked the first marathon that I have ever run. This was a huge accomplishment for me because I had only dreamed of running a marathon and never thought was some I would actually do. Well on April 18th I made that far fetched dream a reality. It was a great day for a race. There were no clouds and lots of sunshine. The only issue was it started to get a little warm (mid 70s) which was a challenge because I had spent the whole winter training in frigid temperatures. I ran very consistently and honestly felt good. It got harder at the 22 mile mark and the course was a little more boring at that point, but thankfully I was able to power through for that last 4 miles. I am so blessed to have the ability to run and have this opportunity to compete. I finished in 3 hours and 46 minutes, which was great consider this was my first marathon ever. 

Since I am a dietitian I wanted to share with you some about my nutrition plan. I am firm believer in having a nutrition plan for your race (anything longer than 1 hour, you need to refuel). What you put in your body is very important. I have done race day nutrition presentations for local stores and I love talking about different endurance activity nutrition products (shameless plug, if you want me to come talk about nutrition and exercise send me an email via the CONTACT ME link). There are a ton of different products out there and the main take away message here is to find what works best for you. So here is what I use and why I have chosen these products. 

Energy Gel: Huma Gels 

These Huma energy gels are made from chia seeds. The best part of the product is the fact that it doesn't contain malto-dextrin (which is a type of carbohydrate that can cause some people GI distress). The texture is nice as well. Unlike a gel, it is more the texture of applesauce, slightly chunky due to the chia seeds.The flavors are all fantastic. If you have had issues tolerating a gel product then I would encourage you to try Huma and I am sure that you will be hooked! 

Electrolyte Replacement: Salt Stick 

I like using Salt Sticks, because I normally don't drink a carbohydrate/electrolyte solution when I run. For some reason I have had issues tolerating some like a Gatorade product. I do better with plain water and then I take the Salt Sticks to help make sure I am replacing the electrolytes that I have lost from exercising. I typically take 1 every 45-60 minutes when doing endurance activity. It works well and I have found it helpful when doing endurance activity. 

Beverage: Water

As mentioned above, I normally drink water. I carry water with me when I run to help make sure that I am staying hydrated. I didn't use to do this, but I have learned that I feel better if I take water with me when I am out for > 60 minutes. I use the Nathan hand held water bottle. I love it. It holds 18oz and during my marathon I used two. I carried one with me for 12 miles and then I picked up a new one (filled with cold water) and carried that through the end. I did end up using the water stations starting at about mile 20 because I was starting to run low on the water I was carrying with me. 

I received no compensation for my views on any of these products. This was my personal experience. These are recommendations, but results will vary from person to person. If you have specific nutrition related questions, please feel free to reach out to me via the CONTACT ME link above.

Media Award from the Indiana Dietetic Association

I had the honor to receive the Media Award from the Indiana Dietetic Association (IDA) on April 16th at the IDA Spring Meeting in Indianapolis. It was a fun day. I got to attend the conference in the morning and listened to some great presentations. I also had the opportunity to see and network with some old colleagues, preceptors, classmates and professors. In addition to attending some presentation and getting continuing education, we had a fantastic luncheon followed by the award ceremony. My Dad was able to come to the luncheon with me, which was fantastic. Chas' mom come to the ceremony along with my co-workers Kristin and Lori. It was such a welcomed surprise to have all of them there. 

I feel that being a Registered Dietitian means I am a nutrition expert. Four years of college and a year long internship had provided me with a fantastic base of knowledge to help interrupt/communicate nutrition recommendations to the public. Lots of time the media if filled with people talking about nutrition and they don't always have the correct information. I love being able to speak to people and provide accurate nutrition recommendations. Being the recipient of this award was so great and I am so honored. Thank you for the nomination Angie and I hope that there are lots of other dietitians getting out there in communities and helping people make healthy choices. 

The 2015 Indiana Dietetic Association Media Award!&nbsp;

The 2015 Indiana Dietetic Association Media Award! 

My Dad and Chas' Mom after the award presentation.

My Dad and Chas' Mom after the award presentation.