What I learned After Realizing I Wasn’t Going to Meet My Goals

Whoa, how’s that for a title?! But it’s real folks, and sometimes we need to a little slap of reality, in a good “AH HA” way. Am I right?

true quote. I'd rather learn from mistakes then fake being perfect. Always! And what do you do once you've given it all you got, but just didn't get there?  You look at the positive, you learn from it, and move forward!

So today’s post is not about pinterest worthy meals, nutrition, or how how to get fit in no time. It’s what I call an “honesty is the best policy post.” And thankfully, I have a husband is willing to share his story. The one where he didn’t reach his goal (physically). The one where after almost a decade of racing, it all might come to end… but on to new beginnings.

The Kiwi Cotter in New Zealand

Here’s a little recap of Ironman New Zealand (and more) from the Kiwi Cotter (aka my devilishly handsome husband).

Ironman NZ - Taupo

What I learned after realizing I wasn’t going to meet my goals. via James Cotter

I went into Ironman New Zealand feeling like a D list celebrity. I had done a few things in racing I  was happy with in the past, but nothing recent. I still think I’m awesome and capable, but nobody is concerned when my name is on the start list now. It is a rough life people! Ironman New Zealand was going to be my new start, to reveal to everybody that I’m the athlete I think I’m capable of. I wanted top 4 or I was done.

top 5 at IM New Zealand swim Exit (blue seventy suit)

This post is a tough one to write, because in Ironman every second really does count. I can’t stop going over situations and how I maybe should have reacted. But it is all gone now. The prep was the best I had ever done. However, on that day, I just was not good enough to deliver what I still think I’m capable of (that is what hurts the most). Not sure what is next. But I have had a hell of great ride the past 7 years. I lived to fullest, trained bloody hard, raced like crap, but met some the greatest people who I call friends today through this triathlon journey.

tim-and-james finishing lavaman triathlong. GReat friends after 7 years racing together! jpg

So instead of a report I’m just going say what I learned after realizing I wasn’t going to meet my goal. You might even take some of this with you heading into your next Ironman.

At  150km on the bike and around 30-35km on the run, you begin to suffer or question yourself about why they are doing this. This is when you enter into “the darkness”.  This is were your character is really tested. You have to be able to find away to get out of this or it can ruin your race. You can’t stop, you have to continue hurting until you finish the job. You get to choice what you think and believe on course

IM NZ run course

Bad races are tough to handle for everybody. Once you finish the race and arrive home with nobody around you, you are going to have to look at yourself and answer to yourself…

Did I honestly give it all and fight as hard as I could?

Even though the race went south, I pushed as hard as I could. When the watts were 140-150, I kept turning the pedals. When fell on the run, I kept one foot in front of another. The last 1.5km took me 45 minutes to complete.

If you can say you focused on yourself and your race,

If you can say you chased every second to the best of your ability,

If you can say you stuck it out despite everything going against you……You have won.

And what do you do once you’ve given it all you got, but just didn’t get there?

You look at the positive, you learn from it, and move forward!

Cheers,

 Moving on, moving forward! Cheers to the Journey!
Lindsay (aka the sherpa wife)

2 Life Happiness Hacks for 2015

Yesterday marked our 7 year anniversary! Seven years people! That’s seven years of chasing this Crazy Cotter Triathlon dream. That’s 7 years of ups, downs, triumphs, and frustrations. What’s even crazier is that my husband has been racing pro since 2006. Almost a decade of HARD training and perseverance.

swim_thumb.jpg

But last year…. oye! Last year was year was a doozy, a true test of our marriage and faith. When you work so hard for a dream, sometimes you spread yourself so thin you forget the one REAL purpose of that dream. TO LIVE LIFE to the FULLEST together! No amount of money can make that happen. It is, in fact,… PRICELESS.

cotters go pro

This year things are looking different. We haven’t give up, we shifted focus. Maybe that’s where you are too.

A healthy dose of reality can do you that to you, ya know? And although it may be hard to swallow at first, it’s really a wake up call to change your (our) perspective on life. One that opens yours eyes THRIVING versus striving. Even if that means letting go of one dream to embrace another.

This year we’re focusing on 2 LIFE HAPPINESS HACKS.

Thanks to Tony Robinson for the inspiration!

Trade your expectations for appreciations

Instead of expecting to be rewarded for hard work (in our passions and in our BIG dreamin’), maybe we need to just focus on how grateful we are for the opportunity we had to live and share our passions. The places we went, the people we met, the support system that believed in us!

This year the Cotters are focusing on one last race (for my husband) and grateful that he will still be able to coach and stay in the triathlon field when he retires. That being said, this last IRONMAN race is in New Zealand, where we can visit family. No expectations, just appreciation for the ability to be there! Sherpa wife too! And who knows, maybe it will bring us to another path … UNEXPECTEDLY.

“It’s when we’re grateful that we feel rich and wealthy, regardless of how our lives look.”

IMG_4931

Where focus goes, energy flows

“whatever we pay more attention to in our lives grows”

Last year we had ONE focus, but it lead to us working about 5 different jobs. I know you can probably relate to this too. One focus to WORK WORK WORK and SAVE SAVE SAVE. Well, sometimes that one HYPER focus can make you lose ALL focus on what is truly important. And it can suck your energy dry too. I personally felt that way!

Note to self: Don’t say yes to ALL things, say YES to the BEST thing.

Which brings us here. This blog. It’s my second job. The only other job I have now besides being a wife. Which is the most important job  to me right now! Our energy is focused on supporting each other. My energy is focused on being Sherpa (one that supports and guides) to my husband, to others, and to continue to share in this PATH to health, wellness, and more. Prepare to see more of that, including healthy bites, and recipes!

The kiwi (my husband) is focused on redefining his career (or potentially starting another). Either way, it’s 2 things, not 10! And we’re ready to LIFE hack our way to happiness.

newness Keep it simple and choose wisely. I choose to simply be grateful and let God do the rest.

What are your life HAPPINESS hacks for 2015? 

Cheers!

LC

 

 

Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete

Each month I get to a point where I just need a break. Instead of trying to push through workouts and act all invincible, I remember the 45 minute rule. The one the Kiwi often preaches to his athletes (and himself). The 45 minute rule (to me) means going easy, I mean REAL, easy for no more than 45 minutes a day for for a period of 7-1o days. This means yoga, hiking, etc. No intense workouts. No long runs. No racing.

yoga and Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6

I know, shocker, right? So many of us are used to hearing push harder or longer and I’m saying don’t.

Move–> YES.Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6

Train like an animal? No. At least not every day.

You’re questioning me, aren’t you? Well, I’ll let the Kiwi explain this one. The Easy session(s) rule. The reason why going 10-14 days without hard training just might be the best thing for you!

The Easy Session via Coach James (aka the Kiwi) Cotter.

I have been very lucky in the past to have worked under some of the most knowledgeable coaches in the sport. During those years I have picked apart and also applied some of their training aspects to my own training and to that of my athletes. As a coach, you always have to be evolving, learning, and catching onto trends of athletes. 

Why Easy Sessions Make You a Better Athlete wp.me/p1N2t3-4b6  Cotter Crunch

The subject of rest is a problem for so many athletes, the problem being not many athletes like to take it when it is very necessary.

Over a period of time, I have found that the use of Heart Rate Variability (HRV) , along with feedback from my athletes comments, that sessions below 40 minutes around Z1/Z2 efforts (also known as Easy Zones) seem to allow for better recovery.

First –> what’ is Heart Rate Variability?

 Heart rate variability (HRV) refers to the beat-to-beat alterations in heart rate. Under resting conditions, the ECG of healthy individuals exhibits periodic variation in R-R intervals. The best time to measure HRV is first thing in the morning. See here for more details on how to measure it!

Second —> What do these sessions look like on paper? When should you take them? And for how long?

Let’s take a look!

Applying Easy Session Weekly 

  • In the cycle I use for training, I like to incorporate 1-2 x 40 minute sessions at very low intensity. I like to stick these in the day before a key session. I like to think 80% of your results come from 20% of your workouts.
  • Looking at HRV data, 30-40 minutes + a good sleep seems to help get you fresher to hit the important sessions in the block. Being fit is one thing, but being fit and fresh is another

Applying WEEK LONG Easy sessions After a Big Training Block 

  • With so many events on the racing calendar it can be very easy to tax your system and race poorly despite thinking you’re really fit.  Too much training and not enough rest can ruin your year if you’re not careful. When scheduling training, it is important to always stick in a 7-10 day recovery block after 10-12 weeks or training plus racing.
  • Again, with data from HRV, it seems that sticking in 10-14 days or rest between your next training block. If monitoring HRV and sleep, most athletes will start to notice their HRV improving as well as quality of sleep.

As an athlete it is your job to arrive at the start line fit and fresh, not just fit. So look at those easy sessions as the key to keeping you fresh so you hit key sessions! Arrive at the starting lines ready to race!

tim-and-james_thumb.jpg

What’s your take? Do you think easy sessions make you a better athlete or improve fitness? 

I hope so!

Cheers to rest and recovery!

JC and LC

 

Why White Rice Makes a Nice Recovery Food

Questions I get asked a lot —>

Is white rice Paleo? Shouldn’t I eat brown rice instead? Shouldn’t I avoid carbs at night? Isn’t white rice high on the Glycemic Index?

And truth is…. IT DEPENDS. It depends on the person, their gut health, their activity levels, and the way they prepare grains. Yep, it depends.

In all honesty, I prefer to eat my carbs in the form of plantains, potato, or squash. But you see, I’m married to man who runs his but off for a living. And who already started training for an 2015 Ironman. Which means it’s bulking season at our house. No, not the muscle kind. The BULK cooking kind. And rice is EASY to make in batches and use in SO MANY WAYS!

Let’s talk about why rice is nice (for recovery), shall we?

white rice dishes for recovery

Rice is calorically dense so you can replace calories without having to scarf down a bunch of food, especially if you don’t feel like eating much after a workout. White rice has a high glycemic index which helps to get those calories in fast and restore glycogen. Most endurance athletes need to consume food with high Glycemic Index (GI) to restore glycogen level FAST and white rice increases blood sugar level which then increases the GI.

Hence why I make RICE BOWLS for post swim breakfast. It’s best to soak your rice before cooking.

Soaking allows the nutrients in grains to become more digestible and more easily absorbed. Similar process to that of beans and lentils it, soaking for hours or overnight breaks down the enzymes from the grain that inhibits absorption.

This one has white rice, dried fruit, seeds, berries, kefir yogurt, and coconut butter (sweet spreads cinnamon roll flavor)

rice and kefir bowl

I also soak rice in coconut milk or other cultured products-such as kefir, and buttermilk– they provide the beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli, which can actually help pre-digest the grain for you

Now you know why I love coconut rice bowls too!

coconut-fig-rice-pudding.jpg

Speaking of bacteria… cold rice is also resistant starch. Which means it can help feed your good bacteria in your gut. Rice Cakes are ideal for snacking in between workouts or to use when you have a heavy week of training. Keeps you fueled and can potentially boostsyour immunity while doing so! That’s if you practice good recovery in ALL areas (not just food). Great to feed kids who are busy playing sports as well!

My favorite rice cake recipes are the mango vanilla rice cakes, bacon rice cakes (for savory craving), and Cherry Vanilla.

Remember these?

Mango Vanilla Rice Cakes
 
Ingredients
  • One 7oz bag of dried mango (can also use Apricots or fig)
  • 4-5 cups of white rice (preferably sticky rice)
  • 2 scoops (about 60 grams) protein Powder
  • honey or maple syrup (this can be however much or little you want here)
  • ¼ cup almond butter
  • ⅓ cup almonds
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • butter or coconut to mix into rice after cooking
  • Optional – shredded coconut for topping or filling.
Instructions
  1. First, rinse your rice and let it soak for 20 minutes. Then cook according to directions in a large pot or rice cooker.
  2. Note: Rice cooker works better for stickiness.
  3. Once the rice is cooked, transfer to a large bowl and mix in a few tablespoons of coconut butter or butter and your protein powder. Then add in a fair amount of honey. I think I mixed in at least ¼ cup. Once that’s done, set aside and let it get sticky.
  4. While your rice is sitting, blend your filling, the mango, almonds, and optional coconut. Set aside.
  5. Next, place foil in a 9×3 casserole dish. Spread half your rice on the dish and press down to make it even. Then add in your filling and spread it out evenly. Drizzle your almond butter on top of the filling. I actually added in a little molasses as well. That’s why the picture below has dark colors. But molasses is not needed in the recipe. Just FYI
  6. mango vanilla almond rice cakes 3
  7. Once done with the filling, add the rest of your rice and press down to make even and flat. Bake at 375F for about 35-40 minutes. Just depends on your oven. Let it cool.
  8. Once cooled, you can either remove foil and slice into squares, or cut with foil and wrap them up to go right then.
  9. Makes about 12-16 squares depending on your cutting technique.

And these?

honey-bacon-and-vanilla-honey-bacon-rice-cakes_thumb.jpg

I make the cherry Vanilla Rice Cakes the same way I do the Mango Vanilla, but use coconut butter instead of almond butter and then roll them into balls and bake versus in a square pan.

cherry vanilla rice cakes

Rice is an ideal dinner or recovery meal as well! It’s a fast uptake carbs which you can then mix with quality proteins, and fats to refuel your body quickly for tomorrow. Try mixing it with lamb, plantains,  zucchini, MCT oil or butter, spinach, and turmeric and you’ve got yourself the perfect anti-inflammatory meal!

Grilled-Lamb-with-Turmeric-and-steamed-spinach.jpg
Or switch out your meat for fish and make it rich in Omegas! which is also great for recovery! That reminds me, I need to post my  Sriracha Salmon recipe soon, yes?

Sriracha salmon

Well, are you sick of me talking about rice? Nah.. never! Rice is nice. ;-)

What’s your take? Do you eat white rice in your diet?

Cheers!

LC

Only 3 more days to enter the Bourbon PB Gingerbread bite giveaway with A Loving Spoon Nut butter! See HERE TO ENTER! 

How I Got a Bunch of Triathletes to Go Dairy Free and Gluten Free Pre Race Week!

I did it. I successfully convinced the triathletes staying with us last week to go DAIRY FREE and Gluten free pre –race week. And you wanna know the best part? They didn’t even realize it until I told them. Silk Almond Milk to the Rescue!

silk almond milk

Why the dairy free part? Well, to be honest, the mold air allergy in Austin is very high at the moment. Foods like dairy and peanuts can aggregate it more and suppress the immune system. Also, dairy contains lactose — the sugar is hard for the stomach to digest, especially when your gastrointestinal tract is already under stress from the hard training or running. So it’s best to avoid close to a big workout or race.

That’s why most runners tend to avoid dairy at least 24 hours before a big race.

I didn’t want these boys (I mean triathletes) to have any chance of that, ya know? We had to keep them healthy, and absorbing LOTS of good nutrients to fuel the body! 

I fed them my gluten free and dairy free curried chicken pad Thai

I MADE A TON!

curry-thai-chicken-noodles.jpg

I fed them smoothies with good carbs and protein and omegas, like this one!
pumpkin smoothie with silk

Pumpkin puree, banana, silk almond Vanilla, protein powder, and a coconut omega swirl mixed in!

I fed them GF oats cooked in Silk Vanilla Almond, and… nope; they didn’t even realize there wasn’t milk in there. In fact, they loved the “creaminess!” Their words! Haha, Sherpa Wife work at it’s finest!

gf lovegrown oats and granola

Come race morning, everyone was healthy and ready to GO FAST! That’s a good sign!

Post race, I let them in on my SILK TASTE TEST SECRET.

Verdict is in… SILK APPROVED. My job is done!

Have you tried SILK almond milk? Do you eat/drink dairy free before big races or events?

Share it via twitter! #TasteSilkAlmond and @LoveMySilk.

Want to give SILK ALMOND a taste test yourself? Sign up for the Silk eNewsletter and get a free coupon to try Silk at silk.com/signup.!

You can find out which of your local retailers carry Almondmilk here: http://silk.com/where-to-buy.

Cheers,

Sherpa Wife Cotter

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

p.s Don’t forget to enter my LARABAR giveaway! ending next week!

What To Do When Your BIG Dreams or Goals Feel Stalled

Almost 7 years ago I married the Kiwi and became a Sherpa wife (aka pro athlete supporter, food maker and supplier, race day cheerleader, etc.). Almost 6 years ago I started creating Healthy Bites. Both are big dreams! In fact, if my husband was a pro triathlete, I probably wouldn’t have started Healthy Bites.

cotter

And if I hadn’t taken action to try to fix my diet (and heal), Healthy Bites wouldn’t have happened. You can read the full story here.

coconut vanilla latte bites

Anyway, here we are today, three years shy of a decade away from where it all began. We’ve had our SHINING years, we’ve had (many) hard years, and we’ve had our waiting years. But in the end, we still hang on. I like to think it’s because the tremendous support we’ve had. When people believe in YOU… YOU HANG ON!

lake stevens tri

Which leads me to today.

stalled dreams, what to do

Sometimes DREAMING BIG means you’re gonna stall. You shift gears and something just doesn’t move right. Ever had that happen?

Big Plans and BIG Dreams usually come to a stall due to lack of patience (to quick to move), lack of trust, to much pressure, and sometimes you just don’t have the funds to properly get things going. Make sense?

We have stalled. In fact, it’s kinda where we are right now. Trying to figure out what gear to put those BIG DREAMS in. Move forward? Reverse? Stay put and wait for help?

Oh it can be tough to decide.

But one can be certain.. stalling doesn’t be stopping.

What to do when your dreams are stalled?

  • Be patient. Wait to move until you are READY
  • Find support. Ask for guidance from others.
  • GIVE BACK. Yes, take the time to give back to other who have gotten you this far!

inspire others

  • Turn off the negativity and the pressure. That was a hard one for me. I truly wanted to know why we weren’t moving forward with both careers. I doubted myself but at the same time, I put way to much pressure on myself.
  • REST. Another important one that’s hard to swallow. Maybe the reason you’re stalled in the first place is because you’ve run out of gas. Think about that. Find time to recharge, refuel, and embrace the mundane!

FullSizeRender

I’m going to keep posting recipes, ebooks, and giveaways for Healthy Bites until we figure out how to move forward. The kiwi has 2, maybe 3 races left of season. He’s ready! I know it. But I think in a few month’s, we’ll know what direction to go in. We’ll be UNSTALLED. A hopefully we can move forward. But that’s in God’s plans, and sometimes that means being ready to switch gears!

Whatever it may be, we’re along for the ride!

corny cotters

What are your DREAM BIG tips for when life feels stalled? 

Cheers,

Corny Cotter

p.s. i didn’t even edit this post, so please excuse the typos.. writing on a whim. ;-)

Letting Go of Routine and Going with the Rhythm

It’s funny, most people are heading back to school, work, etc. and craving a routine. I get that, I really do. Especially if you have kids.

But for us? We’ve been plowing away at work, training, in the brutal summer heat. It’s at this point when our routine can almost slow us down from that SECOND WIND of dreaming big.

(thank you Tara for the bracelet)

sherpa

We need makes some changes in order to REVIVE ourselves. This includes my husband’s quality of training, our relationship, and for me … a little TLC.

corny cotters

I (we) need to let go of routine.

In fact, we need an UNROUTINE…. to allow things to flow as is, naturally, in harmony.

Which, ironically, is similar to a rhythm. And after reading THIS devotional, I knew we needed to replace routine and embrace a NEW rhythm (temporarily). In fact, it was their definition of rhythm that truly struck a cord with me (pun intended)

Rhythm: a frame of mind that suggests more of an art. If you have rhythm, then whatever you decide to do with intention fits in the dance. Rhythm feels like choice and nuance and paying attention to your surroundings. Rhythm is alive and open to adjustments based on the circumstance. Rhythm focuses on needs.

DSC_3058-652x400

Don’t get me wrong, routine can be good! It’s sooooooo needed during certain seasons of life.

But this season, right now, we need to cling to that second wind. We need to get out of own way, get out of our own routine, and just GO!

photo 2

That being said, our bags are packed for two weeks, the car is fully loaded. Good training awaits, along with a few races. Hoping to visit a few friends, breathe some cool mountain air, and sync into a new rhythm.

photo 1

Thanks Amanda for letting me think out loud today, UNroutinely.

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Are you needing routine or rhythm?

Cheers from the Road!

Sherpa Wife

p.s.

I know you want to bust out in Gloria Estefan lyrics now. Winking smile

The Second Wind of Dreaming Big

Man oh man, I thought I’d be posting a Latest and Greatest fitness exercise post today, but I’ve changed my mind. I’ll save that for later this week.

You see, this past weekend, I was at it again.

Traveling to a race to be support my husband. A weekend that tended to be more SHERPA work than play, but OH SO worth it. After 6 years of ups and downs and chasing this dream with my husband, my hopes always seem to remain high, and my passion to be there by his side remains high too (corny cotter alert).

seattle trails

Even with hotel mishaps

Even with Bike damage done while traveling

Even with feeling a bit tired

There’s something about Clinging to that hope that gives us peace and purpose when chasing this dream. Not to mention a WHOLE new PERSPECTIVE to life around us.

sohomish

But I will admit, I (we) grow tired of not knowing where this chase is going. Or if we will ever “catch” it.

It’s like running a marathon (or any race really). You start off fresh, energetic, and well fueled. Then mile after mile your body starts to fade, you bonk, and question why the heck you are running this in the first place. Am I right?

But then….. here comes the second wind, coming from deep deep within!

And you finish, PR or NOT you finish and you SHOULD feel proud.

lake stevens tri

I’d say that’s where we are, taking chances on that second wind.

I know it’s in there. I (we) can feel that bit of energy coming back and we know God has a plan for us. Even if it’s just to finish out the season, the year, with hope and gratitude.

Dream Chaser

And you know what?

We’ll take it, and run with it.

Have a Marvelous Motivation Monday!

Cheers,

Sherpa Wife

p.s.

Did you check out all the amazing BITE and BALL recipes linked up last Friday? Oh my they look awesome! I’m leaving it open till Wednesday so you still have time to share your recipe!

What We Eat to Maximize Recovery and Fight Oxidative Stress

 

 What We Eat to Maximize Recovery and Fight Oxidative Stress http://www.cottercrunch.com/2014/08/eat-maximize-recovery-fight-oxidative-stress/

Before I jump into today’s post, I’m thinking I better explain what oxidative stress is. Maybe I’ve touched on this before? Hmmm.. I don’t remember, so let’s refresh just incase. And because I’m lazy, I’m going to give your word by word definition from Dr. Weil below.

Oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke). –> I will add in there strenuous exercise as well.

But what about Free Radicals? What are those?

Electronically unstable atoms or molecules capable of stripping electrons from any other molecules they meet in an effort to achieve stability. In their wake they create even more unstable molecules that then attack their neighbors in domino-like chain reactions.

I love this poster by GREATIST. It explains a lot.

WhatCausesFreeRadicals_V2_604x300-01-01

My summary –> We live in a highly oxidized environment. When we are HYPER exposed to these toxins (i.e processed foods, travel, over exercise, smoke, too much sun, etc.), we burn through oxygen quite quickly. The body can’t keep up and goes out of homeostasis. Too many free radicals are being produced which can inhibit your cells to properly repair (i.e RECOVER).

Sounds bad, but it’s actually quite normal in this day in age with how we live. Especially if you are an athlete and travel for races (like the kiwi). Which is why I am posting about this. He just got back from a race and will be racing again next weekend.

image[9]

Between now and then, I try to do my best to FEED him (and me) foods that FIGHT oxidative stress. And because he’s racing back to back weekends, it can be tricky. You want to FUEL him right but also not overdo it in the sugars, etc.

Here are so foods and nutrients that we focus on.

  • Antioxidants!! Especially Vitamins C and E.
  • Anti-inflammatory nutrients like omegas 3.

The turmeric Lemonade is a great combo of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.

turmeric ginger lemonade

I also like to make a Blueberry Salmon Dinner. Blueberries for Vitamin C and Salmon of course for the DHA and Omegas! I guess I need to post this recipe soon, yes? All you really do is roast the salmon with blueberries, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and olive or coconut oil for 12 minutes at 400F.

blueberry salmon

And when it comes to Vitamin E, brazil nuts are our go to! They are also rich in selenium which can help support adrenals. Another reason why we love NUTTZO!

brazil nuts with nuttzo

  • MCT oil
  • Herbs

Why MCT oil? Well it’s a medium chain triglyceride (fat) that is absorbed straight into the liver and digested quite quickly. This type of fat can keep energy levels up and stabilize blood sugar, which we need in order to keep healthy adrenals! Healthy adrenals = healthy hormones = less stress to body. Oh and we also take a cortisol manager supplement with Phosphatidylserine (another amazing phospholipid!)

We love putting MCT oil (like coconut oil) in coffee. In fact, I made a bulletproof coffee smoothie the other day with coffee ice cubs, 1 tbsp oil, almond milk, and 4 ounces of organic coffee.

bulletproof smoothie

bulletproof smoothie with flapjacked

We’ve also been eating the Julian Bakery coconut cereal which is high in MCT’.s

julian bakery coconut cereal

The herbs we use mainly come from REBOOTizer packs. I love this stuff because it’s combined with Vitamin C.

rebootrebootizer

But if you don’t have Rebootizer, dandelion root and licorice root teas are both beneficial. Dandelion root extract has antioxidant benefits and are soothing for the stomach. Licorice root extract has anti-inflammatory properties.

For the Nerds like me, here’s another great study to check out --> citing lower oxidative stress before and after intense cycling, for athletes consuming flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21813916

Well, tell me… What are you going to eat today to fight free radicals?

Hmmm I think wine counts for me. ;-)

And just so you know, these thoughts are my own. No affiliate links here,  just my honest opinion.

Cheers,

Sherpa Wife Cotter

p.s. If I can get my act together, I’m thinking about linking up a BITE  or BALL recipe for Friday. Any takers?

Gluten Free Pre-Race Meal Ideas

I’ve been married to the kiwi for over 6 ½ years, which means I’ve made a lot of gluten free pre-race meals. Some have been at home, some have been in a fridgeless hotel room, and some have been at a home-stay house. Heck, I think I’ve even made pre-race meals in a camping tent! Regardless of where I’ve made these pre-race meals, it’s all about making them simple and effective, right?

Gluten Free Pre Race Meals

Pre-Race Meals (depending on the duration/intensity of your race) need to contain:

  • Real ingredients
  • Easy to digest carbohydrates
  • Not too rich in fiber
  • Not too heavy in Protein and Fat (but also not too carb heavy)
  • Sodium and Potassium (if the race is long or in the heat of the day).

With this is in mind, I’ve come up with a few of our favorite gluten free pre-race meal ideas you can make for just about any endurance event. Although, ironman race meals take more effort and more than a week to really plan and consume properly. That might be a post for another day, yes?

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Okay, here we go!

NOTE: Pre Race Meals need at least 12hrs to digest. So if the race is at 7am, you might consider eating dinner before 7pm the nice before.

The Meatless Option

tangy rice bowl

    • 2 cups steamed sticky rice
    • 3-4 eggs
    • Grass-fed cheddar
    • Tomato paste or Natural Ketchup
    • Black pepper and sea salt

Heat rice half way. Crack eggs on top and and mix. Heat again in skillet or microwave until cooked. Add 1-2 tbsp of tomato paste, 1/2 tsp black pepper and seas salt, and mix in large bowl. Top with 1/4 cup shredded cheddar or non dairy cheese. Serves 1-2 people. This one is great before a long weekend of training too!

The Fish Option

salmon with pineapple salsa and rice

    • 2 cups Spanish rice
    • 3-4oz Wild Caught Salmon
    • Fruit Salsa
    • Avocado
    • Small bed of butter or spinach greens with tomato

This one is pretty simple. We steam the rice and add a little seasoning. Not too spicy. The greens are butter greens because they seem the easy to digest, unlike kale or arugula. The Salmon is grilled or baked for 10 minutes at 400F. It’s low in mercury and great source of omegas. We use fresh fruit salsa for a little extra carbs and sweetness. I will sometimes steam the greens for 20 seconds to make them easier to digest. This meal is best for shorter distances races due to higher fat content.

The GF Pasta Option

quinoa pasta with squash and chicken

    • 2 cups rice or quinoa pasta
    • gluten free chicken sausage (pre-cooked if possible)
    • 1/2 cup summer squash
    • 1/4 cup –1/2 cup Tomato sauce
    • Black pepper and sea salt
    • 1/2 bunch fresh or 1-2 tbsp dried basil
    • olive oil

Cook Pasta according to directions. Strain, add back into pot with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. In a separate skillet, sauté your sliced squash and chicken sausage until tender. Add everything into your pasta along with tomato sauce, 1/2 tsp black pepper, sea salt, and basil. I use this dish for races longer than 3 hrs.

**Vegans—> Substitute chicken sausage for tofu or tempeh (sprouted if possible)

The Easy to throw together (and Digest) Beef or Vegan Option

stewed beef tacos

    • 1 cups stewed beef (Vegans –> soy free veggie burger, like sunshine burgers)
    • 1/2 cup stewed tomatoes
    • Favorite salad dressing or hummus
    • sliced pepper
    • Black pepper and sea salt
    • GF tortillas or flatbread

This one is easy. You throw everything together in a wrap. I like using Udis GF tortillas here because they are so soft! Now, you might be thinking. Why stewed meat? Well, you can make ahead and it’s the easiest on the gut to digest. So maybe the week before the race, throw some meat in a crock pot and stew for a few hours. Then store until that weekend! Again, this one is great for shorter races.

And just in case you are stuck in a hotel with no fridge the night before a race, here’s what we do. Use the coffee pot to heat hot water. Add it to quick cook grits or gluten free oats. I always bring hard boiled eggs, bananas, and nut butters too.  Then i just grab butter and honey from the breakfast bar. But this is if we’re on a super low budget and don’t go to the store. haha!

What’s your go to Pre Race Meal? Do you have one?

Cheers to everyone racing this weekend!

Sherpa Wife Cotter