Tag Archives: Post workout

Fat Dog 50 Mile

Profile in meters
FD 50 Profile
Wow, FD 50 blew my mind. I went into the race thinking it was going to be super tough on many levels: not only was there a mandatory gear list for a 50 miler but the predicted finish times were in the 15 hour range; meant finishing at midnight. I heard the course was non-runnable, overgrown, poorly marked, technical & gnarly!

Fat Dog was the same weekend as Waldo 100km which I was originally signed up to run but bailed in June due to painful tight tendons in my feet. It was painful to walk & run. In June, after Squaw Peak 50 I went to see Chris Hall, DC and he performed active release therapy (ART) and the next day I was in so much pain I had to cancel my morning run. I continued to see Chris on a regular basis; he loaned me his calf Trigger Point roller, showed me stretching and strengthening exercises, told me to ice after every run and to buy arch supports.I did what was prescribed for six weeks: kept my ART appointments, diligently rolled out, did the exercises, iced (heat & ice, too) and wore arch supports. Race day was near and the true test would come after running 50 miles in the Canadian backcountry.

The race started outside of Hope, BC; a point to point race with an elevation gain of over 10,000 feet. The course was incredibly well marked; the first 30 miles, to my surprise, were fast & flowy and the last 20 were remote, technical & challenging but rewarded with stunning views. The last 20 miles had 7,000 + gain with most of the gain in the first 12 miles, four of the last eight were short steep rolling climbs (hardest part of the course for me) and the last four ended with a fast sweet single track down to Lightening Lake where my hubby and dog were waiting for me.

My feet felt great most of the race besides the usual beating of running 50 miles. I finished in 9 hour and 57 minutes good enough for 1st place female, course record, and 3rd overall.

Fat Dog is a very low key race & a small field of runners but they offer multiple distances: 20, 30, 50, 70, & 120 mile, as well as a relay, all point to point. The trail maintenance was evident throughout the 50 miles; volunteers obviously spent many days and hours clearing the course. The race was incredible well marked, well organized and the course is absolutely stunning.

I’m stoked to have been able to run and play in the mountains pain-free thanks to doctor Chris and Aylin at North Bend Therapeutic Massage, my summer is much more fulfilled now that I can go out and play w/o pain! And, I’m sure my husband is happy he doesn’t have to listen to me whine anymore.

20130819_100217  1st Place Female / 3rd Overall
medium size FD finish

As a nutritionist, I’m asked all the time what I eat before, during and after a race. In addition to the Clif Mojo bars, I like to make my own protein bars, too. Everyone is different, what works for me, might not work for you.

Pre-race: Homemade kefir with almonds, walnuts, oats, and banana.

During the race:

  • 2 Clif Bloks packets (I rely on Clif Bloks for instant energy and easy consumption.)
  • 4 Clif Mojo bars.
  • 1 homemade peanut butter and honey sandwich.
  • ½ a grilled cheese from the awesome volunteers at Skyline Aid Station -mile 30.
  • Handful of Pringles from the amazing volunteers at Skyline Junction- mile 42.
  • 3 packets of Sustain – 9am, Noon, and 3pm.
  • Lots and lots of water.

Post-race: Thorne protein powder recovery drink, hamburger with avocado, water and a beer.


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Humpdayathon 2013

Humpdayathon (Wednesday) started with a crisp climb up Mailbox (4100 elevation gain in less than 3 miles; more like 2.5 miles) and followed by a few more mountain peaks and hours of slogging in the snow. The planned peaks: Mailbox, Teneriffe, Mt. Si, Little Si, Rattlesnake traverse & Tiger Mountain. The mileage options: 50km, 100km, and 100 mile. ALM and I set out to do a 55 mile loop with roughly 18,000 feet of elevation gain from my house. Tim & Angel picked us up near my house in North Bend and drove us the three miles to the start; we contemplated running to the start but opted to catch a ride and have an extra hour of sleep.
As predicted lots of snow & very slow going. We lucked out with a ‘blue bird day’ and spectacular views.
The view from the top of Mailbox.
The crew on Mailbox Peak
Teneriffe – a total slog to the top. We hiked up the Kamikaze Falls Trail and continued to the summit. The hike is about 4 miles w/3750 feet elevation gain. (On a normal day this is a tough, steep climb but with the recent snow storm it made it a total slog).
Teneriffe summit – Stunning views!
After crawling up Teneriffe we took the snow filled service road to Talus Loop. The snow was so deep on the service road it took us hours to go 4 or 5 miles. At this point, most of us our discussing stopping at 50km because the snow is so slow going and Rattlesnake traverse will be a nightmare w/this much snow. In addition, some runners did not bring enough food for this section b/c it wasn’t supposed to take all day.
We connected to Talus Loop and then to the main Mt. Si trail. We hiked up to the summit and then ran down the Old Mt. Si trail. We ran up/down Little Si and met the aid crew at the parking lot of Little Si. The aid station crew spent their day volunteering and were amazing! The aid stations were stocked just like a race with delish goodies including butternut soup, pizza, meat and avocado wraps and comfy chairs, warm down jackets and sleeping bags. The volunteers were awesome.
The 100km runners bailed at Little Si and called it a day after 32 + miles, 13 hours and 13,858 elevation gain and the 100 mile runners decided to shuttle over to Cougar/Squak Mountain for another 50km.
All in all, a super fun and stunning day climbing up and down the mountains with some really cool people.

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The Truth about Lactic Acid

The other day, I did a presentation on Sports Nutrition and I realized most athletes still believe that lactic acid or more specifically, lactate, is a villain. Athletes still believe their muscles are filled with lactic acid after a hard workout. However, lactic acid leaves your body within an hour if not within in minutes after exercise. Lactate is a fuel for your muscles, muscles make it deliberately. A well-trained athlete is more efficient at storing muscle glycogen and more efficient at producing and absorbing lactic acid. A simplistic explanation is lactate is the middle man; it is used as a building block in the liver to produce more liver glycogen. Liver glycogen is broken down into glucose, glucose is used as energy, and the utilization of glucose for energy creates lactic acid. (For a more thorough explanation, Google, Cori Cycle)
Lactic acid is not the cause of your muscles burning, it is not the cause of soreness, and it is not a waste product. Muscle soreness is due to damaged muscle cells, calcium leakage, and post exercise inflammation due to damaged muscle cells during intense exercise. The “burn” you feel is caused by hydrogen ions which are determined by which fuel source you are using: glycogen or glucose. If your body is using glycogen (glycogen is stored in your muscles and is broken down to glucose for energy) only one unit of hydrogen is released. If glucose is used as fuel, than your body releases two units of hydrogen; this doubling of hydrogen ions creates a huge acidic swing resulting in a burning sensation in your muscles and ultimately causing fatigue. This fatigue occurs when glucose is called on to produce energy when your glycogen stores are low or the exercise is so intense that your glycogen stores cannot keep up with the demand. Regardless of which fuel source your body is using, glycogen or glucose, the same amount of lactic acid is released. Bottom line, lactic acid is your friend and a source of fuel for your body during intense exercise.
“The world’s best athletes stay competitive by interval training. The intense exercise generates big lactate loads, and the body adapts by building up mitochondria to clear lactic acid quickly. If you use it up [as an energy source], it doesn’t accumulate.” ~ George A. Brooks, UC Berkley Professor of integrative biology. Dr. Brooks has been researching lactate and the lactate shuttle for years, for more information on Dr. Brooks http://ib.berkeley.edu/people/faculty/profiles/more/gbrooks.php.


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Whey Protein -they are not all created equal.

What is Whey Protein?

Whey is the liquid left over during the cheese making process after the casein in milk is converted into curds. Whey protein is a high quality, complete protein, with all the essential amino acids. Whey protein is also the richest known source of naturally occurring branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs are important for strength training athletes, endurance athletes and professional athletes. The body requires higher amounts of branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) during and following exercise as they are taken up directly by the skeletal muscles versus first being metabolized through the liver, like other amino acids. Low BCAA levels contribute to fatigue; therefore, the best time to take Whey Protein is within thirty minutes to an hour after exercise.

Benefits of (BCAAs) Branch Chain Amino Acids:
Metabolizes directly in the muscle
Helps build muscle
Helps stop muscle breakdown
Helps prevent muscle protein breakdown during exercise
Can delay fatigue and improve exercise performance

What type of Whey Protein?

There are many types of whey protein but the three main types are: Hydrolyzed, Isolate, and Concentrate.  Hydrolyzed Whey Protein is the Ultimate, Isolate is runner-up, and Concentrate is the basic.

Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

The King of all whey proteins

Most digestible

Rapid absorption rate

Least allergenic

Most expensive

100% Hydrolyzed Whey Protein

May taste bitter

Whey Protein Isolate

More pure than concentrate

Not as easily digested as Hydrolyzed Whey Protein but still quickly absorbed

Much better choice than concentrate

Look for a low-temperature method (avoid heat-processed)

90% Protein Isolate with minimal amount of fat and lactose.

A great choice if you don’t want to spend the money on Hydrolyzed.

Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC)

WPC is the least expensive

Contains more Fat

Contains more Lactose

Ratios of protein varies depending on Brand
Protein 30-85%
Fat 5-8%
Lactose 4-10%

Don’t waste your money.

What to purchase?

When purchasing a Whey protein powder read the ingredients. It should not have any artificial flavors, sweeteners, fillers, binders, no fat or sugar added, or anything else.
I personally use Thorne’s Hydrolyzed Whey Protein and/or Bluebonnet Whey Protein Isolate. www.thorne.com and http://www.bluebonnetnutrition.com both are excellent products.

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Post Workout Tips

When to Eat?

  • Critical metabolic window is the first 30 minutes after exercise followed by a meal within 2 hours after exercise.

Why Eat immediately?

  • Muscle glycogen is synthesized three times faster.
  • Initiate protein synthesis and limit protein degradation.
  • To shift your muscles from a catabolic state to an anabolic state for faster recovery.
  • Positive impact on your immune system.
  • Reduces muscle soreness.

What to eat?

  • To replenish muscle glycogen – a combination of protein and carbohydrates have been proven to replenish at a higher degree than carbs alone.  Ideal ratio is 4 to 1 (4 carbohydrates to 1 protein) for endurance athletes and 2:1 for strength training athletes. 
  • Liquid has a faster absorption rate, easy to consume, and helps with rehydration.
  • Whey protein has a faster digestion rate than soy, casein, hemp, or rice protein powder; all are acceptable.
  • Adjust the amount according to your calorie needs and intensity of your workout.
  • Water. Rehydration helps your body to function properly between workouts.
  • After intense exercise replace electrolytes.  Eating fruit is an easy way to replace your electrolytes.

Post workout snacks & Mini Meal Ideas!

  1. (1#) Protein shake: 1 serving of whey protein of choice + liquid (water, milk, coconut milk, or almond milk) + 1 serving of fruit. (Hydrolyzed Whey Protein from Thorne is my favorite)
  2. Paleo Brew: https://debsholisticnutrition.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/paleos-home-brew/
  3. Yogurt bowl: Greek yogurt + banana or fruit of choice + granola sprinkled on top
  4. Egg Muffin: see recipe
  5. Mark’s Daily Apple Homemade Protein Bar: see recipe
  6. Roll ups: sliced meat + cheese + fruit of choice
  7. Almond Toast: Almond butter + sliced banana + slice of Elana’s pantry bread* (see recipe)
  8. Nutzo: 10 almonds + banana or 10 almonds + Greek yogurt
  9. Hummus: hummus + veggie (carrot, celery, broccoli)
  10. Bean Wrap: 1/4 c. beans of choice + shredded cheese + ½ Ezekiel wrap
  11. Oats oatmeal + protein powder + fruit OR oatmeal + 1 tbsp. almond butter
  12. Nut Butter: Veggie + Nut butter or Fruit + Nut butter
  13. Sweet potato with apple sauce and cinnamon
  14. Coconut Water plus protein
  15. Squash: Acorn, squash or beets with cinnamon
  16. Tuna + veggies sticks (bell pepper + tuna)
  17. Hardboiled egg + veggie stick


Elana’s Pantry. I love this web site. Elana has the best bread recipes. Super easy and quick.


Gluten-Free Nutty Bread (I have modified w/the following substitutions)
1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
¾  cup arrowroot powder (or tapioca powder)
¼ cup flax seed meal
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or raw honey)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
¼ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
¼ cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup pistachios, coarsely chopped (nuts of your choice)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds


In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot, flax meal, salt and baking soda

In a larger bowl, blend eggs 3-5 minutes until frothy

Stir agave and vinegar into eggs

Mix dry ingredients into wet, then add nuts and seeds

Pour batter into a well greased 7.5″ x 3.5″ loaf pan

Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean.

Mark’s Daily Apple – Homemade Protein Bars



1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pecans
1/4 cup almond or sesame seed meal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (check your local health food store)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of raw honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries or blueberries


On a cookie sheet, toast nuts and shredded coconut until golden brown (you may need to shake the tray once or twice to make sure they cook evenly).

Once toasted, pour mixture into a food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped and the mixture becomes coarsely ground.

In a mixing bowl, melt coconut oil and almond butter (about 20 seconds). Remove from microwave and stir until smooth.

Add vanilla extract, honey and sea salt. Mix thoroughly.

Fold in nut mixture and almond (or sesame seed) meal until mixed thoroughly.

Fold in blueberries/cranberries.

Press mixture into an 8 by 4 loaf pan.

Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until firm.

Cut “loaf” width wise. Should make 6 good-sized bars.

Enjoy! (Or, if you don’t plan to eat immediately, you can store the bars in the refrigerator, covered loosely with a paper towel and plastic wrap.

Omelet Muffins


6 Organic eggs

1/4 – 1/2 cup cooked meat – cut or crumbled into small pieces

1/2 cup diced vegetables (asparagus, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli)

1/4 tsp salt (optional)

1/8 tsp ground pepper

1/8 cup water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 6 muffin tins with coconut oil or line with paper baking cups.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl and add meat, vegetables, salt, ground pepper, and any other ingredients and stir to combine.

Pour mixture into the muffin cups.

Bake for 18-20 minutes

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