Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 Gifts For the Triathlete in Your Life - 2013

1) Transition Bag: It will carry all of your triathlete's gear and then some. This is a lifesaver when packing for a triathlon and comes complete with helmet pocket and waterproof compartment. The blueseventy Transition Bag is the top of the line and probably the most popular bag out there but if you want something a bit more affordable, the TYR SPORT Transition Backpack does a great job too.

2) Injury Prevention: Anyone who runs will likely experience an injury at some point. The book, Anatomy for Runners is a must have reference for any runner as a guide for injury prevention, rehab and improving your running bio-mechanics. Recommended by many elite runners, this one is definitely on my list this year!

3) Massage: The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller (available here or here) is way better than your typical foam roller, it features a three dimensional surface to help break up those sore knots. It also comes in a travel-friendly size (available here or here) that you can fit into your transition bag or suitcase. Every triathlete should have one of these to help combat injuries.

4) Smart Training: First Time Triathlon or Triathlon Trainer iPhone Apps- Whether they are training for their first sprint triathlon or are training for an Olympic Distance, these iPhone apps can help. The number one ranked training Apps in the iTunes App store, they have helped countless athletes reach their goals. Disclaimer: These were designed by me so of course I think they are great! (Learn how to gift an App to someone here.)

5) Tri-Bling: Congratulate your triathlete on an amazing accomplishment with a dog tag style triathlon necklace hand stamped with the 3 distances of each discipline.

6) Biking Shorts: You can never have enough biking shorts- especially a comfortable pair. Being a triathlete myself, I can tell you that we spend a lot of time training and log many hours on the bike so its important to have well padded shorts. Pearl Izumi makes great shorts and the Elite In-R-Cool Short for men and the Symphony Short for women come highly recommended.

7) Chain Cleaner: Keep that motor moving smoothly with the Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner. Not your typical gift but your triathlete will wonder why they never had one before! This easy to use tool will save them time, greasy hands and money.

8) Pretty Prints: Why not gift your triathlete with an elegant gold foil endurance print that they can frame and put up in their house to help motivate them. Available in my new Etsy store!

9) Functional Fitness: Functional strength training is an important part of any successful triathletes training and the TRX Suspension Trainer is the most popular tool to help them build strength, power and flexibility. Best of all its so easy to use and portable so whether you are a newbie or an experienced triathlete it can help you bring your training to the next level.

10) Race Ready: These are the latest and greatest race day helpers - skip the long lines to have someone write your race number on your body with these professional looking numbers. The TriTats Pro Tattoo are easily applied the night before with the box containing 200 numbers for countless events that are both USAT and ITU compliant.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fit Friday: Changing How I Eat.

While most of us stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving (myself included!) this post is not meant to make you feel guilty but perhaps help you to start thinking about a few things you can change in your diet before another holiday onslaught of food is upon us.

A few months ago I went through a period of time where I just wasn't feeling good. It started with a bad cold that just wouldn't go away but I also felt lethargic and unmotivated day after day. My energy levels were just sapped and while I could use the excuse of having small kids I knew it was more than that. Something needed to change but I wasn't sure what.

After chatting with a friend about it she convinced me to change my diet for just a few weeks to see if it would help. She had a similar experience and found that changing what she ate made a big difference. So, for two weeks I ate gluten free, sugar free and dairy free. I have to admit I was skeptical but within those two weeks my cold was finally gone and my energy levels returned.

Since then I have adjusted my diet to include dairy again - mainly yogurt, cottage cheese and occasionally cheese but I now drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of non-fat milk. I also must confess that I am not completely gluten free as I don't consider myself to be allergic but have severely cut the amount I eat. I feel more balanced as I don't feel deprived so I can have the occasional piece of pie or bagel with friends. I just don't eat it on a daily basis and so far my energy levels have remained high. (I still buy wheat bread, etc. for my kids and husband but many meals are replaced with gluten free versions which they enjoy and overall are healthier.)

One of my favorite easy lunches, salad mixed with quinoa and topped with tofu.

What foods have you added/increased? I'm eating a lot more fruits, veggies, and nuts so instead of grabbing my typical snack of crackers, I'll grab an apple with some almond butter or some veggies and hummus. In addition, I also eat more quinoa, rice, legumes, buckwheat and healthy fats such as avocado.

Quinoa salad with green beans and tomatoes.

What foods have you limited? Sugar, white flour, wheat and easy to grab snacks that were around for my kids. Less processed foods overall which I feel so much better about as I was finding that I was just grabbing easy to eat foods for convenience rather than for the nutrition.

I'm not going to say it was super easy to change how I eat as it did take time to figure out different recipes to cook but it is definitely worth it. I'm starting to have a pretty good set of dishes to cook and often just make extra to have for lunch or dinner the next day. I'll try to share some of the recipes on my blog in the near future as many of them my kids love as well.

I'm not posting this to say everyone should eat less gluten but more so to encourage you to take a look at your daily diet and see what changes you could make that might help you to feel better or just eat healthier.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!