Five Square Meals & Recent Eats

I'm sure you've heard of the saying "eat three square meals a day," but I definitely prefer five square meals as an athlete! I need breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus at least two solid snacks to keep me going throughout the whole day. Here are some of my recent eats and new recipes including an endeavor in homemade pickles!

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Stowe 5k and Meal Plan

Hope everyone had a good weekend! I ran a 5k in beautiful Stowe, VT. The course started on a dirt road, went to a paved road, and then finished on a bike path with wooden bridges, so there was a variety of surfaces and scenery. The bike path portion had some sharp twists and turns with short inclines, but it was nicely shaded from the hot sun. 

On our way to the race, they were launching hot air balloons and it was so cool! They were stunning to watch with the mountains and bright blue sky. It is definitely on my bucket list to do someday.

The race was very well organized and not too big. There was the 5k as well as a 8-miler, and the total number of participants was about 800. It was a mass start and I positioned myself close to the front, which was amongst a bunch of men!

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Sports Nutrition: Carbs, Protein, and Fluids

Sports nutrition is a hot topic and highly variable for each athlete depending on personal preferences and beliefs. There are many diets out there including high fat/low carb, paleo, gluten free, and vegan. While these may be necessary for some individuals, they should not be the go-to for an athlete because they limit certain essential nutrients. Discussing sports nutrition opens a huge door, so today I am going to focus on three big hitters (carbohydrates, protein, and fluids) and what the current research recommends.

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Nutrition Tidbits

Nutrition and diet are a challenging subject to approach as many people are deeply rooted in their food habits and cultural preferences. There is no perfect diet or perfect food, and everyone cannot follow the exact same set of nutritional guidelines. Eating for health and longevity will look different than eating while training for a marathon, eating as a professional swimmer, eating with cancer, eating with lactose intolerance, or eating as a vegetarian. General guidelines suggest consuming more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains while limiting sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars. This is great for many people, but sometimes the rules need to be bent. An athlete sweating large amounts in a hot environment needs to eat more sodium. Right before a big competition or race, an athlete may need to decrease whole grains and high fiber fruits/vegetables in order to avoid digestive distress. During a long workout, athletes need added sugars to keep their bodies going when working hard.

Today I am going to share with you a few nutrition tidbits that are incredibly important and go beyond what you eat, focusing more on when you eat!

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Instant Pot 101: Brown Rice & Chili

Do you have an Instant Pot? We received one at the beginning of this year, and I have been using it almost weekly. I was concerned it was just going to be another large appliance taking up space in our kitchen, but I have been pleasantly surprised. We had to get rid of our slow cooker in order to accommodate room for the Instant Pot, but it was a good choice. Besides the food processor and Keurig, the Instant Pot is probably our next most commonly used small kitchen appliance. The blender, panini press, hand mixer, and toaster are all used a little less frequently. We don't have a waffle maker or KitchenAid, so I can't count those!

My two favorite items to make in the Instant Pot so far are rice and chili.

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