Posts Tagged ‘nutrition

Nutrition tips from an Ironman champion

- April 16th, 2014
Linsey Corbin finish line

Linsey Corbin is overcome with emotion after crossing the finish line at the 2014 Ironman on March 30 in Los Cabos, Baja, Mexico.

Fresh off her victory at the 2014 Los Cabos Ironman, professional triathlete Linsey Corbin offers the following five nutrition tips to get the most out of your training:

1. Know what works best for you: During your training you can afford to make mistakes and learn what you should and shouldn’t be eating. However, on race day you almost want to be habitual in how you’re going to eat. Particularly in an endurance event like a marathon or triathlon, you should have a nutrition plan set out beforehand.

2. Think carbs: In an endurance race you’ll end up tapping into all of your fuel reserves. Since carbohydrates feed the muscles, you’ll need to be thinking about carbs the moment you sign up for that long-distance race. Most athletes need 55-65 % of their calories to come from carbohydrates, and should be consumed the night (or day) before a race, long run or hard workout. You should be getting carb intake from “high-quality” whole grains, such as KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat, as it offers immediate energy while also providing lipids to store additional fuel.

3. Keep hydration top-of-mind: Gulp 6 to 8 ounces of H2O or other fluids every 15 minutes to stay hydrated. If you’re running for over an hour, your body may require more than just water. Sports drinks can give you the electrolytes, fluids and sugar-filled carbs you need to make it through a long-distance endurance race. Linsey also suggests energy gels, as they can also provide a similar surge and settle your mental fatigue.

4. Plan your race-day breakfast ahead of time: If you’re heading out for an hour or more, you need some fuel at least 30 minutes before you run—this means skipping breakfast isn’t an option. Put thought into what you’re eating and avoid fat, fiber, or anything else that is known to cause stomach discomfort. Make sure you experiment with different types of foods during your training so you don’t surprise yourself on race day. If running longer, eat a combo of protein and carbs, like toast with peanut butter and banana (200 to 300 calories).

 5. Make recovery nutrition a priority: It’s important to get calories in within 30 minutes of finishing an endurance activity, when your muscles replace their power supply fastest. Linsey suggests the right combination of carbs (75 to 80 percent) and protein (20 to 25 percent). Chocolate milk is a great recovery drink because it has a quintessential ratio of carbs to protein and it’s easy to drink. Four or five hours after a race, Linsey suggests eating a well-balanced meal, as well as a celebratory treat.

More on Linsey Corbin

Linsey, who claims the fastest Ironman time recorded on U.S. soil and holds five triathlon course records, believes that a proper diet is an essential part of any training program and can have a major influence on your results. She is currently working with Kamut International, who produce an organic, non-GMO, ancient wheat variety known as KAMUT® brand khorasan wheat, to talk about nutrition for endurance training.

Top trends in personal training

- November 26th, 2013

Here are the highlights from the latest report on fitness industry trends. Always an interesting read …

Market research reveals top trends in personal training

IDEA Health & Fitness Association has published the results of the 17th IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report. The Web-based survey, which was completed by over 2,800 fitness professionals, summarizes what fitness equipment and programs are being incorporated the most or the least in studios and facilities around North America. IDEA used the results of the survey to conduct an independent analysis of the responses from personal trainers, revealing the top personal training trends that have emerged over the past 6 years.

The data indicated the strongest trend in personal training is the move to training with more than one person at a time in small groups. Personal training sessions that included 2 people sharing a trainer increased 10 percentage points, whereas 3-5-person sessions increased 18 percentage points. “IDEA believes this reflects a practical reaction of consumers to cut costs during the ongoing recession, as well as personal trainers preserving their business base by retaining clients at lower hourly fees through shared group costs. However, trainers are actually making more per hour by increasing the number of people they train during that hour. This single cause-effect trend has changed the face of personal training by ushering in the era of small-group training,” said Kathie Davis, Executive Director of IDEA.

Other highlights from the research included:

• Over the past 3 years, body-weight leverage training (body-weight only, TRX Suspension Trainer, GTS (Gravity Training System), climbing ladders, ropes, push-up and pull-up devices, etc.) has experienced a steady increase (70% to 83%).

• Outdoor activities have declined over the past 6 years, with outdoor personal training sessions decreasing by 25 percentage points and outdoor group activities declining by 10 percentage points; however, outdoor boot camps have remained relatively stable.

• Exercise programs for chronic medical conditions such as diabetes or coronary heart disease have increased by 11 percentage points.

• Personal trainers have increased the amount of lifestyle coaching they are providing (37% to 50%).

• Nutrition assessment and nutritional coaching programs have increased by 6 percentage points and 12 percentage points, respectively, over the past 6 years.

• More personal trainers are programming mind-body sessions such as yoga, group reformer, tai chi, Pilates and Pilates and yoga/mind-body fusion.

• Very slow strength training programs have increased by 25 percentage points over the past 6 years (30% to 55%).

Detailed results from the 2013 Fitness Programs & Equipment Trends Report are available at

About IDEA Health & Fitness Association
IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world’s leading organization of fitness professionals. We deliver world-class content and continuing education through three channels: our seven publications, including the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal; our world-class fitness conferences; and hundreds of streaming videos and DVD courses available on our website Additionally, with IDEA FitnessConnect, we have created the largest national industry-wide directory linking over 250,000 fitness professionals to more than 16 million consumers.

Run Gary, run!

- October 24th, 2013

He’s a friend, colleague, mentor … and one heck of an inspiration.

Gary Poignant, veteran news editor at the Edmonton Sun, ran his 24th marathon earlier this month in Chicago.

Chicago 2013

Gary Poignant post-race. (Photo by Linda Snydmiller-Poignant)

Gary, alluding to the above photo, said he was “in desperate need of a couple of toothpicks to keep my eyes open after the marathon.”

He was sporting pink shoe laces to highlight the fact that he was raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Chicago 2013 046

The scene near the halfway point of Gary’s run. (Photo by Linda Snydmiller-Poignant)

“I deliberately behaved like a jogging tourist in a sea of 40,000 other runners,” Gary told me, “finishing with a smile on my face in a personal worst time of 4 hours and 18 minutes. Truly a magical morning.”

Now for the back story, which is the truly inspiring part.

Here’s a column that Gary wrote 15 years ago about his painful struggle with arthritis (which is now in remission) …

Thursday, October 1, 1998




This is the story of my great escape from the jaws of excruciating pain. Namely — arthritis. Joint pain so severe that one day last April I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t get dressed. And, obviously, I couldn’t go to work.

My knees were the worst. My feet simply throbbed. My right hand, right elbow and right shoulder also ached.

This form of arthritis — diagnosed as ankylosing spondylitis when it first hit me five years ago — was back and it was all-consuming.

Some days were better than others. But most days were simply brutal.

Attempting to manoeuvre down a flight of stairs had become a ridiculously difficult chore.

For a 41-year-old guy who had always been very active, this was tearing me apart emotionally.

All I could do for exercise was limp to the pool and perform a very slow breaststroke.

What was especially maddening was that the prescription medication that was supposed to make me feel better appeared to be making things worse.

I was receiving a weekly injection of methotrexate, a couple of anti-inflammatories a day along with several Tylenol 3 daily to ease the pain.

And despite assurances from rheumatologists for more than six months that these drugs would eventually start to ease the pain, I was feeling worse.

Time for a change, I thought.

I threw caution to the wind, found a naturopath in the Yellow Pages and booked an appointment.

I initially told Dr. Wayne Steinke I wanted immediate relief and would simply pay for a couple of acupuncture sessions.

He took one look at me, heard the standard life history and said, “You don’t need acupuncture. You need to change your diet.”

Steinke explained my body and joints were full of toxins and to get rid of them I needed to eliminate certain things from my diet.

As it turned out — it included nearly everything. No red meat. No sugar.

No alcohol. No coffee. No tomatoes. No dairy products. No wheat.

When trying to walk makes you cringe, you’re willing to try anything.

Steinke added several supplements to the mix — including flaxseed oil and an assortment of vitamins. I had already been taking vitamin C, garlic pills and fish oil pills.

He told me to stick with the diet, eat only the foods allowed — which included fish, chicken, rice and fresh fruit — and give it a month.

Sounded fine. Besides, I was too uncomfortable to be skeptical.

Within three weeks the pain began to ease.

I had stopped taking the methotrexate, had cut out the Tylenol and was down to just one anti-inflammatory a day.

The prescription drugs — which can harm the liver and kidneys with long-term use — had been making me feel sluggish.

By June I was able to ride a bicycle and was taking an anti-inflammatory every couple of days.

By late July, I was able to comfortably walk nine holes of golf and I was taking an anti-inflammatory every week or so.

I haven’t had an anti-inflammatory since early August and I have complete use of my joints again.

I can now walk up and down stairs without trouble. I can cycle 30 km and feel refreshed afterwards.

So what is going on with my body?

Why am I feeling so much better?

The rheumatologist I had been seeing simply says the arthritis is in remission.

“Keep your fingers crossed, it could come back at any time,” he says.

He could be right, because in 1993 when I was first diagnosed the arthritic symptoms left completely after eight months — but only after a change in diet and an assortment of natural remedies from a different naturopath.

Steinke has a different view, thankfully.

He says what I’ve managed to do over the past several months is reduce the toxicity in my body through a combination of improved diet, vitamin supplements and exercise.

“What you’ve done is improve the overall terrain and environment in your body,” he said, explaining people who suffer from arthritis have difficulty metabolizing food.

“It all comes down to what you do and don’t put in your body.

“This has allowed the cells in your body to work the way they should.

“This in turn improves your autoimmune system.”

Steinke says what has happened is my body has been allowed to fix itself over the past several months.

His theory certainly seems to hold true whenever I try to add certain foods to the mix.

The day after eating either tomatoes, bread or sugar, I feel pain in my joints. Thankfully, it’s not that severe and it’s usually gone within 24 hours.

Oddly, I can safely have the occasional beer or coffee without any noticeable problems.

There is still some mild tenderness in my knees, but the pain is virtually gone. I’m working at building the strength back up in my joints and enjoying my new-found freedom.

So am I out of the woods? Will the arthritis strike again?

The rheumatologist, of course, says it’s simply a matter of time before it returns.

Steinke, however, says if I stick closely to the diet, I’m destined to keep those pains away indefinitely. That’s a recipe I can live with.

* * *

Like I said, Gary’s one heck of an inspiration. Run Gary, run!

Happy and healthy tailgating

- October 6th, 2013

Yup, it’s football season. But who says tailgating can’t be healthy?

Paolo Mascitti, celebrity trainer and founder of meal delivery system Cibo Verde, has a savoury tailgate recipe that is not only tasty, but very healthy! Pizza is a classic game day go-to and now it can be guilt-free!

Gluten-free steak and veggie pizza

Gluten-Free Steak and Veggie Pizza

Gluten-free tortilla

1 oz. cooked steak

1 oz. yellow onions

2 oz. red and green peppers

2 oz. pizza sauce

3 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese

Instructions: Place the gluten-free tortilla on a baking sheet and add marinara sauce making sure to spread evenly on crust. Followed with cheese, onions, peppers and steak. Place in oven for five minutes, allowing cheese to melt.

The entire process will take no more than 10 minutes and you’re ready to eat!

Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than meat eaters: study

- October 2nd, 2013

Here’s some food for thought in terms of the vegetarian-vs.-meat eater debate …


© Syda Productions –

Vegetarians tend to be slimmer than meat eaters, says study from Loma Linda University Health

LOMA LINDA, CA – Oct. 2, 2013 – Despite similar caloric intake, vegetarians tend to have lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than non-vegetarians, with vegans being the most slender of all, suggests new research on more than 70,000 Seventh-day Adventists by researchers from Loma Linda University Health to be published in the December edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

In strict vegetarians, low dietary intakes of vitamin B-12 and D, calcium, and n-3 fatty acids, in addition to iron and zinc, have often been of concern. However, in the present study, mean intakes of these nutrients were above minimum requirements in strict vegetarians.

A cross-sectional study of the subjects from the Adventist Health Study 2, possibly the largest study involving vegetarians, compared the subjects’ five dietary patterns: non-vegetarians (meat eaters), semi-vegetarians (occasional meat eaters), pesco-vegetarians (people who consume fish), lacto-ovo vegetarians (people who consume dairy products), and vegans (strict vegetarians).

The results show the average BMI was highest in non-vegetarians and lowest in strict vegetarians, with higher BMI levels for those who consume more animal-derived foods. Non-vegetarians had the most number of people who are classified as obese, with 33.3 percent having BMIs of over 30; semi-vegetarians, 24.2 percent; pesco-vegetarians, 17.9 percent; lacto-ovo vegetarians, 16.7 percent; and strict vegetarians, 9.4 percent.

The subjects had similar energy intake of close to 2,000 kcal per day, except for semi-vegetarians, who had an intake of 1,707 kcal per day. The results were adjusted for age, race, sex, and physical activity.

The study tried to determine variations in nutrient intakes between vegetarian and non-vegetarian dietary patterns, in hopes of determining if those differences can contribute to the prevention or development of disease.

The findings showed that nutrient intakes varied significantly between dietary patterns. Non-vegetarians have the lowest intake of plant proteins, fiber, beta carotene, and magnesium, compared with those following vegetarian dietary patterns; and the highest intakes of fatty acids associated with coronary heart disease.

“There was a clear association between higher proportions of obesity, higher BMI averages, and dietary patterns characterized by progressively higher intakes of meat and dairy products,” said the study’s first author, Nico Rizzo, Med. Dr., Ph.D., assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition at Loma Linda University School of Public Health.

“These marked differences in BMI are of particular interest given that total energy intakes were similar between dietary patterns, and mean macronutrient composition and micronutrient intakes were markedly different between the dietary patterns,” he said.

He said a thorough description of nutrient profiles and the findings will serve as a point of reference for future studies that will look at possible associations between dietary patterns and health outcomes.

Vegetarian Diets and BMI by Cary Castagna


 About Loma Linda University Health (LLUH)

Loma Linda University Health includes Loma Linda University’s eight professional schools, Loma Linda University Medical Center’s six hospitals and more than 900 faculty physicians located in the Inland Empire of Southern California. Established in 1905, LLUH is a global leader in education, research and clinical care. It offers over 100 academic programs and provides quality health care to 40,000 inpatients and 1.5 million outpatients each year. A Seventh-day Adventist organization, LLUH is a faith-based health system with a mission “to continue the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”