Archive | September, 2014

The Truth About Carb Loading

27 Sep

grains_carbs_bagel_bread_pasta_food

You have registered for a big race, have trained for it for months and are now about 4 weeks away from the big day, we want to help you carb load!

Carbohydrate loading is recommended for athletes participating in endurance events lasting longer than 90 minutes, such as marathons, triathlons etc. Carbohydrates, also known as starches and sugars, are your body’s main source of energy. Complex carbs include grains, starchy vegetables and legumes. Simple carbs are found mainly in fruits, candy etc… As your body starts to digest, it converts carbs into sugar. Sugar is stored in your liver and muscles as glycogen which is your body’s energy source.

 Tips on carb overloading: 

4 weeks before: practice run

A few days before your longest run whether it is 10 miles before your half marathon or 20 miles before your marathon, practice carb loading! This allows you to test out foods before the big race, you need to see what agrees and what doesn’t agree with your body. Keep a food diary!

1 week before: plan ahead

Plan your weekly meals making sure you incorporate plenty of carbs. Carbs should account for around 50% of your daily calories. Also eat plenty of protein and make sure you are hydrating!

2 days before: CARBS CARBS CARBS!

Switch your diet, 85-95% of your diet should be carbs!

The night before: eat early

Make sure you eat an early dinner so your body has time to digest your meal. Your dinner should be on the lighter side, but carb heavy!

The morning of your race: timing is everything

Two to three hours before your race, eat around 150 grams of carbs.

During your race: keep up the carbs

During your race you want to try and consume around 45 grams of carbs per hour, which can be consumed in the form of bars, chews, gels, drinks or real food. Make sure you always drink water with your carbs. Also do not eat too many carbs at once, try to spread out your carb intake throughout your entire race.

Great mid race snacks:

Cliff shot: 22 grams of carbs

Gu energy gel: 25 grams of carbs

Honey stinger gels: 24 grams of carbs

1 large banana: 31 grams of carbs

1 oz pretzels: 23 grams of carbs

1 small box of raisins: 33 grams of carbs

Baby food pouches: 16-28 grams of carbs

 

A note from Annie Crawford, Health As We Age Director of Communications 

Training for my upcoming first marathon (Chicago Bank of America Marathon) I’ve struggled with mid running snacks, I always tried to consume gels and chews but would always end up with stomach aches and cramps. If I didn’t consume gels and chews I would end up super hungry around mile 10, complexly drained of energy. I was at a loss! In my last month of training I decided to give baby food a try, and let me tell you it has been a game changer! I have been experimenting with different flavors like carrot, apple, beet, banana, greek yogurt, chai seed, oats etc. I keep a food diary of which flavors and combinations work the best helping me get through my training runs, so I know what to pack for my marathon on October 12. I would highly recommend packing baby food for your next training run or for your next big race, have fun with the different flavors and combinations, you would be amazed what they have available! Have fun and good luck on your next race! 

-Annie Crawford 

running

Happy First Week Of Fall- Pumpkin Power!

25 Sep

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Did you know that pumpkins are a super food and have many different health benefits?  These include keeping your eyesight sharp, acting as a weight loss aid, boosting your immune system, keeping your digestive system regular and boosting your mood. Pumpkins are also a great post-workout snack since they are high in potassium, containing more than 560 mg vs a banana that has around 420 mg of potassium. Here is HAWA’s favorite post-workout pumpkin protein shake recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 crushed graham cracker
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2-1 cup ice

Directions: Combine protein powder, pumpkin, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, ice and milk in a blender. Blend until smooth adding more ice and milk until you reach your preferred shake consistency. Pour into a glass and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers. ENJOY!

Visit our “Skinny Fall Favorites” board on Pinterest to find more of our favorite fall recipes http://www.pinterest.com/HealthAsWeAge/skinny-fall-favorites/

5 Simple Ways to Eat More Fiber

21 Sep

chickpea

Eating sufficient fiber is important for your health. Fiber can help normalize your bowel movements, reduce your chance of both constipation and diarrhea, lower your cholesterol, help control your blood sugar levels and can aid with weight management. High fiber foods fill you up and leave you feeling full longer!

Follow these easy tips to get more fiber in your day!

1. Eat fruits – Eat rather than drink your fruits.

2. Eat vegetables – “Eat the rainbow” by incorporating different colored veggies in every meal .

3. Read the Nutrition Label – Choose the foods with the highest dietary fiber per serving.

4. Don’t peel edible skins from fruits or vegetables – There is fiber in the skin. Instead wash fruits and vegetables before eating.

5. Eat beans, lentils, and split peas – These foods are fiber rich, filling, and inexpensive.

Recommended daily fiber: 

  • 25 per day grams for women
  • 38 grams per day for men

 

Carb Controversy

13 Sep

bread

Carb Controversy

By: April Irvine MS Candidate, DI

Many people say that losing weight means cutting out the carbs.  Low-carb diets have gained popularity beginning with the Atkins diet which may lead many people to start thinking that carbs are not good for you, so let me straighten out the facts!

Here Are Your Carb Facts: 

Carbohydrates are a necessary nutrient that the body needs to survive. It is  your body’s primary source of fuel. Carbs trigger a hormone called insulin which tells the body that you’re full.  Processed or refined carbs cause sharp jumps and drops in blood sugar levels which is why it may cause one to overeat, while whole grain carbs are more complex and take longer to digest which is why they do not cause a dramatic effect on blood sugars.

Eating an appropriate amount of carbs can help you feel and perform your best. Eating excessive amounts of carbs can lead to weight gain. However, not eating enough is just as dangerous.

Many people can cut carbs in the short-term, but for most of us, keeping carbs too low for too long can affect our health. This is especially so for those who exercise.  Restricting carbs can lead hormonal imbalances, impaired mood and brain function, loss of muscle, and suppress our immune system. This can leave you feeling lousy, sluggish, and even sick. These types of diets do not teach eating healthy habits and healthy lifestyle.

So how much carbs should I eat? It depends on your weight goals, gender, age, and activity level. The USDA recommends up to 65% of calories should come from carbohydrates.

Keep it Simple:

  • Don’t overly restrict
  • Enjoy a wide variety of whole fresh foods
  • Pay attention to how you look and feel
  • Eat when you’re hungry and stop when your full

 

Kick Off Football Season With HAWA Healthy Recipes!

7 Sep

NFL

Are you hosting a Football Kick off party this season? HAWA is here to HELP! Here are a few of our favorite football party snacks! You can also check out more recipes on  our “Healthy Game Day Snacks” board on our Pinterest Page: http://www.pinterest.com/HealthAsWeAge/game-day-snacks/

 

Loaded Sweet Potato Bites

Ingredients:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup low fat cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Guacamole
  • (optional: turkey bacon bites, chives, low fat sour cream)

Directions:

  • Bake or microwave sweet potatoes (bake at 375 F for 1 hour, or microwave for 10 minutes)
  • Cut the sweet potatoes into ¼ inch thick slices
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Top each half of sweet potato with some cheese
  • Bake at 450 at 450 until the cheese is nicely melted and the sweet potato starts to brown
  • Top with some guacamole and enjoy!

 

Creamy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can white beans rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds
  • ½ cup steamed spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup low fat parmesan/mozzarella cheese
  • 1 15 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning herbs
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth
  • Enjoy! (Heat mixture if you want to serve warm)

 

Zucchini Bruschetta

Ingredients:

  • 6 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8-10 basil leaves thinly sliced
  • 1tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1 large zucchini

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  • Mix together tomatoes, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt in bowl
  • Cut zucchini slices into ¼ in thick slices
  • Place zucchini slices on a greased baking sheet
  • Lightly brush zucchini slices with olive oil
  • Bake in the oven for two minutes
  • Flip zucchini slices, lightly coat with olive oil, and cook for two more minutes (zucchini should be firm)
  • Spoon tomato mixture on top of each zucchini slice
  • Cook brushetta for an additional two more minutes
  • Enjoy!

 

Bite Size Mini BLT Cups

Ingredients:

  • 24 grape tomatoes
  • 24 small pieces for lettuce (arugula/baby spinach works great)
  • ¼ cup crumbled crisp cooked bacon (about 3 pieces)
  • 24 small pieces of bacon for garnish (about 2 pieces)
  • 1/2 cup  of your favorite store salad dressing we recommend Bolthouse Farms Salad Ranch Yogurt Dressing

Directions:

  • Cut the bottoms of the tomatoes off (they will stand on their tops) gently squeeze and roll the tomatoes between your fingers to remove the pulp
  • Stuff 1 piece of lettuce into each tomato cup
  • Then place ½ tsp of bacon into each cup
  • Top with a drop of salad dressing and a piece of bacon for garnish

 

Buffalo Bites 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
  • Mix water, flour and garlic together in a small bowl
  • Dip each piece of cauliflower into the flour mixture and place pieces on a greased baking sheet (let excess flour mixture drip off first)
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes
  • Mix the buffalo sauce and olive oil together in a small bowl
  • Pour the hot sauce mixture over the cauliflower
  • Bake for an additional 5-10 minutes
  • Serve with your favorite blue cheese dressing!

 

Chocolate Strawberry Footballs

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chips
  • 12-14 large strawberries (depending how many footballs you want to serve)
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Microwave dark chocolate chips in a small bowl on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until completely melted
  • Grab the strawberries by the leaves and dip them in the chocolate until completely coated (make sure strawberries are completely dry first)
  • Place chocolate strawberries on a sheet of parchment paper to dry
  • Allow strawberries to dry for about 15 minutes
  • In a separate bowl microwave the white chocolate chips until melted completely
  • Pour the melted white chocolate into a piping bag
  • Pipe on football stripes to each strawberry
  • Serve chilled

 

September Core and Carbs Challenge

4 Sep

core_outside_workout

This month we are challenging you to a stronger core while becoming more aware of how carbs affect your diet! We challenge you to try new recipes and workouts and let us know your favorites by posting to our Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter Page!!

Core:

  • Download the “Abs Trainer” APP for a step-by-step core workout.
  • Visit our “Hard Core” board on Pinterest for additional core workouts. ( http://www.pinterest.com/HealthAsWeAge/hard-core/)
  • Challenge yourself to a 30 minute core workout at least 5 days a week, the entire month of September!

Carbs: 

  • Start your day with whole grains, visit our “Carbs” board on our Pinterest page to find healthy breakfast recipe. (http://www.pinterest.com/HealthAsWeAge/carbs/)
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice. An orange has twice as much fiber and half the sugar compared to a 12-ounce glass of orange juice.
  • Include beans in your diet. Choose beans for an excellent source of slowly digested carbs as well as providing protein, leaving you fuller longer. As our seasons are begging to change, it is getting colder, which means it is the perfect time to make a batch of chili! Visit our “Low Cal Comfort Foods” Board on our Pinterest Page to view a few of our favorite chili recipes. (http://www.pinterest.com/HealthAsWeAge/low-cal-comfort-foods/)