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Welcome to Donna Marlor.com, your site for professional sports nutrition coaching. Donna is a registered dietitian and competitive athlete who "walks her talk". Her philosophy of nutrition coaching embraces a holistic approach, with emphasis on natural foods as the foundation for a healthy diet.

Follow her weekly blog on topics related to nutrition, metabolism and psychology.

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Archive for the ‘Health Tips’ Category
22Mar
Walnut Energy Bars – Homemade and Natural

Nothing but great nutritious ingredients in these gluten free bars! Perfect before a workout, for breakfast, or a good for you snack.

Energy bars are expensive and often made months ahead of when they are actually eaten.  Why not go for a homemade version?  Try this recipe from the California Walnut board.  Ingredients:  3 cups California walnuts, 1 cup dried cherries, 1 cup dried apricots, 1/2 cup honey…(see more).

18Jul
Diet for Recovery from Injury

I am finally putting up a post after many months of injuries.  First a diagnosis of a torn hamstring.  Just getting back on a road bike when WHAM! I was the recipient of a badly thrown rather large stick at the beach which my lab picked up.  Trying hard to put all healing at full speed I have pulled out the big guns: the anti-inflammatory, nutrient laden foods and supplements.  Six days post trauma and I can see, swelling down, and able to swim and walk a bit.  My top healing foods: blueberries, cherries, tomatoes with fresh basil, chicken soup and tea.  For protein, primarily tuna, wild salmon, gardenburgers and plain Greek yogurt.  Supplements of tumeric and ice packs every few hours.  

06Dec
Phytos Power Weight Control

Just today I was lending a listening ear to a fellow master athlete who was frustrated with his weight and lack of control over his appetite.  “It’s the kitchen counter thing…you can eat hundreds of calories just walking through the kitchen…before you even hit the shower”.  Ouch! And you know it. Those after work, late-day work-outs can really crank up the hunger meter.

Preventing weight gain once you hit the big 40 is an important goal if you self-power over gravity for any length of time.  The painless way to avoid weight gain is primarily through the route of a healthy diet.  What is the best choice?  The evidence is stacking up:  top foods on your kitchen counter should be whole fruits, whole grain foods, nuts and vegetables.  Read all about it in the latest study in Nutrition and Metabolism.

 

 

17Nov
“Winter” Mediterranean Salad

This salad is gluten-free, low in carbohydrate and a nice seasonal winter salad in place of lettuce.  Fennel is high in manganese, potassium, and vitamin C.  For variety, add artichokes, sweet red peppers and/or or kale.   The Mediterranean Diet  is recommended for weight control and heart health.

Ingredients – Dressing

  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) water
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt (to taste)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

For Salad

  • 2 cups (174 g) sliced fennel bulb (preferable organic)
  • 1-½ cups (240 g) thinly sliced red onion
  • ¾ – 1 cup sliced black olives
  • ¾ cup (45 g) fresh parsley, chopped (may sub dried, but not as flavorful)
  • ½ cup (75 g) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 can (15-1/2 oz, 439 g) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2- 15 oz cans diced red tomatoes, drained

Makes 12 (about ½ cup servings) NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS:  Calories: 112, Protein: 4.5 g, Carbohydrate: 12 g, Fat 5.5 g, Sat Fat: 1.1 g,Sugar 2.5 g, Fiber 3.5 g

09Nov
Get Leaner, Get Faster, by Understanding Carbohydrate Balance

It’s almost the holiday season. Cookies, sweet treats and alcohol are more plentiful than snowflakes.  How much can an endurance athlete “afford” to enjoy?  Recent studies have absolved high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from being any worse than sucrose, a.k.a “table sugar”.  But there is no question that too much of the sweet stuff – whether it is from HFCS or sucrose, or alcohol – can result in excess belly fat and a host of health problems.   Athletes with a large waistline and “apple” body shape may experience decreased insulin sensitivity, which means less access to energy when you really need it.  If you fit into this body type, no matter how many hours of training in your log, a high carbohydrate diet may not be the right fuel mix.   When excess belly fat appears, activation of adipokines, upsets normal carbohydrate metabolism and may make a high carbo diet the wrong choice even if you are training hard.  Rather than cutting healthy carbs (which all turn into glucose eventually), it’s smarter to focus on added sugars.  Fructose found naturally in whole fruit, vegetables, and dairy is quite low.  However, semi-prepared foods, fruit juice, restaurant foods and snacks can exponentially add sugar to your diet and you may not even realize it. For example, although Subway restaurants offer low fat, low sugar choices such as fresh vegetables, low fat meat, and 9-grain buns, the unsavvy consumer can put together a high sugar combination.  A 6-inch chicken teriyaki sub paired with a small fruizzle express totals up to 50 grams of sugar.  Like many condiments, sweet and sour teriyaki sauce is loaded with sugar, and the healthy sounding Fruizzle fruit drink is about three times as much sugar as a single piece of fresh fruit.  When it comes to holiday treats, be choosy.  Follow the one-a-day rule, and head for a shrimp cocktail or the smoked salmon instead.

SAMPLE LOW SUGAR MENU

Total Calories: 2400   Total Carbohydrate: 276 g, sugar 73 g, Protein 131 g, Sodium 2858 mg

Breakfast

Oatmeal instant, regular, Quaker 2 packets

English walnuts, 1 Tbsp

1 small navel orange

1 slice whole wheat bread (1 oz)

½ tsp Take Control margarine

 

Snack:

Fresh apple, 1 small

 

Lunch

Turkey & ham Subway SW, No oil

Apple, 1 small

Low calorie beverage

 

Snack

Rye Krisp crackers,3 each

1 oz (1 ind wrap stick) mozzarella cheese

 

Dinner

Chicken breast, 6 oz grilled or roasted, no skin

Large baked potato

1 Tbsp Take Control margarine

1 cup green beans

2 cups mixed green salad with 2 Tbsp Italian dressing

 

Snack

Apple, 1 small

 

SAMPLE HIGH SUGAR MENU

 

1 large banana nut low fat muffin (Dunkin Donuts)

1 Starbucks Frapuccinno coffee

8 oz Orange juice

 

Lunch

Chicken Caesar wrap (Chix-A-Fil)
Snack

16 oz Gatorade

 

Dinner

2 pcs. Lasagna dinner

1 slc Italian bread

1 cup mixed salad greens

1 T Italian dressing

 

Snack:

2 Muskateer;’s bar

1 package original flavor Sun Chips

1 Nutrigrain bar

Total Calories: 2753  Fat 83 , Carb 409 g, Sugar 205 g Sodium 4800 mg

 

20Sep
Healthy Fuel: Wild Salmon Loaf

Prep: 5 minutes   Cook 1 hour.        Makes 4 large servings          High protein – Gluten free – High Omega-3 fats

Wild salmon, eggs, and oatmeal make this a nutrient rich main dish, salad protein choice, or sandwich filling.   Let’s take a closer look at some of the ingredients and how they can help performance:  Egg yolk is a rich source of choline, which is found in acetylcholine, a key messenger between nerve and muscle cells during exercise. The yolk is also a rich source of lutein and vitamin E, important nutrients for eye and heart health.  Oatmeal    is a natural whole grain,  which lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease.  Wild salmon contains astaxanthin, a potent antioxidant, as well as healthy omega-3 fats which reduce inflammation.  

 Ingredients:

2 cups cooked, or canned salmon, flaked (1-14 oz can)  

½ cup uncooked, dry oatmeal   

2 eggs,  beaten             

1 medium onion, finely chopped  

2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley         

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice               

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce   

½ tsp salt              

¾ cup 1% milk                                                                                                          

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray loaf pan with food oil or dot with butter. Gently but thoroughly blend all ingredients.  Place in a loaf pan or casserole, uncovered.  Optional:  lemon pepper blend, season to taste

Nutrition per serving:  Calories 275, Fat 13.3 g, Carbohydrate 14 g, Protein 26 g, Sodium 958 mg

 

09Sep
Time-Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, Powerful in 6 Hours a Week

I was asked to review the latest update from Chris Carmichael and found the Time-Crunched Cyclist: Fit, Fast, Powerful in 6 Hours a Week to be everything the title promised.  Chris’s tips can help any endurance athlete who is super timed crunched to hang with the competition who have more time to train.  His book includes programs for road racing, cyclocross, mountain bike events, Gran Fondos, century rides, and multi-day tours-all in under 6 hours a week. The book is now available in bookstores, bike shops, and online.  Preview The Time-Crunched Cyclist at www.velopress.com/crunch.

Through his popular endurance coaching service, Carmichael noticed that many busy cyclists are unable to make performance gains using conventional training methods; they simply don’t have enough time to train. Carmichael Training Systems developed a new approach-the Time-Crunched Training Program-to help cyclists achieve competitive fitness and power without the impossible time demands of traditional training methods.

The Time-Crunched Cyclist shows cyclists how to build fitness on a realistic schedule by tapping the power of high-intensity interval workouts. Cyclists learn the science behind this alternative approach to training before performing the CTS field tests to get a baseline reading of their fitness.

8 comprehensive training plans include effective time-crunched workouts, nutrition guidelines, and strength training to develop the speed and endurance for a wide variety of cycling races and events. New programs for this second edition bring cyclists up to speed for cyclocross racing, mountain bike endurance rides, and show bicycle commuters how to turn their twice-a-day rides into effective time-crunched workouts.

Cycling is more fun when you are fit, and now great fitness is achievable for cyclists who thought their best performances disappeared with their free time.

16Jul
Natural Foods to Feed Your Gut

          Kimchi, miso, tempeh, kefir, sauerkraut.  Sauerkraut? Let’s be honest, if you’re from the Midwest, there isn’t a big chance that the post-marathon race food will stray much from beer, brauts, and maybe more beer. 

Before we throw out our favorite traditional fat-laden, high sodium favorites, let’s take a closer look at why our grandparents managed to live into their 90’s.  Well, at least, mine did, and they didn’t worry too much about eating summer sausage or hotdogs.  But they did  have a root cellar stocked with home canning.  Fermented foods such as pickles, beets, green beans, sauerkraut and corn were an essential part of their every day menu. 

A lot of today’s athletes might not realize that home canning is chock full of healthy probiotic bacteria.   Fermented foods provide gut-friendly bacteria that the gastrointestinal (GI tract) needs to balance the not-so-healthy bacteria.

Next time you finish a race and the food tent offers brauts or hotdogs, demand that natural sauerkraut be served – not the commercially pasteurized or homogenized as these processes will destroy the health promoting microorganisms.

If you are not into home canning, try products available from local farmer cooperatives, such as Hawthorne Valley Farms, or just make some in your own kitchen.

12Jun
WHOLE FOODS RECOVERY LUNCH – EASY AS 1-2-3

Feta-Walnut Sandwich with Heirloom Tomatoes  -  Prep time 15 minutes

Recovery is essential after a strenuous exercise.  Your body craves nutrients.  This nutritious sandwich fits the 3:1 recommended ratio of carbohydrate to protein for optimal recovery of your  muscles.   Fits vegetarian  and  heart healthy guidelines,  and best of all, a great taste.

 Ingredients:

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted    (Not sure how to toast, click here)

½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 small clove garlic (optional)

1/2 cup feta cheese

1/2 cup lowfat/low sodium cottage cheese

1/4 to 1/3 cup water or lowfat milk

1 teaspoon ground pimento or paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

6 to 8 slices of your favorite artisan bread, fresh or toasted

Extra-virgin olive oil

Ripe heirloom tomatoes – enough to slice thickly for 6 sandwiches

Oregano (dried or fresh) &  Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS: Read More

29May
Feel Your Racing Weight – NOW

I don’t know very many master’s level athletes who don’t carry an extra 5-10 pounds more than they did during their 20′s.  It isn’t so much a cosmetic issue, or health issue.  But when it comes to performance and injury potential, the difference is like carrying a stone in your shoe for an entire marathon. 

It is possible to train for speed, or through an injury with a LightSpeed Body Weight Support System Jordans_LightSpeed_Brochure_2 .  No need to get into a funk, and become a pizza and beer couch potato.   Designed by an experienced physical therapist, it is the answer to keeping your training on track.