Welcome to Donna, 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.


Archive for the ‘News’ Category
Climate change and rising CO2 will reduce quality of food

Rising CO2 levels are affecting the protein level of our plants.  Just as it is for human muscle synthesis, nitrogen is essential for plants to grow protein.  High CO2 levels have been found to reduce plant protein in wheat, rice, and barley.

Climate change and rising CO2 will reduce quality of food.

Change Your Body in Under a Month


Thurs Oct 24-  You Can Change Your Body, Rejuvenate Your Skin – in Under a Month!

Donna Marlor, RD, BSN will present a unique, but simple nutritional approach to jump start weight loss and improve skin health.

In less than a month, you can feel more energized and youthful!

Donna will share:

  • How to boost natural immunity and decrease fatigue
  • What foods naturally promote fat loss

A 4-day detox menu to jump start weight loss & skin health

At Lakeshore Skin Care from 6:00 – 6:30 Thursday, October 24th  Q & A follow

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.  

Running Injury Prevention Seminar: Get leaner, run stronger, and beat fatigue

Saturday, March 23, 2013  -5th Annual Run Injury-Free Seminar

New Brighton Community Center,  10th Street NW, New Brighton, MN 55112

Join fellow athletes and keynote speakers Scott Christensen and Donna Marlor for a running seminar on March 23, 2013.
Learn first-hand from sports medicine physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers on how to run injury-free.

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.


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


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



Fresh apple, 1 small



Turkey & ham Subway SW, No oil

Apple, 1 small

Low calorie beverage



Rye Krisp crackers,3 each

1 oz (1 ind wrap stick) mozzarella cheese



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



Apple, 1 small




1 large banana nut low fat muffin (Dunkin Donuts)

1 Starbucks Frapuccinno coffee

8 oz Orange juice



Chicken Caesar wrap (Chix-A-Fil)

16 oz Gatorade



2 pcs. Lasagna dinner

1 slc Italian bread

1 cup mixed salad greens

1 T Italian dressing



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


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.  


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


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

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.

Fluids, Electrolytes and Optimal Race Performance


Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, muscle cramps and heat stroke are four good reasons why every athlete should understand the basics of fluid physiology.   Quite simply, what you don’t know can be deadly.  Let’s take a look some facts and myths about balancing fluids and minerals correctly and racing “responsibly” for the conditions.

Fluid Balance Basics

Q: I have heard that drinking as much water as possible the day before a race is a good way to make sure your body is fully hydrated for racing.  Is this true? Read More

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.

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.