National Nutrition Month: Youth Athletes

Good morning!

I hope all is going well on your side, wherever you may be :)

Since March is National Nutrition Month I thought we could tackle the tough call of youth nutrition.

Our youth athletes nutrition needs differ from that of us old fogies, so we need to address some common concerns and mistakes as well as some thoughtful ways to help our young athletes thrive.

WATER.

Youth athletes (aged 8-18) dehydrate much faster than adults. In fact, they can dehydrate 40% faster than most adults in the same sport. So, it’s very important that we encourage our athletes to stay hydrated in a variety of ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Nix the sodas on game and practice days.
  • Pack a bottle of water for lunch.
  • Remind them to get a drink from the fountain EVERY time they pass it.
  • Pack or take water to them for the game and/or practice.
  • On very hot days or practices lasting longer than 60 minutes, make sure they have a beverage to replace electrolytes. I prefer G2 for my athletes, but regular Gatorade is fine and can be watered down to reduce the sugar.

As you can see, it’s not about the time spent practicing. The majority of youth athletes ENTER practice and games already dehydrated! If you have a young athlete in your home, the responsibility is YOURS to educate them on hydration and cut the sugar and sodas out to ensure proper mental focus and muscle repair during periods of training and playing. Encourage them to drink throughout the day and they will begin to feel and see a difference in practice.

Pre-Game/Practice Fuel

Unfortunately, here the schools will not allow student athletes to eat prior to practice or games. Since lunch times often fall before noon and practice can extend past 6, many athletes are under nourished during game time and practice. If the school doesn’t allow it, what can a parent or guardian do? Lucky for us, we have resources to help :)

Many companies such as Gatorade now offer pre-game solutions. Gatorade has a carbohydrate chew that is safe for youth athletes (12 and up) and provides fast digesting carbs to fill the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. This is precisely where we get energy. Youth can run out of these stores faster than adults simply due to the growth process. The trick with these is to remind your student to drink LOTS of water with the chew, otherwise it can upset the stomach.

A more whole foods approach can be found in certain bars.

My favorite for my guys is the Come Ready Nutrition Bar.

Come Ready Bars

I’ve spoken about this bar before and truly believe in it. It has a very good nutritional profile with ingredients you recognize. The taste is far beyond other bars on the market AND if you get them from your local Costco (mine is in the Galleria area in Houston), you pay less than $1 a bar….that makes it easy to share with the whole team. Go YOU!

If Costco isn’t working for you or nowhere near you, I recommend a virtual trip to Bodybuilding.com

Now, if your athlete has an issue with gluten** you’ll be glad to know that Come Ready Nutrition now has gluten-free kids bars that can help to fuel your athlete without the fuss. Check out more on those bars HERE.

Timing is key, so I have my kids take a bar to school. Before practice they can usually eat 1/2 the bar while dressing and then they eat the other 1/2 after. During games, I take a bar and meet them at the bus. Just last week my daughter had a tennis match and the coach told her she couldn’t eat her bar on the bus, so my daughter ate it with lunch (they love the bars). SIDE NOTE: most coaches have English or Math degrees and know NOTHING about nutrition. You CAN take food to your child pre game or practice….that is YOUR right as a parent or guardian. Moving on…..that match my daughter had a very hard time focusing and her energy was all over the place. THIS week, my husband took a bar to the match and she ate it when she got off the bus….her doubles won and she had focus and energy to spare.

Hydration and nutrition play the largest role in energy output, yet we do nothing to equip our athletes for success. Give them a fighting chance to be the best they can be!

Remember, nutrition matters :)

 

**Another side note here, because as a professional I feel it must be said: IF you think your child has an issue with gluten, PLEASE have them take a simple blood test with their doctor. By preemptively pulling gluten from their diet because you read something on Google, you can actually end up doing more harm in the long run. I know gluten-free is a big deal right now…..but fat-free was big in the 80′s so please proceed with caution. Same goes for yourself. If you think you have an issue, ask for a test from your doc to confirm.

 

 

National Nutrition Month Close: How to Get from A to Z

Hello Lovelies!

As we end the month of March (yes, END!) I wanted to share a few key point that will help in your journey.

Let’s recap just a little though…

THIS was me on January 13th of 2014.

Januray 13 2014

It’s not the worst shape those abs have ever been in, but I wasn’t doing too well internally and my nutrition focus had become quite distorted. Even the most learned of nutrition professionals can resort to lifelong habits…

So, here was my plan:

  1. I entered a contest online (hey, everybody’s watching then)
  2. I set upon research about tried and true nutrition…not diets
  3. I started logging foods like a mad fool….but always making sure I logged the time of day, how I felt before and after
  4. I changed my workouts several times to find what suited my body
  5. I focused on NUTRITION, not food

March 20 2014

This pic was taken February 13,2014

This was upon the implementation of HIIT training.

Now, HIIT seems to be confusing most people, so let’s get to it:

H- High

I- Intensity

I- Interval

T-training

Some people will try to sell you a magic HIIT formula, but that’s bogus. HIIT is a style of training. Here is what mine looks like (I use a Tabata timer, and I will save that for another post): I pick 5-10 exercises, depending on if I am focusing on certain body parts OR total body. I set my timer and hit it HARD from start to finish. HIIT in truly about intensity. That means I can cut my workout time down to 20-40 minutes and still see results.

Come March…I was losing my butt (everything I have back there is built, not blessed!). So…my eating style changed to accommodate some internal digestive issues (don’t judge, we all get them!) AND I switched my training up a bit…

rockin abs

This pic was taken March 23, 2014 I was pretty pleased with my abs since genetics will dictate those puppies don’t pop. When I tell you I work HARD for that, I’m not lying.

So what changed?

I gave Intermittent Fasting (the LIFESTYLE, not the diet…) a try. I’ll be going over this style just a bit in the Nutrition Boot Camp and will blog about in a couple of months.

I kept the HIIT workouts on 2-3 days per week, but added HEAVY, slow lifting  3-4 days per week (note: I usually workout 5-6 days per week).

Do I sweat as much lifting heavy weights only 4-6 times? Maybe not right off the bat, but THIS style has been proven to rebuild the metabolism by changing the hormones. Does it work? For me, it does :)

So, what do I suggest to YOU?

  1. Get to know YOUR body. Strop following what other people are doing…cause you totally know you just wrote down what I did. Stop that! Can you pick something to try? Yeah, give it a few weeks and see how you respond.
  2. Track your macronutrients. This is the pivotal point that will change EVERYTHING. How? I cover that…in the Nutrition Boot Camp!
  3. Be a little flexible. Be willing to make changes as needed.
  4. Get help. Whether it be nutrition or training, seek out a little extra help to get you there.
  5. Set your goals and be CLEAR. What do I mean? Well, I had to ask myself this question: “Do I want to be super lean OR really strong?” Is it impossible to be both? Not really, but you can’t train for both at the same exact time. Right now, I would like more muscle to my frame and I want to challenge my strength. Therefore, my eating and training will suit those demands.

Follow these guidelines to push you towards your goal and you’ll see results…maybe in just a couple of months :)

Michelle

 

 

National Nutrition Month: The intro into the bare basics of nutrition

Need more help?

Check out the NUTRITION TAB for information on Nutrition Boot Camp and Nutrition Counseling.

National Nutrition Month: Nutrition for Weight Loss

 

I love videos! So entertaining right?

Tough Love Tuesday is making a comeback on Friday to help you reach your weight loss goals.

Stay healthy,

Michelle

 

National Nutrition Month: ALL about Calories

Today’s video explains what calories are and how to make them work to your advantage.

For extra help with your nutrition check out the NUTRITION tab.

National Nutriton Month: Nutrition Label Reading

Who ARE those cute blondes?!?! :)

Fear not, it’s just my daughter and me from a couple of years ago. Label reading hasn’t changed, so get up to date on your most powerful health tool.

Need help with your nutrition? Click on the NUTRITION tab to see how I can help YOU :)

 

It’s National Nutrition Month!

Welcome to National Nutrition Month (and a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you as well!).

This month I will be highlighting what I love most: FOOD!

I’ll be working to get you back into the kitchen with easy recipes and meal prep, as well as chats about proper nutrition and all the nutrition tricks needed to get the most health out of your body. I’ll focus on education and fun as well. Food shouldn’t be boring, even if you’re trying to lose weight! You’ll get the insider track on eliminating digestive disorders and meal prepping like a pro so dinner can be on the table in less time than it takes hitting a drive through.

Remember, it’s NUTRITION, not exercise, that can make or break your health and wellness goals.

Be on the lookout for more and sign up over to the RIGHT ==========> to make sure you’re in on all the goods (even some freebies and sales THIS MONTH ONLY).

See you tomorrow!

Michelle

michelle3

 

A Sweet Post Workout Treat

 

This Smoothie is great for brightening the skin tone and replenishing lost fluids and nutrients during your workout.

It’s whole foods based, but you may add 1/2 to 1 whole scoop of protein powder if you feel it’s needed.

BERRY SLIM and SMOOTH

Ingredients:

1/4-1/2 cup each: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries

touch of raw honey (optional)

1/2 cup brewed red Rooibos tea

Almond milk to desired consistency

ice cubes

Blend until smooth and enjoy. If cardio was too much and you find yourself overheated, add a few mint sprigs to cool off :)

Stay active, Stay alive!

Michelle

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