triathlete nutrition
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Fully stocked frig for the week…

Many people call me crazy when it comes to food.  Sorry folks, in this case when it comes to triathlete nutrition, I am the sane one.  My husband is the one that trains 2-4 hours or sometimes even 6 hours a day.  He is the one that dawns spandex and swims, bikes, and runs for 11 hours for a race.  Me, I prefer to throw on a cute little pair of Lulus and pretend that I am coming from or going to yoga.  Come on, you know you do it, too!  Okay, I actually throw in a good run a few days a week and am still working out with my trainer…

I just really like supporting my husband, as he does me.  Every marriage should be about support and it can take many forms.  A big way I show mine comes in terms of preparing food.  I prepare snacks, meals, and nutrition each day, but I confess that I benefit from it, too.

I love food, but real food and great food.  Putting bread up to rise and coming back hours later to see it more than double in size and a bit airy thrills me.  Don’t get me started on the aroma when it comes out of the oven.

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Homemade bread fresh out of the oven…

Having a full bag of vegetable ends or left over bones to make broth is exciting to me.  (Okay, you are now probably thinking I’m not only crazy, but a little weird, too.)  BUT, peeling eggs, yuck.  Making the same snacks over and over or counting items for long ride nutrition, BORING!

So, I have managed to find a way to balance the crazy of a real food triathlete and me not getting bored.  But, believe me, there are days he does take a GU package…While I know you can buy prepackaged everything these days, it is so much better to prepare it all fresh when possible.  Plus you know the type of fruits, produce, etc. you are getting.

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A sample of snacks for my triathlete…

Here are my 10 Tips to Balance Triathlete Nutrition With Your Sanity:

  1. If you love food like I do, schedule your time in the kitchen so other things don’t get in the way.  I want to be able to totally concentrate on one activity that brings me such joy and peace of mind!
  2. Keep your food clean and real, but don’t beat yourself up if you cheat!
  3. Set a menu for the week and prep accordingly.  For example, dice onions for tonight and Wednesday and you can save a step later in the week.

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    Chopping for more than one meal really saves time…

  4. Spend some time learning about nutrition and serving sizes and calories.  Both David and Carl work with a nutritionist, who is nice enough to speak with us, too, but you can also find out a lot online and in books.
  5. Use your leftovers for other meals.
  6. Shake it up and buy a new cookbook.  My most recent addition isCleanSlate from Martha Stewart.

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    Some of my most recent purchases…

  7. Make snacks for the week, then you only have to assemble when they’re needed.  This can include prepping hard-boiled eggs and pre-washing and cutting fruit and veggies.
  8. Don’t always make dinner an all night affair.  Use our 30 Minute Healthy Dinners recipes or create your own!
  9. Pre-pack training nutrition with your athlete, such as brownie bits or items that last a long time, such as fruit chews.  David and I do this together, especially for his rides.
  10. Give yourself a day off during the week with either a freezer meal or go out.  You can even make it a date night!

So, with race season getting into full swing soon – our first races are in 4 and 6 weeks – I hope you find an easy way to handle the food issues in your household!

 – DANA

WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR SUPPORTING YOUR TRIATHLETE’S NUTRITION?