Monthly Archives: February 2012

Carbs (CHO)…friend or foe

On Blast:  CHO…love ’em or leave ’em?

Did you know that…

  • Your brain runs on carbohydrate.  For healthy individuals, it is not recommended to consume less than 180g per day!  More for endurance athletes.
  • CHOs are the primary fuel for many types of physical activity.
  • Consuming CHO before, during, and arter exercise can be imperative for optimal performance.
  • Inadequate intake can result in difficulty maintaining activity.
  • CHO are the preferred fuel for high-intensity work.
  • The only source of high-intensity/short duration fuel can be glucose (a CHO).
  • Carbon for Carbon, fat ( 4.62 kcal/L O2) delivers more ATP (energy) than CHO (5.10 kcal/L O2), but requires more oxygen to do so…so the end equation shows CHO to be the best fuel source.
  • A low CHO diet (5% of diet) will provide only 1/5 the muscle storage glycogen than a high CHO diet (82%) in athletes.  Think about that.  You will only be able to do 1/5 the workload on a low CHO diet.
  • In another study, runners on a high CHO diet covered a 30k distance faster than those who consume a diet with a normal level of CHO.  They had greater muscle glycogen stores = more work accomplished.  They did not run faster in the beginning, but the stores prevented them from slowing in the end.
  • CHO loading was more effective in men than women.  Women tend to have higher fat oxidation  (burning) and lower protein/CHO oxidation.  Men tend to burn more protein and CHO during intensity.  Therefore, it tends to benefit women less and men more to load up on CHOs before an endurance event.
  • Research shows that consuming ~4.5g CHO*/kg of your body weight (2.2 lbs = 1 kg) 2-4 hrs before exercise will help restore CHO reserves in muscle, maintain blood sugar levels, and improve endurance performance. (*The closer to the event, the less CHO you should eat and the more time before the event, the more CHO you should eat.  Just prior to event, just eat what you need to stay hydrated.)

Verdict:  You better learn to love them (especially if you’re an athlete), but choose your CHOs wisely!


A Skinnier Margarita…for you and your wallet

Just in time for the weekend!!!  My friend Robin and I decided that we wanted a margarita the other night, sans the calories.  Thus, we created our version of a really skinny margarita.  Tweak it how you will, but at 115 kcals, this is a GREAT drink! 


  • 1 large lime
  • 1 fl oz (or 1 shotglass) tequila
  • shaved ice
  • 1-2 packets of Splenda or Stevia


  1. Fill a 4 oz glass halfway full of shaved ice.
  2. Squeeze the juice of 1 large lime into the glass.  Make sure it’s a juicy lime!
  3. Add 1 shot (or 2 fl oz) of tequila to the glass.
  4. Add 1 packet of Splenda or Stevia (2 if you really would like it sweet).

Nutrition Info (4 oz)- Makes 1 margarita

Calories 115, Fat 0g, Sat fat 0g, Chol 0mg, Sodium 1.1mg, Carb 2.5g, Sugar 0.5g,    Fiber 0g, Protein 0.1g

Chocolate Pomegranate Drop Cookies


This is a recipe that I started playing with last year.  I wanted a high fiber sweet snack to satisfy sweet tooth cravings.  Just to warn you…this cookie packs a fiber punch.  hahaha!  Enjoy.


  • 1/3 cup bread flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup Uncle Sams cereal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ T cinnamon
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dried pomegranates
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine flours and next 3 ingredients.  Stir with a whisk.
  2. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. 
  3. Add applesauce and brown sugar, stirring until smooth. 
  4. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture.  Beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.
  5. Add pomegranate, vanilla and egg.  Beat until combined.  Fold in chocolate. 
  6. Drop dough 2 inches apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. 
  7. Bake at 350F for 10-12 min. Cool completely on wire racks. 

Nutrient Break (per cookie) – Recipe makes 48 small cookies

Calories 67, Fat 2g, Sat fat 0.5g, Chol 9mg, Sodium 5mg, Carb 7g, Fiber 1g, Protein 1g

Beer on the Run…Still in the Clear?

On Blast:  Beer as an Ergogenic Aid

Pic Source

I’ve posted recipes, gadgets, and food deals…it’s time for an article.  My latest reads are on ergogenic aids.  No, I’m not talking about those expensive, modern-looking chairs that make your back feel better– those are ergonomics.  I’m talking about supplements and enhancers that people take to improve their physical performance.  :o)

According to a great article in American Family Medicine, 76 to 100 percent of athletes in some sports are reported to use them. Typically, these include vitamins, steroids, amphetamines, creatine, caffeine, and various others.  The one that struck my eye was…alcohol.  I have been noticing an upward trend of runners being offered beer as ergogenic aid during various races.  These were time-chipped races, so I have to ask why?  And this is what I’ve found.

Side Effects

  1. Alcohol is not the greatest for energy balance.  One beer will afford you about kcal 150, CHO 13g, and 13g alcohol, which is metabolically costly. It requires more oxygen to metabolize each gram of alcohol than any of the other substrates involved.  This can affect the rest of the body’s energy metabolism. 
  2. Although it reduces anxiety, it also acts as a depressant. 
  3. During events of long distance running, alcohol can decrease the liver’s glycogen production, as well as the stomach’s release of glucose.  Science jargon…what does that mean for me? It means that the runner can have lower blood sugar later in the event, which can affect performance.
  4. The end result of alcohol intake is dehydration, which is detrimental for muscle performance, energy level, and runner safety.

The Verdict:  Save it for the after party.

Great Magazine

This is one of my favorite magazines and there are several reasons why I feel that way (and no I’m not receiving any money for saying this–haha!).  You can also sign up for free weekly recipes and info on their website.

  1. Great recipes!!
  2. The recipes are budget friendly and easy to prepare
  3. All of the recipes are edited by Registered Dietitians
  4. These diabetic recipes are usually lower in saturated fat, use whole grain products, and include fresh ingredients
  5. It’s inexpensive– $16 for 2 years!
  6. I trust the info that is relayed
  7. There is plenty of info included other than diabetic information, such as general health, exercise, current news, gadgets, etc.

Whole Wheat Agave Energy Bread Breadmachine Recipe*

Ever since my dad took me to Great Harvest Bread Company in San Antonio, I have been obsessed with energy breads.  If you haven’t tried their’s, you are missing out!  This is an easy breadmachine recipe I was playing around with yesterday. 


  • 1 ¾ cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur)
  • 1 ¼ cup bread flour
  • 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (I used bread machine yeast)
  • 1 1/8 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup Agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Almond oil
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup flax (I like Uncle Sams cereal)
  • Oatmeal for sprinkling on top


  1. Add the dry ingredients (including the yeast) into the bread machine container.
  2. Add the wet ingredients on top of the dry ingredients.  Make sure the water and melted butter are not warmer than 100F or you can kill the yeast.  It does need to be warm so that you do not “shock” the yeast.
  3. If you are making dough, turn the machine on the dough cycle.  If you are baking it in the machine, place it on the 1lb/light/wheat bread cycle.
  4. When dough is ready, punch down (not too much or your dough can get gooey and have tunnels), and allow to proof in an airtight bowl covered in plastic wrap.  I also cover mine with a towel to prevent light from getting in.  Dough should proof for 30 min.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a loaf pan with non-stick olive oil spray. 
  6. When dough is ready, place dough in loaf pan and cook for 40-45 min.  Sprinkle with oatmeal, if you’d like.  The bread is ready when you see a golden brown coloring.
  7. Serve warm!  This recipe is so yummy that you do not need butter, jam, or any sweetener–it’s great by itself!

Nutrition Info (per slice)- Makes 1lb or 16 slices

Calories 149, Fat 5.7g, Sat fat 1.3g, Chol 3.8mg, Sodium 148.3mg, Carb 21.7g, Sugar 4.1g, Fiber 2.8g, Protein 3.5g

*This is a healthy adaptation from the “Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe” on by Kathy NowellThis is a GREAT afternoon snack.  Keep in mind that oven temp and cooking time might change, according to your location’s atmospheric elevation.

Introducing the New Meat Label!

Finally, the New Meat Label

I like it!!  Something to remember:  “the numbers are based on 3-ounce cooked portions of meat…and raw beef shrinks by about 25% in cooking.” 


Simple math.  If you buy 1lb of ground beef, that is the same as 16 oz (because 1lb = 16 oz).  Beef shrinks by 25%.  That means that the edible portion of what you have just bought is approximately 75% of 16 oz, which is 12 oz.  One serving of meat is 3 oz, so you will have cooked 4 portions (12oz/3oz = 4 servings).  Just remember that when you buy meat, you will only be serving 75% of what you are buying.

1lb meat = 16 oz meat

16oz x 25% (percent shrink) =12 oz

12oz / 3 oz portions = 4 portions of 3 oz (about the size of a deck of cards)

Another reason to buy from farmers…

Butterball workers arrested on animal cruelty charges

I can’t wait to see how the company addresses this.  Should be interesting

Childhood Obesity

Why is it so hard for kids to lose weight?

This is a great read, especially for parents.  The article talks about childhood obesity, obstacles, and environmental/social pressures.  Kids are faced daily with the pains of growing up.  Why not give them a leg up and make things a little easier on them?  When preparing snacks and meals, show kids they are your investment and teach them while they’re young to make healthy choices.  Food should never serve as a reward, especially unhealthy food.

Black Bean Corn Salsa


  • 15 oz canned No Salt Added black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 11 oz canned No Salt Added corn, drained
  • ¼ cup Serrano chile peppers (seeds removed)
  • 2 medium Tomatoes chopped
  • ¼ cup Fresh cilantro
  • Key lime
  • ¼ cup Chopped white onion
  • ½ tsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Whole wheat chips or cucumber slices


  1. Mix together the first 8 ingredients.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator if not served immediately.
  3.  Serve with whole wheat chips or cucumber slices

Nutrition Info (per ½ cup serving)- Serves 14

Calories 38 kcal, Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 120mg, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 1g, Protein 2g