Workout Wednesday, guest blog post

I have the distinct honor to be featured as a guest contributor on one of my absolute favorites blogs in the world, Running On Veggies.  

The creator, Lottie, is based in Brooklyn, New York, and has a passion for eating clean, plant-based food, running, fitness and everything in between.  She's completed multiple races, is always running on the streets of Brooklyn (say hi!) and has one of the most beautiful and mouth watering Instagram in existence.  (@runningonveggies, go and follow her page.  Seriously).


My post is basically a "day in the life" snap shot of what a typical training day is life, complete with food, of course.  So, click HERE and head on over to Lottie's blog, read my post, and stick around to enjoy the rest of her site.

Hungry, yet?  Let me know what you think. 

The need for seed!

It’s no coincidence that one of my favorite flavors of Picky Bars is called 'Need For Seed'. I was late to the seed party shunning even sunflower seeds as a kid because I thought they were those gross things boys spit out at baseball games. Who knew they were full of valuable nutrients... and that my mom was very cleverly sneaking them into my oatmeal cookies, pancakes, granola mix and even in our meatloaf.

Seeds aren't as trendy as acai berries or wheatgrass but they are a timeless and affordable superfood and should be a part of your daily diet. They contain valuable minerals that athletes' bodies need for performance, rebuilding and immunity.

Hemp Seeds – An INPYN meal plan favorite – 10g of complete protein per serving, rich in Omega 3's, Magnesium and Vitamin E. In fact, hemp seeds do not contain any phytates, which means that the minerals in hemp seeds are easier for the body to absorb.

Chia Seeds – Loaded with fiber (10g), calcium and healthy fats, chia seeds are the perfect addition to a post workout smoothie; the omega 3's and protein help reduce inflammation boost muscle repair.

Flax Seeds – Rich in manganese, a mineral shown to help fight free radical damage, flax seeds are a big 'bang for your buck' food. They contain fiber, fat and lingans- phytonutrients that help regulate hormone levels and support the immune system.

Pumpkin Seeds – Grab a handful of pumpkin seeds for a magnesium boost. They are also a decent source of fat, fiber and zinc. Easy to add on top of salads and soups for a nice crunchy texture.

Sesame Seeds – Often overlooked, sesame seeds have manganese for bone health, zinc for immune health, and copper for energy and collagen production. They are also a great source of iron – something most endurance athletes need more of.

Seeds are easy to add to ANY dish – oatmeal, yogurt, stir-fry's, pasta, salads, smoothies and even pizza. 1-2 tbsp a day your body will be thanking you. 

Five Foods We're Loving This Month: July

One of my favorite ways to spend a Sunday afternoon is going to the farmer's market, loading up the basket, and then dreaming up healthy and tasty recipes for my athletes based on the ingredients I pick up. It can be a challenge trying to find new and exciting ways to grill chicken or prepare a salad, but when you try things you've never used before, every dish is a treat. 

In the summer, everyone wants light, refreshing meals. As endurance athletes, we want to make sure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to repair, rebuild, and recover. This month's edition of my monthly grocery list is all about things you'll find at the market in July and August.

Click HERE to head over to and find out what to grab at your farmer's market.

Jackfruit. What the heck is that?

A featured ingredient in my latest post over at is jackfruit.  Often lumped in with the 'tropical fruit' family, jackfruit is a flavorful summer treat.  The outer surface looks like a thorny green pear but the flesh inside is yellow.  Jackfruits are a nutritional bonanza:  High in potassium, protein and Vitamin-B, jackfruit is one of the rare fruits that offer a high dose of the complete B-Complex vitamins.  At about 95 calories for a 1/2 cup, they pack quite the nutritional punch.

Trust me when I say it tastes better than it smells.  The taste can be described as a 'mellow mango,' a little peachy and a little pear-like.  The texture is between a chunky applesauce and an overripe banana.  Vegans often use canned jackfruit as a meat alternative due to its thick texture and ability to absorb flavors.  My favorite way to use jackfruit is in a vegan taco.

This recipe from Vega is quick and easy to prepare and makes a great weeknight dinner: 


Hashtag happiness...

At INPYN, we are so excited when our clients and our friends get involved with what we're doing. One of those things is tagging #inpynapproved and #bestselfever on social media, specifically Instagram.  

With that in mind, here's a little love from our clients and friends using our hashtags.  Do you see yourself here?  If so, leave us a comment and let us know what you think of our collage.  If you don't see yourself, don't worry, we'll be sure to do this again-just don't forget to tag @inpyn on Instagram so we know you're using the hashtags :)

I'm a FATTY!

I love it, I believe in it and I depend on it!

I'm talking about the macronutrient FAT – somewhere in the mid 50's fat got a really bad rap. A brief history lesson – Eisenhower had a heart attack in 1955 and his health became a major topic of discussion. Because he ate sausage, bacon, a hamburger for lunch and lamb for dinner they immediately decided to cut fat from his diet (no one questioned the 4 pack a day cigarette habit, lack of fruits and vegetables or almost non-existent exercise routine) and people started questioning the role food plays in health.

In 1957 Ansel Keys published a 5 country “observational” study showing that the countries with the highest mortality rate had the highest levels of saturated fat in their diet and the countries with the lowest levels of saturated fat were living the longest (US/Canada worst and Japan/Italy best). From there the American Heart Association published a decree that in order to reduce the risk of heart disease you should reduce intake of saturated fat. From that point on – we saw the effects of the “Non-Fat” movement. Obviously we have not gotten any healthier – in fact we are MUCH worse that we were in the 50's in terms of obesity, type 2 Diabetes, heart disease and childhood mortality.

The question comes into play - “Do athletes need fat and how much?” The simple answer is yes, probably more than you're getting now and probably a different kind. This article isn't about ketogenic diets, training high fat/low carb or becoming fat adapted (that will be another post). My main concern is keeping athletes healthy and free from injury so they can participate in their sport of choice for as long as they like.

Fats provide our body with fuel and it is 100% necessary to maintaining health, performance and avoiding injury.  Fat is considered a 'protein-sparing' energy nutrient. This means that by consuming it you are allowing your body to use protein for muscle building and the production of enzymes, hormones and antibodies instead of for energy. Fat protects our organs, moves vitamins and minerals throughout our body and keeps our brains firing on all cylinders. Some interesting research data to support the need for fat in the athlete diet:

  • A study form the University of Buffalo found that female runners who got 30% of their daily calories from fat were SIGNIFICANTLY less likely to get injured than those who ate less fat.
  • Another line of research has shown that higher-fat diets increase fat oxidation during prolonged exercise and thereby increase endurance.
  • The most elite American endurance athletes maintain relatively high fat diets according to Men’s Health and Outside Magazine.
  • The European Journal of Sports Science points out that endurance athletes who maintain higher levels of dietary fat intake have a 19% lower rate of injury, a 31% lower incidence of illness and may athletes recorded better levels of recovery when maintaining adequate fat intake.
  • Female athletes who maintain adequate levels of fat intake are able to keep normal menstrual cycles thereby stabilizing hormones and maintaining bone health.

Working with a nutritionist is a great way to make sure you're getting the right amount of all the macro and micronutrients in your diet. Some of the healthy fats I love to include in my daily meals are: avocados, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, olives, cold-pressed oils, MCT oil, omega 3's from fish like salmon and sardines and yes – even the saturated kind from animals every now and then like steak, chicken thighs, ghee and bacon. 

Five Foods We're Loving This Month: June

It's easy to fall into an eating rut. Magazines promote the same healthy foods over and over again, we go with what's convenient and familiar or we just lack the confidence to go out and try new things. A fresh plate of new ingredients can make all the difference in your weekly meals. You'll add flavor, vitamins and minerals and in some cases be making much smarter choices for your waistline. 

In this month’s shopping guide, I decided to provide alternatives to some of our standard foods with the hope of adding new flavors to your plate. Head out to the farmers' market or your local grocery store and give these little gems a try.  

As you’re walking down the aisle, think of me as your own little food coach, whispering in your ear, "instead of that, try this."

To learn what "that" is, click HERE and head on over to  

Never Leave Home Without It...

The perfect title to my healthy travel post – the things I never leave home without! It’s race season and most of us will end up getting on a plane at some point in the next few months with a bag full of dreams, nerves and excitement...and a helmet, cleats, run shoes, racing attire, our Garmin...but, I digress. While the mandatory checklist of gear is necessary, I'd argue that there are a few essential items most people leave behind.

My biggest concern when flying the friendly skies, aside from 'will my bike make it. is keeping my health and immunity intact. Travel increases the stress on your immune system. You're exposed to radiation, nasty pathogens and toxic dry airplane cabin air. Nutritionally, there are a few things you can bring along to help mitigate these dangers and arrive at your race hydrated, healthy and ready to go!

Oil of Oregano
It has amazing healing and medicinal properties that simultaneously attack pathogens in the body while supporting the body with essential minerals and nutrients. It is anti-fungal, antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Oil of oregano contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper and potassium. I can say fairly confidently that this little gem is the key to staying healthy on the road. The quality of the herb is important – I use  Gaia Herbs Oil of Oregano because its 100% vegan, alcohol free for better bio availability, 1:1 full spectrum potency, and free of heavy metals and pesticides.

*Remember not to take it directly after a workout – its high in antioxidants and studies have found that antioxidants can inhibit muscle recovery and rebuilding.  

Not much beats airplane travel for radiation exposure, full body inflammation, production of free radicals and inhibition of muscle protein synthesis and muscle repairing circadian rhythm. Chlorella is a high-protein fresh water micro algae full of antioxidants, chlorophyll, B vitamins, nucleic acid for DNA and RNA building and offers a balanced supply of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Its true value comes from the CGF (Chlorella Growth Factor) which not only fuel your body's regeneration but also fuel our immune system. Chlorella attracts and captures heavy metals, bacteria and radiation so it’s one of the worlds BEST detoxifying agents. I trust and use Vega Chlorella daily, upping my dosage for travel, extra hard training blocks and after injury.  

SOS Hydration
Everyone knows that you lose water when flying, it seems obvious then that you just need to drink more. If only it were that simple. Hydration isn't just about water and as athletes we need added minerals and electrolytes before a big competition. I don't mess around with sugar free fake mixes, highly processed corn syrup 'Gatorade' type drinks or salt tabs. I use the BEST in the business – and trust me, I have tried them all. SOS Hydration correctly balances the amount of sodium and glucose to enhance the water absorption process. The shiny silver packets always attract attention and I'm happily drinking, assured that I'll be ready to race at my best. Mark my words...before too long, airlines will be giving away (or charging $18/pack for) rehydration solutions to every passenger!!! 

Foods To Avoid

  • Airplane food and processed snacks (these increase inflammation inside the body and mess with digestion).
  • Sugary treats and beverages (eating or drinking 8g of sugar can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by up to 40%).
  • Caffeine (it over-stimulates the central nervous system, inhibits testosterone production and causes dehydration).

Well there you have it, a 3-step simple travel pack that every athlete needs for healthy travel. What things are on your MUST HAVE travel list? 

Proper Hydration=Peak Performance

There really isn't a gray area when it comes to hydration- either you're doing it right or you're doing it wrong.

Hydration is science; it refers to maintenance of water in your blood and correlates to a very definitive molecular formula. As an athlete, think of hydration as your body's cooling system and performance pump. Just a 2% loss in body weight due to dehydration can reduce athletic performance by a staggering 20%. Yes, you read that correctly... all the months of hard work and grueling training sessions can be negated by dehydration. In addition, for every liter of fluid lost: your core temperature increases, heart rate rises, glycogen stored in muscles are used more rapidly, and lactic acid increases.  

A very basic primer on how the body functions: there is no 'plain' water in the body. It's a mix of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride) and glucose. 95% of your fluid absorption takes place in the small intestine via the 'Sodium Glucose Co-Transport System'. One molecule of sodium is pulled from the small intestine into the blood vessels by one molecule of glucose; subsequently, water gets absorbed as it always follows sodium. Too little glucose and not enough sodium gets absorbed – too much glucose will slow absorption and cause GI distress.  


Immediately after prolonged training or events, athletes can be dehydrated, mildly hypoglycemic (lower than normal blood glucose levels) and have low electrolyte levels. Low blood glucose levels can be dangerous as glucose is the primary source of fuel to the brain. Good hydration within 45 minutes of a training session or event is essential to recovery. Fluids along with protein and carbohydrates soon after will help avoid injury and help to repair and rebuild damaged tissue.

While there are almost as many different hydration products as there are reality-star “housewives” on Bravo, there are very few that actually work to keep you from getting dehydrated. Zero calorie hydration options don't work (as explained above you need glucose to transport sodium) and high simple sugar options (most commercial sports drinks) don't work because they require more fluid for effective absorption. Fancy waters (coconut for example) help with hydration but they are not a solution for competitive endurance athletes and best left as a smoothie add in or post party beverage. I use and highly recommend SOS Hydration. It completely changed my training and performance and I've seen it work with countless athletes and professional teams. There are other good options; Osmo and Skratch Labs are also on my list of approved mixes.

SOS Mountain.jpeg

Key points to remember:

  • Hydration is an ongoing process and requires a daily balance from the foods you eat and the fluids you consume.  It is especially critical 2-3 days BEFORE race day.
  • Hydration is essential for optimal performance.
  • Hydration aids recovery.
  • Most 'hydration' products don't actually work-choose wisely.
  • Drinking water is NOT enough in endurance sports.