Loving the BITE: My Day in Food & 2017 Goals
As a sports nutritionist and registered dietitian for over 15 years now, I’m often asked about my own food habits, both in daily nutrition and training. I’ve never actually laid it all out for readers, but after also being asked about this and my own 2017 athletic goals recently by several clients & readers, I thought I’d share both. So, at the risk of too much information or nutrition-shaming myself (ha!) or worse, boring you, here are my own 2017 athletic goals & a day in the life of my food choices:
Loving the BITE: Nutritionist Kelli Jennings 2017 Food, Fuel & Goal Tell-All
Breakfast & Morning Snack – I always start with my homemade mocha – this is about 1/2-3/4 cup of my raw cocoa chocolate milk mixed with ~10-12 oz. coffee – and, I like my coffee strong (I count this as my morning snack since I use whole milk & it adds up!). My breakfast is either: 1) 2 fried eggs & a whole grapefruit, 2) a slice of homemade sourdough bread with 1 triangle Laughing Cow Cheese, 1 sliced hardboiled egg and hot sauce (above), 3) Slow Cooker Protein Overnight Oats with homemade yogurt, OR 4) a homemade yogurt parfait such as the one below.
Lunch – Typically, I have a 1) smoothie, 2) a cup of chia pudding with fruit, 3) a egg salad sandwich, or 4) a baked sweet potato PLUS protein leftovers (chicken or another meat from a previous dinner). I always add a vegetable to lunch, and it’s usually greens in my smoothie or a raw carrot.
Afternoon Snack: This is almost always an apple, orange, or grapefruit.
Dinner: Always, loads of vegetables. Either 2-3 cups raw vegetables in a salad with goat cheese & avocado dressed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, 2 cups cooked vegetables (sauteed broccoli, roasted broccoli & peppers, etc.) cooked with avocado oil, coconut oil or butter, or a vegetable soup such as Broccoli Pepper Soup. Then, 4-6 ounces meat such as chicken thighs, pork loin, fish or grass-fed beef (cooked in avocado oil, coconut oil, or butter)- usually with a delicious sauce such as a curry, pesto or other fresh sauce – this is what keeps it interesting for me. In a pinch, it’s an organic rotissorie chicken from my local grocer (<$10!). I keep grains and additional carbs reserved for 1-2 cheat dinners per week when I have fish and chips or another treat. Somehow, as long as I use delicious sauces and switch up the vegetables, it doesn’t get old. I often have a whole-food carbohydrate such as potatoes or rice available for my growing kids and husband, if he wants it.
Dessert: 1 glass of red or white wine, most every night (unless I have a 4AM appointment with my skis or bike the next morning). I like wine more than sweet desserts. I cheat with this one 1-2 times per week with either a real dessert or a high-calorie cocktail such as a Moscow Mule.
Drinks: Water, green tea, black tea, or herbal tea. This is one area in which I need to do better throughout the Winter!
Sure my foods may seems a bit consistently boring, but it keeps meal planning easy:).
For weekday training (up to 1.5 hours in the early am) – During the Winter when I’ve got a 40-minute drive to get to the ski hill, I drink my mocha coffee for pre-training as it supplies about 20-25 gm carbs. I don’t use training nutrition during training <90 minutes (unless really high intensity in which case I’ll add lemon cookies or a gel). Recovery is raw cocoa milk with l-glutamine & bcaas. During summer weekday mountain bike rides & trail running – same as winter except I ride/run straight from my home within 15 minutes of waking up, so it’s usually some juice or a banana + a caffeine pill before training. If it’s hot, water or a homemade sports drink during.
Longer weekend training: Smoothie with sodium & caffeine for pre-training (75-100 gm carbs), homemade sports drink or carborocket + cookies, homemade bars, gels, etc every hour during training (60-90 gm carbs per hour), and raw cocoa milk with l-glutamine & bcaa’s after.
Short Weekday Training of <60 minutes: I do a 5 Cycle Workout and a Jump Rope Workout each week, and I don’t add extra food for either, just more water.
I only workout 4-5 days per week with 2 full days off – this has seemed to help me maintain motivation and energy during the last few years.
Supplements: Daily – Rainbow Light Women’s Multi, Barleans Fish Oil, 2000 IU Vitamin D, 200-400 mg magnesium, 500 mg vitamin C, 500 mg turmeric.
More Info & Disclaimers – It’s not an exaggeration to say that this is all 95% true. Of course during a vacation or a seldom “off week,” this might change, but consistency with fresh, whole- foods & homemade family dinners are a priority. I am 37 years old and (only) about 5’0″ at my goal weight, so I don’t need (or get to have) nearly as much as my 6’0″ male counterparts – not fair! I don’t count calories but I do eating slowly, listen to my body for fullness, and sort of know the portions I need as I’ve been mindful about eating for a while (it’s my job, after all!).
I’ve found that eating whole-food moderately-carb (with low-carb light-at-night dinners) has maintained my goal adult weight between & after having 4 kids along with my exercise/training…although I was a bit more purposeful about it all when losing weight after a 25-pound gain in college and having kids. This is also true for most of the clients with whom I work. My carbohydrate intake increases quite a bit for training as needed, but is consistent in daily eating. If I’m hungry, I add more good foods. If I’m out to eat (seldom) I have whatever delicious thing I want and plan it in as one of my 2 “cheats” for the week. I plan, look forward, to, and savor the cheats.
2017 Goals (the fun!):
- New PR’s for both routine routes uphill skiing at Loveland (Route A and Route B)
- Compete & Finish Breckenridge 5 Peaks OR Grand Traverse (Skimo)
- 90,000+ feet elevation gain from 1/1/17-5/1/17 uphill/backcountry skiing
- >=3 Backcountry skiing expedition (these have gotten tougher in terms of time & having 4 kids)
- White Rim in a Day <=8:55 ride time (my under 9:00 was pushing it in 2015!)
- New PR’s for >=3 weekly Mountain Bike and/or Road climbing routes
- Ride my bike at >10,500 feet elevation at least 6 times
- 125,000+ feet elevation gain on bike
- Run Grand Canyon Rim to Rim (fingers crossed)
- Consistently do 5-minutes of yoga (5 minutes per day, days per week – ain’t much but it’s the best I’ve got right now), and planking (5 minutes per day, 5 days per week)
- Continue to take turmeric, ginger & fish oil daily to avoid joint pain from 2016
- Foam/ball roll my IT bands, glutes, hams & quads at least 2-3x/week
- Take more cold showers after training for recovery – I really hate these.
- Most importantly, since I’m stuck with wrinkles one way or another, many more laugh lines than brow furrows!
That’s it! That’s what this sports nutritionist eats, drinks, does, and looks forward to. It’s busy, sometimes without enough sleep (which should be another goal), but it’s fun & I get to do much of it with kids and my husband. What about you? Do you think about all of this? Are you consistent? Do you plan cheat meals and then stick to whole-food, homemade eating most of the time otherwise? Do you need a better plan (I can help!)? What goals, and even more importantly, what habits to support your goals, have you set for 2017?
I hope you are motivated for a healthy, cycling-concentrated, fun year! And, those times you don’t stick with it, give yourself a break & then get right back to it.
Fuel Your Ride. Nourish Your Body.
If you’d like to work with Kelli one-on-one with a Custom Nutrition Plan & Coaching, or download one of her acclaimed Instant Download Plans like Fuel Right Race Light, click here: Apex Nutrition Plans for Endurance Athletes. Be sure to use coupon code lovingthebike for a 15% discount!