Stay Lean this Winter Tip #4: Don’t Delay…Get Right Back on Track


Stay Lean This Holiday Season

You are always just one good workout (or ride) or one good meal/snack from being right back on track.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ve tried over the last 10 years to encourage clients who’ve gone off track with healthy eating. Once you do this workout or have this good meal, consider yourself back “on plan.” No guilt, no lingering sabotage, just “on plan.” Move forward.

After all, it’s the Holiday Season, and you’re bound to have a few extra-rich, deliciously decadent meals.  Or, maybe even days.  If you want to stay lean this Winter, the trick is to get right back on track.

Don’t delay; get back to it as soon as possible. Don’t push off goals, don’t wait for the New Year, and don’t let one day of poor eating turn into a week, a month, or a “season” of poor eating.


Celery Vegetable SmoothieStop unhealthy eating in its tracks with an immediate day of extra “clean” eating. Focus on vegetables, and specifically celery, cucumber, and beets to help your body release extra fluids that are often retained after overeating salt and sugars.  By making a clean break from unhealthy eating, you’ll have a great starting point from which to continue healthy eating.  Try this Junk Food Overload Antidote Smoothie for a Clean Break if you overload on junk this Holiday Season:

Recipe of the Week: Junk Food Overload Antidote Smoothie


  • 1 cup Spinach or Greens
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1 stalk celery, including leaves
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • ice


Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.  Add water and ice as needed for desired consistency.  Serve at once and enjoy.


If you fall off the “healthy eating” wagon, don’t despair.  One good meal. One good workout, and you’re there. As far a jumpstart back on, a good “cleansing” type smoothie can really help.  And, the specific vegetables in this one help because they reduce bloating and fluids that are retained when you eat too much sodium and sugar.

When you’ve eaten too much junk food or a meal that just super calorie-rich, you feel the compounding effects of added weight and water retention.  In fact, both sugar and sodium can cause you to retain extra fluids.  These effects are well-known with sodium. With sugar, it’s more indirect, but every bit as potent.

When you eat sugar, it’s quickly digested.  It is broken down in the mouth, stomach, and intestines, absorbed and delivered to the liver, and sent out to the body as blood sugar.  Sugar in your blood is harmful (it hardens arteries).  So, your body must get it out of your bloodstream and into your cells for storage, where it’s less destructive in the short-term.  To accomplish this, your pancreas sends out insulin, a hormone that acts like a “key” and open up the cells so sugar can enter.

Unfortunately, insulin has a lot of negative effects as well, but it’s the lesser of the two evils when your body has to deal with rising blood sugars in the vessels.  Insulin promotes fat storage.  It also promotes water retention.

For cyclists, hydration’s important.  However, water retention from an everyday diet too high sodium or sugar off the bike causes bloating and swelling of the tissues (remember, our bodies act differently and can use sodium and fast carbs when actively training and sweating).  This fluid is not readily available or beneficial to fend off dehydration, and should not be confused with adequate hydration.  In fact, rather than being energizing to an athlete, bloated tissues only weigh you down and slow your ride.

Celery, our anti-junk food can help remove the extra water.  It has a gentle diuretic effect which quickly normalizes fluids without leaving your dehydrated.  If you feel overloaded, eating extra “clean” for a day and including foods like celery can help you break the sugar cycle and get you back on track for healthy eating.  Additionally, celery:

  • Is rich in Vitamin C, which promote good immune function and works as an antioxidant to reduce oxidative stress
  • Reduces blood pressure by reducing stress hormones and relaxing arteries to make them more elastic
  • Lowers cholesterol by increasing bile production which binds cholesterol in the gut and promotes excretion out of the body

Of course, it’s better to avoid overloading on sodium or sugar in the first place.  But, it happens.  And it is the Holiday Season after all.  Before you let the cycle of Holiday over-indulgence get you, stop it in its tracks and jump right back on that wagon.  Dedicate a day to clean eating with refreshing vegetables like celery, get out on the bike, and you’ll feel good as new.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Enjoy Your Ride
Pin It

Leave a Reply

Featured on these top sites

Check Out These Sites

Cycling 360 Podcast


Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

Sports Drink Homebrew

Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to

Nutrition Tips