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Monthly Archives: March 2013

  • Sweet Potatoes: Super Food for Athletes #8

    By Dietitian Ellen

    Sweet Potatoes are an athlete's super foodYou know Rihanna’s song, “Where Have You Been”? The one with this chorus: “Where have you been, all my life?” (Don’t make me sing it for you, you don’t deserve that punishment. I do not sing well.)

    This is the chorus I associate with my relationship with sweet potatoes. Where have they been all my life? Why did it take me so long to meet them? Well, I’m pretty sure the reason is that my parents strongly dislike sweet potatoes and we never, ever, had them in the house growing up. (Actually, my sister and I still have to smuggle them in during holiday celebrations at my parent’s house. Such rebels we are!) It took me until college to fully understand what a positive effect sweet potatoes can have on one’s overall happiness.

    Not only are sweet potatoes delicious, they are incredibly nutritious. Why else would they have made our top 10 list of super foods for athletes?

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  • Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan Am Cup: Alex’s Race Report

    By Pro Triathlete Alex

    Crane in SarasotaAfter having a great week training and chasing Strava segment KOMs in Bradenton, Florida it was time to get back to business. I had a great week riding through the gated golf course communities and finding gators in just about every little pond. Every training session out here was like training in a safari.

    We checked out the race course the weekend before the race, or at least we tried to check it out. Nathan Benderson Park is right off I-75 and meant to be the premier location for regatta races. This may be true, but it will take at least another year of construction before the park is up to par. We could only drive up to the far side of the park because the roads through the park (the same roads we would be racing on) were closed and still under construction. The whole place was just a big pile of dirt. Guess I better make sure I've got a spare wheel set in the pits and I'm going to be extra careful to keep my mouth shut during the swim. The water looks very milky and grainy from all the construction residue.

    Sarasota ITU Triathlon Pan Am Cup Venue

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  • Blueberries: Super Food for Athletes #7

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Blueberries are a super food for athletesRemember when you were young, it was the middle of summer and you were wearing your brand new pressed white shirt to the family picnic? Your mom politely, yet sternly, warned, “Do not get anything on your shirt.” As you made your way through the food line you could not resist adding the fruit pizza studded with rows of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries to your plate. Then remember when the big and juicy blueberry jumped off your plate and landed several inches above your belly button... and proceeded to blaze a bluish purple trail all the way down your shirt until it stopped at your shorts pocket... just as your mom glanced your way to ensure the shirt was still clean and acceptable for the family photo?

    No? You don’t remember that? Well, maybe that's just a memory that haunts me. I didn’t touch another blueberry for years, for fear that just touching the thing would somehow result in a stain on my shirt.

    When I began studying to be a dietitian and learning about the health benefits of blueberries, I figured it was time to face my fears. After all, blueberries are a great source of antioxidants, fiber, beneficial vitamins and minerals for brain health, and water, making them a top contender in our list of super foods for athletes.

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  • Gaggle of Girls Running Group

    by Lasara Boles

    Gaggle of Girls running at Kyle's BikesHave you ever driven through Ankeny, Iowa on a Monday evening and caught a glimpse of what appears to be a blinking Christmas tree bobbing down the bike trail, and then had a tough time explaining to the officer why you were swerving without sounding completely insane? If so, you may have already had your first exposure to The Gaggle of Girls running group from Kyle's Bikes in Ankeny.

    (If you have a women's running group where you live, please tell us about it in the comments!)

    What makes a "gaggle" anyway? Does it take two or three or more to be an official gaggle? I mean, they're definitely made of geese… right?

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  • Eggs: Super Food for Athletes #6

    by Dietitian Ellen

    Eggs: Super FoodQuestion: Is the egg all that it is cracked up to be?

    Answer: Absolutely. It may be *even more* than it is cracked up to be!

    Just like Greek yogurt, eggs are not complicated. Although they were given a bad reputation in the past for increasing blood cholesterol, research in the past 10 years has shown that one egg per day is not harmful and will not have a negative effect on blood cholesterol levels. It has been found that dietary cholesterol, such as the cholesterol found in eggs, has a negligible effect on cholesterol in the blood (which is what affects your risk for heart disease). It has also been found that, on average, dietary levels of cholesterol in a standard egg have decreased by 14%. These days, a standard large egg contains about 185 mg of cholesterol. (“These days”?! I must have spent too much time on vacation this week and started picking up the locals' dialect. Sorry, y’all. :) )

    So there you have it. Eggs are not as evil as they were once thought to be. (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting to make yourself a 12-egg omelet tomorrow for breakfast. One egg per day, two eggs every other day, or better yet, an egg plus an egg white every day would be a better choice.)

    Enough about defending the egg, let’s talk about the beneficial nutritional qualities that make eggs a super food.

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  • Clermont ITU Pan Am Cup: Alex's First Pro Race

    By Pro Triathlete Alex

    Alex Libin is one of our sponsored pro athletes this season. He grew up in Urbandale/West Des Moines, Iowa and now lives in the Iowa City area. He discovered triathlon in 2007, started getting serious about it 2010, and has turned pro just this year to take advantage of his final year of eligibility to race U23. We'll get a full bio of him put together, but right now we are excited to bring you his first race report. Check back again next week as he is racing again this weekend! And yes, we are jealous he's spending the week training in an outdoor pool in sunny Florida.

    Alex Libin's BikeTraveling for me is usually not an issue, and as a I woke up the morning of my flight to Clermont I felt like I had nothing but time to kill and get ready until my 2:10 p.m. flight. The day before, I got my bike all set up and ready to race at Kyle's Bikes (the brick-and-mortar half of Kyle's Bikes/Discount Tri Supply). I had disassembled my bike and packed all my stuff into my Ruster Sports Hen House bag. So I lazily ate breakfast, showered, and collected what I wanted in my carry-on bag onto the kitchen table. I could hear my phone blowing up downstairs over and over again. But no worries, why would someone be in a panic to call me right now?

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