Potatoes for Athletic Nutrition

As a blogger I get invited to all sorts of events, usually those announcing races. Sometimes though, you go to an event where you learn something new. I found out all about the humble potato and its potential for athletic nutrition at the Potatoes USA Workshop held last week at Epicurious in Shangri-La Mall East Wing.

Potatoes USA Dinner
Chef Sau del Rosario prepares tasty and nutritious potato dishes

With recipes from meal delivery service Diet Diva prepared by classically-trained Chef Sau del Rosario, we were in for a night ending in full and happy tummies.

I make sure I get my calories and nutrients primarily from whole, unprocessed foods. And I do eat anything offered to me (except if I’m allergic to it) in amounts appropriate to how much I have trained or will train that day or the next. So I was intrigued by their proposition that potatoes are an appropriate fuel source for athletes. Continue reading “Potatoes for Athletic Nutrition”

Junk That Junk Food!

It’s merienda time and the food cart is making its way to your desk. Will you pick up a sweet cupcake, a salty bag of chips, a cheesy white bread sandwich?

How about none of the above?

Junk That Junk Food!

There’s a reason it’s called junk food: though they might be tasty, they don’t usually have any redeeming nutritional value. The amount of processing their ingredients undergo strips them of naturally-occurring flavor, vitamins and minerals. In order for junk food to be palatable, manufacturers use a lot of fat, salt, sugar, and artificial flavorings. (Imagine eating unsalted corn chips or unfrosted, unflavored cereal. Cardboard, anyone?) You may end up consuming a lot of empty calories that contribute to your girth rather than your health.

If you’re making a conscious effort to eat healthier but can’t stop making the habitual raid on the supermarket junk food aisle, here’s how you can change your ways. Continue reading “Junk That Junk Food!”

Using the Oster MyBlend Personal Blender

Oster MyBlend Personal BlenderAfter a long training session, I’m usually a little too frazzled to prepare a proper meal. However, to maximize recovery and prevent muscle wasting, one needs to take in some nourishment within 30 minutes after a workout. This is when a nice shake comes in handy. I enjoy cool drinks on-the-go with Oster MyBlend Personal Blender. Its compact and functional design makes it really easy to whip up a healthy and filling drink just for me, and there’s less mess to clean up because I can use the blender canister as a drink bottle. :)

For a breakfast fruit shake, I always freeze some oranges and sliced pineapple overnight so that I won’t need to put ice into the blender to chill the drink. However, the Oster blade is strong enough to pulverize ice cubes.

Another favorite of mine is a banana-peanut butter-chocolate shake. I just pop a whole banana in, some ice cubes, a tablespoon of peanut butter, some water, then dump Milo over everything and blend. Instant recovery drink!

The best part is I don’t over-indulge because the serving size is good enough for just me.

Check out my Snapchat story below about making a pineapple-orange fruit shake. Continue reading “Using the Oster MyBlend Personal Blender”

Kikay Reviews: SOS Rehydrate Electrolyte Sports Drink

With the entry of so many different products into the endurance market these days, it’s a great time to be out there trying things out for yourself. Everyone is unique, especially when it comes to which food or drink supplement works best for them.

I first was able to try out SOS Rehydrate last May, when my Kiwi boss sent me home from Phuket with a box to try out. He said SOS Rehydrate was something three-time world champion Terenzo Bozzone adds to his drinking water, despite not being a formal endorser of the product. Intriguing.

SOS Rehydrate

So what is SOS Rehydrate? Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: SOS Rehydrate Electrolyte Sports Drink”

A First Look at Runner’s Kitchen

I am an admitted foodie and love a good meal especially after a hard run. At the same time, I want to make sure what I’m fueling my body with will help me perform at my best.

Last December, I joined the Run365 group on one of their Sunday runs at the University of the Philippines Diliman, and afterwards we adjoined to the newly-opened Runners Kitchen at Creekside Square, Tomas Morato cor. Kamuning. Here’s your first look at it…

Runner’s Kitchen exterior

Continue reading “A First Look at Runner’s Kitchen”

Kikay Reviews: e-Gel Electrolyte Energy Gel

After using certain energy gels for long-distance races, I’ve become wary of them due to the unintended bathroom consequences. :( Over time my gut has become intolerant of these former favorites, and I’ve gone so far as to avoid using them even in shorter events just because I don’t like my stomach roiling when I’m trying to enjoy post-race festivities.

When SWIMBIKERUN.ph admin Carlos de Guzman (no relation :P) sent me a box of e-Gels to try, I told him I would do so in training, since I’ve been desperately trying any kind of nutrition to see what could work for me in my upcoming races next year. I’d rather not have to chew bananas while running…

e-Gel by Crank Sports

e-Gel is low in simple sugars, made of high-grade maltodextrin, and is gluten-free. According to its literature, being low in sugar means it doesn’t spike blood sugar which can lead to a crash or bonk, and the maltodextrin is a complex carbohydrate that releases energy more evenly into the bloodstream. And with many people now becoming aware of gluten sensitivity, being gluten-free means a lower risk of irritating the gut.

e-Gel also sets itself apart from other energy gels by promising not just calorie replenishment, but also balanced electrolyte replacement. It has more than five times the sodium and twice as much potassium as other energy gels. This means that if participating in long events where electrolyte imbalance is imminent, you only need to carry e-Gels and drink water, instead of also having to carry an electrolyte replacement solution or tablet.

This is particularly important for me because I don’t seem to absorb sports drinks properly anymore (the drinks that contain a combination of calories and electrolytes). Instead I have to source my calories from solid food, and dissolve electrolyte tablets into plain water. While this has worked out for me in triathlons where I have bottle cages for water and the bike bento box to hold my electrolyte tablets and food bars, when I get on the run I have no time or inclination to carry a water bottle around to dissolve my electrolytes into.

I was able to use the e-Gels on two training runs; the first one quite hesitantly and only one gel packet. Then I spent the next few hours waiting for a call of nature, which never happened. So I was ecstatic about that! The next time I used the e-Gels was on a long run, and I took one before the run, and one halfway through. Again I waited for a gut reaction, but it never came.

So I finally used the e-Gel in a race, the New Balance Power Run. While with my previous gels I’d grown accustomed to the big hit of energy that follows after taking a gel, and then the need to forestall the crash by taking another gel, with e-Gel the energy was very constant and sustained. Because it has a more liquid consistency, I was also able to swallow it quite easily with a few sips of water at the stations. And I’m happy to report that I never got a hint of a cramp even while running at some of my fastest speeds over that distance.

Now I’m out of that sample box of e-Gels, but I can just as easily order more e-Gels from the SWIMBIKERUN.ph Online Shop. An e-Gel is P95/piece, which is about P10 more expensive than my former gel brand, but each e-Gel packet contains 50% more calories than the old brand; per 100 calories, e-Gels are more economical.

Check out these nifty comparisons (prices in USD$):
e-Gel vs. Gu
e-Gel vs. EFS Shot

Race-day nutrition is a tricky subject and everyone is unique. But it really is quite important to get the hang of so you can reach your full potential. I’m still fine-tuning my own race-day nutrition, which may be different in open running vs. triathlons. But I’m glad I have the e-Gel option now. :)

e-Gel is available from the SWIMBIKERUN.ph Online Shop, all Secondwind Running Stores, The Brick Multisport Store McKinley Hill, and All-Terra Cyclery stores in Ortigas Home Depot and Robinsons Galleria. Like their Facebook Page E Gel Philippines to get the latest news and updates.

Slimming Down for Summer

There used to be a time I went on a diet every March so that by April and May, the prime beach season here in the Philippines, I would have a bikini body to flaunt. That diet usually involved a strict regimen of boiled chicken breast, sweet potato, hard boiled egg, and coffee. It was definitely restrictive and not sustainable (it’s the “fashion week” crash diet my runway model friends used). By the time I was done with my beach trips, I was also done dieting and I would come down hard on all the food I’d felt deprived of. Bottom line, that summer body never stuck around too long.

my latest swimsuit pic after teaching a kid’s swimming class ;)

I actually haven’t had a real beach vacation in the last two years; most of my trips to sand and surf lately are due to triathlons! But because I’m training for endurance events, restricting food intake is out of the question.

I love food and eat most things (unless I’m allergic to them). My rule of thumb is moderation and only eat as much as I need to fuel my body. What I focus on now is the quality of the food I put into my body — what nutrients are in it, what are its health benefits, etc.

For example, right now I’ve just finished teaching an intense dance cardio class. I had some lunch, but still feel hungry. So I’ve made myself a snack of two slices of bread, lightly toasted, with kaya (coconut) jam and butter.

Great weather to have my snack outside!

This quiets my growling stomach and will keep me sated until dinner. I realize the jam and butter aren’t the best spreads, but they taste pretty good on the Gardenia Slim n Fit Wheaten bread I put them on. What’s nice about Gardenia Slim n Fit Wheaten bread is that it contains fiber that helps sweep away bad cholesterol in the body and keeps certain, ahem, functions, regular. It also contains L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps your body burn stored fat as energy. Goodbye, love handles! :D

These days I’m slimmer, and I’ve got triathlon and the right nutrition to thank for that. Now I’ve just got to plan that summer beach trip to show off my healthy, forever beach-ready figure!

Beach ready bod
Beach-ready. Now all I need is the beach!

To learn more about Gardenia Slim n Fit, log onto their website gardenia.com.ph/wellness, like their Facebook page facebook.com/gardeniawellness, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

Gardenia also has a promo running on Facebook this month of May. “Be Fit N Fly with Gardenia Health Breads and Tigerair”: they’re giving away bread packages, and the grand prize is free airfare for 2 to any domestic destination c/o Tigerair! Check it out. :)

This is a sponsored post for Gardenia Slim n Fit Wheaten Bread. View my disclosure policy.