Greens, Greens, and More Greens! 3 Quick & Easy Ways to Add More to Your Diet

Greens are so important to incorporate into your daily diet — they are nutritional powerhouses, and rich sources of minerals (plus, they are super low calorie)! (And… they were named one of the 10 most essential types of foods for endurance athletes by Triathlete Magazine)

Here are my three favorite ways of incorporating greens into my daily diet:

Kale Juice

Even if you’re not trying a cleanse, kale juice is a great way to fill up on some greens during the day. I like to have some in the morning and after workouts.

Some kale juice after a run last week! We buy locally from a place called Nectar Cafe in my town.

Some kale juice after a run last week! This juice is bought locally from a place called Nectar Cafe in my town.

Kale Chips

Make your own… they’re super tasty and SO healthy! The only ingredients are kale, sea salt, and olive oil.

Easy & Yummy!

Easy & Yummy!

Simple Salad with Bella Dressing

I try to have a mixed green salad with my favorite dressing every day. (Bella’s balsamic dressings are AWESOME… I like the pomegranate and strawberry flavors. They only have 10-20 calories per serving, and 2-5 grams of sugar). Simple salads are a great complement to a meal if you’re really hungry and need a quick fix — and can serve as its own meal if you add some protein (like chicken or steak) and other toppings (I like strawberries, almonds, and raisins)!

Best. Dressing. Ever.

Best. Dressing. Ever.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate greens into your diet?

Tri Hard,

Caity

Some Favorite Healthy Snacks

Proper snacking is an important part of a daily balanced diet –especially when training! I have a lot of favorite healthy snacks that I stick to on a daily basis.

See below for some of my go-to favorites!

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  • Erewhon Gluten Free Rice Cereal & Almond Milk (about 140 calories/bowl)
  • Hummus & Think Healthy Rice Thin Cakes (2 tbsp hummus – 70 calories/3 crackers – 54 calories)
  • Just Great Stuff Powdered Peanut Butter (2 tablespoons – 45 calories)
  • Pure Organic Wild Blueberry Bars (200 calories)
  • Quick & Easy Salad – mixed greens & raspberry vinaigrette (30-60 calories)
  • Fruit – usually apples or pineapple (80-110 calories)

What are some of your favorite simple, easy & go-to snacks? Let us know and you could be featured on the blog! info@youngtri.com

Tri Hard,

Caity

Eating Clean: A Triathlete’s Guide to a Dairy & Gluten Free Diet

Diet is a huge part of ensuring peak performance come race day. Whether we like it or not, the foods we eat each day helps shape our body, our mind, our mood — you get the idea.

In high school, I was having really bad stomach problems. My family and I have never really eaten processed or junky foods (like Doritos, processed snacks, etc.) — we have always bought organic and have eaten relatively healthy — so I didn’t think what I was eating could be what was making my stomach hurt. But one day, I was proven otherwise — after eating Annie’s mac and cheese after a workout, my stomach pain became so intense that I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. I was also feeling sick during a lot of my workouts, and I wanted to get to the root of what was wrong.

After a few days in the hospital and a few weeks of various tests, a “mild lactose intolerance” was the only thing that came up. The doctor explained that sometimes my stomach was fine with dairy, but that other times I reacted extremely to it. Happy that (so we thought) the culprit for my stomach pain was gone, I now had to get used to the idea that I had to cut dairy out of my diet.

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Incorporating greens into your diet is important – whether it’s through juice, homemade kale chips (yum!), salad, or otherwise.

After a few months of trying to continue to eat dairy with Lactaids (bad idea), I decided to cut it out of my diet completely. It was definitely a big change — a lot more foods have dairy in them than I thought — but I was feeling a lot better.

A few years later, I forget that I used to miss eating dairy. Since then, I’ve been diagnosed with IBS, a stomach condition that also forces you to restrict what types of foods you eat. I cut gluten completely out of my diet (I have a gluten sensitivity, not celiac disease) about two and a half months ago, and I’ve felt a huge difference.

Some of my favorite snacks - gluten free cereal, almond milk, fat-free hummus, strawberries, and pure organic blueberry bars

Some of my favorite snacks – gluten free cereal, almond milk, fat-free hummus, strawberries, and pure organic blueberry bars

If you’re thinking about dairy and gluten free, here are a few tips:

  • Coordinate with your family or school to make sure options will be available for you. Let others know (politely, of course!) of your dietary needs before eating out or eating with company if need be.
  • Find “Safe” Foods One of the biggest adjustments of going GF and/or Dairy free is learning to find “safe” foods while eating out or with company. It IS possible, though! As a backup, clean foods like salads are usually always available.
  • Educate yourself! Some foods that may seem “safe” can prove to be otherwise (for example – many soy sauces have gluten!) There are myriad websites and food stores that carry information and products suited to GF/dairy free lifestyle. Try Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s (or your local supermarket’s GF section — many are starting to pop up) and blogs like http://glutenfreeegirl.tumblr.com/
  • STICK TO IT! Cheating can make you feel sick or derail your new dietary lifestyle.
  • Plan ahead – If you know you’ll be going out with friends for the day or on a trip where some GF/dairy free snacks may not be available, plan ahead! Pack some bars, juices, or other snacks! (one of my favorites are pistachios)
  • Find Favorites – It’s important to find some “go-to”s in your diet that work well with your stomach (especially while training). Some of my favorites are below!

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    Filling a reusable water bottle (like a nalgene) and keeping it handy can remind you to drink water more often! Lots of water is an important part of a healthy diet!

Stick to it! Eating clean makes you feel a lot better — with added energy, boosted mood, and overall better health. It helps a lot with training, too — no more stomach aches and diet-related fatigue during workouts.

More on this soon (and on GF/dairy free race nutrition).

Have you ever considered a GF/dairy free diet? Do you already eat this way?

Tri Hard,

Caity

YoungTri Readers Doing the NYC Triathlon: Email Caitlin@YoungTri.com ASAP For Appearance in TV Story

If any YoungTri reader plans on participating in the New York City Triathlon this July, please email caitlin@youngtri.com as soon as possible if you would be interested in appearing in a television news story on the event. Contact us within the next 24 hours if interested.

Post-Workout Snack: Hummus

Hummus is the best. Seriously. I resisted my mom’s suggestion to try the spread for a loooooooong time, but finally gave in earlier this year. (Probably due in part to the fact that I found a really yummy restaurant called Hummus when I visited my cousin at Penn).

Hummus is relatively low-fat (depending on what brand you buy — I like Cedar and Whole Foods brand, and have also tried Tribe and other zero-fat brands). The yummy spread is made mainly from chickpeas and sunflower oil, so it’s a great alternative to other fatty spreads (like peanut butter and nutella). The flavor is a satisfying mixture of sweet and tangy. It comes in various flavor variations, like classic original, red pepper, and garlic. Depending on my mood, I usually stick to classic or pepper. Neither is spicy.

There’s nothing better than coming back from a workout and having a really good snack — so next time you’re cravings kick into gear post swim, bike, or run, try hummus on a few of my favorite things:

Pretzels (I like gluten free Glutino brand)

Think Healthy natural whole grain thin cakes (only 54 calories in 3 cakes)

Veggies – like carrots

Fruits – like apples

Give hummus a try! You won’t regret it. Yuuuuuum.

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Tri Hard,

Caity

To check out the Hummus restaurants in PA, click here.