Saturday, December 25, 2010


I had Friday off from work so my husband and I went snowmobiling. We haven't been in a couple years, but thanks to my dad who helped us get our two sleds back in riding condition, we headed to the mountains for some powder!

We left the house at 6:15am and the first stop was Sonic in Old Colorado City so Tim could get some breakfast burrito goodness. I had one of my metabolically efficient smoothies (though I will admit to snagging two tater tots).
Sonic good!
 We headed up the pass. My cell phone camera doesn't do this justice, nor does it compare to the Pikes Peak Guy's photos, but Pikes Peak looked phenomenal with the way it was highlighted by the sunrise.

Pikes Peak heading west on HWY 24
 The second stop was at my parents' house in Divide to get the snowmobiles! It was chilly - about 10 degrees F.
The sleds were waiting for some action!
 The sun finally came up and we had some great views. Those are snow-capped mountains in the background.
I think this was just over Wilkerson Pass.
 We made it to Buena Vista and got gasoline for the sleds.
Some of the collegiate peaks in the background
 We head west from Buena Vista up the hill towards Cottonwood Pass. We stop in the Avalanche parking lot (but hope for no avalanches today!)
Ski pants and some good boots are a must!
 I'm bundled up and we're just about ready to go!
Tim's ready to go!
One of the amazing views over Cottonwood Pass.
The trail was nice and groomed and we headed over Cottonwood Pass, 12,126 feet. I've never been on this road in the summer.

the air is thin at 12,126ft!
That's me blocking the sign.
Once over the pass you have to go down the "chutes." It's pretty steep, but as it was nicely groomed I enjoyed the descent.
The 'chutes' just over the pass.
 We keep riding the trails and actually pass the groomer. But because the area had some recent snow, the riding was superb. We make it to Taylor Reservoir and stop at the general store for a quick pit stop. It was about 8 degrees down there. Makes you appreciate indoor plumbing when it is available!

Parked at Taylor Reservoir
Our lunch buffet
After leaving the Res, we turned around to head back and stopped on a wide section of trail for our lunch buffet. For those following me the last few weeks - this was not metabolically efficenct, but good! Turkey and cheese sandwich, some cheetos, and some pretzel M&Ms. Good snowmobiling food! Next time I'll plan ahead a little and bring some better food, not what we get at 7-11. But I did have some trail mix, so give me a few points for that.

Perfect day to be on the sleds!
Tim wanted to play in the powder and ended up getting stuck. My sled should really stay on the trails, but he wasn't able to dig himself out so I tried to follow the tracks. This section was a little too steep for my sled...stuck in the powder about 10 feet from the top of the little hill where Tim was.
Great views even when you're stuck!
And of course just when I got there to help, a trio with real powder sleds showed up and helped get us unstuck.
Add caption
Here are a few more shots from the day:
amazing views!
Nicely groomed trails today!
We made it back down to the truck, loaded up the sleds on the trailed, dropped them back off in Divide and got home in time for Christmas Eve dinner with Tim's family. And I made some cookies:

Like I mentioned in a metabolic efficiency post, if you are going to deviate - at least eat something really good, like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Metabolic Efficiency - Day 21 - Three Weeks

WOW. Really hard to believe I've been taking pictures of my food every day for the last three weeks! Today was the last official day of my Metabolic Efficiency Study. I'll post a more detailed summary of the experience tomorrow night (12/22).
Before I get to the food for today, some closing remarks:

  • I have noticed a change in how my jeans fit (and my belt). There are some slight changes in the mirror as well, which appear to be confirmed in the skin fold test from tonight (will detail all that tomorrow).
  • I enjoy what I'm eating and eat when I'm hungry. 
  • Although my workouts are not intense or too long (yet!), I have energy for them.
  • I did not find this hard to do. Shop the produce, dairy, and meat section, and you've pretty much got all your food. Maybe hit up the frozen section for frozen fruit and some vegetables, and add some nuts and you're good to go. When I cooked, the meals were quick and easy. 

I'm going to keep on this protocol, and when my training starts to add more intensity, then I'll add the whole grains back in per Bob's Periodization Plates. I'm finding it interesting to monitor the macronutrient content in foods through TrainingPeaks, so I will continue to do that. And TrainingPeaks is the platform my coach and I use for workouts, so all the exercise data will be there anyway. I'm going to be a bit "detail-oriented" (there might be another term for that) this year gathering data on how my body responds to food and ironman training - really out of curiosity and to learn things that I might be able to apply to the athletes I coach. I do have a Master's degree in data collection and analysis is something I do enjoy.

OK, now on to the food. I finally remembered to take a picture of the smoothie I made today! Not shown is the whey protein and the cocoa. I actually skipped the banana and peanut butter (used milled flax seed and 1T of almond butter). Still yummy, though I guess I like the banana and peanut butter flavor a little better.

Can't go wrong with fruit, yogurt, whey protein, cocoa, and some nut butter!
makes quite a bit - made a little too much and needed a 2nd cup.
I "saved" the banana and peanut butter for my pre-swim/mid-morning snack. That's a cup of Pike Place roast. ...I added a small amount of half and half to mellow it a bit.

My workout for today was a 45 minute swim where I got in 1800yds. I don't want to swim too much too fast while I'm "re-training" my shoulder and back muscles. More PT tomorrow! After the workout I had a fruit salad with cottage cheese (just like yesterday).

Later in the afternoon it was time to eat again so I had this egg & veggie mixture I scrambled up the night before. Sauted onion and green pepper, then added radishes (the pink things) and kale and black beans. Scrambled in eggs and egg whites, then topped it with some shredded cheese.
eggs with veggies and cheese is just plain gooooood.
After work I headed to the UCCS Peak Nutrition Clinic where Kelly Ping, RD, did another ISAK skin fold test. The results were good, I'll share them tomorrow in my final wrap-up. She also did a DXA scan. It'll be interesting to compare these results to those I got 10 months ago when I participated in a female athlete study. It's not really a part of this, but it's interesting so I'll share in another post. When I got home I munched on some survival mix (not shown) and a few veggies while my salmon was in the oven.

I ate about half of this.
 LOVE baked salmon! It's under there, I promise!
baked salmon topped with corn, tomatoes, green chilies, and avocado
So I told you my in-laws are visiting. I go into the pantry to get the can of diced tomatoes and I find this. No worries, I won't eat it.  Not that I really bought these or ate many packaged cookies before, but I'm really less likely to eat this now. I suppose since eating mostly unprocessed foods, I really would like to have quality everything. If I'm going to eat cookies I want GOOD cookies. :)
 Oh, and this book came in the mail today. NICE!
Getting ready for Ironman in several different ways!
I hope you enjoyed the beginning of my metabolic efficiency journey, and the start of my Ironman journey. I'll report back tomorrow with my official weigh in and the summary post will be on my NEO Endurance Sports & Fitness blog. But now that the study is "over" these blog posts will not go away. I will keep posting my training and nutrition progress. I plan to do the Metabolic efficiency testing with Bob some time in early 2011 (fingers crossed it's a christmas present from my husband), so you can be sure of an update on that!

Thanks for following and I hope to see you back here often!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Metabolic Efficiency - Day 20 - Leftovers

Two more days left in my metabolic efficiency study. Wow. Today and tomorrow and that's it. Well, as I mentioned earlier, it's not really it. It's the end of the formal study, so I won't be blogging quite every day with pictures of my food, but I like how I feel and what I'm doing so I will continue on this way and provide periodic updates. If you are interested in learning more about Metabolic Efficiency, check out Bob Seebohar's book, Metabolic Efficiency Training. He's also got a Metabolic Efficiency facebook community page. Check it out and join in on the fun!

Let's get to today....
7:00am-ish is breakfast time - I made a slight change to my yogurt/protein/cocoa/peanut butter mix and had mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries) with the banana. I buy frozen packages of fruit so it makes having a variety quite easy.

I went in for another PT session before work. We're adding more rotator cuff strengthening these days. I still haven't graduated from the 1lb weights, but I'm doing a few more reps and my form is good!

By 10:30 I'm hungry again, this time I eat the fruit salad with cottage cheese and cinnamon. That's pineapple, cantaloupe, green grapes and pomegranate in there, I promise! At least 2 cups of chopped fruit with about 1 cup of cottage cheese.

yum. just yum.
At noon I headed off to the gym for a run. 4.32 miles on the treadmill - max pace 5.8mph at 0.5% incline. The weather was warm, but the wind gusts were 50+mph all morning so I opted to stay indoors. Plus the gym has a foam roller so I'm more likely to stretch longer if I run on the treadmill. When I get back to work I am hungry so I eat both my salmon & black bean salad. I used the salmon leftover from Friday's lunch. Underneath is spinach, broccoli, and green pepper. The stuff on top is swiss chard and red onion. Used a wishbone red wine vinaigrette dressing.
Leftover salmon from Friday's lunch.
 I'm still a little hungry so I eat the pear and walnut salad I brought.
Leftover pear and some walnuts
I'm a little hungry before I drive home so I have a small snack of a clementine and a few almonds. Not much, but enough to tide me over during the drive home. Before I eat dinner, I got some new music in the mail, along with a couple guitar picks (I actually do have an electric guitar...and drums, and a bass guitar, and a keyboard...anyone want to jam?), and a new shirt. Either it's a late Hanukkah or early Christmas present. Either way I'm happy.
a present I bought myself arrived today. :)
Hungry for dinner now, I reheat the leftover chicken veggie stir fry from Saturday and add some corn & blackbean salsa on the side.

Day 20 of this 21 day study is about over! I'll see you tomorrow and a final study summary will be posted on Wednesday (12/22) evening.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Metabolic Efficiency - Day 19 - Fruit of the Vine

Today had a deviation meal in it. Ohhh but it was fun.
I had my standard fare for breakfast, but for lunch we went to D'Vine Wine in Manitou Springs, as earlier this year Tim and I got a 12-person wine tasting at a silent auction. We thought it'd be a nice family gathering with his parents in town, my folks and my brother and sister-in-law. And it was a great day!
the family tasting the first white wine
I had a few oyster crackers before we ordered appetizers

Round 1: bagel and pita chips, and some spinach artichoke dip
Round 2: some grapes, pepperocini, red pepper hummus, cheese, meat and crackers

Some almonds (and another pepperocini and some more hummus)
On to the reds
A little sleepy after tasting 7 wines.

the list - we had 3 whites, 3 reds and a warmed spice pinot noir
This was the extent of my exercise today (except the bicep curls lifting wine glasses)
Needless to say, after a lunch like that I was pretty tired in the afternoon! My husband and I wrapped some presents and then went to the grocery store. By then it was time for dinner and I was back on track. Baked BBQ chicken (I tried my best to take the skin off) with a big salad.
I used a red wine vinaigrette, not the ranch in the background.
I also threw in some green beans...
After dinner I made a HUGE fruit salad for the week (nibbled on some of the cantaloupe and pineapple) and got some meals around for tomorrow, as back to work I go!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Metabolic Efficiency - Day 18 - Out Again

With the arrival of my in-laws, I think the holidays have really begun. I "warned" them about my eating - I basically told them I am going to be particular about what I eat so I may not eat everything they cook or skip a dinner out. Hmmm...this seems like a good way to avoid my mother in-laws cooking. Actually, what it does mean, however, is that my house is going to get a lot cleaner. Yep, have company AND get a clean house. Can't beat that.  But seriously here, they are great folks and I'm glad to have them visit for the holidays. And who knows, I might just throw a metabolically efficient meal their way.

On that note, I am definitely noticing that my jeans fit a little better and my ab muscles might be slightly (and I really do mean slightly) more visible. Even though there are only three more days of my study after today, I'm going to continue on this plan. I want to keep the momentum, I'm on a roll! (but not a bread roll!) I think it also works for me to have two allowed "deviation" meals each week, especially now that I have company for the next, oh, ten days or so. The sister in-law and nieces are supposed to arrive on Wednesday.

Now on to the meals. Today wasn't as ideal with meal timing. It started off OK but I wasn't quite as prepared in the afternoon as I should have been.

Breakfast was my standard yummy yogurt-whey-fruit-peanut butter bowl. It's like loaded oatmeal without the oatmeal. (See most any other day for a photo.) I really look forward to having this in the mornings.

That meal held me over about four hours today while I worked on my eBook (Coming Soon: The Triathlete's Guide to Race Week). My dog napped while I edited.
Juno loves a good nap.
Lunch was a warm cinnamon pear, raisin, and walnut salad with a side of scrambled egg whites seasoned with turmeric.
warmed pear, raisin, walnut salad with cinnamon and scrambled egg whites with turmeric
A couple hours after lunch I headed down to the Colorado Springs Rec Center, where they were hosting an ironman viewing party. Workout and watch the Ironman World Championships with other athletes, followed by a panel discussion with a few local Ironman athletes. I think that's a great way to spend the afternoon. I started to get a little hungry on the way down so I ate a couple clementines.

My workout:
20 minutes of leg strength exercises (a variety of body weight squats and lunges), followed by 45 minutes on a treadmill - walk for 10 then ease into a run. Max pace was a little faster than Thursday, 5.8mph! Keeping it EASY! Legs felt good though! Afterwards I was a little hungry so I ate two of the things on the right - PowerBar Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites, before doing a light15 minute "cool down" swim.

you can usually skip sports nutrition products when trying to become more metabolically efficient.
Here's where I kind of missed the boat. They had food set out during the panel discussion, and although the fudge and cake looked tempting, I opted out. The spread just wasn't in my metabolic efficiency plan and I didn't have a snack for myself. The panel discussion was great (I asked them what their favorite post IM "recovery/celebratory" meal was, and they all seemed to contain fried onions or onion rings. Hmmm. But when I was ready to leave at around 5:45, I was pretty hungry. The plan was to now join my husband and his parents Fusion World Cuisine. I headed straight there.
I had a very similar meal to Day 9, with hot and sour soup and lettuce wraps, but instead of the black bean chicken I got the chicken stir fry.
Fusion World Cuisine does have great food!
I ate about half the plate. But I was definitely a lot hungrier going into this meal that I usually am. I made sure to eat slowly (and the hot soup helped) so that I wouldn't just wolf everything down. The lettuce wraps were brought out before the soup, and they were consumed pretty quickly.

Tomorrow has a "deviation" meal built in. We are doing a wine tasting at noon in Manitou Springs with the family. I'm looking forward to it and I'll let you know all about it tomorrow!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Metabolic Efficiency - Day 17 - Keep on Smiling!

This is the final Friday of my metabolic efficiency study! One more official weekend and a couple days next week and I'll wrap up the study.

Today started with a smoothie that I drank on the way to my physical therapy appointment. Bananas, strawberries and blueberries and pineapple! It actually made more than my standard cup full so I put the rest in another cup for a possible afternoon snack. I still need to get a photo of one of these smoothies for this blog!

My group at work went out for a celebratory lunch at Flatiron's Grill. I knew we were headed there so I looked at the menu online. If I am eating out and know where I am going, I always try to pick something out ahead of time when I'm not hungry so I'm not tempted by other goodies that might be on the menu! I got the cedar plank salmon with asparagus and artichoke hash. I ate until I was full, which wasn't quite all of it. Here's what was left. The hash did have potatoes, which I've been avoiding due to the starch, but it was plenty greasy to balance that out! The salmon was cooked perfectly. Finally a moist piece of salmon that didn't come out of my oven! I also had a garden salad - pretty standard fare.
Flatiron's cedar plank salmon
This meal really filled me up! It's definitely the "greasiest" meal I have had in 17 days. I didn't start to get hungry until after 5pm on my slow drive home. Friday traffic plus cold and snowy weather makes for a crawling commute. I finished off the smoothie and that tided me over a little longer. When I was ready for dinner, I didn't need a whole lot and as my veggie consumption was a little low, a big salad seemed the right thing to do. And eggs sounded good so I ate a spinach salad with 'roasted' beets, jicama and carrots and two eggs.
why not have a little fun with food?
That's it for today...I'll see you tomorrow when my in-laws show up.