My HIgh Protein Breakfast

Breakfast is without a doubt my favorite meal of the day! I wasn’t always a breakfast eater. When I started college nutrition got put on the back burner and my day would start with a single cup of coffee (UGH). I am amazed how I made it through my days back then! Now, as I start my final semester of college I couldn’t imagine skipping breakfast! I am happy to acknowledge if there’s anything my five years of studies taught me it is the importance of breakfast. I am a better student, athlete, and person when I start my day out right! Here is one of my go-to breakfasts:  Veggie Egg White Omelet & Peanut Butter Toast!
  • ½ cup egg beaters
  • 1 reduced fat cheese stick
  • As many veggies as desired
  • Deli style 100% whole wheat sandwich thins
  • 1 Tbsp peanut butter
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon
My ingredients of choice: 

The Nutrition Facts: 
317 calories
28 grams protein
13 grams of fat
30 grams of carbs
Putting It all together: 

Running for a Reason

Running is something you do alone or I like to think my ipod and I do alone.  You can argue it’s somewhat of a selfish sport, many people do it for reasons that will benefit them; to get in shape, to relieve stress,  or to reach a personal goal. I’m the to first to admit I run for myself, it gives me peace and strength that helps me to deal with everything else going on in my life.  Last year when I ran the Marine Corp Marathon I did it for me! I spent long hours running, cross training, and strength training so that at the end of 18 weeks of training I could cross a finish line and say I did it, I ran 26.2 miles. It gave me a sense of pride and satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong the personal journey was extremely rewarding and I believe it’s always important to do things for yourself. Besides when your happy you’re more likely to make other people happy:) .
But…this time around I want to run for something bigger then myself, I want to do something that will make a difference in other people’s lives. I think the idea to run for charity and particularly BEDA (Binge Eating Disorder Association) clicked one day at a staff meeting when my boss was explaining that success comes you learn to connect the different parts of your life so you can make the most out of all your time and effort. Now, those weren’t her exact words maybe not even close but that’s what I took from it and more specifically, I took “Hey Amy maybe you should make use of all those hours you spend running”.
I decided to connect my developing passion for learning about eating disorders (first hand at RBA and through my experience giving body image an eating disorder workshops at UMD),  with my love for running, and my desire to help people! The more the fundraising process  and marathon training continues the more of a connection I see in what I’m doing. What I mean is, that training for a marathon takes strength, determination, self efficacy, and as I allotted to above self love. Similarly, those recovering from an eating disorder need to be strong, to learn to love themselves, and to believe in themselves. I believe in BEDA because I had the opportunity to meet the co-founder Chevese Turner, an inspirational woman recovering from BED and among other things I recognized the drive, devotion, and passion needed to make change. To learn more about BEDA and help me reach my fundraising goal please visit my Fundraising Page any little bit helps! If nothing else go watch the Youtube movie I made.

Bulking Up: Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

I just took a trip down to Raleigh and stayed with one of my old college friends!  When I was in school with him a couple years back he was the number one fan of some of the South’s least healthy comfort foods such as sweet tea, fried chicken and Cook Out (a southern fast food chain). Recently however, he has taken a vested interest in his health and now aims to gain weight without having to bring back Cook out, fried chicken, and sweet tea to his daily diet. Often times weight gain is assumed to only occur through empty calories and junk food detrimental to your health…but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Since my friend was nice to let me stay with him I figured I’d help him out!
I did some research and found a lot of the same sports nutrition concepts I learned as a runner:
1.     Glycogen from carbohydrates is the main source of fuel for the muscles If you live an active lifestyle you must consume an adequate amount of carbs. To gain weight you must saturate your muscle with glycogen (3-5 grams per pound of body weight)
2.     Protein is needed to restore muscle fibers and the amino acids from proteins are needed for muscle growth and repair. HOWEVER, the body does not store excess protein as BULGING muscles! You need about .7-.9 g per lbs body weight and the rest will be lost in urine.
3.     Timing is key! If you are trying to gain weight healthfully it is important to fuel properly before and after workouts. Consume small meals throughout the day instead of large ones. It is ideal to eat at least every four hours consuming a combination of carbohydrates and protein! This will ensure that your muscles have a decent supply of fuel consistently throughout the day and are not being broken down for fueling during fasting periods.
Ok… the nutrition concepts don’t change you get it! But how does that apply to gaining muscle weight and bulking up without adding fat? The most important and only way to gain muscle is an effective weight lifting or resistance training routine! Your muscle fibers get bigger when you overload them with strength training period.

Where does eating come in? If you want to gain weight you need to eat more calories!! The trick to gaining muscle and not fat is ensuring that when you increase calories you maintain BALANCE in your diet. The best way to add muscle mass is to stick to a healthy diet containing 55-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 10-15% of calories from protein and less than 30% of calories from fats.

Here are some tips and tricks for adding calories in healthy way to build muscle and avoid unwanted fat:
1.     Choose more calorie dense foods to increase calorie content without increasing volume in your stomach making you uncomfortable.–For example, choose more calorie dense fruits and vegetables. Bananas, pineapples and mangos have more calories than water loaded fruits like oranges and grapefruits. Peas, carrots and corn have more calories than dark green vegetables.
2.     Limit your intake of bad fats because they are harmful to your heart health and may hinder your workout.–Focus on healthy fats such as peanuts, walnuts, almonds, avocados, olive oil, and oily fishes such as tuna and salmonIn order to gain 1 pound per week theoretically it takes 500 added calories per day! This is a good place to start! It maybe helpful to keep a daily log for a couple days to see how you normally eat and figure out where you can add in that extra 500 or so calories in a balanced way!!
Good Luck and be patient! The best-trained athletes gain weight slowly!
Resource: Nancy Clark’s Nutrition Guide Book