Eat Your Way to the Finish Line: 5 Nutrition Tips for a Successful Race Day

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Exercise, Expert Tips, Nutrition, SportsCare | Posted on 10-09-2014

Finish-LineYou’ve made the decision: You’re going to run a marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, 10K or any other major fitness event, like the upcoming Memorial SportsCare Women’s Biathlon. Good for you! That’s a huge undertaking. And, while training, you might hit hurdles or hard times. You might feel like giving up. But, with the right training and some healthy efforts, you can do it. Go you! 

One aspect of training that gets lost in the shuffle but is an important, necessary part of your preparation is food. Nutrition training is as important as physical training–it can make or break your experience. Angie Sebree, a registered dietitian with Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, offers her top five tips for training nutrition. 

1. It’s not you eat, but when you eat. 

Sebree offers this tip to those in training: Figure out what time your event will be. While training, eat two hours before that time every day. 

“Train your gut,” she said. “Treat every training day like it’s race day. If you plan to eat one or two hours before the event, eat that way when you train in that timeframe so you will feel the same way when training as you will on race day.” 

2. Make sure what you’re eating is substantial. 

If you have the ability to eat a meal two hours before the event, do that. Sometimes, however, that may not be feasible. 

“If the race is at 7 a.m., you might not want to eat a large meal at 5 a.m., so eat a snack an hour before,” Sebree said. 

Sebree’s rule of thumb for race day nutrition: About an hour to an hour and a half before the race, eat 20-30 grams of carbohydrates and 10-15 grams of protein. You can hit these numbers with a serving of chocolate milk, a Luna bar, a Nature Valley protein bar or a hardboiled egg with two pieces of toast. 

3. Decide if you’re training for speed or weight loss. 

You will need to choose, as both might not be possible. 

“If you’re training for speed, you shouldn’t be losing weight,” Sebree said. “But if you’re training for weight loss, you should know your speed might not be your best.” 

Either way, it is still important to eat within that structured schedule. You might simply need to adjust your calories. That said…

4. Be sure you get enough calories. 

“If you don’t eat enough calories or get adequate nutrition, you’re going to get very fatigued,” Sebree said. “Your weight loss might stall. There is a fine line between eating and physical activity.”

Sebree suggests tracking your caloric input and output using MyFitnessPal or a Fitbit device.

5. Hydration is everything.

“About a week before your event, make sure you’re very hydrated–overly hydrated even,” Sebree said. “A standard 64 to 80 ounces per day plus what you’re losing during your workout.”

Not sure how to quantify how much water you’re losing? Here’s a good rule to follow: For every 30 minutes of physical activity, give yourself 10-16 ounces of fluid. 

The day of the race, two hours before event, drink about 16-24 ounces of fluid, with 12 of those ounces within an hour before the event. 

“After an hour of physical activity, start using Gatorade or other electrolyte replacing fluids,” Sebree said. “Shoot for 10 to16 ounces every 30 minutes.”

Tips to Reduce New School Year Anxiety

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents | Posted on 26-08-2014

Shy-Girl-Going-to-SchoolGoing back to school is an exciting time of year for most children. Some, however, experience anxiety and feel stressed as soon as they hear those dreaded words, “back to school.”

Anxious children are often overly tense and may need a lot of encouragement. Anxiety presents itself in children in many different ways. According to the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, among the most common types are:

  • Separation anxiety: Symptoms of separation anxiety include refusing to go to school and having constant thoughts and fears about the safety of parents and caretakers.
  •  Phobia: Symptoms include extreme fear of a specificthing or situation, which can cause significant distress and interfere with usual situations.
  •  Social anxiety: Symptoms include having many worries about things before they happen and fears of embarrassment or making mistakes.

So, what should a parent do if they notice their child showing signs of back-to-school anxiety? Read the rest of this entry »

‘There is Hope’ — What a Mental Health Professional Wants You to Understand About Depression and Suicide

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health | Posted on 13-08-2014

Man-looking-upThe tragic death of comedian Robin Williams has left people wondering how this could happen to a man who was loved by millions of people around the world. And while Facebook feeds and online comment boards are filled with people talking about suicide, Andrew Jolly, crisis center lead clinician at West Lake Center, Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, says many people still do not understand what depression really is.

Disappointed is not depressed

“In our society we overuse the word depression,” Jolly said. “We say we are ‘depressed’ that we failed a test or we missed our favorite TV show.’ The emotion talked about in these cases is disappointment, not depression. Perhaps we need a new word for the illness of depression so that people might take it more seriously.”

Jolly describes the intensity of depression, which he says is not just “self-pity” or “wallowing” in sorrows. Depression can be sparked by adverse life events in which the grief doesn’t subside, or could come out of nowhere. Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Have the Summertime Blues?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Summer | Posted on 30-07-2014

Young-Man-on-DockSummer is in full swing, and your schedule is packed with pool parties, barbeques, ballgames and more.

Everyone around you seems more positive and energetic — except you.

Regardless of the season, depression can make the whole world dark and gray. Clinical depression can impair your ability to sleep, eat, work and get along with others. It also can damage self-esteem, self-confidence and your ability to accomplish everyday tasks.

Depression is more than a low mood; it can be a serious illness. Read the rest of this entry »

Calorie Postings on Restaurant Menus: Friend or Foe?

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition | Posted on 22-07-2014

African American Couple Reading MenuMany restaurants are now posting calorie information right on the menu. This is thanks in part to the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. Passed in 2010, the Affordable Care Act requires all restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie information on menus, menu boards and display tags, and to provide additional nutrition information upon request.

Unfortunately, posting calorie information does not ensure healthy food choices. A recent study published by the Journal of Consumer Research reported that, when restaurants organized menus by calorie content, consumers chose higher-calorie options. Why? Researchers proposed that consumers tend to associate lower-calorie or healthier options with poor taste quality and choose higher calorie options instead. Interestingly, the study also showed no difference in food choices if higher and lower calorie items were intermixed. Read the rest of this entry »

10 Ways to Become Faithful to Fitness

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 17-07-2014

Mature-Woman-Doing-YogaStarting a fitness routine may be easy. However, sticking with the routine seems to be the hard part. The first few weeks, we’re pumped to start working out, then life gets in the way, or we don’t see the results we want and give up.

Here are some tips from the experts at Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center to help you become a long-term exerciser, if you are will to give exercise just one more try! Read the rest of this entry »

Summer and Thirst: Tips to Recognize and Prevent Dehydration

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, ExpressCare, Memorial Medical Center, Summer | Posted on 11-07-2014

200401674-001Even camels can die from dehydration—those humps are filled with fat, not water. But you don’t have to exist in a desert to be vulnerable to the symptoms and effects of dehydration, especially during the summer when increased activity and high temperatures team up.

Calvin Bell, MD, medical director for Memorial ExpressCare, explains that dehydration occurs when the body’s loss of water is in excess of what one takes in. This can be caused by extreme hot or cold environments, increased activities, alcoholic beverages, fever, diarrhea and even some medications, including those for blood pressure or diabetes.

You can prevent dehydration by being proactive, especially during the summer. Read the rest of this entry »

7 Healthy Tips for Cooking for Two

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Nutrition, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 02-07-2014

Couple Cooking for TwoCooking for two can oftentimes be a daunting task when trying to make healthier menu changes. Recipes yielding larger portions, fear of not using produce quickly enough, or making the most of the ingredients we have can be common issues when cooking and grocery shopping each week.

Luckily, there is a way to make and maintain healthy eating habits to fit any household number. Micca Donohoo, a registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, recommends these seven easy tips to scale your menus and recipes down to fit your table for two. Enjoy! Read the rest of this entry »

Food Logs Made Simple

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Nutrition, Recipes, Weight Loss and Wellness | Posted on 26-06-2014

Food-LogIt’s easy to think, “Oh, I didn’t eat too much today,” until you actually start listing off everything you ingested.

That’s the thinking behind the need to log food intake. According to Angie Sebree, registered dietitian with the Memorial Weight Loss & Wellness Center, patients who log their eating habits have greater success at achieving their health and weight-loss goals.

“Writing down your daily food intake, even your exercise and how much fluid you drink, can help to increase awareness of behaviors,” Sebree said. “Awareness can be the first step in figuring out what needs improved and changed.”

Unfortunately, she admits, many of her patients don’t particularly love to log. They can see it as a daunting task, just another item on the to-do list they don’t have time for. Read the rest of this entry »

Avoid Summertime Kidney Stones

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Memorial Medical Center, Urology Services | Posted on 17-06-2014

Female-Athlete-with-Kidney-PainSummer is a time of baseball, vacations, picnics, fireworks…and kidney stones. We bet that one doesn’t appear on anyone’s list of summer to-dos.

According to Tia Rapps, RN, urology nurse navigator at Memorial Medical Center, the reason summer is a risky time for kidney stones is the increased possibility of dehydration. Loss of fluid from sweating results in less urine production in the kidney. If urine becomes concentrated due to excessive sweating or not drinking enough fluid, this increases the chances that the minerals in the urine could stick together and form a stone rather than be flushed out of the kidney. Read the rest of this entry »