I love fresh fruit! My Dad is from the Dominican Republic and I have had many opportunities in life to be spoiled with the fruit fresh from the trees in the Dominican. Likely where my love of mangoes began! It is simply one of the most flavorful and beautiful fruits in the world! A ripe diced or sliced mango is like “heaven on a plate”.

So where do mangoes originate from? And what are their main nutritional benefits? And how can you peel one efficiently?!

Mangoes originate from Southeast Asia, where they have been grown for over 4000 years! Over the years mango trees have spread to many parts of the tropical and sub tropical world.

A mango tree is an evergreen tree. It will grow up to 60 feet tall! Within 4-6 years of planting a mango tree it will start to bear fruit. They will continue to bear fruit for about 40 years!! The trees require hot and dry periods as well as defined seasons in order to produce good crop. In North America most of our mangoes come from Mexico, Haiti, the Caribbean and South America. Mango season is typically from May to September.

Harvesting of mangoes takes place when they are “mature green” in order for them to travel long distances. I’m sure like me you’ve come across many non ripe mangoes in the grocery store! But they do continue to ripen once you take them home. Phew :)! To decrease ripening time leave mangoes at room temperature and place inside a brown paper bag. They will continue to get sweeter and softer. Don’t use the color of a mango to gauge ripeness. Rather push your finger into the skin and it should give slightly if it is ripe. Similar to how an avocado or peach would feel when ripe.  Once ripe move to the refrigerator to slow further ripening. They keep well for up to about 3 days once ripe. A ripe mango will have a full fruity aroma emitting from the stem area. Good luck in your ripe mango hunting!

Besides their superb taste, creamy smooth and silky texture, mangoes actually offer a digestive enzyme similar to papain in papayas that can help with digestion of proteins and act as a soothing digestive aid. These digestive enzymes also make effective meat tenderizers and many chefs will use mangoes and papayas for this purpose.  Mangoes are also a good source of Vitamin A and C as well they contain beta carotene. They contain decent amounts of B1, B2, B3, and B6 vitamins and a touch of zinc. Mangoes are nutrient dense foods with low calories at only 110 calories per average sized mango. They are also a good source of daily fiber measuring in at approximately 3.7grams per mango. Fiber is important to everyone’s overall health! Mangoes also have only 4 grams of sodium and approx .6grams of fat. What a perfect snack!

You may be surprised to find out that mangoes are in the sumac family. The same family as pistachios, cashews, poison oak and poison ivy! Just an interesting fact. As is the fact that mango juice can permanently stain your clothes! So when cutting and peeling perhaps wear an apron if you are messy :).

I always found peeling a mango quite the hassle, until I found a nifty video that I will share with you here! Check it out and stop wasting half of your mango from poor peeling techniques :). WATCH HERE!

How will you enjoy your mango? Will you just peel the skin and eat it like an apple? Messy..but I like it! Mangoes can be sliced or diced into fruit salads and green salads. You can make a mango chutney with diced mango, diced onions, a touch of vinegar, salt and dried chiles and even some fresh mint! (which I LOVE served with fish!). Pureed in a blender a mango adds a great lively flavor to a smoothie! There really are so many ways to incorporate mangoes into your nutrition plan! Green Mango salad which is often seen on Thai restaurant menus is also one of my favorite ways to enjoy the delicious fruit! Check out this recipe!

Green Mango Salad is one of the delicious recipes from Zel Allen’s cookbook The Nut Gourmet: Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion 


Yield: 5 to 6 servings

2 unripe mangoes, peeled and cut into 1 x 1/4-inch (2.5 x .5 cm) slivers 1/2 cup (120 ml) purple onions, sliced vertically 1/2 cup (120 ml) diced jicama 1/2 cup (120 ml) chopped roasted unsalted peanuts 1/4 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) julienne 3 green onions (green part only) slivered into 1-inch (2.5 cm) lengths 2 tablespoons organic canola oil 2 tablespoons rice vinegar 1/2 to 1 jalapeno chile, minced or dash cayenne 1 1/2 tablespoons evaporated cane juice 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint leaves 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt             5 to 6 butter lettuce leaves
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  1. Combine the mangoes, onions, jicama, peanuts, red bell pepper, green onions, canola oil, vinegar, chile, evaporated cane juice, sesame oil, lime juice, mint, and salt in a large mixing bowl and toss well to distribute the ingredients evenly. Refrigerate for 3 to 8 hours to fully marinate the mangoes.
  2. Place a lettuce leaf on each plate and spoon the mango salad into the leaf. Garnish with a sprinkling of chopped cilantro and serve.

Until next time, keep the fresh produce on your plate and enjoy my favorite fruit with me! An exquisite mango!

Delicious Linguine Recipe! Even Self Professed “Non Cookers” Can Make This One!


Think you can’t cook? Think again! I saw this on The Food Network and gave it a whirl. They were not kidding about UNDER 15 MINUTES TIL DINNER TIME! And that even the “non chef” can whip this puppy up! I substituted Quinoa pasta. You can use Brown rice pasta as well. Both are Gluten Free options! Also I tend to use water in my pan often in place of oil, but the option is yours! Check it out! It’s Linguine with Tuna Puttanesca! It’s a great meal during a training weekend! And has a nice dollop of sodium to boot! Personally I love just about anything with kalamata olives! DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kosher salt
12 ounces linguine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1/2 cup roughly chopped kalamata olives
1 28-ounce can San Marzano plum tomatoes
4 basil leaves, torn, plus more for garnish
1 5-ounce can albacore tuna, packed in olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the linguine and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the capers and olives and fry 2 more minutes. Crush the tomatoes into the skillet with your hands and reserve the juices. Cook until the tomatoes are slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Add the reserved tomato juices, the basil, and salt to taste and cook until the sauce thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tuna with its oil, breaking it up with a fork, and season with salt.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, and return it to the pot. Add the sauce and the reserved cooking water and toss. Season with pepper and garnish with more basil.

Per serving: Calories 524; Fat 16 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 6 mg; Sodium 641 mg; Carbohydrate 73 g; Fiber 7 g; Protein 24 g

UNTIL NEXT TIME…..I ENCOURAGE HARD TRAINING and PROPER REST combined with SUPERB NUTRITION! Leave the competition in the dust …….



In a recent conversation with a client we discussed the concept of “accountability” and the importance of this in success. Sometimes we have the resolve to simply be accountable to ourselves. But often it is being accountable to an external source that can really give us that extra push to follow through. I know in my years of racing that when I saw training on the plan that needed to be done, (barring I was not feeling good and didn’t truly need to take an extra rest day), it pushed me to GET IT DONE. Besides, the coach was going to be looking! THAT WORKS! It sure did for me!

I find that accountability works wonders when it comes to many things including nutrition. A funny story that comes to mind that is for sure the “extreme” is a bet I once had with my friend Wayne in 2003. We decided NO JUNK FOOD. The bet had a 6 month time frame. Based on pure honesty.  The loser had to….EAT A CAN OF WET ALPO DOG FOOD! Yep…you got it! The best part was that MONTHS into the bet, (which was really quite healthy as we ate very well, we just stopped eating empty crappy foods), he lost it in the most unintentional way! A bunch of us had just finished a ride and went for lunch When the bill came he reached out and grabbed the mint on the tray…i watched in disbelief..excitement and AMAZEMENT…oh my God he was going to LOSE ON A MINT!!! After all of this effort! And tadah! The end. If you are wondering…I DID let him add salt to the can of chicken ALPO..and I DID let him stop half way through :). You see..I’m a nice person, really :)! The point is…we didn’t eat junk for a LONG TIME. It became very normal. We had no other restrictions, but we were accountable to one another to stick to it! And of course this particular example came with a….”punishment” which I am NOT RECOMMENDING :). I’m just sharing a story.

Now of course that is an extreme :). However the point is there is something to be said about doing something like embarking on improved nutrition, with a friend or nutrition councillor or FB PAGE…TELL US WHAT YOU ARE DOING! You want to be able to say “Hey I did it! Another great day!” and share that with one another. And have someone say “Me too! Feeling awesome!” It’s SUPPORT. And we ALL NEED SUPPORT. We can’t always be the ones to pat ourselves on the back. And we often forget to do this anyways.

So my suggestion to you is to call up a friend, family member or teammate and suggest starting a weekly positive nutrition change TOGETHER! Perhaps you will both support one another in an idea similar to those listed here;

-begin to drink more water during the day? 2 liters instead of 1?

-make a deal that you will finish at least 1 bottle of a quality sports drink per hour on every quality training ride you do in the next 21 days! (It takes 21 days to create a NEW HABIT!)

-decide that for the next 21 days you will have 3 cups of vegetables with every dinner you have? (actually not as common as we think!)

-you will eat your high glycemic recovery meal (see my last FB post) withing 30-60minutes after training to reap the benefits of eating   with in the “window of opportunity”.

-you will consume 60grams of carbohydrates per hour on training rides over 90minutes

-you will eat breakfast (also not as common as you think!)

-you will journal your food in Training Peaks for a month to get a better idea of what you are actually consuming?

Just a few ideas to get you rolling. Who can you be accountable to and with? Do you remember a time where you wanted to do something but you only had you to say “ah forget it” to? And you didn’t do it? It really can make that difference to know that Bob is ALSO doing this tonight. And tomorrow when you talk to Bob you can feel good that you did it too!

So, let’s partner up and start not only feeling accountable to ourselves but to our teammates or a family member or friend. Let’s support each other on our quest for improved health and be each other’s motivations! Besides isn’t that what friends, teammates and family are for!

Until next time….I’ll be watching 🙂

Feel free to post what you plan to start as your nutritional change and be accountable RIGHT HERE WITH THE 223 OTHER members of this FB PAGE! We will be happy to cheer you on! I know I will!


Valentine’s Day Cherry Sorbet …..Simple….Sweet….LOVE….

Another year has passed and Valentine’s Day is upon us once again! No need to spend hours in the kitchen laboring over a sweet dessert! Besides, Valentine’s Day is about spending time with the people we love.  Leave the cooking to the professional Sorbet makers of the world ;). This Valentine’s Day how about a simple crisp Cherry Sorbet! Vibrant and RED…refreshing and energizing!  Packed with and tart and sweet flavors, sorbet tends to hit the spot in small portions.  This makes it perfect after a nice dinner, possibly with a glass of heart healthy wine and some interesting conversation to add to the occassion! Top your sorbet with a few cherries or raspberries, keeping to the theme of RED! It’s also easy to share. Come on….you can share :)!

1/2 a cup of sorbet has approximately 90 calories depending on the brand. What a SIMPLE…perfect….colorful…Valentine’s Day Treat!

Until next time…..

Much LOVE to all on this Valentine’s Day


Cinnamon, Date & Chocolate Greek Yogurt Goddess!

With a lot of clients looking for a way to have a “treat” I’m having a great time in the kitchen creating new ways of enjoying Greek Yogurt, that are somewhat decadent! Today I tried this! With a plain Greek yogurt;

  • 1 individual serving size (100 calories) Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp organic ground cinnamon (or more if you like!)
  • 1 tbsp of Agave Nectar (or honey or 100% maple syrup)
  • 2 Medjool dates, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of carob chips sprinkled on top

Mix all ingredients together and ENJOY! At only 320 calories, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 20 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of fiber, you have yourself a nutritious snack!

If you are looking for something that tastes like dessert but surely is packed with nutrients! Give this a go!

Until next time eat clean, stay hydrated and love your body!


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Simple, decadent snack!

Tonight I got myself a LEMON CHOBANI Greek Yogurt. I added 2 tbsp of shredded unsweetened coconut and thawed 1 tbsp of frozen cherries. WOW!!! So simple, yet seriously decadent! I felt like I was full on having dessert! I am a fan of tart desserts, and my mom’s lemon meringue pie! Now I can feel like I’m having one while having a completely nutritious snack. You could easily sweeten this up a bit by using a sweeter berry. I suspect this lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt would also be amazing with 1 tbsp of candied ginger!

What a simple, delicious snack to add to your day!

Calories 210….check!

Until next time, keep it clean and simple on your plate! 🙂