The Taunting Halloween Sweets!



Giving out candy this Halloween? Already sneaking a few bars? Here’s my suggestion. 

Of course I could suggest you boycott the day because of the sugar. But I’m realistic. It’s going to happen for a lot of people. 

I suggest you don’t buy chocolate etc. until Halloween day. Once the night is over bring the left overs and donate them to a food bank or give them out the NEXT MORNING. Or give the last spooky costume a whole lotta candy and send them on their merry way!

One if the biggest reasons people eat junk is because it’s IN THE HOUSE. Out of sight out of mouth out of mind. Get rid of it. Have your treat and call it a day!

If you keep it in the house you will battle the fact that you KNOW the little kit kat and snickers bars are sitting behind that wooden cupboard door. You will justify “they are small”. Yet 6 mini bars later you will surely have matched the new jumbo sized version at the corner store.

Don’t kid yourself. You won’t win that battle with the bag of minis!

NSAG – Reality checks

Simple Salmon

Keeping it Simple Can Be Just as Delicious!

Simple Salmon


I have many clients who work full time, have kids, train full time (same hours!) and truly don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. Some people just don’t want to make recipes.

Well the jury is out, you don’t have to! That’s OK! Really it is.

With these clients I work with basic structured simple meals with adequate protein, carbohydrates and fats.

No fancy recipes. A spice rub for the protein is the extent of it. A slice of citrus and if they want a few drops of sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. To be honest I really like this style of simple clean eating. Always based on whole foods. No fuss. Quick.

Different spice mixes can totally change the protein from maple glazed to blackened and spicy in a jiffy! You can even buy pre made mixes like Harissa or jerk chicken etc. But making them is actually quite simple too!

NSAG – Keeping it simple. All the way to the podium!

It’s CARB Loading not FAT Loading


Carb loading does not equate to “eat anything and everything”.

Many carbohydrates such as pastries, muffins, scones and cookies are very high in fat. These are not the types of foods to focus on before a big race or weekend ride. These types of carbohydrates simply add many excess calories. It’s not fat loading. It’s carb loading.

When carbohydrate loading you want to focus on low fat carbohydrate dense choices, such as rice, potatoes, cereals, dried fruit, breads, jams, juices and pastas. Along with hydration from water.

By planning ahead and spreading your consumption evenly throughout the day prior to your race. You will find it’s quite achievable.

You cannot simply carbohydrate load with “a big dinner”. That would be anywhere from 400-700g of carbohydrates!!! By starting in the morning, pre race day, you will prevent you overdoing the dinner portion size in an “attempt” to get it all in one meal. This can leave you feeling ill, causing GI distress or discomfort.

Start early the day before your race/event. Calculate your needs based on the duration of your event and execute the plan.

For all the time and effort you put into your training it would be a sure shame to see it all fall apart due to poor attention to your nutrition. It happens all too often.

Success follows good planning.

NSAG – Planninig for success

Need help with your pre-race day plan? Check out the store on and select your Race Day Plan by weight. Try it out and see the difference in your results!

I love this!

Pina Colada Smoothie! Part of My Carb Loading Day! Yum!

Carb loading for a 140km ride tomorrow (first one in a year?! Best to follow my own advice! The nutritionist can never bonk on a ride. I don’t have that luxury lol). What’s on the menu? Her’es my favorite item.

The Pina colada smoothie!

2 cups of pineapple juice
3/4 scoop whey protein (North Coast Naturals -vanilla)
1 frozen banana (key is to freeze it! Makes it cold and THICK)
1/4 cup LIGHT coconut milk

Damn that’s good!

Calories: 500
Carbs: 100g
Protein: 20g
Fat: 4g

That’s Podium Nutrition!

I love this!

I love this!

Killer Kale Salad in Under 10 minutes!

Killer Kale Salad in Under 10 Minutes!


It’s that time of year when salads are feeling fantastic and bright!


Try this Killer Kale Salad! It’s super quick. Anyone could pull this off!


HOW TO MAKE THE KILLER KALE SALAD! ( I timed it, it can be quick if you are feeling energized and on the ball!)


Step 1: Find your favorite play list and press play.

Step 2: Choose a sunny day, open the windows and let the sun and air into the kitchen, smile.

Step 3: Ignore step 2 if you live in Vancouver

Step 4: Take 6-8 large cooked tiger shrimp. Thaw in a warm bowl of water for 3-5 minutes if frozen.

Step 5: Take 5 cups of kale and rinse. Break into small pieces and place in a bowl.

Step 6: Warm up a 1/4 cup of edamame for 1 minute in hot water. Toss into the bowl.

Step 7: Throw in 2 tbsp of whole grain croutons

Step 8: Chop up 10 cherry tomatoes, toss into bowl

Step 9: Chop up or grate one carrot, toss into bowl

Step 10: Toss in 2 tbsp of shredded asiago

Step 11: Heat shrimp quickly in a pan with blackening spice (key for flavor! Many easy recipes on line including Martha Stewart’s blackening spice mix). I use PC (President’s Choice) Harissa spice mix.

Step 12: Toss shrimp on top of salad

Step 13: Toss in 1 tbsp of dry cranberries or raisins

Step 14; Add 2 tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette and toss well. Can be oil and vinegar or oil vinegar and a bit of OJ and maple syrup to taste.

Step 15: Sit outside, put your sunglasses on, face the sun, make sure a good tune is playing…and dig in!

Optional: Pre-cook cubed sweet potatoes the night before or use left over sweet potatoes from another recipe to up the carbohydrate content and toss in.


Great for rest days when carbohydrate needs are lower or add the sweet potato and it’s a regular meal.

Calories: 500 (with the 1/2 sweet potato cubed)

Carbs:  75g or 51g without the sweet potato and 410 calories for the meal

Protein: 27g

Fat: 15g

Fiber:  23g


NSAG – That’s Podium Nutrition!


Asian Chicken Burgers with Roasted Thyme Potatoes


asian burger 2

asian burger 3



During an awesome SUNNY weekend of road and mountain biking a woman needs some quality nutrition!

One of my all time favorites is my Asian Chicken Burgers with Roasted Potatoes! The bun is optional, you could add more potatoes 🙂 if you desire.

This is super simple, nothing tricky and I like to double it up so that I have left overs. You can easily do this on the BBQ but I just did it on the stove top. Wishing I had a BBQ handy as I love the smell of BBQ in the summer.

Here’s the recipe and my personal photo shoot ;)! Yes my neighbors likely think I am nuts taking pictures of my dinner on my balcony. Maybe they have a point.


1 pound of ground chicken or turkey (Makes 3-4 patties depending on how large you want them)

1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp salt

In a bowl mix the ground turkey or chicken with all of the above ingredients. Make into burger patties. In a pan, set to medium heat, spread a bit of olive oil. Cook each burger for 5-7 minutes per side until cooked through. Don’t put it on high, they will start to burn and will not cook through the center.

While the burgers are cooking take some ketchup and mix with wasabi paste. This is a nice touch! I used 4-5 tbsp ketchup for 1 tsp wasabi. Mix well.

Cut 4 whole wheat buns in half. I like them a bit toasted so put them face down in the over (or on the BBQ) at 350 until a bit toasted.


For the potatoes all I do is chop up cubes of potatoes and toss them in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, pepper, dried thyme leaves and 1 tbsp of lemon rind. I used one large potato per burger, it depends on how many carbs you need :), sometimes I would certainly require 2! But the riding wasn’t THAT EPIC…yet :).

I cook the potatoes on a baking sheet at 500 F tossing them a few times over the course of 50 minutes. The more crispy you want them the longer you will want to leave them in, up to an hour, as long as you are tossing them every 15-20 minutes. I make extra each time as I love these re-heated. Perfect leftovers that get more crisp with each heating.

Serve the burger with home made guacamole. Keep this simple. Just peel avocado, slice it in have, pop out the seed with a knife then scoop the inside out with a spoon. In a bowl mash it with a few tbsp ( l LOVE LIME!) of lime juice and some sea salt. I know there are many versions but I keep it this simple. Another option here is to add some fresh chunks of MANGO! I ate mine while cooking, so I no longer had this option by the time the burgers were ready. Oops.

Serve with some fresh sliced red onion, guacamole and wasabi ketchup. Perfect on the deck after a good day on the bike!

NSAG – Fueling the engine one meal at a time.



Quick Note on Training Once Carb Depleted. What Not To Do.

While speaking to a group yesterday on Sports Nutrition, once again we hit the topic of training in the “fat burning zone” to lose weight.

The comment was that this person had clients train with weights in the gym until they depleted their carbohydrates and then do their cardio activity. The point in their words was along the lines of “they will burn more body fat and get leaner, since now they are burning more fat as fuel since there are no carbs left to burn”.

To re visit this topic, as an athlete this is not a good approach to training. Nor a good approach to weight loss. Here is why, as briefly as possible.

First off, if you want to get faster and stronger, you don’t train while you are carbohydrate depleted. NO quality intervals are coming your way in this state. Carbohydrate depleted athletes can’t run/ride at high intensities and will feel mentally awful and exhausted. This is not empowering any athlete to feel good about their training, nor will they get quality training.

Secondly, just because you burn a larger ‘percentage’ of fatty acids when you exercise at lower intensity, it doesn’t mean you burn more CALORIES. If you keep your carbohydrates coming in during 90 minute or longer training sessions you will be able to sustain harder efforts for a longer period of time and reduce the time to reaching fatigue. And while you are able to push harder you will burn more OVERALL calories”. If body composition changes are the goal, this is what matters.

Lastly, by putting clients into a state of being totally depleting and continuing to train, you will likely send them home ravenous at which point they will overeat and pick food that they crave, which tend to be carbohydrates higher in fat. Low blood sugar = POOR CHOICES. Don’t get there on purpose! Better to eat a bit of carbohydrate during the longer workout and have a strong cardio session, going home with a sensible mind to make a healthy recovery meal.

NSAG – Keeping it real and simple

Affordable and Tasty Training Nutrition


Sticky Rice and Raspberry Jam Bars

rice bar 2

rice bar 3


Ride food can get expensive. Rice bars are an easy to digest and very affordable option. Low in fiber and fat, white rice and potatoes are both excellent training food options.

Of course gels have their place when breathing is heavy and you just can’t be chewing on anything during a hard effort. But for many athletes,  rice bars are a top choice and are great on the GI tract. Especially on long rides or races where 10-12 gels can really start to get to your guts not to mention the boredom of the same thing all day long.

Use calrose or arborio ‘sticky’ rice to make the bars or they will fall apart. For these I layered half the rice on the bottom, then the jam, then more rice on top. I could have put extra rice on top to create more of a ‘center’ to them as well.

Other options include chopping up peeled apples and mixing with cinnamon and some brown sugar, or layering rice then honey mixed with dates in the middle, again topping with rice.

You could buy a 20 pound bag of rice to last a season! For $20 bucks?!

It’s fun to experiment.

To wrap them use Pan Liner paper, which is parchment on the inside (the side to lay the bar on) and foil on the outside. Using foil alone or saran wrap will make a mess and foil will stick to the rice. With pan liner you hold the bar in the paper and it never touches your hands making them sticky.


NSAG – Keeping it simple and affordable! 🙂

Get Things MOVING – Constipation is not your friend!


Keep on Moving!

Constipation, the dreaded word no one really wants to talk about, but most have experienced. It can leave you with stomach pains, fatigue, cramps, headaches, poor skin and many other issues. As an athlete it can be quite painful, especially if you are trying to ride for hours on end or go for long runs. You don’t want a swollen cramping gut that’s for sure.  Here are 4 tips to keep your bowels moving.

1. FLUID. Lots of fluid. I vote for water first. You can have all the fiber you want but you need to give that fiber fluid to create a bulk that will move through your GI tract. Some teas can help with constipation such as Licorice root, Burdock Tea, Senna Tea, Peppermint Tea and Clove tea.

2. FIBER. Over 25 grams of fiber per day is a good goal. Start measuring yours! Real fiber from real food first.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t absorb water and adds BULK to your stool, going through the GI tract relatively intact, speeding up the passage of food and waste.

PRUNES legitimately are a great choice. It’s not an old wives tale, they have actually been studied for relieving constipation. Their sorbitol and insoluble fiber are useful to get things moving. Go easy on them at first, some have stronger reactions to prunes than others.

Other good source of insoluble fiber are; celery, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, green beans, beans, dark leafy greens, whole grains and seeds.

3. MOVE. Twist your midsection. Exercise. Moving your body can literally help get things “moving”. Try doing some light yoga with twisting in the low belly and back area to help squeeze and release the intestines, encouraging movement.

4. CHEW your food. Chewing signals your bowels to start a natural snake like motion called peristalsis, which helps to move food along. If you always eat processed foods (many people) that don’t require chewing, or you eat so fast you don’t chew (picture eating while standing, driving, rushing here), you could be affecting your bowels.

Chocolate lovers…chocolate is constipating. If you are having major problems, lay off the chocolate. Other foods shown to increase constipation are bananas, meat and dairy (for some dairy will cause diarrhea on the opposite end of the scale.)

For some, coffee can act as a laxative as it is a stimulant and the intestines are muscles. It can speed up peristalsis thus reducing the time for the bowels to absorb water, leaving you with more runny stools.  I wouldn’t rely on coffee as a means of having bowel movements however, as you want your system to work naturally without the aid of stimulants. Best to stop caffeine for a month or so and see what the actual health of your intestinal movements are naturally.

The sweetener called sorbitol can also cause loose bowels and cramps for many people. If eating processed foods, read labels carefully to avoid this potentially uncomfortable GI distress. Some sports products have sorbitol in them.

NSAG – Keeping things moving!

Thumbs Up For North Coast Naturals “Daily Greens”

Pretty impressed with North Coast Naturals (Parent company is Fit Foods Ltd.) Daily Greens product! Nice combination of veggies and spirulina in powder form that is palatable! That’s always a good thing!
I can even add it to a smoothie and still enjoy it.

Although I always recommend real vegetables and produce, sometimes we get busy and don’t have time to cook it all up or prepare. A quality greens powder can come in handy at times like this. It’s also a great idea post race and during hard training blocks, to re alkalize your blood and keep your nutrient intake high when eating loads of veggies may be difficult.

I don’t try or report on many supplement products, but I did give this a good go for a month and felt noticeably more energetic, even though I already have a clean nourishing diet. So I’m sticking to it another month and will report back!

North Coast Natural is a Canadian Company who supply products for the Vancouver Canucks, Ottawa Senators and BC Lions and they make products without ingredients named by WADA’s prhoibited list, S1, anabolic agents.

Of course, as always, taking any supplements is the athlete’s decision to make. Do your research if you are a competitive athlete. Contact North Coast Naturals or any company for that matter, for more information re their facilities. NCN are very responsive and will share the information you need. They did with me!

NSAG- Keeping it clean and simple

Liking this North Coast Naturals product!

Liking this North Coast Naturals product!