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!

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins! (They happen to be Vegan too!)

These are addictive!

These are addictive!

Spiced Sweet Potato Muffins

These are amazing! Spiced muffins offer a nice warm flavor that will go great with a tea or your daily coffee as an afternoon snack. These would be a great option as your pre- workout snack an hour before exercising, giving you just the right type of energy to get your legs moving!

Makes 12 x 190 calorie muffins


  • 1 LARGE sweet potato
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour. (if you use gluten free just add 1tsp of xanthum gum if it’s not in the gluten free powder mix) I used brown rice flour and also tried Bob’s Red Mills GF Flour
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 3/4 cups of pure maple syrup (plus 1tbsp to brush muffin tops)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Chinese 5 spice (PC makes one)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • *Optional: add 1 tbsp of chia seeds to the wet mixture and let it sit for 5 minutes so they can expand a bit, while you combine the dry mixture


  • Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake sweet potato whole with skin on, piercing it a few times first
  • Once cooked and cooled enough, remove the skin from the baked potato, place into a bowl
  • Mash the sweet potato well in the mixing bowl
  • Add the milk, vanilla, oil, maple syrup and apple sauce (wet ingredients) (Add chia seeds here) Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, until well mixed together
  • Take a muffin tray (for 12 muffins).
  • Tip: Take small torn off bits of parchment paper and place one in each muffin whole. They don’t have to be perfect circles. In fact take some stress out here while ripping 12 little chunks of parchment paper! 🙂 Baking should be enjoyable and therapeutic right?
  • Pour the muffin mixture evenly into 12 muffin rounds.
  • Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.
  • At 20 minutes take the muffins out and brush the top of each with a bit of maple syrup.
  • Bake another 5 minutes until nothing sticks to a sharp knife when inserted into the center of the muffin. Let them cool. Enjoy when cool enough to bite into!

Nutrition Info: Calories Each:190 Carbohydrates: 32.5g  Protein: 3g  Fats: 5g  Fiber: 3g

(adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s Cook Book)

One of My Favorite All Time Dishes! The LOADED QUINOA BOWL!

Loaded Quinoa Bowl!

This has been my favorite recipe for a long time, and a favorite of many clients! Originally I used to make it with Bulgur but recently switched to Quinoa as a gluten free protein packed option. It’s

Don’t pass up on this one. Make a double recipe as there is some chopping and prep time. But the only thing you cook is the quinoa. The rest is raw!

"Bursting with flavors!"

“Bursting with flavors!”

1.5 cups of either lentils or chick peas (Garbonzo beans)
1 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (you could use more if you like)
2 tsp fresh MINT
1/4 CUP fresh parsley
1/2 cup Feta or Goat feta, crumbled
1 tomato diced
1/3 cup red onion diced
1/2 cup kalamata olives (you could use black if you prefer)
1 diced red pepper

2 cloves garlic chopped
1 stalk minced Celery
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (you can use lime in it’s place as well!)
2 tsp dried dill
Pepper to taste

Get a LARGE bowl out before you start chopping. Everything will go into one bowl.

Boil water in a large pan or pot. Rinse quinoa. Put quinoa in the boiling water and cook for 15-20 minutes.

Cut all the veggies. No other cooking is required besides the quinoa.
Mix them up with spices and other ingredients.
Rinse the quinoa with cool water, drain it and mix it into the large bowl.

Eat right away or refrigerate. It’s even better the next day when the flavors really start to come out.

This recipe has a lot of great flavor!! The mint is a great touch .

ENJOY and don’t forget to make a big batch for leftovers!


Annie’s Late Night Banana, Date Oat Muffins!

Annie’s Late Night Banana Date Oat Muffins!

I often throw things together in the kitchen and hope for the best! Creativity can work out well sometimes, other times, not so much :)! Last night was a good night in the kitchen!

I threw together some ingredients I had handy and the goal was banana, date and oat muffins! Voila they rose…and they tasted great! Far surpassed my expectations! 🙂 Always a pleasant surprise!

Here is the recipe! As of this morning they are still moist :). I waited for the over night hockey puck test before I posted (I’ve surely made muffins that have turned into little stones by sunrise! These ones are still plump and delicious!)


1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 egg
3/4 cup almond milk (I’m sure other milk would work too!)
1/3 cup organic apple sauce
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup mashed banana
12-15 chopped pitted dates

Mix ingredients together, use non stick muffin pan or lightly butter each cup of a regular muffin pan.
Put the oven to 400 and cook for 18-20 minutes or until you can stick a knife into the muffin and no batter sticks to it when you pull it out.
Let sit until cool enough to eat. Then dig in!

Enjoy! Happy Thursday!



 Annie's Late Night Banana, Oat, Date Muffins

HOLY BASIL! “The Elixir of Life!”

Holy Basil! Yes that’s actually what it’s called! Holy Basil (Ocimum Sanctum) is a plant that originated in India and is often used in Ayurvedic Medicine. It is a member of the mint family. It is considered a sacred plant by the Hindus and you will often see it planted around Hindu shrines. They refer to it as “Tulsi” or The “Uncomparable One”. Medicine is made from the leaves, stems and seeds. It’s also been referred to as the “Elixer of Life”. (Ok…if I didn’t want to try it before I sure do now!) It’s been grown in India for over 3000 years.

Holy Basil is used for the common cold, flu, bronchitis, influenza, headache, stomach upset, heart disease, malaria, earache, headache, asthma and diabetes. It is also used to improve memory and concentration. Tulsi is an important part of many Ayurvedic cough syrups as it acts as an expectorant helping to mobilize mucous in bronchitis and asthma.

Holy Basil leaves are also an known as adaptogens or anti-stress agents. which are used to help deal with “life stress”, which can cause a lot of inflammation in the body over time. It has been known to reduce hormones related to stress, mainly cortisol.  Although it does not alter mood, it can help the body to better cope in times of stress. Even if you are feeling good you can chew 12 leaves twice a day to reduce the chances of stress. The leaves also help to purify the blood.

You can also sip Tulsi Tea (yes another tea for the shelf! I think I need a new cupboard!?) and also reap the benefits of the adaptogens via tea. It tastes a bit like cloves and is a nice way to enjoy the benefits of Tulsi.

Applied locally, basil juice has been shown to help with ringworm and other skin diseases due to it’s anti inflammatory action. It is also known as an anti histamine, which should be useful in allergy season which is just around the corner. Except for in Canada where it’s late March and still snowing? We won’t have to worry about allergy season for a while this year! But you lucky southern people…maybe get on the Holy Basil Train!

How does this Holy Basil work? Chemicals in Holy Basil are thought to decrease pain and swelling (inflammation). It acts as an anti histamine, anti inflammatory herb.  In vitro Holy Basil has been shown to act as a COX 2 inhibitor, reducing inflammation. If you struggle with joint or muscle pain this may be a natural option worth trying.

Although I always recommend we eat wholesome whole food diets as our first means of improving health and reducing inflammation, sometimes when you are dealing with inflammation and pain, you do need to go a step further for additional support. Removing processed foods and sugars will go a LONG way in reducing inflammation in the body. Additionally some herbs such as Holy Basil can be helpful. Always consult with your doctor before trying anything herbal, especially if you are taking any medications. To be safe this is always a good idea.

Now let’s go find the “Elixer of Life!”

Dairy Free, Vegetarian Lentil Walnut Burgers with Steamed Broccoli and Tahini Sauce – A Good Source of Iron and Calcium

Veggie burgers are gaining in popularity all over with the vegetarian diet being a choice for many. My favorite was recently my sweet potato burger and l’ve been experimenting with a few others as well! This Walnut Lentil Burger is also a hit! Give it a go and consider topping it with avocado and some spicy sauce or a yogurt dressing such as tzatziki!


Lentil Walnut Burger:

4 1/2 cups of drained lentils

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 eggs (You can substitute the eggs in this recipe with “flax eggs” which are a mix of 6 tbsp ground flax to 2 tbsp boiling water)

1 1/2 tsp oregano

2tsp cumin

2tsp mustard

12 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 cup onion, diced

1 cup wheat germ (binder)

3/4 cup rice or soy milk

2tbsp olive oil


Mix ingredients and form into patties. In a pan use a bit of olive oil to coat and cook each patty for 3-4minutes per side. Serve on a bun with fresh tomatoes, lettuce, and your choice of garnish or get creative with hot sauces and guacamole!

Side- Steamed Broccoli with Tahini Sauce;

Tahini Sauce:

1 cup sesame paste (tahini) – preferably whole sesame
1 cup water
juice from 1 small lemon
1-2 cloves garlic
10 cilantro stalks
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp paprika
salt to taste

2 cups of steamed broccoli, drizzle tahini sauce on top to your liking.

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor. The consistency of tahini sauce can range from very thin and watery to quite thick. Adjust the amount of water to reach the desired texture.

This recipe is delicious and offers you non dairy and non meat options for iron and calcium as well as many other great nutrients! It’s also pretty simple to make! Enjoy!

And remember, you are what you eat! 🙂


Here’s a great alternative to a heavy meat burger! Give it a try this weekend! It’s pretty simple! Spice it up however you like!


  • 2 cans cannellini white beans, drained (Each can is 1 3/4 cups drained beans with Progresso beans) (Cannellini beans are large and have that traditional kidney shape. With a slightly nutty taste and mild earthiness, they have a relatively thin skin and tender, creamy flesh).
  • 1 large sweet potato, baked/peeled/mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • 2 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning OR Cajun seasoning (or another fave spice!)
  • 1/4 cup wheat flour or brown rice flour or gluten free flour (there are some good pre-made gluten free flours on the market now)
  • Optional: additional seasoning (whatever you have on hand – I used a few dashes cayenne, black pepper or chilli pepper)Salt to taste if needed
  • Panko crumbs (you will dip each Pattie in the bread crumbs, about 1 cup total)
  • Olive oil for pan- lightly oil just to avoid sticking
  • 2 whole wheat buns or gluten free buns
  • 2 avocados for toppings
  • TOPPINGS TO CONSIDER!!! Dijon mustard, pickles, onions as desired OR you can use a mango chutney and roasted red peppers as toppings.


1. Bake sweet potato. Peel, place in large mixing bowl.
2. Add drained beans to mixing bowl. Mash beans and potato together. (you can use a food processor or a fork)
3. Mash in seasoning, flour and any additional seasoning. Your mixture will be quite soft and moist,but you should be able to form a patty. Add more flour or a scoop of breadcrumbs – or dry rice to thicken the mixture if needed.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a pan over high heat.
5. Form a patty from mixture and coat in Panko or gluten free bread crumbs. Thick coating. Then drop the patty in the pan. Repeat until the pan is filled. Cook until browned on both sides. You could also bake. If baking, use less Panko.
6. Transfer cooked patties to paper towel. Cool for a few minutes.
7. Serve on toasted bun with lot of yummy toppings!

This is a great alternative to a meat burger! I love it!
Serves well with baked zucchini frites!

Bon Appetit! From NSAG! 🙂

Maple Baked Salmon with Chopped Almonds

The amazing flavor of this baked salmon marinated with sweet maple dressing and topped with almonds makes this dish taste soooooo good it will definitely become a mealtime staple!

4 skinless salmon fillets (each fillet should be about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup almonds, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed


Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

Place the four salmon fillets in pan, leaving 1/2 inch between pieces.

Chop the almonds by hand or use a hand-held blender or chopper (it only takes a few seconds with a hand-held blender). Distribute the chopped almonds evenly on top of the fillets.

In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, orange juice, lemon juice, soy sauce and crushed garlic.

Use a spoon to gently baste the marinade over top of each fillet.

Bake salmon for about 15 to 20 minutes or until fish is just done.

While the fish is baking, baste top with marinade at least once or twice.

When removing fish from the pan, leave the leftover marinade behind and discard.

Serve the fish with brown rice and a green salad or vegetables. Delish!!