Fuel for the Fire….Sports Nutrition tried and tested

This is a HUGE break through for me – I have ticked one of my “New Years Revolution” boxes!!!! I have started running a whole lot more seriously! I have been doing races from bay to bay, through forests, along mountain contours, up monster hills and I love it! It’s the adrenaline rush and the pulse of endorphins that fuels an excitement and happiness for life!

Being a Nutrition Nut I end up counting every gram of carb and protein (well not really but I am aware) before and after the race. So this first post is to outline the pre-race nutrition you should focus on.

Carbo-loading is a very controversial topic at the moment…so I have experimented….116378264

For the Bay to Bay 15km race, I chose the more traditional option of carbo-loading and filled up on a chicken and mushroom pasta the night before. I had about 2.5 cups of pasta and 60g of chicken (quite a healthy portion).

Protein / fat -loading:
For the Hoenhort 15km race I opted for a higher protein meal of about 135g of grilled fish, focusing more on getting a reasonably big portion of protein and healthy fat in.

The result:
Well, this is the interesting part – my time was 1h29 and 1h30, respectively, practically identical. However I felt much heavier and slower on the Hoenhort race, which shouldn’t have been the case as it was second in line so I should have been fitter.

My take is to carbo-load, it seems to agree with my body and taste buds 🙂 I also suggest experimenting with your own nutrition.

Fueling the Fire…Post-event Recovery Nutrition

Post-event nutrition is a sensitive science that you really need to focus on.  If done correctly it can:

  1. provide the muscles with building blocks to develop.
  2. Allows the glycogen stores (Carb stores) to replenish. This is the energy supply that you need for overall recovery, for the next race and to prevent muscles being “eaten up” for energy.

So immediately after the race ensure that you eat the correct balance of food…

  • 1-1.5 g/kg Carb
  • 12 – 24g Protein

So using me as an example again, the 60kgs that I am, requires 60 – 90 g Carbs and about 15 – 24g Protein. So this is what I would grab after a race:

  • Yogisip (300ml Danone Strawberry): 42g carb and 7g Protein
  • Woolies HP snack bar (Almond, Apple, Vanilla with yoghurt): 19.44g carb and 20g Protein

See how this suits you…your muscles will definitely be happy!


Fat Free Lifestyle…HELLO

Guys, I went for my Vitality Health Check and it confirmed my fear…my damn cholesterol is HIGH!!! I have had it checked many times before but today it was the highest it’s been! However I have had a full lipogram done before and it is the good “HDL” one that is super high, which makes sense because I eat loads of unsaturated fats (nuts blah blah) which would push up the overall reading! However losing points on my poor cholesterol reading really deflates the ego of a Dietitian who “Practices what she Preaches”. So I will be booking another full Lipogrm ASAP. I will keep you updated.

This aside, I am still very aware of Low fat diets and Low fat or Fat Free cooking and baking. So this weekend I have been super busy cooking and baking…I have just posted the recipes, so have a look and give it a try!!

carot cake

Fat free diet-  HELLOOOOO, let’s do this!

How do you know when you are truly happy

Life on a Marshmallow

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You find yourself smiling spontaneously for no reason at all. Then you realize you are TRULY happy when this happens at 6.10am when you are driving to work in the pitch darkness in the pouring rain. To muster a genuine smile at this time, in this temperature, defies the boundaries of mere content and propels you into a new level of pure joy. 
But like everyone who wakes up and aims to tackle the day knows that sometimes the day can tackle you- onto the hard ground, into a head lock, with you wanting to wave the white flag of mercy. I have been there once or twice….
Then I decided to take control.Which in itself is empowering.
I decided to follow my dream and apply for an honours course in Dietetics. That took care of my career…and I have never once looked back.
But I also learnt that growing up, leaving the nest and fluffy down feathers of family, was tougher than ever expected.
Now this is your signal! It’s just a silent siren telling you that it is time to take control again…but how do you get out of the head lock? You blink away the tears and focus!
  • I woke up early every morning and put my iPod and running shoes on and hit the gym or the promenade. I set myself previously unobtainable goals. This included aiming to land my dream job that could challenge me every day, simultaneously opening up my practice and entering way-too-long runs with way-too-little-training.
  • I turned off the TV.
  • I filled my iPod with awesome songs.
  • I nourished my body, seeing it as my one and only temple and gift. I am grateful for my healthy body “from my toes the the tip of my nose” (my morning motto BTW) :)hence my passion for helping clients cherish their bodies and nourish themselves with healthiness!
  • I learnt to LOVE cooking (yes I am a dietitian but used to dislike cooking, I know I know, disgraceful). I ate truck loads of vegetables, fruit and legumes.
  • I loved my job and was humbled by my patients’ strength and touched by their words of kindness and gratitude.
  • I paid car guards R20 when I could and polished my halo when they called me an angel.
  • I cherished special relationships with my family and I treasured my friendships and their importance in my life. Each one building my foundation of strength.
While speeding up in life I slowed down in recognition- I noticed beautiful things in nature- from a cloud to a sunrise to the silhouette of table mountain in the morning. I saw a dolphin sighting as a gift. I loved exploring trails that few had ever tread across. I began listening to signs and realizing that nothing happens by coincidence. You just need to stop, observe and be guided.
Sometimes I think of my life as a bumpy car ride over a marshmallow. Or a rocky road consisting of a cloud – life with its trials and tribulations along a path constantly supported by amazing people and incredible spirit, strength and love!
So my message – Spread your incredibly strong wings of steel, face your gigantic goals, set off with the wind at your back and sprint into life head on. You may be bruised, injured and limping every now and then and yes your knees may be left scraped and bleeding but you are achieving greatness, conquering mountainous dreams and being truly happy for no real reason at all.
You might have scarred knees but you will find this a mere glitch when you notice your face is bright, even luminous with happiness. Hearing that your smile inspires others is the best gift imaginable.

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Chicken, lentil, cherry tomato and baby marrow Casserole

This is a super simple recipe that I thought up last night, just using what we had in the fridge and cupboard… It provides 2 out of your 3 veg servings and is very low in fat and high in protein!


  • 4 Skinless chicken breasts
  • Punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • Punnet of baby marrows
  • 1/2 cup dry brown lentils
  • tin of tomato and onion
  • 1/2 cup Homemade veg or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp Cumin, 1 tbsp coriander, 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste and about 1 tbsp Italian herbs
  1. Chop the tomatoes and baby marrrows and toss into a roasting dish / casserole dish
  2. place the chicken breasts into the pan
  3. Toss in the lentils
  4. Sprinkle the spices, salt etc
  5. Pour over the tomato and onion and stock
  6. Cover with a lid or foil
  7. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45minutes, turning the chicken and mixing the veg half way through the cooking
  8. Check that the chicken is cooked through
  9. Serve with rice or wraps

Caramelized Pears


  • Pear (one per person)
  • drizzle honey
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Star aniseed (one or two)
  1. Peel the pears and put them into a roasting dish
  2. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with cinnamon and toss in the aniseed.
  3. Bake the pears for 20 min at 180 degrees. Turn them every so often so the honey doesn’t caramelize.
  4. You can serve them with some plain fat free yoghurt, but they are delish plain too!