PEMF for athletes

Kona ironman nutrition

Hi folks

Just a reminder nudge that in the clinic healing therapies are available, either hands on (yep, I also do this – its a cool way of listening to see what the body needs in the moment) and also through energy frequencies on the PEMF device.

Here is a super cool article explaining a bit more about the use of and benefits of PEMF to athletes:

ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

Do every thing you can to support your body in its journey to optimal performance.

Success is based on all the small percentages.

Andrea

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Our first coaches corner where you can see us!

We had super fun today on coaches corner; our first time using Skype and I sense that the competition is on now for best hat and mug combo. Mitch won today; with Ian in sensible grown up clothes coming in a firm second.

We have built up a real treasure trove of resources for cyclists and triathletes; so if you are interested in having a listen to other podcasts you can find there here to stream in any format that suits you best and also here on YouTube. I have also detailed many of the podcasts here: (I may have missed a few).

Here is today’s awesome podcast 🙂

Today we discussed:

  • Early (warning) signs of health crashing and tips about what to do to prevent getting sick and return to full form as quickly as possible.
  • Indoor vs outdoor powermeter and what to do with your numbers – also, if you do not have a PM outdoors – how to pace yourself?
  • Theia offers words of wisdom on “failure- or is it?” I felt like she was speaking to my soul given the personal context for me; thanks Theia! Her words are worth listening to. I really enjoyed the tip on  “what am I going to give in a race” and I learnt that for me the importance of holding my health sometimes has far greater meaning in the context of my work and home life. I need to be healthy for what matters; and crushing this in a race just isn’t worth it.
  • Concept of a “Floor” in our Training Peaks numbers – and how to use it.
  • This week in the LAB.

As promised here are my words of advice regarding what to look out for and what to do when your health starts to veer off track:

Warning signs:

I have kept it light hearted; if you wish to read the official consensus on Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Overtraining Syndrome: Joint Consensus Statement of the European College of Sport Science and the American College of Sports Medicine click here and another topic close to this and equally concerning is relative energy deficiency in sport and here is the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Consensus Statement on Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S): 2018 update.

Normal warning signs and symptoms that I see when training stress starts to ramp up are the following – without getting too in-depth!

Respiratory tract:

  • Allergies and asthma
  • Sinus infections
  • Head colds
  • Sore/ tickly throats
  • Constant cough
  • If really unlucky chest infections or pneumonia and viral conditions (that don’t need an antibiotic) worsening into bacteria complicated infections (that may need an antibiotic).

Gastrointestinal tract:

  • IBS type symptoms
  • Looser stools
  • Greater difficulty managing nutrition and feeling like food isn’t digesting well
  • Reflux and indigestion
  • More frequent food poisoning / gastritis incidents
  • Poor nutrient absorption – iron and B12 deficiency

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Two great website resources!

click here folks: http://burnfatnotsugar.com

and here: https://optimisingnutrition.com/2018/03/17/energy-density/

Remember these mantras:

  • Keep it real (food).
  • Be environmentally aware and ethically conscious.
  • How can I make this meal better? Do what you can and then go one step better.
  • Preparation makes a big difference in our success.
  • Have I earned it with activity?
  • Become a master of your emotions; eating them away rarely helps.
  • Food builds you, heals you, powers your brain and body, recovers you, fuels you, protects you from illness, sustains you for the long-haul. The right food is life changing (and so is the wrong food).

Andrea x

 

How to eat

Be curious:

My title of How to eat implies that I know all the answers to the complex questions of what is the perfect diet and how to eat. The straight up simple answer (from my experience anyhow) is that there is no one absolute and perfect way to eat. To think so is daft and to argue so is closed-minded. How can one diet at all times and phases of life work for so many culturally and geographically diverse people?

We are dynamic beings in an ever changing world, with multiple ‘things’ influencing our health and homeostatic balance at all times; our environment is constantly changing, our stress levels fluctuate alongside our ability to tolerate “stress”, and alongside this the trillions of cells in our gut are in constant dynamic flux alongside us – the beauty of symbiosis. We are complex, food is complex, and health is complex!

I think it is best to say: get curious, learn to be intuitive, take people’s big claims of knowing the definitive answers like a pick and mix adding what you intuitively agree with to your health strategy. Try things but don’t cling blindly to them; test them out and see where it gets you.

Learn about your body, your ancestry, your environment from the ground up: the soil, wild plants, what you can grow yourself in a vegetable plot, local agriculture, farmers markets and the whole local supply chain. Learn about the food our oceans and rivers provide. Get to know your food likes and dislikes, be inquisitive about your food cravings and mostly, be flexible because our health needs also change over time.

Veggies from my colleague Ginny Ross’s garden. Ginny manages to juggle a busy practice with a phenomenal veg garden #itcanbedone! http://www.limericksportstherapy.com/

There are many theories proposed about the cause of our current health and obesity epidemics. I think food and nutrition, activity levels and weight, genetics and environment are very complex and interrelated issues. They cannot be explained by just one theory: we are mind, body, emotions and the memory of all events in our lifetimes. Our health even extends beyond our own control and experiences as research shows us that genes are influenced by the stress our mothers experienced before and during pregnancy, what we were fed as an infant and even what our mothers and father ate in the preconception and pregnancy period. Amazing! Generational trauma can also influence our health.

Some things we can change, some we can improve; the rest we cannot worry about and all of us can do our best to nurture and nourish our bodies and minds.

A few things I would pay attention to are food volume (we eat too much), food processing such as refined and high sugar carbohydrates, heat processed fats, poor quality or burnt charred protein; food (and health supplement) quality, excessive use and hence intake of food additives, pesticides, artificial sweeteners, herbicides, etc; our environment and exposure to endocrine disrupters, heavy metals (e.g. amalgams, water quality, food quality, local industry) and carcinogenic substances; medication use and its impact on our homeostatic balance in addition to the gut microbiome; gut health especially in relation to food quality and also foreign travel, stress management, sleep, exercise and movement and our emotional / psychological health.

Our bodies health relies on a delicate balance of so many factors.

A healthy body is resilient, resistant to illness and infections, and adaptive; but there are only so many insults that it can take before it all starts to spiral into a mess.

The sooner you pay attention and make changes whilst removing trigger causes, then the better.

Ethical dilemmas:

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Set point theory of weight

Today we had another fun chat with the coaches!

We discussed

  • Wear and tear on our bikes while on our trainers
  • 5 Tips for Setting Up an Effective Indoor Cycling Space
  • Volume or intensity workouts; which is better?
  • Altitude acclimatization
  • and it was my turn to give the scoop on body set point theory/ optimal body weight and nutrition (starting at 29 minutes in).

Here are some helpful supportive links: https://medical.mit.edu/…/default/files/set_point_theory.pdf

and

https://www.mirror-mirror.org/set.htm

enjoy,
Andrea

If you are interested to learn more about your weight and health, or have this assessed using state of the art bioelectrical impedence and supported in your quest to idea health and performance, please fill in the contact form.

 

Sport nutrition video blogs, podcasts and good stuff

This is the post that you want to read for resources, tips and advice!

Hi all,

Life has been fast and busy, apologies for the hit and miss entries. I have been training persistently and consistently; putting in the ground work under the watchful eye and intuitive guidance of my coach Annchen Clarke in preparation for the coming year and my main races.

I have been throwing my heart and energy into my clients in the clinic, and I have been thoroughly enjoying my involvement with the coaches Ian, Theia, Mitch, and Jason at the Endurance lab.

In the clinic I am moving more into my areas of expertise, I encourage all my clients to shine in their unique and individual ways and it is important that I do also.

So what are my areas? Intuitive medicine and energy healing (your body speaks a unique language and I am good at interpreting this and instead of spouting off a list of A-Z I can tell you the specific ABC that your body needs for health and well-being, balance and optimal performance at that specific moment in time), a whole mind-body-spirit approach to chronic health problems (notably energy, gastrointestinal and immune problems), tailored holistic approach to the care of the athlete and trouble shooting to get you from where you are to where you want to be.

I also work with plant, tree and crystal energies to create healing essences and work with the nudges of the energies of land and people; we are all connected and intertwined and to think that each of us walks alone is daft. Everything is energy, and our energy is connected to everything (person-animal-place).

I am not a meal plan writer, general nutritionist, food and supplement faddist or a calorie cruncher; this type of work is argued left right and centre on the great world of social media, I prefer to see my role as advisor and support, listener and in return giver of answers, guide and educator. You work with me for a while; grow, heal, become empowered and fly off 🙂

We work together on the more complex stuff; I have a lifetime of education and experience and I am here to share what I have with you. Use my time and education; I have many skills and resources to share!

Of course there is also the balance, my boy, my puppy, my ‘me’ time and the great outdoors; the crucial things for health and well-being!

To keep you on your toes, please do check out the recipe section here on this blog (e.g. a recent one), my facebook endurance group and also these video blogs that have gone up lately.

Enjoy,
Andrea

PS Please try to listen to the entire podcast of Coaches Corner; the coaches give invaluable tips so the listen is very much worth it.

Fuelling:

So here are tips on how to gain some insights into what fuelling your training sessions may need, which can come from clues about what zone you are training in and for how long you are in these zones.

Consider that your carbohydrate demands of the session are along a sliding scale of intensity – Easy, Endurance Pace, Tempo, (Sweet Spot), Threshold, VO2, multiplied by the time spent in these zones. The longer you are training, or the harder you are training, or the longer and harder you are training the greater the percentage of carbohydrates that you will be oxidising (and hence will need to top up your blood glucose once your liver and glycogen stores start to diminish).

Your fuelling is never an all or nothing between carbs and fat. (We also have the top end anaerobic sprint work that uses a different energy system called the phosphocreatine/ phosphagen system. We never just train there as endurance athletes nor could we for longer than a few seconds, it is worth knowing that this is a different system and it is here that we teach our bodies how to tolerate and recover from lactate generation and the subsequent shift in cellular pH from hydrogen ions). When doing sprint work you must take into context what other work you are doing in this session as it will help dictate your fuelling needs.

At lower intensities you will be oxidising mostly fats with some carbohydrates, and at tempo and threshold (and towards your max) you will be oxidising mostly carbohydrates with some fats and the ratios of these, and where these percentages lie will depend on several factors. It is tricky to know exactly what gram per hour number you are for carbohydrates, so instead of trying to over-science it, learn to listen to what your body is saying and tweak it from there based on getting the basic principles of training fuelling correct while also being cognizant that your body has needs for many other things that we find IN REAL FOOD.

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Should I follow a keto diet?

Hello all,

this is a short post containing an audio that I recorded yesterday after watching yet another debate in social media about weight loss and cycling performance and low carbohydrate/ ketogenic diets. Today diet is a battle ground between opinions; the science doesn’t often seem to count for much I am sad to say. That said, we do live in exciting times as more and more interesting studies emerge on who a keto diet may work for, and why a keto diet may not be recommended for most athletes except a few. It may be that the anecodotal stories do hold weight and I for one will never ignore what people share as their personal experience.

Perhaps there is a category of elite persons, normal persons, and those with metabolic issues and we all don’t thrive on the same diet nor perform our best on one prescribed type of diet. Science will always struggle to get into the finer details. So I guess this leaves the hard work down to us as therapists and individual athletes to find what works best for us in terms of health and performance with minimal fuss or extremes.

PLEASE take time to listen before you decide on taking a more drastic dietary approach which may harm your endurance performance and possibly also your gut microbiome health and micronutrient balance, never mind your energy for training at the top end intensities.

The best approach is not always the most drastic approach; often the simple changes done in the long-term create the most influential changes regarding our health and performance. BUT…. this takes time and patience. Something not many have these days. Just like your training, you reap the benefits when you step up your nutrition.

 

To clarify I believe in utilising a nutrition approach that ebbs and flows the macros across the training cycle.

I believe in optimising our ability to utilise body fat stores and glycogen stores while employing dietary strategies such as carbohydrates to fuel the gaps.

I believe that the correct training is a powerful tool to optimise both metabolic flexibility and fat adaptation and that this can be further enhanced with dietary strategies (end result = performance gains).

I advocate a diet focused on food quality (local, seasonal, minimally processed, and ethically produced) when possible, and centred around increasing micro-nutrient density; i.e. more of the good stuff.

I believe that humans are highly flexible when it comes to carbohydrates, fats, and proteins but that there is a balance that fluctuates around moderate protein, low-moderate natural carbohydrates, some intake of unprocessed fats and well vegetables are so important I almost want to give them their own food group.

I intuitively feel that eating according to where we come from is important. For example, I am Irish and Northern European and the foods indigenous to this location probably suit me better than say those from a hot central hemisphere location.

Most importantly I believe that food should be enjoyed and that the body is so utterly complex that we should avoid getting overly consumed by calorie and maco counting.

Listen to your bodies, nourish you body, respect your body and thank your body for all that it does.

Enjoy,
Andrea

I have linked some articles and papers below that may interest you:

The Ketogenic Diet’s Impact on Body Fat, Muscle Mass, Strength, and Endurance

Low-carbing for endurance: the oxygen problem

Low Fat versus low Carb round 1 Metabolic Advantage

exciting paper! Keto-adaptation enhances exercise performance and body composition responses to training in endurance athletes

Critical analysis of McSwiney et al’s 2017 keto study