Monday, July 28, 2014

Delicious AND Healthy Summer Snacks

Who says healthy snacks have to taste like cardboard? Some new choices in snackage.

Yes, I'm a Certified Nutritional Consultant but I have always enjoyed potato chips. There I said it! So when I found these very hearty Jackson's Honest Potato Chips made with Organic Coconut Oil, I was anxious to try them. I currently use Nature's Approved Long Life Coconut Oil for cooking and baking, and it has really made a difference in my skin as well as helping to reduce belly fat. That's because coconut oil is highly stable for cooking and full of good medium chain triglycerides as well as lauric acid. So it was only natural for me to want to try these kettle style chips cooked in coconut oil. To see my favorite cooking oil, Nature's Approved EVO Coconut Oil, click HERE.

Nature's Approved  EVO Coconut Oil in my baked bread.
Jackson's Honest Potato Chips
These are made from organic potatoes and kettle cooked by hand in Colorado. My favorite varieties are Sea Salt, and Mango Chili Lime which has a nice spicy kick. They use only organic coconut oil in the cooking process for a snack food that is gluten free and vegan. Coconut Oil was an essential part of the company's son's diet and helped him recover from his illness. A portion of the sales proceeds are donated to The Children's Hospital of Colorado. Check them out online at

Jackson's Honest Potato Chips are cooked in organic coconut oil.
Navitas Naturals Power Snacks and Nuts
These are organic, raw food snacks that taste amazing. The Coffee Cacao and Maca Maple Cashews are so good and good for you being rich in antioxidants, omega fatty acids and dietary fiber. These really do fall into the superfood category and incorporate real food like organic dates, almonds, cashews and cacao powder. These little bite sized squares will have you powering through your sleepy afternoon. Likewise the Maca Maple Cashews are nicely sweet and crunchy while being full of essential fatty acids.  See all of their healthy snacks online at

Navitas Naturals Organic, raw food snacks

Crunchies Freeze Dried Snacks
This is a quick and easy way of getting those extra vegetables in during the day. Freeze dried, these vegetable based snacks are surprisingly flavorful and will keep "fresh" for camping and hiking trips. The Buttered Corn is perhaps the best of the freeze dried vegetable varieties and their BBQ Roasted Vegetables, well, not so much.  However their organic fruits, that is the Strawberries are delicious. Check them out at

Crunchies Freeze Dried Vegetables

Monday, July 21, 2014

Rapha Women's 100 2014: The Ride, The Kit and Staying Visible

At the last minute I asked my mechanic to install my DayTime Red
This year's Rapha Women's 100 came on the heels of lots of rain and high humidity. In fact I started a bit later than last year due to a few early morning rain storms moving through. Due to some tire and bicycle computer issues on the Terry, I road the heavier Nishiki first until repairs could be done. Being about 15 lbs heavier than the Terry, I definitely felt the difference especially on steep hills. My average speed was about 14.5 mph.

Donkeys grazing in a hillside corral on my ride route.
Once the Terry was ready, I switched off and rode that. Last year I had the Terry for the whole route so after lunch, I enjoyed a much lighter ride! However by then the winds had picked up so headwinds all the way out. The humidity had dropped but the temperature was up into the 80's.

Maximum wind speed was 5.7 mph
The Kit  The Giro Amare Road Helmet weighs only about 280 grams and was so cool with the 26 active turbo vents. I could really hear the wind in my ears especially on the descents. Likewise the Giro Riela Trail Shoes are much more aerodynamic than the Pearl Izumis. The foot bed is also much stiffer which gave me a lot more power in the pedals. Read more about my ride kit HERE.

Giro Amare Women's Road Helmet

During the morning ride, I put on my Safety Smart Wear short sleeved Jersey over my Castelli 2.0 Body Paint Cropped Tri Top and Bibshorts as it was still pretty cool. The Castelli Kit is the lightest, most comfortable cycle wear I've worn to date. It performed so well keeping me cool and dry. The chamois was not too bulky and stayed cool in the saddle. After lunch, I simply wore my Verspertine Vesp over the cropped Tri Top & Bibshort. What I really needed was visibility as I am riding in 50 mph traffic.

Vespertine Vesp taking a break on the Terry in the shade.
Visibility Factors
If you look close in the photo above and in the lead photo, you'll see my DiNotte Daytime Red under the Butterfly saddle of my Terry. At the last minute, I asked my mechanic to install it. A ride this long and with traffic whizzing by can be very stressful. I wanted to make sure that I was seen and from quite a distance. It was sunnier in the afternoon so the Daytime Red did it's thing. Cars saw me and stayed away. I call that winning!
Likewise the Vespertine Vesp offers lightness but high visibility. It is not as aerodynamic as the Castelli Body Paint pieces but I felt safer since I am riding alone and people may not be expecting me on the road. Still I did see quite a few other cyclists out there but just not involved in this Sportive.

Washed and drying after the Rapha Women's 100!
The Ride Wrap This was a great ride this year! Despite having a late rain start, equipment substitutes and repairs, I did a respectable 22.5 miles for the day. My ride route has hills and I'm out there alone so I don't have a group to draft with. Still I would rather challenge myself with a certain degree of difficulty than take an easier route of flat, boring roads. Besides, I would miss all of the horses, turtles, donkeys, sheep and goats I get to see on my route! No, this is way more interesting. The main thing is for us women to get out there and make it happen. Special thanks to this year's ride support team: Giro Sport Design, Castelli Cycling, Safety Smartwear, Vespertine, CatEye Bicycle Electronics and my Number One Bicycle Mechanic, my husband Joe!

CatEye Strada Digital Wireless

Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer Training Table Favorites - New Garden of Life Organic Vitamins

Something new on the training table!
The Rapha Women's 100 is this weekend and I have to admit that I have been traveling a LOT this spring and summer. I would usually have more road bike miles in by now but with the rain and local flooding, the last few weeks have been a wash (literally)! All the same I have been cross training with my weight machine, by taking walks/runs and laps in the pool.

Fuel for the Rapha Women's 100
Still, that doesn't stop me as I feel that I am in the best shape ever and have added a few new things to my summer training table. I was sent these supplements from Garden of Life to try, I'd say about 6 weeks ago.
They all blend quickly and easily without having to break out the VitaMix. I just add a scoop to water and a little milk in my shaker cup and BOOM, breakfast! 

My favorite is the Raw Protein Chocolate Cacao. It's absolutely delicious with no grainy texture. What makes this line different is the use of raw, sprouted grains like brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat and an assortment of bean sprouts. Added to this is high protein chlorella and mixed tocopherols (vitamin E). If I want an extra boost, I'll add fruits and garden vegetables to the Garden of Life Raw Fit which has Green Coffee Bean Extract and more of a neutral flavor. I'll also mix Rainbow Light's Acai Berry Blast and NeoCell's Collagen based powders in my smoothies. The combinations are nearly endless so I've not been bored.

I always add a scoop of protein powder to my smoothies.

Garden of Life KIND Organics Multivitamins
I've just started taking these so the jury is still out on if they are making a difference performance wise. One thing I like is that you can take them on an empty stomach without much worry of stomach upset. Sometimes even before I can down my smoothie, I want to take something when I get up. So far these have been good but most vitamins are better absorbed with a little food so I will take them with a handful of nuts in the AM.

Now these are hard pressed tablets BUT they do not contain the usual shellac, hard waxes and fillers found in cheaper supplements. These vitamins are made with organic whole foods and herbs. I especially like the women specific formulations. My preference is to take a liquid vitamin first, then a gelatin capsule and then last a hard tablet. So I will see how well these pills are breaking down and being assimilated.

Pain in NO picnic. My Turmeric Supreme formulations.
Turmeric Supreme
Something else new that I recently wrote about is the addition of Turmeric Supreme to my training table. I have much less back pain and even when I over-do it, recovery is very fast and complete. If I have any extra issues, I've used their Turmeric Pain formula for added relief. Being in the saddle for 5-6 hours to complete the Women's 100 can be a problem for your back and legs. I'm taking this ahead of time to ward off serious soreness afterward.

So that's the nutritional game plan. I've been eating lots of salmon and mackerel while taking extra Omega 3 supplements as well. The garden is coming in so lots of cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and cherry tomatoes so far! My knees feel great and I'm looking forward to this and many more challenges this summer. See you out there!

Remember Mr. Snappy from last year's Women's 100?