Category: Nutrition


By Coach Robin

Eat less, exercise more or simply focusing on calories in vs. calories out DOES NOT WORK for SUSTAINABLE FAT-LOSS! SUSTAINABLE FAT-LOSS… isn’t that what we really want? We want to lose excess fat resulting in a transformation into a leaner, more fit, and even younger looking & feeling body. Did you know every time you eat (what you choose to eat) or exercise (what you choose to do), you are turning on fat-burning or turning off fat-burning?

Weight-loss vs. Fat-loss

What’s the difference? Weight loss is loss of body weight including the body’s fat and muscle. You have heard of the different body shapes such as pear shaped, apple shaped, etc… Well if you are pear shaped and you loss weight (fat & muscle), you will simply be a smaller pear shape. Fat-loss, on the other hand, is the loss of fat and minimal loss muscle. Your muscle can change in shape (creating the leaner, more fit look) with quality, proper nutrition and short, effective exercise. You can also think of muscle as the engine driving the body’s metabolism. The more muscle you have, the more fuel/energy  your body requires throughout the day=greater calorie burn. Studies of the most popular and “effective” weight loss programs indicate that only 20% of people actually achieve short-term weight loss. Wow! That’s 80% of people engaging in weight loss programs will FAIL!  Of those who do have some short term success, only 5% will keep the weight off for 2 or more years. I don’t know about you, but I find those statistics REALLY depressing.

Hormones-the body’s metabolic messengers

(You don’t want to miss this…BUT if it’s too much science for you, just skip to So what’s the plan.)

Talk hormones with me for a minute (think beyond just the reproductive hormones). Our bodies produce a multitude of hormones that we should think of as metabolic messengers that influence and effect everything in the body. Let’s focus on a handful of these metabolic messengers/hormones that tell our body to store fat or burn fat and in turn signal the body with feelings of hunger, fullness, and sometimes cravings: insulin, cortisol, adrenaline, human growth hormone, and reproductive hormones. Unfortunately,  if you have engaged in the up-hill struggle of diet weight-loss programs in the past of calorie counting and lengthy aerobic exercise, these important hormones are not being “heard” by the body. Your metabolism is not operating effectively or efficiently. When someone is yo-yo dieting (losing some weight only to gain it and sometimes more back after a short time), the metabolic messengers that tell the body to burn fat all but shut down. What influences how effectively your body’s metabolic messengers/hormones are working? Food/fuel choices, exercise, sleep, and stress together significantly impact the body’s sensitivity to and responsiveness to these metabolic messengers.

So what’s the plan?

Minimizing stress throughout your day and getting a good nights sleep are a (very good) start. A nutrition plan (NOT a diet) including frequent meals of lean protein, high fiber, and starchy carbs in moderation combined with short, intense hybrid strength training sessions will put you on track to transform your body through sustainable fat-loss. Not sure how to get started? Your GOGO NUTRITION coach can set you up with a good starter plan or design an individualized nutrition and exercise plan just for you.





Jade Teta & Keoni Teta. “The New ME Diet.”


Post Workout Recovery Meal

Recipe by Charles & Julie Mayfield, Co-authors of Paleo Comfort Foods | Recipe


The sweet potatoes give you a huge post workout carbohydrate punch to quickly restore glycogen stores and the sausage throws a little protein in the mix. The really cool thing about this recipe is its portability. Charles likes to vacuum seal and freeze servings of this to take with him to the gym. This hash is great served warm, but packs plenty of flavor if served cold also. It makes a really easy/portable snack that can easily travel with you and hold up when you are on the go.


2 tbs. coconut, avocado, or olive oil

1 sweet onion, diced

1 pound (450g) sweet potatoes, peeled & shredded/grated

1 pound (450g) cooked chicken or turkey sausage

3 tbs. cumin

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in oil

2. Saute onion until translucent

3. Stir in potatoes, mixing to combine and cook until potatoes start to soften and eventually brown slightly.

4. Mix in sausage, cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and cook until sausages start to get a bit brown

Avoid the Binge

Everyone knows what it’s like to be getting ready for bed, but instead of slipping under the covers you head to the kitchen. What should be a glass of water turns into a bowl of cereal, which snowballs into leftovers and a bowl of ice cream.

Unfortunately, studies show that eating large meals late at night may be a poor nutritional habit. Primarily, this advice stems from the awareness that our digestive system is not firing on all cylinders prior to sleeping. However, studies also show that eating late can actually keep us awake, which causes a host of other issues.

Pro triathlete, Jesse Thomas, offers this advice to help avoid the late-night gorge session:
“I never let myself get hungrier than a 7 out of 10. That means I snack a lot on well-balanced mini meals between 15 and 300 calories…”

Examples of “mini-meals”

  • Smoothie
  • Eggs & toast
  • PB & J
  • Snack Bar
  • Fresh fruit/veggie
  • Small salad

Thomas continues, “If I eat more often, I actually eat less because I don’t turn into a T. rex at night, scouring the kitchen cupboards for every morsel of food.” In other words, by eating steadily throughout the day, your body will be less likely to reach bedtime in a calorie debt. Food binge avoided. Belly slimmed. Good night’s sleep.

Easy, Delicious and Healthy: Roasted Winter Vegetables

Looking for a good side for dinner tonight? Wanting to eat more vegetables? Try this recipe and let us know what you think.


  • 1 lb winter squash, such as butternut or acorn, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1/2 lb brussels sprouts (about 12), quartered
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4″ diagonal slices
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley1
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Toss squash, brussels sprouts, carrots, and onion with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in large bowl. Spread vegetables in single layer on baking sheet (use two if necessary) and roast until browned and tender, about 30 minutes. Stir once or twice during cooking.
3. Transfer to bowl. Toss with parsley, vinegar, pepper, and remaining oil and salt.
You can substitute the vegetables

Foods to Strengthen Immune System

Certain foods can help combat the common cold and flu.

Nothing can sideline your training like a bad cold or the flu, and both run rampant this time of year. But your immune system has a complex network in place to keep you healthy–if you fuel it well. When a pathogen invades, white blood cells (called macrophages) engulf the virus, prompting B cells and killer T cells to attack it. This response leads to the creation of other cells designed to destroy the same virus if it shows up at a later date. But just a few nutritional missteps can weaken your body’s response. That’s why it’s important to eat foods that provide the nutrients your body needs to shore up your defenses.

Almonds are packed with an immune-boosting duo (vitamin E and manganese), providing 37 percent of your daily need for both in one ounce. Many runners’ diets tend to be low in these nutrients, and studies show that not getting enough can weaken immune cells’ initial charge on pathogens.
Eat It: Top cereal and yogurt with chopped almonds, or add to salads and rice.

Canned Salmon
A three-ounce serving supplies more than 100 percent of your daily need for vitamin D. This nutrient keeps a wide variety of immune cells in working order; not getting enough can put you at risk for infection. Salmon also provides protein and omega-3s that boost immune-system strength.
Eat It: Mix with chopped celery, parsley, and a touch of olive-oil mayo; stuff into a whole-wheat pita for a quick recovery meal.

Collard Greens
Collards pack 45 percent of your daily folate need in one cooked cup. This B vitamin helps generate immune cells every time your body gears up to fight a pathogen. Com-pounds called glucosinolates calm inflammation caused by killer T cells, helping you feel better when you do get sick.
Eat It: Sauté or steam for a side; stir into soup; or add raw leaves (not stalks) to salads.

Check out a few more food items to strengthen your immune system.

Going Natural: Fueling Exercise With Whole Foods

By Ragan Sutterfield |

Many triathletes generally avoid the junk—no processed foods, no simple sugars, just good whole foods—in their daily diets. But all of this tends to end on race day where gels, protein bars and sport drinks fuel athletes toward the finish line. For many the combination works, but for others the gels and sports drinks just don’t fit as a part of a lifestyle aimed at health. The question becomes: Are there good whole-food alternatives that work as well as the processed options?

New research gives some hope to those wanting to fuel with whole foods. A recent study compared a 6 percent carbohydrate sports drink to whole bananas consumed by trained cyclists over a 75K time trial. The result? There was no difference in performance or recovery between the cyclists who ate bananas and those who consumed the sports drink. But how practical is it to stuff a bunch of bananas in your tri kit pocket during a race?

Six-time Ironman world champ Dave Scott would know. In the early days of Ironman he raced Kona with a load of bananas in his jersey pocket. “It was a catastrophe,” he says. “With five bananas in my jersey in the Kona sun sloshing around, they became a mess quickly.” As a coach, even though he wouldn’t recommend a jersey full of bananas, Scott thinks whole foods still have a place. “I have athletes who can’t handle much sugar on the run and use coconut water for hydration and electrolytes,” Scott says. He knows other athletes who have successfully used baked potatoes in races. “The key with whole foods is to eat more frequently with less volume,” Scott says, noting that most athletes nosh too much, too soon in a race.

One athlete who has found success with whole-food fueling is Diane Isaacs, a top age-grouper who has claimed fourth in her age group at Kona. While racing, Isaacs relies on sprouted seeds, small avocados, soaked nuts and goji berries to fuel her body. “Sprouting and soaking helps makes seeds and nuts more easily digestible during a race,” Isaacs says.

Ultra endurance athlete Rich Roll, the author of Finding Ultra, says he eats lightly baked yams and bananas on rides, but he believes that processed carbs can have their place during a race—especially products with complex carbs rather than simple sugars. The goal though, says Roll, should be to “get back to basics—as close to the natural state as possible.”

For some, simplicity may mean that gels and sports drinks will stay in their race-day diet. But for those who don’t want to consume heavily processed products even on race day, there are alternatives that are working for competitive athletes. Whole-food fueling might just take a little more planning and a lot of experimentation to find what works for you.

Try it: Whole-Food Swaps
To train with whole foods is akin to changing from gasoline to diesel—you must train your body to adapt to the new fuel. If you’re used to gels, bars and blocks, here are a few alternatives you should try as you make the change.

Check out these whole food recipes for gels, chews, bars and sports drinks.

Ideal Caloric Intake for Racing a 50k Ultra?

Cathy Fieseler, MD|

Q: I am training for a 50k but do not think I am taking in enough calories during my long runs (18-22 miles). I am taller (6 feet 2 inches) and weigh more (188 pounds) than the average long distance runner and my typical long runs last between 3 to 3 ½ hours. How many calories should I eat before, during (every hour?) and after?

— Jeff, California

A: A 50k is just 5 miles longer than a marathon, so if you have a nutrition plan that works for a marathon, this is a good starting point for a 50k. What you eat before a run depends on how much time that there is between eating and running. The closer to the race that you eat, the lighter the meal. Three or more hours before the run, you can eat a meal; avoid a lot of protein and fat and stay away from fiber.. An hour before the race, you may eat a bagel with jelly, an energy bar or some other food that is predominantly carbohydrates (about 300 calories is a place to start). If you are nervous, you may not tolerate more than this. You may find that you can eat a bit more than this and not experience any problems. The key is to experiment in training to see what works for you.

During the run, you should average 250-300 calories per hour. Electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, Heed, etc.) contain calories. Make sure that you try whatever fluids are served during the race while training; not all drinks are tolerated equally. You may add gels to this for additional calories. Most ultras have a wide variety of foods at the aid stations – fruit, candy, cookies, potatoes, etc. Additionally, you will find salt and/or electrolyte tablets. Practice eating during long training runs to see what works for you.

Read more about recovery and fuel for an ultra.


Which Fluid Hydrates Best: Water or a Sports Drink?

By Matt Fitzgerald  |
Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably seen those television advertisements in which a leading sports drink maker claims its product “hydrates better than water.” The fact that the message of these ads hasn’t changed in many years suggests that a lot of athletes aren’t buying it. But it’s actually true.

Why do sports drinks hydrate better than water? There are three reasons. First, fluids are absorbed through the gut and into the bloodstream faster when their osmolality closely matches that of body fluids such as blood.

Osmolality is the concentration of dissolved particles in a fluid. Sports drinks contain dissolved minerals (sodium, etc.) and carbohydrates, whereas water doesn’t, so water doesn’t reach the bloodstream as quickly.

Sodium and other nutrients also play important roles in regulating fluid balance in the body. In other words, they help determine how much fluid enters into muscle fibers and other cells, how much remains in the blood, and so forth. Again, because sports drinks contain these nutrients, they do a better job of allowing the body to maintain optimal fluid balance, which is an important aspect of hydration that few athletes consider.

A third advantage of sports drinks over water with respect to hydration is that the sodium content of sports drinks stimulates thirst, so athletes usually drink more when they have a sports drink than when they have plain water.

Read more…

3 STeps to Long-Run Recovery

By Dave Kuehls |

After your long run, think of the three C’s: chow, chug, and chill.

Chow. We don’t mean a pasta dinner after you shower and change. “It’s important to get something in your system as soon as you stop running,” says 1993 World Championships Marathon gold medalist Mark Plaatjes, a practicing physical therapist.

“There’s a 15-minute window when the body absorbs maximally, when it’s storing more glycogen in the muscles,” he says. “And that’s a key to rebounding from any long run.”

Whole foods are sometimes rough on stomachs tenderized from 20 miles of running, so think liquid fruit juices, carbohydrate drinks when you think fuel. Those with cast-iron stomachs, however, can indulge in bagels, bananas, cold macaroni anything high in carbohydrates.

Chug. No matter how slow you go or how much you drink, your body will be dehydrated after a long run. “And when you’re dehydrated, your heart’s pumping sludge,” says 1996 Olympic marathoner Keith Brantly, “though you may not feel it until the middle of your next hard workout.”

So drink copiously way beyond thirst. 1996 Olympic marathoner Anne Marie Lauck downs a 2-quart bottle of Gatorade as soon as she finishes, and another one within the hour. Good rule: Drink one quart of fluid for every half-hour of running.

Chill. After long runs, Plaatjes, bottle of fruit juice in hand, heads for his garden and he’s not checking on his baby squash. “I’ll take the hose and stand there spraying my legs with cold water, 10 minutes each leg,” he says. Cold water constricts blood vessels and muscle tissue and prevents blood from pooling in your legs.

Read more…

Eat, Drink and Finish Strong

By Peter Pfitzinger |

You train for 5 months for the big day. You’ve done 23 long runs, worn out the inside lane on your local track, spent a small fortune on massage and new shoes. You are the fittest that you have ever been. The gun fires and you feel great. You are on personal best pace for 18 miles. Then something starts to go wrong. You feel progressively more sluggish. By 22 miles, you’ve slowed down to the old familiar death trot. Guess you need to train harder next time….

NO! Chances are that what makes you slow down in the last few miles of the marathon (or any event that takes longer than an hour and a half to complete) is dehydration or glycogen depletion. A few extra miles in training aren’t going to help much, but a well-laid plan to take in water and carbohydrates both before and during the race can make a huge difference in your performance.

Sounds great. So, what’s the plan?

Before the race you need to concentrate on: 1) carbohydrate loading to improve your muscles’ glycogen stores at the start of the race; and, 2) drinking enough water to ensure you are fully hydrated. During the race you need to: 1) take in carbohydrates to prevent glycogen depletion; and, 2) take in fluid to prevent dehydration.

Let’s start with the carbohydrates.

Your Glycogen Bank

There are only 2 fuels used for endurance exercise; carbohydrates and fat. Carbohydrates are stored in the body as glycogen. Fat is stored in the body as, well, you know. When you run, your body burns a mixture of carbohydrate and fat. The harder you run, the more carbohydrate you use, and the slower you run, the more fat you use.

As your glycogen stores become progressively more depleted during the run, your body tries to conserve what’s left by burning more fat. Because fat is 15% less efficient than carbohydrate as an energy source, when you have to burn more fat you slow down.

If you eat a normal runner’s diet with about 60% of your calories from carbohydrate, you probably store about 1,600 to 2,000 calories of glycogen in your muscles. If you “glycogen load” (see sidebar) however, your muscles have the capacity to store about 2,500 to 2,700 calories of glycogen. Each mile that you run burns about 90-120 calories, depending on your weight and metabolism. If you do a great job of loading, you will have just about enough glycogen for a marathon.

What happens if you don’t load? Say you hope to run a half-marathon in about 1 hour 40 minutes. The last 3 days before the race, you cut back your training a little bit and you just eat normal meals. Your glycogen stores will only be partially filled. You could start to run low on glycogen anytime after the one-hour mark, and end up jogging to the finish line wondering what happened.

Glycogen loading is also important before any training run lasting more than 1 1/2 hours. The last thing you want both physically and psychologically is to struggle home in your long runs. If you focus on carbohydrates for 1-2 days before your long runs (and stay hydrated) you will increase your chances for a better training effort and a positive psychological experience.

Carbohydrate loading before the event is a sufficient precaution against glycogen depletion for races up to about 2 hours in duration, but for the marathon you are still at risk. Since you can only store about 2,500 to 2,700 calories of glycogen, you don’t have much of a buffer in a 26 mile race. Say for some reason you only do a fair job of loading and store 2,200 calories worth of glycogen. Or say you did a great job of loading, but, due to your size or metabolism, you happen to burn 120 calories per mile. You would severely deplete your glycogen stores during the race despite pre-race loading. The solution is to take in additional calories during the race.

Carbing on the Run

If you consume carbohydrates during the race, you will supply additional fuel to your muscles, and delay or prevent muscle glycogen depletion. The easiest way to consume carbohydrates on the run is in a sports drink, and you will have the added benefit of taking in needed fluid at the same time. Research has shown that drinks with a high concentration of sugars take longer to empty from your stomach. Every runner is an experiment of one, so you should try out what to drink and how much during your training runs.

The trick is to find the right balance between a carbohydrate solution that is strong enough to give you needed calories, but not so strong that it is absorbed slowly from your stomach. For most people, 4-8% solutions are about right. Drinking 28 ounces per hour of a 4% solution will supply 32 grams of carbohydrate, while an 8% solution will supply 64 grams of carbohydrate per hour.

Each gram of carbohydrate contains 4.1 calories, so you will be taking in 130-260 calories per hour. If you run the marathon in 3 hours, therefore, you will take in about 400-800 calories during the race. At 100 calories per mile, that’s enough carbohydrate fuel to last an extra 4-8 miles!

Exercise physiologist and ultramarathoner Ron Johnston knows first-hand about the need to take in carbohydrates during the run. Ron was having a great day during the 1997 Maine Track Club 50 mile race. Ron recalls it this way, “I was cruising at 34 miles, feeling the best I had ever felt, and running 6:40 to 7 minute pace. All of a sudden it was like someone pulling down the shades. I felt fuzzy headed and didn’t even realize that I had slowed down to 8:20 mile pace.”

Johnston continues, “My pace changed within a few minutes, and it was clear that the culprit was glycogen depletion. The problem is, there aren’t really any warning signs until it’s too late. When you have to slow down quickly like that it’s probably glycogen depletion and not dehydration which tends to get you more slowly. I went home and calculated that I was only taking in 50-100 calories on each 4-mile loop. That won’t happen again.”

Okay. The spaghetti’s in the pot. Let’s talk dehydration.

Camels Have It Made

What’s so bad about dehydration anyway? Can’t you just gut it out?

Several sinister events occur inside your body that limit performance when you run on a warm day. High humidity only makes matters worse. First, in an effort to cool you off, your body automatically sends more blood to the skin for evaporative cooling, leaving less blood going to your leg muscles. The result is that you get less oxygen to your muscles and you slow down. (Of course, if your body didn’t send blood to the skin to cool you off, you would overheat and maybe even die, but you wouldn’t have to slow down!)

Second, on hot days you sweat more and become dehydrated. That doesn’t really surprise you, does it? Physiologically, what happens when you get dehydrated is that your blood volume decreases. This means that your body has to decide what to do with the blood that’s left. So your body says, “Let’s see, better send some blood to the brain, don’t want this crazy runner to pass out (although it may solve all my problems). I better send some to the heart, and better send some to the skin to get rid of all this body heat from running. Hmmm. There’s not alot left for the old leg muscles.” That’s why you slow down.

If you think the Olympic Marathon in Athens is going to be won in World record time, think again. In fact, studies have shown that you slow down about 2% for each 1% loss in bodyweight due to dehydration. So, a 150 pound runner would slow down 4% after losing 3 pounds (which is about the same as 3 pints).

It is not unusual to lose 3-4 pounds of water per hour when running on a warm day. After 2 hours of running, our 150 pound runner would have lost 6-8 pounds, representing a 4-5% loss in bodyweight and an 8-10% loss in performance. At eight minute mile pace, slowing down 10% represents 50 seconds per mile. If you lose more than 4-5% of your bodyweight, however, you won’t just slow down, you will find yourself in a first-aid tent.

Read more…