This past month has been amazing. I have been traveling, training and exploring new cities. My first trip was to Tuscan, Arizona, for Kara Goucher’s Podium Retreat. This was my third year in a row participating in this retreat and it was where I originally discovered my passion for feeding athletes. The weekend was filled with inspiring women who have always empowered me to be brave. I left last year’s retreat so uplifted by their stories that I knew I would have to share my own story at this year’s retreat. I was nervous to speak to such a large crowd but once it was over I knew it had been inspiring and that this would be something I would do again. (stay tuned). During the retreat I also spoke about how I cooked for Kara leading up to the olympic trials last year and shared some of my favorite recipes like overnight oats and apple crisp.My second trip took me to Boulder, CO. If I were to pick a favorite destination it would be Boulder, hands down. It’s hard to explain why or how much I love this city. But as a New Yorker I can say that Boulder and New York City are polar opposites. No one I know in Boulder has a 9-5 job; in the middle of the afternoon you can find hundreds of people riding/running outside. The sun is ALWAYS shining and people are just doing what they love. It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of New York City where you can get lost in the shuffle. This time around I was out in Boulder to cook at Siri Lindley’s triathlon training camp.
Siri Lindley is a famous coach to some of the best triathletes in the world. And every season she hosts a triathlon training camp for everyday athletes who want to experience “pro training.” The camp was 4 days long and filled with intense training. I teamed up with some of my favorite companies to put together a goodie bag for the athletes. I put in things that I use often and recommend to others for fueling their training. The bag was stocked! A big thanks to all the companies that participated.I also cooked dinner for all 20 athletes and trainers. I teamed up with Whole Foods Colorado and cooked up a fantastic Running on Veggies meal. A big thanks to my friend Mary Miller who helped make this happen and cooked alongside me during this camp. Heres what we made:
- Pistachio Apricot Crusted Salmon
- Caramelized Brussel Sprouts
- Vegan Cesar Salad with homemade nutty croutons
- Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato
- Dessert: Apple Crisp
While in Boulder last year cooking for Kara Goucher, I only purchased fish/produce from Whole Foods. I trusted their quality and taste. So I was so excited to team up with them this time to buy all the produce for Siri’s camp.I also set up a breakfast station where the athletes made overnight oats for the next day’s big training ride. They mixed them up in mason jars and had them ready to go the following day. Mary made rice cakes for them to eat on their rides and Harmless Harvest provided coconut water so they stayed hydrated. All in all this was an amazing camp filled with hungry athletes ready to learn about post workout nutrition and how to utilize that window of time to speed up recovery and boost performance.From Boulder I went straight to Santa Barbara California to attend a “Pro Cycling” training camp hosted by SiS. But instead of bringing in the pros they had media people from several cycling magazine in order for them to experience what the pros do at these cycling camps. I was there to cook breakfast, bike snacks, post workout snacks, dinner and dessert for three days. I brought my friend Mary along again to help with the cooking. We sure had our work cut out for us!
Team Sky’s nutritionist came out as well as Team Sky’s rider Ian Boswell (the only American on the team). They were to give some more insight as to how the pros train, fuel and recover. We learned about what they eat on the bike and how they drink protein shakes – to my surprise – to help aid their recovery. For these pros, as you know, it’s all in the recovery. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn how seriously Team Sky took their nutrition. It was basically considered as another aspect of their training. They even take pictures of everything they eat while they are training so they can look back and see what worked and what didn’t.
We fed the guys the way we would have fed the pros on their rides – mango coconut rice cakes, coffee date cookies etc. They also fueled with SiS nutrition supplements the way Team Sky would. Breakfast was buffet style – frittatas, overnight protein oats, apple cinnamon oats, coconut yogurt, granola, berries, avocado toast, banana bread, scrambled eggs, sweet potato hash. And dinner was similar to what I had made at Siri’s camp.
It was an incredible few days that went by way too fast. Mary and I managed to squeeze in a few workouts in between shopping and cooking. Because hey, we needed to take care of ourselves too! There was a bike all set for me to ride but unfortunately I didn’t have enough time so a quick run did the trick. Plus, I was coming off a big couple of weeks of training; I had brought my Cannonade Slice out to Boulder with me the previous week and I was able to train everyday twice a day. So it was a much needed break from training but also a lot of work in the kitchen! You can check out my training here.
I feel so lucky to have had these experiences in the past few months. I have had the unique privilege be able to cook for athletes at these training camps and to witness the direct connection between food, knowledge and performance. I feel that I have really found my calling in this mix of teaching and cooking. I get to talk about nutrition and then practice what I preach in feeding hundreds of athletes. While sharing recipes on my blog is similarly satisfying, nothing compares to the hands on experience at these camps. I hope to inspire, teach and cook at many more training camps this year. If you are interested in hiring me for an upcoming camp/event you can reach out to me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now I’m off to Copper Canyon Mexico to run with the Tarahumaras via Health Warrior. Stay tuned and keep up to date on my Instagram. Excited to share my experience from my next adventure!