Ginger-Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes

This recipe for WONDERFULLY- TASTING mashed sweet potatoes with ginger and coconut. It is a perfect side for any holiday meal. It is even better for any carbing-up days for athletes. It worked magic when eaten at breakfast for my recent endurance event at Spartan Race 😊
Ingredients

  • 5 pounds of sweet potatoes, peeled and cooked
  • 8 tablespoons of unsalted grass-fed organic butter
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk or cream
  • ½ – 1 cup of regular coconut milk
  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2-3 tsp of Himalayan Pink salt
  • 1 tbsp of ground white pepper
  • Finely shredded unsweetened coconut, for serving

Directions

Cook sweet potatoes until soft. Melt the butter in microwave or in a small sauce pan. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the shredded coconut. Serve and enjoy.

 

Makes 10 servings.

NUTRITION FACTS per serving:

232 calories; 13g fats; 9g saturated fats; 27g carbohydrates; 4h fiber; 9g sugars; 2.5g proteins; 22mg cholesterol; 328mg sodium; 1.6mg potassium.

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

 

 

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Nutrition for a Spartan Endurance Event (HH, HH12HR and HH24HR) — before, during, after.

You just signed up for the upcoming Hurricane Heat HH12HR event and I know how excited yet scared you are. I know you can handle it physically; you are a beast!!! As a HH12HR veteran, a nutritionist, PhD in Cardio-respiratory Science, MSc in Human Biology & Anatomy and Physiology, and Spartan SGX coach I can clearly say that the nutrition part of the training is key to successfully managing, completing and recovering from the event.

 

Two to Four Weeks before the HH12HR Event

As you are training very differently from other people, i.e., carrying heavy loads for extended periods of time, doing extremely vigorous high-intensity circuits and hiking with loads for half a weekend, your body pretty much wears out. It is under constant stress and has very little time to recover. In order to perform well and allow your body to rest and rebuild itself, you must fuel it very carefully with the specific foods it requires. You may need to increase caloric intake compared to previous weeks, which should come from very high-quality macro-nutrients such as proteins, fats and carbohydrates (aka carbs).

High quality protein sources include wild caught fish (salmon, cod, sardines, herrings, mackerel), free range chicken and eggs, organic turkey, grass-fed beef, bison and lamb, as well as a reliable sources of seafood (to avoid heavy metal contamination).

You also need to consume good beneficial fats, especially for your long endurance training days: avocados, organic nuts (avoid peanuts as they may be very inflammatory and allergenic), olive oil, macadamia oil, avocado oil, organic nut butters, uncured sugar-free bacon, egg yolks, organic grass-fed butter, ghee butter, coconut oil, coconut butter and coconut full-fat milk.

Concerning carbs, you really want to focus on eating the starchy ones and the varieties that include a low glycemic index.  This will replenish the glycogen that you burn during your workouts: sweet potatoes, organic rice, organic quinoa, butternut squash, sprouted grains (avoid these if you are gluten-sensitive). I hope I don’t need to emphasize that huge loads of vegetables and fruits (5-10 cups a day is recommended) are going to benefit you even more, supplementing your tired body with vitamins and micro nutrients.

You want to have at least two meals (pre- and post-workout) that consist of all the macros: colorful salad, good source of protein and fat, and complex carbs. Yes, even if you work out in the evening, I want you to have that meal – you are burning calories after your workout, and your glycogen is used up during sleep.

In terms of supplementation – for me the important part was to keep my adrenals happy by supplying my body with B vitamins, selenium and magnesium. I tried to get them from food: yeast flakes, Brazil nuts, and green leafy veggies, respectively. Also, you may add glutamine and BCAAs for muscle recovery and rebuilding. A very good powerful anti-inflammatory supplement is turmeric – in either pill form or powder mixed up in warm water. Make sure that in both cases it comes with black pepper for proper absorption. Proper electrolytes are also crucial for your training and for the event itself. They can come from salt tablets, liquid version of trace minerals or electrolytes (which you can get in any whole foods store) or 1-2 tsp of Himalayan Salt added to your water one to three times a day.

I strongly recommend that you first test any carb gels, energy bars, and foods that you plan on taking for the event, during your longer runs or training sessions. You don’t want to end up having diarrhea during the event or being medically DNF’d due to GI tract issues.

 

Two Days before the HH12HR Event

During the last 4 weeks, you should already know which foods give you energy, which make you feel grumpy and inflamed, or bloated and sleepy. Make sure that, during the two days leading into the event, you completely avoid processed foods loaded with hydrogenated fats and processed sugars (this includes pizza, fries, fast food burgers, donuts, ice cream etc.). Sorry Spartans, but how you fuel your engines determines how they will perform during the event. Bad foods will definitely make your body unhappy and unready for 12 hours of extreme activity.

It is also very important to have extra starchy/complex carbs during those two days. ATTENTION: do not overload them in just one meal; eat them in an evenly distributed manner throughout the day. You don’t want to wake up on a race day with diarrhea, upset stomach, or other GI problems. Make sure you drink a lot of water and electrolytes.

 

One Day before the HH12HR Event

This day is the most important of your last 4 weeks. Whatever damage and lack of nutrition you allowed into your workout routines and lifestyle cannot be reversed by just one day of proper fueling; however, if you find yourself in a less than ideal situation, make sure you eat a very good breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals should consist of good sources of protein, fats and carbs, as well as vegetables and fruits. Try to avoid too many fibrous vegetables 5-6 hours before the event. If you wish to eat them, put them in a smoothie for better digestion. Hydrate and drink more electrolytes than during the previous days. You may have up to 2 cups of black coffee; however, more can cause you to crash in the middle of the event. I wouldn’t suggest taking any pre-workout supplements, thermogenic pills, energy drinks or foods that you already know will make you feel bad.

My favorite breakfast consists of oats with coconut milk, shredded coconut, pecans, blueberries, a pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of Himalayan salt. For lunch, I eat a huge salad with green leafy veggies: spinach, kale, and sunflower seeds, beef burger and baked sweet potato with coconut oil. For dinner (the last meal before the event), I like lean ground turkey with a large sweet potato, coconut oil and banana with cashew or almond butter. Avoid too much protein, it can cause slower absorption of the carbs and fats, which you need as fuel for the event.

 

On HH12HR Event Day

There is just one rule I follow on event day and I strongly suggest you do the same: START EATING EARLY AND EAT OFTEN. Do not wait until you start feeling weak, lightheaded or begin cramping before you put some food or electrolytes in your stomach. If you do, it is already too late. Start as early as 30-45 min into the event, and keep snacking every 30-45 min. I always keep carb gels, nut butter pouches, carb chews and energy bars in different pockets and whenever it feels right, I reach for one.

My great invention during the last event was protein waffles (made from protein pancake ready mix bought at a supplement store) with some nut butter and jelly. I ate them during down times, and the rest of the time, I had other snacks to chew on. For electrolytes, you may want to take tablets every 1-2 hours, and make sure you drink lots of water with them.

You may need to test many options a long time before the competition in order to find the right foods for event day. They must be portable, easy to store, carry and grab during the very uncomfortable conditions of the event. Store them safely in multiple Ziploc bags – I had to eat some chews mixed with mud because I failed to do this…oh well, the things we will do to perform better!

 

After the HH12HR Event

You did it! You survived and I am sure you don’t want to look at carb gels or chews for the next several months. It is ok, because now all I would like you to do is eat very very well (don’t overload again, it may cause you to have a stomach ache). Post-event meals should have all sorts of veggies (the more the better, the more colorful the better), huge amounts of protein (yes, grass-fed beef or bison burger or steak is allowed), some nice quinoa salad or rice with veggies, maybe sushi. Splurge but do it intelligently and properly. You may think you’ve earned the donut, but your body will shout for help!!!

During the next two days, I personally suggest taking lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory foods: tart cherry juice, coconut water and oil, blueberries, pineapple, green leafy veggies, tomatoes, fatty fish such as salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, beets or beet juice, turmeric, ginger and bone broth. Hydrate very well, too! Add lots of magnesium and electrolytes into the diet. And go to bed – sleep is the best remedy for anything!

 

The HH12HR was the biggest challenge, the best life lesson and my proudest moment. I spent at least 5 months before the event researching and studying proper foods, testing them on myself during workouts and eventually preparing a plan that would help my body perform well, feel energized during the cruel sufferfest tasks, finish injury-free, and recover properly. I have coached Spartans and other endurance athletes for over 2 years as the owner and head Spartan SGX coach at beYOUtiful , LLC.

 

Izabela Chrobak​

Sport, Healthy Lifestyle and Motivation Coach

Founder of beYOUtiful, LLC

Spartan SGX Coach

NASM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS)

PhD in Cardiorespiratory Sciences

MSc in Human Biology, Anatomy and Physiology

www.beyoutiful.fit/

http://beyoutiful.fit/challengeup/

http://unlimitedyou.me

https://www.facebook.com/mdsb.fit

https://www.instagram.com/beyoutiful_spartanlady/

https://www.youtube.com/user/izabela4000

 

 

Oven-baked Goat Cheese Salmon by beYOUtiful

You may not know that, but I have never been cooking in my life up till 3 years ago. I was “allergic” to anything what had to do with kitchen. My mom would never make me learn anything to cook. Eventually she expressed her hopes for me having a husband who will be a great cook, otherwise as she said: “we both will die of hunger” LOL

The cooking lesson I delivered and organized for myself was the one by myself !! Yes, after heart attack, I hired nutritionist who gave me full list of groceries, starting from macros finishing with spices and tools I needed and there I was…on the path to learn something super exciting!! It started with totally plain chicken or ground turkey, steamed paper-like tasting asparagus and no knowledge what is what, how do I combine foods with herbs and how do I make a meal delicious!

Today I am presenting to you one of the best best best tasting meal I have ever done in my life!!! I hope you enjoy it and leave me a comment how did you like it!!!

 

Oven-baked Goat Cheese Salmon

  • 28oz (1 ¾ pound) of Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
  • ½ cup of Goat Cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp of dill (dried or fresh)
  • 3 tbsp of Avocado Oil
  • 7 (1 medium) ounces of Zucchini
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  • Lay the fish fillet in an oven-safe glass pan or dish
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • In a small bowl, mash the goat cheese with the avocado oil and dill
  • Salt and pepper the fish fillet, and then spread the cheese mixture over it evenly
  • Lay the zucchini slices on the goat cheese
  • Bake the fish for 20-25 minutes
  • Enjoy it!

 

Makes 10 servings.

NUTRITION FACTS per 1 serving:

152 calories, 1g carbs, 9g fats, 19g proteins, 99mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 81mg potassium

 

You got this beYOUtiful! ❤

Sick-Day Fun Foods

Being sick is not a fun…right? Yes, I know that….

But as soon as your body allows you to get up and eat (which in many cases could be really hard), get yourself some of those new smoothie or meal I just did while being sick…. Make sure you drink a lot of water, or even better – water with Organic Tart Cherry Juice in it to boost your body with vitamin C and antioxidants!

And here we go to a food – yummy!!!

First, I did two smoothies during a day. Smoothies seemed to me the best in terms of sipping slowly without overloading your stomach, especially when you have no appetite!

First one, HEMP BANANA SMOOTHIE:

  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 banana, raw or frozen
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • ½ cup coconut hemp milk (can be any other like almond, coconut, rice, cashew etc.).

Nutritional Facts per serving: 326 calories, 15g fats, 32g carbs, 3g fiber, 19g proteins, 0mg cholesterol, 119mg sodium, 386mg potassium.

Second one, STRAWBERRY PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE (little richer than previous one):

  • 2 tbsp organic peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 1 banana, raw or frozen
  • 1 cup flax milk unsweetened (or almond, coconut, hemp, cashew milk etc.)
  • 5 oz strawberries, raw or frozen (or blueberries)
  • 1 tbsp organic coconut oil

Nutritional Facts per serving: 480 calories, 34g fats, 42g carbs, 8g fiber, 10g proteins, 0mg cholesterol, 82mg sodium, 578mg potassium.

Once my body wanted to eat, I did EGG QUINOA CAKE – very rich in good proteins, animal and plant-based.

  • 4 eggs
  • 6 egg whites
  • ½ cup organic quinoa
  • 1 cup coconut hemp milk (can be any other like almond, coconut, rice, cashew etc.)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder or raw chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 2 cups of chopped kale (or spinach)
  • ¾ cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

I mix everything together but not cheese, and bake at 350F for 45min. After that I take it out and sprinkle with grated cheese and bake for additional 10-15min at 350F.

Servings: 4.

Nutritional Facts per serving: 272 calories, 11g fats, 19g carbs, 2g fiber, 22g proteins, 197mg cholesterol, 542mg sodium, 206mg potassium.

I am not saying those made me get up on my feet right away, being ready to kill next Spartan workout, run or swim!

However, it definitely fueled my body with all important ingredients. On top of that, adding more vitamin C then usually, drinking water, sleeping more than I could even think is possible, made my day, made my body feel better and my mind peaceful.

STAY HEALTHY!!!!

YOU ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!

YOU got this beYOUtiful!!!! ❤

How to start the day with a great nutritious drink and an energy boosting coffee ?

Starting day at 4 am is not an easy task for many. For years, I was a late morning person making fun of those getting up at 4 am…”oh at this time I turn to the left side of my bed lol”. But getting up earlier gives a lot of time to do task you most likely won’t be able to get done later in a day!

In order for me to get me going so early, have an amazing ME-time in the morning, time for workout and positive affirmations before starting my actual work, I get my coffee (with no whip cream… sorry grrr) and some kind of smoothie!

Today I wanna share with you two options which blew my mind once I discovered them (by mixing up few things for few mornings LOL), and gave me a great boost into a day full of activities and responsibilities!

https://www.facebook.com/mdsb.fit/

 

Coconut Protein Coffee Booster

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (or unflavored)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 cup of black coffee

½ cup of coconut milk

NUTRITION FACTS: Calories: 248; Fat: 16g; Carbs: 3g; Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 1g; Protein: 25g

First, pour a half a cup or one cup of boiled warm (NOT HOT) water to dissolve protein powder. Add coconut oil and pour freshly brewed coffee. Mix well to dissolve coconut oil (in cold temperatures coconut oil solidifies). Add milk and mix again.

Coconut oil has a lot of important health benefits. It was shown to be very anti-inflammatory, boosting your body’s energy. It improves endurance as well as muscle building and losing body fat. It improves memory and brain function. It helps with digestion. It prevents osteoporosis, reduces the outcomes of arthritis. It is amazing for your skin and hair. Together with caffeine in your coffee will boost your energy, increase your metabolism and stimulate the processes of body fat loss.

https://draxe.com/coconut-oil-benefits/

https://draxe.com/benefits-of-drinking-coffee/

 

Spartan Kiwi Blueberry Protein Smoothie

1 oz of raw kale (1 medium leaf)

2.5 oz blueberries (1/3 cup)

1 cup of cashew milk

1 kiwi

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Water (if needed)

NUTRITION FACTS: Calories: 247; Fat: 6g; Carbs: 24g; Fiber: 5g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 28g; Cholesterol 58mg; Potassium: 450mg; Sodium: 222mg

 

Kale is a cruciferous vegetable (Brassica oleracea), and is related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and cauliflower. It contains many of the health benefits typically found in this group of super foods.

Always wash your kale as it is consistently ranked as a food that is known to be pesticide heavy. For this reason, buy organic when you can.

Is kale good for you? Let’s see; inside this low-calorie green you will find more vitamin C than in an orange and more calcium per gram than milk. Kale consists of a load of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that is linked to brain function. It is rich in a compound called sulforaphane (particularly when chopped or minced), which has potent anti-cancer properties.

 

Kiwifruit is native to north-central and eastern China. A medium size kiwifruit provides 1 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, and 2.6 g dietary fiber (found partly in the edible skin) while only containing 46 calories.

Kiwi helps your digestion with enzymes called actinidain, a protein-dissolving enzyme that can help digest a meal much like the papain in papaya or bromelain in pineapple. It also helps manage blood pressure because it is high in potassium which helps keep our electrolytes in balance by counteracting the effects of sodium.

Kiwi boost your immunity because it consists of high level of vitamin C content along with other antioxidant compounds has been proven to boost the immune system.

It supports also weight loss. Kiwi’s low glycemic index and high fiber content means it will not create a strong insulin rush like other fruit with high sugar contents—so the body will not respond by storing fat.

Kiwis are a great source of fiber. This prevents constipation and other intestinal problems. The fuzzy fiber of kiwi helps bind and move toxins from your intestinal tract.

 

Blueberries are among the most nutrient dense berries. A 1 cup serving (148 grams) of blueberries contains of 4 grams of fiber, 24% of vitamin C, 36% of vitamin k and 25% of manganese (of the RDA).

They also contain small amounts of various other nutrients.

They are about 85% water, and an entire cup contains only 84 calories, with 15 grams of carbohydrates. Calorie for calorie, this makes them an excellent source of several important nutrients. Blueberries are believed to contain the highest antioxidant capacity of ALL commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.

Blueberries protect cholesterol in the blood from becoming damaged.  They may lower blood pressure. Anthocyanins in blueberries can have anti-diabetic effects. Blueberries may also help reduce muscle damage after strenuous exercise.

https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/blueberries/

 

As you can see, ingesting that load of great food, nutrients and energy boosters in the morning will really have a great impact on your energy level throughout the rest of the day!

 

STAY HEALTHY!!!!

YOU ARE IN IT TO WIN IT!!!!

YOU got this beYOUtiful!!!! ❤