Monday, November 4, 2013

Swimmers guide to better eating

I have been eagerly awaiting the release of this post, as it is on one of my favorite subjects, nutrition; and may just be the longest post I've written so far!  All this information may seem overwhelming, but remember to ease yourself into the world of nutrition. This information will always be here, so no need to memorize every exact detail. I didn't learn this stuff over night, and even now I still don't know everything!. Apply one of the things you learned everyday, until it becomes habit, and continue learning and gradually adding in healthy habits to your daily schedule.
Pasted below are various websites, Team USA, SCAN, and the Australian institute of sport. The links provided are very informative and easy to understand, I checked each one and thoroughly read through them. Knowledge is power people! And then again, so is applying your knowledge to everyday life.

check out the United States Olympic Committee’s sports nutrition resources at You will find many resources here including videos, recipes, and athlete eating guidelines. I especially like the athlete’s plates – a quick visual on what to eat on easy, moderate or hard days of training.

SCAN has free sports nutrition fact sheets on a wide range of topics at and mom and dad may also want to look at the handouts on the cardiovascular and wellness sites of SCAN.

The Australian Institute of Sport has been a leader in sports nutrition for Australian athletes. You don’t have to go down under to take advantage of their expertise; just go to to see the many free resources to help you with a healthy eating plan and to learn more about good nutrition.

The links below are hand  selected from

Never underestimate the most important meal of the day, breakfast.

General eating guidelines for those hard/easy/moderate training days

Hydration is EXTREMELY important, as your body is made up of more than 60% water.

For the Vegetarian athlete:)

Athlete eating guidelines found on
- Stay hydrated. Your body is more than 60% water and your muscles depend on water to function properly. A dehydrated body cannot train or compete at its peak. Drink enough so that your urine looks like pale lemonade or apple juice and so that you are urinating frequently throughout the day.

- Fuel up before training. Focus on eating lean proteins, fruits and vegetables and whole grains to ensure that your body is prepared for training. Try not to go into a training session with an empty fuel tank. Eat a meal 3-4 hours or a snack 1-2 hours before exercise.

- Boost your immune system. Choose foods that are high in antioxi- dants such as fruits and vegetables to help keep your immune system healthy and reduce the amount of free radicals that your body builds up during high intensity training. Choose more colorful fruits and vegeta- bles such as blueberries, strawberries, kiwis, oranges, broccoli, carrots and sweet potatoes.

- Limit fats. Saturated and trans fats can cause inflammation which is the exact opposite of what elite athletes need. Stay away from foods that are processed or fried, and higher fat meats like chicken wings, bologna and pastrami. Choose non-inflammatory unsaturated fats such as olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, and salmon.

- Eat to recover. Choose carbohydrate rich foods with some protein within 30-60 minutes of finishing a training session to help your body recover faster. Good choices after workouts include: peanut better sandwich (half or whole), carton of chocolate milk, or a bowl of cereal with milk or yogurt.

-Sport products. Sports bars, gels and drinks do have their place in an elite athlete’s eating program. Be sure to not over-use these types of products, however, as they can deter body weight goals and can replace more beneficial calories from whole foods. Use sports products before, during or immediately after practice depending on your sport needs and goals.

to get to the links, copy and paste if it doesn't show up properly :) I know I said I would write about distance events and pacing, but I've decided to devote that to the next post. I cannot explain to you how important nutrition and a well balanced diet is, it could help you break some records and feel your best, or drag your career to the ground. Nutrition is a science, but you don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Eat well, live better. Let food be thy medicine, and take your vitamins. The only supplements I take are whey protein, and coffee. Coffee can dehydrate you, so for every one cup coffee, I drink two cups water, and I try to drink over a gallon of water a day.
If you have any topic suggestions, or feedback from my previous posts, please email me at :)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Not your average person

I stepped out onto my front porch at 6:30am, took in the crisp and cool November air, awake and pumped for the vigorous sprint/crossfit work out I was about to endure. Then I actually woke up to my alarm going off at the other side of my room, placed there knowing that if I set it next to the bed the previous night that I would easily hit off and fall back asleep. I stiffly rolled out of bed. I threw on my work out clothes and put my hair in a wild pony tail; quickly noting I looked similar to a walker from the walking dead. I downed some juice for the carbs to make sure I have enough energy and I was sore all over from the date with the gym I had the day before. I step outside for real this time, pitch black, cold, and RAINING. This is the reality of most mornings. You go to sleep pumped and fantasizing about how great your workout will be, and then you wake up feeling like death itself, and all you want is another 5 minutes of sleep. But you get up anyways. You remind yourself of all your goals. Your dreams. everything you've trained for in the past. People think you're crazy, that you crave and live for those early and sometimes rainy mornings, or late nights at swim practice. It's who you are. Fitness is my life, and I am dedicated 110% to every aspect of it. Every hill, every bump and curve that has been thrown in my path has been climbed, jumped, and straightened out, but sometimes it tears me down. Things tear you down, only to build you back up Into a smarter, and stronger version of yourself, or you can choose to take the easy way out and stay down until things become easy again. You have to learn to build that self confidence in yourself and not depend on others to help you back up 100% of the time. The body feels and does whatever the mind tells it to, so if you convince yourself that you can't keep going, you can't do this, or that this is too hard, your body will hear that nonsense and shut down. Keep your mind a positive and clean area, and don't ever say you can't do something; because wether you can or you can't, you're right. Back to my sprint/cross fit work out, once I got going and into my zone it wasn't so bad. In fact, after my workout I felt on top of the world! Here's the workout: 
5min jog 
 10 150yard sprints: ***1st 10 push-ups, 2nd 20 lunges, 3rd 30sec plank, 4th 10 T-jumps each leg, 5th 5 push-ups, 6th 20 lunges, 7th 5 push-ups, 8th side jumps, 9th 15 plank position shoulder shrugs, 10th 10 squats
5 min jog
3 400 yard jogs: 1st 5 push-ups, 2nd 6 burpees with two push-ups
3rd 10 squats
10min cool down
***The push-ups/jumps/squats/planks/lunges/burpees where done after every sprint, and no brakes or rest was taken in between. 
Tomorrow morning is another sprint/crossfit workout, with the intensity increased. I am hoping for a less rainy of a morning. Next weeks post will be on setting a pace for yourself during longer and shorter swim events, with advice on how to practice them and learn how to pace for certain events, it will be interesting as I am going to do some research on USA swimming as well, and see what I come across. Wake up and chase down those dreams, make them your realities. can't stop won't stop! 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Don't just try. Give it your ALL.

So with the condition of my shoulders I have worked out a plan to bring my swim times down, even if it means not being a senior swimmer becuase my practice count will drop to 4-5 practices a week. The fact is, my shoulders are not like other peoples and I'm going to have to work around that. How am I going to do this? Let me tell you. Instead of swimming 6-7 practices a week, I'm going to bring it down to 4-5 practices, reducing the amount of inflammation and stress being put on my shoulders, enabling me to seriously haul some butt during practice without feeling like my arms are popping out of their sockets. Gross. To make up for my lack of attendance, I'm going to run every other morning, even on the weekends, varying the time, distance, and sprints, even adding in some push-up/squat/lunges in to keep it spicy with the sprints. I will work in some strength training in my core 15-20 minutes everyday at home. Now add in weight training every other day ( the days I don't run ) at the gym for 45 minutes, and I mean some serious weight training, and I should be pretty whooped by the end of the week just the same as any of the seniors.
Now on Sundays however, I will only do my core work with a very light run. From day to day I will be switching my carb/fat/protein Intakes, and eating most of my carbs before and after work outs to maximize the affects of carbohydrates for the better. So a day that I lift and swim, I will eat around 3000 calories, consisting of 60-80 grams fat, 120-130 grams protein, and 300+ carbs. The days that I run and swim will be 2500 calories consisting of  about 80 grams fat, 120-125 grams protein, and 200-260 carbs. The reason I am eating more when I lift weights and swim is because, for me, lifting depletes my energy stores for the day more so than when I just run and swim. Also weight lifting generally keeps your body on the calorie burning highway longer than cardio does. But it varies from person to person, things like gender, weight, hight, age, and body type have to all be taken into account, and that's why you shouldn't follow a particular persons diet. What's spectacular for one person could be death for another. I want to thank Bear_fitness on Instagram for their great posts that I use in my blog! Check them out for great motivation :) 
Remember, we all have the same 24 hours. How you choose to spend yours is up to you. wether you laze through practice, or give it all you've got, it's your choice alone. No one else controls that. So either you can suck it up, or regret it later. Give it everything this week, don't let the case of the Mondays get the best of you, and instead make the best of the Mondays! Let it be a set up for the rest of the week. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Born for the 500

Hey guys! So last week I mentioned a couple songs that where real spirit up lifters, I wanted to share my music playlist of songs that I listen to to get my adrenaline pumping and ready to swim fast at a swim meet:
1. Bezerk by Eminem
2. Flux and Flow by Siberia
3. Numb/Encore by Jay-z and Linkin Park
4. You gotta want it by Papa Roach
5. We Still In this B**** by B.o.B
6. Let it die by Three Days Grace
7. Run this town by Jay-z
8. 'Till I Collapse by Eminem
9. Rock you like a hurricane by Scorpions
10. Survival by Eminem 
Haha yes some of these songs are old, but they still get me fired up. Tonight is the homecoming football game, and tomorrow is homecoming! I'm absolutely thrilled for the start of this weekend to begin. This year seemed to skip Autumn and go straight to winter, with temperatures just beginning to reach freezing by nightfall. I am not too impressed. During the week my swim coach and I discovered my hidden talent for the 500 Freestyle, during a set in which we did 4 x 500s in which I was beating my best time on all of them. I was able to keep a strong pace, and as my coach would say, embraced the suckyness of it. Why can't I be good at a 100? I absolutely nearly fear the 200. I've never been a real sprinter, and switching between a even, slowish, pace to full out sprint just isn't my thing. But I can hold a strong pace required for the 500. Here are some tips for swimming a 500 freestyle both in practice and a race:
1. Keep your stroke long and even, establish a comfortable breathing pattern, breathing to each side to prevent a cramp.
2. Keep your focus on how your STROKE feels and not on how YOU feel. Think about the water gliding past you, count your strokes, focus on keeping your kick alive. 
3. KICK! Your legs are there for a reason, don't just drag them behind you. They aren't a drag suit. 
4. Embrace the suckyness of it ( Swim coach quote ).
5. The water is your friend, do not fight it. Use it to propel you forward.
6. Make sure you rotate, a longer stroke = more ground ( or water ;) ) coverage as well as preventing shoulder problems.
7. My friend once told me, if you ever get a cramp, just breath out HARD. Yes it sounds weird, looks weird, and maybe even feels weird, but guess what? It works! 
Stay hungry and motivated all you swimmers out there! Never lose the thirst for chlorine. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Refuse to Sink

Hey guys, I've realized that I have been neglecting my blog quite a bit, and that's going to change. From now on, I will be posting twice a week, Mondays and Fridays, in the evening. These past two weeks have been rough for me, I had lost some of my inner motivation for my sport, competitive swimming, and this week I finally picked myself up with the help of my dad and swim coach. I had started feeling like I wasn't good enough, like I was being judged, and just burning myself out as well as losing sleep and my self confidence. Over the weekend I convinced myself that I wasn't going to swim and make myself miserable so something needed to change. I had to stop thinking that I couldn't do this or that, the interval was too fast, I didn't have a good day, or whatever other excuse I was making up in my head that wasn't positive twoards myself. All the fun was being sucked out of swimming. I took a step back and refocused on my goals, one of them being that I'm going to have fun at practice and stop being so hard on myself, and on Monday of this week I came back strong and ready to kick butt, AS WELL as have fun and enjoy myself, and I accomplished that. Today I went to morning practice, the gym, and afternoon practice. It nearly killed me, but I refuse to sink! I made practice fun for myself, laughing and thinking positive.
Last week I promoted to Airman in my Civil air patrol, although it's one of the lower rankings, I consider it to be a huge step in my life. I did something that I've been wanting to do for the last year!.
I recently discovered a song that really spoke to me, it's a song I wish I could have heard a few years ago, it's called More beautiful you By Jonny Diaz. All you girls especially, give it a listen! It speaks the truth. There can never be a more beautiful you! Also, another uplifting song I really like, Brave by Sarah Bareilles, got my spirits up and also gave me the courage to say what I wanted to say and help another swimmer out with her shoulder troubles. Music has always been a big part of my life in some way, it motivates me, inspires me, gets my adrenaline pumping through my veins to push through the last few reps or miles, makes me happy when I'm sad, and gets my mind off of troubling things. A goal of mine is to pick others up when they fall down, and to teach them to be their own hero so that when things get rough, they can come back stronger on their own. I want to be able to inspire other girls to just focus on being the best that THEY themselves can be, and to not worry about who they aren't being, what they aren't doing, what boys like them, and 
to just focus on living their lives, enjoying their family, respecting themselves, and have high self confidence in themselves. And Vice Versa for you guys as well! Never lower your standards just to be accepted by someone, or to seem "cool" or whatever it is you're trying to attempt. If somebody doesn't accept you for they way you are, forget them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with just being you.  A few of the pictures I use are not owned by me and I do not take credit for them, except for the CAPS photo of me:) 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013-14 swim season!!!

The 2013 swim season has started off with me feeling strong and determined. I walk into practice every day, except Sunday, with the motivation to give it 110% without a second thought or doubt in my mind. Although I am still a junior in the swimmer world ( now known as senior development ), nothing can stop me from reaching one of my many goals, to be a senior swimmer by the time Christmas rolls around. My swim schedule is totally flipped turned over in a sometimes frustrating way with the practice time changes and my sister joining the team, so now I get to the pool 2 hours early due to her practice being at 4:15 and mine at 6:00 or 6:45 every other day. On the days I don't have dry lands my mom takes me to the gym while I wait for practice to begin to get some weight training in, so it works out to my advantage on those days.  
The first meet will be coming up soon, so I'm both excited and nervous at the same time. It will be my first meet since February! I've been struggling with keeping my head in my own lane and keeping focused on what I'm doing as aposed to others. I guess that's always been a weakness of mine, but I have to say I've been working on it and my focuse has been more fine tuned to myself through time and effort. As I look back on my attitude from last year, I realized I could be a bit better of a teammate, and I made it a goal to say at least one nice thing everyday to my lanemates and to give them more encouragement, especially to my least favorite teammate, after all, we are a team and a team is only as strong as it's weakest player.
School has started up again and there isn't much to say on that subject except being homeschooled can be a lonely but beneficial thing. I'm now an official member of the Civil Air Patrol and have been getting my uniforms and accessories in the mail.  My 16th birthday party was the best that I could have asked for, celebrated with friends and family at home, and I had a homemade watermelon cake! Everyone loved it. I also went hiking in the Shenandoah mountains down a 4 mile trail with my parents and saw a beautiful waterfall, sadly the camera was forgotten, and no pictures could be taken. My mental strength to keep pushing through hard workouts has been insanely improved, and already this year as well as swim season is showing to be one of the best. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Swimmer problems

Life as a swimmer really proves the saying "when the going gets tough, you get tougher." Sometimes in my mind, that's a very easy thing to forget. I wasn't brought up tough, but choosing  to swim made me stronger than I could ever imagine. Being brought out of swimming because of surgery made me mentally tough, and taught me to not give in because one day, it's all going to pay off and I can finally say that " I made it. I reached my once miles and miles away dream goals." Although I've had a good break from swim, I'm ready to go back into training season and prove myself to my coach and be moved up to the next level of training. Obviously easier said than done. But during my break I've been true to going to the gym and running, switching it up, 5x a week am the occasional swim in the neighborhood pool. CAN'T STOP WON'T STOP! . This weekend My girl Genna is coming over Friday the 23rd and chillin, prepping for my little 16th birthday party on Saturday the 24th at my house. Yesterday night she called me up on a surprise trip to the mall, during which we got Starbucks at 9PM. This picture is a very accurate discription of our personalities xD
My third meeting at Civil Air Patrol is this week, I'm both sad and excited because, one, my coach has to give me permission and he might not let me do CAP, and two, if he does then I'm an official member and get my papers signed this week and my BDU's will be on their way:D 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Highs and lows

My week has been a mix of good highs and bad lows. Some of the highlights to it were Massage Envy, getting my refurbished IPad mini, and going to my first Civilian Air Patrol meeting. Even though I showed up in jeans, an AE shirt, sandals, and hair let loose, ( AKA a civi, or Civilain attire  ) instead of a button up white blouse,  black polished boots, hair in a neat bun, and black slacks ( They call that penguin attire :/ ) usually you wear  penguin attire the first 3 meetings until your membership is excepted and you get military atire uniform, the other kids that were there were very exepting and were excited to have me there. Next 2 meetings I go as a "penguin".
Yesterday I went to the library with Genna and we relaxed and talked as I helped her with her biology. We are thinking of meeting at Starbucks every Sunday from now on to relax and study/talk when the school year and my swim season starts up again. Later tonight my friend Julie and I are headed to the neighborhood pool to swim some laps and for me to give her some stroke technique instruction.
Sometimes people don't realize that what I do swimming wise, is NOT an easy thing. If it was easy, then everybody would do it. I swim for 6-7 days a week, sometimes doing doubles in a day, for 2 and a half hours each practice. On top of that I go running, lift weights at the gym, and my own life and school to balance. It's not a choice lightly made because if I want to succeed, I must give it 110%.  There will be doubters who will doubt me. Haters that will hate me. Non - believers who will say " It can't be done". But then there is me. I will prove them wrong. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Fried oreos and sweet reasons cupcakes

My day so far has fully consisted around cleaning. Cleaning my house, cleaning other peoples houses, ect.. on Sunday I am going out to Sweet Reasons with my best friend Genna, after a session at the gym. Sweet Reasons is a gourmet cupcake store out in town, as seen below.
Although I usually eat a very clean, non processed foods diet, I still eat treats in moderation; Like this fried Oreo I shared with Genna on Fourth of July. 
I am buying my self an iPad mini, I'm not a very materialistic girl, so this was a big decision for me. I never ask much for my birthday. I'd rather have my sisters have everything. I did ask for some glass food containers to store the left over food that I cook though :) My birthday is August 28th

Friday, August 2, 2013

I am blessed

Although I'm not an overly religious person, I strive to remember all the things, both big and small, that God has blessed me with each and every day. Sometimes we take these things for granted and lose sight of what's important, and talk more about our burdens than our blessings. This often brings into our minds a depressed train of thought, and digs us into a deep rut. I myself have experienced this self pity and let me tell you, it was not an enjoyable couple of months. I found that although I felt better talking to people about my own issues, it only lasted for a day or two. For a person buried deep in their own troubles, bringing to light the good in life can become difficult, as with other things in life, depressed thinking can become a habit.
Your train of thought is controlled by you, and you alone. Nobody can make the decision for you, to just simply be happy with the things you have, and forget the things that you don't have. A homeless man has nothing, but is blessed with the clothes on his back, or the church that he goes to for food. A poor family may seem to have nothing, but they too are blessed for the little money they do have, their siblings and parents and the love that they share for one another. You are blessed for simply waking up this morning if nothing else. You had a bad day? It's a bad day not a bad life. In order to experience the joys in life, you have to also experience the bad as well, or we would never know the true feeling of joy. Life would be boring.

Today is the last day of year round swim team as well as summer league, and today is supposed to be a fun day at swim! relays, starts, and games galore. This is a picture of the pool I swam high school swim season at, and swim year round at.

My last HS swim season I ended the term with two high school records in the 200 IM and 500 FR. On year round I got 3rd in state for the month of December for 50 butterfly and 6th in state for month of December in 50 breaststroke. Now that I have my shoulder fixed with surgery, it will be exciting to see how far I can get this year.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Keeping motivated

On days like today, when I have total body soreness, a cold, tendinitis, and stress trying to keep me from my goals, I  have to have a game plan to keep myself motivated and to keep going to the gym, on runs, and even these last 2 swim practices; which really have no point in going to because we have a whole months brake before training kicks back in for short course season. I have to bring into view all my past accomplishments, as well as my long term and short term goals and remember how excited I was to attain achievements I never thought I'd be able to pull off and my determination to push myself (or swim ) to new heights. Sometimes I have to remember the reason why I started swimming in the first place.
 My fidelity for swimming  will ALWAYS be apart of who I am, and when I swim my stroke, it may be the only time that I come close to being 'gracefull'. The precision and concentration put into every stroke, dive, and turn that I take is unmatched and unlike anything else that I do.
I have to look at how far I have come, instead of how far I still have to go. Other things I do to help keep myself motivated:

1. re-evaluate with my goals
2. If I don't think I will follow through with my running plan, I schedule a run with my friend.
3. Look at motivational pictures and quotes
4. Listen to motivational music
5. Think about how far I have come and how much I have achieved
6. Remember that what I do is not easy, and if it was then everybody would do it.
7. Talk to my parents or friends for encouragement
8. Remember why I started in the first place
9. Blog about my goals
Remember that it's O.K to take a day off every once in awhile, and when you're hurt, to be smart and improvise.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eating disorders and nutrition + my day yesterday 7/30/13

My day yesterday was pretty hectic, this black iced coffee made it pretty sweet, ( or bitter, no sugar or crème) thanks to my dad!
For Regency Swim Team there's only three days left and then we take a month brake in August before we start short course season through the fall and then on to long course during the summer. I have scheduled for myself to go to Massage Envy and get the knots I've developed in my back from worrying too much massaged out. Here is some info on eating disorders and proper eating through my experiences: When people say they are on some fad diet, restricting fats/carbs/proteins or even calories in a dangerous and unnecessary way, it drives me nuts. Most times all that needs to happen is to simply change what is being eaten. When I started off with swimming I had athletes anorexia, and I just couldn't adjust to the calorie requirements and I continuously felt fatigued, agitated, and I just couldn't work at the level required for the days needs. Anorexia is something that many people struggle with, eating very, very, little food throughout each and every day. What they think is that this way they will loose weight and fat, look like that ' gorgeous skinny model' on the magazine, when in reality your body stores every bit of food its being deprived of instead as being used for energy and lean muscle building, in addition to yellowing of the skin, facial hair growth on girls, yellowing of eyes and teeth, lowered brain functioning, and heart problems as well as many other things. That is why girls who are over weight do not loose weight efficiently, and sometimes even gain more weight as a result from binge eating, or bulimia. Bulimia is just as bad as anorexia, but can cause stomach bleeding as well as throat problems. Just because some one is skinny, does not define them as healthy, now don't take that the wrong way, there are lots of skinny people with naturally fast metabolisms, who are healthy and fit. You should, instead of counting calories, count the nutrition and healthy fats such as polyunsaturated and  monounsaturated ( omega-3 fats, usually the highest amounts are found in fish, nuts, peanut butter, and some plant bases, and are super heart and brain healthy + help to loose weight ). Eat as much as you want as long as it is healthy, and eat the rest in moderation. When paired with fitness, that is the true key to health and fitness. Before you do a calorie or macro nutrient restricting ( carbs, fats, and proteins ) diet plan PLEASE do your research and make sure the amount you restrict is coinciding with your weight, height, age, gender, and your daily activities. Eat for the body you want, not for the body you have. Eat for your goals. notice the last two sentences start with eat!!! Food is a source of energy, a power house of nutrition, when the right choices are made. Be that healthy fit girl. Be you! you're beautiful inside in out. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

About me

I am a writer. A photographer of vibrant moments. Die hard Coffee enthusiast.