Nutrition on the Slopes

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     This past weekend I went skiing for the first time in 10 years and it was great to be back on the slopes.  And it also got me thinking about the nutritional aspects of skiing. How many calories does it burn? What is the best meal to have before hitting the slopes? How should you fuel yourself during the day.

     Downhill skiing burns approximately 6 calories per kg of body weight per hour. For me that turned out to be 324kcals burned per hour. Granted, even though I went skiing for 6 hours, I was probably only actively skiing for about 3 due to getting suited up, taking breaks, and riding the lifts.

     Due to it being a high intensity activity, the body will mainly run on glycogen stores in the muscle and liver. If you know that you are going skiing a couple days in advance you can adjust your diet to “carb load” and make your total calorie consumption comprised of a higher percentage of carbs than usual.  Of course always stick to low glycemic foods while you are not participating in an activity.

     Also make sure that you are well hydrated as a day of skiing can be quite dehydrating.  Winter sports can encourage dehydration as it is difficult to have water on you or nearby.  Also, being in the cold can make drinking water unappealing and can even take away your sense of thirst, plus there is the hassle of having to use the restroom.  In addition, the body dehydrates much quicker in areas of high elevation.

      The morning of skiing, start the day by beginning to hydrate and have a breakfast high in complex carbs which also includes some protein and fat.  Some options are a smoothie or steel cut oats.  Be sure to bring plenty of water or have plenty of water available to you during the day.  Do not wait until you are thirsty but drink at least 8 ounces every half hour.  The best way to accomplish this is through a camelpack.

     As far as nutrition, I find that stuffing my pockets with protein bars is the way to go.  The bars that I utilized on my ski trip were: Garden of Life Sport Bar, Vega Protein + Snack Bar, and the Ever Bar.  They all contain adequate amounts of protein (11-20g), sugar (8-12 g), fat (9-13g), and fiber (4-8g).  I did not want high amounts of fiber or sugar alcohols because they would make digestion a bit difficult, I also wanted some carbs and sugar but not too much, and wanted to make sure I was still getting my protein in so these all fit the bill.

     For dinner after skiing, make sure to focus on replenishing your glycogen stores.  This can be accomplished by incorporating some complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, or boiled sweet potatoes.  Pair it with some other nutrients that you may have been missing over the course of the day like high quality protein, and vegetables.  Don’t forget to continue to rehydrate.  Approaching a day of skiing with a planned nutrition plan will help you to make to the most of your day on the slopes and recover quickly.

 

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Hiking Snacks

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I got back from a trip to Seattle a few weeks ago, and thought that I would share some snacks that I brought with me to eat while I was hiking in Mount Rainier National Park.

The Bhu Fit bars are a line of organic, gluten free, bars that have almost no sugar. These bars also contain prebiotic fiber (up to 10g), but not enough to cause any GI discomfort.  They are high in fat, and use coconut oil so they do include saturated fat.  They also have have moderate amounts of protein (12-14g).  An activity like hiking requires energy preferably in the form of a combination of protein and fat high in medium chain triglycerides to fuel your muscles, so these bars fit the bill.  They have a few different lines: whey protein, egg protein, and pea protein.  I of course only consume the plant based ones, and the Chocolate Chip Fudge Brownie and Apple Cinnamon Nutmeg varieties are my favorite by far.

The PaleoKrunch Granola Bars are a very complementary snack to the Bhu Fit Bars for physical activity as they are high in complex carbs, but still relatively low in sugar. I ate these on my way down the mountain to help refuel after my hike.  Although not organic, they are grain and GMO free. The packaging is a bit bulky, so not great for throwing in your pocket, but easy to carry in a backpack.  They only contain a handful of ingredients that sound like you could throw it together yourself, but somehow I can’t imagine it would go well for me if I tried. They do contain honey so they are not vegan friendly.  I enjoy the Pumpkin and Tropical Varieties as they are the lowest in sugar (6-7g) and have great flavor.

Here are some pics from the trip:

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Holiday 2016

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We are now full in the throws of the Christmas Season, and for all of you who may be short on ideas for Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers, here are a few ideas for the ladies in your life, including yourself 🙂

     Pacifica, a brand that up until this year I had not used, is not my go to brand for mascara.  The Stellar Gaze Length and Strength Mascara would make a great stocking stuffer at only $14 and is available at Ulta.  I also wrote a review for it here.

     For something in a bit more expensive that can be exchanged as a present, Pacifica also makes a wonderful perfume.  The bottle and packaging is nice enough to wrap but the modest price of $22 will keep you smiling.  The Island Vanilla Spray Perfume is by far my favorite scent, it just smells so delicious and warm without being too “food-esque”, and is also available at Ulta.

     Honest Beauty hit the shelves of Ulta this year. The line created by Jessica Alba boasts beautiful eyeshadow trios that are smooth, creamy, blendable, and stay put all day. The colors really are splendid and the packaging makes it nice enough to gift under the tree, plus for only $25 it won’t break the bank. The Smokey Grey Eyeshadow Trio is my favorite.

     Another stocking stuffer option is from a company I recently discovered called Savannah Bee.  Their Beeswax Hand Cream is amazing and a must have for the cold winter months.  It features honey and beeswax as top ingredients and is just so luxurious and nourishing.  and with a price tag of $14, it is perfect for a stocking stuffer and is available online here.

Pacifica Stellar Eye Trio

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     I picked up this kit at my local Whole Foods on an after Christmas clearance sale for only $5 (originally $20)! I was looking for a new mascara and eyeliner, and I figured it was a steal so why not. I have never tried Pacifica before, and figured there really isn’t a better way to get a feel for a company that to try a few different products at once.  They are a natural makeup, skincare, and perfume company from Portland that is 100% vegan and cruelty free; and portion of their proceeds go towards keeping the oceans clean.

     Because this was a holiday item, the kit is no longer available, however, the mascara and eyeliner are apart of their regular line and can be purchased on their website, or in store/online at Target and Ulta, or at your nearest Whole Foods. In comparing their ingredients online with what is on the packaging, it appears that they have since reformulated, however the ingredients remain quite similar and the products have the same names and packaging. The eyeshadow is the only item that is now longer available, but that doesn’t really matter and you will soon see why.

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     My immediate thoughts after trying this kit is that I should have bought more, if not just for the mascara, because I really truly like it. It has a naturally pleasant and mild smell, is exceptionally creamy and goes on well.  Even though it has great staying power, it is quite easy to remove with a cotton round and some face oil. I like how pure black the color is.  In addition, it looks great and never caused any irritation.

Stellar Gaze Mascara in Supernova (black)

Ingredients:  Aqua, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sorbitan Olivate, GLycerin, Citric Acid, Acrylates Cross Polymer, Xantham Gum, Tocopherol,  Jojoba Esters, Panthenol, Arabia/Acacia Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Cocos Nucifera, Chamomilla Sativa Fruit Extract, Algae Extract, Cucumis Sativus Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Hydrolyze Oriza Sativa Extract.  May Contain:  Iron Oxides, Mica.

     The eyeliner is the perfect companion to the mascara because it is also exceptionally creamy, yet firm enough to draw with. It goes on gently and stays on well, yet also comes off quite nice with my oiled up cotton round. Overall, it is the best eyeliner I have had in recent memory.

Natural Minerals Eye Pencil in Jet (black)

Ingredients:  Hydrogenated Simmondsia Chinenesis Seed Oil, Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil,Simmondsia Chinenesis Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter, Titanium Dioxide, Canola Oil, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil, Iron Oxide, Euphorbia Cerifera Cera, Glyceryl Caprylate, Copernicia Cerifera Cera, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Palmitate.

     The eyeshadow duo is just ok. I LOVE the sugar plum color (at least that is what I call it), but the golden, yellowy highlight shade is just not flattering on me or with the purple. In addition, the case leaves something to be desired as the lid is quite flimsy and keeps popping off. Also, the two colors are in the same pan, so I can’t even just take one out and put it in a magnetic palette and ditch the other one.

     But even despite all of this, I really love the purple.  The texture, although a powder is not powdery. It is one where you really need to get your brush in there, I think that is due to the oils in it. It is build-able though and lasts all day.

Natural Eyeshadow Duo

Ingredients:  Mica, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Magnesium Stearate, Tridecyl Trimellitate, Polyethylene, Dimethicone, Silica, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tocopherol Acetate.  May Contain: Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Titanium Dioxide, Ferroferric Oxide.

     Looking at their other palettes online, they all seem to have color schemes that are quite odd, and contain colors that I do not care for. So, I would not buy one of their palettes for full price for only a couple of colors. Also, the trios online are a creme to powder finish, and cremes just don’t stay on my eyelids. I really hope they create singles so I can choose my own colors, or start making better paired sets.

     The ingredients overall are also just ok. I have found myself having a bit more leniency lately with ingredients (i.e. not being a purist) because it is really hard to find products I genuinely like. For example, I am not liking the Hydrogenated Oils, but at the same time, there are no artificial colors or fragrances, parabens, petroleum/mineral oil, or talc. So, it seems like a good compromise.

     Overall, it was a steal, and a great way to try multiple products from a company I had never used before. I discovered that I love their mascara and eyeliner, and their powder eyeshadow formula, I just need more freedom with the colors since their pairings don’t do it for me. I hope to have the opportunity to try some of their skincare products and perhaps their nail polishes because some of the colors just look amazing.

Christmas Gift Guide 2015

Christmas Gift Guide

     It’s that time of year again, and I decided to make a Christmas Gift Guide as I have found them to very helpful.  I included a few items that are suitable for both genders and encompass a variety of budgets.

     The first should come as no surprise due to my exuberant love of Zoya! I just love the idea of receiving one of these beautifully curated holiday boxed trios.  Not only is Zoya non-toxic, but it also wears better than any I have ever tried before. With the EWG announcing that yet another nail polish ingredient has been linked to endocrine disruption, Zoya remains a great option as it does not include TPHP. The set sells for $25 which is a wonderful deal for full sized nail polishes.

     The second item is my all time favorite toner, the Devita’s Moroccan Rose Facial Toner. Now, toner may seem to be an odd gift, but for someone with whom you are very close with and has a love for luxurious skincare products, it may be just the perfect gift. It comes beautifully packaged in a box and glass bottle, which makes the price of nearly $23 totally worth it.

     My husband bought me this 5mm Manduka LiveON Matt for my birthday this year and I truly adore it. It is made from 100% recyclable material, and when you are done with it can send it back to be recycled. It retails for $58 but the 3mm one is on sale for only $36!

     The Foreo Luna Mini is my go to skin cleansing devise. I literally threw out my Clarasonic when I received this as a gift from my husband for Christmas last year.  I have only charged it 2 times since I first opened it 11 months ago. You never need any replacement heads, so even with the high price of $139, it is very economical. They have larger more skin type tailored version for $199.

     Another perfect gift for a dear friend with a skincare fetish is Worker B’s Honey Wash.  I originally resisted purchasing this because I thought that because the main ingredients are raw honey and kukui nut oil which I already have, I could just make it myself. And I tried, but when I received a free sample there was no comparison.  It retails for $36.

     Lastly, the GRID Foam Roller is actually not something I can personally recommend as I find it too hard, large, and difficult to use. So why is it on this list?! Because my husband loves it.  Literally every single night this bad boy comes out and my husband is able to get a deep massage that I am not strong enough to do. So if you have a man in your life who likes deep massages, for $65, you might just be able to hit the spot.