Lisa Spencer helps people reach their full potential through interactive sessions on performance nutrition. As a young athlete, she studied physiology and nutrition to enhance performance. She then led a career in fitness and nutrition, becoming a high school track coach and certifying as a fitness trainer. To further her knowledge, she earned her Masters and Doctorate in Education and became a Certified Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. She works to support the body with the demands we place on it, helping people to optimize performance.
Blood sugar regulation, eating a combination of protein, fiber and fat at meals, and taking short breaks to meditate or get some fresh air are great ways to increase energy levels naturally. Transcript: "So what are some more natural ways to increase my energy level throughout the day? One of the best ways to keep an increase level of energy throughout the day is blood sugar regulation? We do this, not only with what we eat. But when we and how much we eat, one of the best ways is to make sure you're having fat protein and fiber, every time you're sitting down to eat your meal. So, two key points there that protein produce combo and sitting down to eat our meal. If we're doing this, if we're eating in a relaxed State and we're eating in combination of foods, that will help regulate the blood sugar from our meals. If we are eating just a carbohydrate or fueling to get through portion of the day on just caffeine, or maybe caffeine, and a quick snack than we're. Probably getting a spike in our blood sugar. What goes up must come down. That brings us down that roller coaster. Our body's craving something. We feed it instantly and we shoot it back up the roller coaster. And these dips. And valleys are not only incredibly taxing, but create a ton of stress on the body and nobody really needs more stress, that's exhausting. So, to level out the energy Lee throughout the day, we want to level out. Out our blood sugar throughout the day a little counterintuitive, but a second way to keep natural levels of energy, throughout the days to take a break, a 5 minute meditation, and kind of that down time of your day or when you'd normally be going for high glucose snack, a sugar snack, or a cup of coffee. How about a five minute meditation instead kind of recenter the body get a little bit of grounded and some time outside. And getting some fresh air, a little bit of sunlight. If you can, during this time of year, will help again, get that Natural Energy throughout the day."
Pack a sandwich, chicken salad with crackers, or burrito for the main item. For snacks, try homemade quick bread or muffins with nutrient dense ingredients, apples and cheese, melon and ham, grapes and cold cuts, shakes or smoothies with protein, and granola and yogurt. Also have some smaller pieces of fruit such as grapes and graham crackers for quick energy bursts. Don't forget to keep them hydrated throughout the day. Transcript: "Hey there what are some good snacks to pack for an athlete and then all day swim, meet a little bit of everything, the athletes are going to be hungry and we want to entice them to eat throughout the day by having a variety of food. So, start with the main item start with the biggest item that they might eat during their longest break between Events. Maybe that's a sandwich, maybe that is a chicken salad with crackers, or maybe Even a burrito that they would eat half of during that longest break that they have between events, then we want to move to the smaller snack items. I would love for athletes to pack a homemade quick bread or muffin made of nutrient dense, ingredients have complex, carbohydrate a little protein in there. We can also go, the route of apples and cheese or like a melon and ham or grapes and cold cuts. So we're getting a combination of both carbohydrates and are proteins in that I love it. When athletes bring some kind of shake some kind of smoothie with protein in it that protein can be yogurt based or it could be protein powder based but something that's again easily digestible that they can snack on sip on throughout the day if they have 45 minutes, that's a great time, 45 minutes to an hour, great time to have that smoothie or maybe It's granola and some yogurt that you can pack in the cooler. We also want to make sure you have some of those smaller more refined piece pieces of food pieces of fruit, like a graham crackers or some more fruit grapes. Come to mind to give that quick energy, burst, keep them going, don't forget the hydration, very, very important. So we want to keep them hydrated as they are hanging out throughout the day during That swim meet and making sure their hydrating well after their races. So good luck to you."
Start with a banana or other simple carbohydrate like melon, toast with peanut butter, or a hard-boiled egg. If you need something to take with you, try a smoothie made with dairy milk or a milk alternative like Ripple, yogurt and fruit. Finally, train your body to fuel a little bit better in the morning as you move through the season. Transcript: "All right, so the question is, what are some fueling options for a youth athlete, who competes in the morning hours but is not hungry for a full breakfast. That is a common concern. And the answer really is all about whatever feels comfortable for you. Start with anything that you feel comfortable eating because it is so important to get a little something in to top off your glycogen stores before you go off for your competition. And a lot of athletes like to start with a banana. Maybe even you're just starting with a half, a banana start with that simple carbohydrate. So that you are getting the glycogen in giving your body what it needs. Then we can start looking to add maybe a little bit of protein and fats into the mix. So if a bananas fine, maybe you could add toast and peanut butter or you could look at maybe one hard-boiled egg before you roll out the door. Those are still tough. You can even if a bananas hard, maybe chop some melon in the evening before and you can have a couple bites of melon while you're getting ready in the morning. If it's tough to get some food because your competition is so early, you need to leave. So early and your kind of racing in the morning, prepare something for the car some athletes do really well once they're prepared, they're in the car. The anxiety settles down a little bit and Maybe you can have some kind of smoothie yogurt and Berry or a yogurt and banana smoothies. A great idea for on your way to the competition. If you're staying away from dairy, you could even do, maybe sort of a higher protein, milk alternative like Ripple made into a smoothie with some fruit. Those are all great ideas. Also know that you can train your body to be able to fuel a little bit better in the morning. So start small and then Maybe, during practice time, you can train your body to eat a little bit more, as you move through your season. So, thanks for asking that and Good Luck Jessie."
My top strategies to hide vegetables are to add spinach to ground meat dishes, serve them with dips, introduce new vegetables in stir fries, and make quick breads or snacks with hidden veggies. Transcript: "This question just makes me smile. What are your top strategies to hide vegetables and meals? Well, we're pretty veggie forward in this house and I'm not sure I'm hiding vegetables, but I do seem to get them into most meals in a couple different ways. So, call it what you will. The one I think about with hiding is always throw some spinach and, of course, I needs. Any time, I do a, like, a ground beef, ground chicken ground turkey. So, I guess we're hiding the spinach and if we're doing like, sloppy joes, or even taco meat or meat loaf or hiding some veggies. Some spinach usually in on that another way to hide veggies, for kids, is really full and with dips, kids love to dip things. So if you're trying to get more veggies, in kids meal, having hummus having Tzatziki having Ranch, Anything that they can dip the veggies in your not hiding the veggies but you're just making the dip way, more exciting than refusing. The vegetables, this is a great time to introduce new vegetables and stir fries is another great time to introduce new vegetables. So try to throw something in there that you don't normally have see how it goes. I guess another way that I hide veggies is a make a lot of quick breads or snacks kind. Of carbohydrate protein, balance fueling nuggets with spinach and oats or black beans. So no refined sugars. No refined flours. And I guess I'm essentially hiding the veggies in there even though they are a main part of that snack, I had a client once tell me that their kids didn't eat anything green to which there's a great response add blueberries and all of a sudden that At smoothie or that green, muffin is now ground and nobody argues with a little bit of brown and tasty food. So, good luck with all incorporating your veggies,"
Some family friendly dinner meals that we routinely use are fish tacos, instant pot enchiladas, and a stir fry. We also like to make a Cobb salad which my husband calls 'clean the fridge' salad. Transcript: "The question is, what are some family friendly dinner meals? You routinely use? Well, we all need dinner ideas. So this is fun to answer. I have two teen boys in between the four of us in our house. We eat a lot of food. Come dinner time. Everyone is generally hungry and we're all pretty busy. So hopefully these are useful go Twos for you. Probably one of our favorites or fish tacos. It's great to just just have the fish defrosting in the fridge. Come home and skillet it with some fish taco seasoning on it. Kids get a choice of corn or flour tortillas that are also warming up the same time. The fish is it's pretty easy to engage everyone pulling things out of the refrigerator that they might want to talk their tacos with. I always make sure we have something fermented to go with the fish. Tacos at the Released we would do something pickled like the pickled onions. Hopefully, I'll we also have some fermented cabbage to go with this meal, will throw in a little bit of black beans and always a side salad to round out our vegetables. Another favorite is instant pot enchiladas. So these are the quick version of an enchilada where you can throw a bunch of chicken in the insta pot with enchilada. Mix turn. Turn it on for the 40 minutes that's required to cook the chicken. Throw in some cheese after that, maybe some other enchilada flavorings, maybe some diced Peppers, whatever your family likes and Shred up some corn tortillas to add to that. We always serve this again with some refried beans and usually I'll have hummus and cut vegetables sitting on the counter when someone comes in. If this is our Our dinner. So right, when they come in, they are getting their vegetables. In another. Favorite one is probably just A good stir fry. I can add a variety of different vegetables in there and it's great for leftovers. Probably a final would be a Cobb salad that my husband calls clean the fridge salad. I hope those help."
Training may need to be adjusted around a woman's menstrual cycle. During the first half of the cycle (follicular phase), it is a good time to push for high-intensity and PRs. During the second half of the cycle (luteal phase), focus on recovery, stretching, technique, and endurance. Additionally, use this time to focus on your mental game. Nutritional adjustments can be made if there is a big event during this time. Transcript: "Can you explain how training might change around a woman's menstrual cycle? I love answering this question. First, it means you're tracking your cycle, which is the first very important step. The first phase of your cycle is your full of killer phase, that's bleeding through the first half of your cycle regardless of how long it is bleeding through ovulation is your follicular phase that your high energy, your go hard phase. If you're in charge of your training, you can do two days. If you're not Now's the Time to put in that extra work, this is the time to go hard then Midway through the cycle, we hit ovulation, some women feel great at this day or two others. Don't just know what it is for you because next, you move into your luteal phase. This is the second half of your cycle. This is your high hormone phase women generally have low heat tolerance increased respiratory rate, which means sure. Time to fatigue. This is our harder time to hit the top end. It's a harder time for many women to get those PR X to do the big lift. Whatever it is. So if you're in charge of your training, you can change that to really focus on your endurance. Not the high-end aspects of your sport if you're not in charge of your training, you are in charge of your life, give yourself a little bit of break. Make now is the time to focus on technique and Recovery. It's time to also focus on your mental game. So, allow yourself during this latter half of your face a bit of a break physically. So, again, focus on recovery stretching technique etcetera. Maybe endurance also, give yourself a break mentally know that you are in this phase. It's not going to last forever. Don't beat yourself up. You'll get those The high ends. Again when you get back into the next phase, maybe work back on your mental game, a little bit. That's equally as important. You'll be back physically getting those PRS in a week or so. If you do have a big event during this time, there's things we can do nutritionally to mitigate these. But for the most part you want to augment your training for whatever phase you're in."