A Day in My Plant-Based Diet

LaurenNutrition

 
I have had a lot of interest in my switch to plant-based eating while training at a high level.  I decided to switch to a plant-based diet in January. The past eight months have been so much fun though, trying new foods and figuring out how to get the nutrients I need from plants to perform at the highest level. Being plant-based takes some prep and time. But once you get a routine down it is pretty easy. Figuring out what works for you and your schedule is the tricky part. The deeper I get into this lifestyle change, the more I want to make everything from scratch and completely eliminate processed foods.

So what does my day look like?

I typically start the day with a light workout and then I eat something. For breakfast I lean towards avocado toast, oatmeal with berries and banana, or a smoothie. I use Garden of Life products for smoothies. I think they make the best plant based raw protein on the market with low sugar and complete amino acids. I incorporate nut butters from Naturally More*. During the day I eat a lot of carrots and hummus, sweet potatoes with avocado, salads, and fruits. 

 
 
Dinners usually consist of a grain (quinoa normally since the protein is the highest), tons of greens, veggies, beans (chick peas, black beans, white beans, or hummus). I put hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, and chia seeds on or in everything I can. These three things add a lot of protein.
 
 
 
At night I try and stay away from refined sugar. If I want dessert, I will make chia pudding with berries and homemade granola that has no added sugar. I also make my own almond milk for coffee and smoothies which is very easy to do.

When I travel, I take a rice cooker and my nutribullet and usually eat in the hotel making smoothies, black bean quinoa avocado burritos, oatmeal etc.

As supplements go, I take:

Since being plant-based I have limited alcohol subconsciously. I no longer view it as a reward for a hard day’s work. I can feel it when I eat poorly or put unhealthy stuff in it. So far I am happy with the progress I have seen with this lifestyle change. I will continue to be plant-based until or if I feel a craving for animal products. I don’t restrict anything my body asks for.
 
Feed your body well, enjoy your meals, and share them with friends! 
 
 
Enjoying a meal with Kate Bruck, Leanda Cave, and Michelle Maxwell
 
*Naturally More – save 20% on an online order with code Lauren20.
**Juice Performer  – save 20% on Juice Performer at Amazon with code  LAUREN17.

3 Races, 3 Weekends, 3 Countries

LaurenRaces

Summer is here! I just got back from doing 3 races in 3 weekends in 3 countries with a return to Boulder each time in between. I knew this would be a challenge when I signed up for it. My coaches voiced their concerns, but I felt strongly I wanted to try. I have never raced three weekends in a row or even two 70.3s in a month, but I wanted to see how my fitness could sustain me.

My passport got a workout! 

After my misfortune at IM 70.3 Monterrey (flat and fall), I felt like I needed to race sooner than later so I registered for IRONMAN 70.3 Victoria while at the airport leaving Monterrey! I felt pretty good leading into Victoria and I was full of confidence. Well, little did I know, I would freeze and suffer all day long. I finished in 3rd. It was not the race I had hoped for, but the cold temperatures really did not suit me. It shook me and I wondered how I would fare racing twice more, with Escape from Alcatraz Tri up next.

Pre-race run in the beautiful city of Victoria!

I had a mental reset and received words of encouragement from my coaches during the days in between. I basically rested and ate a ton of carbs leading up to Alcatraz. I was so grateful to have the support of my three main sponsors, Trek, HOKA, and TYR at the event so everything was easy leading up to race day.

I had one of my best performances ever and came away with the win at Escape. It was a very emotional and happy victory! I am still a bit on cloud 9 from winning the race as it is something I have wanted and worked toward for six years. There was no time to celebrate though, as I rushed off to the airport after the race without even showering!

After returning to Boulder I had just three days to unpack and repack before I set off for IRONMAN 70.3 Costa Rica. This was the inaugural event in Playa del Coco. My body was really feeling the effects of the effort I put out at Alcatraz. But Wilbur Anderson and his crew nailed it with the execution of this race. This is really notable for a first year event so kudos to them!

I put out my best effort in the heat and humidity and finished in 2nd place.

As I reflect on these crazy few weeks, I am so happy I followed through and completed all of the events regardless of how I felt on the day. I met so many people who were truly amazed with the sport and simply loved asking me questions about my passion. Next for me is a solid few weeks of training and then off to the Big Apple for NYC Tri!

Season Opening Win at St. Anthony’s Triathlon

LaurenRaces

After a long base season, 2017 race season is officially underway. Typically, I like racing an early season event sometime between the end of January and early March just to get things rolling and see where I am at fitness wise. However, this year, my coaches basically told me I had to have 16 weeks of consistent training without illness or injury before I could race. I was pretty bummed because I wanted to race IRONMAN 70.3 Buenos Aires. If you follow me, you know my love for South America and wine so how could I pass up an event in Argentina!? Oh well, it was not meant to be and it was a long winter of training banking so many sessions.

I did the Cooper River Bridge Run 10km in Charleston, SC (my hometown) on April 1st and I was pleased with my race. I knew my swim and run fitness were optimal but unsure on my bike fitness since I had been riding indoors a lot. My plan was to race IRONMAN 70.3 Lima as my 2017 opener but I got sick leading up the race and I had to withdraw. I hope to be there next year though as it looked like a fun one. Fortunately, St. Anthony’s Triathlon was the week after and an event I was extremely familiar with as I had done it 4 times already and a few of my best friends live there. For some reason I hadn’t raced well at St. Anthony’s, so I was a little nervous, but decided it was best to start the season off with a fast Olympic distance race.

The wind was up and unfortunately the swim was shortened from 1500m to 900m. Typically, I would be pretty upset with this as swimming is my strongest of the three disciplines. However, once I was fully emerged into the bay I knew this was the right call. The water conditions were rough and there was no way I wanted to continue on as I approached the swim finish of the shortened course.

I exited the water in 1st position and ran very hard to T1 so that I could try and get a little gap and get away on the bike. Cycling has not been my strongest event so I committed to stepping it up this year. My goal was to ride off the front and never look back. If I ran poorly but rode well then it would be a success in my mind. My new Trek Speed Concept with the new Shimano Dura-Ace is fast, comfortable, and looks great. I felt pretty special to have the high vis edition with matching Ballista helmet.

I tried a few new mental tricks on the bike and ended up putting time onto everyone and having the fastest bike split. At this point I had already achieved the goal I set for myself and the run would be a bonus. Fortunately, I felt fresh coming off the bike and ran comfortably off the bike.

Although I wanted to run hard, I did not want to blow at the end of the race, so I just ran conservatively focusing on my form and working to get to the line first. I love this run course because it is an out and back and I get to see many friends on the course who were also racing. Last year I was running scared with Mirinda Carfrae literally breathing down my neck, so it was nice to actually enjoy the run and cheer others on as well. I ended the day with the fastest run split and won my 5th attempt at St. Anthony’s triathlon. This event is a special one to win as it has been around 34 years and has a history of world class athletes as past champions.

After the race I got to catch up with my friends down in Florida and just relax a bit. I am fully focused for this year and doing everything I can do be the best athlete and also ambassador for the sport. I am so grateful for the support team I have surrounding me providing every resource available to me that I need to be my best. I will mix it up this year with some different races and hopefully have my best season yet. Thank you all for the continued support!

My next race will be the Pan American 70.3 Championships in Monterrey, Mexico on May 14th. After that I will return to San Francisco for another shot at Escape from Alcatraz followed by the inaugural Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica.

Getting the best out of ourselves in 2017

adminUncategorized

mountainclimbing

Happy 2017 everyone! I hope you all are motivated, happy, and ready to better yourselves from last year. 2016 was not my best year but I was happy to end it on a high with winning IRONMAN 70.3 Cartagena and hosting my family for Christmas here in Boulder, CO. The last 10 weeks have been really satisfying. I have met a lot of new people who have challenged me to go out of my comfort zone. Some examples: repelling off of mountains, doing 4hr trail runs, changing my diet and mindset towards eating, taking risks with investments, trying new forms of exercise, reconnecting with high school friends, and really just growing up. I am determined to make the most out of 2017 and get the best out of myself as well as connecting with others and hopefully inspiring at least one person to live a healthier lifestyle and to be active.

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This year I am trying a few new things. First of all I am changing my diet to strictly be plant based. In June I stopped eating dairy, red meat, pork and chicken simply because of a book I read about meat processing and also because dairy made me feel bloated and lethargic. I was a little hesitant of how I was going to get all of the nutrients I needed and enough protein. However, I quickly discovered if you just pay attention to what is going in and keep track of it all then it is simple to get enough. I was eating fish and eggs but once the new year came I wanted to test myself and try out the plant based diet. So far I absolutely love it. I am eating different things that I never would have touched before (lentils, flax, chia, chard, bok choy, garbanzo beans, kale, quinoa). If you are interested in trying out plant based eating feel free to contact me.

Also I am implementing Pure Barre into my workout routine. People ask me what exactly Pure Barre is and I cannot even explain it. It is not yoga or pilates or weight lifting. It is a full body workout with small isometric movements. On top of a great workout, the music is awesome and I leave with a smile after ever session. I have met so many empowering women (and men) in class and I just cannot give it up. It was easier in the off season to fit it in but now that full training is back in session it is hard. I refuse to stop going though because it makes me so happy and I really think it is great for injury prevention and obviously to look good!

©Wagner Araujo / MundoTRI.com.br

©Wagner Araujo / MundoTRI.com.br

Another thing I am doing this year is MAT- Muscles Activation Techniques. I am working with Paul Lugar at Colorado Athletic Club. He is helping fix my muscular imbalances, joint mobility, and overall range of motion. So far I am liking the results and swim/bike/run are all benefiting from it. I also will continue to get massage once a week and try my best to stay injury free this year. Also, I will continue working with Boulder Coaching- Simon Lessing, Lisa Lessing and Darren DeReuck for 2017. We have some new people in the group so training is tough and fun.

My season kicks off on April 23rd at IRONMAN Peru 70.3. I raced in Lima my first year racing PRO and won my first race there. I am so excited to go back being a little bit older to appreciate the culture and beauty of the city. My complete race schedule will be posted soon so please check back. I hope everyone has an amazing year— be open to change and let your body adapt. Smile and enjoy the process.

TYR Standing

St. Anthony’s Tri, Wildflower, & Challenges

LaurenRaces

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leading out of the water at Wildflower

This year has started off with a lot of challenges. After racing Panama on January 31st I came back to Boulder and I was sick for an entire month. It was frustrating because all I wanted to do was prepare for the season but my body did not want to function properly. The entire month of January I basically wasn’t sleeping. I would go 3-4 days without ever falling asleep and I was trying to train normally and told myself I was just being crazy. I pushed through; raced Panama but did terribly, and then came back and was plagued with sickness.

I decided to not race IRONMAN 70.3 Monterrey in March because I was not ready. The sleeping issues continued and I got sick again in March so I decided not to race IRONMAN 70.3 New Orleans and instead go back home to Charleston, South Carolina to help my mom post-surgery and to simply recharge. Obviously my body was telling me something and I thought it was best to leave altitude and the triathlon scene to be at home with my family. While I was home I started sleeping better but only because I was loading up on sleep aids every night.

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From Charleston I went to Clermont, FL to see my best friend and to have a short prep in the heat for St. Anthony’s Triathlon. Once again, my sleeping pattern was screwed so I tried meditation, cutting back on coffee, and trying to just relax. I went to St. Anthony’s and I did not sleep one minute the Friday and Saturday before the race. Somehow on race day I pulled together a decent result (3rd), finishing just behind Rinny, but I was not happy with my performance.

rinny and Lauren

I got a crazy idea to sign up for Wildflower 6 days later as it looked like a fun experience and I wanted to get a better result. The week leading to Wildflower I slept 2 nights and then I did not sleep for 3 days before the race. When I say no sleeping, I do not mean waking up a lot and being restless. I literally did not sleep at all the days leading up to the race. I probably had the worst race of my career on Saturday at Wildflower but was shocked I even finished.

Right now I am pretty broken down. I have no idea what is going on with my body. I wish it was an injury that I could rehab or something that I could be proactive with and actually fix. Unfortunately, I have no control over my brain and falling asleep. When Ambien doesn’t knock you out then you know you have a problem. I am seeing a specialist in Boulder and hopefully we find something in my lab work that pinpoints an issue that I can actively fix.

I will not race Chattanooga 70.3 and instead I will focus on getting healthy, mentally recharged, and fit in time for Escape from Alcatraz.

Thank you for the support even in the hard times!

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the path is never straight, but we keep moving forward

IRONMAN 70.3 Pan American Pro Championship Panama

LaurenUncategorized

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Well 2016 is officially under way much earlier than in seasons past. The past few years I have sat behind my computer and followed these early season races from Boulder and thought to myself “I should have gone to the race”. So, this year I decided I was going to actually do one regardless of my coaches advising me not to. My lead up to the race was pretty good. I would say I was as best prepared as I could have been given the time I took off over the holidays and the training conditions in Colorado.

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The start list was full of awesome runners but not many good swimmers. However, the swimmers that were there are the best in the business. I knew it would be vital to get in the main swim group with Lauren Brandon and Sarah Haskins- two women I have never been able to come out of the water with over my entire career. My plan was to sit in on the bike as long as possible and then use my strength on the run and try and win the race. It seemed manageable and I assumed I would be able to run a 1:25 half marathon given the run splits I had in my last 5 races. Panama brought the heat on race day and I for sure suffered. I was able to get out of the water as planned with Lauren and Sarah. I was extremely shocked to be leading out of T1. I rode with them along with another athlete and friend, Heather Lendway. I would not say I was struggling with the effort on the bike but it definitely was not comfortable. The heat and humidity zapped me along with the fact I hadn’t ridden 56 miles yet this year in training at once. The group was riding strong and kept pushing the pace each lap. At ~65km I hit a pothole on a downhill and my back tire started going flat. It did not completely flat so I just kept riding as I only had 20km left (the bike course was 3km short). At this point I lost the group and I rode the rest alone. I was actually okay with this and I just told myself I was resting up for the run. Once I hit T2 I was happy to be off the bike and have total control over the situation. The bike course was 3 loops and very congested with passing age groupers. Many times I thought I was going to crash out. The run was an absolute death march. I felt exactly how I did last year at New Orleans 70.3- miserable. I wouldn’t even say I blew up- I had nothing from 1km. I refused to DNF and just kept shuffling along and getting passed. I ended up finishing 7th and with a 1:33 half marathon. This is the lowest place ever in a 70.3 but I am still proud I hung in there and finished.

Overall, the event was a very humbling experience. I was fortunate to have a very good second half of 2015 and it was a big fat reality slap in the face. Racing well takes hard work and focus. I have so much to work on and learned that I cannot take anything for granted. Some of the women really stepped in up on the run in Panama and they all inspired me to get back to some serious work. Congratulations to Sarah, Lisa, Heather, Kirsty, Linsey, and Lauren B. for some great runs. I hope to be closer to my best in the next one. Thank you all for the support and following! On to the next.

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