Monday, May 24, 2010

Paleo Diet The food of Champions

It is common knowledge that athletes follow strict diets to achieve sporting greatness, but what if there was a diet that required little effort at all, yet could take you from a rank outsider to the top of your field.

In just 4 years, female rower Ursula Grobler went from a learn to row class, to winning the Head of the Charles which is the largest regatta in the world. In early 2010, Ursula took the world by storm by becoming the world record holder for the fastest lightweight woman on the Concept 2 Ergometer. But besides being very talented, how did Ursula Grobler condition her body to shave an incredible two seconds off the previously held record?

While her fellow athletes wolf down heavy carbs in the form of pasta and oatmeal, Ursula maintains the required weight for her class and the power needed to be a champion by following the diet of our hunter gatherer ancestors. Ursula Grobler was introduced to the Paleo Diet by a fellow athlete, and nutritionist Neil Stephenson to guide her along the Paleo path, she shed the weight needed to become the leading lady in her class.

Ursula immediately noticed the effects of switching to Paleo eating, she explains, “the first thing was my recovery. I came to training the next day feeling energised. I could perform well with less sleep and I was more focused, I felt more stable and a sense of better wellbeing in general”.

Listening to the world champion speak, Paleo living is clearly a no brainer. Citing berries, nuts, sweet potatoes, salads, salmon, lean steak, steamed veggies, mangoes and bananas as part of her daily diet, it becomes apparent that the rest of us would also benefit from focusing our taste buds on these everyday foods.

Ursula Grobler’s success is of course down to hard work and dedication, but there is no doubt that Paleo eating has facilitated her ability to maintain the weight and power needed to excel beyond her competitors. When asked about her secret to breaking the World Record for Lightweight Women at the annual Northwest Indoor rowing competition in Seattle, Ursula simply says; “My diet stayed mainly the same. Lots of fruits and veggies. I was a little more conscious of my nuts and changed my lean protein source to mainly fish”.

Could the difference between successful and average really be down to something as simple as food?

The proof as they say is in the pudding, and ironically the Paleo Diet does now have its very own dessert options. Paleo Diet enthusiast Nikki Young has devised 310 scrumptious Paleo recipes which include multiple snack, main meal and dessert options. Eating like a champion is now not only easy, but tasty.

You may not want to become a world class rower, but undeniably the majority of us want to look as lean and healthy as Ursula Grobler does. Previously, looking as fit as an athlete was something the majority of us could only fantasize about whilst flicking through diet magazines in the doctors surgery, but those days have passed. By eating a natural diet, free of preservatives, processed sugars and high salt volumes, we can maintain a healthy weight, increase our energy levels, sleep better, boost our immune system and live longer.

With the help of a Paleo Diet, Ursula Grobler is busy training for the 2012 Olympics. A shining example of what can be achieved with the correct dietary knowledge and a diligent attitude, Ursula Grobler is living proof that Paleo eating not only works, but can dramatically change us into successful, high achieving individuals.

Have you or are you on the Paleo Diet? Tell us about your success by leaving a comment
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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Consuming Nutrients at the Right Time

Consuming nutrients at the right time and in appropriate amounts can take fitness and performance to a new level. The complex science behind nutrient timing, however, requires the help of sports nutritionists, usually restricting the practice to elite athletes working with professional ‘food coaches’.

Now, renowned sport nutritionists Heidi Skolnik and Andrea Chernus—who work with elite athletes from New York Giants football players to Julliard School dancers—break down the nutrient timing issue for all types of athletes in a hands-on guide. In "Nutrient Timing for Peak Performance" (Human Kinetics, June 2010), they advise when to eat what so nutrients have their greatest impact on athletes’ bodies.

“The timing of nutrients can have a big impact on an athlete’s energy,” claims Skolnik. “Plus, when and how much you eat can help not only with muscle hypertrophy but also with immune function.” She adds that staying well fueled can also reduce the risk of injury.

Skolnik and Chernus explain in layperson’s terms the science behind nutrient timing and detail nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, smart fat, essential vitamins and minerals and the role of fluids and supplements. With that base of information, they provide the strategies, plans and sample menus to help people develop their own individualized Nutritional Blueprints incorporating the Nutrient Timing Principles (NTP).

Before exercise, for example, the authors suggest specific strategies for ingestion of carbohydrate, protein and fluids. Carbohydrate before exercise provides a “topping off” of fuel reserves and blood sugar, says Skolnik helping athletes stamina, concentration and skill remain strong. Pre-exercise protein, meanwhile, may be difficult to tolerate, but small amounts may aid in reducing muscle soreness. Strength athletes, specifically, benefit from a small amount of high-quality protein to aid insulin release, inhibit muscle breakdown and facilitate muscle repair. However, “it need not be immediately before exercise in any special form,” adds Skolnik.

Fluid needs vary by individual, but the authors generally advise drinking 17 to 20 ounces of fluids two to three hours before exercise to supply optimal fluid to muscle tissue in advance of the workout and for any excess to be excreted. They also advise drinking 7 to 10 ounces of fluids 10 to 20 minutes before exercise. “This will help ensure that blood plasma is hydrated,” explains Chernus. “This timing strategy also ensures that there is some fluid in your stomach so that as you drink during your training, absorption will be faster than if you began with an empty stomach.”

The authors go on to provide advice for fueling during and post-exercise, and they give specific guidelines for strength and power athletes, endurance sport participants and stop-and-go athletes.

“Our goal is to help athletes formulate an eating plan to meet their goals,” says Skolnik, “whether they are male or female, compete seriously, participate for fun, or are training for health, well-being and aesthetics.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico, EPA Responds

EPA Responds to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Since the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico on April 22, 2010, EPA has mobilized resources to support the U.S. Coast Guard and protect public health and the environment.  Our Emergency Operations Center at headquarters has been activated, trained EPA responders are working on the scene, and special mobile equipment has been sent to the Gulf area.
We have several online resources available:

1) We're posting updated data and other information on our
BP oil spill site (

  • Get air quality and water data
  • Find answers to common questions
  • Submit technology solutions
2) Connect with us on social media sites:

  • Administrator Jackson's personal account of the response to the oil spill: Facebook and Twitter
  • EPA's announcements about our response: Facebook and Twitter
3) Please subscribe to our oil spill updates at
You can also visit the coordinated government response site ( for:

  • Information about the spill and efforts to stop the oil from flowing
  • Hotlines to report oil on land or injured wildlife
  • Details of how you can volunteer
Do you think the Federal Government is doing all it can to help stop the oils spill in the Gulf of Mexico?  Let us know by leaving comments.