Driving north on I-5 between Portland and Seattle, there's a small mom and pop diner off exit 59 in Vader. I appreciate the simplicity of the huge neon sign up top, perfectly visible for those passing by on the interstate: "EAT".  Maybe back when this place was established it really was that simple! Today, on the other hand, trying to eat right can feel like a full time job, especially for athletes who tax their body to the max (for fun!).

This next series of Training Tips posts is a look inside MDEC's shopping, food-prep and nutrition systems. These posts aren't about telling people how to EAT, but rather to share the systems that work best for me. I hope you pick up a new idea or helpful tip from reading;  I also hope to hear feedback and ideas from all of you through this!   As I go along, I'll share more of how and why I make the food choices I do, and why it matters. 

To start, here's where I spent last Sunday afternoon: Costco. 

Pack your patience.  

Pack your patience.  

Not my favorite place to spend Sunday afternoon, but after my efforts I was able to blend up one of these: 

It looks better once it's blended... sort of.  

It looks better once it's blended... sort of.  

rather than reaching for another one of these: 


Here's my full pile of loot from Costco:

I'll run through each item, if for no other reason than to remind myself of why I went to Costco on a Sunday!

--Quinoa: Eating it is a lot easier than spelling it.  It's easy and quick to make; it's a complete protein; it's packed with nutrients.  I load it up on salads for protein.  

--"Power greens" and spinach: when I buy huge bags like this I make sure to work through it all within the week.  When greens aren't in the house, easily accessible, I don't eat them (and athletes need dark greens!).  It takes one minute to micro the spinach or a few minutes to saute the greens in avocado oil and garlic.  

--Avocado oil for cooking on higher heat.  

--Olive oil for salad dressing, which I mix with all those lemons as well as walnut oil and balsamic.  That's the only dressing I ever eat.  This girl loves her lemons.

--Red wine: full of antioxidants and flavonoids.

--La Fin Du Monde: Funny that I live in Seattle and my favorite beer is Canadian.  I hear there's a lot of magnesium in brewer's yeast.  That's great!  But I drink it because it's good, and because I'm human.  Nothing against, PNW IPAs—love those, too!

--Walnuts: I mix them in yogurt with apples, oats, OJ, oranges, fresh berries (when they're in season) and those chia seeds below (we can all thank my mother for that recipe). Good source of Omega 3s.  Chias have all kinds of nutrients in them!  This a common breakfast #1 for me on race day.  

--Kiwis: A good source of potassium and vitamin C. 

--Dubliner cheese: Yum. 

--Ripe 'cados: another good source of Omega 3 fats. 

--Prosciutto: after hard workouts there are two things I'm usually craving, salt and protein.  I recover much faster when I'm diligent about protein intake, particularly immediately after workouts.  This is an easy, accessible, palatable form of protein that's a go-to for me immediately after a workout. 


That's it for Costco.  We'll visit my other stores next week for more on what's to EAT.