Athlete’s Plate by the Athlete

Athlete’s Plate is officially International as of today.  Our guest athlete is living across the pond in London and we found each other through the magic of Twitter (are you still not on Twitter?)  As you know I get up before the sun’s alarm an I check out Twitter at this time, and typically there are tweets from England, specifically London as it is 9am – 10am at that time.  Those folks are awake and tweeting away.

So it was through one of these early morning tweet sessions that I connected with Donna.  We would exchange some tweets in the morning and then she asked if she could participate in The Athlete’s Plate.  Without hesitation I said yes as I thought it would be cool to have an international flare to the feature.

If you read Donna’s bio you get all you need to know that she is a terrific person.  Her bio specifically says:

American-in-London, Hawaiian-at-heart. Paratriathlete. Adventure lover, world traveller. Food eater, wine drinker. Bendy joints, slow nerves, CMT1A. Love life!

Love life?  Oh those were sweet words for me to hear/read.  Donna blogs over at Beating Limitations – I Tri Because I Can.  She discusses her training, teaches about her take on living with a neuromuscular disorder like CMT, as well as her  charity fundraising activities to support the search for a cure.

For me, the best part of interacting with Donna is the morning tweets about her adventures through Paris or The Netherlands.  It is like having a tour guide without the cost.

Donna participated in the Athlete’s plate by the Athlete and here is her email to me verbatim plus my take on it in red.


Before I walk downstairs I always have water when I wake up.  500ml before heading down for the day.
One of the best ways to reduce caloric intake at breakfast is to drink water first.  It helps hydrate you, but also give you that full filling so you don’t over indulge don’t overindulge.
Breakfast:  Wheetabix (one bar) plus strawberries and seeds, with 2% milk (not much)
Plus one small coffee with a splash of milk
Had to Google Wheetabix but this looks like a solid product with 134 calories per serving and quite a bit of carbohydrates with few of the grams from sugar.  Combine it with fruit and that is a solid start to the day.  I don’t know what seeds so I can’t comment on that.
Went to do a TRX session at the gym
Home from TRX and had a fruit smoothie via the Vitamix – ingredients were:
5 small kiwis, 1 apple, about a cup of frozen pineapple, water.  This was my first vitamix experiment.  I think I went overboard with the fruit, but it really filled me up for most of the morning!
I love smoothies and this is a great way to recover from a gym session.  For me I would have added a Tbsp of Peanut Butter to it for some additional protein and try to hit that 3:1 carb:protein ratio.
Got into the office and had an espresso with a splash of milk and a little sugar
Had another 500ml of water before lunch
I go out for lunch almost every day.
Today I had Chop’d salad for lunch.  I got the Mexican Bean Salad.
I ate about 2/3 of the salad, then lost interest.  I think they “dress” the salad with a sour cream based dressing which I found too heavy for me.
It is easy to forget to ask for the dressing on the side and then just dip your fork into it and limit your hidden calorie intake.  I have seen salads at restaurants looks like the greens were in a swimming pool and I am imagining that this is what the salad looked like.  What I think is great that she did not force the food down her throat just to get her money’s worth.  Pushing the plate away is a much better decision.
In the afternoon I had another 1 litre of water.
Plus I had a mug of peppermint and licuorice tea from Tea Pigs.
(Note: I don’t have coffee after lunch – try to regulate my caffeine with this simple rule, plus I love coffee so could easily drink too much if I don’t follow this rule! I have a few boxes of tea pigs by my desk to satisfy my hot drink desires through the afternoon…)
There are plenty of studies that show that coffee is not a problem to drink, but I also believe in moderation and by sacrificing some coffee in the afternoon it has a treat like feel the next morning and you enjoy it more.
I made this yummy fish pie from Jamie Oliver:
I added chopped tomatoes and chopped chard to the recipe.
It looks like a lot of mashed potato, but it was quite a thin layer and unfortunately the cooked fish is just the same colour as the potato so it looks like an unappealing blob of pale.  But underneath there is celery, tomato, chard, carrot.  It was a good recipe, I think I would probably add a bit of salt when cooking (or once cooked) as it was a little bland.  Solved by us with a dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Fish (Omega 3s and Protein), Tomatoes (Lycopene), Chard (calcium/iron), celery (fiber), carrot (Beta Carotene which becomes Vitamin A), Potato (carbs but I would have substituted a sweet potato for a little color as we should be eating a rainbow of foods)
The dinner addresses a lot of vitamins and minerals and provides all the macro-nutrietns one needs to sustain a healthy active lifestyle.
I am trying to shift to a “if I want dessert I will make it” mode, and have recently got an ice cream maker for our home, to get away from the ready made purchase / available whenever you reach for it trap that ice cream in the freezer presents.  I find when I make my own anything, I am much more aware of the ingredients and nutritional value of the food.  Also, it forces me to plan ahead.
I can safely say that now know that ice cream (now that I have made it) is really an indulgence without much in the way of nutrition.  Oh well – I love it anyway, I knew it was pretty empty, and it reinforces why I don’t have it every day!  This ice cream – salted butter caramel – was simply amazing.  I had about one ice cream scoop worth.  It was so good!  And so much fun to make.  It was also the first time I have tried to make caramel… A success!  I used this recipe:
I find the comments like “I had about”  as the issue most people face when it comes to eating.  They don’t truly know how much they ate and that could be a problem.  If it is a treat that you don’t do daily and in a small quantity then guessing is not horrible.  I would have served myself a serving size by knowing what went into the ice cream in a serving size and calculated how much that would be.  As Donna mentions it can be easy to fall into the reach in the freezer trap and eat so by consuming a serving size and know what a serving size is you can limit the amount that you consume.
I had another 500ml of water with dinner in the evening.  I normally try to have about 3 litres but was a bit short today, but was not dehydrated.  Maybe because of the herbal tea.
I also had a nice glass of Oregon Pinot Noir with dinner.  If there is one thing I watch it is how much wine I have.  More wine is a sign of my “off season”!  But I don’t believe in simply cutting stuff out of my diet – I just watch what I have, do it in moderation.
2008 Domaine Drouhin Pinor Noir.

Nothing wrong with treating yourself but again it boils down to a true serving size and moderation as Donna points out.


I think that Donna’s day of eating is very well done.  She had her indulgences but limited them and knew that they were indulgences and not an everyday habit.  I really liked the idea that she pushed away a salad because it was just not for her and did not force herself to eat it.

Thank you Donna for participating in this feature (does Wheetabix ship?)


If You Want To Be Featured In The Athlete’s Plate By The Athlete Please Contact Me.



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  1. I just assumed the seeds were part of the strawberry, but what do I know.

    Another healthy eater paying attention to her intake and keeping it relatively simple. Nice bloody job Donna!
    Shut Up and Run recently posted..Stop In and PoopMy Profile

    • Donna D says:

      The seeds were a mix of sunflower, pumpkin, linseed and sesame. Seeds are something I keep in my pantry and add to cereals, yoghurt, and salads. I love them!

      • CTER says:

        Thanks for the clarification Donna. I love sunflower seeds and have a jar of them in the pantry. Typically add 1/2 Tbsp to PB&J sandwiches or yogurt as well.

  2. Kovas says:

    Yup, moderation is a good habit.
    Kovas recently posted..Lake Michigan Wine Shore Trail – Day 4My Profile

  3. Jill says:

    Um, no….I’m still not on Twitter (was that directed at me?? :)). One day.

    I was smiling at the different termanology used over there across the big blue pond. :)
    Jill recently posted..The Golden Rockies / Week 5My Profile

  4. Paul says:

    First time reader.
    Can you explain the black text followed by red text comment

    • CTER says:

      Paul –

      Thank you for stopping by. I truly appreciate it and hope that you find the posts here interesting enough that you continue to come back.

      The black text are Donna’s words and the red text are my thoughts on her meals.

      When I read articles and post them on this site I typically provide my thoughts and feelings in red text underneath.

      • Paul says:

        Hey thanks for the clarification.
        Wheetbix huge here in Oz.
        Iron Man food, but the adverts normally show 6 to 8 bix in a bowl, haha.

        When and where or how do i see next blog? enjoyed the read and would like to pass on to my readers or friends.

        • CTER says:

          Paul –

          You can follow the brand on Facebook and the blog is posted there everyday.

          You can get the RSS feed which is an email directly to your inbox. That is on the right hand side. Click on any of those icons and you will be directed to follow the brand from each of those networks.

          Hope that helps.

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