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Kathleen Oswalt | March 23, 2020

It’s day #2 of triathlon camp with the Trimarni group! Before I go into more detail about day two, first I thought I’d give you a little insight into what my days leading up to camp looked like.

When Marni and Karel came to me with this idea I had already made plans to attend a conference in California and at the same time visit my father. There was no changing my plans, everything was bought and paid for and my father was waiting for my arrival. I told myself it would all work out with a little planning and organization. 

See, I was arriving back home at 10:30pm on Sunday, March 8th and leaving for Florida Tuesday, March 10th in the afternoon.

I was fairly organized up to the time I left for California but still needed to work on the crazy, long grocery list and this is where I got really behind. Once I was in California I found it really hard to work. Between wanting to visit and then the conference I was only getting a few things done later in the evening. 

Once I got back home to Charleston, I spent Monday morning finishing up the grocery list and then passed it on to Marni so she could add her comments (like she had nothing going on, right?). My plan was to grocery shop and prepare some of the foods before heading off to camp BUT my plans changed a bit. 

A dear friend of ours had a heart attack the Saturday before. He was in the ICU and all I wanted to do was be at the hospital. And that’s what I did. I headed to the hospital around lunch time to give my fellow dietitian bestie a BIG hug and to give her husband’s hand a BIG squeeze. 

I decided, that evening, the only thing I could really do was to focus on packing up my suitcase, any kitchen utensils I would need, spices from my cupboard and any thing else that would make life easier in the camp kitchen. Tuesday I would grocery shop!

I decided to go back to the hospital Tuesday morning to see my friends one last time before heading to Florida. The good news was our friend in the ICU was improving every day!  I stayed for a few hours and then knew I had to leave and get some work done. 

First grocery shop stop…Trader Joe’s!  Whewwww Nelly, I was on a mission. I had my list, I was on limited time and I had to bust a move. Outta my way. Next grocery shop stop…Costco! I grabbed my BIG cart and started down the isles thinking “watch out here I come”. Don was waiting back at the house so Costco was another speed shop. Once I made it back to the house we packed up and headed out.

We decide to stop and spend the night about 3 hours away from Clermont. The next morning we rose early and started the last of the trek to Clermont. Our goal was to get to Walmart around 11am, shop for an hour and get to the camp house by noon. What was going to take so long, I had my list…right?

Recipe list

Well, let’s just say shopping for 24 people took a little longer than I thought. We had 2 carts full of food and Don kept saying he wasn’t sure if we had room in the car for anymore. I was like “sure we do!”. Good thing we couldn’t find everything we needed because as it was the food barely fit.

 

We arrived at the camp house around 1 pm. The car had to be unpacked through the windows or else we would have had groceries all over the driveway. I guess Don was right…we had no more room in the car!

Groceries packed in the car and heading to camp

All this to say, where there’s a will there’s a way. There will be times (like maybe now) when you’ll need to adjust, compromise, rearrange and let go. When things don’t go as planned and that’s a-okay. There’s always a way to make the things you want work out.

Clermont triathlon camp menu

Day #2 Trimarni Triathlon Camp (first full day)

The night before each morning I would set out several breakfast options for the campers. This would make it easy for them to grab what they wanted without hunting around for food. I would set out oatmeal, raisins, craisins, chopped walnuts, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, bagels, graham crackers and whatever else we had available that was shelf stable. In the refrigerator/freezer they had waffles, nut butters, cream cheese, butter, both cow and plant milks, yogurts and other foods available to keep their bellies happy and bodies fueled for the workouts Marni and Karel had scheduled for the athletes.

Nourishing and fueling started around 7am with a kitchen full of athletes. By 8:15am they were off to the National Training Center. Their first workout of the day…a 90 minute swim session with lots of drills. Followed by a main set that consisted of a mix of open-water skills and strength and power finished up with a “race” – two by two in a lane.

And I was back in the kitchen for my first workout of the day, baking homemade muffins.

National Training Center

Brunch – 11:15am

  • Homemade muffins
  • Yogurts
  • Fruit salad
  • Waffles
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Bagels
  • Snacks

Campers arrived back at the house hungry and ready to eat. I had everything covered for a brunch style spread including homemade Superhero muffins from Run Fast Eat Slow, yogurts, a colorful and sweet fruit salad, waffles, hard boiled eggs, bagels and some fun snacks like vanilla wafers and animal crackers.

Superhero muffins to help fuel athletes at triathlon camp

Brunch was filled with carbohydrates, protein, healthy fat, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. It hit everything a triathlete’s body needs when training at triathlon camp.

The idea behind brunch was again, to give the athletes good nourishing and filling food without being too heavy. They had carbohydrates to help replenish glycogen stores, protein to build and repair muscle tissues, healthy fats to help absorb fat soluble vitamins, antioxidants to decrease damaging oxidation in the body from intense training and anti-inflammatories to help with recovery.

The Superhero muffins from Run Fast Eat Slow and the fruit salad provided not all but a lot of the vitamins and minerals in this brunch. Between these two foods there were carrots, nuts, zucchini, dates and raisins and a mixture of fruit for example a variety of berries, pineapple and grapes. 

These foods provided health benefits including but not limited to heart health which supports endurance and performance, immune health this keeps you feeling healthy and strong throughout your workouts, bone health so if for some reason you fall off the bike or trip on a run you can get back up without injury, blood sugar management so you feel energized and clear minded for each workout, decreased inflammation so you can recover quicker, healthy digestion so you don’t feel bloated during your workouts and just overall good health.

What I learned from brunch…I’m super glad I made 48 muffins instead of 24 like I had originally planned. I took note that a BIG bowl of fruit ¾ of the way full is not enough, it has to be 100% full to be enough for hungry triathletes after a long swim. And 24 hard boiled eggs, well they don’t last long!

After lunch campers hit the road again for their bike and run workouts while I hit the store for MORE food. I needed to grab a few things here and there and fill in the gaps that we weren’t able to fill with our first shop at Walmart on Wednesday.

Bike workout consisted of a 2-hour ride with specific cadence and effort intervals all on a 4-mile stretch of road (out and back). And the run, well that was a 30-40 minute solid run…in 90 (HOT) degree weather!

photo of cars with triathlon bikes on them

photo of TriMarni athletes ready to ride

Marni and Karel show the triathletes the workout

On the menu for dinner…TACOS! Who doesn’t love Mexican night, especially at camp?  

Dinner – 5:30pm

  • Chips with salsa and homemade guacamole
  • Ground beef and boca crumbles
  • Black beans and refried beans
  • Rice
  • All the condiments: lettuce, tomatoes, olives, cheese, sour cream

As I was putting dinner together all I kept thinking was “I hope this will be enough food”. My biggest fear was that we would run out of food for the campers. Feeding 23 athletes was all new to me. I really questioned whether or not we had enough meat.  I wasn’t sure how much meat to cook, since I don’t eat it. The whole idea with having meals prepared was for the athletes to be well nourished and fueled for every workout and into the next day.

Dinner was a success for the most part. First, I learned more lettuce is needed. I had 3 heads of packaged romaine lettuce, but could have used more. I didn’t want to use it all because I needed some for sandwiches the next day. But, in the end I had to use it all and I thought…oh my gosh another trip to the grocery store tomorrow! I learned that more people than not like spicy salsa. There could have been more chopped tomatoes but I had already cut what seemed to be 20 and the avocados. I thought I had bought way too many, um nope! We could have used more guacamole. And of course, I forgot something again in the chaos…the cilantro! But all in all, there was enough food and we had snacks galore for them to munch on throughout the evening.

Beans and meat for Taco night camp dinner

Homemade guacamole Taco fixings

How to Make Triathlon Camp Food at Home

“GOOD FOOD IS VERY OFTEN, EVEN MOST OFTEN, SIMPLE FOOD” ~Anthony Bourdain

As you can see besides having to run to the store, use some brain power to decide if we had enough food and bake 48 muffins, the food served at camp on day #2 wasn’t overly difficult. These meals are completely doable at home with a little prep work.

In your meal prep for the week use your instant pot (or just do it the ol’ fashioned way) to make hard boiled eggs. That way you can have a quick protein on hand as needed. You can easily pair it with a carbohydrate and some fruit or veggies. The one thing I do like about using the Instant pot is that the eggs do seem to peel so much easier. Therefore cutting how much time you’re having to peel every egg.

Make sure you have fruit on hand. If you make a fruit salad perhaps you buy some pre-cut fruit so you’re not having to spend too much time chopping. Homemade muffins will take a little longer to prep and bake, but it’s worth it. While you’re in the kitchen make enough to freeze. That way your muffins can last you up to a couple of weeks.

Tacos are so easy and versatile. They don’t have to just be beans and meat, include more plants. Add cauliflower or mushrooms, add cabbage instead of lettuce. Add corn or sweet potato, add colorful bell peppers, use tempeh or tofu instead of veggie crumbles. Think about some sweetness and add a pineapple or mango salsa to your tacos. Remember, the more veggies and/or fruit you add to your tacos you’re taking the nutrient level that your athlete body needs one level higher.

Day #2 triathlon camp is in the books as a success!

Be sure to check in tomorrow where I’ll be reminiscing about day #3 of triathlon camp.

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Welcome to Eat Love Triathlon! We’re Don and Kathleen your go-to dietitian and triathlete. Together, we’re here to share our latest and greatest tips, with you, on how to be a well-balanced triathlete with nutrition, triathlon and keeping harmony in your relationships. We’re excited you’ve stopped by, happy reading and don’t be shy about reaching out. We’d love to hear from you!