Melissa Hoffman joined PLT Nutrition initially with the goal of fat/weight loss. This is a challenging process for someone with her HIGH level of endurance training and requires a slow delicate process.
During her LIVE video Meet & Greet call she discussed her goals with Coach Katie and that she was training for a 70.3 Half Ironman so they agreed a plan focused on a minimal deficit to allow for slow and controlled progress whist also supporting her Ironman training.
Just prior to her plan starting she heard the AMAZING news that she has qualified for the World Ironman Championship in Kona so met with Katie and they revised her plan.
Melissa's plan was immediately adapted to focus on performance and fueling her training and competition
Initially Melissa tracked her food to get an understanding of where she was currently eating, how the balance of her macros and her total calories.
It seems her protein intake was excellent and Melissa focused on hydration; hydration being key for any athlete as it can significantly improve performance when correct or degrade performance when its not.
Melissa's carb intake was a focus of her weekly plan and frequently Coach Katie revised her daily intake to support each training session and each weeks training schedule.
An excellent pre-race and race day nutrition plan ensured success for Melissa and she managed to avoid any of her historical gut issues.
It was a big weekend for Melissa and she performed excellently and should feel incredibly proud of herself.
Since completing her World Ironman she has extended her deal with PLT Nutrition to focus on a 50km trail race in November and a duathlon shortly afterwards!
Melissa herself had this to say of her race and her experience:
"Big shout out to my coach Katie Hargrave for helping me get to the start line of the Ironman World Championships in Kona! I had been lurking on the FB site for awhile and finally decided I needed to take control of my health and weight. I had put on weight during Covid and while caring for a family member and with that lost a lot of my fitness.
While I continued training and racing I wasn’t performing at my best. And definitely didn’t feel my best. So I signed up and was fortunately paired with Katie! An athlete herself she didn’t call me crazy when I told her my weight and health goals and by the way I was training for a half Ironman and Ironman during that initial 3 months! we agreed that with the training schedule our goal should be to get a better understanding and control of what I was taking in or not taking in and maximize that knowledge to prepare for the race. We would focus on weight loss after the race!
So I started tracking and with Katie’s weekly updates found I needed to cut back on fats and focus on healthy carbs (my protein intake was in line). Initially tracking my water helped make sure I stayed hydrated during the non training times. We adjusted carbs regularly depending on my race/ training schedule. Honestly I have been racing over 22 years and never have I had a better understanding of how to fuel for performance.
Pre-race and race day nutrition was spot on! Felt great and never had any stomach issues. ( a big accomplishment). The knowledge I’ve gained so far while great for racing is more important for my every day well being. I’ll be signing up to continue my journey with Katie and work on that weight loss goal (after the 50k trail run and swim run in the next few weeks) . Sorry Katie couldn’t help myself!
Picture is from a post ride snack in the Kona lava fields - a fav hack from the FB page to use cottage cheese with my tuna!"
Healthy Nutrition Tips for the Menopausal Woman
Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life that marks the end of her reproductive years. During this time, hormonal changes can lead to various physical and emotional symptoms. While menopause affects women differently, adopting a healthy and balanced diet can help alleviate some of the challenges. In this blog, we will explore essential nutritional tips to support women during this transitional period.
Maintaining a balanced diet is crucial during menopause. Focus on incorporating a variety of macronutrients such as complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Include whole grains, lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu), and sources of healthy fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) in your meals. This will provide sustained energy levels and support overall health. Consider moderating your carbohydrate unless it's already on the moderate side.
Limiting Alcohol & Caffeine
Both alcohol and caffeine can exacerbate menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings. Alcohol can impact emotional and mental angst and increase already sensitive mood swings.
It is advisable to limit the consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like coffee and tea. Opt for herbal teas or decaffeinated options to reduce these potential triggers.
Eating Fiber-Rich Foods
Including fiber in your diet can help combat weight/body fat gain and manage digestive issues that may arise during menopause. Add fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and seeds to your meals. These foods provide essential nutrients and promote healthy digestion, reducing the risk of constipation and bloating.
Fiber helps to improve the metabolism and the excretion of excessive estrogen, which is especially helpful if you are peri-menopausal. This lead-up stage towards menopause is often accompanied by hormonal imbalance, where your estrogen levels become higher than your progesterone. Fiber can bind to the excess oestregen and eliminate it via the bowel.
Incorporating Calcium & Vitamin D-Rich Foods
Menopause increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone density loss. To support bone health, consume foods rich in calcium and vitamin D. Incorporate dairy products, leafy greens (spinach, kale), fortified plant-based milk, and fatty fish (salmon, sardines) into your diet. Also, ensure vitamin D intake by spending time in the sun daily; a very small amount of time is needed typically around 15 minutes daily.
If needed, consider supplements after consulting with your healthcare provider.
Consuming Phytoestrogen Foods:
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic estrogen in the body. As estrogen levels decline during menopause, consuming phytoestrogen-rich foods may help alleviate symptoms. Include soy products (tofu, tempeh), flaxseeds, sesame seeds, and legumes in your diet. These foods can potentially reduce hot flashes and promote hormonal balance.
Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega-3 fatty acids offer numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation and supporting heart health. Menopausal women may experience increased inflammation and a higher risk of heart disease. Incorporate fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds into your meals to obtain these essential fatty acids.
Limiting Processed Foods & Sugars
Processed foods and excessive sugar intake can contribute to weight gain, mood swings, and increased inflammation. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods instead. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats to maintain stable blood sugar levels and support overall well-being.
Drinking an adequate amount of water is important for overall health, especially during menopause. Stay hydrated by consuming at least eight glasses of water per day. Proper hydration can help manage symptoms like dry skin, hot flashes, and fatigue. Additionally, include hydrating foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, and citrus fruits in your diet.
Adequate hydration can help relieve menopause nausea and hot flashes, and can reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches associated with menopause. Aim for 60-80 oz or more if you're physically active or in a hot climate.
Maintaining a healthy diet is crucial for women going through menopause. By incorporating these nutritional tips, you can support your overall well-being and alleviate some of the challenges associated with this phase.
Remember, it is always best to consult with a PLT Nutrition professional to create a personalized nutrition plan that suits your individual needs during menopause
What is Creatine?
Creatine is a popular dietary supplement that is commonly used by athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness enthusiasts to improve their physical performance.
Creatine is closely related to ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which is the primary source of energy for muscle contractions during exercise. When you exercise, your muscles use ATP to generate energy for movement. However, the amount of ATP stored in your muscles is limited, and it is quickly depleted during intense exercise.
This is where creatine comes in. Creatine is converted into phosphocreatine in the muscles, which can add a phosphate group to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to form ATP. This means that creatine can help to replenish the ATP stores in your muscles, allowing you to maintain high-intensity exercise for longer periods of time.
By increasing the availability of ATP in your muscles, creatine supplementation can improve athletic performance, increase muscle strength and size, and enhance recovery after exercise. It is important to note that the benefits of creatine supplementation may vary depending on the individual, their training program, and their diet.
Overall, creatine is a safe and effective supplement that can be a useful tool for athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to improve their performance and achieve their goals. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting creatine supplementation.
What are the benefits of Creatine?
Here are some of the benefits of creatine:
1. Increases muscle strength: Creatine can help increase muscle strength by improving the availability of energy to the muscles during intense exercise.
2. Enhances athletic performance: Creatine supplementation has been shown to improve performance in activities that require short bursts of intense energy, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and jumping.
3. Increases muscle size: Creatine can help increase muscle size by promoting the retention of water in muscle cells, which can lead to greater muscle volume and improved muscle definition.
4. Improves recovery: Creatine can help reduce muscle damage and promote faster recovery after exercise, which can allow athletes to train harder and more frequently.
5. May have neuroprotective effects: Some research suggests that creatine may have neuroprotective effects and may be beneficial for people with certain neurological conditions.
There is some evidence to suggest that creatine may have neuroprotective abilities. Creatine is involved in the production of ATP, which is the primary source of energy for all cells in the body, including brain cells. By increasing ATP production in the brain, creatine may help to protect neurons from damage and improve cognitive function.
Several studies have investigated the potential neuroprotective effects of creatine in various neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, and traumatic brain injury. While the results are not conclusive, some studies have suggested that creatine supplementation may help to improve motor function, reduce inflammation, and protect against oxidative stress in the brain.
One proposed mechanism for the neuroprotective effects of creatine is its ability to increase the availability of phosphocreatine in the brain. Phosphocreatine can act as an energy buffer in the brain, helping to maintain ATP levels and protect neurons from damage.
It is important to note that the research on creatine's neuroprotective abilities is still in the early stages, and more studies are needed to fully understand its potential benefits. Additionally, creatine supplementation may not be appropriate for everyone, and it is always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.
Should I take Creatine?
That's a good question and more commonly asked by women.
The short answer is yes, probably, you should consider taking creatine daily.
Creatine can cause a short term weight gain due to increased muscle volume but this isn't body fat and is a benefit to you and your body.
Creatine doesn't benefit everyone. Some people already have considerable creatine stores and adding more daily creatine doesn't produce any benefit. However, the benefits of creatine aren't something you can feel or measure so it's unlikely you will know if its benefiting you specifically.
Considering it's high level of safety and potential benefits beyond just sports we feel it's worth considering adding to your daily regime.
Just taking 3-5g daily, no need to back load or anything. You only need monohydtate, any other type doesn't have more benefit but typically costs more and may actually have side effects. You also don't need to purchase any specific brands, creatine monohydrate is just creatine monohydrate. Its tasteless so just add it to yogurt or oats or a shake.
You can take it whenever is best for you each day, there's no benefit from its timing
Are there side effects?
Some people can get stomach cramps in rare cases. please ensure you hydrate well and this shouldn't happen.
Other possible side effects are below but are typically rare:
If you have liver function issues or diabetes we recommend not taking creatine.
*Always consult your MD if unsure.