Friday, April 11, 2014

Eating like a pro

Food is one of the most important ingredients to a successful professional athlete. Eating the right foods will fuel your body to give you enough energy, as well as allow you to push your limits.

There are lots of "diets" out there which talk about different ways to lose weight, or all these rules about what to eat. Healthy eating needs to not be considered a "diet" but a lifestyle. It isn't something you do for a short period of time, it has to be an all the time thing. As an elite athlete, where physical activity is my daily work, what I eat directly effects how I feel and how I perform day in and day out! With that being said, I use a 90/10 rule. This means staying true to healthy eating 90% of the time and allowing yourself "cheats" 10% of the time.

So... what do I eat? What do I consider healthy foods?! Well, of course there is a long list, but I will give you a general definition. To me, I want to put unprocessed natural foods into my body as much as possible. This means a lot of meat, fish, fruits, veggies, eggs, etc. It is similar to the Paleo diet for those that are familiar with that. But I do try to limit my carbs. Most athletes are told they need carbs as energy, but I find I get enough carbs from fruits and vegetables, and all my extra energy stores come from protein. I feel fit, lean, fast, and strong. Since changing my eating habits last year, I feel the best physically I have my whole career!

It is not easy changing your eating habits though. The first two weeks, cutting out some typical foods (for me it was pasta, rice, and potatoes) is the hardest part!! Once you get through that first block, it gets so much easier. Your body doesn't crave it anymore and you start to enjoy other foods. You even find new foods you never even knew you liked!

Trying new foods and recipes to mix up my meals has probably been my favorite part! Not only have I learned how to cook a lot better (I know my boyfriend is happy about this!!), I find real joy in eating (which is already one of my favorite activities!) Hehe. And I am so confident that I am fueling my body well with each delicious bite!!

I'm sure you're wondering what some of my typical meals look like? Well, here are some pictures of some meals I've made at home over the last few weeks!! Enjoy!

Feel free to comment, ask questions, or send your favorite recipe or one you'd love to try! I'm always looking for new ideas!

Steak and sugar snap peas:

Turkey burgers (from local market) and bacon wrapped green beans:
Tomato, mozzarella,  basil frittata:
Cauliflower crust pizza:
Cauliflower crist pizza #2:
Steak and asparagus with mushrooms:
Blueberry Protein pancakes:
Scrabbled egg mix (spinach, tomato, ham, and cheese) with sausage and raspberries:
Bacon wrapped chicken roll ups (with ham and cheese inside):
Stuffed peppers (steak and veggies):
Salad- loaded up with chicken and veggies:

Happy eating!!! ♡

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wait, it's almost April?!

WOW! This year has just been flying by! I guess I am continuing the tradition of getting caught up in life and not blogging very much... oops! I apologize for that! With the World Cup just a little over 2 months away, you can imagine how much we have been training and preparing!!!

We started off the year with a trip to California! Although we moved our home training facility to Spooky Nook in Lancaster, PA... the amazing domed field they built us, was not quite complete in time to start the year. (The crazy weather played a big part!) For me, it was a return to sunny San Diego, where I previously spent so many years! Also, once we left last year, I had no idea when I would actually be able to return again to see my family and all the friends I made along the way. So as hard as it was to leave my new home in PA, and EVEN HARDER to leave my puppy (for 2 whole months!), I was happy to be reunited with some amazing people in California!

While we were enjoying the sunshine and warmer weather, Great Britain and New Zealand ventured out to play 4 games each against us. I hope you were following us online and at USA Field Hockey because it was a great series of games for us! Basically, everyone on the squad got a chance to play, improve, and prove they deserve a spot on the team for this summer. We grew so much as a team, and put out good performances each and every game against quality opponents!! We not only had a first-capper (shout out to Ali McEvoy), but a couple of us (Caroline Nichols and myself!!) earned our 150th cap, as well! So all and all, an exciting and fun set of games for Team USA!

[For those of you that don't know: New Zealand is ranked #4 in the world and Great Britain is ranked #3. We finished against GB with 3 wins and a tie. We finished against NZ with a win, 2 ties, and a loss. Considering we are currently ranked #10, those are pretty good outcomes! We don't plan on being ranked there for much longer ;)]

Once again, I had to say my goodbyes to California.... who knows when I will see you again... hopefully, sooner rather than later!

Moving forward, after a few more weeks of training in the books, we FINALLY got to open the dome at the Nook to the public!! We played 4 games against Canada, much the same set up as we did in California! Once again we had a couple milestone games,  with local Laura Gebhart getting her first cap, Katie O'Donnell reaching 150, and Katie Reinprecht amassing 100 games for her country! Personally, those games are so fun for me because we get to celebrate how much each player has worked and given to get where they are. Also, we got there together, as a team. I have been so fortunate to represent my country so many times, and play all of those games besides my teammates (current and past). That is really what has made the journey so worthwhile and one I'll never forget!

...But back to the Canada series! I want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out to all of the games and supported us! It was so great to be playing on our new home turf and have so much support! I hope everyone enjoyed it and was as inspired as I was! And... it is always good to win on home turf! We won all 4 games and are currently undefeated at the Nook! :) hehe!

With the World Cup quickly approaching, we actually have to put our attention on the Champions Challenge first. In less than a month, the team will head to Scotland to face some tough competition between the teams ranked 9-16 in the world. The winner of this tournament gets an automatic berth into the next Champions Trophy (which is the teams ranked 1-8 in the world). Of course, our goal is to win this and be in good form heading into the World Cup in Holland.

So that is a little recap of what this year has been like and what we are looking forward to! As for me off the field, I stay busy looking after my little pup Kora! She is growing up so fast, but she is so smart (she knows so many tricks! :) haha) and she is so sweet! I love coming home to her happy little face every day after practice!

I've been so busy that I haven't had all that much free time to myself, but I have been trying to plan a few clinics and things around the country this summer once our training schedule eases off a bit. I really want to get out, coach, and help inspire the youth! If you are interested in setting something up in your area, please contact me!!! Leave a message on my blog and I will get in touch with you ASAP! :)

Thanks again for all the support for myself and my team! We have a lot of games coming up in the next couple months, and we need all your cheers and good lucks to push us to the top!! We want to bring home some medals! GO USA!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Welcome to 2014

I debated a lot about how to start this blog, or even what to write in it. Yes, it has obviously been a while since I've written and I haven't done a great job of keeping up with frequent blogging. (And for those of you who do keep up, I know that was one of my New Years Resolutions last year!) So, this year, I will try to do better, again, but I can't make any promises!

2013 was a crazy year which involved a lot of traveling, a lot of field hockey (as always), lots of love, and a new addition to my family (yes, little Kora!). After finally settling in to the Nook in Lancaster, PA and raising my little puppy to do lots of fun tricks, we are unexpectedly on the road again! Due to some harsh winter weather, our domed field is not quite ready yet, so we are packing our bags to head back to San Diego to train for the next couple months. As hard as it will be to have to leave my baby, Kora with my parents during this time, I am excited to see some old friends, neighbors, and family that I wasn't sure I would see again any time soon. Plus, we have New Zealand and Great Britain coming out to play a few games against us... finally!!! It feels like forever since we last played an international game! I won't be complaining about some warm weather and sunshine, either!

So as we embark into the adventures 2014 is already presenting, I guess my New Years Resolution is just to embrace every situation and make the best of it. As my boyfriend puts it, "It's your life." In other words, he means: That is all you have and you have to make the most of it. Don't waste time complaining or stressing about the future. It will all work out somehow, so enjoy the moment and the journey.

And that is probably the best advice I have received in a while. I'm constantly planning and trying to 'get organized' and do so many things. The times where I have just let go and make the most of right now, have been worth it every time.

So, live in the moment. Take chances. Enjoy the time you have. Always work hard to better yourself. Be thankful. Be blessed.

Until next time... here's a few pictures from over the past few months... ENJOY! And yes, there are lots of pictures of KORA! I love her!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fall is here!

Wow. Where did the summer go? It has been a crazy whirlwind of travel and excitement, including a wedding, a tournament in Argentina, and the arrival of my puppy! As I sit here in the brisk fall weather, I realize I've been so busy, that I barely had time to stop and enjoy the warm summer months! But I love the fall, and I am excited for all the wonderful things it brings along with it! Pumpkins and everything pumpkin smelling and tasting! The beautiful fall colors and changing leaves. The hay rides, corn field mazes, haunted houses and Halloween. (I am especially excited for these things in Lancaster!) Apple cider, yum! AND since we don't have any more tournaments for the rest of the year, I will be settled (FINALLY) in Lancaster to enjoy all of these activities and adventures!

Before fall gets underway, I want to share a little recap of the end of my summer, because it was quite an amazing month! :)

One of my best friends in the whole wide world got married on September 6th, and it was absolutely beautiful!!! A huge congrats to Sterling and her husband Keegan!! They are both such amazing people who have touched my life in so many ways, not only by being great friends, but by leading through their actions in faith. I thank you for all you have done for me and I wish you all the best in the future because I know God has some great things in store for you two! Love ya!

A week after the wedding, I headed off to Argentina with Team USA for the Pan American Cup! I hope you were following us while we were down there competing!! We played in Mendoza, and stayed at the same hotel we've stayed at each time we've been played there (my third time, at least!). But it was perfectly cozy and we already knew where all the shops were and the park for our pre-game walk/stretch! The whole tournament was a lot of fun and I think it was the best I've seen our team play. We won all 3 of our pool play games against Mexico, Chile, and Uruguay before we defeated Canada in the semi-finals. Without surprise, we faced Argentina in the final, on their home turf, in their brand new stadium. The crowd was packed and they were rocking. It was one of the loudest stadiums I have ever played in, but I sure do love that atmosphere!!! It is always fun playing in front of a crowd that loves the sport and loves to see it played at the highest level. Those are the games we play for. Those are the games that get my adrenaline pumping! It was a hard fought game from both sides, and unfortunately for us, Argentina was the only team to put a goal in the back of the net. Although we were disappointed with a 1-0 loss, we have a lot of positives to take away from that tournament going forward and a very bright outlook for next summer in the Netherlands. Despite the loss, we still earned ourselves a spot in the WORLD CUP in the Hague, Netherlands in May/June 2014!!! This is a huge accomplishment for our team and we are extremely excited for that opportunity! We will be ready! And hope to face Argentina again! :)

And last, but not least..... on return to the USA from the Pan Am Cup, I got to pick up my PUPPY!!! Her name is Kora! She is a pitbull from Tom Garner Kennels! And she is amazing, and I love her so much! :) She is a sweetheart who loves to cuddle! She is playful (of course, she is only 3 months old, still a puppy!) and happy! She is so smart and already knows how to sit, and in less than a week, she is almost fully housebroken! Shout out to my boyfriend Eli for teaching her to sit while I was in Argentina! Oh and shout out to my roommate, Stefanie Fee for teaching her how to go down the stairs! Good work guys! Now... to teach her the fun tricks... like how to ride a skateboard and pull me on a sled... haha ;) Those mayyy take a little longer to learn... just maybe though.

So many pictures! You will definitely see a lot more of her!!

Also, check out her crate!! She loves it! Eli and I made it! (Okay, Eli did most of the work... he's so talented!!)