Tortilla or Tortilla? Carbs?

Today’s trivia piece comes inspired by my breakfast this morning. What is the difference between a Tortilla (central america) and a Tortilla (spain). Anyone? Well if you have been to Barcelona then you almost certainly had a Tortilla when you were there. Like me you were probably surprised to find out that a tortilla in Spain wasn’t the flimsy corn or wheat based vessel that you were used to finding wrapped around your burrito back home. Instead you were fed a delicious blend of potatoes, onions and egg in what looked more like a omelette  to you. That is in fact what a Spanish tortilla is. An egg omelette that has potatoes in it. The other ingredients are optional. File:Tortilla-de-patatasHow did I arrive at this post today. Well my leftover potatoes that I baked off from yesterday were sitting in the fridge this morning. I didn’t want to eat them cold so I sautéed them in olive oil with my onions for my morning frittata. Then I added my eggs as usual, stirred it up in the cast iron pan, and blasted it on 375 degrees for about 5 mins. What came out of the oven was the most delicious egg concoction I have made in a long time. It brought me right back to Basque country. My good friend Ben and I had just arrived on a long bus ride from Madrid. We were staying with some friends that were a very distant connection to him. The evening was spent with me not being able to communicate much of anything to anyone since I was the only one not speaking spanish. But the one word I did know was tortilla. That was apparently what we were having for dinner. I was so disappointed. Floppy corn circles for dinner? What the heck. But of course I was wrong and when the egg/potato/chorizo creation arrived in front of me at the table I was delighted.

So the lesson here is if you are making potatoes for breakfast, try putting them in the omelet. And look up how to make one of these things on the internet so you don’t have a bad first experience. And by the way, if anyone out there is wondering to themselves, why is Marcus eating potatoes at almost every meal it seems, let me explain the thought process here.

Most of you reading this blog have heard some amount of nutritional education from me. My primary teaching points are that most folks miss the mark when it comes to getting adequate protein in their diet. Usually I spend a great deal of time talking about where this comes from in your diet and I encourage you to start making it a mainstay in your meals. Next of the list of topics we discuss carbohydrates. I try to make it clear that most folks are overeating carbohydrates from refined sources. Furthermore I highlight a whole group of carbohydrates that introduce more problems to peoples digestive systems (grains). Then when we have a good handle on those two macronutrients we talk about fat and how it is healthy and great. Folks start removing bad carbohydrates from their diet and can be left feeling hungry so we discuss good ways to supplement fat back in to maintain satiety. Usually the education stops there and we spend the next long while working through the changes that are going to promote optimal health.

Down the road for some comes another conversation. That conversation aims to balance your bodies performance needs with your nutrition. In most cases meat, veggies, fruit, nuts, and the occasional starch (potato, root veggie, squash) is sufficient to keep people happy, healthy, and looking the way they want to look. But then there are some exceptions. One in particular is the case of the athlete that trains hard and often. Their demands can change. Does that mean they stop needing protein, veggies, and fat? Not at all. Those are staples. But in addition their bodies may perform optimally with added carbohydrate. Where should those carbs come from? For me I have found that potatoes work best. I enjoy them and they don’t cause me even the slightest bit of fatigue or gut irritation. Beets are another place I get added carbs from regularly.

Should everyone head out and start eating sweet potatoes daily? No. Can you be a little more relaxed about having the occasional potato in your diet. Yes. Do you need to increase your weekly carbohydrates? Maybe. Check in with your coach. My coach encouraged me to do so. Check in with yourself. Does it make you feel good, look good, perform good? Ask yourself what the goal is and make sure your nutrition aligns with that goal. Seek out advice if you are unsure.

Training – Part 1

Row 30 min continuous and easy pace – every 2 min sprint for last 15 sec of the 2 minute
2:00.9 – 7446m
(1:30-1:35 on sprints)

Training – Part 2

A. Power snatch 1, 1, 1; rest 2 min – not maxes, bldg sets, for all A, B,C
195, 205, 215
B. Squat snatch 1, 1, 1; rest 2 min
225, 235, 245
C. Snatch balance 1, 1, 1; rest 2 min
255, 265, 275

On the minute for 14 min:
Odd- 4 muscle ups
Even- 4 squat snatch 155
* Completed and everything felt easy. No Fatigue.


Training – Part 3

75min Hike Unweighted and Unplugged

photo (3)