5 Easy Ways to make a Bag of Nuts Gourmet

Photo by DewFrame / CC BY

Photo by DewFrame / CC BY

Bags of peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc are a quick, easy and healthy snack for any swimmer or athlete. It provides a huge calorie kick with healthy fats and fibers that can keep us full without overfilling our stomachs. The only problem with this perfect snack is that it can get really boring, really fast. The following are simple ingredients that you can add to a bag of nuts to make it a lot tastier. Keep in mind some of these ingredients could interact poorly with your stomach, so make sure to just test out with a little bit of the ingredient first to make sure you don’t end up with an upset stomach.

1. Sprinkle with Cayenne
If you love spicy food, cayenne is the perfect spice to add a bit of heat to any snack. It also just happens to be really good for you, and you can read about it here. Just add a sprinkle to your bag of nuts then shake it around. Make sure to not add too much, because a little bit of cayenne goes a long way. Start with just a pinch of cayenne then add more to match your spice preferences.

2. A Splash of Hot Sauce
This is another option for people who love spicy food. Hot sauce contains capsaicin (belonging to the genus Capsicum), a natural appetite suppressant. If you find yourself hungry during practices or workouts, this may be a great way to stave off the hunger pangs. Just add a dash or two to bag of nuts then shake it around. Make sure not to overdo it, because hot sauce is also high in sodium. Just a dash or two is enough to pump of the flavor of any type of nut.

3. Roast in Olive Oil
Olive oil contains healthy fatty acids along with hormones that help promote brain cell health. You can roast the nuts in olive oil before putting them into the bag. Make sure that you let the nuts cool before putting them into the bag, so you don’t end up melting the plastic! Or you can just drizzle some olive oil on top of the nuts before putting them into the bag. Make sure not to overdo it, because a little bit of olive oil has a lot of calories and fat.

4. Add Wasabi Peas
If you love wasabi (the green hot paste that comes on the side of sushi) you’ll just love wasabi peas. These little crunchy snacks are high in calories and fiber. Just add a small handful of wasabi into your bag of nuts to add a bit of heat and extra flavor. Make sure not to overdo it, because wasabi peas can have a lot of extra sugar and salt.

5. Drizzle with Buckwheat Honey
Honey is obviously a sticky ingredient, but if you have a sweet tooth it is a healthy way to satiate your sugar lust before a workout. Due to the stickiness it may be wise to pack a napkin with your snack. Buckwheat honey provides sugar and antioxidants to help energize and maintain your body, and just FYI, buckwheat honey tends to be better for you than lighter honeys. Just drizzle a tablespoon or less of buckwheat honey evenly over the nuts in a bowl. Mix it with a spoon until the honey evenly covers the nuts. Then put the nuts in the bag for a sweet snack on the go.

Inspirational Quotes from Swimmers

Jodie Duff - AMANZI TriathleteHere are some great inspiration quotes from the best swimmers out there. These are great for days when you just don’t feel like hitting the pool.

“Persistence can change failure into extraordinary achievement.” - Matt Biondi (US Olympian)

“If you fail to prepare, you’re prepared to fail.” – Mark Spitz (US Olympian)

“The water is your friend…..you don’t have to fight with water, just share the same spirit as the water, and it will help you move.” - Alexandr Popov (Russian Olympian)

“It took a lot of guts to change it and say ‘I don’t like the life that I’m living and I don’t like the swimmer I am’, so let’s change it completely and say ‘Look, I’ve got to learn to love myself’. And that’s been a really hard thing to do because when you’ve done a performance that you’re not proud of and the public and the media have criticized you…..people are really quick to make judgements so it was tough to say ‘Well I don’t care what you have to say. I’m going to do this for myself and if you don’t like me after this, well then, it’s too bad’.” - Leisel Jones (Australian Olympian)

“When I go out and race, I’m not trying to beat opponents, I’m trying to beat what I have done … to beat myself, basically. People find that hard to believe because we’ve had such a bias to always strive to win things. If you win something and you haven’t put everything into it, you haven’t actually achieved anything at all. When you’ve had to work hard for something and you’ve got the best you can out of yourself on that given day, that’s where you get satisfaction from.” - Ian Thorpe (Australian Olympian)

“Never put an age limit on your dreams.” – Dara Torres (US Olympian)

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination.” – Michael Phelps (US Olympian)

“The things you learn from sports – setting goals, being part of a team, confidence – that’s invaluable. It’s not about trophies and ribbons. It’s about being on time for practice, accepting challenges and being fearful of the elements.” - Summer Sanders (US Olympian)

“It wasn’t so much, what did I want to do? It was, who do I want to be? - Diana Nyad (World record long-distance swimmer)

Want to read more? Take a look at what some of the AMANZI Girls have to say here.

Monthy Report: Tamsyn Moana-Veale Auckland ITU World Triathlon Series

Monthy Race Report by Tamsyn Moan-Veale

To say I was nervous going into this race is an understatement, I had already started getting butterflies a week out from race day; my first race of the season, first Olympic distance race of the season, second ever WTS and, it was in Auckland. I have a bad history in Auckland, I love the city and am incredibly lucky to have the support of the whanau, but in 2012, it was the site of the worst performance I have ever put together in a race. But this year, circumstances were completely different, and I couldn’t have asked for better preparation on the bike, yet it was the leg I had the least confidence in and in the end that affected my race significantly.

Race morning finally dawned and I felt surprisingly calm, still very nervous but in control and ready to race. Onto the pontoon and I was positioned between two of the best swimmers in the sport; Lucy Hall and Carolina Routier. Hell. Yeah. BEEEEEP – the horn sounded and I didn’t even have to think, I just put my head down and swam hard.

You can see what’s going on around you in a series of fugitive glances to either side and I saw there were already girls falling behind, but Routier and Hall were staying next to me. “What’s going on? Am I keeping up? OMG OMG OMG. Stay here. GOGOGOGOGOGO”. Up to the first turn buoy and I could see I was still near the front, but I knew I would have to fight to hold my position. I was gearing up to fend off grabbing hands, body slams and feet to the face and… I got nothing. Zip.

I love the front. Why don’t I swim here all the time? It is literally a different world to mid or back of the pack. Everyone is more concerned about finding the best way forward, which in a radical new thought pattern- doesn’t involve wasting energy fighting to swim in the exact same spot as 10 other people. From there it was “easy”. I say easy when what I mean was it was hard. Really hard. But it was easy to go hard and I was in a place where I knew if I needed to, I could cover attacks or bridge gaps. I came out of the water in the top 10- a massive improvement on nearly last at my first WTS in Stockholm.

Tamsyn Moana-VealeI would have been pretty happy if the race ended there. It didn’t. The positives? I lasted in the front pack for far longer than Junior Worlds in 2012- to the top of the first big hill. And I wasn’t terrified of the course. Epic win for me! I won’t say I enjoyed the course, but in last few laps I had brief and fleeting moments of enjoyment whilst cornering and descending. The negative? Everything else. I was hurting and I panicked, believing I wouldn’t be able to ride the entire 40km. Ridiculous considering I had ridden an average of 80km a day for a fortnight, only a couple of weeks ago. I was worried about the last hill whilst climbing the first. It was a very, very long day on the bike and it didn’t get better on the run. Flat and blergh.

Tamsyn Moana-Veale

And after all that… I can’t wait to race a WTS again! I don’t know when my next one will be and I’ll have to prove I deserve another start, so my next opportunity to do so will be at Chengdu World Cup in a month’s time. Look forward to it ?

Tamsyn

Emma McKeon, Madi Wilson & Paige Leonhardt 2014 Australian Swimming Championships

Our three Australian AMANZI Swimmers Emma McKeon, Madison Wilson and Paige Leonhardt are up for an exciting week of racing at the 2014 Australian Swimming Championships in Brisbane. The meet is also the trial for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games so make sure you tune into ONE everynight from 6.30pm local time to catch all the action. Or watch it live here: http://www.swimming.org.au/live

Want to know who and what to watch? Here’s a quick rundown:

Emma McKeon

  • 200m Free – Heat 1st Place 1:58:51 | Placed 2nd going into the Finals
  • 100m Fly – Heat 2nd Place 58.99 | Placed 3rd going into the Finals
  • 50m Free
  • 100m Free
  • 400m Free

Madison Wilson

  • 100m Back
  • 200m Back
  • 50m Back

Paige Leonhardt

  • 100m Breast MC – Heat 2nd Place 1:29:65 | Placed 6th going into the Finals tonight
  • 50m Free MC – Finished in 22nd place with a new PB time of 32.72.
  • 100m Free MC
  • 200m IM MC
  • 50m Back MC
  • 50m Fly MC
  • 50m Breast MC

Amanzi Swimwear

10 Fun Facts About Swimming

Here’s some swimming trivia that probably won’t help you lower your time, but will make for a fun read!

  1. The earliest record of swimming was from a Stone Age painting that was created approximately 7,000 years ago.
  2. Elephants can swim around 20 miles a day. They use their trunks as snorkels!
  3. The first ever recorded swim race was held in Japan in 36 BCE.
  4. Swimming became a popular competitive sport in England during the 1830’s.
  5. The first indoor swimming pool, St. George’s Baths, was opened to public in 1828.
  6. The front crawl was introduced to Western swimmers by two Native American at a London swimming competition in 1844.
  7. The first four Olympics were held in open water, not a pool. In consecutive order they took place in the Mediterranean, the Seine River, a manmade lake and the Mediterranean once again.
  8. The average person produces enough saliva in a lifetime to fill two swimming pools.
  9. Women were not allowed to swim in the Olympics until 1912.
  10. In 1910, the first filtration system for a pool was invented.

AMANZI Swimsuits Missing from Sydney Skinny

Over 700 swimmers and not one AMANZI Swimsuit in sight! Well, for a good reason…

More than seven hundred people skinny dipped together in Sydney in late February for an event that raised money for Australia’s parks. As a side note, the event’s goal was to embrace all different body shapes and question body-image standards set by the media and pop culture.

The event was the largest recorded of its kind ever to take place. Although supposedly the year before there were more participants, seven hundred and fifty participants specifically, in the event known as the Sydney Skinny. The nude swimmers swam a 900 meters course shaped like a diamond in the Tasman Sea.

In order to block random peeping Toms and reporters, the event was closed to the public and to attend swimmers had to purchase tickets in advance.

According to the NY Daily News swimmers were given towels to cover-up as soon as they completed their swim. Some swimmers used the chance to write words and slogans on their body, including three women who wrote the word “Skinny” on their backsides.

If you had the chance would you skinny dip with a bunch of strangers for a good cause?  Let us know with a comment below!

McKeon, Wilson & Leonhardt Blizt the Pool at NSW State Championships

Recently three of our AMANZI Girls competed at the NSW State Open Championships, held in Sydney Australia and came away brilliant results.

Emma McKeon had a stand out meet winning two gold medals in the 100m (53.80) and 200m (1.56.23) Freestyle. McKeon posted a world class time in the 200m free, which would have placed her in 4th spot at last years World Championships. McKeon also finished 3rd in the 100m Fly (59.36) and 5th in the 50m Free (25.48).

Madison Wilson also excelled winning two silver medals in the 200m Back (2.10.33) and 50m Back (28.66) and a bronze in the 100m Back (1.00.32). Madi also finished in 17th place in the 200m Free (2.03.14).

Our junior multiclass swimmer Paige Leonhardt also competed at the championships. Paige who is only 13yrs year of age competed in a whopping 6 events. She finished in 8th place in the 100m Breaststroke, 15th in the 400m Free, 16th in the 100m Fly, 19th in 100m Backstroke and 200IM and 21st int he 50m Free.

Paige also recently competed at the NSW State Country Championships in the multiclass open age events. She finished 4th in 50m free, back and fly and placed 3rd in the 50m breaststroke. She also broke the Australian & State record in the MC girls 13 years and under 50m breaststroke.

Well done Emma, Madi & Paige!

AMANZI xxx

Five Fun Facts From February

It’s our favorite time of the month, receiving AMANZI Girl Tamsyn Moana-Veale month in review. This month Tamsyn shares Five Fun Facts from February!

Favourite Session
Teams Pursuit on the Velodrome. Not quite the proper wooden boarded velodromes with track bikes, but with two teams of four on the shallow banks of the Wollongong Velodrome, it’s a hard and competitive session and once I got the hang of using the bank to build up speed- so much fun as well! Aussies Vs Internationals; possibly the best way to ensure everyone’s ready to get the most out of the session.

Furthest Ride Week: 630km
I’m tired. I think I’m allowed to be after this week. Thankfully I’ve had the Canadian Sarah-Anne ‘I Run Track’ Brault to keep me company throughout the, for lack of a better term; ordeal. Team pursuits, Jamberoo Mountain Loop, Bald Hill, Macquarie Pass, 40km team time trials, Hour of Power, Motor Pacing- chuck it all into a week and there you go, easy done. Oh and a cheeky ‘Form Indicator’ chucked in at the end of the week, just checking in, in case I’d somehow managed not to get any stronger after that. Unfortunately all that was indicated was that my legs were tired. Strangely enough, for someone who once thought anything over 60min was a long ride, I’m enjoying the riding and I know it produces results so I guess I’ll continue to literally live the motto “On ya bike”.

First Exam: (in three years)
Three hour Economics exam. Three. Hours. I don’t even remember the last time I sat in the same spot for that long without being asleep. It was brutal, but –touch wood- I think it went well. Whilst my attention is not 100% focused on my study, I don’t think I’ll ever be satisfied with my results, with training taking priority, I’m scraping by on the bare minimum. A pass is all I need, but definitely not what I want. Still, I’ve got the privilege to live the elite athlete life, I’ve accepted that my studies can take a back seat and I’ll make the most of the opportunities I have now.

Free time: Or ‘Pleasant Activities’ as the cool kids are saying these days…
Basically anything non-triathlon related that makes you happy. Apparently ‘doing nothing’ doesn’t constitute an activity, but there are definitely times were zoning out completely and just lying down with no pressing matters, is one of the best feelings. I’m also fortunate that a couple of my old school friends live in the area, so catching up with them for dinner or coffee is a great way to refresh. They have always been amazingly supportive of me and I’m grateful to have them in my life.

Freedom of Expression
Yeah, so I’m clutching at straws trying to find something that begins with ‘F’ in order to keep the theme going, but bear with me, we can roll with this. For those that know me well, I’m quite vocal. Probably those who don’t know me so well will also have noticed this, the person who never shuts up is hard to ignore. Partially it’s because open my mouth before my brain has had a chance to process the thought, and other times it’s because I’m so bad at lying and hiding what I’m thinking, that there’s really no point in it. For the most part though, I’m a believer of saying what you think, get the problems out in the open and solve them then and there. It doesn’t always make me the most popular person though… “Still friends? … I’ll come back later…”

That’s all for now!

Tamsyn Moana-Veale

8 Tips to Help Protect Yourself from Chlorine

As swimmers, we cannot help being exposed to chlorine due to the nature of our sport. Some of us are lucky enough to have access to indoor and outdoor pools that use salt or UV filters, but not everyone has access to such facilities. Of course, even if you do normally swim in a pool that doesn’t use chlorine, during competition or holidays it may be impossible to avoid chlorine.

Some of the health risks associated with chlorine include higher risks of some types of cancer, asthma and other health issues. We don’t really want to scare anyone out of the water, but these are issues to be aware of if you spend a lot of time in chlorinated water. It is important to know that some of the dangers are not scientifically proven yet, but some think it is better to be safe rather than sorry. You can read more about conflicting evidence here.

A blogger known as Wellness Mama posted some advice on how to minimize the damage done by chlorine.

Here are some of her tips with some additional tips of our own:

  1. Use Vitamin C: Take vitamin C internally and externally helps reduce the harsh exposure to chlorine.
  2. Filter chlorinated drinking and shower water: Invest in filters for your drinking and showering water to minimize chlorine exposure at home.
  3. Swim outdoors: A lot of the harm from chlorine comes from breathing in chlorine in the air, especially at indoor pools with poor ventilation. One way to avoid this is by swimming in an outdoor pool where the chemicals cannot get trapped for you to breathe in.
  4. Protect Hair and Eyes: Always wear goggles and a swim cap to the pool. AMANZI Triathlete Jodie Duff always wears a silicone swim cap at training.Jodie Duff
  5. Lotions and shampoos: There are a lot of shampoos, conditioners and lotions available to get chlorine out of the hair and off the body after swim sessions. There are also some lotions available that perhaps protect the skin from chlorine exposure.
  6. Shower after each swim session: Some swim sessions can be grueling, and some swimmers (especially younger ones) may be tempted to skip showering. It is wiser (and less smelly) to take a shower to get the chlorine off the skin.
  7. Avoid chlorinated and poorly ventilated indoor pools: You can ask about the systems that are in place to take care of the pool. When in doubt, if the smell of chlorine indoors is really strong, chances are the pool isn’t well ventilated. Most swimmers also know the uncomfortable feeling of swimming in a pool that uses way too much chlorine.
  8. Get involved: If it is a community pool, you could even get involved to get these systems updated by coordinating with other swimmers to make changes happen. Even if it is a private pool, chances are if enough customers complain the owners will take action.

AMANZI xxx

Whey Protein: 3 Benefits for Hardcore Swimmers

After a strenuous swimming session, your body is starving for nutrients. You probably have an aching, gnawing hunger in your stomach, and nothing but good eats on your mind. This is totally normal! However, satisfying this growling beast is harder than simply grabbing a cheeseburger from McDonalds. You need something good for you – something that will fuel your body while feeding your muscles and restoring functional calories. It also helps if your prospective meal is delicious!

Ask any hardcore athlete about nutrition and the one thing they agree on is protein after swimming or any other arduous training session is beneficial. So here are 3 benefits of Whey Protein for Hardcore Swimmers:

1. Whey Protein builds lean body mass.

Most swimmers bodies are compact and lean with condensed muscles that glide effortlessly through the water. Whey Protein sends bioactive peptides and useful amino acids to fatigued muscles, building them back up to be stronger and better than they were previously.

2. Whey Protein feeds your hunger.

Remember what we said about being ravenously hungry after a sweat-drenched workout? Whey Protein can help this! Protein is exactly what your body needs to stop hunger and completely satisfy any niggling cravings you might have incurred during training. You will feel fuller for longer simply by adding Whey Protein to a healthy shake after a rigorous swimming session.

3. Whey Protein comes in a variety of awesome flavors

Personally, we think Whey Protein tastes tons better when chocolate or strawberry have been added for a kick of awesome flavor. However, there is also a plain powder that is perfect sprinkled over or within your favorite foods. You can add a kick of protein to almost anything – but if you’re a flavor-enthusiast, look for different selections that tantalize your taste-buds while providing those aforementioned benefits.