Heat, Humidity and Dehydration (Recipe: Salad de la Maison)

I haven’t complained about the heat yet I will have you know.  Or the humidity.  I have merely complained about how my running sucks in it.

Yesterday, Shawn and I were planning on running a 5-miler.  Well, it got up to 95* yesterday.  It was 88* when we finally made it out at 8pm, and it was humid from the 3-hour thunderstorm we had the night before.

Needless to say, my body isn’t used to it, and we only made it 2 miles.  HOWEVER, it was a FAST two miles.  Mile 1 = 8:19.  Mile 2 = 7:47.  So, we weren’t slacking that much!  And when I say ‘we’, I mean ‘I’ because I’m 99% sure Shawn could have gone farther.  I will get there, though!

Speaking of humidity, it is really easy to get dehydrated especially since we sweat more.  When the body loses water, dehydration can set in and cause blood volume to decrease, which can cause muscle cramps, fatigue, dizziness and difficulty regulating body temperature.

You should be aware of some dehydrating foods that you may want to think twice about consuming a lot of if you plan on doing a lot of outdoor training this summer:

1. Protein. Athletes have slightly higher protein needs than the average sedentary individual. Yet, there’s no good mechanism to store protein in the body if consumption surpasses need. Often people who consume large quantities of protein, while restricting carbohydrates, end up with increased ketone levels. Ketones are then excreted through your urine, and if your body is excreting more urine than usual, you need extra water to supplement all that was lost.

2. Alcohol.  Alcoholic beverages are high in calories (7 kcal/gram) and can cause dehydration. A general rule is to consume one glass of water or club soda between alcoholic beverages.

3. Salt.  Sodium is necessary for maintaining fluid balance in the body. However, large amounts of sodium ingested through cured fish, meats or deli meats, soy sauce, fried foods and snack foods like popcorn or chips can leave you feeling thirsty.  Choose items with lower sodium when available. Don’t forget to drink extra water when eating these foods too.

4. Caffeine. Caffeine is considered a diuretic. In some individuals, caffeine does not increase urinary excretion nor cause increased heart rate. However, for those who don’t normally consume caffeine, having it during training or on race-day is a recipe for dehydration.

5. Sugary Foods and Drinks.  Foods with high levels of sugar impact fluid balance in the body. Sweet foods and drinks drive up our thirst mechanism because many of them contain sodium. Turn to water and foods with high water concentration like celery and watermelon to quench your thirst and your hunger.

I learned some things that I didn’t know!  I hope this helps with your summer training!

Speaking of nutrition, I helped host an expert panel discussion at work last week that was SUPER interesting.  The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) that was passed in 2011 is slowly kicking into gear.  With it comes many changes that the FDA has to regulate.  One of those changes includes changes to the Nutrition Facts panel on food items.  Being a contractor for the FDA, we are in charge of finding out the associated costs with food reformulation that will occur because of this change.

For example, the serving size of ice-cream can no longer be 1/2 cup–at least a full cup serving size is required.  (Who only eats a 1/2 cup of ice-cream anyway!?)  Because of this, the amount of calories, fat, calories from fat, etc. are all going to increase on the Nutrition Facts panel, and some of the health claims such as “low fat” will no longer pertain.  Some companies will try to reformulate the ice-cream to make the Nutrition Facts panel look better.  We are in charge of estimating that cost.

Anyway, the panel was super interesting–retirees from Kraft, Nestle, the company that makes Cool Whip.  Very cool.  I’m loving this new job.

I’ll have one more San Diego update but not today.  However, here is a picture of Envy from when I was gone…she loves hanging out in the backyard!


Quote of the Day:

“Runners are generally optimistic, and this optimism is what the world needs, for we are constantly told that something is wrong, or about to go wrong, in the world.  Runners intuitively know that through dedication and hard work, success can come about:  if we, as humanity, dedicate ourselves to creating a better world, then it is completely doable.”              -Sakyong Mipham from Running with the Mind of Meditation (Lessons for Training Body and Mind)

I made this salad my first week in my house and it was delish!  Nothing fancy.  But I’ll definitely be making it again!  There is just something about salad in the summer!  Very refreshing!

Salad de la Maison

Salad de la Maison


– 2 cups Romaine lettuce

– 2 cups cherry tomatoes

– 1 cup grated hard Swiss cheese

– 1 1/2 cups slivered toasted almonds

– 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

– 1 cup crouton

– 1/2 cup chopped cooked bacon

For the Dressing:

– 3 tablespoons lemon juice

– 1/2 cup EVOO

– 3 cloves garlic, minced

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/4 teaspoon pepper


– Lightly toast almonds. Toss lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, almonds, Parmesan cheese, croutons, and bacon together and set aside.

– Prepare dressing by blending lemon juice, salt, oil, garlic, and pepper together at high speed in a blender or food processor. Pour over salad, toss, and serve immediately.

This entry was posted in Envy, Individual Workouts, Nutrition, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

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