Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming...

Title inspired by Dori from Finding Nemo. Does anyone else love that movie?

Dori's mantra often passes through my head during swim practice. Swimming is probably the most challenging leg of the triathlon for me, and I feel like no matter how much I practice, I just don't improve that much.  Sometimes I just feel like I'm flailing around in the water...forget concentrating on my form or trying to go fast...I just don't want to drown! Last night was different though. I'm not exactly sure what I did differently, but something just kind of *clicked* and I suddenly felt so much more efficient! I felt like I got a great workout :) 
For anyone curious, this was the workout last night:
Warm Up: 300 meters
Main Set: 4 x 100 meters (faster every 100)
2 x 200 swim + 50 kick
400 meters (concentrate on distance per stroke)
4 x 100 meters (triathlon pace)
Cool Down: 200 meters EZ

This morning I went in for an appointment at the health center to get my resting metabolic rate measured. This is the amount of energy your body expends at rest...not including any calories you burn walking around, cleaning the house, exercising, etc.  There are formulas that we learn in class that can estimate resting metabolic rate, but I always question how accurate they really are. The formula that is considered most accurate is the Mifflin-St Jeor equation. This is the Mifflin-St Jeor equation for women in case you want to try it out:
  • [10 x wt (kg)] + [6.25 x ht (cm)] - [5 x age (yr)] -161 = RMR (calories per day)
  • Then multiply by a physical activity factor to determine your total calories expended (1.3 for sedentary, 1.5 for active...etc)
I found out that the dietitian at the health center at school can use a device to measure you metabolic rate using indirect calorimetry. I won't get into all the science behind it, but basically you breathe into this machine and it tells you what your resting metabolic rate is after a couple of minutes! This is much more accurate than the equations. I was really curious to know exactly how many calories I need, so I made an appointment.

The dietitian told me that normally women expend about 8-10 calories per pound of body weight. This is often on the higher end if you have more lean body mass. Mine was actually a little more than is expected for my body weight, so I was very pleased! (It was actually only 30 calories under what the Mifflin-St Jeor equation estimated. The dietitian said the formula tends to overestimate for women.) 

To determine the total amount of calories I need, we added on an extra 800 calories per day to my RMR to account for my exercising (about 45 minutes, 5 days a week) and daily activities (walking around, riding my bike to class). Most people who get their metabolism measured are having trouble losing or gaining weight and want to see if their metabolism is unusually high or low. I was just really curious, and it was pretty cheap to get this done as a student, so why not? 

The only appointment time I could get was at 8 AM, which was cutting it close to go back home and eat breakfast before my 9 AM class (you can't eat before you get your RMR measured). I almost grabbed a Carrot Cake Clif bar to take for breakfast, but I tasted it before I ran out the door, and BLEH! Did not taste like carrot cake!! All I tasted was soy nuggets! So I made myself a quick bowl of cereal:

Some Trader Joe's High Fiber cereal mixed with sweetened bran flakes, fresh strawberries, toasted almonds, milk, and lots of cinnamon!! This made me 5 minutes late to class, but it was totally worth it!

Close up on the wrap I had for lunch.

This wrap was amazing! Whole wheat wrap with Sabra Lemon Hummus, pesto, avocado, turkey, spinach, and cherry tomatoes. This was a great flavor combo!

Another close up :) Mid-afternoon snack = banana with almond butter!

Dinner: Salmon with lemon and rosemary, sauteed spinach, and cherry tomatoes! After I started eating it added some avocado and toasted a piece Publix bakery bread. Mmmm...

Something to ponder: What was the best thing before sliced bread??


Reeni♥ said...

You do like cinnamon!! As much as me if not more. How interesting-I would love to find out how many calories I really need. I'm pretty sure I'm eating too many.

Sara said...

I like that wrap, it sounds so good!

Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) said...

The best thing before sliced bread...well, almond butter of course! Why do you think they even invented bread? They needed something to eat with their nut butters. :)

VeggieGirl said...

Interesting about the RMR!!

I felt the same way about that Clif bar when I used to eat them - ick :-(

Hayley said...

That machine sounds so interesting, and your food looks great, as always. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Aw you guys made me ink ;)

Ya that Carrot Cake clif is sooooooo not good! That wrap however, looks amazing!

That's really interesting about the appointment you had - thanks for sharing!

Erica said...

Very interesting info! Thank you for posting about this! Ow, I've never had the lemon sabra! I must find it.

The best thing before sliced bread was regular unsliced bread....lets be honest- bread is awesome :)

Esi said...

I used to be a swimmer, I am so out of shape now! I would love to get back into it, but all the pool require a fee here. Anyway, looks like a good day of food, especially that wrap!

Amber said...

Thanks so much for the comment, I'm glad to have found your blog, I love food blogs! That's so cool that you got your RMR measured. How many calories did it calculate you should eat in a day??

Keep going with the swimming, it'll get easier :-)