Spiralizing Vegetables and Fruits


zucchini noodles ribbon spiralizer

Spiralizing a food is the method of rotating the vegetable or fruit while simultaneously slicing and/or julienning. The end product is a long ribbon or noodle-like piece of the vegetable or fruit which can be eaten raw, used in a salad, cooked by themselves or can even replace pasta.

Spiralizers are great for zucchini, apples, cucumber, pear, rutabaga, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and other vegetables too!

This is such a fun kitchen tool and a great way to get kids cooking and eating some extra veggies. You can get your children involved to make their own vegetable salad, stir-fry or “pasta” using a spiralizer.

Try mixing the zucchini in with regular pasta to help hide any vegetable taste.   Cook the pasta, drain the water, and then add one spiralized zucchini. The zucchini will blend right in, especially if you add some pesto or tomato sauce.

My favorite comes with three blades and sets up in seconds, transforms ordinary raw vegetables and firm fruit into something special and is easy to clean.

To buy my favorite spiralizer, the Paderno, go to Maria Recommends Amazon Products Page 2: http://www.myactivenutrition.com/healthandfitnessresources.php

How To Make Zucchini Noodles

  • 3 zucchinis, spiralized
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (or less, if desired), minced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil,
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp pesto (optional)
  • ¼ cup parmesan, shredded

In a large non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and garlic and zucchini and stir frequently until desired consistency is reached. Stir in pesto if you are using. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan. Serves 4 generously.


Anemia, Iron Supplementation and the Mountaineer


Climb To Camp Muir

If you are a mountain climber going to high altitudes, consider having a blood test to check for iron-deficiency anemia.

Red blood cells store and carry oxygen through the body to our tissue and muscles, so the more red blood cells a climber has the more oxygen they have in their working muscles. The body needs iron to produce red blood cells. Iron-deficiency anemia causes a lowered red blood cell count, so people with anemia are more likely to suffer from altitude sickness and fatigue than are persons with normal blood counts.

People who are diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia may want to consider taking an iron supplement before and during travel to high altitudes.

Excessive amounts of Iron in the body can be harmful so if you are a mountaineer and are considering taking an iron supplement do not take an excessive amount and check with your doctor for advice on the right dose for you.


Fueling for Performance for Hiking and Mountaineering


Maria Faires and son Jordan Faires hiking to Camp Muir

For intense hiking training for mountaineering, you will benefit from having a well-planned fueling program that ensures adequate calorie and fluid intake.

Carbohydrate is the most important source of energy for the exerciser. Carbohydrates deliver the energy that fuels muscles. Once eaten, carbohydrates breakdown into glucose, fructose and galactose that then get absorbed and used to fuel workouts. Any that isn’t required immediately is stockpiled in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. After these glycogen stores are filled up, any extra gets stored as fat. Glycogen is used during immediate and short intense bursts of exercise. During more long slower bouts, fat is used too. If glycogen isn’t available protein is used.

Pre-Hike Fueling

Prior to your hike, you will want to eat wisely. The calories in your pre-event meal will last for about 60 to 90 minutes. About 1-2 hours prior, a small pre or post hike meal or snack should be consumed. It should consist mostly carbohydrate and some protein (to let it stay with you a little longer) and should be very low in fat, to allow the stomach to digest the food quickly. This will increase glucose levels in the circulation and “top-off” muscle glycogen stores. Some examples of pre-exercise snacks:

  • Yogurt with whole grain crackers or fruit
  • Bowl of whole grain cereal with low-fat milk and blueberries or banana
  • Fig newtons and a glass of low-fat milk
  • 100% whole wheat bread with slice of low-fat cheese or nut butter
  • Fruit smoothie made with non-fat yogurt
  • Oatmeal made with fruit and low-fat milk
  • Banana and string cheese
  • Whole Wheat Bagel with peanut butter and a yogurt
  • Egg and 100% Whole Wheat Toast

Fueling During your Hike

Experiment during training hikes to observe how your body responds and make adjustments before your big climb. If you are exercising less than an hour, there is no need to eat during exercise if you have eaten a meal before. Drink 6 to 12 oz. of water every 15 minutes during exercise.

For long, hard hike that last beyond 1-1.5 hours, you should try to supplement at least one-third or more of the calories burned. Consult sports dietitian Maria Faires to help you estimate YOUR calorie needs and how many calories you burned per hour.

Here is an estimate of how to fuel during hiking: If you are hiking vigorously for 1-2 ½ hours then it’s smart to consume a 120-240 calories (30-60 grams of carbs) per hour snack to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your hike.

If you are hiking vigorously for over 2 ½ hours then it’s smart to consume a 240-350 calories (60-90 grams of carbs) per hour snack to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable throughout your hike.


Experiment with both salty and sweet foods to see what you like. Try to choose the most  nutritious foods. If you are a heavy sweater, choose some of the foods that are higher in sodium. Keep your perishables chilled. Some hikers do well with a caffeine-boost. If you want to experiment with this, pack iced tea in one of your water bottles.

Examples of Foods to Take Hiking

Dried fruit such as pineapple, raisins, cherries, blueberries, dates

Fresh fruit such as banana, apple, orange slices, grapes, berries

Fig Bar Cookies

Soy beans (shelled edamame) that you find in the frozen section of your grocery store

Hummus on Wheat Crackers

Triscuits, or whole grain bread, or whole grain roll with Peanut Butter

Whole Grain or Corn Tortilla Filled with Refried Beans, Salsa, and Cheese

String cheese

Gummy Bears (NOT sugarless as these can give you diarrhea)

Peanut butter and honey sandwich on 100% whole wheat bread


Sports drink, gummies, gels, bars. Click here to see how to choose the best ones


Cereal nuggets like Kashi Go Lean Crunch or Cinnamon Harvest

Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts, Pumpkin Seeds

Post Hike Fueling

Consume calories and fluids immediately following the hike in the form of a 100 to 400 calories. Eating a high-carbohydrate snack or meal with protein in the immediate postexercise period has been shown to quickly encourage the replacement of glycogen that was used up during the exercise session. This aids recovery and will allow the hiker to start stocking up on stored carbohydrate for the next training session.

Fluid and Hydration

You will have to drink enough water or sports drink to prevent dehydration. Fluid loss from sweat results in dehydration that can impair performance and mental functioning and affect their ability perform them effectively. Hikers should get in a habit of drinking fluid on a regular basis. To check your hydration status, check your urine. You should be voiding light-colored, pale yellow urine every 2 to 4 hours. And if you’re thirsty, you are most likely a quart low.

  • Drink plenty of fluids with meals.
  • Drink 16 oz. 2 hours before activity.
  • Drink another 8 to 16 oz. 15 minutes before activity.
  • Drink 6 to 12 oz. every 15 minutes during exercise.
  • Drink 24 oz. for every pound of body weight lost after exercise.
  • In events lasting longer than ninety minutes, performance will likely be enhanced with the use of a sports drink