Monday, May 22, 2017

Renew Your SCAN Membership Today!

Don't forget to renew your SCAN membership today.  In addition to staying connected to the largest practice group with the Academy, we also promote our RDs.

Monday, May 8, 2017

10 Tips for Trail Running & Racing {Newbies}

For my first ‘race’ of the year, he found a group of distances happening on a trail conveniently close to our Monterey Bay digs (led by Inside Trail Racing). Contrary to most of the trail runs we’ve done in the past seven months, this wouldn’t require a 6am departure, or even more than 25 minutes in the car. We’d even get a view of the wilderness not-so-hidden in the backyard of our quaint city. Win!

He went for the 25K, while I kept it safer with the 10k option. And after a 3+ month hiatus from the trails, I had to remind myself that this trail-running game reads from a very different playbook! So far, this is how I get by, with a little help from the aid stations & color-coded flags:

If you’re a poor race planner, like myself, this one really needs to be in all caps. It’s almost a given that you’ll have to walk up/down at some point, but strategize and be ready for those moments. Know what’s coming and when– it will matter.  For example, this particular 10k course looked like this:

Thankfully he plans ahead, and handed this to me for review on Saturday morning as I munched on my pre-race banana. Well…that’ll be interesting. It’s the total opposite of how 99% of trail races’ elevation rides, but it allowed me to just barrel down those first 3 miles, because I knew there’d be some walking in the last 3 miles, either way.
On that note…
2) Be humble with your distance of choice
My first soiree into this world was a 10-miler (the first sentence of that post is basically this lesson learned). The course wasn’t too challenging, so we lucked out. But those 10 miles felt like 13. And the half we did last Fall? That felt like 20. If you’re just starting out, note that your road-racing PRs mean nothing on the dirt!
3) Bring Hydration. ALWAYS
Would I normally carry water for a 10K race? Nope. But you never know how long those trail miles will take – they seem about twice as long as a road mile, and the aid stations usually seem way too far apart. You will need hydration, either way, so make sure you bring your own.
4) Assume you’ll Overheat
I have started many a trail-race in long sleeves, only to curse the decision with gusto as I climb my way up the first major incline. Yes, you can usually count on some tree cover to cool you off here n’ there. But you can also count on some bare, uber-sun-exposed, sections. And your cardio system working overtime to help you climb. Also see: hydration!

5) Protect your precious skin
Sunscreen and a hat = must-haves! Take it from the girl who just doesn’t think January weather warrants sunscreen (unless you’re on the slopes – in which case, of course you have sunscreen! Why does this logic not translate??), and didn’t have a lick of SPF on Saturday. But I did have a visor! 1 for 2.
6) Invest in trail shoes
I run in the Mizuno Hayates, but prior to that would just destroy my road-running shoes (and feet) on my inconsistent adventures. Trail shoes aren’t all stiff and unrelenting; the Hayates move and shake similar to my Wave Riders, but they’re ready for more challenges. See: rocks, (slippery) dirt, creeks and climbs.
7) Embrace the downs
In road races, you run a fine line between barreling down hill to gather some speed and gain some cushion on a goal time, and/or destroying your quads. But out in the woods, muscles pretty much get destroyed anyway. You have dramatic ups and downs, you will probably walk (unless you operate in full-on beast mode), and when you do get a downhill? You will want to fly.  
This does go back to point #1 – know what’s coming and when! I’ve even had a few down-hills so steep that I walked, because otherwise gravity would have wreaked havoc.
On the downhill: shorten your stride to avoid killing your knees; stay light on your feet (as much as you can…); don’t fight it; know your (speed) limits. (Of note: this tip comes from someone who hasn’t run more than 13.5 miles on a trails – any full / ultra runners out there? Chime in!)
8) Walk…but not for long
As I’ve now mentioned multiple times, the likelihood of walk ‘break’ is 10x higher on the trails vs. the road. A few reasons for this: the inclines are so steep that you’ll waste too much energy trying to run them all, you heart may explode if you do, and sometimes you just flat out cannot run certain sections (for various reasons of nature’s choice).
BUT! Don’t walk for too long. It’s just as dangerous out here as it is on a road – you give yourself too long a break, and it becomes exponentially more difficult to get going again.

My rule: if I’m walking uphill, I have to start running the very inch in which the incline starts to flatten out or give.
9) Leave the tunes (mostly) behind
Again, I can’t speak to the experience of running anything over 13 miles here – maybe after 3+ hours you’re just flat-out done with absorbing nature’s magic – but I am strongly in the no-trail-tunes camp. For safety, and for bliss. There is so much to take in, no matter what trail you’re running.
10) Wipe your PR (expectation) slate clean
Have no expectations. Just as with road races, every trail is oh-so-different and the challenges you’ll face will never be the same twice (even on the same trail). You never fully know what you’re in for, and there’s a lot of fun to be had with that.

Seriously. The post-race spread is unbeatable. They really know how to feed a runner’s appetite.
Heather Caplan is a registered dietitian, endurance running coach, and freelance writer based out of the D.C. area. On the side, she hosts a weekly podcast called "RD Real Talk." She owns a private practice for nutrition counseling and consulting, and recently co-founded a nonprofit to raise awareness of the female athlete triad, the Lane 9 Project. Her work has been featured in Fitness magazine, Runner's World, Outside Online, the Washington Post, and Washingtonian's Well+Being blog. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram as @heatherdcRD

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Interested in Blogging for SCAN?

Are you a Registered Dietitian or a student interested in increasing your online presence?  Consider blogging for SCAN.  The SCAN blog reaches thousands of viewers every month.  No previous blogging experience needed.

Please email Gina, for more information or to send your submissions.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Infused Water Recipes

This was originally published here:

We’ve all heard dietitians and nutritionists say that soda is bad for you. “Pretty much every drink other than water is bad for you,” say these “experts.”

Well… this is, for the most part, true. However, there are some tricks to making sure that you stay hydrated this summer, and well, always.

The human body can only survive for a few days without drinking water . 60% of the adult body is made of water and every cell needs water to function . On average people need 6-8 cups of water each day, this is both in the summer and in the winter It is especially important to drink water during and after exercise and when exposed to direct sunlight . Contrary to popular belief, it is just as important to stay hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. Winter air tends to be drier and can dehydrate you faster

Regardless of this, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool drink in the summer. Infused water is a delicious, less-boring-than-water, and low-calorie way to stay hydrated this summer. Infused water is higher in nutrients than regular water. Nutrients leak out of fruit and herbs directly into the water. Make sure you drink your water within 24 hours for the most nutrient benefits (

The infused water recipes below all use fruit that adds flavor to water quickly like citrus fruits and cucumbers, as well as herbs to give your water extra potent flavor. All of the recipes below make 4 cups, or servings, of infused water.

Citrus Mint Infusion
The lemon and oranges in this recipe add a healthy dose of vitamin C to your diet. Oranges also contain the B vitamins pantothenic acid, thiamin and folate. Lemons also provide small amounts of B vitamins, vitamin A, and various minerals. Mint is a good source of vitamin A. (
[Insert Image: “Citrus Mint”] [Photo Source: Pinterest]

3/4 cup fresh mint
1 cup orange, sliced
1 cup lemons, sliced
1 quart filtered, spring, or sparkling water

  1. Place orange slices, lemon slices, and mint into a mason jar.
  2. Fill to top with filtered or spring water.
  3. Seal mason jar tightly and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Enjoy!

Green Sea Breeze
Cucumbers are a great source of vitamin K, basil is a good source of vitamin A, and lime is a great source of vitamin C. (
[Insert Image: “Cucumber Basil”] [Photo Source: Pinterest]

3/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
1 cup lime, sliced
1 quart filtered, spring, or sparkling water

  1. Place cucumber, lime, and basil into a mason jar.
  2. Fill to top with filtered or spring water.
  3. Seal mason jar tightly and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Enjoy!

Pink Herbal Twist
Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin A and C and also has some calcium, magnesium, and various B vitamins. Rosemary has small amounts of vitamins A and C, iron, and manganese. (
[Insert Image: “Grapefruit Rosemary”] [Photo Source: Pinterest]

3/4 cup fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from stems
1 grapefruit, thinly sliced
1 quart filtered, spring, or sparkling water


  1. Place rosemary leaves and grapefruit slices into a mason jar.
  2. Fill to top with filtered or spring water.
  3. Seal mason jar tightly and let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Enjoy!


Sheena Pradhan is a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist that specializes in wellness and sports nutrition. She runs the private practice called Nutritious Balance. Nutrition and fitness is her passion. She learned to use her knowledge of nutrition as a model, former semi-pro triathlete, and former beauty queen. Today, she loves using her knowledge to help her clients live happier and healthier lives and to reach their performance goals. Sheena has been published in the Huffington Post and is a regular contributor to and Brown Girl Magazine. She has consulted for Seventeen Magazine, ZeeTV, Rogers TV, and DNAinfo. As a model, Sheena has been featured in campaigns by Laura Mercier, Yotel, G.H. Mumm, 123 Glow, East Point Sports, and has modeled swimwear on national television multiple times for Fox and Friends.

Sheena can be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


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