DEVIN DELANEY coaches at our Summer Ski Racing Camp for Girls on Mt. Hood and is the Director of Sports Nutrition at Green Mountain Valley School. Amidst this COVID-19 pandemic, we are all spending more time at home and working hard to stay both physically and mentally healthy. In this April series of interviews, we share tips from inspiring women in our Keely’s Camp community on how to stay resilient during these unprecedented times. In this interview Devin shares helpful nutrition, hydration, and movement tips and a couple of her favorite recipes for you to try with your family.
_ _ _
Hi Devin! Will you please tell us about your ski background and how you got to where you are as the Director of Sports Nutrition at Green Mountain Valley School?
I am from a big family who loves to ski and loves food! So when I think about how I got to where I am, I cannot help but smile! I grew up in North Conway, NH chasing my brother and sister around the mountains. My parents own a restaurant, ‘Delaney’s Hole in the Wall’, and when we were little, we were dropped off at the mountain early, and picked up once the lifts closed. We skied A LOT!! I attended high school at Green Mountain Valley School in VT and went on to compete on the US Ski Team. During my travels for racing and training, I would write emails to my parents as if I was a food journalist, telling them all about the different dishes I had tried and cultures I was experiencing. Life on the road made me more and more comfortable in the kitchen and it quickly became a creative outlet for me. Aside from the joy that cooking for myself and teammates brought me, I started to really notice how my food was impacting my energy and performance. I finished my ski racing career at the University of Denver where I was a 4 time NCAA All American and studied business and hospitality focusing on food and beverage.
Since competing, my passion for health, wellness, skiing and the outdoors was burning stronger than ever. I had worked with sports nutritionists through my ski racing career, but felt they didn’t truly know the unique demands of ski racing. I want to change that. I continued my education in personal training and nutritional therapy and went on to coach Alpine Ski Racing and Performance Nutrition for U12- FIS athletes. I bring a holistic approach to my nutritional counseling, incorporating more than just the food itself. I look at both sports science and bio-individuality and focus on the many factors that impact teenage athletes’ performance, including stress, sleep, digestion, hydration, hormones, and training load.
Now, as the Director of Sports Nutrition at GMVS, I get to not only work with the student athletes individually to feel their best and take their performance to the next level, but I get to oversee the school’s nutritional program including ongoing educational seminars, hands-on workshops, and consultation with the school’s on-site dining services team, as well as in on-snow camp environments.
How are you staying physically/mentally healthy while physically isolating?
Moving my body is a must for me. It has been challenging to not be able to run, bike and hike on the trails or skin up the mountains during this time but what has been helping me is focusing on what I CAN do and creating a routine. I like to start my day with either some yoga or stretching or a quick walk or jog outside to wake up my body and mind. I have found some fun running and road biking loops on the beautiful back roads here in Vermont and I have enjoyed exploring the woods in my backyard.
I also like to set little daily goals to keep me motivated such as 100 pushups before dinner or working up to a 5 minute plank. Additionally, I have been finding ways to embrace slowing down. I have been trying to turn off my screens 2 hours before bed and playing cards, reading my book, or listening to music and stretching.
Have you been spending time in the kitchen? What have you been making?
I have been spending so much time in the kitchen! It is so important for me to take the time to cook and sit and enjoy three meals a day. If I can’t be outside, I love to be in the kitchen! I have been making homemade bread, testing muffin recipes, and trying different grains and beans from my pantry. For breakfast I have been rotating through various smoothie and oatmeal combinations, for lunch I typically go for a big salad or leftovers and then dinner I have been trying to support different local farms ordering meat and vegetables from them as much as I can. Some days I like to keep it simple and other days I feel really inspired and creative!
What is your favorite nutrition/hydration activity or challenge that you do with your students at GMVS?
Gosh that is a tough one! I love focusing on getting more colors into their diets for vitamins, minerals, and fiber. I do a 1,2,3 challenge where the goal is to get 1 fruit or vegetable with breakfast, 2 with lunch and 3 with dinner. It is easy to get into a rut of eating the same thing so this challenge also encourages getting a variety of colors onto your plate!
For hydration I like to do an on-hill challenge during ski training where they leave their water bottles with some electrolytes at the finish of the course and every run they have to take a few sips. This encourages them to keep replenishing their water and electrolytes with about 2 ounces every 15-20 minutes which is the ideal hydration/ absorption rate.
What are your top 3 pieces of advice for staying healthy during these challenging times?
I encourage the athletes I work with to choose whole real foods over packaged and processed foods. They taste so much better and our bodies know how to effectively use real food to fuel our bodies. See this challenging time as an opportunity to get in the kitchen more. SO,
- Try a new recipe like the ones above to better fuel your bodies for your training. Maybe you need help with a whole foods snack to pack for your training sessions or for a long day of classes or maybe you need help with a quick and easy breakfast.
- Focus on hydration- determine your daily intake using the formula above & try to hit that every day. I promise this is such an easy way to feel more energized and support your body during these challenging times
- Develop a bedtime routine to support a quality night sleep. Things such as disconnecting from screens, creating a dark and cool sleep environment, and at least 8 hours are great ways to improve your sleep!
Lastly, can you share a couple of recipes that you love to make?!
Simple Recovery Smoothie
- 1 Frozen Banana
- 2Tbs Nut Butter
- 1 Tsp Cacao, coco powder, or cinnamon
- 1 Cup Milk/ liquid of choice (I like a mix of dairy free milk & coconut water)
Put all of the ingredients in a blender & enjoy!
*It packs well so make it in the morning & bring to the hill or gym for recovery
from the cookbook “Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow” by Shalane Flanagan & Elyse Kopecky
- 2 cups packed almond meal or almond flour (10 ounces)
- 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional mix-ins: ½ cup chopped nuts, dried fruit or chocolate chips
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup grated apple (about 1 ½ apples)
- 1 cup peeled and grated carrots (about 3 carrots)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups or grease muffin pan with butter or oil of choice
- In a large bowl, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and optional mix-ins (I use a few handfuls of trail mix and chop it up)
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs and butter. Whisk in the grated apple and carrots. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are nicely browned on top and a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow muffins to cool completely before storing.
- Store leftover muffins in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If you like them warm, slice in half and toast them on a pan with grass-fed butter!
Notes: MAKE THEM NUT FREE: Recipe author suggests using whole wheat flour can be used as an alternative to the almond meal. Increase the butter to 8 tablespoons (1 stick), since wheat flour is much drier, and reduce the oats to 1 cup.The muffins will no longer be gluten free with this variation.
MAKE THEM DAIRY FREE: I haven’t tried, but I could think you could substitute coconut oil for the butter.
Devin Delaney is available for private consultation and for teams to book a talk. For inquiries email: firstname.lastname@example.org!