Are Zooplankton Low Carb?

Earlier this summer I announced some wild news: I am going to train and participate in next year’s Texas Water Safari, a 262-mile paddling endurance race from central Texas down to the coast. The more I learn about this race the uglier it gets. Fire ants, jellyfish, diaper rash, heat stroke, sleep deprivation, uncontrollable vomiting. I think I am still in shock that I am really going to try and do this.

Which is why I must THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH for your resounding emails and comments. Your enthusiasm and support is overwhelming and inspiring!

So I guess now I really have to do it?

Oh me oh my. To tell you the truth I am super excited about the race and getting prepared over the coming months…save all the training. I am dreading the tedious training, which starts any minute. But that’s the point, no? I hear discomfort and suffering builds character.

So here’s what we know so far about my participation in the 2010 Texas Water Safari:

My team partner, Banning Collins, will be racing for Alzheimers, and I will be racing for Rett Syndrome.

nikes Bill Farnum and his daughter Ella (who has Rett Syndrome) were sweet enough to send me a pair of brand new Nike shoes to kickstart my training! Many thanks Bill & Ella!! If anyone wants to join an all-star cast of flyfishing celebs, check out Bill’s Casting 4 A Cure Event in Victor Idaho August 28-30. Fish to fight Rett.

The Nikes are about to kick into high gear. Let’s just say I haven’t done very well with my training this summer. I have been all about the fishing. And the eating. And the drinking. Okay, so I’ve actually gone backwards, but do not fear…I am really getting serious now that Little Chick is about to start school again. Low carb diet, regular exercise, and soon…the paddling begins!

Our first step was a name & logo. Banning and I wanted a team name that would blend our love of fishing with our newfound commitment to paddling. In a brilliant twist of wordsmithery & strategery it came to us in a flash: TEAM PADDLEFISH


It’s perfect! A slow, lumbering fish with the loveable underdog appeal of Eeyore or Snuffleupagus. A homegrown American creature that sucks up zooplankton and somehow manages to turn it into caviar. Diamonds from coals…that fits our lemonade-from-lemons approach to this hellish endeavor. So I am proud to introduce our team logo & tagline:


Now that we have a team name and logo, it’s time to get serious. Next steps:

  • Develop the Team Paddlefish giving website and facebook page
  • Secure 2 or 3 corporate sponsors to subsidize upfront costs
  • Buy a canoe
  • Start paddling
  • Break the news to Banning that I am sneaking back to Montana for one more fishing fix over Labor Day
  • Start paddling immediately after Montana fishing trip
  • Find a team captain
  • Enter the race – this is important as the sooner we enter, the better out start position!
  • Paddle, paddle, paddle

Stay tuned everyone. Only 299 until the Texas Water Safari! GO TEAM PADDLEFISH

15 Responses to “Are Zooplankton Low Carb?”
  1. El General says:

    You forgot one item for the bullet list

    Pray for rain so we don’t have to carry the kayak to the coast.

  2. Rodster says:

    Good luck Chicky! I would like to be the first on my block and place an order for an autographed “Team Paddlefish” T-Shirt. Paddleon, Rodster

  3. El General — NO KIDDING. Start the rain dances. Apparently PORTAGE was the theme of this year’s safari. Ouch. my herniated disc hurts just thinking about it. And by the way I like your use of “we”….love that team spirit!! I do hope for Team Paddlesfish to have the largest traveling entourage/party that the safari has ever seen!! The race does end at the coast….hello?….redfish anyone?….

    Rodster — thanks for the good cheer! Just had a conversation about tshirts this morning. They are in the works. But first I have to get the team bank account and write copy for the charity giving page…much to do in the next 9 months!

  4. Ian Scott says:

    All the best to Team Paddlefish! Hope there is no diaper rash though. Can’t say reading about that would be a priority.. but just in case, google “Bag Balm” and take some along with you. Shania Twain swears by it. I don’t think she fly fishes or paddles though.

  5. Melissa says:

    FFC — Okay, I’ve been biting my tongue for the past several weeks and I can’t take it anymore. Stop-it with the low carb thing. Athletes need carbs (trust me, I have a degree in exercise physiology and I’m a nutritionist). What you don’t need is junky carbs. Fast food, cookies, ding dongs, snowballs, donuts — stuff like that.

    Long story short — high-quality carbs should be the glue that holds an athlete’s nutrition program together. You need energy-yielding carbs. That’s what fuels your engine. If you don’t provide your body with carbs, you’ll lose protein. Now, the last thing you want to do while training is lose muscle mass. But, you also don’t want to eat too many calories or you’ll store them as fat (wherever they come from — fats, carbs, or protein). Your carb choices will directly impact your performance.

    So, while training, stick to high-quality carbs. While in the midst of battle, all rules are off. Eat carb-rich power gel and drink high-carb drinks (during exercise and immediately after for recovery). I’ll turn you on to the good stuff, but for now — no Atkins, no South Beach, no low-carb diets.

    You’re an athlete. Athletes need carbs!

    Here’s a list of some good quality complex carbs: brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes (with skin), baked potatoes, garbanzo beans (hummus), butternut squash, beets (long story on the beets, but add them in), peas, lentils, beans. Eat all the fresh fruits and veggies you want, but the above list of complex carbs is a good one to remember. Add a little of that stuff into your nutrition plan. Make a baked potato, lightly steam or sauté some spinach and pile it on the potato. And yes, you can add a small amount of butter (small amount and make sure it’s real butter, not that trans-fat laden stuff). No fake baco-bits. Real food. Whole food. Fresh and organic if possible.

    Nuts, seeds and dried fruit are all good. Eggs are great. Just watch the caloric intake. Don’t overdo it. For a snack or breakfast, eat an apple with almond butter. Oatmeal (the real kind, not that instant stuff), teff (great grain for athletes), buckwheat are all good choices.

    Okay, that’s a start. Just watch the calories. Don’t choose empty calories like sugary snacks, candy, junk like that. Although a piece of good dark chocolate once in awhile is good (thank God). No soda pop. Stick to REAL food and drink plenty of water. Meat, veggies, fruit, whole grains, eggs. Goat yogurt is a good one (Redwood Hill Farms vanilla goat yogurt is divine). Mix up some fruit, top with goat yogurt and a handful of chopped nuts.

    Sorry, FFC — I don’t want to get bossy, but you aren’t going to make it on a low carb diet. In fact, while competing, you’ll need full-on CARBS. We’ll get to that later.

    If your goal is also to lose weight, you can join me on my fall cleanse, which I’ll be starting sometime in September. That will actually get you going on the right track.

    Yikes, hope I didn’t freak you out! Don’t ban me from FFC, okay?

    In good health,
    P.S. Zooplankton is fine. :-) And I’m not going to reread this, so beware of grammatical garbage.

  6. Melissa

    first of all there is no tongue biting here at FFC. Talk talk talking is one if my core values. Say it loud, say it proud

    second, you are absolutely not getting kicked off. In fact i am promoting you. You are the official Nutritional Consultant for FLY FISH CHICK

    i need your help! i do want to lose some pounds to kickstart this before the training gets super tough

    what’s the cleanse? I am intrigued. Am emailing for more info! Thank You Melissa!!!!

  7. Melissa says:

    Whew, I was afraid I might be blocked for life. By the way, my son’s a fly fishing guide, so I was thinking I’d pull that card out at the last minute if I got kicked off FFC.

    You’re on. I’ll be your official nutritionist. That will be my way of helping the cause. As for the cleanse — we’ll get you going on that in September. Don’t worry, nothing weird. I’m into food cleanses. I do it every spring and fall. More on that later, but it’s a super powerful way to get you on the right track.

    Check out a good (good) restorative yoga class for your back. Call around and see if you can find an experienced teacher. You need to get your back problems figured out, then get your core strong to support your back. Start with a good mellow yoga class, then work up to some power stuff.

    Hang in there.

  8. Low Carb diet is generally associated with longevity as this causes less fat build up and less free radical build up inside the body. It is great for weight loss and the general health.

  9. Hello, good and illuminating article. I wish to add a few mentions. If you have high cholesterol, then you may inquire, will a low fat diet lower cholesterol? This is a important inquiry, because it is a well known fact that the most effective way to lower cholesterol is over diet. Certainly one factor of a diet for lowering cholesterol will let in being low in fat. Only this is unique part of the story. It is primary to clear that it is the concentrated fattens that you want to eradicate it from the foods you take.

  10. Low Carb diet is really the best diet if you want to reduce weight and also to maintain a healthy body.:.*

  11. Aidan Webb says:

    Shania Twain is way better than taylor swift when it comes to country music.’;.

  12. digital kitchen scales are the stuff that i always use on my kitchen when i weight things ‘;”

  13. Shania Twain for me is the best country music singer of all times, I also like Taylor Swift but nothing will beat Shania Twain ,:-

Check out what others are saying...
  1. [...] the Water Safari, Melissa chimed in with what one of her first comments on FFC. I was blathering on in this post about doing a low carb diet, which she immediately refuted, citing it as an unsound strategy for my [...]

  2. [...] the Water Safari, Melissa chimed in with what one of her first comments on FFC. I was blathering on in this post about doing a low carb diet, which she immediately refuted, citing it as an unsound strategy for my [...]

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