Priscilla Pilon is a travel blogger who jetsets travels the world, but is an admitted Paris addict, hence her blog, Weekend in Paris. She is also the travel editor for the online lifestyle magazine, The Daily Basics. She recently traveled to one of Newport’s sister cities, Kinsale, Ireland, and quickly learned why these two historic port cities are forever linked.
The sailing capital of the world, Newport, shares the love of splicing the main brace and racing the rhumline from one port to another with Kinsale, Ireland. What most people don’t know is that Kinsale and Newport have many other commonalities. Newport and Kinsale, Ireland are sister cities, or twin cities as the Irish call them. The twinning experience means that members from both cities visit each other and help promote their destinations via cultural and educational exchanges. The similarities are uncanny – food and wine, sailing and leisure, landscape, fashion and décor. How successful has the “twinning” connection been and how we were received in Kinsale? Fabulously I say!
Having been immersed in the Irish memorabilia at Newport’s La Forge Casino for over 30 years, and having heard about Kinsale from the Irish summer employees that work there, I decided Kinsale was a must see city. Not leaving hotel accommodations up to chance, I used the hotel finder app, Trivago to locate a hotel in Kinsale with local charm that was close to the water. Cynthia Bogart, editor of The Daily Basics magazine, is based out of Portsmouth, and accompanied me on this twinning trip to Ireland that Trivago sponsored.
Food and Wine
It is no wonder that Kinsale is considered the gourmet capital of Ireland; the food was every bit as fabulous as its twin city. The first stop along our culinary escapades was the The Lord Kingsale Bar and Guesthouse, where we found exactly we were looking for: an authentic Irish Pub experience. Low ceilings, beams, fireplaces, and a huge bar with a dozen draft pulls of beer–it was all there. What we didn’t expect was the fantastic level of “pub” cooking. We ordered two appetizers: a baked brie and a smoked salmon salad that were out of this world. Their wine selection was quite nice so we ordered a glass each of a fruity Sauvignon Blanc. After our food had been polished off, Mrs. Mortimer, the owner, sat down with us for a brief chat because her daughter had told her that we were from Newport! She bent over backwards to sing the praises of what the connection has done for tourism in Kinsale. She insisted our next stop had to be The White House because there we would find a grand surprise. She was grinning from ear to ear. We paid the bill and off we went on the treasure hunt.
The White House Bar and Bistro is a member of the Kinsale Good Food Circle guaranteeing a great meal with fresh ingredients, but what we didn’t expect was that we would walk in and feel totally at “home.” The ambiance embodies Newport and the ample sailing memorabilia made us feel as if we were in the Clarke Cooke House. The bartender asked us where we were from and when we chimed in, “Newport!” he insisted we sign the guest book and head towards the outdoor patio to check out the “shrine” to Newport, and in particular, to Paul Crowley. Mr. Crowley, our deceased RI State Representative from Newport and co-owner of La Forge, was a driving force behind the Newport/Kinsale twinning. Beside photos of Mr. Crowley was a Newport Yacht Club burgee, a RI license plate and artwork depicting the life of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis on the walls.
After our trip down memory lane, we settled down at the bar and ordered some garlic and green onion steamed mussels with heavy brown bread and two glasses of white wine. The delicious pile of mussels we were served could feed an army, but guess what? There was nothing but a mountain of empty shells left behind.
Day two we visited the Bullman Pub in the Summercove section of Kinsale. In nicer weather, tables and chairs are set waterside where patrons enjoy a pint or a gourmet meal. Imagining the crowds, the scene must be reminiscent of summertime at Newport’s Black Pearl. It was lovely to view the Kinsale from the other side of the harbor, similar to Newport from Goat Island. Man Fridays’s was our next stop for a quick pick me up—crab au gratin. We loved the dining room with windows overlooking the harbor, reminding us of the breakfast room at Castle Hill Inn.
This first guest blog post has been gratefully developed for us by Lucy Hyland, Food for Living and focuses on nutrition for Sports. Check out the link to her fantastic website at the end of the post! – Want to guest blog for us, then send us a submission to email@example.com
Top Tips for Sports Nutrition
The whole area of sports nutrition has become a highly evolved and scientific area of expertise. Professional athletes have access to sports nutritionist and their nutrition is seen as important as their physical and mental activities. Yet, whether you are a weekend cyclist or training on an on-going basis with a club, there are always a few general tips to remember when it comes to eating well for your performance. Below is my Top 5 (Please remember that this is general advise – the needs of a weight lifter are very different to a 100 metre sprinter so I’m making general points here):
1) Understand the basics of nutrition
Getting your head around the basics of nutrition sound like a lot of information, but generally it involves understanding the big players of nutrition. These are
Protein: Essential for muscle building and repair but also mental attitude and cognitive behaviour. Meats, dairy, fish, beans and lentils and nuts and seeds are the players here. Sports people need 1.4g of protein per kilo of body weight – work your own level out.
Carbohydrates: Essential for energy and easily forgotten. Carbohydrates generally come from grains such as breads, pastas, rice and oats etc. The less processed the grain, i.e. wholegrain, the longer it takes for the energy to be released into the system. The more processed, white breads, muffins and sugary foods, give you a quick burst. Know which one you need at what stage.
Fats: Essential for energy and keeps your immune system in tact for your on-going training. The plant and fish based fats, such a salmon, avocado and nuts ands seeds are also great for keeping the body in top shape physically and mentally.
The Micro-Nutrients: Antioxidants, Vitamin and Minerals. These guys are so often underrated yet are so important for performance and a good immune system. As athletes concentrate of getting their protein and carbs in daily, they forget that to use these major nutrients most effectively in the body, you also need the all these ‘little’ guys.
2) Get the basics right before supplementation
I get so many sports people asking about supplementation: which protein powder to take and which specialised product to consume. And when I ask them to do a food diary, I realise that they are eating highly processed foods in a non-balanced way. One of the best thing you can do for performance is to clean up your diet by reducing the amounts of take out and processed foods and eating a range of fresh whole foods everyday.
Balance is the most important element of any diet, so making sure you are having a range of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and micro nutrients with EVERY meal and snack!
3) Pre exercise eating
If you are exercising after work or first thing in the morning, training with nothing in your system is not always a good idea. The general rule is that you want an empty stomach and a full intestine for training, meaning that the last meal/snack you had is about 2-3 hours beforehand.
For those who train after work, having a snack 2-3 hours before training is a great idea, preferably with a whole grain carbohydrate and some protein. For those training first thing in the morning, assess how much you can eat without feeling nauseous. Even if it’s a banana, it’s a start.
4) Recovery from exercise
Post exercise eating can be difficult, depending on where events or training are located from your home. However, if you can bring along some post events snacks to do you till you get home then great. The most important thing the body needs after exercise is hydration (see below). After this, a blend of quick release sugars and protein is a great mix. For example, a homemade smoothie with banana, berries and yogurt will provide you with a nice mix of sugars and proteins.
5) Maintaining fluid levels
Good hydration is the cornerstone for good performance! On average, the recommended amount of fluids to intake daily is about 1.5 litres or 8 glasses of water. However, sports people can need 50 mls of fluid by their body weight in kilos to stay hydrated. For example, a 60 kg player needs 3 litres of water. Adding a little cordial to your water can be a great way of replenishing fluids and sugars after a session.
For a range of other health tips and great tasting recipes, check out Lucy Hyland, nutritionist and chef, at www.foodforliving.ie