Monday, December 29, 2008

Final Week

This is the Final Week of the Challenge!! We end Jan. 1st, but I hope you don't drop your new healthy habits! Squeeze all of the points in there that you can and give yourself a pat on the back for making it through this long, Holiday Challenge. I really am so happy with all of you who have made the effort and stuck in there until the end. Yes, there were people who originally signed up, paid money, and haven't done a thing since. I hope those people will try again, but I am proud of those who stayed with me even if you don't end up on top of the point list.

Great Job!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Here are totals for weeks 1-4. Get your numbers in...we are now in week 7!

Kim: 369

Ryan: 327

Michelle: 319

LeeAnn: 274

Melissa: 179

Hannah: 174

Ellen: 131

Pam: 120

Jeni: 79

We're in our final weeks! Pour it on and go strong to the end. I think these might be the hardest weeks coming don't let down your guard.

Points for articles:

Melissa and Hannah- Please supply us all an article on FAT...why it's important/how much is good/how much is too much/what the difference is between Saturated, Trans, Unsaturated, etc.

Kim-Please supply us an article on PROTEIN... what are good sources/same stuff as above

Ellen-Please supply us an article on CARBOHYDRATES...same as above


*write in a comment on how this experience has been for you: 2 points total

*write in a comment on how this challenge could be improved: 3 points total

*do 65 walking lunges in a row without stopping: 2 points total

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Extra Motivation

Needing some extra motivation to lose those pounds? Not only can you help yourself feel and look better, but you can feed those who don't have enough. For every pound you lose NBC (I think) will donate a pound of food to Feeding America. What a great program! You can start now and write in between April and March how many pounds you lost. Go HERE for more info.

Friday, December 19, 2008


What are some of the benefits of a good night’s sleep?
Sleep makes You Smarter
Can you remember those college nights when you would stay up cramming for a final exam? Did you know that losing sleep probably hurt you more than if you wouldn't have studied as much. Research shows that individuals who get a full 7-8 hour of sleep after learning a skill retain more information as opposed to those that stay up all night mastering that same skill. When you sleep, your brain gets a chance to digest and process information from the previous day. Missing this processing time can prove to be costly.

Sleep Improves Concentration
Those that don't get enough sleep tend to be more irritable and make more mistakes. Reaction time is also significantly decreased by a lack of sleep. As a matter of fact, a lack of sleep is sometimes compared to alcohol consumption while driving.

Sleep Boosts the Immune System
If you get the right amount of sleep per night (7-8 hours), your body will be able to fight off infections and diseases much easier. Have you ever noticed the times when you are lacking sleep. This is usually when you catch a cold or the flu. It is no coincidence.

Sleep Improves Appearance
Have you ever heard the term "beauty sleep"? As a matter of fact, skin, muscle, blood, and brain regeneration happens during the sleep cycles. If you deprive your body of this necessary regeneration, your skin will begin to age and under your eyes will appear dark circles.
Link to article here.

How much sleep do I need?
Research shows that a healthy amount of sleep varies from person to person. According to, “There's no normal number of hours that quantifies a good sleep, just like there's no normal shoe size. Most adults need seven to nine hours a night; others manage just fine with six. It's even possible to get too much sleep, since spending excess time in bed can be a sign of another health problem, such as depression or chronic fatigue syndrome.

A 2007 British study found that people who slept the same amount of time (seven hours) each night lived longer, on average, than people who adjusted their schedules to either add or subtract hours from their nightly slumber. Finding your own ideal sleep/wake cycle—and staying consistent—is key to healthy sleep, agrees Carol Ash, DO, medical director of the Sleep for Life center in Hillsborough, N.J.”

What happens if I don’t get enough sleep?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, “One thing sleep research certainly has shown is that sleeping too little can not only inhibit your productivity and ability to remember and consolidate information, but lack of sleep can also lead to serious health consequences and jeopardize your safety and the safety of individuals around you.
For example, short sleep duration is linked with:
* Increased risk of motor vehicle accidents
* Increase in body mass index – a greater likelihood of obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation
* Increased risk of diabetes and heart problems
* Increased risk for psychiatric conditions including depression and substance abuse
* Decreased ability to pay attention, react to signals or remember new information”
How does sleep affect weight loss?
The following information was found at
According to recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Lancet, sleep loss tends to increase hunger and affects the body’s metabolism making it difficult to maintain weight loss or lose weight.
A hormone called cortisol which controls appetite has been shown to be affected by sleep loss. This causes you to still feel hungry despite the fact that you have consumed an adequate amount of food. Other ways that sleep loss affects your ability to lose and maintain weight loss include:
• Interference with carbohydrate metabolism which may cause high blood glucose levels.
• Excess amounts of glucose encourages the overproduction of insulin which leads to the storage of excess body fat, as well as lead to insulin resistance (a significant sign of adult-onset diabetes.)
According to Michael Thorpy, MD, director of the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, "Sleep loss is associated with striking alterations in hormone levels that regulate the appetite and may be a contributing factor to obesity. Any American making a resolution to lose weight in the New Year should probably consider a parallel commitment for getting more sleep."

What Can I do to Make Sure I’m getting enough sleep?
Once again from the National Sleep Foundation:
“To begin a new path towards healthier sleep and a healthier lifestyle, begin by assessing your own individual needs and habits. See how you respond to different amounts of sleep. Pay careful attention to your mood, energy and health after a poor night's sleep versus a good one. Ask yourself, "How often do I get a good night's sleep?" If the answer is "not often", then you may need to consider changing your sleep habits or consulting a physician or sleep specialist. When Ellen's family members began this process, they realized that often they weren't getting what they would call a "good night's sleep." This led each of them to reevaluate how much sleep they needed and whether their sleep habits were healthy ones.
To pave the way for better sleep, experts recommend that you and your family members follow these sleep tips:
* Establish consistent sleep and wake schedules, even on weekends
* Create a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or listening to soothing music – begin an hour or more before the time you expect to fall asleep
* Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool
* Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows
* Use your bedroom only for sleep and sex (keep "sleep stealers" out of the bedroom – avoid watching TV, using a computer or reading in bed)
* Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before your regular bedtime
* Exercise regularly during the day or at least a few hours before bedtime
* Avoid caffeine and alcohol products close to bedtime and give up smoking
If you or a family member are experiencing symptoms such as sleepiness during the day or when you expect to be awake and alert, snoring, leg cramps or tingling, gasping or difficulty breathing during sleep, prolonged insomnia or another symptom that is preventing you from sleeping well, you should consult your primary care physician or sleep specialist to determine the underlying cause. You may also try keeping a sleep diary to track your sleep habits over a one- or two-week period and bring the results to your physician.
Most importantly, make sleep a priority. You must schedule sleep like any other daily activity, so put it on your "to-do list" and cross it off every night. But don’t make it the thing you do only after everything else is done – stop doing other things so you get the sleep you need.”

Thanks Michelle and Ryan. Get your points....the rest of you read and comment to get yours!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Week 5 OVER

Okay, bonus points for week 5 are now over.


for those of you trying to lose weight: lose 2 healthy pounds (that means no starving yourself) 3 POINTS

for those of you who don't need to lose weight, but are trying to be healthier: be able to do 50 good pushups IN A ROW by the end of the week 3 POINTS

You may only pick one option for the week and earn a max of 3 points total for the week.

I'd also like to ask Michelle and Ryan to supply us with an article/info/pointers on SLEEP and why it's important, how much is good, how much is too much, other effects. Email me the info at and I'll post it. Everyone else, make sure to read it for your points.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Here are the current standings with totals from 3 weeks. Lots of you have all 4 weeks in, but I'm still waiting for a few.

Kim 270

Michelle 234

Ryan 233

LeeAnn 199

Hannah 126

Melissa 125

Ellen 107

Pam 92

Jeni 55

No matter at where you're on the list, be happy that you're ON IT! Good job for making an effort and I only hope that you will double your efforts for the next couple of weeks until the challenge is over. Remember Jan. 1 is going to come whether you've been healthy or not...might as well feel good about it.

Don't forget to read LeeAnn's article on FIBER this week for extra points and check out the extra bonus points only for WEEK 5...which we're now in.

**one clarification, the 1 point for adding PLYOMETRICS to your workout is included in you minutes, not in addition. So if you workout for 50 mins and make the last 10 minutes plyometircs, then you get points for a 60 min. workout PLUS the PLYO point. Just ask if there are other questions!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fiber provided by LeeAnn - 36k
Dietary fiber: An essential part of a healthy diet
Dietary fiber offers many health benefits. Here's how to include more in your diet.
Eat more fiber. You've probably heard it before. But do you know why fiber is so good for your health?

Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as lowering your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

If you need to add more fiber to your diet, don't worry. Increasing the amount you eat each day isn't difficult. Find out how much dietary fiber you need and ways to include more high-fiber foods into your daily meals and snacks.

What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Therefore, it passes virtually unchanged through your stomach and small intestine and into your colon.

Fiber is often classified into two categories: those that don't dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and those that do (soluble fiber).

Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. You can find generous quantities of soluble fiber in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
The amount of each type of fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.

Benefits of a high-fiber diet
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:

Prevents constipation. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
Lowers your risk of digestive conditions. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of specific disorders, such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and the development of small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).
Lowers blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels.
Controls blood sugar levels. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes, can help improve blood sugar levels. A high-fiber diet may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Aids in weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you're no longer hungry, so you're less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
Uncertain effect on colorectal cancer. Evidence that dietary fiber reduces colorectal cancer is mixed — some studies show benefit, some show nothing and even some show greater risk. If you're concerned about preventing colorectal cancer, adopt or stick with a colon cancer screening regimen. Regular testing for and removal of colon polyps can prevent colon cancer.

Cholesterol: The top 5 foods to lower your numbers
Diabetes diet: Guidelines for healthy eating with diabetes
Colon cancer
Energy density and weight loss: Feel full on fewer calories

How much fiber do you need?
How much fiber do you need each day? The National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:

Age 50 and younger Age 51 and older
Men 38 grams 30 grams
Women 25 grams 21 grams

Your best fiber choices
If you aren't getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:

Grains and whole-grain products
Beans, peas and other legumes
Nuts and seeds
Refined or processed foods — such as fruit juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.

So what foods are your best bets? This list shows the amount of dietary fiber in several types of foods.

Food item Fiber content in grams*
Split peas, cooked, 1 cup 16.3
Red kidney beans, boiled, 1 cup 13.1
Raspberries, raw, 1 cup 8.0
Whole-wheat spaghetti, 1 cup 6.3
Oat bran muffin, medium 5.2
Pear, medium with skin 5.1
Broccoli, boiled, 1 cup 5.1
Apple, medium with skin 4.4
Oatmeal, quick, regular or instant, cooked, 1 cup 4.0
Green beans, cooked, 1 cup 4.0
Brown rice, cooked, 1 cup 3.5
Popcorn, air-popped, 2 cups 2.3
Whole-wheat bread, one slice 1.9 *Fiber content can vary between brands.
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 2007
Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better. Fiber supplements — such as Metamucil, Citrucel and FiberCon — don't provide the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that high-fiber foods do. However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren't sufficient, or if they have certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. Check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements.

High-fiber foods
Fiber supplements: Are they safe to take every day?
Whole grains: Hearty options for a healthy diet
White whole-wheat bread: Is it good for me?

Tips for fitting in fiber
Need ideas for high-fiber meals and snacks? Try these suggestions:

Start your day with a high-fiber breakfast cereal — 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. Opt for cereals with "bran" or "fiber" in the name. Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
Add crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to baked products such as meatloaf, breads, muffins, casseroles, cakes and cookies. You can also use bran products as a crunchy topping for casseroles, salads or cooked vegetables.
Switch to whole-grain breads. These breads list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label. Look for a brand with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving.
Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking bread. Whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. When using baking powder, increase it by 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour.
Eat more whole grains and whole-grain products. Experiment with brown rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur.
Take advantage of ready-to-use vegetables. Mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce. Snack on baby carrots.
Eat more beans, peas and lentils. Add kidney beans to canned soup or a green salad. Or make nachos with refried black beans, baked tortilla chips and salsa.
Eat fruit at every meal. Apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries are good sources of fiber.
Make snacks count. Fresh and dried fruit, raw vegetables, and low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers are all good choices.
High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can cause intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change. Also, drink plenty of water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky. Without the added water, you could become constipated.

See what's new at
LeeAnn Robinson
Executive Director I

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I can't wait to post numbers anymore! Everyone (almost) is slacking on getting their numbers in so here is what I have so far.

Week 3

Ryan: 92

Michelle: 87

Kim: 82

Hannah: 51

I think that Jeni and Sarah have copped out of the compi, so I'm going to give the Fiber assignment to LeeAnn and Lisa. Provide an article/info/something worth reading about Fiber via email and get your points!

We are half way through week 4...just to let you know.
These points are only available for the 7 days of week 5...that's Monday the 8th to Sunday the 14th.

*8 hours of sleep at night 1 POINT/DAY

*Encouraging someone you know to exercise and eat healthy (this is not meant to be a quick "Hey, you should exercise" but an actual conversation with someone about the importance and benefits you've derived from living a healthy lifestyle).

*Add 10 mins. of PLYOMETRICS to your workout. Don't know what they are? Educate yourself HERE!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Q and A


Is it bad for your body to run outside in cold weather when you're not bundled up? I ran this morning w/ shorts and a t-shirt and it was cold. My knees were hurting afterward.


The experts say to wear enough running clothes to make you feel just a bit of cold when you step out the door. You don't want to walk out the door and already feel warm because you'll heat up so much on your run and be uncomfortably hot. I wouldn't say it's necessarily bad for the body to run outside in cold weather in so far as I doubt there are long term side effects. In the short term yes, you're likely to get a bit stiff and sore.
I myself loath running in pants and do anything I can to stay out of them, but when winter calls, I do dig out my supply of tights. I have a great pair of capri tights that I prefer to their full length counterparts. I also dress in layers up top so I can strip off a long sleeve shirt if I need to.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Q and A


You need to tell me why people gain weight while training for a marathon...I am ok with it, if I know it peels off as soon as you are finished training.


That's a good question, especially when you see elite marathoners who look more like twigs than women (these women are on strict diets and limit their caloric intake to bare minimum). I usually gain weight when running longer distances because I need more calories to go the distance. If my caloric intake is the same as my 5k training weight I get really worn out on the long runs and usually get deep, painful side aches that last for days. You'd also assume that because you're running more, you'd burn off the extra calories you're consuming...not so my friend. I have yet to discover the theory behind this idea, perhaps I'll call it the Caloric Freeze Theory for now, but even though you are technically burning off more calories, it doesn't seem to compensate for the additional dietary intake.

The weight has always come back off for me once I resume my normal caloric intake and 5-10k training schedule. This seems to be the case with many others I have conversed with as well.

Serious Consideration

Yes. I'm seriously considing calling you all...while at work, or in the shower, or at the most inconvinient time and asking for you numbers...unless that is, you get them in to me tonight!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Challenge Standings

Sorry it has taken all week to get these points out, but with the number recall and waiting on people to get their numbers in it is the best I can do. I am still missing numbers from a FEW people, you can't win unless you report!

Kim: 86
Ryan: 67
Michelle: 66
Pam: 42
Ellen: 33
Jeni: 24

Great job with you points this week...and reporting! Like I said, I have yet to hear from several people. Hopefully you didn't just give me money for nothing!

Extra Credit assignment this week goes to Jeni and Sarah. I want an article, tips, info, whatever on FIBER! Email it to me at and then I will get it posted on here. You both will get 2 points for suppling the article and everyone else will get 1 point if they read it and comment.

Keep going!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Number Recall

I just got some great/crazy numbers in from you all which made me realize I need to do a NUMBER RECALL! I'm sorry for the inconvenience, but there were a few things I didn't think about enough before making the point system.

I made changes to Daily Points (especially the water), and Challenge Points.

So, here we go.

One chance points

*Participate in this challenge with a friend. Email/Comment who you will be partnering up with. -4 POINTS

Daily points

*1 serving of vegetables. -1 POINT/5 POINT LIMIT
*1 serving of fruit. -1 POINT/4 POINT LIMIT
*48 oz water. -1 POINT/1 POINT LIMIT
*30 mins. of exercise. -1 POINT
*45 mins. of exercise. -2 POINTS
*60 mins of exercise. -3 POINTS/3 POINT LIMIT
*Follow your healthy eating plan. -2 POINTS

If you have questions as to what a serving size is go HERE

Challenge points-you can complete one challenge per week, you may not repeat a challenge point. New/different Challenge Points will be added throughout the Healthiday Challenge.

*Try a new exercise class or video. -1 POINT
*Watch the Supersize movie. -1 POINT
*Try a new sport *(play tennis, go rock climbing, jump rope, rowing, golfing, basketball...something that you haven't tried before). -3 POINTS
*Play outside with your kids (cross the monkey bars, build a snowman, play tag, ride bikes). -1 POINT
*Plan, organize, and execute a fun run/walk, sporting event, yoga session, healthy eating plan for 5 or more people*. -3 POINTS

Bonus points

*6 days of exercise. -1 POINT
*5 days of sticking to healthing eating plan. -2 POINT
*Checking in with your partner 3 times during the week. -2 POINTS

Education points

Each week I will assign a partnership or individual to research and post an interesting, health related article. You will submit this article to me via email/comments.
*Accept assignment and Post Related Article. -2 POINTS
*Read posted article and comment. -1 POINT

My Email:

*please okay these points with me before commencing.

You WILL REPORT your points to me at the end of each week (AKA SUNDAY EVENING).

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Numbers Please

Everyone get you numbers in tonight for your first week of the challenge!

On another note, I'd like to give a tip here.
When on a healthy eating plan or diet plan, one might be tempted to go the FAT FREE or LOW FAT route. You've probably all heard health/nutrition experts encouraging a diet LOW IN FAT. A low fat diet is essential to weight management and good health, however I think the term is often confused. Instead of consuming smaller portions of cake/french fries/ chips/cookies/pizza, people find a FAT FREE or LOW FAT version of their favorite food and loose all restraint. I RARELY/NEVER buy anything FAT FREE or LOW FAT 1. because it usually doesn't taste as good and 2. because it is important to have some fat in your diet and 3. because I don't go overboard on my portions so I don't have to worry about the side effects.

My point is this. A diet low in fat doesn't mean a diet high in FAT FREE/LOW FAT foods. It means, eat less of things that are high in fat. My other point is this: STOP BUYING FAT FREE and LOW FAT products and just control your portion size. Enjoy the full taste and flavor that your favorite foods have to offer and that naturally fatty foods come with, just don't fill up an empty belly on these fatty foods.

And so, I give you my current addiction:

Wish-Bone Rasberry Hazelnut vinaigreete dressing with Extra Virgin Olive Oil (NOT the low fat kind)
Feta cheese


My friend made a similar salad with spinach, cranberries and pecans. YUMMILICIOUS!

I crave this salad everyday. Around lunch I think, "hum, what do I want to eat..I'm starving!" and then I get a big smile on my face and pull out all of these tasty salad ingredients!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let's get it Started in Here

Aright Ladies and Gents (yes! there are a few Gents!),

The Challenge is ON! I've been getting lots of trash talking emails, like "Let's go....I'm after your money," that I'm totally loving! There are lots of people signed up, but I have yet to see some MOOLA! So, get your money in.

Make sure YOU are keeping track of your points. Report to me via email or comment at the end of the week.

I am really excited to see how you all do. Jan. 1st is going to come whether you reached your goals or might as well get serious and feel great for the new year!

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


This guy ROCKS!

Happy Healthiday Challenge

Here is the point system that we will use for the Healthiday Challenge. Please copy and paste it into a Word document, print it off and wallpaper it all over your kitchen. I want everyone to get serious about this and jump in with two feet. No balancing on the fence. Don't start this challenge wondering if you'll finish it or if you'll really do it...that sinks. Just do it!

Before getting started, I need everyone to email me/comment (this will remain confidential) their WEIGHT, HEIGHT, WAIST/THIGH/BICEPS MEASUREMENTS.

Everyone also needs to pick a healthy eating plan. If you like Weight Watchers, South Beach, what plan you will be following. You can make your own, and I RECOMMEND this, using the mypyramid website, check it out. To make a plan on this site, start with My Pyramid Plan. I love the menu planner!

On to the POINTS:

One chance points

*Participate in this challenge with a friend. Email/Comment who you will be partnering up with. -4 POINTS

Daily points

*1 serving of vegetables. -1 POINT
*1 serving of fruit. -1 POINT
*1 cup of water. -1 POINT
*30 mins. of exercise. -1 POINT
*45 mins. of exercise. -2 POINTS
*60 mins of exercise. -3 POINTS
*Follow your healthy eating plan. -2 POINTS

Challenge points

*Try a new exercise class or video. -1 POINT
*Watch the Supersize movie. -1 POINT
*Try a new sport *(play tennis, go rock climbing, jump rope, rowing, golfing, basketball...something that you haven't tried before). -3 POINTS
*Play outside with your kids (cross the monkey bars, build a snowman, play tag, ride bikes). -1 POINT
*Plan, organize, and execute a fun run/walk, sporting event, yoga session, healthy eating plan for 5 or more people*. -3 POINTS

Bonus points

*6 days of exercise. -1 POINT
*5 days of sticking to healthing eating plan. -2 POINT
*Checking in with your partner 3 times during the week. -2 POINTS

Education points

Each week I will assign a partnership or individual to research and post an interesting, health related article. You will submit this article to me via email/comments.
*Accept assignment and Post Related Article. -2 POINTS
*Read posted article and comment. -1 POINT

My Email:

*please okay these points with me before commencing.

Santa will be coming soon. You can either look like him, or have a nice wad of cash in your back pocket. You choose.

I hope that everyone will jump on the sleigh, find a partner, and get started. Please send your $10 into me ASAP! You're not officially in until I have a money commitment. We will begin the 10th of Monday! Write in with questions or other discrepancies and we'll get the kinks out before starting date.

You WILL REPORT your points to me at the end of each week (AKA SUNDAY EVENING).

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Are you in or what?

Okay, here's everyone I have for the Holiday Health Challenge:

Kristen, Pam, LeeAnn, Kim, Ellen, and Julie. Hum, $60...I'll take that! Let's see if we can get a few more people in, get your $10 in to ME (to hold until there is a winner on January 1), and we'll start on the 10th of November.

I will get THE LIST posted by Tuesday (oooo-commitment!).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Holidays

As we all know, the holidays are already upon us. Hopefully, those holiday pounds are not yet upon us! In need of a new challenge, I propose having a Biggest Winner Challenge throughout the holiday season. It would happen something like this. A little spin off of The Biggest Loser with a lot of changes. Contestants would be able to earn points through weight loss, exercise, healthy eating, promoting health, and being happy. We would all toss $10 into the pot and at the end of the challenge, winner would take all. The challenge would run from Halloween night* until New Years Day. I know it's a long time, but what else is going to get us through these holidays? We'd also have plenty of time to weed out the weak and see who the Biggest Winner really is!

If you're interested please comment. If we have enough interest, WE'LL GO FOR IT!

*Starting line is being extended to gather more interest. Hopefully we'll start the 10th of November at the latest. Please tell you friends and family who might be interested in joining. I will post a list of Health Habits that will earn points in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Super Jumper

Here's Jenn with her winnings, an adjustable core balance board with DVD and Exercise chart. I think these little gadgets are great because you can do pushups, sit ups, and all kinds of balancing moves on them. Hope you like it Jenn and that all those jumps were worth it!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Jenn was the big jump rope jumping winner! This girl did great all week and really kicked it in down the final stretch with 4,000 jumps on Friday!

Here are the final numbers for everyone:

Jenn: 9,668

Pam: 5,315

Deanna: 4,405

April: 2,848

Hannah: 1,544

Abby: 1,300

Great job to everyone! I'm really glad you all joined in and I hope that you'll all continue to include jumping rope as part of your weekly workout routine.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Last Day

Today is the last day of the jump off! Make sure to get your numbers in. Winner / Prize will all be announced on Monday.

Thanks to everyone who participated. I'm so happy with all of your efforts! I hope that you've enjoyed the challenge and that you'll keep on jumping...especially now that you're over the being sore part.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


History of Jump Ropes -- powered by

Barefoot vs Shoes

In college I presented a speech on running barefoot and the benefits you can gain from running sin zapatos. The human foot is designed to run without shoes on, but these days you'd need a pedi after every session just to keep from looking like a horse. Shoes do protect and cushion, but sometimes to our disadvantage. All of that cushion keeps the foot from developing full strength and flexibility. This is one of the reasons I chose to jump rope barefooted. I jump on carpet so it's soft, but I do use this little bit of time / exercise to strength my feet which can help prevent other injuries in the future. I also like to do yoga and walk around the house barefooted during the day. If you find it uncomfortable to jump rope without shoes, find other times to go shoeless or try doing half of your jumps without shoes.

Mid-week Peek

Here's the numbers as of Wednesday.

Jenn: 5,368

Pam: 2,947

Deanna: 2,200

Hannah: 1,544

Abby: 1,300

April: 1,220

Keep jumping! Just think, you've already jumped 1,000 more jumps than those who never started!

If you're happy and you know it, JUMP some more

Hey everyone! You're all doing great! Keep reporting those numbers each night! I'm so happy with how everyone is doing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get your jump on

I'm so impressed with everyone's numbers! Way to go! I'm also missing a few numbers so be sure to write in at the end of the day.

Leading the pack are Jenn and Pam! Yippy!

When you don't feel like jumping, just think, "Unknown prize from Kelly" over and over again!

Monday, October 13, 2008

On your mark, get set, JUMP!

Waiting for numbers!

Busted Stuff

I recently received a comment on THIS post calling me out for plagiarizing the Food Marking Institute website. In reply, I say I do not claim original research for the answers I provide nor an original answer either for that matter. I was asked a question and answered it based on good information that I looked for on-line. I do try to site my sources used and I did not do a good job in this case. The answer was found on THIS site. My goal on this blog is not to pretend I have all the answers or that I know everything, I merely try to find good answers to people's questions and make the language understandable to all. In this instance I do apologize for not siting my source directly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Last Call

Alrighty then, here are the names of those who are in for the jump off.

Pam, Deanna, Abby, Ellen, Kristen (?), Julie, Hannah, Ryan, Jeni, Jenn, Jake

Go here for all the rules. This thing starts tomorrow, so make sure you write in by the end of the day with your numbers.

Yippy and Have Fun.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I've just finished reading PRE by Tom Jordan. Most runners know about Steve Prefontaine and his running legend, but I'm not going to be embraced to say I really didn't. For years I faked this knowledge in running circles, nodding my head while listening to "familiar" Pre stories. I wore a t-shirt with his face on it during my college CC years pretending that I was a big fan or something. Come on, if you run at all you have to know who PRE is. Right? As it turns out, he's a pretty interesting guy. He had an amazing running style, always leading the pack as the forerunner. He broke countless American records. He had a charismatic and unique personality that really drew 1,000's of spectators to the sport. He was at the top of it all, then he died. This book is a great one for motivation and inspiration. So, if you are any kind of runner at all, you should probably brush up on your Pre trivia.

New treds

I just bought these new dudes today and cannot wait to wear them! I tripped to Academy to try on some new running shoes because my 3 other pairs have DIED. It was time. I grabbed my usual Addida Adiprene runners that I have loved for years, but then I noticed several other pairs that were the same price. And so, despite my children running wild, ransacking the store, I decided to try my options.

I tried on the Asic Gel Strike, the Saucony ProGrid Guide, and my Addida Adiprene love. Oddly enough, I kicked my Adiprene out of the contest first. Asic and Saucony were both very comfy and I could have gone for either one UNTIL I decided to go up a price bracket (from $39.99 to $49.99) just to see how the "other half" live. OOOO--they live in comfort! My foot fell in LOVE with Nike's Tri-Duel II. I tried to say "No, they're more than I would ever pay," but with a gift card and birthday money in my pocket I couldn't resist pure running bliss.

Hopefully bliss helps at 5am tomorrow morning.

You're far

Jen, Jeni, Deanna, Ellen and Kristen?? are who I have down for the jumping challenge so far. Make sure to comment and get your name in if you want to contest.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Jump up, jump up and get down


If you would like to be included in the jump rope challenge that is quickly approaching you MUST sign up in comments. I will write out a post of people who have signed make sure you're name is on there to be in the running.

I've had several questions and concerns over the competition.

1. You can jump anyway you want. Two feet, one foot, side to side, chris-cross.
2. You HAVE to count your jumps. This seems to be the only fair way to find a winner. If you have a pedometer, wear it and it will do the counting for you.
3. WE WILL ALL REPORT OUR NUMBERS AT THE END OF EACH DAY. Wew! That's commitment, but seems to be a good way to keep people motivated and also be able to judge where you're at in relation to the other competitors.
4. The winner will get a prize. You don't know what it is, but that's half the fun. Plus, it's a prize. Who doesn't like that?

Other problems? Comment.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

October Fitness Challenge

During my 1.5 year stint in Spain, I jumped rope almost every day. My ARMS NEVER LOOKED BETTER. and that means a lot, since I could hardly fit into a "girl shirt" during high school because my arms easily buff up too much. All of that isometric work really helps my arms to look toned, but not TOO BIG.

October Fitness Challenge (if you choose to accept): Jump off! Beginning October 13th to October 17th (that's just Monday to Friday) we'll see who can jump the most. Count your jumps for the whole week and the winner will get a prize of my choice.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Challenges Complete

Tomorrow is the due date for September challenges. How did you all do?

I completed my 10k challenge yesterday at the Dallas Tour de Fleurs. It was a beautiful course along the lake and through the park arboretum. The first mile felt really great, but the rest of the race was rough. One thing that helps me get through a race is to take mental breaks along the way. Just a couple of seconds here and there to enjoy the scenery, enjoy the weather (which was great), enjoy the feeling of running (without thinking about how I need to speed up and catch the next person). One of the ways I do push myself is by focusing on the next person or group of runners. I think, "They're just a couple of strides in front going the same pace as me." Usually you can just speed up a few steps and then settle into the pace of the group until you need to move on again. As usual though, I did spend a lot of the race on my own, in between groups that I was trying to catch.

Happily, Abby and Sam ran in the race as well. It is always more fun to hang out with friends before and after the race...and during as well. We all did really well.

As for my own time and place, I didn't meet my goal of running the 10k in 40 mins or less. I really feel like I can reach that goal, but I would have to run a few more 10k's in order to better judge my pace and gain confidence in the distance. At times during the race I felt the energy to go faster, but held myself back not wanting to burn out unexpectedly in the last miles. If I am to run it under 40, this holding back would have to go! Finally, I did place first in my age group and ran a 42.55. I placed 72 out of 1,733 people.
For all race results go HERE.

What a great way to motivate yourself. It's motivating to think and work toward an upcoming race. It's also motivating to run a race and afterward think of how you can improve and DO IT AGAIN!

and what about EATING like a SAINT? I'm definitely not going to be translated immediately, but having a goal and people making an effort with me did help me to skip a few bowls of ice cream and keep my portion sizes real.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Being Hard Core is Hard

The 10k is just a few days away and I'm really excited. I really got some good running done in August, but September just didn't go the way I'd planned. A bum leg and a hurricane really slowed me down. This little set back in my training schedule helped me to remember the real reason that I run. It's not to set a PR every time or Win Win Win, although I really like to, I run because I like to and it makes me feel good.

Running helps me eat better food (it's that running peridime we've talked about before), and feel better in my jeans. It helps me destress. I love being outside, enjoying nature. I like being strong and having energy to take care of my kids. I love other runners. I love an excuse to look in other people's windows. I love looking like a wierd-o as I do some crazy workout.

With my first post partum race this Saturday, I'm glad I got to remember what it's all about!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Any runner, or active person for that matter, can develop patellofemoral stress syndrome (kneecap pain). Women, however, are especially vulnerable.

Why women?

They often have a wider "Q angle" between hip and kneecap than men. Their kneecaps move at an angle instead of up and down as the knee bends.

Average Q Angle

greater than 17 degrees in females
greater than 14 degrees in males

= larger angle increases risk of injury

Self Test
1. Sit on floor with legs extended and locate your kneecaps
2. Tighten quads of each leg
3. If kneecap rotates outward, you are more at risk for this type of injury



*strengthen this area by working on the inner thigh and quadriceps muscles

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Let's get started

Okay, September is here! I have Deanna, Jeni, Abby and myself committed to the saintly eating challenge (with and without weekends). As far as I've heard, Jeni, Anna, Sam + company, possibly Abby and myself will all be running in the 10k challenge. Yippy! I'm excited for September! Remember even if you don't live nearby you can find your own 10k challenge or just do it on your own.

Good luck everyone!

*I'm about to hop on the treadmill to log some miles after a WEEK of NO RUNNING...thank you texas bugs and an infected leg (in an effort not to gross everyone out I will not provide further details).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Q & A


so i have a question- Would you recommend eating an energy/protein bar before a run/race or just go straight to a food item that would give you more nutrients you need? What good energy bars have you found to work for you? My issue is I'm trying to figure out what food to eat before my runs to give me enough fuel. Also my other problem is I am not waking up early enough to eat something- i don't want to wake up an hour before i run to eat something. any help?

A: I would always recommend a natural food source in leu of a packaged anything, except in your case! What you need is the most energy for your bite. You don't want to eat a lot and feel too full and yucky to run, but you also need some energy for milage. Here are a couple of options that you can try out and see what you like best.
1. Energy Bar: I like power bars a lot and luna bars are also great. Look at the labels and try to find one that has the most carbs, some protein, and low fat and sugar...and that you can stomach! You can eat a couple of bites before you run and then take it with you to eat along the way. Some people schedule a grocery/gas station stop in the middle of the run to refuel. As I've run marathons, I've always had to eat along the way. You definitely feel the boost after just one bite/drink.

2. Sports drink: A sports drink is really great for morning runs. It provides energy and not a full, bulky feeling. In one of the marathons I've run, all they had was sports drink along the way. I made sure to start drinking from mile 3 (something that I used to laugh at other runners for doing...until I about died in a race from dehydration and lack of energy). I remember I could actually feel that sweet nectar coursing through my body, renewing my depleted energy stores.

3. Fruit: A bite out of a pear or orange is also great for a energetic boost in the morning. I've even carried a clementine along with me to eat along the way...perfect!

Q: another question- You like New Balance running shoes right? I'm trying to find some new ones that aren't $85-$100!

A: Sorry, but NB are NOT the shoe for me. For some reason they always feel like hard cement under my feet. However, if you like them, they can always be found for $30 at TJMAXX...that really makes me wish I liked them!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

September Challenges

What would life be without its challenges? This month I have two for you.

1. Come to my birthday party! I'm celebrating with a 10k in Dallas on the 20th of September. If you're interested go HERE.

If you live no where near Dallas, join me in a 10k of your own. Run 6.2 miles by yourself, with a friend, or in a different road race. However you do it, you have to do all 6.2 miles at one time.

This will be my first race post partum and I'm anxious to see how it goes. I've set a speedy goal for myself and I hope I can do it!

2. Eat like a saint month. I'm not exactly sure what an actual Saint eats, but I assume since they're very good, almost perfect people, they probably eat healthy stuff. You'll pretty much set the rules for yourself on this one, what eating like a saint means to you. I would say, try to rule out lots of packaged snacks, extra sugar, soda, candy. This pretty much rules out my ice cream night caps and any other dessert...until my birthday of course. If you can't handle the thought of going the whole month (until the 22nd) you can also do weeks only and let your hair down on the weekends (hey, 5 out of 7 ain't bad!).

So, sign up for a challenge in comments and commit! Hope you'll celebrate with me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Vegetarian Month

The vegetarian month ended today, but for most of us, days and weeks early! I actually ended my month on Saturday the 16th. I couldn't resist a Salmon fillet at Sambua in the city! As far as results, what did you all think? I've heard from most of you and we all had different experiences. If you haven't already, please write in and share what you learned/liked/hated/had happen. Then I'll post a record of it all.

As for myself, I did enjoy the experiment overall.

Week 1 I starved to death
Week 2 I was super tired
Week 3 and 4 I felt great

I noticed that "things" were moving more smoothly, as in clockwork (I don't want to talk too dirty here) and I also felt light. I never got that sick too full feeling, no matter how much I ate. I fell in love with quinoa and tried a lot of other great veggie food. After first eating meat again I felt okay the first day. The second day I had a serving of pulled pork. I felt pretty heavy the next morning and "things" were NOT moving smoothly. I think I'll have a veggie day tomorrow and give my poor tummy a break from the meat again.

So what did you think?

I'm going to continue on with Meatless Monday and will probably give myself an equal challenge next summer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fart What?

Fartlek. A fun way to develop aerobic fitness and mix up your speed training a bit. I think it's a stressless way to get some speed on.* Fartlek is the Swedish word for speed play. In this type of training you run continuously in a natural setting, such as a park, the road, a forest, changing the pace at will. If you feel like sprinting from one tree to the next, that's what you do. If, after the sprint, you're in the mood for a long, controlled effort covering one mile, go for it. A fartlek session of 15 minutes and surges of at least 5,000 meter race pace will lead to marked gains in aerobic fitness. (current read: Training for young distance runners by Larry Greene and Russ Pate)

This type of training is great for a variety of races from 5k to marathon by simply adjusting the session time and length of each surge.

* a week ago on the track, I was changing from my running shoes into my flats and some guy asked me why the change. I said, "I'm getting my speed on." ha! Putting cool shoes on and going to a big high school stadium track does motivate me to speed up! I love it!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Kettlebells

Here are a couple of my favorite Kettlebell moves. There are so many good ones. I have done these with dumbbells too and it works okay. Go HERE for more!

I hope you try these out (eventhough this guy is a little cooky)!

How to do a Squat Press with Kettlebells -- powered by

How to do a Windmill with Kettlebells -- powered by

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I've been keeping this under my belt for a while so I could do lots of studying and practicing. Kettlebells. The new HOT strength training method. And I LOVE IT! It's not huge right now, but I predict it's going to be. Pavel Tsatsouline brought the method over from Russia about a decade ago and it's just grown from there. Apparently he ran some tests on two study groups. One group preformed and trained specifically for several track and feild events. The other group trained soley on kettlebells. Test day came and the kettlebell study group scored higher in every competition. One reason that I really love it is because it uses kenetic strength movements or dynamic strength movements...which I've written before, could be my number one get in shape and work your best/smartest training. You can buy kettlebells online or in stores. Hopefully your gym has them cause they're kind of spendy. I've also used just dumbells for a few moves and it works okayish. Kettlebells are best though.

Here's a little preview clip.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

EAT your protein!

I'm having some concern as to whether or not you're all eating your protein...mostly because I'm not. Aack! I'm getting better every day, but it's been a hard switch from a chicken breast to loads of beans, quinoa, hummus, etc. Before all of those things were just a fun side dish, now they're the main dish.

So, more recipes from fellow vegetarian Keri:

Black Bean & Mozzarella Bowl

Mixing mozzarella with panroasted core, black beans, and avocado creates a rich Mexican-inspired feast.

1/4 c smoked tomato vinaigrette
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin (I LOVE CUMIN)
2 c fresh corn kernels (two ears)
2 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3/4 c coarsely chopped avocado
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large bowl, combine vinaigrette, beans, cumin, salt and pepper to taste; set aside

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and pan-roast, stirring occasionially, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir corn and remaining ingredients into black bean mix and toss together

3. Chill until ready to serve. Divide evenly into 4 salad bowls

4 servings, 324 calories ea., 9 g fat, 11 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Lime Biryani

This one has Quinoa!!

2 limes
1 c dry quinoa
1 1/4 c water
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp curry seasoning (such as Spice Islands)
3/4 tsp salt
10 oz shredded carrot (I use a cheese grater...about 1 med carrot)
1 c canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c thinly sliced scallions
1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c dried currents or golden raisins
3/8 tsp pepper

1. Zest or finely grate one lime to produce 1 1/2 tsp. zest, then jice both limes

2. In a saucepan, combine 3 Tbs. lime juice, quinoa, water, 1 Tbs. olive oil, curry seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 mins or until quinoa turns transparent and liquid is absorbed. Cool and place in a large bowl.

3. Add carrots, chickpeas, scallions, almonds, and currants. Toss

4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 Tbs. lime juice, zest, remaining 2 Tbs oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3/8 tsp pepper; wisk until well blended. Pour over quinoa mix and toss.

4 servings, 431 calories, 14 g fat, 10 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Vegetarian Fajitas

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup quartered, sliced onion
1 cup red, green or yellow bell pepper strips
1 (15-ounce) can black, pinto or kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 (1.25-ounce) package fajitas seasoning
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 (6-inch) fajita-size flour tortillas, warmed
Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in beans, corn, fajita seasoning mix and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
Spoon 1/2 cup fajita mixture onto each tortilla; fold in half.
I used pita pockets to fill mine, I toasted them first for just a minute. Really good! I am really enjoying this new meatless thing, I don't fill so heavy after eating.


When I ran out the door for a 6 miler this morning I had no idea I'd get some good duathlon practice. 3 miles into the run, HURICANE season in Houston DOWNPOUR!!! I was soaked (as in just jumped in the lake kind of soaked) in a matter of seconds. At one point lightening struck so close I could smell the smoke. Yikers. Most of all, it was a lot of fun and refreshing.

*By the way, I made qunioa burgers for dinner tonight...delish!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Q and A


Okay, so I've got a question. Two questions, actually.

1) Is there something other than running that I can do for a cardio work out that won't irritate my IT band? I had problems with it after Madison and I ran the other day and it started acting up again, the other knee this time. It gets really tight and feels like it's going to snap. I did the elliptical machine instead, but it isn't as cardio intensive. Any suggestions?

2) How do I get rid of my mommy tummy? I mean, what should I focus on more cardio or ab work out or what? I know I need to do both cardio and strength and some flexibility, but what is most important for this particular "problem"? I was asking Chris last night and we both agreed that I never really got rid of the whole thing after Madison. I lost all the weight and more, but the darn bump never went away...


1. If there's one thing I know about runners, it's that it's hard to replace running! We love it and few things make us feel as good and as happy. However, swimming and possible jumping rope will give you a GREAT cardio workout without irritating your IT band. I've been there before with the IT band and mine acts up every once in a while if I'm not being a good girl and doing to following:

*Weights! Squat, lunges, adductor moves.
*Yoga! one of the best poses for the IT band is the side plank. Start by lying on your side on the ground, legs extending straight. Lift up on one forearm and the outside edge of foot (stack feet). HOLD! Do this on the side that hurts and the other side too just in case! Also do this pose lifted onto your hand, opposite arm stretched in air. Seriously, do yoga! If I'm doing it faithfully NOTHING EVER HURTS!

2. Mommy tummy, oh yes. It sounds like you have a good grasp on the fact that you need to mix up your workout, so I won't go there (but it's important). I won't say that one thing is more important than the other, but how you are performing each of these things could be more of the answer. Going for a fun jog is always great, but a track workout that really kicks your trash a few times a week is going to tone you like never before. Lifting weights is important, but adding plyometrics, kenetic strength training or dynamic movements(lifting weights while performing multi-planar movements), and really kicking your trash a few times a week is a must. Stretching for a few minutes after a workout is smart, but comiting to a serious yoga session and really kicking your trash is going to take you to where you want to be. If you've caught my really have to kick your trash a few times a week! If I truely had to narrow it down to one thing that can really get your tummy toned like before, I would say kenetic strength training. There, I picked one. ALSO!!! just to cut yourself a break, TIME is an important factor. It takes 2-5 years for a body to recover from a pregnancy. So, getting your best abs back may also be a matter of time off from having babies. Until then, suck it in. Really, just sucking your tummy in throughout the day can build and tone muscle!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Meat thing

Tomorrow makes 1 week of no meat for those trying the vegetarian lifestyle for a month. I just wanted to see how you all are doing, any changes you've notices, difficulties/successes you're having.

A few things that I've heard from "you" are: face is clearing up of zits...or was that the chemical peel from 2 weeks before?, lost 1 pound with no changes besides no meat, feeling lighter, and trying some new foods.

As for myself, I'm feeling pretty good. Just being more aware about protein and making sure I don't accidentally pop some chicken into my mouth has woken me up to a lot of thing. I'm definitely eating more veggies, something that I normally struggle with. Now that I have a normal food missing from my diet, I've turned to broccoli, carrots, beets (yes, I now like beets!), peppers, and cucumbers to fill the hole (and I like it!). I have had a rough time getting the protein that I do need in. I've stocked up on quinoa now and I think that I'll be okay this next week. I feel like I've been eating better all together, just being more aware of what's going on, however, I've also had a problem getting enough calories. I know, sounds like a dumb problem, but before I go to eat something, I think, "I don't eat meat, I shouldn't eat candy, I don't want to eat yucky processed foods, or white pastas....there's nothing to eat!" So, I end up eating nothing and finally not enough. I just bough a bunch of Tupperware and I'm just going to cut up veggies, cook beans, quinoa, etc and have everything ready so I'm not constantly making food, and I think that will help me out on the "there's nothing to eat" problem I've been having. Also, having some freezer vegetarian options will also help.

Again, how are you all doing? Please make sure you're getting enough protein!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You've gotta try this!

Just ran in from a new fantastic repeat run. All of you who are reading this and still have not broken out of the rut, running the same miles at the same speed, please try this one out!

In fact, I ran 8 miles on Thursday at a decent pace, but was bored out of my mind on the treadmill and almost talked myself out of it several times. Today I also ran 8 miles, but using this workout and LOVED it. The miles sped by faster and were much more effective and intertaining!

Warm up 2 miles

5x1200 going race pace (early in training you can go a little slower, later in training you can go a little faster)

400 rest jog between each repeat
Cool down 1.5 miles

This workout is also a little less daunting than mile repeat (being that it's just 3 laps!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meatless Monday

I just got clued into this site and think that it's potentially great! I have to check it out a bit more, but it will be great for those of us doing the Meatless Month.

I'd just like you all to know that I survived a baseball game yesterday on hummus and pita chips (super yum) and a veggie hot dog (I'll pass next time).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meatless for a month

Okay, today is the start of our meatless month. Last night I had "Mighty Meat" pizza...yum. I could only eat a few pieces and thought, "I'll save it for tomorrow." Then I remembered, and ate another piece! ha!

Good luck everyone...write in with how it's going!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Quinoa. Let me introduce you to this protein packed little seed. It's sweet, nutty flavor is great for breakfast, salads, dinner and dessert. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (a raritey in plant protein sources). It's rich in fiber, VB6, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Zinc, and Iron. Perfect for our meat free challenge. I've seen it in lots of spots in the those clear "Red Mill" packages or boxed by the flax seed.

Here's several recipes you can try:

Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers (I'll be trying this one for sure!)
serves 4
prep time 35 mins

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can (15 ounces) great northern beans, draned and rinsed
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cumin
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 pita breads (6-inch)
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally

1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12-14 mins, set aside (stop here for basic quinoa recipe).

2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, bread crumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon slat, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.

3. Form mixture into four 3/4 inch think patties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 mins to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8-10 mins per side.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and yogurt sauce.

per serving: 493 cals, 20 g protien, 14 g fat, 75 g carb, 13 g fiber

Quinoa Pudding
serves 8
prep time 30 mins

Pair this lighter version of rice pudding with your favorite dried fruit

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 3 cups milk to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 12-14 mins.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, honey, eggs, cardamom, and remaining cup of milk. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture into quinoa; add raisins and apricots.

3. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is think enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3-5 mins. Pour pudding into a 2-quart dish and let cool slightly. Cover surface directly with plastic and refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours.
(I like mine hot though!)

per serving 226 cals, 9g protein, 2 g fat, 45 g carb, 2 g fiber

Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup crushed hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup dry black currants, soaked in warm water then drained
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Boil 4 cups water, add quinoa and cook on medium heat for 10 mins. Drain in strainer, then spread on cookie sheet and let cool. Do not rinse.

After quinoa has cooled, place in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

As an option: Add 1/4 cup finely crumbled blue veined cheese.

YUM!!! Can't wait to try these!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting Ready

With our vegetarian challenge just a few days away we have to get ready! Like I said earlier, we will be getting rid of meat but NOT the protien! Protien is important for people who exercise in just a few YOUR MUSCLES are made of the stuff! Sooo, we need to really make sure we're getting the right amount since we're getting rid our usual protien supplier. Without protien, fatigue, injury and amenorrhea are just a few of the problems we'd be facing. No thank you.

Most people need between .36 and .8 grams of protien/pound body weight each day. If you are active you'll obviously be on the higher end of that scale. I'm going to recommend we all get at least .5g/pound body weight each day.

Since we're not eating meat we'll also have to be aware of our Iron, Calcium, Zinc and vB12 intake which we also commonly get from meat sources. Whole grains, veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products will help with the iron, calcium and zinc. Breakfast cereal w/ milk, fortified soy milk, soy/veggie burgers will fill in with vB12.

I'm excited because I think we'll all become more aware of protien and it's importance and learn about alternative protien sources to meat.

I'll be posting more ideas, but for now stock up on:

*hummus *cottage cheese *peanut butter *legumes!! *soy products *veggie burgers(I love the black bean kind) *whole grains *veggies *fruits *nuts *seeds *cereal *protien bars (find one with little sugar...these may help get that protien in if you're having a hard time

Your homework:

*calculate your protien needs with at least .5g protien/pound body weight
*go shopping for some yummy meat alternatives
*email me if you're really in...I need current weight & height, current consumption of meat, age, activity level, current energy level (how you're feeling)...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Quieting a few concerns:

This is not a protein free study. We will be eating from mostly non-animal protein sources. We will still eat eggs, cheese, milk and other animal products, just not meat. We will make sure that we're getting enough protein from other sources, it will be fun to try a few new vegetarian products.

As runners/joggers/dancers/people/exercisers it is important to eat protien!

In the next few weeks leading up to the 14th I will be posting recommendations and menu ideas. I'm not going to leave you high and dry!

All other aspects of your diet should remain the same. This way we can see what change occurs based soley on eliminating meat from the diet.

Feel free to voice other concerns.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Join me for a study

I've alway been interested in the benifits of a vegetarian diet. However, I also feel that meat is important (and tasty) too. I've read several studies on the benifits of eating a vegetarian diet during the summer months including a cooler body temperature and metabolic cleansing and rest. It also seems that during these months it's difficult to avoid eating meat due to all of the parties, bbq's, and baseball games. In an effort to motivate myself to give this summer vegetarian diet a try, I thought I'd make it official and hopefully get some people to join me.

I want to really see if there is a change in the way you feel in response to a summer vegetarian diet. Here are some of the controls I'd like to present in this study for the participants.

*currently consume meat product (pork, chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) at least once every other day (at LEAST!)

*are willing to provide a record of current weight, current amount/type/frequency of meat consumption

*NOT eat meat for 1 month (once the study begins)

*are willing to provide a record of changes seen in weight, overall health, and any other noticible changes

*Study will commence the 14th of July until the following month, the 14th of August.

I know that this may seem a little challenging, but it will help to do it as a group and I would love to provide support along the way. I will post vegetarian recipes and other helps as we go.

Please sign up in the comments below and write any other questions you may have.

Monday, June 23, 2008

VO2 Max

VO2 max is a measure of how much oxygen the muscles are able to use to fuel their contractions during maximal exercise. A high VO2 Max means that the heart and vasculature can supply the muscles with a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood and the muscles can quickly process the oxygen to generate energy.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yoga for Balance

Here's another vinyasa you can look up on and see pics. Having balance is so touches on everything you do all day. It's also something that can be improved very quickly if you have none!

Balancing Series

5 poses…eagle pose, on right and left, then Standing Leg Raise, Front: Standing Leg Raise, side; and Airplane as a flow first on right side then left. Dancers Pose on own four times—right leg, left leg, repeat.

1. Eagle Pose
Right arm under left..elbows shoulder high. Bend knees to 45 right leg over left.
Two times on each side, end in Samasthiti
2. Standing Leg Raise, Front
Grasp big toe with fingers
3. Standing Leg Raise, Side
4. Airplane Pose (Dekasana)
Balance on 1 leg, hands on hips, right knee in to chest…in liquid motion, exhale and hinge forward and extend right leg behind. Open arms like wings
Lower leg and roll back to standing. Hands in Namaste on exhale and repeat the sequence of standing leg raise, front, side and airplane on the left side, end in Samasthiti

5. Dancer’s Pose
Grab inside of right foot with thumb pointing up. Inhale and stretch forward—hold 5 breaths and release and helicopter arms to change sides…repeat and end in Samasthiti.
6. Tree Pose

Monday, June 16, 2008

Race Specific Training

**Here's a nice little two week program that I just made for a 16 year old high school boy who's on the CC team. He wants to be faster and have more power...sure, why not? I added a lot of Plyo work...which I'm a fan of (you should try it!). Look it over for new most excellent ideas.

If you’re training for a 5k there’s no need to run much more than 6-8 miles in a long workout. MAYBE you can throw in an occasional 10 miler just for fun MAYBE every other week MAX. If you want to be powerful and fast, you have to train that way…which means running fast and power drills.

When training for a 5k, strength training should be used more as a means of injury prevention than as a method of building bigger muscles. You’re muscles will of course become stronger as a result of strength training, but heavy lifting is not the goal. Strength training in the form weights and isometric work should take place 6 out of 7 days a week.

All exercises will be preformed in a two count and without rest. Athlete will perform the entire list of exercises in order from top to bottom in reps of 10-12, and repeat it 3 times total.

Running and Strength Training Workouts for 2 weeks

6 day guide that should be completed in order of Medium, Hard, Easy, Hard, Medium, Easy, Rest.


Week 1

1. Run: Must be done on the road or track. Put one minute on your watch alarm. Find a starting point and count each time your right foot (or left) strikes the ground going an easy pace until your watch goes off. Mark where you end. Jog back to start. Add 3-5 foot strikes in the marked distance...this means you have to speed up your turn over but NOT increase your distance. I usually start at around 95 strikes. Continue to increase your turn over about 4 times, until you're going pretty much all out...I'm usually at around 105 strikes. Then repeat this 2-3 times. As I said, you're increasing turn over, NOT distance. By the time you're going all out, you're pretty much running high knees and not moving much distance wise...just trying to get that turn over in. THIS WORKOUT ROCKS and has taken minutes off my time!!!!!
Strength: weights- Bench press, One-arm/one-leg dumbbell row (stand on one leg, other leg raised behind, hips squared to ground, grasp stable surface in front of you with one hand, row with the other), Dumbbell front squat-to-press (squat with dumbbells at shoulders, press overhead when standing up), One legged lunge (put back foot on box or bench), Leg curl, Dumbbell pullover extension (lie supine on bench, dumbbells held with straight arms over chest, bend at elbows and bring dumbbells to eyes and then extend behind head/elbows at ears), Romanian deadlift, Pullups.

2. Run: Start with 2 mile warm-up. 10 minute tempo run 30 seconds slower per mile than 5k goal pace. 1 mile easy and another 10 minute tempo run. Cool down.
Strength: Plyos- Base side-to-side (start in triple threat, feet outside hips, keep feet apart and jump 4 inches to the right, then 4 inches to the left, do as rapidly as possible…as soon as you hit the ground, you should be springing back to the other side…not about height, it’s about quickness), One leg over the line (jump over the “line” and back on one foot as quickly as possible), Split jump (step into lunge position and sit back until your back knee nearly touches the ground, hold for 2 seconds, then explode up, using your hips and legs and throwing your arms up at the same time-extend front leg and land back in lunge position or try alternating feet in the air), Squat jump (squat down and jump up, extend to a straight line and land in triple threat), Get up (assume and hold a pushup position, with feet together, explode forward into a sprint for 10 yards), Side-to-side-jump-to-sprint (jump side to side over 6” high object 10 times then explode into a sprint for 10 yards), Plyo pushup (regular pushup stance, push up hard enough to lift hands off ground, clap while in the air if you can).

Week 2

1. Run: 2 miles normal pace. 4x1:00 faster running (not a sprint) with recovery time until you’re ready to do another. 2 miles normal pace to finish.
Strength: weights- same as week 1 workout 1

2. Run: Hills (if you can find any). Jog 2 miles to warms up. Sprint up 20-30 second hill x 8. Jog 2 miles cool down
Strength: Plyos-same as week 1 workout 2


Week 1

1. Run: 8 x 200 meters. Run each 200 at a fast clip and rest 2 minutes between each...I recommend slowly jogging to keep your muscles from becoming sore during this time. You’ll probably be around 32 seconds starting out. Just feel out your first one and find the pace that will allow you to work hard, but still be able to finish the workout. To progress the workout, every two weeks take a couple of seconds off your time and run one less 200 until you're running just 3 x 200 AFAP (as fast as possible).
Strength: weights- Pec fly, Lat pull down, Leg extension, adduct/abduct with bungee walk, plank (straight body resting on forearms and toes, raise one arm in front, opposite, raise one leg, then the opposite, raise diagonal arm and leg, then the opposite).

2. Run: Do between 3-5 miles one mile at a time running at your goal pace with an 800 jog in between. If your goal is to run a 5 minute mile, run one mile at 5 minutes and rest for the 800 jog, then run another at 5 minutes and rest...and so on for 3-5 miles.
Strength: Cable work- Cable one-arm rotational row (start in triple threat, reach across body with right hand to grab the handle, turning hips and shoulders to machine, rotate right shoulder back and pull handle to right hip…do all reps, then complete on opposite side), Ax-chop (Standing, pull cable from one side overhead to opposite side knee in squat), Cable lift (start in squat and lift cable to opposite side as you stand, arms extending in air), Cable pull (pull cable across body with arms straight in front-engage core muscles).

Week 2

1. Run: 800 meters (that's .50 on a treadmill)x 6 or 8. Use your goal race time as a guide. If you want to run a 5k in 30 minutes divide that number by 3 which gives you your minutes per mile, in this case 10 minutes. Divide that number in half, 5 minutes. Run each 800 at this 5 minutes pace. This isn't extremely hard, but will push you a bit and help with recognizing your pace. Rest for a 400 meter jog in between and repeat 6-8 times.
Strength: same as week 1 workout 1

2. Run: All work will be done as pace intervals or your 5k goal pace. Jog half the distance run between each as recovery.
Start with a warm up. 1x400 meters. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x1200m. Jog. 1x800m. Jog. 1x400m. Jog.
Strength: same as week 1 workout 2


Week 1

1. Run: Mileage
Strength: 30 minute minimum yoga

2. Run: Cross-train (bike, swim, jump rope, tennis, have fun!)
Strength: 30 minute minimum yoga

Week 2


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Yummy Carbs

I've made whole wheat bread about twice in my life. Once under the supervision of my mom. I can't remember how it turned out because I was too young. The second time I made it as a college student and could barely get the knife through the loaf it was sooo dense and unpalatable. That put to rest any future thoughts of making my own bread, until now that is. My pal has taken the time to show me how to make her bread and even gave me a whole loaf to try. I am usually not a big bread eater for no specific reason, just not too interested in it. I ate this whole loaf in a matter of days. So, check it out. WHOLE WHEAT HONEY BREAD.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Q & A


I used to run a lot in 2005, after a few months my right knee would get shooting pains up it, on the outside part. It would get so sore I could barely walk. I stopped running and have recently starting to try again however after only 6 1/2 minutes into a run the same pain came right back. Later that day I couldn't even walk down the stairs, going down hurts worse than going up the steps. Anyway I must need to strengthen something so I'm looking for some thoughts! Can you help at all?
Thanks! I hope to hear from you!


Carrie, because your knee hurts worse going down, hurts within just a few minutes of running, and continues to hurt through out the day, I think you may have Patellar Tendinitis. This occurs when tissue breakdown happens faster than regrowth, causing one of the knee-joint tendons to become swollen. This is often caused by increased mileage, hills (especially downhills), and pace. Usually to continue running without treating the problem makes it worse and can prolong recovery. So, I would STOP running, and instead cross-train, ice, take anti-inflammatories, stretch and do exercises to strengthen the joint and quadriceps (like standing adduct and abduct, leg extention, lunges, squats, balancing stuff with the half bosu ball, and YOGA). You can also try wearing a patella strap...sold at most sports stores. I hope this helps and that you can get to feeling better soon!

another note

After writing the vinyasas below I also wanted to add that I often run through the Sun Salutation a few times and then get to work on a specific move I'm trying to improve. I'll practice the headstand or dolphin or back bend for a while and then end in another Sun Salutation. Yoga isn't competitive and maybe I shouldn't just stop and work on a specific move, but I often get excited about mastering something new, not that yoga is about mastering things, and being able to hold a challenging pose. Yes, yoga is all about the present and flowing with the flow and rolling with the homies...but this girl is just a little too competitive for all of that sometimes. Don't tell.

Let's get down to Vinyasa

Here are two vinyasas to start you out. Go to to look up the poses and put them into a visual sequence (vinyasa).

First is the Sun Salutation. I do this three times a day, usually after my run, yes or yes! I'll explain in layman's terms:

1. Mountain pose
2. breath in-arms overhead
3. exhale-swan dive down to forward bend
4. breath in-right leg back to lunge, extend arms in air
5. exhale-plank
6. hold breath-touch knees, chest and chin
7. breath in-cobra
8. exhale-downward dog
9. inhale-right leg forward to lunge, extend arms in air
10.exhale-step feet together, forward bend
11.inhale-sweep up to arms overhead
12. exhale-prayer pose

repeat coming down the same side you just went after forward bend (3) you'd step the left leg back to lunge. Repeat this up to 6 times always sweeping up one side of the body and back down that same side.

Here's another take on the Sun Salutation with a couple of modifications (and some notes I wrote to myself):

Integration Series

1. Child’s Pose (Balasana)
a. Spread knees apart to edges of mat
2. Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
3. Ragdoll (Uttanasana)
a. Forward bend with legs hip width and grasping arms

Sun Salutation A

1. Samasthiti
a. “standing at attention”, arms at side
2. Mountain Pose-inhale
a. Arms over head
3. Standing forward bend-exhale
a. Hands on mat beside feet
4. Halfway lift (Urdhva Mukha Uttanasana)-inhale
a. Keep finger tips on floor, raise chest
b. JUMP BACK-exhale
5. Plank/High pushup (Dandasana)-inhale
6. Low Pushup (chaturanga dandasana)-exhale
7. Upward facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)-inhale
8. Repeat Downward Facing Dog-exhale 5 times
9. Jump Forward-hold exhale
10. Halfway lift-inhale
11. standing forward bend-exhale
12. mountain pose-inhale
13. Samasthiti-exhale

Sun Salutation B

1. Thunderbolt (Utkatasana)
a. powerful pose
2. Go though steps 3-8 of SSA
3. Warrior I
After warrior I place hands on mat and step back into High Push-Up. Then Low push-up, Upward facing dog, downward facing dog, warrior I on other side, high to low push-up, upward facing dog, downward facing dog—5 breathes, on last breath, exhale completely and Jump forward. Inhale to halfway lift, forward bend, back to thunderbolt—hold for 5 breaths, standing forward bend and begin again SSB. Repeat SSB two times, on the third round add Warrior II after Warrior I and end in Samasthiti.

**More excellent vinyasas to come!