Category Archives: Uncategorized

Start Lifting…

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I have to admit – I did not always have this attitude about lifting and how it can benefit your running. It was my boyfriend who actually drilled it into my head about how good lifting was for running and for getting fit. Fast forward to now and I have dedicated 1-2 days a week to my training routine. Strength training not only helps you develop muscle but it also helps you build power which translates into running, especially for long distances. Follow these strength works outs and include them in your training routines:

1. Box Jumps

Enables leg and core muscles to “turn on” faster during a run.

To Do: Face a sturdy knee-high box, an aerobic step, or a weight bench. With feet slightly apart, jump onto the box, taking care to land as softly as you can. Step back down. Do three sets of eight reps.

2. Rotating Lunge

Strengthens hips for better balance and stability during push-off.

To Do: Place the top of one foot onto a bench about three feet behind you. Lunge and rotate your torso 45 degrees to the right, back to center, and then to the left. Do two sets of eight reps.

3. Straight-Leg Deadlift

Develops propulsive force in the glutes and hip extensors, which will help your push-off as you increase your pace.

To Do: Place heavy weights on the floor in front of you. Hinging at the hips, with back straight, bend over and grab the weights. Keeping your core and glutes tight, straighten up. Slowly lower the weights to the floor. Do two sets of eight reps.

4. Kneeling Hip-Flexor Stretch

Improves range of motion in the hips.

To Do: Step into a lunge and lower your back knee to the ground. Keep your upper body straight while you tilt your pelvis to feel a stretch. Hold for one minute. Do three times on each leg.

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/strength-exercises-help-you-run-faster?page=single

 

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On Tonights Menu: Chicken Fajitas

After getting a sudden craving for Mexican, I thought tonight would be the perfect tonight to make a homemade delicious Mexican feast! We cooked chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole and I must say, It came out awesome!! This is a paleo friendly meal -I try as much as I can to stick to a paleo diet -although once in a while I can indulge can’t I???  I consider those indulgences a “grey area”. Hey you need to treat yourself sometimes right??? right.

Anyhoo – I wanted to share with all of you this delicious paleo recipe for chicken fajitas..

Chicken Fajitas:

2 Chicken Breasts sliced thin

(I first marinated the chicken breasts with a lime & cumin seasoning for a couple of hours)

1 Green pepper sliced

1 Red Pepper Sliced

1/2 a white onion sliced

Corn Tortillas

After marinating the chicken breasts I cooked them in a cast iron skillet over the stove and added a homemade Mexican seasoning to add a spicy Mexican kick. I cooked each side of the  sliced chicken so it was blackened on each side. This really lets the flavors sink in,

In a separate cast iron pan, I added the peppers and onions. Added salt to taste, as well as a  few dashes of the homemade Mexican seasoning I used for the chicken – not too much though, just enough to give them a good flavor.

I wrapped the corn tortillas in a paper towel and put them in the microwave for 25 seconds – just long enough to get them warm.

and WAH-LAA delicious chicken fajitas.

I added fresh salsa and a homemade guacamole to the tortillas and it tasted so good!!

I highly recommend homemade  cooking  – It saves you money AND you can make things to your tasting and experiment 🙂

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Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Spring Clean!

Happy Monday! After a long and busy weekend full of a relatives wedding activities I’m glad I had the day off from work today! It gave me the opportunity to get all the things I usually get done on the weekends. I cleaned and cleaned some more!! It was a lovely day outside so I opened the windows, put on my favorite playlist and went to town.

Although I personally got this chore done on a previous weekend, one of the best things you can do to start your spring cleaning is to clean out that refrigerator! Get rid of all the foods that are expired, organize all those condiments and stock up on veggies and fruits. If you organize your refrigerator you are more likely gravitate towards the healthy foods!! Don’t let the clutter work against all that hard work you are putting in to keep yourself healthy and fit. Here are 13 ways to skinny up your fridge:

1. Put snack pairings together: Keep the almond butter next to the apples to keep yourself reminded of healthy alternatives

2. Hydrate your herbs: Keep your herbs in a glass on the windowsill. If they are in a visible space, you are more likely to use them!

3. Pick mini’s for trigger foods: store serving-size containers of guacamole, cheese, even chocolate so you don’t over indulge

4. Move back your comfort foods: hide the comfort foods BEHIND the healthy foods so you don’t see them as soon as you open up the refrigerator

5. Store cooked grains (if you eat grains): Just like the serving-size containers of foods, do the same with grains so you don’t over indulge.

6. Stock back-up vegetables: Store pre-cut veggies in containers or jars. When you are on they go they are easy to grab or to throw into a salad

7. Stash a multi-tasking condiment: for example: Grainy Dijon mustard is low-calorie and adds a savory, rustic flavor. Use it in salad dressings and marinades and in place of some—or all—of the mayo called for in a recipe.

8. Lighten up juice: Add water or seltzer water to juice to cut the calories

9. Choose a good cheese: Buy blocks of hard cheeses, such as Parmesan and Asiago, because you have to physically shred them with a grater when you’re using them in recipes or as a garnish. This makes you very aware of just how much cheese you’re adding, which helps with portion (and calorie) control.

10. Save the date: Make sure to write the dates on all food that could go back within a couple days or weeks. Keep your fridge freshly stocked.

11. Spa-ify your water: infused your water with mint or ginger and in-season fruit or citrus slices in the fridge up front. It usually lasts a couple of days, and it’s a great way to stay hydrated without lots of sugar or calories.

12. Have quick protein handy: Just like pre-cutting your veggies, you can boil a bunch of eggs at the beginning of the week for a high-protein, satisfying and nutritious option that’s easy to grab and g

13. No More Wasted Food: Once a week, take a look at the dates on all your foods. Pull out the ones that are close to expiring and use them! It will keep you at home in the kitchen versus ordering out.

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day I thought I would share a few(easy) suggestions on how to stay green and keep our home happy!

Eco Shop 

When shopping for your goods at a farmer’s market or grocery store, make sure to bring your reusable bags. Make sure to keep a few of them in the trunk of your car so your always stocked.

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Pack It Up

When bringing a dish to a party or friend’s house, put it inside an eco food carrier instead of wrapping it up in wasteful plastic, tinfoil or Saran wrap. This way, your dish will stay warm (these carriers will keep your food hot or cold for up to 6 hours) and won’t waste any paper or plastic in the process. Also, because of the way these travel bags are designed, they make transporting a hot and heavy dish super easy.

 

No Paper or Plastic

One way to entertain the eco way is to say no to paper and plastic goods. Using plastic utensils and paper plates may shorten your cleanup time, but it’s so much better for the environment to always use dishes, silverware and napkins that you can wash and use again.

 

Leftovers 

Whenever you entertain, send your guests home with leftovers wrapped up in reusable zip bags, instead of using plastic bags or containers. Send your guests home with something that they can reuse over and over again, and that may get them on a slightly greener path.

 

What did you do today to celebrate  Earth Day??

How are you trying to stay green?

Do you have anymore green tips to share?

 

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sources:

http://laurenconrad.com/blog/2014/04/eco-chic-tips-for-eco-friendly-entertaining/

118th Boston Marathon. What an inspiration.

Today is one of my favorite days of the year – The Boston marathon. It is just an amazing event with even more amazing athletes participating for so many different reasons and causes. This year especially was so touching because of the bombings that occurred at last years marathon. It was so inspiring to see the people who were running for the victims and survivors of last years tragic event. You could feel the camaraderie through the TV as I was watching the race today and listening to the runners talk about the reasons why they were running and who they were running for. The most exciting part of the day was seeing the lead male and female runners from the United States – one of them being from Massachusetts. As they talked about their training leading up to this event and why this one was so important, it was for the most selfless reasons – they wanted to win because of the tragedies of last year. The male winner, Meb Keflezighi was the first American male to win the marathon since 1983 and he wrote the names of the victims on his racing bib – VERY touching and VERY inspiring. Although the female leader from Massachusetts, Shalane Flanagan, was in the lead for the majority of the race came in 7th – It was still amazing to see her try her hardest and cross that finish line to pay tribute to the victims and survivors. She set the tone of the race and even though she didn’t come in 1st place, she gave those leaders a run for their money.

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This race always gives me a boost of confidence and inspiration at the right time. Whether a runner came in 1st place or last place, just having taken the chance to run 26.6 miles is inspirational. Its a once in a lifetime opportunity.

After work today I went out and ran just over 5 miles and I felt GREAT. I am proud to be a runner and proud to have the love and support from family and friends for something that I have learned to become so passionate about.

With all that being said. CONGRATS to ALL the runners!! Great job!! BOSTON STRONG!

 

 

Here is a video of Meb 4 hours after he won the Boston Marathon:

In the video, Keflezighi describes how he won the race, where the victory ranks in his career, the role of his family in his running, and whether winning Boston soon before turning 39 pushes him closer to or farther from retirement.

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Who inspires you?

Did you race today? Or did you know anyone who raced the Boston marathon today?

Why do you love running?

 

http://www.runnersworld.com/boston-marathon/watch-one-on-one-with-boston-marathon-winner-meb-keflezighi?cm_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Content-News-_-OneOnOneMeb

Time for healthy eats!

Naturally, Springtime and Summer time  is the time of year we all want to get outdoors and a little more, start excersising a little more and most of all eat a little bit healthier. The sun just gives us the motivation that we lack during the cold, dreary winter months. Spring and Summer time also means more BBQ’s – which could potentially mean more snacking on unhealthy foods. Here are a few tips and recipe suggestions on how to get creative this Spring as well as give you a kickstart to eating healthier.

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Mujaddara With Spiced Yogurt: This Middle Eastern staple combining lentils, rice and onions has a perfect mix of flavors and textures, with a minty yogurt sauce that ties everything together.

Seven Vegetable Tagine: This fragrant Middle Eastern dish is perfect over couscous. Don’t skimp on the harissa, which gives the dish its heat and complexity.

Braised Baby Artichokes With Carrots and Dill: You can find baby artichokes at many farmers markets this time of year. This dish is vegan if you use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth.

Frittata of Wild Mushrooms and Muenster Cheese: If you’re keeping strict kosher-for-Passover, your cheese choices may be limited. Look for kosher for Passover cheeses at Albertsons supermarket on Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and at Safeway on Southwest Barbur Boulevard.

Hannah’s Cuban Black Bean and Vegetable Soup: Hannah Kullberg’s invented this quick soup using Better Bean Co.’s Cuban Black Beans, a simple mirepoix, yellow peppers and chard, but she says the recipe is a great way to use up just about anything in your crisper.

Chicken-Mango Tacos: These chicken tacos are very low in fat but loaded with flavor since the meat is grilled.
Baby Romaine and Seared Salmon Salad With Pear Vinaigrette: Salmon and local fresh vegetables make a delicious lunch. The pear vinaigrette is actually more like a sauce; it gets its creaminess from puréed and poached pears, not a lot of oil, so it’s good for you.

Cold Provencal White Bean Salad: Cold bean salads are common in Provence in southern France. This recipe features the classic combination of white beans, olives, garlic and Dijon mustard with a slow-cooker twist. Good olives are important here: Make sure they are firm, briny and bright-tasting.

Cooked Tomato, Pepper and Eggplant Salad: This slow-cooked dish simmers for two hours, so it can bubble away while you do something else, like enjoy your spring garden.

Braised Chicken With Kale, Olives and Polenta: This rustic dish is perfect for weekend suppers, when home cooks have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen. Make it with kale from the farmers market.

 http://www.oregonlive.com/cooking/2014/04/10_light_and_healthy_recipes_f.html

 

Do you have any favorite spring or summer recipes you would like to share?

Which one of these recipes is your favorite??

How do you stay eating healthy and living healthy all year long?

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#bostonstrong

The Boston bombings took place one year ago today. I wanted to reflect on the events that occurred last year and how strong of a city we have become because of these unfortunate events. It’s one of those days where you take the time and think about how you felt on that day, as well as the days preceding the arrest of the bomber. It is a day to think about all the courageous acts that took place on that day and after the bombings from the brave law enforcement officers and first responders.

I woke up that morning of the Boston marathon feeling really excited to go down to Heartbreak Hill and cheer on my friends and acquaintances. I was there in support of the organization I volunteer for, Title IX. A couple girls I volunteer with were running, as well as the founder. As I stood in the crowd on mile 22, feeling envious, proud and excited as I saw my friends run by, giving hugs and kisses I felt very privileged as well to have the opportunity to be here in this great city, watching as all these athletes ran in this remarkable race. After I saw my friends, I decided it was time to head out – which was about 20 minutes before the bombings occurred. I was driving home when my boyfriend, a Medford Firefighter, had called, panic stricken, wondering where I was and if I was ok. I assured him I was fine but had no idea at the time what had happened. He told me they just got a call at the fire station that bombs have gone off at the finish line of the marathon and there were multiple injuries. Again, I assured him I was alright and had already left the area and was heading home. I got home and I immediately got my cell phone out and made calls and sent texts to everyone I knew that was running and was a spectator at the marathon making sure they were ok. Thankfully everyone I knew was safe and out of harms way. I was glued to the TV for the next week. The city was in mourning and the city had shut down trying to find the bombers. The feeling was surreal, watching it all unfold on the television. I work at a Boston news station so I was experiencing the events almost first hand. The amount of bravery and resilience the city showed throughout that week was amazing. I have never been so proud to be a Bostonian and to know that I live in a city full of such love and support.

When its all said and done,  a year later, I still feel that same ache that I felt when the events first took place. When it hits that close to home, it pulls at your heart strings just that much more. This year, although I won’t be able to be at mile 22 again to support and cheer on my friends and acquaintances that are running the race, I will be cheering them on from where I am. This race will be bigger and better than it has ever been in the past because of last years events and that just makes Boston that much stronger.

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Do you have any memories you would like to share about the Boston bombings?

How are you feeling a year later after the bombing?

Do you know anyone who is running the Boston marathon this year in honor of any marathon bombing victims?

One year after the Boston Marathon bombings, city still healing as runners get set to go

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image courtesy of blbikes.com

Learn to fuel

Well…I wouldn’t say that my long run this weekend was a failure, but it definitely was not my best. I blame the fact that I had to run on a Saturday rather than a Sunday. Hey, I can blame something can’t I??? I had a very busy weekend (see previous blog post) and I had to plan my run on Saturday morning instead of Sunday morning. Even Friday night I had a feeling that tomorrows run wasn’t going to be my best. I didn’t eat that great (and when I say that great, I think I munched on Brookside’s dark chocolate and acai all day and my dinner was healthy but not a dinner you eat the night before a long run (http://paleomg.com/buffalo-chicken-pasta/). Anyhoo – I let myself sleep in a little bit so I could get as much rest as I could for my run and then made myself breakfast so I could get as much energy as I could. What I found myself struggling and experimenting with is fueling myself while on a paleo diet (stay turned for experimental foods). So that was one big problem – I have been eating paleo, but I haven’t been eating the right paleo foods for fueling. So anyways, before I walked out the door I said to myself, “self – if you make it 6 miles, that’s ok. A run is a run.” So I set out for 6 miles and needless to say I was ready to turn around at mile 3. I am very harsh on myself so I wouldn’t let myself stop and pushed myself to keep going. I ended up running 7.3 miles which is the same mileage  I ran last weekend. I’m glad I got the mileage in with my race 5 weeks away, but I didn’t feel great about it.
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This week I will keep researching foods to eat that are paleo friendly as well as running friendly. I want to be in tip top shape and feel great on race day. Last week I did some research and found a few foods I will try next weekend:

– Sweet potatoes

– Winter Squash

– Beets

– Parsnips

– a blend of sweet potatoes, apple sauce & coconut milk

– bananas

– apples

I need to get a few carbs in my body somehow so lets see what will work. I also have been researching about what to eat during the run to stay fueled – so far I have come across:

– Vfuel

– Lara bars

– Nuun tablets

I will also experiment with each of these in my next couple of runs. See what keeps me going the best, so stay tuned!

Fueling in the 2 weeks before race day and especially on race day is EXTREMELY important. If you don’t eat right for your body, you could crash very quickly. I definitely do not want to see a DNF next to my name because I didn’t fuel properly. Rookie mistake. But I am new to running while on a paleo diet so this one will certainly be challenging.

Here are a couple tips – paleo or not – that will help you fueld on race day:

Tip #1: Make sure to take in adequate fuel the day before your long run. While you are at rest, your body will have adequate time and energy to absorb and store those nutrients you ate, and then you’ll be able to rely on this fuel for the following day. And don’t forget to eat a carb-rich, low-fiber, easy-to-digest, familiar breakfast the morning of the race!
Tip #2: Fuel at regular intervals and before you need to. Wait until you’re out of gas, and you won’t be able to recover from feeling hungry or weak. Your muscles will be forced to play catch-up, and you won’t be able to bounce back and finish the run feeling strong. If you’ve ever had a long run that started strong and then got slower and slower, it may be time to consider what you did during the first few miles of the long runs that you didn’t do during the last few miles. Many runners head out the door with a full tank but, feeling great, they neglect to re-fuel over the next few miles. If you don’t start fueling within that first hour, it’s likely that your empty-tank will catch up with you, and you’ll bonk. Not only will you hit the wall, but once your muscle glycogen stores are depleted, it can be very difficult to adequately recover during your run (and you may have to walk or crawl the last few miles). My advice to avoid this whole mess? Aim for 30-60 grams of carb per hour (and start using your chews, gels, or sports drinks early and often).
#3: Don’t be afraid of fuel. Maybe you’ve tried a product in the past and didn’t care for it or it didn’t sit well with you. If that’s the case, know that there are always new products coming out. Try a variety of products and brands. For ideas on the many different fuel options available, check out this post on energy gels and this post on alternatives to energy gels. Don’t be afraid to experiment with a few different products and see what works for you. Whatever concentrated form of fuel you are taking in, remember to dilute it with adequate water (or else it won’t be absorbed, and you will get nauseous). Lastly, find out what gel/product your race will be handing out. If you can tolerate or like the brand that the race is handing out, you’ll know that you won’t need to pack your own on race day. But if their chosen brand doesn’t work for you, you’ll need to plan ahead. In addition, you might try to find out at what miles the race will be handing out product and mimic that in your training to practice for race day. (runnersworld.com)
Are you eating paleo? What do you eat before your runs?
Any suggestions for fueling? Paleo or not? I would love to hear from you!
How do you recover from a bad run?
good luck out there and listen to your body!

There’s not enough time!

As I’m looking through my calendar, I realized that there’s only 6 weeks left until my half marathon. Eeek! I’m mildly dreaming out because I don’t feel nearly as prepared as I have been the past 3 half marathons I have raced. Not only has this winter slowed things down but between my family and my boyfriends family I feel like we have had things going on almost every weekend and add my knee injury into the mix and it doesn’t make me feel nearly as confident as I have been. I planned out my long runs every weekend, tryyyyying my best to squeeze them in…even if it means waking up with the sun to do so.
Here are some tips to help YOU fit in a workout:

1. Turn Your Commute into a Workout
On days that Monica Vazquez, 27, a master trainer for New York Sports Clubs in New York City, can’t do her usual run, she stuffs her essentials — keys, cash, credit card, phone, and ID — into a fanny pack and jogs home from work instead. “Running is a great workout, but it’s also great transportation,” she says. “Sometimes I get home even earlier than I normally do taking the subway.”
Not a runner? Bike to work, get off your bus or train a few stops earlier, or park the car farther away to extend your walking time.

2. Set Your Alarm Early
Becoming an A.M. exerciser means you get to cross your workout off your to-do list ASAP. We’re not telling you to skip out on sleep in favor of a sweat session, but there are simple steps you can take to reset your sleep schedule and wake up earlier. Can’t quite get yourself out of bed that early? Wear your workout clothes to bed and get your sweat on as soon as you wake up.

3. Sneak In a Lunch Break Workout
At least one FITNESS editor is guaranteed to use this tip on any given day. Make use of your precious 60 minutes by hitting the gym or going for a walk. Not only will it keep your waistline in check, you’re also proven to be more productive during the day by logging off for an hour than you would be by eating lunch at your desk.

4. Work Out at Work
Get your daily dose of exercise even if you’re working all day long. Try this tip from Gregory Florez, personal trainer and CEO of Fitness First Inc.:
“Sit on a stability ball to strengthen your core, and keep dumbbells or exercise tubing at your desk. Squeeze in 12 to 15 reps of exercises like dumbbell curls, overhead presses, and ab crunches; aim for two or three sets of each. This gives you more free time to fit in fun workouts like biking or tennis.”

5. Take the Kids with You
Got a young brood? Invest in a jogging stroller to get your miles in without paying big bucks for a sitter. Or strap your bundle of joy into a carrier and do squats for extra resistance and a fun distraction.

6. Multitask on the Treadmill
“Save time at the gym with this 10-minute cardio/sculpt session: Hop on a treadmill holding a three- to five-pound dumbbell in each hand, and set the speed to a brisk walk. Do a one-minute set each of shoulder presses, biceps curls, triceps extensions, side laterals, front laterals, and standing triceps kickbacks one after another as you walk. It’s an amazing upper-body challenge that also gets your heart pumping. Do this series two or three times each week. As you improve, work up to doing four-minute sets.”

7. Make It a Date
Here’s one way you can work out like an Olympic athlete: Go on a fitness date like Olympic figure skater, mom, author, and philanthropist Kristi Yamaguchi. She and husband, NHL player Bret Hedican, set up workout dates to keep themselves fit. Single? Invite your friends to try a new workout instead of hitting happy hour.

8. Don’t Just Wait in Line
All the time we spend waiting in line adds up, so why not sneak in a workout while you’re there? Season 5 Biggest Loser winner Ali Vincent recommends doing lunges, toe raises, and squats at the checkout line. “People might look at you like you’re silly, but who cares?”

9. No More “Couch Potato”
Just because you’re catching up on Modern Family doesn’t mean you can’t do push-ups, crunches, jumping jacks, and squats too. Clear up some space between the couch and the TV so you don’t miss anything while breaking a sweat. Need an extra nudge? Move your dumbbells, jump rope, and other fitness tools near the tube to give yourself visible reminders.

10. Power Up Your Stair Climbs
“Instead of walking leisurely up a flight of stairs, gradually increase your speed and the number of stairs you take in one minute,” says Kari Anderson, owner of ProRobics Conditioning Clubs and Gold’s Gyms in Seattle. “Take two steps at once — if you’re able to do it safely — and you’ll target your glutes even more.”

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On the upside….The physical therapist seems confident that my knee will get better the more I strengthen the muscles. He says that I can keep running so that’s what I’m going to do! It’s crunch time! I haven’t really set a goal for myself yet for this race…which is very unlike me…but as I said before about my lack of being prepared, as log as I don’t tear my knee muscles, finish and finish around the time I finished last year then I think ill be happy! But let’s talk when we get closer to the race and I might be singing a different tune. I tend to get verrrry competitive with myself as race day gets closer.

In the meantime I have signed up for a 5k a couple weeks before my race to get be back in race mode. This particular race is one I hold a soft spot for. It’s called Route for Kids 5k – and proceeds go towards Horizon for Homeless children. I used to volunteer for them so I run this race every year to show my support. Until then… Looking forward some good runs and hopefully I will gain a little more confidence in the next couple of weeks!

How do you manage your busy schedule and still find time to get runs in?
Have you signed up for any races yet??
How do you prepare for a big race to build your confidence??

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