Sunday, January 6, 2013

New Year, New Me!

Happy 2013! 

Obviously I have not been blogging but it's a new year and I have taking on new challenges and new adventures.  My Marathon Training group will be starting it's third (!) season in just two weeks and I was recently selected to be a 2013 Colfax Ambassador so it seems high time that I started writing again in order to support all of these new ventures.  Plus, it will be a great way to support my runners and my clients as they take on new challenges in this new year!

It's only fitting that my new post be about resolutions and setting appropriate goals since it's the time of year when most people make grand resolutions, get in shape, save money, take more time for myself.  Everyone has been there.  Below is a great chart that shows some really interesting facts about new years resolutions and how to attain them.  This information came from a company that I work with called Wello.  They connect a trainer and client through a two way video feed.  It's a great concept and a great way to get workouts in during travel or a busy work week.

The statistics are really interesting but what I love is the information on how to succeed.  It talks about setting "SMART" goals.  I tell my clients this ALL the time.  The key to succeeding is making sure you set goals that are S.M.A.R.T. This helps take those vague ideas and transform them into reality!

Specific - A specific goal has a much greater chance of being achieved than a general goal.

Example - A general goal would be "I want to get in shape." Pretty vague, huh? A better and more specific goal would be "Join a health club and go 3 times a week."

Measurable - Establish concrete ways to measure your goals. Goals need to be measurable so there is no doubt about whether you achieved them. They also help you measure progress.

To determine if your goal is measurable ask questions, like "How much?" or "How many"

Attainable - Your goal must be attainable - not too difficult but also, not too easy! Easy goals don't motivate you and overly difficult goals may frustrate you.

Relevant  - ur goals must be relevant to your particular interests, abilities, and needs.

Time-bound - Your goal must be bound by specific deadlines. Timelines can be short and long term (actually short term goals help you break down your bigger goals into more manageable steps) and should help you stay focused.

For example, if you wanted to lose 10 lbs in 10 weeks that gives you a timeline for when you want to reach your goal. You can go further and break down that larger goal into smaller goals of losing 1 lb a week.

Hopefully this trick will help you stay on track this year!

Here's to a healthy and happy year!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

How does your Thanksgiving pie stack up?!

Pumpkin, pecan, apple....pie is almost as big a part of Thanksgiving as turkey, but those slices of pie can usually add on way more calories than you'd ever expect!  The below article from Shape magazine shows you how your favorite slice stacks up and simple ways to make them a little bit healthier! 

Pecan Pie -
503 calories per serving and 27 grams of fat
The pecans are a great source of healthy fats and proteins but you can have way to much of a good thing!  A simple way to slash about 60 calories and 9 grams of fater from each piece is to sub rolled oats for half the pecans and replace the eggs most recipes call for with one egg and four egg whites.

Apple Pie -
411 calories per serving and 19 grams of fat
A simple way to cut down on some calories and significantly lower the amount of fat is to skip the top crush and add a crumb topping, such as the following recipe.  Mix 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour, a heaping cup of crushed Kellogg's Special K cereal, 6 tablespoons of applesauce, 2 tablespoons melted butter, and a pinch of brown sugar.  Not only will these slash some fat but it also has three times as much fiber as the typical pie crust.

Pumpkin Pie -
316 calories per serving and 14 grams of fat
This pie is the best of the bunch because the main ingredient is naturally creamy and high in fiber.  One make to make this pie even healthier is to use nonfat condesed milk instead of the full-fat version.  The switch won't affect taste at all but will save you 4 grams of fat per slice!

Cherry Pie -
486 calories per serving and 22 grams of fat
Did you know that a can of cherry pie filling contains as much sugar as 10 doughnuts!  On way to cut the sugar is by making your own pie filling.  One way to do that is to simmer 4 cups of frozen cherries with 2 tablespoons of Spenda, 1 tabelspoon vanilla extract, and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (dissolved in 3 tablespoons of cold water) for 15 minutes.

Lemon Meringue -
362 calories per serving and 16 grams of fat
A simple way to improve this recipe and cut 100 calories and 7 grams of fat per serving is to nix the crust in favor of cookie crumbs.  One way to do this is to spritz your pie dish with cooking spray, pour 1/2 cup crushed gingersnaps, and tilting the pan to coat before adding the filling. 

Hopefully this little cheat sheet gave you some insight into your favorite holiday dishes.  I'm not saying skip the pie but try some of these tips to improve the recipe.  Another good way to enjoy yourself without totally overindulging is to take a smaller piece of pie or share the love and split your desserts with a relative or loved one!

I say this every year but be KIND TO YOURSELF during the holidays.  The holiday season is the toughest time of the year to maintain healthy eating habits.  Try to enjoy yourself without overindulging.  Remember, moderation is the key to calorie control.  If you eat more than you planned, forgive yourself and get back on track the next day!

Happy Turkey Day!!

Thanksgiving Day Myth: Turkey Makes You Sleepy

Feeling tired after stuffing yourself with turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and the like?  Well, it turns out you can't blame the tryptophan!  Tryptophan is an amino acid that is used to build protein in our body and is essential to our health.  It is also a part of the process used to make serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate sleep.  Turkey (and all meat for that matter) does contain trytophan but the amount is too small to have any kind of effect on energy levels.  Actually, cheddar cheese has a higher level of tryptophan than turkey but no one blames it on their afternoon sluggishness!

The true culprits of your Turkey Day drowsiness are the extra servings of food and wine that you had during dinner!  Alcohol is a natural sedative and a big meal diverts blood flow from the brain and central nervous system to the stomach, causing you to feel sluggish.  Dinner preparation and travelling to see relatives can also add to the sleepiness you feel by the end of the day. 

So this year, set everyone at the table stright when they use the turkey as an excuse to take a Thanksgiving Day nap!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are you getting enough physical activity in your life?

Most people I come across in the gym always think they are getting enough physical activity in their life and sometimes (not always) people are over estimating how much they actually do in a week.  The guidelines below were set out by the CDC and give adults an idea of what type (and how much) activity is needed in order to obtain the health benefits of activity and exercise.  Below is the minimum you should do, you can (and should) do more because it will only increase the mental and physical benefits you'll experience.

According to the CDC, adults need to get the following amount of activity a week (note that there are two types of activities included in the recommendation, aerobic and muscle strengthening).....

OPTION 1.....
2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity (brisk walking, mowing the lawn, riding a bike on a level ground)


Muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, ab, shoulders and arms).  This type of activity includes yoga, weight lifting, pilates, and body weight or resistance band training (to name a few). 

OPTION 2....
75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity (jogging, playing basketball, riding a bike on hills)


Muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, ab, shoulders and arms).  This type of activity includes yoga, weight lifting, pilates, and body weight or resistance band training (to name a few). 

OPTION 3....
A equivalent mix of moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic activity


Muscle strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all muscle groups (legs, hips, back, chest, ab, shoulders and arms).  This type of activity includes yoga, weight lifting, pilates, and body weight or resistance band training (to name a few). 

As I mention above, it's imperative that you get BOTH aerobic and muscle strengthening activities in during the weekm so for your lovers of cardio, get off the treadmill and hit the weights.  If you love the weights but HATE the idea of cardio, come up with something you enjoy that will get your heart pumping!   Hopefully this guide opens your eyes to what you need to be doing each week to maintain a good level of fitness!

Happy Monday!

Recipe of the Week - Mini Raspberry Biscuits

These are delicious and light treats that are very popular and super easy to make!  I think they go well with coffee/tea or as a light sweet snack after dinner.  I also think that this would be a great dessert to bring to all the holiday parties that are right around the corner!


Makes 24


1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg white
1 cup all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Cooking spray
1/3 cup raspberry preserves
½ cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Baking Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Beat sugar and butter with a mixer at medium speed until well blended (about 5 minutes)
Add 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla and egg white, beat well
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife
Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk
Add flour mixture to sugar mixture, stirring well until blended (dough will be stiff)
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface
Divide dough in half and roll each portion into a 12 inch log
Place log 2 inches apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray
Form a ½ inch deep indentation down length of each log using an index finger or end of a wooden spoon
Spoon preserves into indentation
Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until lightly browned
Remove to a cutting board
Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and stir well with a whisk
Drizzle mixture over warm logs
Immediately cut each log diagonally into 12 slices (do no separate slices)
Cool 10 minutes and separate slices

Nutrition score per serving (1 cookie)
Calories                75
Fat                          2.5 grams
Saturated Fat     1.5 gram
Carbs                     12 grams
Protein                 .7 grams
Sodium                 56 mg

Monday, October 3, 2011 it out!

Hello readers,

Many of your may be familiiar with the online websites like Groupon and Living Social that provide local deals and steals on anything from food and wine to teeth whitening and lasik.  Well there is a website out there what does the same thing for fitness fanatics.

The website is

and it provides local deals on gear, race entries, and much more.  Just like the other discount sites, you enter your city (they are available in 20 major US cities) and it will send daily email alerts listing the discounts available.  

It's a great way to get fit for less!  Go ahead and sign up for alerts and start getting in on all the steals and deals!

Happy shopping!


Beware the Exercise Halo!

I found this great blurb in the October issue of Self magazine and I wanted to share it with everyone.  It's called the exercise halo and it's a situation we are all familiar with (I know I am!).  You finish up a great workout (whether in the gym or outdoors) and you feel like a health angel, which is great.  The problem comes in when you feel so virtuous that you reward yourself with some not-so-healthy habits that may sabotage all of your hard work.  Beware these self sabotaging thoughts:

I melted mega calories this morning.  I can eat what I want today.

Research shows that most exercisers GROSSLY overestimate their calorie burn.  One study found that people who burned 200 calories by walking briskly thought they had burned 825 and they later overate by about 350 calories based on those miscalculations. 

Quick Fix:  Don't just guess the calories you burned, tally them in a reliable way using a HR monitor or an online calculator.  For most women a brisk walk zaps 5 calories per minutes (i.e. 45 minute walk = 225 calories)

I kicked boot camp booty.  I deserve a treat after my hard work.

True, but reward yourself with food and you may stall your slim down efforts.  It is incredibly easy to negate the weight loss effects of exercise with a single food item (I'm looking at you Starbucks Venti Caramel Frappucino!). 

Quick Fix:  Try inedible rewards such as a new song on your playlist or a mini massage or pedicure. 

While it is important to eat something after a workout to help restock your energy and repair your muscles, you want to make sure these are foods rick in carbs and protein.  You also want to make sure they aren't so calorie laden that they erase all your workout efforts (see above).  After a good strength training session a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese is a great snack and after a tough run try snacking on fruit or whole grain cereal. 

After a long run I find chocolate milk helps me feel my best plus is had the carbs and protein that I need to repair my body.

Hopefully this little post will help prevent a post workout over indulgence!!  If you are interested in what to eat BEFORE you workout, check out this uber helpful chart on

Happy workout everyone!