Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A 5K Plan for YOU!

We are well into race season, but there is still time for a race or two or three…even if you are starting from scratch. If you are ready to take your walk up to a run, there is no better motivation than to sign yourself up for your very first 5K race and then of course train for it. All you need is about 10 weeks to train, a great pair of running shoes and some can-do attitude.

A few things to do before you get started:
  • Check with your doctor to see if running is right for you if you have any medical condition or injury...better to be safe than sorry.
  • Get a great pair of running shoes. As avid KC runner Elizabeth says, “Seems to me that anyone can run any distance if they find a reasonable training plan and stick to it. It also seems to me that a lot of beginning runners are picking the wrong shoes - that is, buying according to looks/price - and then they get hurt and quit. I'd recommend starting out at a specialty store and having them analyze your gait. You may drop a few more dollars than you would have otherwise, but you won't feel it quite as much the morning after!” I recommend checking out Gary Gribbles, Smart Feet, Elite Feet or any other running specialty store to get the perfect shoes for you!
  • Set a realistic schedule. The plan calls for 4 days of training a week. Put your days and times that you will run on your calendar and treat those times as untouchable times…like you would a meeting at work, your graduation ceremony, happy hour with your favorite people. You get the picture…write it/type it and then stick to it. Also, if you’re not a morning person, do not plan on training in the morning at 5 a.m…that is a recipe for disaster. Instead, train over lunch or right after work.

The plan:
  • Run 3 days per week (on non-consecutive days)
  • Cross train 1 day per week for 30-45 minutes (weight lifting, biking, swimming, cross fit, etc.)
Remember, this is YOUR training. If you can already run for a 2 minutes at a time, by all means, start at Week 5 and go from there. If you are struggling to make it past a week, stick with that particular workout until you have mastered it before going on. It’s about you and your success. It doesn’t matter how long you take to get there… it’s your attitude and perseverance. Justin, a long time KC runner says this about running: “Running is 90 percent mental - if you think you can do it, you will do it.” If you fall behind, no worries…keep at it and you will reach your goal!

Week 1: Walk 30 minutes.

Week 2: Alternate walking 2 minutes with running 30 seconds for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3: Alternate walking 1.5 minutes with running 30 seconds for 24 minutes total.

Week 4: Walk 1.5 minutes, run 1 minute for 25 minutes.

Week 5: Run 1.5 minutes, walk 1 minute; run 3 minutes, walk 1.5 minutes for 28 minutes total.

Week 6: Run 5 minutes, walk 3 minutes for a total of 30 minutes.

Week 7: Run 6 minutes, walk 2 minutes for a total of 32 minutes.

Week 8: Run 20 minutes.

Week 9: Run 25 minutes.

Week 10: Run 30 minutes the first two days and 32 minutes the last day.

Week 11: 5K RACE!

For upcoming races in your area, click here.

A New 30 minute workout to make you sweat plus a yummy salad!

Have a kettlebell or one dumbbell handy? Try this kick-in-the-butt workout and then feed your fitness with a veggie-rific salad. Click here for my newest post on feed me kc!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New workout, new breakfast, new food blog to check out

Need some post weekend rehab for your overindulging diet and barely there exercise routine? Look no further than feed me kc on Monday mornings. This amazing food blog has graciously asked me to start contributing a healthy recipe and muscle burning workout to their mouth watering site each week. feed me kc was voted "Kansas City's BEST Food Blog" in 2012. So if you aren't following it already, I highly recommend making it a favorite web stop.

For my entry this week, I focused on a quick, easy, clean breakfast and a very sweaty, muscle burning workout. Check it out here

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Super food of the week: blueberries

Blueberries: Okay, folks, these are in season NOW, so it’s a great time to get them super duper fresh (and inexpensive) at your grocery store OR you can burn some extra calories while getting some vitamin D and pick them yourself. I took my son yesterday and I feel great about his love of these blue super-foods.

Blueberries are one of the most nutritious fruits. They have only about 85 calories per cup (100-150 berries…wowzer!), plus they pack in 4 grams of fiber. Blueberries are also super high in antioxidants and new research shows that they can improve memory. So eat some; put them on your oatmeal, in your salads or just grab a handful.

Move of the moment: Pushups

Pushups have been around FOR-EV-ER, so sometimes I think that people forget how awesome they really are. You don’t need any equipment and they work your entire upper body. PLUS, there’s a ton of different ways to do them so that even the novice exerciser can participate as well as the pushup veteran.

So how is a person to do the perfect pushup? Think tight abdominals. That’s right. Whereever your pushup is being performed (a wall, your knees, your toes, one leg, etc.), basically, it’s a moving plank. Think of contracting the abdominals towards the spine and fighting gravity. I tell myself that the only thing hanging down, should be my shirt. Anyway, here are a few variations of the pushup that I love. I’ve put them in order of less intense to nearly impossible. Enjoy!

Pushups on a wall: Great for beginners. Simply find a wall, stand about 2 feet back, place your hands on the wall a bit wider than shoulder width apart and bend your elbows until your face is almost touching the wall.

Pushups on your knees: This is a great way to start pushups on the ground. On your hands and knees, make sure your butt is down so that you make a straight line from your head to the back of the knee (see photo). Complete push up.

On your toes: This is the “normal” pushup position. Remember, you are a plank!

On one leg: Just lift a leg up while doing your push up

Spider-man style: While lowering your body towards the ground, touch your right knee to your right elbow, next one, switch to the left side.

Dive Bomb pushup: This is my new obsession. Check out this video for correct form (but do it slower that this speedster). Basically, you start in down dog and lower your forehead towards the ground, then let your nose, chin, chest and ribs brush the ground as you press your way into up dog. Go back to start and repeat…Ouch (in a good way, of course :) )

Monday, July 1, 2013

Avoid BBQ Weight Gain

It’s almost the Fourth of July and that means that the BBQ season is in full swing. Those fun filled get-togethers with tons of food and friends are a fantastic way to celebrate the great weather and spend time with family and friends, but they can really do damage to your waist-line.

For example a typical plate can be well over 1,700 calories, 86 grams of fat (26 of them being saturated), 357 mg of cholesterol and 3,508 mg of sodium.This is what that plate would look like: a hamburger on a bun, a bratwurst on the side, a brownie, potato salad and baked beans. Now separately, those things are not the worst foods in the world, but pile them all high on a plate and devour them in one sitting, and it’s a calorie catastrophe.

So what’s a BBQ goer to do? Just follow these simple tricks to keep your heart and waistline healthy throughout the summer.

  1. Choose the right meat. If you have a choice, choose grilled chicken, turkey burger (93% lean) or very lean hamburger (93% lean). You will get a great protein pump without all the calories and fat (especially saturated fat) of the fatty burgers and brats.

  2. Don’t fill up on bread. Stay away from rolls and buns. Generally, these are made with refined, white flour anyway, so they can pack in the calories without providing an ounce of nutrition…just say no.

  3. Fill up on grilled or fresh veggies. They are low calorie, fiber-filled and nutrient packed.

  4. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit. It’s in season so it’s readily available. You can even get a few extra calories burned by going to an orchard and picking your own! Again, it’s nutrient packed and much lower in calories than the typical baked goods.

  5. Only eat what you really really want to eat. If you LOVE baked beans, have a little bit…not spoonful after spoonful…but get a nice little taste (like ¼ cup) and be satisfied. If it’s brats that you drool over, have a half of one for your “meat” and call it a day.

  6. If you’re staying away from carbs all together, a BBQ should be easy for you...meat and veggies…make it your mantra!

  7. Bring something to the party that you can nosh on without guilt: think veggie tray (that’s what I bring to every party), fresh fruit or this delicious quinoa dish.

  8. Drink plenty…of water. Drinking water can keep you full and drinking alcohol can lower self control. Also, sometimes the body can’t tell between thirst and hunger, so drinking water before eating something is always a good call.

  9. Don’t go hungry. Make sure that you aren’t tempted beyond what you can bear because you went to the BBQ ravenous. Eat some of veggies and hummus, and apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter or a couple slices of turkey before heading to the party.

  10. Socialize AWAY from the food table. Don’t sit around or stand around talking and snacking at the food table. Get your plate and get away. That way, you won’t be tempted to just grab some more chips or pop another cookie in your mouth.

Check out this tasty, healthy (and very full) plate!

  • Grilled chicken breast

  • Grilled asparagus (10 spears)

  • Fruit Salad (1/2 cup)

  • Baked beans (1/4 cup)

  • Coleslaw (1/4 cup)

  • Chocolate chip cookies (1 cookie)

For all of that…including a cookie treat…it’s only about 550 calories, 15 grams of fat (5 saturated), 159 mg cholesterol, 509 mg sodium.

So go forth and enjoy your next BBQ! J