Tag Archives: healthy

Cap City Quarter Marathon

OK it’s been an extra busy few weeks and I haven’t posted in oh… Forever! So here goes. I participated in the Cap City Quarter Marathon on May 3rd. Here is my night before attire all set and ready to go!

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It was extra chilly and windy that morning! I DO NOT LIKE THE COLD!

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The race was great, well organized, plenty of port-a-potties (yes that is super important) and lots of water/Gatorade stations. Before this race (at that point my farthest run- 6.25 miles) I thought for a moment, why am I doing this, the training, the nerves, the cost (yes running does end up actually being expensive). I wasn’t sure that I would run for a while after. It was a mentally and emotionally draining. But as soon as I finished, and I mean within minutes… all I could think was, I can’t wait to run a half marathon next. I signed up for a half later that week 🙂 Which I am currently training for.

The race photographers snapped some great pics of me running, I wish the pictures weren’t so expensive, really… $30 for one picture. That’s just not fair! I opted not to buy them, but I really had to dig up the inner frugalness. The bigger part of me just wanted proof that I don’t look as crazy as I think I do when I run!

I decided going into the event that I would use a pacer. Fleet Feet Sports provided them, which was amazing. I participated in a 5k that I started too fast (rookie mistake #1, I know) and ended up with an injury that put me out of running commission for 3 months this past November. So I picked a time that I felt I would be challenged yet comfortable with. It worked out perfectly! I’m glad I didn’t stray from the pack either. I wasn’t all that familiar with a pacer and just did some general research on how the event would work. It’s simple – what’s your reasonable goal to finish the race in, got it, good, now pick that pace and follow the sign. Even better, seasoned runners know pacers are volunteering this effort and have the hard work of actually monitoring our progress to an exact time, so they get lot’s of cheers along the way. Which of course made me feel like I was getting lots of cheers too (put down Rocky pumping fists) 🙂

Pacers rule! Thanks to everyone who has ever contributed, what a great gift. Oh and cheerleaders, sign holders, family and friends, you guys really make things easier. It feels damn good to see someone lending a you can do it smile. Thank you for that!

P.S. Best race sign I saw, one that said WORST PARADE EVER, LOL! 2nd best was this big lightening bolt that said tap here for power, bet your butt I sure did give it a good tap, it totally worked, at least in the moment it did!

 

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When it was all said and done, I was a little shaky and a lot of pumped. The accomplishment really made me thankful for completing a goal. You see, I’ve only been running or a runner in training for about a year. I had set a goal, I want to be a runner. I felt it was a reasonable, attainable goal. I would start small, running a couple of times every week or two to get my body used to it, then I would try a few 5k’s, followed by a quarter marathon, a half than a full. I am more than halfway completed with my goal, and I love running!

Here are my quarter marathon stats! I’m thrilled with the results, not to shabby for a beginner.

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I’m a big believer in rewards after running mine was obviously this nice ice cold beer! The one that followed the first was also considered a reward 🙂

 

Right now I’ve been focusing on training, the half marathon is in August so I don’t have too long to train. I’m going through some achy knees and calves, I’m also trying to figure out my pace. The recent extreme humidity is making for a trying time with pace, it for sure makes it harder to breathe. The sticky weather is also making my run times significantly longer. Just think about how good I’ll be in October when the chilly air arrives again – daily optimism point… Check!

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What’s My Age Again?!..

So last month I was gifted with the BEST Birthday present yet! VIP tickets to the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life Tour The event was so much fun and super informative. Yes, as I expected it provided a good amount of information that I already knew, but it also gave me insight on a professional, passionate, hysterical fitness trainer. Jillian spoke about food, health, wellness and of course exercise. The VIP guests got a short and sweet visit with Jillian, we had a few pictures taken and I also got an opportunity to pose with my article in (614) FIT Magazine that I wrote about her fitness DVD Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. If you were wondering, yes, that’s me below being ballsy and flexing in front of Jillian Michaels. I think she’s impressed 😉

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One of the tools she shared with us was the importance of learning your BMR aka. basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the rate at which energy is utilized at complete rest. *Breaking it down* How many calories you can eat without doing a thing other than breathing and watching seasons of Scandal without gaining an ounce. In my case as long as I don’t exceed 1,293 calories me and Olivia Pope can hang out all day guilt-ish free. Here is a BMR calculator http://www.myfitnesspal.com/tools/bmr-calculator

While delving into the world of BMR and learning a bit about calories and energy consumption, or lack there of, I came across a really interesting tool that calculates your fitness age. This fitness calculator comes from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, they are studying the benefits of Cardio Vascular fitness. http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max

At one point you will convert your height into centimeters, here is a tool to do so. http://www.manuelsweb.com/ft_in_cm.htm you will also need to measure your waist (1 inch above your belly button) and calculate your resting pulse (just count your beats via wrist or neck for 15 seconds and multiply by 4)

After you answer the info about your body type and activity levels they will ask you a few questions for their study, it is noted that all information provided is confidential. The total calculation from start to finish took about 10 minutes.

Here are my fitness test results

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My fitness age is 21! I answered everything correctly and even took the test again to double check. Wow, not too shabby! I’ll take those results any day! I read their recommendations for fitness and cardio vascular strength after the survey. Their most recommended tool… 4X4 Interval training. Okay! This method is so popular right now, why because it’s FAST… Zoom! Don’t know much about interval training? Here is a quick 4 minute video from the Norwegian University http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/advice

Go take the test for yourself and leave me a comment with your results! Can’t wait!

Fight for Air Climb Event – At the Almighty Rhodes Tower By: Jenn

I passed by a stack of brochures just a couple of months ago with a large hovering tower on the cover and a vibrant red word jumping out at me, CLIMB

Without a second thought I picked up the tri-fold pamphlet, eagerly wondering if this is what I imagined… climb the largest building in Columbus, Ohio. Yes, yes I would certainly LOVE to! That’s right, I’m going vertical!

The Fight For Air Climb works in cahoots with the American Lung Association. A fundraising event dedicated to end lung disease by physically challenging your very own lungs.  The climb fights for those diagnosed with lung disease ( smokers and non-smokers) those with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and both infants and adults affected with Asthma.

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This event especially hit close to home for me since it has been almost one year to date since my mom has quit smoking. I remember telling her that I was at a point where she had 2 options regarding our relationship. Either she quit smoking or I quit speaking to her. Now believe me this would be no easy task! I love, admire and adore my mother. Which is why it was so very important for me to insure that I take every action I can to keep her around for as long as possible!

March 2013, also the month of my Birthday, she quit! I am so proud of her efforts and impressed with her results! So when this event came along, I immediately thought to myself this can be my thank you! When I told my mom that I would be participating, she wanted to be a part of it too! She volunteered for the event (even more proof on how very awesome my mom is)!

Here we are after the climb!

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My mom was a climb cheerleader. They had lots of them every few flights, there were cheerleaders encouraging you, playing music, passing out water and letting you know how far along you were in the climb. This was helpful for those of us in the zone!

A few floors past my mom I even ran into a friend that I used to work with. It was great seeing him and I stopped for a quick picture.

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I wasn’t aware of how hard stair climbing really is. I practiced a little with the climbing machine at the gym. The stair climber however, is no comparison to the real deal! When climbing stairs you reach your anaerobic threshold within seconds. Your heart rate is working at it’s maximum and it gets there quick. I planned on going into the race giving it my all, I did… and it hurt. I was surprised at the instantaneous sting that arose from my burning lungs.

Stair climbing is becoming a popular activity, I noticed my Runners World magazine just released an article about it as well here: http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/why-stair-climbing-is-good-for-runners

This event totally made me appreciate stair climbing and I can’t wait for this horrendous Ohio Winter, (and not so great start to Spring) to let up a little so I can get outdoors for some serious stair climbing! Let me mention I am NOT a fan of cold weather!!!

Learning how climbing helps runners endurance was an added perk. My next goal is to teach my body how to run at a greater endurance level (without feeling like I’m going to die).

At the end of the event fire fighters even went through in full gear including their oxygen tanks and ran the stairs. Wow! Mom and I made sure to stick around and cheer for them when they were through.

My stats for the event were not as great as I imagined, but that just gives me a reason to do it again next year. I finished in 68th place out of 197 participants (firefighters not included). I was the 14th female to finish (proud of that one). I climbed 40 flights or 880 stairs in 9 minutes and 15 seconds. Most importantly however is that I participated and personally raised $150 for a very important charity that will hopefully never effect my family nor friends!

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For more info on The Fight For The Air Climb click here: http://www.lung.org/pledge-events/oh/columbus-climb-fy14/

Cauliflower Soup, the most simple yet delicious soup… ever! By: Jenn

Hey everyone, I know Spring is in the air but the following soup recipe is so amazingly delicious, simple and healthy. It truly Hits The Spot! I have made the soup a few times now and messed around adding some ingredients here and there to get the perfect result. Luckily, last night I found it, so of course I must share! I retrieved this recipe online randomly and am going to attach the original draft with my substitutions and additions at the bottom. I did all of the grunt work figuring out how to get the best flavors from this recipe so all that is left is for you to enjoy it! Click the following pics to take you to the original site if you’d like.

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Below are the changes I made, few in form yet plentiful on flavor!

  • I sweat the onion with 2 cloves of garlic… what I’m Italian, I use it A LOT!
  • Substitute Vegetable broth for water.
  • I used only one container of vegetable broth. So 4 cups as opposed to the 4 1/2 cups they suggest at the latter portion of step #2. For the steaming of the cauliflower I used the suggested amount of water (this saves you $$$ too, just buy one container of veg broth). Go organic if you can!
  • I did not have to work in batches  as suggested. Maybe the loss of that 1/2 cup of water is what did it. Not sure but I accrued the perfect amount for my standard blender.
  • Let’s talk garnish! The picture below is my first trial with this soup months ago. Here I lightly battered some sliced mushrooms in and egg wash and flour and did a super quick fry on them, this was tasty. Last night however, I used fresh grated Parmesan along with the suggested fresh ground pepper and olive oil. That combination with the nutty flavor of the Parm. MADE THE MAGIC!

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Again, this soup is so healthy and easy. Not to mention it doesn’t cost much to make at all! Serve it up like I do with a small side salad, the amount serves 4 bowls full. I freeze the left overs for the following week, and it tastes just as good.

Now, as my family would say – Mangia! Mangia! – Eat! Eat!

Try out this little treasure of a  soup and let me know your thoughts. Also check out http://www.food52.com for more great recipes, their food photography is also killer!

The Taste Tester – By: Matt

As a Chef, Taste Testing is huge! But just because these are Taste Tests, doesn’t mean they should go unnoticed in a chef’s diet!  Of course if one of my cooks ask me to try a dish or sauce they’ve conjured up, it’s a simple yes, no questions asked!  Naturally, I taste a countless number of creations every day! From a simple bite of pepper corn saute, a spoonful of fresh Pico de Gallo, to the salty, deliciousness of a buttery-egg yolk Hollandaise sauce (that you know would be delicious on that carb loaded biscuit).  And it begins!! I dip my spoon in…  The first bite, delicious.  I take another to be sure.  Delectable!  I reach in for thirds….  Then suddenly I hear, “DON’T DO IT!”.  My brain has brought my stomach back to reality! I regretfully lay my spoon aside.  But alas! I conquered that hurdle!  I didn’t let myself overdo it!

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After many observations, it comes down to this, a chubby Chef does a ton of Taste Testing! HAHA! But really, after watching all the Taste Tests my past mentors did in one day, it was almost like they were eating a small to medium sized portion meal!  In my kitchen, there are always those days when the chicken salad or Chef’s soup tastes just right, so you have to keep Taste Testing it.  Well I like to call that Grazing! If you get spotted grazing multiple times a day you’ll likely be called a goat, cow, piggy or pretty much any farm animal name!

The list below contains some of the saute station items found in my kitchen.  It is one out of five stations that would be regularly “checked” by Chefs for quality.  You guessed it, that means lots of Taste Testing!

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As a Chef, it is my responsibility to eat!  Plain and simple. But it is also my responsibility to myself to not overdo those Taste Tests and to be mindful of what I’m putting into my body!

By incorporating these food intakes into my diet plan I can keep tabs on how they affect my body. So to all the Chefs out there trying to stay healthy, fit, and live well, think before you repetitively Taste Test that Demi Glace or that succulent Pork Belly!   Save some room for those fresh strawberries! Remember, they may just be Taste Tests but they all add at the end of the day.