Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fall In Love With Running

Hi everyone! My name is Pam and I want to talk "Running Love"

February is the month of " LOVE" and while it is coming to a close, there is still time to fall in love or rekindle your love of running.
With temperatures starting to show signs of warming and days are will soon be getting longer , it is the perfect time to get outside and run. Whether you are lacing up for the first time or are just getting back into it, start with some basics.


  1. Check your shoes: make sure they are in good condition and comfortable.(Running stores offer proper fitting and can guide you to the perfect shoe)
  2. Start Slow:  A C25K program (aka couch to 5k) is a great way to start, or refresh if has been awhile since you have hit the pavement.
  3. Develop a schedule:  Plan to run 3 times a week with a rest day in between. This will help prevent injuries.( do not run everyday)
  4. Stretch:  Always end each run with a good stretch.
  5. Hydration:  Drink water!  Whether it is cold or hot outside, it is very important to stay hydrated ( drink at least 64oz. of water daily)
Before you know it, you will have that feeling of "being in love". You will have more spring in your step, be happier, and have a glow in your cheeks. You will also be taking steps to to improved health.
Running is good for your heart!!


  • Aerobic exercise improves lung and heart function and allows the blood to flow more efficiently at carrying oxygen to your cells
  • Stimulates stronger bones ( as muscles get stronger, bones become stronger and denser )
  • Relieves stress ( promotes a sense of well being long after the run)
  • Weight loss ( more calories are burned through aerobic exercise)

I believe everyone has a "runner" deep within themselves. They just have to dig deep and unleash it. So get out there, find your run and fall in love!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What's so important about Fruits and Veggies???

Hello There! I'm Ashleigh! Today I'd like to talk about how important Fruits and Veggies are to our nutrition!

Fruits and Veggies are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals! How awesome is that! Eating your fruit and veggies can help fight against things like Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, Type II Diabetes, and even Cancer!

So thats pretty awesome! What do they do for us for losing weight?? Well they are low on calories and high in fiber! Great for a snack! Besides the fact that they are packed full with vitamins and minerals which your body needs to run properly you can fill up easily on them without overdoing it calories wise!

This means that our plates should look a bit more like this:

Instead of like this: 

So what veggies are the best for you? And of course Raw (not really an option with Dried Beans) will get you the highest amount of these vitamins and minerals. 
1. Broccoli is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, and Vitamins A, B6 and C. 
2. Peas are high in fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium, and Vitamins A, B6 and C. 
3. Dried Beans (Navy, Great Northern, Kidney) are high in iron, fiber, manganese, and phosphorous. 
4. Red Bell Peppers have potassium, riboflavin, and Vitamins A, B6 and C. (One cup = 317% of the daily recommended daily amount of Vit C!) 
5. Beets are awesome because you get two for one! You can eat the greens and the root!
    Roots are high in Iron, Potassium, and Vitamin C. 
    Greens are high in iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and Vitamins A, B6, and C. 
6. Avocado (Technically a fruit) is high is Fiber, Vitamin E and Folate. Also because they have a healthy fat these yummy things can help you lower your cholesterol! 

What about the Fruits?! 
1. Apples are high in Fiber and Antioxidants
2. Bananas are high in fiber, Vitamin B6, potassium and Folate
3. Cantaloupe are high in fiber, Vitamin A, Folate and Potassium
4. Cherries are high in fiber and antioxidants
5. Dried Figs are high in fiber, potassium, calcium and iron
6. Mangos are high in Fiber, and Vitamins A and E

So heres to eating our fruits and veggies!  What are your favorites??


Monday, February 25, 2013

Kale - A natural weight loss food

Hey everyone, Roxie comin' at ya with some Kale talk!  If you've never tried Kale, then I'm here to convince you that it's time!  Have you ever asked yourself "Should I eat Kale" or "Is Kale healthy"?  YES!  Kale is a healthy food and a great weight loss food as well!  
Here are some little known facts about Kale (source: Livestrong), then I'm gonna hit you with with the best dang recipe you'll ever try!!

Calories - One cup of cooked, chopped kale contains only 36 calories.
Benefits for weight loss - Kale is high in fiber, especially for a leafy green.  A cooked, 1-cup serving provides 10% of the recommended allowance.  Fiber helps fill you up and can keep digestion smooth, preventing bloating and water retention that can affect the numbers on the scale.

Now for that AMAZEBALLS recipe that I promised you......KAZAGNA!!!  Yes, the combining of Kale with Lasagna my friends!  Where did I first learn about Kazagna?Here at THIS blog!

Photos courtesy of ME!

2 lbs grass fed beef (may use other lean meats)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
16 oz 2% cottage cheese
2 cage free eggs
1 jar Bertolli Organic Traditional Tomato & Basil Sauce
1 bunch of kale
8 oz low fat sour cream
8 oz fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded cheese for topping (optional)

Brown meat, drain any juices
Add chopped veggies to the pan
Mix in all ingredients
Pull kale leaves off of stem and put in bottom of a 13x9 pan, pour all ingredients on top and add shredded cheese if you like
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Why Whole Grains?

Hey everyone! It's me Erica writing to you today.  And why whole grains are so much better for you is something that I've wondered about myself.  So I did some research and put everything I learned all in one place for you to find.  :)

So we all know that eating whole grains is better for us than eating refined.  But why?  What is it about whole grains that makes them SO much better for us?  Let's look at the differences...
The whole grain is comprised of 3 parts.  The bran which is the fibrous outer layer, the endosperm which is the starchy part we usually eat, and the germ which is rich in vitamins and minerals.  Refined grains only use the endosperm.  When the germ and the bran are removed you get a lighter and fluffier flour.  But you lose a lot of the nutritional value.

Both forms are a great source of energy.  There are plenty of carbohydrates in both.  But when you have the whole grain there is added protein, fiber and a ton of micronutrients like iron, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, and many B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pyridoxine, and folic acid.

So eating whole grains is not just about putting back in the fiber.  All those other nutrients that are found in the germ are good for you and can help prevent a lot of medical issues as well.  Whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease because the soluble fiber helps to lower the level of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.  The nonsoluble fiber helps keep your whole digestive track cleaner, lowers constipation, and it may help reduce the risk of colorectal cancers.    Eating whole grains has been shown to lower insulin levels and also lowers the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. 

And if those aren't enough reasons to switch to whole grains, they can also help you lose weight!  Whole grains are higher in fiber which also makes them lower in calories for the same serving size.  More fiber will help you feel fuller for longer and it takes longer for your digestive track to digest.  And getting all those vitamins and micronutrients I mentioned earlier can help regulate your metabolism.  Why wouldn't you start using whole grains???

Here's a list of healthy grains to get you started:

Brown Rice
Wild Rice
Duram Wheat
Red or White Wheat

And one last piece of information before you go...When shopping for products made with whole grains, make sure you check the label.  If the product is truly whole grain, then the whole grains used in it should be the first ingredients listed.  If something else is listed first, then the product is not really a "whole grain product," it just has whole grains in it...and there is a difference!

Sources:  (great source for more info!)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Skinny on Calories

Hey Kids! Rachel here and today, I want to talk to you about the real deal with calories.  We all know that weight loss or weight gain comes down to how many calories we eat and how many calories we burn.  You must burn more than you eat to lose weight, right?  But how many calories do you need to burn to lose weight? How many calories can you eat?

First thing is first: we need to come up with your basal metabolic rate.  What does this mean? Basically, your BMR is how many calories your body would burn if you were to do nothing but lie in bed all day.  Your body needs calories for your heart to pump and your blood to circulate, for your lungs to fill and empty, your GI tract to digest, your lymph to flow, your brain to work... twenty-four hours a day.  It is important that we never eat below our BMR also, or certain hormones can kick into play that can actually stall fat loss.

So, how do you calculate your BMR? Outside of a clinical laboratory, the easiest and most accurate way to do it yourself is to use something called the Harris Benedict formula.  

The Harris Benedict Formula:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )
Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

Or, you can plug your digits into this calculator on this website here:

Now that we know what our BMR is, we need to take activity level into account.  Whether we're sitting on the couch all day and taking sporadic bathroom breaks or on our feet all day long, we must take our activities into account.  

Depending on your activity level (be honest), calculate your BMR by:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
  3. If you are moderatetely active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
  5. If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9

There.  Now we have the number of calories that you would need to eat to maintain your weight.  But, we what if we want to lose weight?

Well, first let's remember that 1 lb, whether fat or muscle, is equal to 3,500 calories.  That means, to lose 1 lb a week, we would need to subtract 3,500 calories from your total calories that you consume for the week.  The easiest way to do this is to divide 7 (7 days of the week) into 3,500 and we get 500.  So we take your calorie total and subtract 500 to lose 1 lb a week.

Now why can't we lose more than that?  You can but we want the rest of the weight loss to be burned not starved.  That means, you need to bring it in your workouts to burn the second lb.

Here's the thing: your body does not want to let go of more than 1-2 lb of fat a week at the most.  The reason for this is your hormones.  We have hormones that tell us we're tired, that tell us we're happy, that tell our bodies to store food as fat, that tell our bodies that we're safe and that we're stressed.  When we have too much of a calorie deficit, those stress hormones fire (ever hear of cortisol?) and our brain decides that we're starving and our lives are in danger - we must hold on to our fat for survival.  Fat will keep you alive, but you don't need muscle if you're starving so your body would rather break down protein from your muscles back into amino acids to keep you alive than burn fat.  It is only when we are providing our bodies with enough fuel that our bodies decide that they can burn fat safely.  

To make sure you are eating within your ideal calorie range, it is important to log the calories you eat. It is too easy to lose track of what you eat if you aren't logging each meal.  Using a program like which also has a cell phone app for ease of use, can make doing this a lot easier.  This is a habit that is important to form and once you get into that habit of logging your calories, you won't even think about it anymore.  It takes about 3 weeks to make something into a habit and if you stick with a healthy diet and workout routine for 3 weeks consistently, you'll be well on your way to changing your body!