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Comfort Food Gets a Healthy Makeover

We spotted this article on Runner's World this morning as our little toes and fingers were freezing off and talk of soups, casseroles and hearty meals had us counting the clock for lunch. However, in gearing up for the holiday's we're doing our best to stay true to our fitness goals and maintain the hard earned shape we gained over the summer. Enter, this article! You know we love our cream and a good bar of chocolate, but there is no harm in implementing a few of the tips below to keep you feeling fresh after that big bowl of homemade chili. Enjoy! Oh baby, it’s cold outside. When the weather outside is less than forgiving—like it is where I live in Pittsburgh—comfort foods sound great. But some of these foods pack a pretty hefty calorie punch, which can make your next run feel more like a waddle. Here’s how you can still eat your favorite winter foods in an enlightened way. Chili  Make a chili with 95% lean ground meat, or a mix of lean ground meat and ground turkey breast. Add some beans, canned tomatoes and spices for flavor. Soups and stews Stew meat is extremely lean. Add veggies (fresh, frozen or canned) for a comforting meal that tastes great. When making chicken noodle soup, think more broth and veggies and less noodles. Try using a whole grain—like barley—instead of noodles for a nice chew. Hot cereal  This is one of my personal favorites. Instead of buying the presweetened varieties, buy plain oatmeal and add a protein source (skim milk, soy milk, hemp milk, almond milk or protein powder), a sweetener (preserves, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar), fruit (fresh, frozen or dried) and spice (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, even a dash of cayenne). Mac and cheese  Play with a mac and cheese recipe too much and you may get a very unsatisfactory dish, but you can swap a few ingredients for a lower calorie treat. Try using evaporated skimmed milk instead of whole milk or cream. You can also use less cheese if you use a variety with a stronger flavor like Gruyere or Fontina. Chicken pot pie  Mark Bittman offers a great recipe for this true comfort food, which is typically full of fat in other recipes. Check it out here. Other substitutes
  • If a recipe calls for two cups of pasta, use one and add more vegetables.
  • Replace one cup of sugar with 2/3 cup and add extra sweetness through vanilla, sweet spices and fruit.
  • Cut fat from baked goods by replacing fat or oil recommendations with Greek yogurt, canned pumpkin or applesauce.
  • Add thickness to soup by adding pureed beans or split peas. It’ll make your soup creamier, more filling and add fiber and protein.
Think about improving your nutrition by adding instead of omitting. Add more vegetables to vegetable soup or throw in a few canned pumpkin cubes (keep in freezer and use as needed), throw some shredded cabbage into a salad and add dried fruit to a stew or chili (dried plums in a beef stew and tart cherries in chili are excellent). Look for more tips on making your calories work for you in my new book The Active Calorie Diet. Enjoy and stay warm. -Leslie Have a question for Leslie? E-mail her. (Please write "Ask the Sports Dietitian" in the subject line.) NOTE: Due to the volume of mail, we regret that Leslie cannot answer every e-mail. And for more guidance on fueling and diet, check out Leslie's Sports Nutrition for Coaches.
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Finding Oneself in Leading Others

This post was created by Amy, a Marketing Coordinator for Title 9 and enthusiast for all the things Title 9 stands for - including most important of all, it's customers. If you have an idea for a post or would like to connect with Title 9 shoot her an email. Already our 3rd Annual Bay Area Title 9K is coming up next month which makes me realize that its truly incredible how things pan out. Two months ago I had no idea that I would be lucky enough to start working with the Title 9K team, and on top of that, meet the people that I have. One gal in particular, Miss Irma, has blown me out of the water. In my attempt to market the race in any way I could I found a local running club in San Jose and reached out to their director in hopes of something, anything. Little did I know on the receiving end was an energetic, kind, and motivated mother passionate about running with others. I'll stop now and leave you with Irma's rendition of the birth and development of not only the Mom's Run This Town San Jose chapter, but Miss Irma herself. Cheers my dear, here's to you.
Every person experiences life changing events (LCEs) in their life – both positive and negative.  As a social worker and runner, I firmly believe in the power of exercise to undo the negative effects of LCEs.  I started running after I got married not only because I needed to lose weight, but to do something that was just for me, amidst the togetherness of a committed relationship.  I continued to run through the pre-mature deaths of my twins, Lucas and Larissa, and then after the births of my daughters, Sophia and Samantha.  As a mom, running took on new meaning. I wanted my kids to know that “being healthy” doesn’t just happen – you work hard for it, like everything in life that’s worth working for. I thought I would be done with any significant LCEs until my kids went off to college.  Wrong!! Last year, my husband got a job in the heart of Silicon Valley, San Jose, CA.  The stress of moving across the country and being away from all our family and friends took a toll on me – I gained 15 lbs and had the hardest time adjusting to our new life here.  So, I started running again after the holidays. The problem:  running alone is not my forte and the runs for the local running groups didn’t fit with my schedule.  If I were to run first thing in the morning or after work hours, I would have to bring sleepy and/or hungry kids in the jogging stroller. And who wants that at their 7 AM run or 6 PM run?  Not me – and they’re my kids! What was a running mom to do?  Enter Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) – a FREE nation-wide running club for moms, by moms.  The name intrigued me because I believe moms (and women in general) run the world and if we had the opportunities to do it on a larger scale, the world would be a much better place.  Since there was no chapter in San Jose, I contacted the founder and found myself as the new chapter leader of Moms RUN this Town-San Jose! At first, I recruited moms who I became friends with through my kids. Mid-morning, we would run with our jogging strollers, then let the kids out to play and have lunch.  Exercise time for mom and the kids get a play date - a match made in heaven! My first consistent running partner was Ellen, mom of 2, who hadn’t run for over 5 years.  Yet, after only 2 months, we completed a 5K in less than 35 minutes – a PR for both of us!    After that race, MRTT took on a whole new meaning for me.  I made up some fliers and put them out at local running stores, coffee shops, supermarkets.  Then, I got really bold and started handing them out to women I saw running or walking with a stroller or with kids. I became part of a larger group of like-minded, strong moms who did RUN their corner of the world. Junella, has young four kids, works part-time, and gets up at 5 AM to run since she is training for a marathon and a 5K obstacle run in October.  Patricia, who has grown kids, has run/walked a half marathon every month since June of this year.  Melanie is mom to a 4-legged "kid" and is training to run her first marathon this October.  Truc-Co last ran in college (over 10 years ago, but she’ll tell you it was only 5 years ago!), yet since joining MRTT, she has been running 3-4x/week while pushing her 2 year old in a jogging stroller!  She has signed up for the Title 9K (her 1st race), a half marathon and a 5k obstacle race.  She has also perfected the art of opening snacks and juice boxes and picking up various toys that have been tossed out of the jogging stroller all while maintaining a 9-10 min/mile pace. In the 3 months since our group started, we’ve grown to include 30 women with varying running backgrounds (1st time run/walkers to experienced racers) and in various stages of motherhood (1st time moms with new borns to older moms with grown kids).  We’ve created a community of running moms who inspire and support each other. Every time I log on to our Facebook page and read their posts and comments, I am humbled by their strength, dedication and kindness. We each know what it takes to make the time to run when you’re a mom. For me, MRTT was what I needed to get back on track to the healthier life I wanted to have.  It was not just the physical act of running that helped to mitigate the negative effects of my LCE.  It was the social, mental and emotional connections made through running (and specifically from running with other moms) that contributed to my life adjustment and satisfaction. When I found out about the Title 9K race series, I thought it would be a great first race for our newer-to-running moms but also for our seasoned-running-moms.  The fact that it was for women only and accommodated strollers was a bonus! Most of us have only run with strollers and most races don’t allow them.  Also, having it be all women gives it more of that community, “we’re all in this together, no matter what your pace may be” feeling.  Lastly, since 9K is not usual race length, we’re all sure to PR!! MRTT, Title Nine and the Title 9K Race Series all have the ideal of women as powerful and influential at their core.  We matter – to our families, our communities, our countries and the world.  Our lives are full of LCEs that can threaten to stop us, but the rhythm of running keeps moving us forward one step at a time.
If you're interested in joining Mom's Run This Town San Jose you can find their information here. Live in another part of the country? Find your local chapter here, or become an Irma and start your very own!

Quarterly Fitness Challenge

Our annual challenges have given rise to quarterly challenges! For Q1 of this year, we're very fortunate to have Jessica Dibiase grace our office three times a week for group strength and conditioning sessions. Stay tuned to find out what we have in store for our upcoming quarterly challenges and for what the 2012 annual challenge will be.

Wedding Day Workout

Ann, from our Conditioning and Performance (HR) group, recently tied the knot. See how she started her wedding day with a 7am workout. Congrats, Ann! Way to move it!!