- 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.
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!
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.