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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips

Thanksgiving day is arguably the biggest food holiday of the year.  Most of us can and will consume upwards of 4,500 calories throughout the day...and friends..not even 26.2 miles will outrun that.  While one day of less-than-stellar eating will not undue weeks of healthy eating habits, it can make you feel like a "bump-on-a-yule" log.

Before you slide up to the table this Turkey Day here are our 5 tips for the Healthy Thanksgiving that are RD and personal trainer approved.
1. Burn Calories in the Am
There's a reason the Turkey Trot was invented.  To help ease Thanksgiving Day guilt by burring calories.  But it's a great idea. Get your metabolism moving in the am and know that you created a calorie deficit to start the day.  You'll probably feel better all day long knowing you did something active.  Go for a run, try our Turkey Burn workout, walk, or play football with the family.
2. Eat Breakfast
Please don't fall into the mindset of, "I'm saving my calories for dinner" or "If I don't eat all day, I'll have more calories for dinner."  It doesn't really work that way.  Not eating all day will tell your body that you might be starving and that you should probably store all the calories once you can finally eat.  You'll also be "HANGRY" by the time dinner comes and with a table full of relatives that might not be the greatest scenario.

Aim to have carbs and protein with your breakfast.  A simple peanut butter, toast, and banana will do if you're in a hurry!

3. Pick 1-2 Indulgences
Even with entire shows and blogs devoted to "lightening up your Thanksgiving", there are going to be dishes loaded with cream and butter.  I get that.  If my one job was to make mashed potatoes for the family, I want everyone to LOVE them....not wonder why I put Greek yogurt and cauliflower in front of them.

It's a holiday...INDULGE...but not on everything.  Pick the 1-2 things that you really look forward to and enjoy.  Then fill the rest of your plate with white meat turkey and the not-so-covered-in-butter vegetables.  Better yet bring your mashed potatoes AND a lower calorie vegetable side that you can enjoy.  For me my indulgences are said mashed potatoes and stuffing.  Other than that I like to add asparagus and pickled green beans to my meal.

4. Avoid Mindless Munching
Appetizers are especially tricky on Thanksgiving.  You're hovering around the kitchen waiting for the big meal and mindlessly eating whatever appetizer is in front of you.  Maybe it's spectacular or maybe it's a store bought dip that Mom bought to keep everyone from sneaking into the kitchen.  But realize that 5 minutes of grazing could be 400 calories that you could do without.  Grab some veggies, some water, and enjoy the company.

5. Black Friday = Back to Healthy
Did you enjoy Thanksgiving?  Good. Now start Friday with healthy habits.  Don't let one day turn into a weekend of food that isn't nourishing to your body.  Start Friday again with a workout and a healthy breakfast and finish the day with whole foods in the proper portions.

This Thanksgiving I will start my day announcing Track Shack's Turkey Trot before having a holiday breakfast at my Mom's and then eating dinner with my in-law and about 20 family members.  It's the most wonderful time of year and I'm thankful to be able to enjoy it with loved ones.
Happy Thanksgiving to you!

What's your fave Thanksgiving food?
Do you have any healthy Thanksgiving tips?

Love and a food parade,
Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend

The RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon takes runners on a 13.1 mile journey through 3 Disney parks and finishes with a party at Epcot's International Food & Wine festival until 4am.  Here is my recap of the 2014 race weekend.

When you list your favorite running gear do you list a poncho?
If you ran the 2014 RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon then you just might think of adding it to the list....but let's start at the beginning.

Like any RunDisney weekend the W & D fun began at the expo.  That's where you pick up your packet, shop all the latest running gear and race day wardrobe essentials, and catch great information from the running experts at the speaker series.  The expo goes on both Friday and Saturday at this race.
Your RunD race announcers
Saturday morning I stopped by the North Pole on the way to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to get dressed....
Yup, HOLIDAY KIDS RACES Y'ALL!!
I am a huge fan of the holiday season, so I didn't mind getting into the spirit a little bit early at all.  For the kids races we have races of different distances for the different ages ranging from the 100m, 200m, 400m, 1 mile, and diaper dash.  We also have a Disney friend at the finish line to welcome the young athletes and this weekend it was Duffy.  (love him!)
A highlight of the race was the inspiring mile run of Sarah Kate.  I first met Sarah Kate and her Mom Andi at the Princess Half Marathon and have kept in touch via social media.  Sarah Kate as a form of cerebral palsy and had surgery over the spring.  All summer through rehab she worked to be able to finish the 1-mile run this weekend and she not only finished it, but conquered it!  Talk about inspiration.
Finally on Saturday night it was time for the big event.  The announcing team arrived at the start line around 630pm to rehearse and prepare for the night.  We were expecting rain, but were happy to see that it hadn't started as we headed for our start line show at 8pm.  We were costumed as different countries from the Food & Wine festival.  I was Germany, Rudy was Mexico (yum shrimp tacos), and John was France.
By the time Rudy and I were ready to send Corral A on their way it was a different story.  Luckily we had a tent to hide under, but the runners were waiting and getting wet.  Unfortanuately Mickey Mouse can control a lot of things and there's a lot of magic at Disney, but weather and cold fronts are out of his reach.  Kudos to those runners who enjoyed themselves despite the less than ideal weather....that continued for 5 hours from the start of the race.
My friends Gail and Kim who blog over at Run All the Races described it like this - "Get dressed to run a half marathon.  Get in your shower.  Turn on the shower on cool not warm water.  Run the amount of time it takes you to finish a half marathon. The end."

Again, it wasn't ideal, however I'm sure it's a race that runners will remember for a soggy long time.  I know my Mom will!  She didn't run her best time, but she rocked her poncho for 13.1 miles and picked up her 3rd Coast to Coast medal.
If you have a chance and the weather plays nice, think about signing up for the Wine and Dine Half.  The after party is great and I think a highlight for many runners is being able to run through the Osbourne Family Spectacle of Lights at Hollywood Studios.

What's the worst weather you've ever run in?

Love and absorbent material,
Carissa & Kyle

Friday, November 7, 2014

Where'd Ya Go?

So y'all we've been a little absent!  You noticed huh?

I hate excuses, so I don't have them.  It may be a few more weeks before we return to our "regularly scheduled blogging programming", so thank you for your patience!  Are we still friends?
Since we have SO much to catch up on I thought I'd share some snapshots of what we've been up to (as I sit here listening to my first taste of music for the Christmas season 2014).

1. Mickey's Not-So Scary Halloween Party
The Halloween parade at the Magic Kingdom is one of my favorite events of the year, however you can only see it at the Halloween party.  Since Mom is now an Orlando resident I took her for her first Halloween party experience.

She loved the parade, the fireworks, and the great decorations.
2. FNCE
As you saw from the Subway post I was able to travel to the national conference for Registered Dietitians and nutrition lovers in Atlanta.  I didn't get to attend a lot of the educational sessions, but I met with a lot of great food companies and learned about many new, exciting food products.
3. Utah
Directly after Utah I took a flight to Salt Lake City then headed to Logan, Utah.  Logan is the world headquarters of Icon Fitness and I was honored to be asked out to learn more about some new products that I might have the chance to showcase on HSN.  Utah is GORGEOUS and the weather gave me a perfect taste of fall!
4. Beach
From a chilly Utah we headed to the beach.  Yes, the beach...in October. One of the many perks of being a Floridian.  Kyle, his sister Kelsey, her husband, and I spent the weekend at our traditional beach house on Flagler Beach.
The whole family came down on Sunday morning and surprised me with a birthday cake and presents!
5. 30th Birthday
Speaking of birthdays I'm 30 now! Yikes! Kyle surprised me with a stay at the brand-spanking-new Four Seasons Resort at Disney.  It was stunning!
 
He even scored a park view room and we were able to watch the Epcot and Magic Kingdom fireworks from our balcony.  I found the music on YouTube, so it was like we were right there!
We had dinner at Copa, which is on the 17th floor of the resort and had just opened 9 days earlier.  The restaurant itself was stunning and Kyle loved his steak, however I think the service could be improved.
Finally last weekend Kyle and I had an AMAZING trip to Dallas to watch the Cowboys play.  That was such an event that it deserves its own post and I promise it won't take a month to post!
What have you been up to lately?
What's one fun thing you did in the last month?

Love and playing catch up,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, October 27, 2014

Eat Smart with Subway

The following post is sponsored by Fitfluential, LLC on behalf of Subway.

If you are a long time Fit2Flex reader than you know I am totally #TeamBreakfast.  Breakfast is always a priority meal for me, because I believe it's starts my metabolism and gives my body and more importantly my brain energy to take on the day.  Also when I start my day with a balanced breakfast with at least 15 grams of protein, I find that I'm less likely to snack or eat mindlessly later in the day.

When I'm home breakfast is an easy meal to get in.  If it's a workout day I'll have a fruit and veggie smoothie.  If I'm at home I'll alternate between our favorite oatmeal bake, toast with peanut butter, or scrambled eggs if there's time.
Smoothie to-go
But what about when I'm on the road like last week? Often times I will pack breakfast and that works for a few days, but eventually I'll run out of food.  Or like last week I woke up at 6am, ate breakfast, drove 1.5 hours to the airport, checked into my flight, and by that time it was 10am yet 4 hours since my last meal.  Then it was time for second breakfast.

One of my stops last week was the annual Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo, which is basically a national meeting of Registered Dietitians.  In addition to eye opening seminars, there are many special events designed to help RD's understand more about the food brands that their clients may be choosing.  One such brand that I was invited to learn more about was Subway.
What I like about Subway is that it's consistent and easy to find.  If you are in a food (or breakfast!) pinch you can usually find a Subway where you can easily find a option with protein, whole grains, and veggies for under 500 calories.  My favorite choice has always been the sweet onion chicken teriakyi on wheat with spinach, cucumbers, banana peppers, and bell peppers.  That has about 370 calories and 25 grams of protein.  I leave off the cheese to save calories and because you really don't miss the taste.  Really...try it!

ALSO...Did you also know that a 6" sub can have 2 of your daily servings of vegetables?  So make sure to fill your sub up with plenty of Subway's diverse veggie offerings.

If you're on the hunt for breakfast then as a dietitian I recommend the 6" egg and cheese (real egg, not egg white) that has 360 calories and a filling 19 grams of protein.  Protein at breakfast is key to help prevent overeating later, so don't be afraid to go for the larger breakfast sandwich.  Think of it as filling your tank for a day of success.
Would you be surprised to know that Subway employs a dietitian?  They have for 10+ years and they were one of the first quick-service restaurants to do so. I had a chance to meet and briefly chat with Lannette at the conference, but I forgot to ask her what her favorite sub was.  Doh!  But I did snap a pic.
Thank you to Subway for providing consistently good food choices easy all over the country!

What's your go-to Subway meal?

Love and 5 dollar foot longs,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, October 19, 2014

How to Eat Smart While Watching Football

It's no secret that the Bealert Home is a football home.  Sunday, Saturday, Thursday, Monday...sometimes Friday..it's football time!  If you have wondered where our weekend recaps have gone recently I have saved you the exciting recap that states, "We sat at home and watched football."  Sometimes we ate food, but we mainly just watched football. And we loved it.
However when you are eating food while watching football, mindless calories can add up.  Munching while distracted is a big contributor to excess calories and over the 16-weeks of a football season that can add up.  2 beers + 1 serving of tortilla chips = roughly 380.  Over 16 weeks that's 6800 calories and about 1.7 pounds gained.

Recently I appeared on Emotional Mojo and shared some of the tailgating tips and traps to avoid.
Wonderful Pistachios are a great snack food, because 1 serving is 49 nuts and because you have to crack the shells it takes you longer to eat.  Win, win.

I also shared a blog favorite recipe for our super easy crock pot buffalo chicken.  These sandwiches were a hit at the studio and will be at your next tailgate too.

Who's your football team?
What's your favorite tailgating snack?

Love and first downs,
Carissa & Kyle