Wednesday, July 23, 2014

No Cook Mediterranean Tuna Bowl

Summer is the perfect time to make quick meals.  There's so much to see and enjoy.  Who wants to turn on the oven and spend all day in the kitchen?  Not I!
Today I'm sharing a super simple "recipe" for my Mediterranean Tuna Bowl.  I like to make a larger serving and it will last me for about 3 days of lunches.

When I created this recipe (or any recipe) I look for 3 things: protein, fiber, and produce.  This recipe has quick protein from the tuna, fiber from the chickpeas, and produce from the plethora of veggies inside.
Mediterranean Tuna Bowl
Combine Ingredients and Enjoy!
S1 can of beans, rinsed
S2 cans of water packed light Tuna
S1 large red bell pepper diced
S1 cup grape tomatoes
S½ cup fresh chopped parsley
S4 teaspoons of capers rinsed
S8 cups spinach

S2-4 tablespoons of Greek dressing
S290 calories; 16 g fat, 28 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein; 9 g fiber

I also want to give a shout out and thank Julie from Peanut Butter Fingers for including me in her "What Do Dietitians Eat?" blog post today.  Julie is the first blogger I read and I've enjoyed getting to know her through the blog and in real life.
What's your favorite summer lunch?
What do you THINK dietitians eat?

Love and chunk light,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, July 21, 2014

Strength Training For Runners

I am proud to be a 3M-sponsored blogger, and have the opportunity to evaluate 3M products.  Opinions are my own and I selected additional products used in the project.

Runners are an interesting breed.  We’re a riddle.  Addicted to the lure of the race bling, covered in Body Glide, and discarded banana peels.  I am proud to be a running addict.
However us runners have an addiction that can be damaging to us eventually.  Miles.  We crave the miles.  We pile on the miles and all those miles without being properly training in other areas can lead to injury.  Runners can hit the track, but they don’t always hit the gym.

Today I’m sharing my 4 key strength-training exercises for runners.  I recommend adding 2-strength training days to your current workout schedule.  Taper your weights and volume like you would taper miles before a race.  You just might find that the time in the gym is the key to faster splits and less injuries.

1.    Squats
A simple enough exercise.  Stand with feet shoulder width apart and drop it like’s it hot.  Okay well it does take a little more fitness.  Push your butt back like you’re sitting in a chair and try to keep your weight in your heels and your chest up.  You can add body weight squats to your post-run routine or add them to a full body workout like I have here.

2.    Single Leg Deadlifts
If you are someone who mainly works out at home or doesn’t strength train, then your hamstrings are most likely neglected.  It’s hard to train hamstrings at home and this exercise is superior because it trains your hamstrings and your glutes (another muscle that can be very weak in runners).  Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your body, bend forward at the waist and raise your opposite leg and your chest dips forward.  Keep the weight close to your leg until it is about parallel to your knee then return to standing.

3.    Walking Lateral Lunges
Strengthening your glutes and outer thighs will help keep your body balanced, strong, and prevent things like nasty IT band injuries.  Walking lateral lunges are a simple exercise that can be done at home or in the gym and yields great results.
4.    Single Leg, Leg Extension
Chances are one leg is stronger than the other.  Give your strength training the chance to target each leg individually with single leg, leg extensions.  This will target the quadriceps, which absorbs impact when you run and stabilizes the knee.  I don’t need to tell you how important knees are to running.  If you don’t have a bi-lateral leg extension at your gym, just use the standard one.  Lower the weight and perform 10-15 reps with each leg.

Here's a full leg workout you can do incorporating these exercises:

Just like proper strength training can support your body as it runs, you can add another  layer of confidence to your performance with the ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage with their new and innovative fastner. 

Did you know that ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage with the ACE™ Brand Clip can provide customized compression and firm support for sprains and strains?  ACE Brand also offers hot and cold therapy products to keep you running longer and happier.

The new ACE™ Brand Clip is pretty revolutionary if you have experience with the older silver clips.  I had to watch the online tutorial to learn how to use it, but it truly is a revelation.  They fixed the clip!
Along with this strength training routine and the support of ACE Brand you should be ready for even stronger running this summer and fall.

Keep up with ACE™ Brand on social media:
o   Facebook
o   Twitter
o   YouTube

What’s your typical workout schedule for the week like?
Favorite leg exercise?

Love and strong support,

Carissa & Kyle

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Foods That Fight Stress

What do you do when you feel stressed?

Run to the pantry?  The ice cream aisle?  Lace up your running shoes?  Binge watch the Real Housewives?  Pour a big glass of red wine?

Thursday I guest hosted on Emotional Mojo and our entire show was dedicated to stopping stress.  Besides these food tips I learned a lot about using guided imagery to help sooth stress as well as the power of deep breathing. Can we say ohm?
TV stress?  Step 1 - Remove your producer from talking in your ear!! :)
Most Americans deal with stressful issues in their lives.  I can't give you the secret to preventing stress, but I can give you 4 tips to help stop stress in the kitchen.
·      Eat Breakfast
o   To start your day stress free, start with a quality breakfast. Breakfast gives your body fuel to start your day and replenishes your body after overnight fasting.  Pick a breakfast with grains, protein, and a source of healthy fats.
o   Options include a bowl of high protein, high fiber cereal with low-fat milk, oatmeal with nuts, or 2 scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast with salsa and 1/8 of an avocado.
·      Get Nutty
o   For years we were told that fat was bad and we should avoid all fats.  Well nuts are notoriously high in fats, but wonderful for fighting stress.
o   For example, almonds have magnesium, which many Americans are deficient in.  A magnesium deficiency has been shown to cause irritability, depression, and anxiety.
o   Almonds are also good sources of B vitamins and the antioxidant Vitamin E.
o   Walnuts and sunflower seeds are great options too as are cashews which can boost zinc.
·      Eat Carbohydrates
o   Carbs continue to have a very bad reputation, however consuming carbohydrates can help elevate your body’s level of serotonin, a brain chemical that aids in sleep, memory, and feelings of cal
o     Add a reasonable amount of carbohydrates into your meals and snacks especially in the morning.
·      Vitamin C
o   When you’re stressed cortisol rises and has damaging effects. Vitamin C is thought to help blunt this rise in cortisol.
o   People who have high blood levels of vitamin C have been shown to fare better mentally and physically when exposed to stressful situations compared to those with low levels of Vitamin C.

o   Foods high in vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, cantaloupe, blueberries, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and cabbage.

How do you cope with stress?
Any tips to beat stress?

Love and kicking cortisol butt,
Carissa & Kyle

Monday, July 14, 2014

Weekly Workouts and Dinner Plans

If I told you guys this week was busy would you believe me?  If I told you I was struggling to make sure I got my workouts and clean dinners in would you believe me?

It's true.  We all have weeks that push us out of our normal routine.  These are the weeks that are the most important, because they force us to examine just how important sticking to a healthy lifestyle is.  Sure it's easy to grab convenience foods when I travel or skip workouts because I don't have my trainer.  It's really easy.  So what!  The weeks that are the hardest are when it's the most important to go the extra mile and make sure I commit to my healthy lifestyle choices because those choices help me to feel my best!

This past weekend, Kyle and I spent the night at Rosen Shingle Creek.....yes.....again!  Last time we were there it rained, so I pouted until Kyle took me back again.  Pool side cabana time was a success!
Champagne on the balcony!
I left the hotel on Sunday and headed to Ft. Lauderdale for the annual symposium of the Florida Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.  It's a great time to network with my fellow Florida dietitians and listen to some engaging sessions on current nutrition topics and research.  Today I attended sessions about artificial sweeteners, speaking skills, and sensual nutrition.
Today's lunch - grilled fish tacos
Sunday night I was also honored and excited to receive the 2014 Media Award for excellence in media from the Florida Academy and Nutrition and Dietetics.  For having only been an RD for 9 months, I have been blessed to have some wonderful opportunities and I hope those continue as my career moves along.  Thank you for all the congrats on Facebook and Twitter today!
Tuesday afternoon I will head back home to Orlando and get back to my regular "work" with a night event at Disney, 1 day guest hosting Emotional Mojo, and a nutrition lecture thrown in.  Whew!

So with all that on the agenda here's my In & Out plan to stay focused this week:
It is far from a perfect week of eating and I know travel will try to lead my astray, but with a plan in place I am much closer to success.

What's one exciting thing you're doing this week?
What's your go-to "healthy" dinner when you travel?

Love and mapping it out,
Carissa & Kyle

Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's Your FitStyle?

This post was sponsored by Athleta.  I was not compensated, but was given a credit to purchase the items in this post, which I selected myself.  Opinions are my own.

I am not a fashionista.  In my younger years I did model and I still can't put together an amazing outfit.  I did NOT put together the outfit in this pic, but the "fierce" stare is all my own.
After 12+ years of gymnastics and track, I am much more comfortable in workout clothes than couture.
When Athleta contacted me to try some of their products and write about my own FitStyle I thought, "Now that's a fashion post I can do."  I love need to combine cute pieces with comfort and a dash of fashion.  Since Kyle and I are doing a good amount of pool and beach time this summer I decided to select pieces that could work for those places.

My favorite piece that I picked hands down is this Kali gray maxi skirt (which is on sale right now).  It's comfortable, easy to pack, and could be worn as a strapless dress too.
I dressed it with a striped tank and flip flops for a casual dinner in Clearwater.
Summers in Florida demand maxi dresses.  I have several long ones, but this striped racerback one caught my eye.  It's a different length and the ruching gave it an interesting look.  During our staycation at Shingle Creek I wore it to dinner with gladiator sandals and a white ceramic watch.  It's also a good travel items since it packs easily.
Finally, since it's beach season I decided to brave my fears and select a bathing suit online. What drew me to this suit was the boy cut shorts and the design on the back of the top.  It's a sporty suit perfect for swimming and beach volleyball.
Unfortunately I don't think it's the most flattering suit on me and in a store I probably wouldn't have selected it.  Athleta does have a great return policy, if you find yourself in a situation where you buy something that you don't love.

I paired my swimsuit with sunglasses, a beach hat, and sunscreen.  Do NOT forget to wear sunscreen when you're out in the sun! That's my PSA for the day.
Thanks Athleta for the fun post!

What's your #FitStyle?
Do you have a favorite summer outfit right now?

Love and stylin',
Carissa & Kyle