Tuesday, April 29, 2014

How To Eat for Resiliency

A few days ago on Emotional Mojo we were talking about resiliency and that got me thinking about foods to can help you and your body to be more resilient. 
Whether you’ve just finished a tough workout, are recovering from an injury or illness, or just went through a very stressful time there are certain foods that can help your body bounce back.

Your body is an amazing machine and can heal from the inside out with the right nutrients.

·      Vitamin C
o   Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that our body does not have the ability to make.  Therefore you need to get it from foods.
o   Not only is it key for bone strength and helping your body to rebuild proteins and repair damaged tendons and ligaments.  It’s also an antioxidant helping to take away the free radicals that are created from stress both internal and external.
o   Good sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, and bell peppers.
·      Vitamin A
o   Now we’re talking about immunity.  This vitamin helps to keep the production of white blood cells going.  These are the blood cells that play a big role in fighting off infection and increase your rate of healing
o   Good sources include sweet potatoes, carrots, and spinach

·      Omega-3 Fatty Acids
o   This is a good time to think if you’re getting 2 recommended servings of fatty fish per week.
o   Omega-3’s are crucial in reducing inflammation and chronic inflammation sets the framework for a lot of major chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke.
o   Sources include salmon, flax or chia seeds, walnuts
·      Zinc
o   Every single tissue in your body uses zinc and it’s especially important when you’re recovering from illness.
o   Zinc helps speed wound healing, boosts immunity, and has even been used to treat malaria.

I also want to mention protein.  Protein is key to have throughout your day and I just read several studies today about how protein can help support weight loss.  Try to have some type of protein in every meal or snack. Choose things like lean meats, nuts, beans, cottage cheese, non-fat yogurt, or whey protein powder.
What's your favorite lean protein?
Do you think your diet helps your body to be resilient?

Love and strong guts,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Get Rid of Food Guilt

Today I'm sharing a topic that I did this week on Emotional Mojo.  I hate when I have clients who start dieting, have a few "bad meals", and then give up.  It's about progress and not perfection. Don't give up friends!!!!!
Here's how I look at getting rid of food guilt:

When we diet it can take on an “all or nothing” mentality.  We push so hard to follow a strict diet.  Then we indulge in one small treat and “boom” the guilt swoops in.  Listen up – it’s okay to treat yourself and it can help you stick to your diet and reach your weight loss goals.

·      Follow the 80/20 rule. 
o   Diets don’t work because they’re restrictive and eventually you eat something bad and totally throw in the towel.  We all need to eat those cheat foods that we love.  Aim to eat a balanced, healthy diet 80% of the time and allow yourself to choose the foods you crave the other 20%.
·      Plan Your Treats
o   Indulging in your favorite foods is part of the 80/20 plan we just talked about.  By picking you treat and thinking about when you’re going to eat it, you are giving yourself something to look forward to.  Your brain can understand that a little bit of clean eating will allow you to enjoy something more “sinful” later.  Salad might be boring for lunch, but knowing you can have sangria with dinner might make that spinach look a bit better.
·      It’s Okay to Cheat
o   If you have a bad meal or even a bad day of eating don’t beat yourself up over it.  Allowing yourself to feel guilty will not improve the situation or your mood.  It will actually only make you more likely to binge again in the future.  Instead of feeling down, empower yourself to get back to your healthy habits at your next meal.  Sit down and write out a meal plan with a focus on healthy, balanced foods.  And yes, plan a treat. It’s your well deserved 20%.
·      It’s Not a Diet
o   If you are trying to lose weight by eating healthier, try not to think of it as a “diet”.  The word diet implies that it’s something temporary.  A better way to think about it is that you are making healthy lifestyle choices that can improve your overall health and lead to weight loss. 

So you ate that piece of chocolate? Big Whoop!  Have a piece of chocolate (not the whole bag) and enjoy it.  Then get back to your healthy balanced diet.  Lose the guilt and you can lose the pounds.

How do you get over food guilt and stick to healthy habits?

Love and forgiveness,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My First Stitch Fix

What's Stich Fix?  What can you expect in your first Stitch Fix?

If you are a frequent reader of blogs, then you are no doubt an expert on Stitch Fix.  It seems that blogger after blogger is jumping on the Stitch Fix fan train.  You probably already get your very own Stitch Fix or you're so tired of reading about it that you've actually already stopped reading this post....oh..that's sad.

If you have no idea what Stitch Fix is then I am VERY excited to tell you and share my first experience with it.
Here's the short version of how the online, personal styling service Stitch Fix works:

  • Sign Up and Complete a Style Profile
    • It takes about 10 minutes and you'll tell them your sizes, shape, style profile, and what type of clothes you typically like.  It's really easy, yet comprehensive.
  • Schedule Your First Fix
    • Pick a date to receive your first shipment, which will include 5 items.  It costs $20 to get a fix (it's called a styling fee).  If you keep anything from that shipment, the $20 will be taken off the cost of that item.
    • You don't have to sign up for monthly fixes.  That's an option, but you can sign up for just one too.
  • Try On Your Clothes
    • Try on your clothes and see what you like. You also get a color guide to help styling your outfits.
  • Keep What You Like, Return What You Don't
    • Keep that clothes you like and return the ones you don't.  They give you a prepaid label and bag for shipping.  It's USPS, so I put it right in my mailbox.  You have 3 days to get the clothes you don't want in the mail and then you pay for the ones you keep (minus the $20).  If you keep all 5 items you save 25%.
I am someone who does not like to go shopping.  I like to shop at Target and an entire professional wardrobe should not be from Target.  I thought $20 was worth a gamble and the fun of trying Stitch Fix.  Honestly I had read about 10 bloggers reviews on Stitch Fix, but it took a "real life friend" getting one for me to sign up.  Thanks Megan!
When people say getting your Stitch Fix is like Christmas, it's true.  I was so excited to open up my box and see what was inside.  From my style profile I told them that I was looking for casual clothes that I could wear in the hot, Florida summer.  I also made sure they knew that I was tall.  

In my first fix I received a pair of long white jeans, yellow tulip blouse, green striped Maxi dress, blue fit 'n flare dress, and one necklace.

I was shocked that these jeans actually fit, but I decided not to keep them since I already have white denim capri pants.  
The next piece was the yellow top.  I liked the "idea" of the tulip print shirt, but it just didn't lay right on the top.  I was hoping Stitch Fix would lead me to items that I might not buy in the store.  This is one of them, but the fit wasn't worth the price tag.
I was really on the fence about this dress.  It was cute, loved the color and back detail, and it could work for TV appearances.  But it was wrinkled and would need steaming every wear.  I'm a low maintenance girl and when I thought about it, I have several spring dresses already.  Back it went.
My favorite item was this maxi dress.  The moment I opened the box I knew I would keep it.  Maxi dresses are great in the summer and the embellishment on the top elevates the style a little bit.  I wore it to Epcot with the family this weekend.
I also received  a very ugly necklace in my fix.  I am not a jewelry person, so I asked them to send me a piece, so maybe I could expand my style.  This was not the way to expand my style.  Womp womp.
The Maxi dress I kept was $78, so I paid $58 since the $20 styling fee had already been charged.  I signed up for another fix and am excited to see how the stylists do next time.  I have heard that by the 3rd fix they really nail down your style.

If you'd like to get your Fix on, feel free to use my affiliate link.  Full disclosure: I was not paid or asked by Stitch Fix to write this post, but if you sign up with my link I get $25 credit.  And then I will be very happy and thankful to you for fueling my Fix addiction! :)

Have you received a Stitch Fix?
Would you sign up for an online styling service?
What'd you think of the clothes I received?

Love and #styleMe,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Speed Work for a Sub-25 minute 5k

We all have a different version of "fast".  That's what I love about running. We are able to achieve gains and personal bests no matter what our speed.  You're running against yourself.  You vs. the road.
As a race announcer I see first hand that it takes every bit the same amount of effort to finish a half marathon on 1:30 as it does in 3:30.  13.1 miles = 13.1 miles at any pace.

For me I know my pace and I'm happy to say that over the years it has gotten faster.  When I first started I ran/raced/trained at a 10 minute per mile pace.  Then I started seeing 9's.  Now when I can finish a workout with an 8-something average pace it's exciting and when I ran a 5k with a 7:54 average pace this weekend it was a big accomplishment.
Improving your running speed is all about consistency and speed work.  If you're a new runner then you will most likely see improved times as you run more and increase your cardiovascular capabilities.  Once you have a good base of miles built then you can add speed work into your routine.  If you're a running newbie, I caution you to add speed work slowly to prevent injury and to incorporate strength training into your routine.
If you're someone who would like to run a sub-25 minute 5k (8:02 average) pace then here is a speed work progression that I used.  I did 1 speed workout per week on the treadmill with 1 shorter run (3-4 miles) during the week, and one longer run (6-9 miles).

  • Repeat Miles - 1 mile warm-up, 2 x 1 mile in 8:06 with 800m jogs, cool down
    • Treadmill speed-  7.4 and 1% incline
  • Repeat 800's - 1 mile warm-up, 4 x 800 in 3:50 with 400m jogs in between, cool down
    • Treadmill speed for 800s - 7.8 and 1% incline
  • Tempo run - 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles at 8:26, cool down
    • Treadmill speed - 7.1 and 1% incline
    • This was the hardest workout for me
  • Repeat Miles - 1 mile warm-up, 2 x 1 mile in 8:00 with 800m jogs, cool down
    • Treadmill speed - 7.5 and 1% incline
I like having a plan when I run.  It takes out the guess work and keeps me accountable.  You could do this for 1 month and then if you're training longer then up the speed by .1 on the treadmill.  Don't kill yourself, but the key is consistency.  It was hard for me to do 2 miles at 8:26, but easier to go faster on race day.

What race goal are you working towards right now?
Do you regularly do speed work?

Love and the "dread mill",
Carissa & Kyle

Related Posts:

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Zoe 5k and 1 mile race

I have a new 5k PR! Woohooo!
As a race announcer, the weekends I have free to actually run races are limited and I usually opt for longer distance races.  As a result I run very few timed 5k's. My last timed 5k was in April 2013 and I did PR at the race, but it was a hilly trail run and I really wanted a sub-25 5k.  After my race season ended with Best Damn Race in March I have been doing lower mileage and speed work and Saturaday was my chance to bust the 25 minute barrier. I had been close in untimed fun runs at Disney, around 25:10, but never under the 25 minute mark.

My requirements for a 5k this year?  Had to be chip timed, on pavement, preferably flat.  The Zoe 5k in Oviedo was a small race that fit all those requirements.  It had the option for a 5k and then a 1 mile run for just $5 more entry fee, so I picked that.  Who am I to turn down more miles?
Packet pick-up
My goal for the race was to negative split.  I really wanted sub-8 minute overall pace, so I told myself to start around 8:10 average pace and bring it down from there.

I arrived at the race around 730am for am 8am start.  I picked up my packet in about 3 minutes and took an easy warm-up mile.  Love small races! My friend Coach Krystal was the one who instructed me to warm-up last year at my 5k, so I did 1 mile around 11-minute per mile pace.

Before I knew it the storm troopers (yes, storm troopers) were heading out to the start line and we were ready to go.  The race was an out and back on the Seminole Trail and pretty flat.  They said "Go" and I did. I felt really good the first mile and tried to breathe and keep my pace steady.
Mile 1 - 7:53

Mile 2 still felt good, but I lost some time and the turnaround, because it was literally a 180 degree turn on 6 feet of pavement.  I tried to keep my Garmin's current pace between 7:55 and 8:10 and not push too hard yet.

Mile 2 - 8:08

At this point I knew that I was more than capable of getting my goal.  And I was happy.  I was also starting to hurt.  I passed a water stop and grabbed what I thought was water and threw it on myself.  Yup, I threw blue Gatorade all over me.  #Winning.  I knew that I was the 5th overall female at this point and I saw one of the other women ahead of me take a walk break. I decided that I wanted to pass her and with .15 left to go I did.  #MyFirstTakedown

Mile 3 - 7:47

I threw up my hands and tried to smile as I finished!  I did it!  A 1 minute PR!

3.1 miles - 24:29 - 7:54 average pace
After the race I grabbed water and was handed a bag of jelly beans.  I thought of all the articles I've recently read about artificial colors in Easter candy...and then I thought that I would need some sugar for my 1 mile run to come, so I ate some.  Sugar is sugar. And you can trust me....I'm a dietitian.

About 30 minutes we were lining up for the 1 mile.  How does one pace a one mile race after a 5k?  What's my goal?  I was kinda nervous.
I decide that I would like a 6-minute mile and we took off.  I felt great starting and saw 6:25 pace on my watch.  Ouch- that might hurt.  I slowed to around a 7:00 pace and made it to the half mile turn around.  As that happened I realized one thing...I was the first female. WHAT?  I have never in my life been the first overall anything in a race.  I saw the second female was about 15 feet behind me and I didn't plan on slowing my pace.  I was winning!  I was also noticing how heavy my legs felt.  I just kept on pumping, got into a sprint to the finish with a guy, and finished in 7:04.  First female and 7th overall.  Woohoo!  Note: I am not trying to tell you that I am a championship runner.  7:01 is not that fast, but I was the fastest person who woke up and ran that day, so please don't rain on my parade. :)

I was laughing at loud at the finish.  It's fun to be first and to PR! This was a great day!
I would recommend the Zoe 5k to runners in the Orlando area.  It was well organized, accurately measured, and fun.  You received a tech tee and I got $30 to a local restaurant for my overall mile win and age group 5k win.

Plus the race has a finish line video on YouTube, so if you've been dying to see what I actually look like when I run, well here's your chance:
5k -

1 mile and my attempt to out sprint a man -

I plan to post a few more 5k posts included my "Sub-25 minute speed work" and my 5k playlist. I have one more half marathon in May as part of the Cabot Fit team and then I'll give my body a much deserved rest.  I may be running a 5k next weekend with our gym, but I'll take it easy...I think :)

What's your favorite distance to race?
Small races or big races?

Love and shiny new PR's,
Carissa & Kyle