Monday, July 28, 2014

Injury Prevention 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.

Here are the facts: 
Close to 50% of runners face an injury each year. 
That number increases to 80% of runners who will experience injury during their running career.

Remember my ankle that turned black and blue after Christmas 2011?  Yup, thank goodness I had an ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage to give me firm support for my sprain.  I wore an ankle brace for about 8 months after the sprain. 
I loved the ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage that I had then, but ACE Brand has made the product even better with the new ACE Brand Clip that’s quick, comfortable, and more secure.  Plus it’s easy to adjust and won’t snag on clothes.  Winner.  Winner.
In my last post we talked about leg-strengthening exercises for runners.  That will go a long way to keeping you injury free, but here are 4 more tips for injury-free running.
1.    Avoid the Terrible “Too’s”
How can you assure that your relationship with running will crash and burn?  Too much, too soon, too fast.  Start slow if you’re a new runner.  That means speed, distance and frequency.  Even if you’re an experienced runner remember that not every workout needs to be a race pace and you need off days to recover and really develop into a faster, stronger runner.

2.    Work on Flexibility
Consistent stretching will help increase and then maintain your flexibility, which will improve your running, posture, and help prevent injuries.  There are a lot of misconceptions about the best stretching practices. I advise stretching at least an hour after you run and holding each stretch for 30 seconds without bouncing.  Dynamic stretching is also good too.  Find a routine that you like and do it nightly.

3.    Wear The Proper Shoes
Not all running shoes are created equal.  Not all runners are created equal.  We have different feet, pronation, and alignment that means certain shoes could be better or worse for you. Find an expert in your area who will analyze your gait and recommend the proper footwear.  This is also important if you’re already recovering from an injury.

4.    Remember The Proper Nutrition
You can’t drive your car without gas and you can’t keep training and running without properly fueling your body.  Eat before your run, hydrate during, eat around 15 grams of carbohydrates for every 60 minutes you run, and consume carbohydrates AND protein after your run.

If you do unfortunately get an injury that hampers your running be smart about it.  Rest, ice, and use an ACE™ Brand Elastic Bandage to give your ankle, knee, elbow, or wrist with the support it needs to recover.  You can check out their website for videos on exactly how to properly wrap your ACE Brand Elastic Bandage.
Want to see how ACE™ Brand has some fun with their new “Fix the Clip” idea?  Check out these fun videos:
Do you stretch?
Favorite post run snack or meal?

Love and bye bye injuries,
Carissa & Kyle

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

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

High Intensity Workout in 12 Minutes

Twelve minutes is enough time to get a high-intensity, calorie-burning workout in. Fact.

If you want to add in a 5-minute warm-up then you can check off around 50 more calories in under 20 minutes.  Are you ready to burn?

Kyle and I like to get in a quick morning workout when we're on vacation.  Not a complete, go to failure, legs like Jello workout..but something to get us energized and help us feel a tad less guilty about sitting in a lounge chair all day.

This workout hits your full body and includes cardio, weights, and body weight exercises.  You'll need a timer, treadmill, mat, and 1 dumbbell.
Here are photos to help you with the exercises.
Let us know if you have any questions and share pics of your post workout smiles!
Do you workout on vacation?
How long are your gym sessions usually?

Love and quick hits,
Carissa & Kyle

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fancy Foods Expo in New York City

"They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway!"
I don't know about you, but I LOVE New York City.  I traveled there very frequently as a young girl to audition for commercials and it's always been a place I love to visit.  You literally never know what might be just around the next block and there's always something to see and do.  This past weekend I visited Manhattan for work to attend the Fancy Foods Expo.
My boss and I flew in on Saturday and checked into our hotel the Marriott Marquis, which was right in the middle of Times Square.  Check out the view from our room!
I wasn't sure what our plan was going to be for Saturday night.  I'm pretty laid back when I travel, but when my boss suggested we visit the Tkts booth in Times Square and see if we could go see a Broadway show I squealed with delight.  In all my times to NYC I had never seen an actual Broadway show.  The Tkts booth sells day of tickets for up to 50% off, so you never know what shows might be available.  My love of Idina Menzel took hold and I mentioned that I would like to see her in If/Then, so when there were 2 mezzanine seats available for the 8pm show we took them.
Now I am not a "I loved her in Frozen, I love Idina" fan.  I have loved her and her voice since Rent and spent a good part of 2004 lip syncing "Take Me or Leave Me" at gatherings with my friends.  I worked at Disney at the time, so this was very acceptable.
How gorgeous is the theatre?
As for the show, she was phenomenal and her voice is just in a class all it's own.  The show follows her and how her life would have been different depending on one choice she makes.  It goes back and forth between parallel lives.  Some people seemed confused at times, but I thought it was easy to follow.  There were some sad moments, but overall I liked the show.  Without Idina I don't think it would be as wonderful, but it's definitely interesting with 3 killer songs.
Sunday morning it was time to actually work and we headed in for 8 hours at the Fancy Foods show.  Going to a food show is an experience all in its own.... THERE.IS.SO.MUCH.TO.EAT.
Literally every company wants you to try what they have to eat!  I try to pace myself and take small bites of the things that are really unique or tasty.
This show in particular was full of chocolate, olive oil, and cheese.  So much cheese.  I made sure not to overload on cheese and saved room for my favorite, Cabot!
Another food trend that I noticed was Tumeric.  Tumeric is an amazing spice for your healthy and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
After 8 hours of standing, talking, and chewing we were exhausted.  Once on the bus back to the hotel we were talking over what to do that night.  Work? Nah.  Shop? Maybe.  Show?  Let's check tkts.  The showtimes weren't as plentiful since it was a Sunday night, but Chicago was available.
Both of us had previously seen Chicago (I saw it in Orlando), but the music and choreography is so phenomenal that it's always a good show.  We were both a little shocked that the Velma Kelly on Broadway was 54 years old!  Can you believe that?  I think she's been in the role since 2005 or so and is in great shape for her age.
Monday we were back at the show for another round of tasting and talking and by midnight Monday I was back home and exhausted.

It was an exhausting trip, but a wonderful one.  Hopefully the show will end up a success for us and I'll get to head back to NYC soon.  I'm trying to convince Kyle and I need a trip to the big city for my BIG birthday coming up!  Hint, hint!

What's your favorite musical?
What have you seen on Broadway?
Favorite thing to do in New York?

Love and the big apple,
Carissa & Kyle

Since today's post is full of food I'm linking up to WIAW with Jen!