Monthly Archives: May 2011

10 Healthy Living and Eating Tips

  1. Sweat every day.  Get your body moving everyday.  Some days can be more intense than others, but it’s important to keep moving.
  2. Count your veggies.  I had a running friend who used to say she was a walking V-8 bottle, always focusing on the amount of servings of veggies she was getting.  She would count her servings of fruits and veggies to make sure she got in the recommended amount each day (2-3 servings fruit, 3-4 servings veggies by the way), and then work her meals around those.  Obviously proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are important too, but we don’t seem to be lacking on those here in America, so if we focus our attention on the vitamins we’re getting through real food, the rest will come naturally.
  3. Strength train.  Are you a cardio queen trying to lose weight?  Yes, cardio will burn the most calories and give you the best burn for your buck, but weight training is equally as important.  Building muscle helps you raise your resting metabolism so that you will essentially burn more calories doing everything else you do.  Also, muscle gives your body a little shape and tone and allows you to be more efficient during those cardio bouts. If you’re clueless on proper form, take a Body Pump class at the gym, which leads you through a set routine, or hire me .  Hehe. 🙂
  4. Mix it up.  If you’re bored with working out, its probably because you’re doing the same thing way too often.  Take a new class, switch up your routine, or kick your weights up a notch.  The body is extremely adaptable and if your mind is bored, your body was probably bored a long time ago.  The best results happen when your body is outside its comfort zone.
  5. Start with a good breakfast.  Include some complex carbohydrates and protein, and possibly some fruit if you’re still hungry.  This combo will keep you full, and set a good tone for your eating the rest of the day.  Try oatmeal with banana and scrambled eggs.  Check out some of my links over on the Blog Love sidebar and you will surely find some creative, yet simple eats that are made for those on the go!
  6. Write it down…occasionally.  I personally HATE writing down my eats.  But if you’re not seeing results, try writing all your food, eat times, and portion sizes down for just 3 days.  If you’re not sure about portion sizes, look up the calories and write those down too.  CalorieKing.com is a good resource for this.  This should give you a good idea about where you stand in your calorie budget, as well as what unneccessary things you might be grazing on randomly.  Make the necessary adjustments and get yourself back on track.  If you have to write down those 5 pretzels you might think twice about if you really needed them. 🙂  Note: if you do better electronically, here are a few good sites for online food journaling and figuring out your daily caloric needs: Fit Day, The Daily Plate
  7. Ask for help.  If you’re having trouble leading a balanced workout or eating life, look for a professional to help you, even if it’s only temporary.  You can use ACSM’s ProFinder to find an exercise professional, and find a registered dietician here.
  8. Set a goal.  Goal setting can be for all aspects of your life.  It helps you to stay accountable, feel accomplished, and work hard towards something that matters to you.  Follow Lululemon’s Goal Setting tips – a great resource.
  9. Drink water.  Lots of it.  You should have at least 64 oz. of water per day, and more before and after working out.  Water obviously helps you to maintain hydration, but also helps your body systems to work properly and efficiently.  Also, its a great way to keep your calories down during the day by not drinking your calories.
  10. Take a day off.  Work hard and eat well 90% of the time.  Save your cheat days and rest days for special occasions. Enjoy your cookie, your beer, your birthday cake, whatever.  Give yourself a little break, and enjoy it.  Then get back on the wagon 🙂

Lululemon Manifesto – http://www.lululemon.com

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A Good Kick in the Pants

Hi everyone, I just had to do a quick post about this article Ashley found on a great website called CrossFit Lisbeth.  Lisbeth Darsh is the director for Social Media at CrossFit, Inc. She’s one tough gal and will give it to you straight – no B.S. 🙂  Here is her awesome article called No Damsels in Distress which I absolutely love.  It’ll give ya a good kick in the pants.

photo/logo courtesy of CrossFit Springfield

Speaking of a kick in the pants, here was our Workout of the Day today that we did in the pouring rain.  Sweet life.

Warmup: 400m run, shoulder stretches

Skill WOD: find 3RM push press

WOD: As Many Rounds As Possible in 20 mins. of – 400m run, 7 muscle ups (or ring dips as the scale down)

Cooldown: Foamroll, stretch, drink lots of water

Happy Tuesday!

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Exercise Programming!

Sadly, this post title was the course title of a few of my college/grad school classes.  So, just let it be known that there is a TON of information out there on this topic and that I will NOT fully delve into its complexities and take up semesters of your life :).  However, here are just a few “skim the surface” tips on planning your exercise programs, especially those of you who are multi-sport athletes like myself.

My best advice to give when programming your exercise schedule is to actually make a written schedule.  You can use a regular calendar, or make your own calendar on MS Word just for your workouts.  But make sure it goes past just a simple Monday-Sunday schedule.  Your workouts will and should change as you get closer to your goals.  Here’s a few steps on how to start programming:

How do I start scheduling workouts?

  1. Take a look at your schedule.  First, your race schedule.  What big races/events do you have planned? Your biggest/most important race should be your target goal.  If you don’t have a goal race or event, I always suggest having at least one per year, even if its a small or short term goal because it will keep you motivated to train consistently.
  2. What is your goal for your target race/event? A personal record? Completion of the race?  Take this into account with your programming as well.  If you have a big endurance event such as an IronMan triathlon or something, it’s often smart to plan shorter, smaller races in strategic places weeks or months before the big race to work out training kinks and get those race juices flowing!  Also, these smaller races are good “time trials” to get a feel of where you’re at with training and build confidence.
  3. Now look at your personal schedule.  Add to your schedule any major vacations or time commitments.  If you know you’re going to be out of town for a week, take that into consideration when programming.  You probably don’t want to peak your training during vacation.
  4. Start figuring out what time of day you work out best.  If you’re doing multi-sport programming, are there days where you need to fit in a morning and afternoon workout, or a brick workout?  If you workout best in the morning, stick to it.  If not, find a time in the evening or mid-day that you can hold yourself accountable to do.  Consistency is the main goal here and the key to success and results.

What type of workouts do I need to include in my workout schedule?

  • Sport-specific workouts (i.e. triathlon = bricks, swim, bike run.  Half-marathon = long runs. etc. Rugby tournament = rugby practice) – this is where you fit in interval training, sport skills and drills, etc.  This should be done 2-3 times per week.  If you are not training for a specific sport, use this time to do activities that you like that involve exercise.  For example: kayaking, hiking, paddleboarding, etc.
  • Weight lifting – strength is important to every sport and overall health.  This should be done 2-3 times per week.
  • Stretching (usually done post workout, or during yoga if desired) – You should use a dynamic warmup before all workouts, and static stretching after cool down.  Yoga is also a great tool if you can fit it in a few days a week.  I am a big fan of yoga for stretching everything you didn’t even know needs stretching and for mental health 🙂
  • Cardiovascular exercise (i.e. running, swimming, elliptical, biking, cross-training) – Should be done a minimum of 3-5 days per week.  Cardiovascular fitness is important to your sport and your overall health.  I recommend about 3-5 total hours per week of cardiovascular exercise for general health, but if you’re an athlete, you’ll probably do more.
  • Rest Days.  Clearly not a type of workout, but very important none the less.  You need at least one rest day, maybe two per week, depending on how your body is responding to training.  Feeling tired after a workout is normal, but signs of overtraining such as sleeplessness, lack of appetite, poor training performance, and unusual lack of energy on a daily basis should not be ignored.

How do I progress my workouts?

This is the complicated part.  Often times a training program is provided for the race/event in which you are participating. If you’re looking at running programs and triathlon programs, there are a lot of great ones available online at places such as Runner’s World or BeginnerTriathlete.com.  I definitely recommend a lot of these sites because they are tried and true schedules that are free with easy access.

If you need help making your own, I’d be happy to help as well and can recommend a variety of books to help you create your program properly.  You can look at your own training results from the past or your starting point, and use that data to help you figure out how and at which rate to progress safely into your goal race or event.

Hope you enjoyed these few tips on making an exercise program, and please email me at katie.dondero@gmail.com if you have any questions or would like more information. 🙂

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Good Reads

So my sick day on Thursday turned into a sick 5 days, leaving me and the Finn monster to snuggle up in bed for most of the weekend.  So, unfortunately I have no workouts to post for ya.  However, that down time did give me a lot of time for reading.  Now that I’m on the mend, I’m going to share with you a couple good articles I’ve come across on my sick day(s).

  • Zen Habits.  What a great blog.  I’ve read it before but every now and then this author’s article just resonates with me so well at the most appropriate times.  The link is to one particularly good article, but please browse around the site because it just has so many good things to read.
  • What it means to really take care of yourself.  Man, did this one hit me over the head.  Especially since I am sick and definitely guilty of a “go-go-go” and “say-yes-all-the-time” lifestyle.  This post was a guest post, I believe, by Cat Li Stevenson on the blog “Tiny Buddha“.  Yet another enlightening blog worth your time 🙂
  • Lastly, a recommendation from Mama Pea.  Though I am not a vegan, I do limit my meat consumption and think a plant-based diet has a LOT of benefits for both your health and the planet.  This article was fun to read.  Did you know Mike Tyson is now a vegan? Ya, me neither.  Mom, you’ll probably have to explain to Grandma what a vegan is again.  Sorry.
So there ya go, some fun reading for your sunday night!  The Zen Habits blog as well as the Tiny Buddha blog both have me really wanting to become a morning person.  GASP!  My immediate family is probably picking themselves off the floor from laughing now, but we’ll see how possible this actually is.  These blogs have some posts about how to become a morning person, and I know some people who will just lose their religion if this somehow works on me after 25 years.  So, I’ll keep ya posted 🙂
**Updated to Add:  A big Congratulations to yet another long time best friend, Caitlin Codd, on her engagement to her boyfriend Nick!  Yay! Wedding bells are ringing around here lately 🙂
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Sick Day = Blog Day

Hi everyone, unfortunately I am home sick today with a case of the “can’t-breathe-can’t-hear-can’t-talk” disease.  I’m thinking its a headcold or maybe some heightened allergies, although I’m not usually one to suffer during allergy season.  Nevertheless, I am home with the pup catching up on emails, and yes, my blog.

Anyways, here was this Tuesday’s Crossfit workout:

Warmup:

800m Run

3 Rounds of: 10 pushups, 10 situps

Skill Workout:

5 sets of 2 reps – Power Snatch  *worked on drilling technique and execution*

Power Snatch – demo video

Workout of the Day:

15 min. AMRAP of:

1 clean and jerk, 1 box jump

2 clean and jerk, 2 box jumps

3 and 3, 4 and 4, etc. until time elapses.

Clean and Jerk – demo video

Cooldown: Stretch!

I brought my awesome sister-in-law, Alyssa to CrossFit with me today.  She is a great athlete and showed up with some serious skill today! She just got home from college for the summer, so she will be working out with us alot! Excited 🙂

So about this sickness, here’s what I am doing to take action:

  1. SLEEP.  I’ve got so much on my plate that I can always catch up on this.  Also, during sleep is when your body works on muscle repairs and immune function.  So this is not to be undermined as a great “get-well” tool.
  2. Eat my veggies.  I’m pretty good at this, but those leafy greens are great for the immune system and body repairs.  So just to make sure, I had a great cup of “Greens and Beans” soup from B.B. Bistro this afternoon for lunch.  Full of collards and garbanzos.  Mmm.  Followed by half a curried tuna wrap. Delish.
  3. Lots of fluids.  Being well-hydrated will speed your recovery and allow your body to flush out the junk that’s not making you feel great.
  4. REST.  Exercise is generally ok to do when you’re sick, as long as your symptoms are not flu-like.  If you have a fever, upset stomach, etc. it’s probably not a great idea.  However, that said, keep the exercise to a moderate intensity.  No CrossFit for me today!  We will re-evaluate tomorrow…
Hopefully taking today off will aid in recovery and I will be back to work tomorrow.  It’s gunna be a busy weekend in Annapolis!  We’ve got ZOOMA training runs, the TriRock Annapolis Triathlon (I’m cheering though, not participating), and beautiful weather!  Stay tuned 🙂
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Saturday’s a Rugby Day

Well friends, the spring rugby season has come to an end.  We spent this past weekend in Brandywine, PA at the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union Championships.  Severn River Rugby played a tough match against Doylestown RFC and unfortunately lost in the semi-finals.  These men played well through a rough game with some less than stellar referee-ing, and still managed to hold their heads and spirits high.

Severn River won their consolation match against Jersey Shore RFC to end the season with a victory.  Doylestown RFC went on to win the MARFU finals against Rocky Gorge RFC later in the day.  Here are some action shots for your viewing pleasure:

SRRFC vs. Doylestown RFC

SRRFC vs. Doylestown RFC

Adam passing the ball

SRRFC vs. Jersey Shore RFC

Severn River Rugby Football Club

Great season boys!  Stay tuned for an upcoming post on fitness periodization…trying to fit a variety of activities into your daily life?  We’ll talk about trying to stay sane and energized!  After all, ’tis the season for multisport athletes 🙂

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SWEAT – One Word Wednesday

*Photos courtesy of Crofton Crossfit

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Weekend Recap

Hello Friends!  A fantastic weekend is coming to a close, but there is so much to tell!

Friday started off with working some clients, followed by this Crossfit Workout:

Warmup: 400m Run, 20 Tire Flips

Main Set:

7 Rounds for time:

7 Deadlifts, 1 Gasser (20 x 10m sprints), 15 pullups, 1 min. rest

Cooldown: Stretch and foamroll. Whew! I finished in 24:25.  The workout was me and the boys this afternoon and I finished first! (But to their credit, they were lifting more weight of course 🙂 )

Saturday brought a very SORE wakeup call and I headed down to the pitch to watch Adam play in Severn River Rugby’s Playoff game against Brandywine.  They played the best game they had played all year against a really tough team, and won 33-15!  Great job boys!! They’ll be playing in the next round of the playoffs against Doylestown RFC next weekend at Brandywine’s pitch outside of Philly.  Go River!!

There’s my man! #9

Ball out! Go Adam 🙂

Go River!

Saturday night we thawed some bison steaks we had in the freezer from Maryland Table.  Never had bison?? It’s awesome.  Bison steaks (also called American buffalo) are one of the leanest meats you can get, and is in most cases leaner than chicken.  It also has more Iron and Vitamin B-12  per oz. than steak.  It tastes mostly like a lean steak, without any “game-y” flavor from what I’ve experienced.  We bought grass fed, local bison meat so even the smallest amounts of animal fat in these steaks contain healthy Omega-3s instead of antibiotics and hormones.  (More later on the benefits of eating grass-fed vs. conventional meats and eating locally!)  Also, Bison are naturally more resistant to diseases and grow faster than domestic animals, so there typically isn’t an incentive for hormones and antibiotics when raising bison.

Anyway, here’s how we prepared it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Cut the steak into four medallions (we had about 2-3 lbs of bison steak)
  3. Brown steak with Earth Balance Butter on the stove (or butter of choice)
  4. Top with seasonings.  We used Tennessee Whiskey Steak and Burger Seasoning, but any steak seasoning will do.
  5. Put steaks on a broiler pan in the oven, and bake for 30ish minutes until internal temperature reaches 140°F for rare, 150°F for medium*.
*Bison meat is typically enjoyed at a rare to medium temperature and tends to be slightly “sweeter” than regular steak.  It also cooks slightly faster so I definitely recommend watching the meat thermometer to make sure you aren’t over or under cooking the meat.

We enjoyed our bison steaks accompanied with some steamed asparagus, took a walk with the pup, and then the Rugby celebration commenced in downtown Annapolis for the remainder of the evening 🙂

Lastly, this morning, we went to a surprise brunch for the newly engaged couple!! Friday afternoon, we finally got word that my long-time best friend Sarah got engaged while on vacation with her boy!! We are so excited for Sarah and Dan, two wonderful people who couldn’t be better friends to me and Adam.  I just love weddings and can’t wait to help with all the planning and parties!!  Sarah’s mom had a beautiful brunch spread, with some yummy quiches, fresh fruit, homemade whole grain soda bread, and sweet potato muffins! (I must get that recipe!)  Congratulations Sarah and Dan!!

Look at that bling! 🙂

Sarah and Dan engagement montage 🙂 Love you guys!

So as we’re winding down from the weekend, Adam and I turned our leftover bison steaks into bison soft tacos with all the fixin’s and are sitting down to watch the Washington Caps playoff game 🙂  What did you do this weekend??   Hope it was a great one!

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