Team For Kids

Hey guys! So I have exciting news! I am been talking with New York Road Runner (NYRR) Team For Kids and I am going to get the AMAZING opportunity for them during the NYC Marathon this November. I qualified for the NYC Marathon back in January and was then shocked to receive a call from this organization asking me to help spread their mission for youth programs across the country! They agreed to let me be a part of their amazing mission even though I did not need charity entry into the marathon!

NYRR Team For Kids provides free or low-cost school and community-center based health and fitness programs to children who would most likely otherwise have no access to regular physical activity. Their programs currently serve nearly 100,000 children each week in more than 400 schools and community centers in New York City, nationally, and in the Cape Town region of South Africa. Does this sound like an organization that I would LOVE to be a part of, or what?! It is a perfect fit!

Over the coming months, I am going to be blogging about this amazing organization and once I get into marathon training mode (late August) I will blog my training workouts that I will be getting from online coaching from Team For Kids.

Today I urge you to go and check out their website and see what amazing things they are doing around the world to help keep kids active! Or check out this video  http://blip.tv/play/gfkr059YAg to watch Team For Kids in ACTION!! This is a cause that is so near and dear to my heart and I know all you awesome readers will support me and Team For Kids!

Just Another Manic Monday!

Happy Monday! My favorite day of the week! YES! I honestly crave and look forward to Mondays…not sure why but I do. I used to be a Monday hater back in the day but over the years I have definitely changed and now I think I can honestly say that Mondays take the cake in my book!! :)

Workout: 11 miles…hollar for me! I ran pretty even splits averaging about 8:16 pace. NICE! I have my beginning running group in a few hours that usually acts as my cool down run of about 3 miles. Happy Runs = Happy Legs = Happy Kelly!

HOORAY FOR MONDAYS (and good runs!!)

So dinner last night was awesome (if I do say so myself) and it was EASY! Now who doesn’t love that? I took frozen chicken breasts and shoved them in the crockpot with a large jar of salsa, a can of black beans and a can of corn. Let it cook all day and then it shreds beautifully for tacos! Sweet! Towards the end of the day I wasn’t craving chicken so I sauteed a few shrimp and had shrimp tacos but I got all the yummy salsa/bean/corn mixture from the crockpot and some fresh cilantro…so good! Keith LOVES chicken and he made quite a dent and now there are only a few tacos left! haha! Check out of mine and Keith’s plates:

My Shrimp Tacos..wow I obviously love onions!

Keith's Tacos!

Moving on: Whole Foods, I love you! Aside from the obvious reasons to love Whole Foods I have another one for you!!! Yay! Whole Foods is introducing a new campaign called “Celebrating Your Choices” that is going to be a series of shopping lists and information for those people on special diets! According to Whole Foods, “[they] believe that food should bring pleasure along with good health, and these guides are intended as a resource to help everyone experience as many healthy, natural food choices as possible.” Now how cool is that?!?  The special needs lists so far include: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Low Fat, Low Sodium, Soy, Sugar Conscious,Vegetarian, and Wheat-free. To find some of these special needs grocery lists along with recipes, links, tips and more go here!

And lastly, for those of you who didn’t read blogs this weekend (good for you) here’s what you missed:

Why do you think Mondays get such a bad rap?

Sunday Cleaning!

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone had a good Saturday! The weather is fabulous here and soaking up tons of Vitamin D has definitely been on the agenda! :) Today is a clean day (blech) but it needs to be done. So here’s my to-do list: 

  • Laundry
  • Dusting…we seriously have some dust bunnies up in here!
  • Vacuuming
  • Sweeping (note to home builder: whoever decided that stark white tile in the kitchen was a good idea was WRONG!)
  • Toilets

UGH..have I mentioned that I HATE cleaning?! I mean I truly hate it! But once I get through that I am going to log some major hammock time! 

So last night I think I officially failed as a healthy living blogger! haha! But whatcha gonna do? I was craving the heck out of a Hot Pocket. Don’t ask…but I went with it! I have learned that sometimes you just have to throw caution to the wind and go with the cravings! 

Pizza Lean Pocket!!

 

And yes...I enjoyed every cheesy bite! haha!

 HAPPY SUNDAY!!

Happy Saturday!

Hey hey hey!! How is everyone this fine Saturday? No complaints from me! Last night Keith and I were total homebodies!! We watched rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL draft and just chilled! Boxer shorts, a tank top and glasses…boy was I sexy!! ;) For dinner we did Rosemary Chicken! Easy, healthy and delicious! 

  
ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH ZUCCHINI
 
1 pound new potatoes
2 carrots
2 small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
1 bunch of fresh rosemary
4 (6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Quarter the potatoes. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and zucchini into 2-inch sticks. 

Mix them in a bowl with olive oil, mustard, rosemary, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. 

Place everything in a 9X13 baking dish. Roast for 25 minutes. Toss the vegetables, turn the chicken and continue roasting until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes more. 

Yields: 4 servings
CALORIES 345; FAT 11g fat (2g saturated fat); CHOLESTEROL 94mg; SODIUM 933mg; CARBOHYDRATE 23g; FIBER 4g; SUGAR 4g; PROTEIN 37g

Oh slap me silly...this is good!

 

 

Today there isn’t much on the agenda. I slept in…SO needed it and I am about to head out for a run. It stormed so bad last night but today is absolutely gorgeous. Sunshine and not a cloud to be seen!!! Yay! 

Oh and if you missed it, go meet my mama and hear her amazing story here! With that, HAPPY SATURDAY!! 

Do you have a fun day planned?   

Let Me Introduce You To…

My mama, Cheryl. Hi Mom! This is one of my favorite pictures of her. She is so happy and she is with my amazing stepdad, Jim. Plus I think she looks SO pretty…here…relaxed, at ease and happy. 

My mom and stepdad, Jim

 

My mom is pretty amazing. I absolutely admire her for a ton of reasons. She has been a great mom and even if it might have taken me a long time to see it she has always been there for me and has always been my biggest fan. Even when I made poor choices or said hurtful things or when we didn’t agree with one another’s decisions…she never left me and I know she never will. :) 

What I want to talk about it how I believe that my mom is a FIGHTER and how she is a living testament to what a healthy lifestyle can do. When I was 18 my mom was diagnosed with Smoldering Multiple Myeloma. What is it, you ask? To put it simply it is cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow. Currently there is no cure. 

How it started: My mom went in for her regular yearly physical and her blood testing revealed she was extremely anemic. Her doctor was concerned by how anemic she was and referred her to a hematologist (blood specialist) for further testing. Further testing found an unusal protein in her urine and the hematoloist wanted to do a bone marrow biopsy. This also showed the same foreign protein in her marrow. This led my mom to the Mayo Clinic for more extensive testing. After more blood and bone marrow testing it was determined she had smoldering multiple myeloma. 

What is Smoldering Multiple Myeloma? In the simplest of terms it meant that there was not enough of this foreign protein in her body for it to be considered full-blown myeloma but it was well determined that it would eventually develop into that. There was no treatment available, or protocol established, she was basically told to wait. Wait for it to develop into cancer. So home she came with her life (our lives) turned upside down. 

What did she do? My mom is a strong woman and so she FOUGHT! She researched alternative medicines and started eating organic fruits, vegetables, and meats. She started taking natural herbs and really listening to herself. She turned away from processed foods, started removing gluten  and exercising. She completely changed her lifestyle and tried to be as natural as possible. My mom has never been overweight or even what most would consider unhealthy but now she was determined to be the healthiest she could be! She went in every month for blood and urine testing, and eventually started going every 3 months and now (and for about the past 5 years) she goes in once a every 6 months. 

The verdict? For the first time in 10 years her blood work is the best it has ever been! She still has this funky protein in her blood, bone marrow and urine but the protein levels are actually stabilizing and even some months decreasing! Her doctors are amazed and claim this is unprecedented! I can only say it is because my mom is amazing and she is strong. I love her so much and to me it shows that without a doubt a healthy lifestyle can literally SAVE YOUR LIFE! 

Do you have a healthy inspiration?

Give Me An F…

For FRIDAY!!! Woot! We made it guys! [Inset a loud WOO HOO!] I had a fantastic run today…after yesterday’s speedy run I needed to chill today. I ran 7 miles (using even splits) holding 8:30/pace. It felt nice and I actually got so zoned out and just allowed my mind to wander. I didn’t really focus on form or my body but more just on enjoying the run! It was nice. Now I am caffenating myself and getting ready to tackle the day!

Side note: I get emails asking about how much coffee I drink everyday! haha! I am actually not nearly as addicted as I think I portray. I drink extremely weak coffee…about 1/4 scoop per cup and I normally brew about 4-5 cups every morning and usually drink 2. Keith does joke that really I am just drinking coffee flavored water! :)

Dinner last night was flipping awesome!! Again, another recipe ala my cookbook…Honey Orange Chicken (page 39)! This is so good guys…it would seriously give Pei Wei a run for its money.

HONEY ORANGE CHICKEN

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 Tbsp.orange juice concentrate
  • 1 orange, peeled and segmented
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce (I use wheat-free tamari)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken in a baking dish; set aside.

Heat oil in a small skillet and saute garlic and onions until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add honey, orange juice, orange segments, and soy sauce, stirring evenly until honey is completely dissolved.

Pour sauce over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes, basting once or twice, until chicken is cooked through. Serve over 1/2 cup brown rice and steamed broccoli, then drizzle extra sauce on top! Makes 4 servings.

Calories 211.8; Fat 4.0g (0.3g saturated fat); 55mg Cholesterol; 681.1mg Sodium; 20.8g Carbohydrate; 1.2g Fiber; 13.1g Sugar; 24.2g Protein (nutritional information does not include rice and broccoli)

Right out of the oven

Homemade Chinese Food!!! YUM!

Last night Keith and I stayed up way too late watching the first round of the NFL draft. I was amazed at watching these kids (yes kids) being drafted for millions of dollars to play a professional sport. I must admit, part of me was a tad jealous! I would LOVE to be a professional athlete and get paid to play a sport that I was good at…how cool!! So that got me thinking, if I could be a professional athlete which sport would I pick? (oh…and I made myself exclude running because that would be too obvious) I didn’t have to think long before deciding that I would love to play on the AVP Tour (AVP = association of volleyball professionals). Keith and I love to watch the AVP tour and we have even been live when they came to Austin. Those players are off the hook amazing! I debated a half second between that and tennis because I just know me and Venus Williams would be great friends! haha!

If you could be a professional athlete, which sport would you chose?

Be NEGATIVE!

People constantly ask me how I train and what secrets I have to improve my running speed and endurance. One thing I am a BIG believer in is always running even and negative splits. An even split means you run the same pace for your entire run and a negative split means that throughout your run you continue to get faster. If you look  at world records; nearly every long distance running world record has been set while running even or negative splits. It sounds like a no brainer, yet most runners don’t do it. Instead, they start in a near sprint, hang on through the middle and resort to a survivor’s shuffle at the end. In contrast, those who opt for negative splits patiently run a bit slower for the first third of a run, pick up the pace in the middle and finish with strength and speed. Our bodies will race like we train so by incorporating negative splits into training runs; it makes it a lot easier to do it in a race! 

So, training via negative splits means you condition your body to be able to perform while tired and give it more energy during the back half of the race. You learn to pace yourself and not go all out in the beginning, and your body learns to give that extra kick in the second half while your energy levels begin to wane. In every workout I do, I try to always finish with more effort than I begin. I slowly increase my effort and speed throughout a workout and then by the end I am all out moving! (I feel like I am sprinting!) It’s a tough workout, but over time your body gets used to it. And come race day you’ll be thankful for training this way. 

Jeff Galloway wrote an article for Runner’s World on learning to run negative splits. To check it out; go here! It is filled with some awesome tips to help the new runner learn how to incorporate this valuable training method! And this does not only apply to running, but can be used in biking and swimming! 

So there you have it…one of my BEST running tips! Sometimes being NEGATIVE is truly the best POSITIVE! :) 

San Antonio Half Marathon, November 2009

 Do you run negative splits when training? 
 

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