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Healthy Fish Tacos

Healthy Fish Tacos: Serves 1 (makes 2 tacos)

•3oz Tilapia Filet (or other white fish)
•Chili Powder
•Ground Cumin
•Ground Coriander
•1 Lime (cut in to 4 wedges)
•6oz Plain Non Fat Greek Yogurt
•3 Tablespoons Hot Salsa (I like Pace •Picante for this recipe)
•2 Corn Tortillas
•1/2 Cup Chopped Red Cabbage
•1 Tablespoon Chopped Cilantro

Prepare yogurt sauce:
Mix 1 teaspoon of chili powder, juice of 3 lime wedges and hot salsa in to Greek Yogurt, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can use more or less of the ingredients according to your taste.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a piece of foil (enough to fold over and make a packet) with cooking spray and place a tilapia filet on to foil. Squeeze the juice of the last lime wedge on to the tilapia. Sprinkle fish with desired amounts of chili powder, cumin and coriander. Fold the foil over to make an enclosed packet, place on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes until fully cooked.

Heat corn tortillas on a griddle until browned. Cut fish in to strips and distribute evenly on to tortillas. Top with red cabbage and 1 tablespoon of yogurt sauce on each taco. Enjoy!

Notes:
1. You will have a lot of extra yogurt sauce left over. Use in place of sour cream on anything you usually put sour cream on.
2. Amounts of spices and toppings are all up to you. Use whatever amounts you want to suite your taste.
3. Can use a less spicy salsa in the yogurt sauce if you do not like spicy food.
4. Yogurt Sauce goes great on chicken tacos as well!
5. I always use culantro instead of cilantro. It tastes exactly the same but it much easier to wash and chop.

XOXO The Glam Runner

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Kicking butt at the OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012

Event: OUC Orlando Half Marathon 2012
Date: December 1, 2012
Location: Downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park

Time: 1:40:35
Division Place: 7th out of 289
Gender Place: 44th out of 1,661
Overall Place: 244 out of 3,193

This was a great and well organized half marathon put on by Track Shack of Orlando. It was a refreshing change from the over crowded and chaotic Disney half marathons, which are the only other options in Orlando. I had no problem parking, hitting up the port-a-potties and getting to the start line with enough time to do some stretching.

The weather was absolutely ideal and the course was nice and scenic! I ran this one last year with a time of 1:54:38 (it was my 2nd race and 1st half marathon after having my baby boy in May). I still had an extra 15+ pounds of baby weight to lose at last year’s event and it was only my 2nd race after taking a full year off from racing and 9 full months off from running altogether.

My time at this year’s OUC Orlando Half Marathon was obviously a vast improvement and it was my 8th half marathon since last ‘s years! I attribute training and running all these events to losing the rest of the baby weight plus some extra!

I hit my all time PR of 1:39:41 in May of this year and came close again in September at the Chicago Half Marathon with a time of 1:41:35…1:54 away from my PR. I came even closer at the OUC half…54 seconds from my PR! I felt I did MUCH better at the OUC compared to Chicago, even though its only a 60 second difference, because the Chicago Half Marathon was a totally flat and easy course. The OUC Half was a nice course but it got pretty challenging after mile 10, when my legs start to get tired anyways. Right after we crossed mile 10, we were met by numerous hills and about 2.5 miles of brick pavers! The pavers make it a little more slippery, a lot more uneven and there are definite hidden drop offs and some of them are coming up so it’s easy to trip. Even though I was consciously pushing myself to run faster, I could feel myself subconsciously slowing down. I knew I was going to be awfully close to my PR when I crossed mile 11 so I tried to speed it up as much as I can; it worked on the last mile but I lost speed during miles 10-12 so it just wasn’t enough to PR. Either way, this is my second best time of all time so I am happy with it!

I went in to the race fairly prepared. My training has been on target (I’m training for the 2013 Disney Marathon next month) but my stretching and recovery methods haven’t been great. That’s something I’m always working on. My legs did feel a bit heavy up until the 3rd mile but loosened up after that.

Next Race: Walt Disney World Marathon January 13, 2013

XOXO The Glam Runner

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Limiting the Holiday Bulge

It’s been a while since I last posted to the Glam Runner due to some work travel and a laptop that decided to crash on me but I have my new computer up and running and I’m getting inspired to share more health and fitness tips!

My lapse in fit blogging reminded me of what many of us do with our fitness routines this time of year…we slack and deviate from our normal healthy eating and work outs.  I am definitely not one of those who deprives themselves of a good Thanksgiving dinner by eating mashed cauliflower and skipping dessert…boring!  One meal isn’t going to kill your fitness plan – it’s when you keep all those leftovers and have Thanksgiving dinner and dessert the week after is when you to get in trouble.  Right after Thanksgiving comes those highly caloric Christmas drinks and treats at Starbucks, then the Christmas parties, the baking and Christmas itself!  Then to top it off New Years Eve and Day follow a week later!

It is very hard to stay on track during the holidays but you can DEFINITELY avoid the holiday weight gain.  I am doing my part by training for the Disney World Marathon (January 13, 2013).  I ran 18 miles the Sunday after Thanksgiving and I will run 20 miles the Sunday before Christmas – there is motivation to sign up for a January Marathon!  If you aren’t ready to go for 26.2 miles of fun there are other ways to avoid the holiday jiggle.  Mainly, avoid eating holiday treats the time between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  It’s hard but this month is what does it.  Starbucks has many delicious coffee drinks and treats but keep in mind a White Chocolate Mocha can set you back 800 calories!  I get the Skinny Peppermint Mocha, it’s only 100 calories and it’s sugar-free.  I generally stick to my grande iced coffee with soy milk and 1 Splenda but I can’t resist the Skinny Peppermint Mocha during the holidays.

Don’t drink alcohol at every holiday party you go to.  I know some people go to many holiday parties during the season and indulge in many cocktails; alcohol is 100% totally unnecessary and not only highly caloric but full of empty calories.  Plus alcohol leaves you bloated and lethargic the following day making it more likely that you’ll skip your work out.  I’m not saying to skip it altogether but don’t indulge at every single holiday gathering you go to.  If you do drink alcohol, choose your drink wisely – stay away from the egg nog and sugary punches.

Limit the baked goods.  I used to bake cookies like they were going out of style for Christmas and I would eat half the batch and make more.  I would keep some for myself and eat them all week.  Again, moderation is the key.  You can enjoy some of your favorite holiday baked goods but limit the amount.  If you like to bake and give your treats away like I do, then give them away.  Don’t keep them lying around for you to eat later.

If all else fails on the eating front be sure to stick to your fitness routine and/or add more intense work outs.  Just because you work out doesn’t mean you’re not going to gain weight but working out will keep the weight gain to a minimum.  If you decide to try something new or more intense, there’s an added bonus!  Make time for yourself during the holidays to get your sweat on most days of the week no matter what!  We’re all busy but we all deserve health!  If you skip a work out or have a slack week, that’s ok, there’s always the next day or next week to get back in to it.

There are times to enjoy and indulge during the holidays – just don’t keep the party going the entire season and stick to your workouts and you should be in control!  If that doesn’t work out, the New Year is the best time to lose weight!

XOXO The Glam Runner

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Healthy Lime-Chicken and Black Bean Fajitas

Lime-Chicken and Black Bean Fajitas:  Serves 2 (3 fajitas each)

  • 2 three oz chicken breast filets (cut in to strips)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 bell pepper (cut in to thin strips)
  • 1/4 of an onion (cut in to thin strips)
  • 1 lime (cut into 4 wedges)
  • 1/2 cup of canned black beans (rinsed)
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 avocado (cut in to cubes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • 6 tablespoons of salsa

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add garlic until it becomes fragrant.  Increase heat to medium and add chicken. Squeeze lime juice from 2 of the wedges over chicken, sprinkle chicken with chili powder, cumin and coriander and flip with tongs while cooking.

Add bell peppers and onions when chicken is almost done cooking.  Cook in skillet until vegetables begin to become soft.  Add black beans, squeeze juice of 1 more lime wedge reduce the heat a bit and cover skillet for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are soft.

Brown tortillas on a griddle.  Squeeze the juice of the last lime wedge over chicken and veggies then fill tortillas with chicken, peppers, onions, black beans and top with even amounts avocado, cilantro and salsa.

Enjoy!

XOXO The Glam Runner

Notes:

  1. I use corn tortillas because they are much lower in calories than flour tortillas
  2. Choose the amount of topping you would like to put on the fajitas
  3. I use culantro instead of cilantro.  It’s the exact same flavor but the leaves are MUCH easier to wash and chop
  4. You can also use fat-free refried beans instead of black beans.  I used black beans because they are better for you

 

 

5 Healthy Snack Combinations

Looking for some healthy snack options that will actually satisfy you?  I’m always searching for snacks that will fill me up and have a healthy balance of nutrients.  I am not one of those who can do the “no carb” low carb” or  “paleo” diet – I am a runner, an endurance athlete and I need my healthy carbs and ALL nutrients.  I have found my body reacts best when I combine protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats in everything I eat – something I learned and live by after reading the book “Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads” by Christine Avanti.

We need protein to build muscle and aid in recovery from our work outs.  Some also say protein keeps them full but this is not true for me.  Carbs are the energy nutrient; they are the prefered source of nutrients for energy from our bodies.  Make sure you only eat healthy carbs from whole grains, fruit and veggies though – sorry but candy and sugar doesn’t count.  As long as you are eating healthy complex carbohydrates, you will be getting the fiber that your body needs as well.  The benefits of fiber are endless.  There are studies that say fiber might be a key in preventing certain diseases because fiber ensures that the waste is being flushed out of the body.  Some studies are showing fiber actually helps block fat in our bodies too!  I know I feel my lightest and best when I am eating plenty of complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and veggies.  Believe it or not we also need healthy fats.  Healthy fats from nuts, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, avocados and even dark chocolate are all examples of healthy fats.  Healthy fats help us feel full and are good for our heart.  We also need fats for healthy hair, nails and skin.  Just be sure to watch your portion sizes with these fats.  I usually stick to 1 tablespoon of nut butter, 1/4 of an avocado, no more than a 1/4 cup of nuts and 2 teaspoons of oil per serving.

Here are a few of my favorite snack combinations:

  • 5oz Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon sliced raw almonds, 6 pieces of celery and 1 tablespoon of almond butter.  Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek yogurt is the lowest sugar Greek yogurt that I have found and it is a God send for me!  I avoided Greek yogurt for so long because they all had 19-25 grams of sugar, not acceptable to me.  Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek yogurt has 8 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein.  The sliced almonds and almond butter have healthy fat, the yogurt and berries have carbs and obviously the yogurt has the protein (the almond butter had a little protein too).  You are also getting 2 full servings of fruits/veggies!
  • 1 slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin live sprouted grain bread (toasted), 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 banana.  This is the PERFECT pre or post run snack!  I eat this all the time before I go running in the morning.  You get healthy carbs and protein in the Ezekiel bread and the banana then you get protein and healthy fat in the almond butter.  What is Ezekiel bread?  Well, this bread is probably the healthiest bread you can eat.  It is made without flour, it is made with live sprouted organic grains like wheat, barley, millet, lentils, soybeans and spelt.  Much better than traditional bread that has a little bit of wheat and flour.
  • 1 Medium apple, 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a reduced fat mozzarella cheese stick.  The apple provides carbs, the almond butter provides a bit of protein and healthy fat and the cheese provides protein.
  • 1 bell pepper, 1/2 of a cucumber, 6-8 stalks of celery, 1oz humus and 1 tablespoon almond butter.  This is a great one because you’re getting 3 full servings of veggies and it is loaded with fiber.  There aren’t many carbs in this snack but the veggies do provide some carbs, the humus has a bit of healthy fat and protein. The almond butter has healthy fat and protein as well.
  • 1 container of sugar free-fat free pudding, 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds.  This is perfect for when you get a bit of a sweet tooth and it makes a great dessert.  You can enjoy the pudding without the guilt while getting some protein. The strawberries have carbs and the sliced almonds has healthy fat.

Everyone seems to have an eating style that works for them best.  As a runner and the fact that I work out hard, I need a combination of all nutrients…protein, carbs and healthy fat.  These snack ideas are healthy for anyone that eats for health and energy.  Enjoy!

XOXO The Glam Runner

How Spinning can Improve your Running Performance

Have you ever thought taking spin classes could help your running performance?  I have taken spin class for the past 9 years and have been a huge fan since my first class.  I actually have been spinning longer than I’ve been running.

Of course spin class or biking outside can be a great cross training activity for those days that you don’t run but believe it or not spinning can actually help you with your running speed.  Some cases have proved it to improve 5k times by 3% and 10K times up to 9%!  That’s a pretty significant percentage in a shorter distance race.  Spinning and running are different because obviously running is very high impact but spinning is virtually impact free.  You get a killer cardio work out that almost duplicates running sprints and pushing high resistance builds strength in key areas of the legs used for running.

I attribute my ability to do as well as I do in races to my years of spinning.  I only started running in 2009 yet I am a competitor in my division in pretty much every local Orlando race.  I went in to training for my first race with my cardiovascular system in top shape because of my 5 years of spinning prior to running – I really only had to get my legs used to the soreness of long runs, the impact of running and figure out my pace when I first started running outside and training for my first race.  I even got my cardio system back fairly easily after taking a full year off from running after having my son.  I started out with spin classes to get my cardiovascular system strong then I trained for the 2011 Hot Chocolate 15K.  I am now faster than before pregnancy.

Spinning is pure interval training.  In a good class you are doing a variety of “drills”.  You climb hills, you sprint (always with resistance), you do longer faster paces or short bursts of speed with various levels of resistance and there are times where you’re pushing it as hard as you possibly can followed by a bit of recovery.  It mirrors running repeats and will increase your endurance as an athlete.  If you’re taking a good class from a knowledgeable instructor they will remind you to always keep a level of resistance on your bike.  Sprinting with too little or no resistance can take your safe no impact work out to a knee injuring work out and really you’re not doing anything if you don’t have resistance anyways.  A sure test to see if you have enough resistance is to make sure your butt doesn’t bounce in the saddle when you are riding fast; if it is you need to turn the resistance knob to the right!

Spinning also helps strengthen the muscles used in running.  Now, spinning is not meant to replace lifting weights but when you’re pushing resistance you are gaining strength without the impact.  As runners, our bodies need time to recover from pounding the pavement every time we run but with spinning you can get some of the same benefits without needing that impact recovery time.  I usually will take 2-3 spin classes or ride my spin bike at home during half or full marathon training.

Studies have also shown that there is a connection between pedal stroke cadence and foot cadence while running.  The more times your feet strike the ground the harder it is on your body and the more likely you are to get injured.  In a perfect world we would be working on trying to lengthen our stride so our feet strike the ground less but that is not always easy to do without a coach.  The more times you are able to get that pedal around is supposed to help you have a higher foot strike cadence making you less prone to injury.

I hope all the runners out there who haven’t yet tried a spin class will try one and see how it affects your running performance.  Personally, I think spinning has a lot to do with my speed and endurance as a runner.

XOXO The Glam Runner

7 of my Running Essentials

Everyone has their own running essentials, mine have to do with making my runs as comfortable as possible in the hot Florida heat.

Here are 7 of my must haves:

1. Lululemon running clothing. I wear the Run Speed Shorts and Energy Sports Bra almost every time I run. The sports bra you choose will be your personal preference and they have many to choose from based on the level of support you need. I needed the TaTa Tamer right after I had my son but now I’m a huge fan of the Energy Sports Bra. The run speed shorts are super short and I need that running in central Florida. I am one of those people who cannot stand feeling clothing or any kind of gear touch me when I run. I feel like my body runs about 10-15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside so even when it’s cooler out I still wear shorts. Lululemon’s shorts are all very flattering and comfortable on both men and women. There are so many different styles to choose from like the Run Speed or even the Turbo Shorts, which are the same as the Run Speed but just a little longer. They also have a wide variety of very cute running skirts as well. Another great thing about all Lululemon athletic wear is the pockets. The Run Speed shorts have 2 pockets in the front that I put my iPod Nano in and the other is for my energy gel (if I’m doing a long run). The back zip pocket is perfect for my iPhone and key. They are always evolving too; so when phone styles change Lululemon adjusts that back pocket so the most popular phones fit snugly. Go to your local store and talk to the associates, they are always extremely knowledgable and helpful about their products and even fitness facilities in the area. I’ve been to Lululemon stores all over the country and the staff is helpful every single time.

2. Lululemon pony tail holders. I have long, thick hair and a regular pony tail holder doesn’t do the trick, not even 2 or 3. Going along with my I don’t like anything touching me when I run theme, I don’t like feeling my hair touching me either and I need it to stay in place when I’m pounding the pavement. The Lululemon pony tail holders are very strong and sturdy so just one holds my pony tail in place then I make a bun and secure it with another pony tail holder. They come 3 to a pack.

3. Lululemon headbands. I’m obviously partial to Lululemon but they have excellent products! Wearing a headband (a wrap style sweat band type headband) catches some of the sweat during my run that would otherwise drip in to my ear and make my headphones fall out of my ears. I bought one just to be cute for the Disney Princess Half Marathon this year and now I can’t go on a run without one!

4. Kiehl’s Cross Terrain SPF 50 Sunblock. I am all about protecting your skin from the sun and I get more sun during my runs than I do from going to the beach so I like to wear a sunblock with SPF 50. Normal sunblock or even normal mainstream sports sunblock does not stay on for me and get in my eyes but the thick texture of the Kiehl’s Cross Terrain stays on great. The texture is somewhat like Vaseline but it works and stays on. It is also meant for use for skiing, the beach or any other outdoor activity where you would sweat a lot.

5. GU Energy Gels. I only use energy gels on runs of 12 or more miles. I’m not sure if it really works or if it’s a mental thing but I take a GU brand Energy Gel at the first feeling of my legs slowing down and I’m always able to get another good 5 miles in before I start slowing down. They have a bit if sugar in them and amino acids to get life back in to those tired legs. I found that GU doesn’t upset my stomach either as long as I take them with water. I do suffer occasionally from “runner’s trots” during long runs but GU seems to be the best for my stomach as well. Always remember never to take an energy gel with a carb drink or electrolyte drink like Gatorade! The double influx of sugar will more than likely upset your stomach. Take your energy gel with water then if you need it, you can drink your Gatorade drink after a few more miles.

6. Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0. I generally do not drink Gatorade or Powerade after my long runs. There is way too much sugar and additives that the body doesn’t need. I take Poliquin’s electrolyte replacement. It comes in a powder form and you mix it with water. There is only Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium in this electrolyte supplement. I usually mix it with a little bit of Crystal Lite powder to get rid of the sodium taste. I will say, since taking in Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0 directly after my long runs, my legs do not get as sore. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s supposed to do but it’s a huge plus for me. I forgot to take it after my long run on Monday and my legs still hurt pretty badly. You can purchase this electrolyte replacement as well as other great quality supplements by going to www.charlespoliquin.com

7. iPod Nano. Everyone has their favorite iPod they like to use when running and some even use their phone but as I said, I don’t like anything touching me while I run so I can’t do the iPod or phone on an armband. I love my tiny little pink iPod Nano that holds 1,500 songs and it fits perfectly in the front pocket in my Lululemon shorts.

I’m interested to hear about everyone else’s running essentials too, so leave me a comment if there’s something I’m missing and you think it’s a must try. I’m always up for discovering new products. One item that I haven’t found yet is a good pair of headphones that are good for running. I’ve found some that I like but they quit working a couple months after using them.

XOXO The Glam Runner

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