Tag Archives: nutrition

Jen’s Whole40 Lent Challenge – Day 1

That video was created before I even started touching these:
Continue reading Jen’s Whole40 Lent Challenge – Day 1


Giving It All Up

No, no. That is not what I am giving up. Geesh. Dirty minds everywhere. This is a Lent post. It’s about what I am giving up for Lent. Okay, back to the point… Continue reading Giving It All Up

The Turmeric Trick

I realized recently that maybe I do know a thing or two about this distance running thing.

I mean, I’ve been participating in marathons and ultra marathons for eight years now, never taking a season off. I’ve fundraised thousands of dollars for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training program to find a cure for blood cancer through six marathons and some cycle rides. Then add the 20+ ultra marathons of 31+ miles, including the recent 100-mile ultra that I completed a few months ago.

Continue reading The Turmeric Trick

Nutrition Overview for Distance Running


GUs were the first nutrition that I had ever tried when I began distance running. This type of nutrition is energy in the form of gel, ranging from 80-200 calories per pack based on the brand and ingredients. Technically the first stuff I had ever tried was made by Clif. And possibly had the word “raspberry” in the title. It was pretty awful according to my taste buds, throat and stomach. My personal preference are made by GU brand. Some of these have additional sodium or caffeine, which is something that should be closely looked at when purchasing since everyone’s body reacts differently to these additives.

Visit https://guenergy.com/ for  more information and flavors
Visit https://guenergy.com/ for more information and flavors

Continue reading Nutrition Overview for Distance Running

Power Packed Whole Wheat Pancakes


I’ve been on a pancake kick lately, and if you are anything like me, you are looking for a way to maximize nutrition without sacrificing the taste.  I came across a Martha Stewart recipe online when I realized that we did not have enough quick pancake mix for the family a couple of weeks back.  I used it as a blueprint, but changed virtually everything to make them uber delicious and less threatening to my waistline.  Here is what I came up with…enjoy!

1 c. Whole Wheat Flour

2 tbsp. No-Calorie Sweetener (like Splenda)

2 tsp. Baking POWDER

1/2 tsp. Table Salt

3 tbsp. No-Sugar Added Applesauce

1 Large Egg WHITE

1 cup Fat Free/Skim Milk

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Mix together in a medium sized mixing bowl until well blended.  I then put this back into my 2 cup measuring cup to pour it onto a griddle that has been warmed to 375° (After the first round of pancakes, I pull the heat back to 350°).  Wait until the pancakes stop bubbling before turning them over.

Mix yields 6-7 pancakes.  My calculations = 2 PPV per pancake.

Other ideas…slather a tsp. of peanut butter on top instead of syrup with some bananas to get those power packed foods and extra protein.  I also sometimes add cinnamon, clove, ginger…anything to give them some spice.

WeightWatchers.com: Weight Watchers Recipe – Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

This was a pretty amazing meal! I played with the recipe just a little bit, and changed it. Since I was missing ricotta cheese, I substituted an extra egg white into the recipe. I also decided to put half of a sweet red pepper into the mix to add some flavor. I have to say, that both worked, and this lowered the points value per serving.  The oregano made this taste slightly Italian, so much that my sister asserted that it reminded her of a healthier pizza.


WeightWatchers.com: Weight Watchers Recipe – Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche.



Eight Chicago area runners will be running over 160 miles this weekend across the state of Illinois to raise money and awareness for Chicago Run, an organization that promotes running programs in Chicago area schools.

With obesity being the leading risk factor contributing to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, Chicago Run’s mission is to work with elementary schools implementing running programs for children to help prevent the long-term diseases.  In just 25 years from 1980-2004, the percentage of children ages 6-11 who are overweight or obese increased from 6.5% to nearly 19%.

“I think that if a kid sees that there is someone who cares about their well-being, that they’ll respond better and take action.  If no one is there to help, then it’s easier to get lost or lose focus on what’s important,” says Brian Gaines, Team LOL member.

Chicago Run’s main methods of getting the children to embrace activity include preparing for 5Ks, 8Ks and even a virtual marathon where participants accumulate mileage through fitness breaks three to five times per week.

“A lot of today’s disease and health issues can be solved by simply eating right and exercising,” says Team LOL member, Mike Wolkowicz. “Staying active isn’t or shouldn’t be a fad.  You need to keep getting out the door and protect your own heart and lungs.”

Team LOL, which stands for “Land of Lincoln,” will begin a trek from Dubuque, Iowa on Friday, August 17, running straight through for almost three days until they reach Lake Michigan on August 19 at the northern part of Illinois as an effort to educate the public about Chicago Run.

“165 miles looked impossible to me before, now it’s just a number,” said Juan “The Machine” Juarez, a Team LOL member who has finished numerous 50 and 100-mile distance events.

Training and running a marathon has become a very popular way for philanthropic individuals to raise large amounts of awareness and funds for local, regional, national and even international charities.  Team LOL has stated that their name has dual meaning, following the popular text messaging acronym, “Laugh Out Loud,” since they have decided to not do just one, 26.2 mile marathon, but instead just about six full marathons in a row for their cause.

“It might be more of a head game for me after 100 miles. But the cause will help with that,” said Team LOL member, Kathleen Rytman of Chicago Run.

“There is only so much pain in each nerve,” said participant, Kamil Suran, of Crystal Lake.  Kamil is no stranger to this type of endurance event, as in July he completed a 200 mile endurance run in Pennsylvania called the Viaduct Trail Ultra Marathon.  Just as expected with the Run Across Illinois, Kamil raced for three whole days, finishing the event in 75 hours and 55 minutes.  Not only did Kamil finish, but he won this event.

Kamil was not the only runner in this group that traveled to the Viaduct Trail Marathon in July.  Cohort, Chuck Schultz also took on this massive trek in the 90-plus degree weather.  When asked about what Schultz expects to be his largest obstacle, he said, “Sleep will be the biggest challenge. There is a small chance I could go without sleep but it’s not likely. So I need to accept that and plan for sleeping.”

“I think programs like Chicago Run have such a simple but important mission to build health, self-worth, self-esteem, accomplishment and goal-setting skills.  It’s a great program,” says Scott Smoron, another member of Team LOL.

These runners will not be going at it alone, as there will be upwards of 20-25 supporters helping out as crew members and pacers.  The crew members will provide vehicles along the way filled with food, hydration, extra clothing and other items.  Pacers will be running various lengths alongside the runners for inspiration and support.  The runners will be running alongside country roads for the entire distance, and will have ample reflective gear, including headlamps, between the hours of 7pm and 7am.

To follow updates on the group’s progress, you can visit www.facebook.com/RunAcrossIllinois, or follow them on Twitter at the handle @RunAcrossIL.  These sites also provide the link to make pledge a donation to Chicago Run on behalf of the runner’s amazing feat.  To learn more about the mission of Chicago Run, visit www.chicagorun.org.

When asked about the goal of running over 160 miles, team member Tony Cesario said, “the only obstacles you have, are the ones you place in front of yourself.”