Archive for the ‘diet tips’ Category

What do you eat before you run?

What do you eat after you run?

Do you have a tried and true method for race day eating success or do you just wing it?

What I love about my dietetic program is that I’m learning the science of food.  Now eating isn’t so much guess work, but the result of a scientific equation to provide my body the energy it needs in different circumstances.
I wasn’t always this sure in my food choices.  When training for my first marathon in 2008 I gained 8 pounds.  I also ate peanut butter M & M’s and Gatorade for a pre-race meal.  Good stuff! 🙂

Yeah- I was a little bigger in 08. That’s the difference high intensity weight training and good nutrition makes! And avoiding bags of peanut M&M’s! And yes that really was my race number.

Here’s the science and the generally accepted pre/post workout food recommendations. Just in case you’re a nerd like me and wanted to know!

– Carbohydrates

  • They’re good. Mr. Atkins kinda cast them in a bad light, but in terms of performance they are your bestest friend!  
  • Your body uses carbs for energy during prolonged exercise and carbs require less oxygen to burn than protein or fat.  Less oxygen to burn = more oxygen to breathe! 

– Pre-exercise

  • A high carb meal pre-exercise will maintain blood glucose and maximize glycogen stores in your muscles.
  • The meal should be moderate in protein, low in fat, and low in fiber. Why? Well the fiber one should be easy to figure out (hello port-a-potty)…for the fat…fat  takes longer to digest.  If you’re digesting fat, your body can’t commit all it’s resources/energy to helping you run better.
  • The amount (in grams) of carbs you should eat depends on how far out you are from the start of your event.  I like to use the hour rule:
    • If you event is in 1 hour: 1 gram of carbs per kilogram of body weight.  To determine your weight in kg divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 For me that’s 130/2.2 = 59.1kg. So that’s 59.1g or carbs or 236 calories from carbs. 1.25 cups of cereal has about 27g and a banana has 19g. Add a swig of Gatorade and I should be good to go!
    • If your event is in 2 hours: 2g of carbs per kg
    • If your event is in 3 hours: 3g of carbs per kg
    • If you event is in 4 hours: 4g of carbs per kg
  • Test your pre-run meal.  Everyone’s stomach is different so find what works for you.
Kyle’s pre race meal

– During the race

  • If your event is over an hour your body will need not only water but food to fuel you!  
  • A good rule of thumb is 30-60g of carbohydrates during exercise.  This can easily come from sports drinks, chews, or gu’s.
  • Be aware that fruit alone might not be your best mid-race choice.  Fructose (the sugar in fruit) isn’t as quickly absorbed.
– Post- race
  • You did it!  Now eat!  If it’s a race you finished I’m sure you’re off to celebrate with a “cheat” meal…I know I do! 
    • If it’s a training run, however you might want to me more strict with your post race meal.  Post run/workout meals are vital, because that’s what helps refuel and repair your muscles for your next workout.
  • 30-45 minutes is the window in which you need to eat!
  • Aim to repair with 0.5g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight.  For me that’s about 30g of carbs.  A little more then a banana.
  • Protein is also key here to muscle recovery so aim for 10-20g after endurance training.
  • It’s often said to recover in a 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein and chocolate milk is a great example of a perfect post workout food.
Would we call that a good post race food? It has carbs!

– Fatigue

  • If you’re feeling exhausted during training/races here are some nutrition related causes of fatigue to look into:  insufficient calories, insufficient carbs, iron-deficiency, or dehydration.
For my race on Sunday I had my traditional race breakfast of a whole wheat bagel with 1T of peanut butter, coffee, and a banana.  I could also have had 1 cup of Kashi + 1/2 cup of chex + raisins. Both set well with my stomach. I’ll also have some honey and a sports drink 30 minutes before the event.

Once you’re fueled then it’s all on your and your training to have a great race!

What’s your favorite pre-race meal?

Kyle’s typical post race cheat meal

Love and glucose, 
Carissa & Kyle


Haha! When I first typed that title it said, “9 miles or busty”! Well – that’s not true!  
Today I had a nine mile long run on my half marathon training agenda.  I have missed a few key runs due to a busy schedule so I was a little nervous about this one…
If you were wondering I made my 9 miles and I didn’t bust…nor was it busty, blustery, busy, or any other typo I could come up with!
My goal pace was over 10 minute miles.  I just told myself to stay slow and keep running at a comfortable pace so I could make my mileage.  

I kept having to fight nagging thoughts that I was “too slow”.  I’ve never tried to train to make a goal pace in a half marathon and it is playing some head games with me.  I just keep telling myself to being able to run 9+ miles in any time is a blessing and a great achievement and I’ll just give it my all on race day.  How does that sound?  I’m aiming for positive yet realistic? 🙂
Here are my splits:
Mile 1- 10:07 (I never feel warm until about 1.5)
Mile 2- 9:41
Mile 3- 9:36
Mile 4- 9:52
Mile 5- 9:44
Mile 6- 10:18
Mile 7- 9:46
Mile 8- 9:27
Mile 9- 9:20

I fueled up with cereal before the run and some sport beans at miles 6 and 7.  

Since I just finished my nutrition for exercise class I’ve been very aware of the need to get adequate carbs before and after my runs.  
If you are someone out there who watches your calories, but runs make sure you are getting enough carbs.  I wasn’t at all so I’m actively working on that. Basically it’s 5g of carbs a day per kg of body weight on a training day and 1.5g of carbs per kg of body weight after the workout.  Post workout meals are SO IMPORTANT!  Your body is craving food in the form of carbs and a little protein.  Give your body what it needs!

After the run I had a Gatorade Recovery drink.  It’s 130 calories, 14g of carbs, and 16g of protein. I also added a banana for more carbs.

I’m thinking a sweet potato smoothie will be a good lunch.  Did you know sweet potatoes have WAY more potassium then bananas? True story!
I’m in a great mood today…not just because of my endorphins but Kyle’s clients are taking us to a DALLAS COWBOY game tonight!  Excited and nervous all at once!

How do you fuel up after long runs?

Love and Romo-licious,

Carissa & Kyle

Happy Friday! 
Let’s talk fitness. I love blogging and I love fitness.  
Sometimes I get so excited about meals and life that I forget to share my love of fitness and fit tips with you.  I hope you enjoy seeing my Sunday suppers just as much as you love learning awesome ab exercises.  🙂
But just in case you need some new diet tips for your arsenal here are 3 that I’m digging right now.

Friday Fit Tips:
1. Eat eggs.

  • Eggs are packed with protein and good fat, which keeps you fuller longer.
  • Studies have shown that eggs enhance muscle strength and mass.
  • Studies have also shown that people who start their days with eggs have an easier time losing body fat.
  • People who eat eggs in the am also consume less calories throughout the day.
  • Eat the yolk. For an explanation read my other egg blog.
  • Try my healthy egg muffin recipe for a quick an egg breakfast.
Egg muffins. Grab ‘n go in the am
2. Lift heavier weights.
  • Yes, ladies…heavier weights.
  • Studies show that lifting heavier weights for less reps causes a greater and longer increase in resting metabolic rate.  That means you burn MORE calories AFTER you’re done working out when you lift heavier. Even if you do less reps.
  • It relates to your EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption) and it’s the truth!
  • Try it and within 4 weeks I’m pretty sure you’ll see results without even spending more time in the gym.
3. Drink cold water
  • Drinking appropriate amounts of water is key to losing weight and looking good. (water  helps your skin)
  • Drinking COLD water can boost metabolic rate by about 30% according to German researchers.
  • Anytime you can up your metabolic rate. That’s good.  It means you’re burning more calories.  Things that slow your metabolic rate (like skipping meals) are bad if weight loss is your goal.
Chug, chug….headache..tooo cold!
3 steps. 3 ideas. The weekend is 3 days.  Can you integrate one a day?  I know you can!

Love and looking lean,
Carissa & Kyle

Healthy Egg Muffins

Posted: September 21, 2011 in diet tips, recipes

Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, right?
And it is often the meal given the least amount of attention on a busy weekday morning.

Don’t skimp on the am meal friends!  Numerous studies have shown that those who eat a regular, 400 calorie ish breakfast lose more weight and keep it off compared to their breakfast skipping couterparts.
Your body has been fasting all day and you need nutrients (and a big glass of H2O) to get your metabolism back on track.
Ideally, breakfast should be your biggest meal of the day!  Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a queen, and dinner like a pauper.  

Kyle as the King- Halloween 2009

Morning’s can be crazy so this week I whipped up these baked egg muffins for Kyle to grab on his way out the door.  We have been going smoothie crazy for breakfast lately..which is find…but I wanted a breakfast with less sugar and more biologically available protein.

Enter the baked egg muffin! Bake on Sunday night, portion, and enjoy throughout the week.  They will stay a week in the fridge and can be frozen too.  Microwave and munch!

This batch I made fairly basic.  There’s no limit to the veggies, cheese, and meat you could add. Some of mine turned out “hollow” on the inside.  After I was done with the batter I added extra liquid egg whites and I think that was the culprit.  Stick to the ratios in the recipe for best results.

Creepy hollow egg.

Also I have heard that adding cayenne to eggs is a good thing.  It breaks down the mucus layer in the egg and makes it easier for your body to digest.  So don’t be afraid to “spice it up!”
I used this base recipe I found at Kalyn’s Kitchen.

Baked Egg Muffins:
12 eggs
3 green onions diced small.
Chopped veggies such as blanched broccoli, red pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, etc. (we used diced bell pepper)
Optional: diced Canadian bacon, lean ham, turkey bacon, or crumbled cooked turkey sausage
Optional: 1-2 cups grated low fat cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F. Use regular or silicone muffin pan, 12 muffin size. If using silicone pan, spray with nonstick spray. If using regular muffin pan, put two paper liners into each slot, then spray liner with nonstick spray.

In the bottom of the muffin cups layer diced meat, if using, vegetables, if using, cheese and green onions. You want the muffin cups to be about 2/3 full, with just enough room to pour a little egg around the other ingredients. Break eggs into large measuring bowl with pour spout and beat well. Add 3T of nonfat milk and 1t cayenne pepper. Pour egg into each muffin cup until it is 3/4 full. Stir slightly with a fork. Bake 25-35 minutes until muffins have risen and are slightly browned and set.

Other great breakfast to-go options are smoothies, gluten free protein bars, overnight oats, or oatmeal blobs. (sharing that recipe SOON!)

What’s your favorite fast breakfast option?

Love and scrambles,
Carissa & Kyle

Week At a Glance

Posted: September 5, 2011 in diet tips, weekly meal plans

Here’s a look at our weekly meals and scheduled workouts.  I kinda felt guilty about the influx of dining out splurges so I thought I’d go back to the healthy basics.

The key to weight loss/maintenance success: preparation!  Plan your meals, plan your workouts, and prepare to succeed.

Meals & Moves (yes, that’s the name of another blog.  Good name, good blog.  Check it out):
Monday –       full body workout, 15 minutes of HIIT sprints
            –       Greek grilled chicken with homemade Tzatziki sauce made with Chobani yogurt

Tuesday –      30 minutes of cardio, Kyle full body workout
             –      Pesto chicken with a salad

Wednesday-   full body workout
                –   Green chicken chili with white beans
Thursday –     Eggs for dinner with Udi’s Gluten free bread
Friday –         full body workout
          –        Orlando Magical Dining Month at Ocean Prime
Saturday –     long cardio- 4-5 miles
          –        Gameday! USF v Ball State – healthy ham sandwiches at fruit tailgating style

What do you think of our week?

Today I hit the gym for a full body workout with Kyle.  My legs were jello after the first set.  I can’t remember everything we did but it was a killer rotation of leg extensions with a hold at the top and deadlift-should press-deep squat.  That was followed up heavy leg press with bottom only presses and single leg jump squats.  After that I think I blacked out! 🙂

I went to Target to stock up for the week.  I got 4 things for free!  Cascade trial packs of this dish gelpacks are 97 cents.  I had a coupon for $1 off, so I made 3 cents!  I actually had 3 of those coupons so I made 9 cents!  Then Simply juice single serve was on sale for 91 cents and I had $1 off coupon.  9 cents for moi!  How are you doing on your coupons?  There were none in the paper this week, but they’re best online at the beginning of the month.  Look for lots of Kashi coupons online.

Hope you’re having a great labor day!

Love and lists,
Carissa and Kyle

Hallelujah its football season! I am rocking my bedazzled Tony Romo jersey right this second!

The house that Jerry built

Kyle and I closely followed the NFL draft and last night we I drafted for our fantasy team. Im not sure I did great. Yahoo had a major malfunction and locked me out of the first 2 rounds. So here’s what team “Teflon Don” looks like: Tony Romo, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, Antonio Gates, Anquan Boldin, Braylon Edwards, Austin Collie, Mike Tolbert, Sebastian Janikowski, Detroit defense.  What do you think?

Do you play fantasy football?

Here are my tips for a successful football season. And by successful I mean maintaining your weight, enjoying the games and food, and not getting mad at your husband for his temper tantrums!

1. Always try to fulfill your workout goals as the week goes on. Burn as many calories as you can when you can. Getting in interval sprints on the morning of a tailgating party is a touchdown in my book. You’ll burn more calories all day with your EPOC
 Try this sprint routine: 
4 Quarter Sprints
– Warm up for 5-10 minutes
– Sprint 15 seconds
– Jog 15 seconds
– Sprint 30 seconds
– Jog 30 seconds
– Easy run 2 minutes (halftime)
– Sprint 45 seconds
– Jog 45 seconds
– Sprint 60 seconds
– Jog 60 seconds
– Sprint 15 seconds (overtime)
– Cool down 5 minutes

Tomorrow am I’m going to spin class with my friend Taina so we can get our pre-Gator party calorie burn on!

Garage workout

2. Eat before you go to the watch party.  Yes, eat more.  Eating 200-300 calories of a high protein/low-carb snack before hitting the social scene will help your waistline.  You’ll be less likely to be starving and eat more “unhealthy” foods.  Try a hard boiled egg, cheese stick, protein shake, or Greek yogurt.

3.  Use a plate.  Sounds simple, but for me personally I am bad with mindless eating. I will nibble and nibble chips until somebody physically takes them away from me.  (Are you thinking what I’m thinking Easy E?)  Portion out an acceptable amount of food onto your plate and just eat that. 

4.  Gobble the lower calories bites.  If you can’t fight fun, mindless eating choose healthy, low-calorie foods or even bring them yourself.  Go for raw veggies, popcorn, or a small handful of nuts.

5.  Pick your poison.  You can have beer.  You can have nachos.  You can have cake.  But you can’t have all three. (ok you can, just don’t blame me if you feel guilty after).  Pick your “poison” and make healthier choices for your other nibbles.
I am making my FIRST EVER try at homemade cupcakes!  I’m even making them Gator colors (Blue and Orange) which is hard for this Florida State girl.  I’m using a recipe from Courtney’s blog so wish me luck. The cupcakes will be my splurge tomorrow, because I know we’ll have healthy chicken chili to eat and veggies to nibble on.

Rocky stomping on the Gator cupcakes!

This is the start of my favorite time of year! Even if it’s still 100 degrees here in Orlando it feels like fall to me.

Are you ready for some football????

Love and the SEC,
Carissa & Kyle

I am enjoying a brief 10 7 day vacation from school and work.  It is heaven…although heaven would be laying on a beach in Mexico away from computers, dirty dishes, and bills and eating calorie free foods. That’s heaven…this is a pleasant and welcome change of events.  School, (I’m getting a 2nd degree to become a registered dietitian), working, blogging, and being a wife is hard work!  I don’t know how you mommies do it!

Since I’m off and Kyle has taken vacation time too we are going to be off our normal routine for a while and enjoying more treats and dinners out.

I went to the store today to pick up a few snacks…and stopped in the produce aisle…I stopped and thought.  It’s going to be a few days before we really break out of our typical schedule.  But our house is void of veggies and did I want to spend money and things that might not get eaten?

Yes!  Yes, yes, yes!  If there’s anything I’ve learned from my beginning nutrition classes it is the AMAZING importance of VEGETABLES!

Fruits and vegetables are so important to you body and how it functions. You need them on a daily basis.  Not only that, but the phytochemicals in these brightly colored nibbles can fight free radicals and help fight type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, aging, dementia, some types of cancer, and on and on and on.

Find a way to incorporate fruits and veggies into your diet everyday.  Experiment with new foods and ways of cooking. Try organic.  Try them raw.  Just eat them!

I left Target today with spinach, snow peas, apples, and tomatoes.  Just enough to keep us healthy!

Even a V8 is a great veggie boost!  Try it!

How many servings of veggies are you eating a day?

Love and vitamins,
Carissa & Kyle

Choosing Healthier Cocktails

Posted: August 20, 2011 in diet tips, PR, video

Remember a week ago when I mentioned I did a taping for GalTimeTV?

Well the first segment aired this morning and I’m happy to share it with you all!  Thanks to those of you who have already watched it!

This was the first of 2 segments I did and it was about choosing healthier cocktails.  Take a look and tell me if you would’ve made the right cocktail choices.

You can find a link to the entire show and GalTime TV here.

Kyle and I preach a heathy lifestyle BUT we also stress that everything life has to offer can be enjoyed in moderation…even alcohol.  Although alcohol does turn to a toxic substance, acetaldehyde, in the body.  It damages the cells of your small intestine and liver.  Lucky for your small intestine those cells renew every 3-5 days.  You liver…poor liver…those cells take 380+ days to renew.

On the show I chose 3 sets of 2 alcoholic drink and we had to “make the healthier choice”.  That’s a great idea for a game show right?  I just thought of that! 🙂

Choice 1:
8 oz Margarita vs. Bloody Mary
       – Easy peezy! The Margarita is a sugar and calorie killer with 500 calories in 8 oz.  The Bloody Mary has less calories at 140 and some vitamins from the tomato juice.  Hello brunch!

Make an exception for the frozen drink on your honeymoon!

Choice 2:
Screwdriver vs. Rum & Diet
       – The plot thickens.  Calories to calories the rum & diet wins.  But healthy choices go beyond a simple calorie equation.  The diet soda mixed with alcohol increases the effect of the alcohol on your body, thus making you feel drunker.  That can lead to a plethora of negative consequences. Stick with the OJ kiddos!

Choice 3:
Gin & Tonic vs. Red Wine
     – Red Wine has become the leader in the “healthy alcohol in moderation” movement.  I hate to break it to ya but many of the health benefits of moderate drinking have only been proven for older adults.  There ya go Mom!  Red wine still knocks out gin & tonic.  It has 125 calories compared the 140 calories and 22g of sugar with the gin & tonic.

Thanks for watching and reading.  Our readers are the best!

Love and bubbly,
Carissa & Kyle

Other video blogs like Kyle’s high intensity training can be found here: Kyle video

Time for another edition of Thinking Tuesday. What’s on your mind today?

Here are some “nutritional nuggets” from my nutrition class.  Tell me what you think.
– Each pound of fat you gain requires 100 miles of new blood vessels.


– Sugar is not only addicting but a powerful appetite stimulant.

– Why is it so hard to keep off weight you lose?  When fat cells shrink, levels of a fat-cell hormone, leptin, drop faster than mass is reduced.  This tricks the brain into thinking you’ve lost more weight than you actually have.  Your thyroid gland gets confused and triggers you to eat more.

– The higher sodium level in your food, the higher the absorption of calories.  Skipping the salt now…

And my “thinking topic of the week”: Bottled Water!  

We watched a thought-provoking film on the bottled water industry called “Tapped“.  

Not only did it highlight how bad for the environment bottled water is, but it talked about how chemicals in the bottles have been proven time and time again to cause cancer.  Kyle and I are the proud new owners of BPA free water bottles and protein shakers.  $6 on Amazon.

Did you know that 40% of bottled water is filtered tap water?

Here’s the fact that really stuck with me.  We trust that our bottled water is tested and safe, right?  I did.  It is actually the job of 1 person at the FDA to monitor bottled water content.  Also if bottled water is made and sold within state lines, it isn’t regulated at all by the FDA.

Is your tap water safe?  Well it’s monitored a whole lot closer.  In a city of just 1 million people the municipal water must be tested 300 times a MONTH!  The higher the population, the more testing.

Tap water is also FREE!  Did you think about that?  At convenience store prices, a gallon of bottle water can cost more than  a gallon of gas.

Will we still use bottled waters?  Yes.  Did I make changes to help our health, wallets, and the environment.  Yes.

How do you feel about bottled water?

Love and H2OH,
Carissa & Kyle

Make sure you check out week 1 here, and week 2 here.

News FLASH: Don’t scramble eggs.  Read on…..
Welcome back to the second edition of Thinking Tuesday!  Make sure you check out week 1 here.

Today I want to start with a little chat about eggs.  

Yes, the incredible, edible egg.  Remember those commercials?  Eggs are a on-again-off-again health food. Eat eggs! They are a healthy, inexpensive source of protein. Eat the yolks and the white.

Cholesterol.  That’s what you’re thinking. Eggs are notorious cholesterol villians.

We have all heard bad things cholesterol in an egg yolk.  True, an egg yolk analytically speaking has 215mg of cholesterol.  HOWEVER, biologically speaking your body will not absorb those 215mg of cholesterol and implant them in your arteries.

So you can eat eggs and enjoy their amazing benefits without fear of cholesterol … UNLESS …. UNLESS …. you eat your eggs scrambled.

Yeah- this is where it gets hairy.

The cholesterol is in the yolk. Right?  Well when you boil, poach, fry, or have an egg over easy what happens to the yolk?  It stays intact.  You don’t break it.

What happens to the yolk when you scramble an egg?  

You break the yolk.  There’s the problem.

When you break the yolk, that allows the cholesterol to be exposed to more air and heat than the other cooking methods. That air and heat cause the cholesterol in the scrambled eggs to oxidize way before you eat them.  

Cholesterol that has already been oxidized, prior to digestion, has a higher risk of contributing to atherosclerosis.

According to my professor, if you scramble eggs at home and eat them relatively soon after, there is less risk.  The most harmful scrambled eggs come from those that have been scrambled and frozen or freeze-dried.  Or if they were made in a hotel/cafeteria setting and sat out further oxidizing.

Not to be an egg Debbie Downer, but this article blew my mind.  I guess I will be learning how to make “dippy eggs” ASAP.

It’s dippy du jour now!

Will scrambled eggs kill you?  NO!  Are boiled or sunny side up eggs a better nutritional bargain?  You betcha! The article appeared in IAACN Insight in the Summer 2008 written by Dr. Jonathan V. Wright.

I had some more “thinking” facts to share with you…but…that was a lot to handle.  How about a Thinking Thursday mid-week fact session?  I don’t want to turn into a boring, facto blog!

Mom, all this science is for the birds.  Wait- I love birds.  Are there birds?

Was that boring and way too Bill Nye Science for ya??? Or interesting? Let me know!

Love and yolks, 
Carissa & Kyle