Archive for the ‘fit 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


Fitness, health, the quest to feeling all over awesome is a daily journey.
It’s hard to wake up one day on Janurary 1 and be totally transformed.
It takes hard work, focus, resiliency during set backs, and baby steps!

This week I decided to throw out 5 baby steps towards a healthier you.  Try one out, try all five…give me some feedback and let’s see how you feel! Hopefully it’s all over awesome!

5 steps towards a better you:
1. Eat 3 servings of fruits and vegetables 5 days for a week.
2. Workout for 30 minutes, 3 times a week.
3. Focus on eating 20g of fiber a day. (think beans, Kashi cereal, apples, pears, raspberries)
4. Spend 10 minutes a day doing something relaxing you enjoy.
5. Do 1 chore you have been “putting off”.

Good luck and here’s to a great 2012!
Also take a look at some of my past monthly goal posts for some extra mo-jo.
Get your Goal on
Stomp out stress

Today was my last day off in what will be a very busy spell.  I slept in until 9am and hit the gym for another “easy on the ankle” workout.
Once home I’ve been cleaning, cooking up 2 batches of spaghetti sauce for dinner, and getting back into study mode.
I also took my new bike for a 2.5 mile spin. According to I burned about 119 calories on the bike. My ankle felt okay and I’m thinking of trying a run on Monday.

Let me know how you do on those 5 goals above!  Any day is a great day to be…what???? AWESOME! Oh yeah!

Love and looking forward,
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

As soon as I type this post I’m putting up Christmas decorations! I’m so excited!!!
But first I couldn’t miss my favorite blogging day of the week – What I Ate Wednesday!
This week in honor of Thanksgiving and in honor of me missing Thanksgiving in lieu of supporting my bank account – I created a quick, nod to Thanksgiving that can be enjoyed all year long – THANKSGIVING MEATBALLS!

Yup, all the fun of hours of cooking in about 50 minutes.  With some semi-homemade help too! If Sandra Lee can then so can I!Our mini turkey day meal consisted of turkey Thanksgiving meatballs, gravy, instant (yup, you read that right) red mashed potatoes, homemade cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus, and No-bake yogurt pumpkin pie.  Oh and a little white wine for good measure!

No Bake Pumpkin Protein Pie

The meatballs are a healthy, easy way to incorporate the great flavors of the holiday. Give them a try for a quick holiday meal or whenever you need a lower-calorie, comfort food fix.

Thanksgiving Turkey MeatballsIngredients:

  • 1 package Jenny-O extra lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 lower sodium Stove Top stuffing mix
  • 1/2 cup organic milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 small diced yellow onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • Rosemary, thyme, sage….to your liking
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Mix stuffing mix and milk in a large bowl.  Allow to sit for 90 seconds or until the stuffing softens.  Try to mash up the larger pieces of stuffing.
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Use an ice cream scoop, transfer meatball mixture to a well greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake 25 minutes or until internal temperature equals 160.
  • Top with gravy or cranberry sauce and enjoy!
Since this was a new recipe that I just made up on the fly, I was very happy with the way it turned out.
The only thing I regret is that I used sugar substitute for the cranberry sauce and you can tell.  Major aftertaste! Bummer!
I hope all of you enjoy your Thanksgiving tomorrow!
Try to get in some cardio in the am…it will boost your metabolic rate all day.  Also watch “mindless” eating.  If you’re going to eat, then put the food on a plate and sit down.  Your pants will thank you!

Love and family ties,
Carissa & Kyle

Of possible interest: What I’m Thankful For, calorie torching interval sprints, Greek turkey meatballs.

Happy Halloween!

Posted: October 31, 2011 in fit tips, holidays

Happy Halloween from Fit2Flex!  I hope you’re enjoying a spooky night!

I wanted to share some fun Halloween pics, but first here are 2 “tricks” to “treat” your body right.  You may have heard them before but give them a try again.

1. Schedule your workouts like appointments.  It’s almost that busy, busy time of year.  Don’t skimp or skip your workouts.  They are probably the 1 thing you do in your day for you and your health.  Don’t miss it.
2. Watch what you eat! Tis almost the season for…eat right when you can.  Switch your lunch chips or afternoon carb pick me up for carrots, apples, celery, and mixed nuts.  They calories will make a deficit you will appreciate come the holidays!

Happy Haunting! I’m off to eat a salad and give out candy to the kiddies.  We have Butterfingers and Nestle mini’s. So far I’ve been candy free today…but I feel a treat coming on.

I always loved Halloween as a kid.  I used to be so antsy at school waiting to head out.  My Mom did a great job of making all my costumes.  I was for several years a cat-witch, dracula, regular cat, and Eeyore! Happy Memories!

This is someone’s actual front yard in Celebration, FL
Crazy huh!

What are you doing for Halloween?

Love and Boo to You!,
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.  ðŸ™‚
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

I fight with Halloween Candy

Posted: October 15, 2011 in fit tips

9 hours.  That’s how long I’ve had Halloween candy in my home.  
4 pieces. That’s how many I’ve eaten in that time. 1 mini Snickers, 3 Milky Way Midnight bites. 

78 times.  That’s the estimated number of times I’ve walked past the location where I’ve “hidden” said candy.

Does anyone else have a battle with their Halloween candy going on?
Although we’ve lived in our home for 2+ years, we’ve never actually been here on Halloween.  Our street is relatively quiet so I didn’t know how much candy to buy. Thus far I have 4 bags of fun sized Mars candies that I got with a great coupon deal from CVS.
22oz fun size Mars bag – usually $5 on sale for $2.50 each.  $3 in CVS ECB when you buy $10 of Mars candies + $3.50 in ECB from my summer CVS spending.  All 4 bags for $4!

Now I just have to fight the temptation to nibble on those sugary delights.  

How do you avoid sweet temptations?

Last night Kyle and I visited the Ocoee Farmer’s Market for the first time.

Guess the weight- win a prize!
It was small, only 6 booths, but full of small town charm.  There were 2 stands of produce, a honey stand, baked goods, Florida grown organic, antibiotic free meats, BBQ, a hot sauce stand, and some crafts.

We were on our way to dinner so we didn’t buy much, but Kyle did get some special honey.  Honey before a workout or a long run is something I’ve heard recommended in the past.  However most commercial honey is a little honey and a lot of high fructose corn syrup. 
Kyle spoke with the “honey man” about this and what honey he would recommend post-workout.  All the honey from the Winter Park Honey is raw, virgin honey.  They obtain different flavors and benefits of the honey by having the bees that make that particular honey pollenate only one type of plant.  There was avocado honey, key lime honey, blackberry honey, and many more.  Some of the honeys had medicinal properties.  Kyle bought a Galberry honey.  According to said “honey man”, the Galberry honey creates a more complex carbohydrate with a low glycemic index that boosts your workout energy.  

According to Men’s HealthResearchers gave people about 3 tablespoons of honey just before their workouts, and found it was just as good a source of energy as commercially available gels and sports drinks. You’d have to slug about a liter of a sports drink to get the same effect you get with 3 spoons of honey.

After the market we had dinner at Mimi’s Cafe and wandered around some stores looking at home decor.  We just got new dressers and I want to jazz up my bedroom.  We left with a Christmas centerpiece and a few holiday gifts for others.

It was a very nice Friday night.  I had a killer leg workout Friday afternoon that I plan to share soon.

Love and chocoholics anonymous, 
Carissa & Kyle

I hate Mondays…but I kinda like Mondays. Only from a nutritional standpoint.  They’re the day you get back on track. I can assure you that no amazingly fun event is going to pop up on a Monday and derail my pre-planned meals. Although I did have a good 10 minutes on the couch watching Top Chef: Just Desserts eating Honey Nut Chex.  That was fun!

Here’s a look at our meal planning for the week:
Monday – Flavors of fall salad
Tuesday – Surprise dinner out. I’m getting my hair done, so Kyle takes me out to dinner. Last time – seasons 52
Wednesday – Roasted chicken with asparagus
Thursday- Greek chicken wraps
Friday- Healthy pizza night with salad

Full body workouts are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  I’m going to do an interval run on Thursday and hopefully 6 miles on Saturday.
There’s a 10 mile race in a month that I’m thinking of signing up for. Thoughts? Nobody wants to run with me, so it’s me and my cheerleader but I like having a race goal. November 6, Sunday, 10 miles, Clermont.

Tonight’s salad was inspired by all the wonderful fall flavors that I keep seeing on TV and in blogs.  And if you’re thinking that is has pumpkin…..then you’re wrong!  Shocked? I almost bought pumpkin seeds for it, but we’re on a budget and I already had pecans.

Flavors of Fall Salad:

  • Rotisserie chicken shredded
  • Fresh Express spring mix (BOGO at Publix)
  • Roasted butternut squash cubes (I roasted them at 400 for 20 minutes)
  • Craisins
  • Gorgonzola cheese
  • Beets
  • Asparagus (yes, it’s a spring veggie, but the best veggie you can eat nutritionally)
  • Balsamic vinaigrette 
Butternut squash is a great winter squash. It’s relatively low in calories and very high in Vitamin A (298% of DV) and carotene, which is an antioxidants.  It also has high levels of Vitamin C, Manganese (helps metabolize proteins and fats), and calcium.  I cooked mine for only 20 minutes, because I wanted to retain some crunch in my salad.  I would typically roast it about 35 minutes.

There were no sprints tonight.  Kyle and I played some serious football in the park yesterday…apparently I “tweaked” my knee on one of my routes.  So I’m taking it easy. I’m no Michael Irvin.

Polie was crying all through dinner!
Take time this Monday to focus on your fitness goals for this week.  If you have clear goals, even if they’re small, you’re more likely to achieve success.  How about running 4 miles or getting 3 workouts in?  My goal is my 6 miles on Saturday with hard workouts all week.

What’s your mini goal for the week?

Love and autumn bounty, 
Carissa & Kyle

ps- GO PICNIC winner drawn in the am! Still time to enter. Comment on the blog by clicking here.

Traitor! I call a saboteur!  Today was a full out assault!  A diet sabotage!
It is What I Ate Wednesday.  My favorite blogging day of the week and I will share with you the sad tale of diet sabotage that occurred against me today.
I realize that I do not need to go on a “diet”…HOWEVER…I have had my fair share of indulgences over the last 2 weeks. (anniversary, Magical dining month, Gator games). Plus the fall is the start of “fun” season; birthday, football, fall, thanksgiving, holiday.  It’s all downhill from here folks.  I DO NOT want to buy new jeans,so today was my day to “eat clean” and watch my indulgences.Welp, that didn’t happen.  Epic fit blogger fail.  Here’s my “fit blogger” journal.  Judge away.  Yes, I ate all this. On a Tuesday.
8am- woke up late.  Banana + soy milk + 1 scoop dessert protein

10am – Pumpkin Spice Cupcake

1130am – Cedar’s chickpea mix, roasted veggies, 1/2 cup quinoa130pm – Thai food with Amber. (love you girl!)  All the way to the Thai place I thought about “healthy” Thai options.

Stop taking blog pics! 🙂

 “Get the ginger chicken”, I told myself.  “What would you like?”, asks the waitress.“Red curry chicken. Medium”, hangs head in shame.

My whole lunch.  JK.

I came home fully resolute to have a 100% healthy salad for dinner.
3pm- GrapefruitLook how committed I was.  I was hungry, but I ate a grapefruit.  I blogged.  I did work…then came the phone call.Husband, “I have to go to ‘World of Beer’ with my boss tonight.  It’s his birthday.”Me – “ok”Husband-“Do you want to go?”Me – Silence.Husband – “What if someone picks you up?”Me – “I gotta go run.”
So I ran a “swifty” 3 miles with 4 thirty second sprints in the last mile to boot.  8:45 average mile pace.
645pm – Post run Pumpkin spice cupcake.  I’m weak as they come.7pm- Green Giant Healthy Weight frozen veggies – black beans, edamame, carrots. I was trying.

Welcome to World of Beer.  Where all your dreams come true and your jeans never fit.  They had PUMPKIN ALE! What creepy evil diet muse planned this?  I had been dreaming about pumpkin ale for a solid week…and that can feel like forever.So I had my first pumpkin ale.  I’ll have salad tomorrow right?

Hello gorgeous Pumpkin Ale. We meet at last.

It was awesome. My diet was sabotaged by the best friends….and I guess that’s okay.  We all have days that life throws us off track.  My life isn’t measured by what I weigh.  I work out hard, I run, I live.  Those are the things that matter. Right?

A tale of 2 Carissa’s.

What do you do on days when you feel like you “eat bad”?
Love and social pumpkin ale drinking butterflies,Carissa & Kyle

Remember how Fit2Flex made an appearance on GalTime TV?  Well the second segment of that episode recently aired.

We believe firmly in the power of strength training to transform your body.  Lean muscle burns more calories at rest than fat and contributes to an overall sleeker physique.  
When GalTime asked me to do a few segments for their show, I knew I wanted to share some strength training moves with their audience.

I chose to show 3 leg moves that could be done at home.  I also added an upper body exercise to each move in case you were really looking for a challenge.

  • Squat. Squat with DB or band shoulder press.
  • Split squat. Split squat with overhead DB tricep extension.
  • Lateral walking lunge. Lateral walking lunge with bicep curl.

Fitness and health is a life-long quest.  Finding ways to easily incorporate fitness into your daily life is key.  These exercises can be done at home whenever you have 10 free minutes.  Fast and fit.

Enjoy! Please don’t laugh on me!  We did this in one take!

Check out our first appearance on GalTime with tips to choosing healthier cocktails here.

Love and 15 minutes of fame,
Carissa & Kyle