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Recipe: 1-Minute Better Than Granola

Written on November 5, 2012 at 9:46 am , by

I love granola, but I don’t love 1) the price tag and 2) the high sugar content. Instead of regularly eating granola, I’ve switched to eating raw oats. I swear, it’s tasty! While I normally just dump 1/2 cup of raw oatmeal into my yogurt, I occasionally ‘dress it up’ with this fun and simple recipe. No cooking required!

 

1-Minute Better Than Granola Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup raw oats
  • 1.5 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, raw and unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Mix in small bowl; serve with fruit and yogurt.

For more healthy recipe ideas, check out my book,  Healthy Tipping Point: A Powerful Program for a Stronger, Happier You.

Twice-Baked Goat Cheese Potatoes Recipe (Mmmm)

Written on August 20, 2012 at 10:18 am , by

This week, I thought I’d share my favorite healthy ‘comfort food’  recipe - Twice Baked Goat Cheese Potatoes.

Ingredients (serves six – eight)

  • 10 small to medium Russet potatoes
  • 1 8-ounce package of herb and garlic goat cheese (if only regular is available, add 1 tablespoon garlic and 2 tablespoons dried Italian herb blend to the recipe).
  • 2 cups loosely packed raw spinach
  • 6 carrots
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more for sprinkling

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (alternatively, you can microwave the potatoes; do 3 – 4 potatoes at a time, individually wrapped in a wet paper towel, for 6 – 9 minutes)
  • Rinse potatoes, stab with a fork, and rub with olive oil.
  • Bake potatoes for 1 hour 10 minutes or until soft.
  • Remove from oven and slice lengthwise.  Allow 5 minutes to cool off a bit.
  • Carefully remove the insides of the potatoes using a small spoon.  Set potato insides in bowl; lay out skins on a greased casserole dish (or two).
  • In a food processor, combine the carrots and spinach until blended.  Remove half and set aside.
  • Add goat cheese to remaining carrots and spinach and blend.  Add half of potato mixture and blend.  Add last half of potato mixture and blend some more.  Add in salt.  Add leftover spinach and carrots and blend yet again.  It will take a while to get everything smooth and creamy.
  • Carefully scoop back cheese and potato mixture into potato skins.  Sprinkle tops with a generous amount of salt.
  • Bake stuffed potato skins for an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

Non-Mileage Fitness Goals: Set ‘Em!

Written on August 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm , by

Most runners LOVE to keep count. We track miles, minutes, and maybe even calories burned. But numbers can drive us crazy, too.

I think it’s important for runners to also set non-mileage goals because – trust me – you can’t always be increasing mileage and speed.  Even if you’re not prone to injuries like me, sometimes life gets in the way. Work ramps up or a new baby arrives. And sometimes, you just get burnt out on running and need time to focus on something besides the numbers.

When it comes to setting non-mileage fitness goals, I think it’s important that the goal is somehow quantifiable (or, in the very least, you decide in advance how you’ll know you’ve achieved it). Here is a list of non-mileage goals, some of which I’m currently working towards myself:

  • Train yourself to do a certain number of push-ups or sit-ups.
  • Do a plank for a certain amount of time.
  • Take a 30-Day Yoga / Zumba / Whatever-Floats-Your-Boat Challenge:  The key with long challenge like this is to build in room for error. Instead of saying you’re going to go to yoga for 30 straight days, say you’ll do 25 yoga workouts over 30 days.
  • Learn how to do indoor rock climbing.
  • Take dance lessons.
  • Learn to do a headstand or crow’s pose.
  • Become more flexible (for example, touch your toes or go into a split).
  • Increase arm strength to the point where you can do a chin-up (or two).
  • Regularly meditate.
  • Learn how to swim.
  • Start cycling for distance.
  • Bench-press a new weight.
  • Go for a walk every night before dinner.
  • Last through an entire hot yoga class without having to take a break.
  • Do all your housework to music and dance to the beat.
  • Stand up every 30 minutes and walk around your office.

I also think it’s a great idea to set non-mileage, non-fitness goals during injury, such as reading a new book each week or learning to sew.

What non-mileage goal are you currently working towards? 

Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

Cures for Chafing

Written on July 30, 2012 at 11:36 am , by

In my mind, I look like a gazelle when I run… grace, strong, and steady.  In reality, I’m sweating buckets, snot is pouring down my nose, and my thighs are chafing.  Running is one of my favorite forms of exercise, but it isn’t always pretty.

The top 5 running gross-outs include:

  • Chafing
  • Snot
  • Blisters
  • A nearly (and sometimes actually) uncontrollable urge to poop
  • A nearly (and sometimes actually) uncontrollable urge to pee

Told ya running could be gross.

Let’s tackle the first gross-out: chafing. Chafing occurs when your body rubs against itself (like between your thighs or your breasts) or when your body rubs up against your clothes. Chafing hurts a lot and can actually sideline you for a few days if it gets really bad.   The odds you’ll chafe are greater if you’re a salty sweater or are dehydrated, have sensitive skin, are running for a long time, or your clothing is worn or has exposed seams.

I chafe like no one’s business during the summer because I am a very salty sweater when it’s hot outside.

There are several remedies for chafing:

  • Rub Vaseline or  Body Glide into your skin to make it slippery and therefore less likely to burn as it rubs against your other body parts or clothing.  Chap stick also works well in a pinch (and is easy to carry on long runs).
  • Line your chafe areas with athletic tape.  This creates a permanent barrier against your skin (I tend to sweat through Vaseline).
  • If you chafe in between your legs, wear spandex shorts underneath your running shorts.

To read my solutions for running-induced snot, blisters, and – of course – urges to go number 1 and number 2, head over to Healthy Tipping Point:  How to Handle 5 Common Running Gross-Outs.

Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

How to Buy a (Used) Bike

Written on July 25, 2012 at 10:23 am , by

Running is an easy hobby to get into. The ‘entry costs’ are low – all a woman really needs is a decent pair of shoes (well, and a really good sports bra). But when I first became interested in cycling, I had no idea whether I would like it and stick with it. And cycling is not cheap – a new road bike can easily cost $750 – $1,000, and many other great options can cost even more. So instead of buying a new bike, I snagged a used one.

My Giant road bike originally retailed at $1,400… and I got it for $350.

Before you set out to buy a used bike, consider what type you actually want and need. Generally speaking, there are three types of bikes: road bikes (lightest frame and thinnest wheels; designed to travel fast on even surfaces), mountain bikes (heaviest frame and thickest wheels; designed for trail riding), and hybrids (in-between bikes designed for riding around the city on sidewalks).  If you are interested in doing a triathlon, you’ll want a road bike, although you could probably get by in a sprint triathlon with a hybrid.

Next, consider bike fit. Fit is extremely important.  Head to a local bike shop and get on some bikes; talk about fit with the salesman. Don’t feel bad about trying out some new bikes – you’ll be back for a tune-up for your used bike! (Click to keep reading!) Read more

5 Great Race Signs

Written on July 19, 2012 at 10:49 am , by

Sure, running a race is the best, but spectating is pretty cool, too.  And to be a great spectator, you need an amazing sign. Here are five of my favorite race signs from over the years.

Here’s a few posts about racing from Healthy Tipping Point:

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Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

Give Triathlons a Try: Advice for First-Timers

Written on July 11, 2012 at 9:22 am , by

Photo courtesy of Caitlin Boyle.

When you visualize a triathlete, you probably do not imagine someone like me. For one, I was terrified of open water until a few years ago. I’m a middle-of-the-pack runner. And – occasionally – I crash my bike because I’m so uncoordinated.  However, I absolutely love to do triathlons, and the hobby keeps me feeling fit and healthy.  Triathlons have shaped my body in new ways, increased my confidence, and give me a reason to stick to my exercise habits.

Did I mention tris are tons of fun? Because they really are a blast!

If you feel like a tri is out of your reach, consider the super sprint or sprint triathlon. Most sprints consider of a 250 meter to 500 meter swim, a 10 mile bike ride, and a 5K run; super sprints are even shorter. It’s not unrealistic to expect to finish such a sprint event in less than an hour and forty five minutes. Sprints are a great way to get introduced to the sport and don’t require oodles of training.

Here are some introductory tips to triathlons:

  • Not all triathlons are in open water - there are also pool triathlons.
  • If your event is in a lake or the ocean, practice open water swimming if possible.
  • If you need to buy a bike, check out my post on buying a new or used road bike. 
  • Practice back-to-back brick workouts at least once a week.  So swim and then bike, or bike and then run.
  • Practice your transitions, which refers to the ‘in-between’ the swim and the bike (“T1″) or the bike and the run (“T2″).  Here’s a list of the essential items you’ll need for a sprint triathlon.
  • If you don’t have a trisuit (a special piece of clothing that functions well for all three sports), you can wear a sports bra and bike shorts for the swim – it will dry out.  I actually once wore a bikini bottom with strings under my wetsuit and pulled my shorts on over it, untying and slipping off the bottom once I had my shorts on.  It worked!
  • For even more tips, check out my So You Wanna Do a Triathlon series, which covers running, biking, swimming, transitioning, training, and selecting a race. 

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Caitlin blogs at Healthy Tipping Point and Operation Beautiful.  You can follow her on Twitter at CaitlinHTP. Her second book, a guide to healthy living, was just released this past May.

5 Ways to Beat the Heat

Written on July 2, 2012 at 10:45 am , by

Hello, everyone! My name is Caitlin, and I blog at Healthy Tipping Point, which was selected for a Fitterati for Best Healthy Living Blog. I’m 28 years old and live in Charlotte, North Carolina. I love to do triathlons and run, although I’m on a bit of a hiatus because I just had my first baby on June 12.

If your location is anything like North Carolina, you’re in the middle of a heat wave. Temperatures here are supposed to top 105 degrees for the next five days – ouch! I’m used to the heat – I was born and raised in Florida – but such high temperatures certainly make outside exercise challenging.

Click through to read my five tips for exercising outdoors in the heat.

Read more