After my workout today, I wanted something other than a protein shake. I wanted ice cream. I was hot and sweaty and I just wanted to sit down with a big old sundae and indulge.
However, I did NOT want to undo all the hard work I had just put in on the treadmill So, I made an executive decision. I would take my knowledge of what is good after a workout, banana and protein powder. I would combine these two things and make a healthy post workout snack and STILL give in to my sundae craving.
Here is what I created:
Not only did it taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, but it was only 3 Weight Watchers points plus for the entire sundae!
That is fewer than my famous Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake!
You simply must try this. You don’t even have to workout to enjoy this one. If you didn’t just finish a workout but just want it for a treat, just eliminate the protein powder. It will still work. Hey…you can even get crazy and add in your own “mix-ins.” Just make sure you count them!
Without further ado…the recipe!
Chocolate Protein “Sundae”
Weight Watchers Points Plus: 3 points plus (Plus additional toppings)
One frozen banana
One scoop Chocolate Protein Powder (I use Designer Whey)
Milk of Choice (I used half and half because it was all I had)
In a blender, food process, or Ninja, combine all of the ingredients.
Pulse until the banana is crumbly. Mix with a spoon to incorporate.
Then, wait for the magic to happen. As you continue to pulse the food processor, the banana will turn soft like “soft serve.” If you find that it is too thick, add a little more milk. I probably used a total of 2 Tbsp half and half in mine.
Scoop out, top with fat free whipped cream, light syrup and sprinkles (all optional of course!).
Enjoy the heck out of this one. You deserve it!
Running or walking your first road race can be intimidating, especially if you have never been to a race before and don’t know what to expect. I’ve been running races for a couple of years now, everything from 5K’s and 10K‘s, to half- and full-marathons, and I still get nervous about each one of them! But there really is no reason to worry. I will (hopefully) ease your mind about your first race.
Choosing a race—I had no idea how to go about looking for a race at first. Now, I like to go to Active.com to search for races near me. I look at the location and date, obviously; but I also look to see if the race is timed (“chip timed” means that you wear a chip on your shoe or bib to determine your exact racing time), if there are t-shirts and/or medals included, and what the course looks like (Hilly? Flat? Dirt trails? Closed roads? Etc.) These are all personal preferences, but I always like to make sure the race is timed and that I get at least a t-shirt for my race fee.
Once you have chosen a race, you can usually take advantage of “early bird” specials, which means the cost is cheaper if you sign up further in advance.
The Expo/Packet pick-up—Depending on how large your chosen race is, there may be an Expo you can attend. This is where you will pick up your “packet” (bib with your number on it, race shirt, and anything else the race wants to give you); there are also vendors from running –related companies that have booths set up where you can shop. You can find everything from GU gel packets to running clothes and shoes to headbands and bumper stickers. Usually the Expo will be the day before the race.
Preparing for race day—I like to get my outfit laid out and ready to throw on the morning of the race. You may want to pin your bib to your shirt; charge your iPod and/or running watch; lay out your shirt, pants/shorts, socks, shoes, hat, etc; and double check to make sure you have everything. I also like to make sure I drink plenty of water the day before a race so that I am well-hydrated. If you’re doing a longer race, then you may want to eat more carbs than usual for a few days leading up to the race. You also will want to make sure you know where to go on race day—where to park, how to get to the starting line, etc.
The morning of the race—I set my alarm to wake me up about an hour and a half before I have to leave, so there isn’t any rushing around last-minute. I leave early enough so that if there is traffic, I won’t be late. Sometimes I get to races much too early, but I’d rather be early than late. Once you park, you can go use the bathroom, walk off nerves, or stand around at the starting line.
The race itself—Larger races will usually assign you a “corral” at the starting line, based on your projected finish time. The faster people in the front, slower people in the back. If there aren’t corrals, you should try and put yourself where you think you may line up (if you’re running five minute miles, go to the front; if you’re walking, go to the back; somewhere in-between, just try and make your best guess).
The announcer will usually tell you how many minutes until the start. When the gun sounds, it may take a couple of minutes to get to the actual starting line (it has taken me anywhere from one minute to 30 minutes to get to the starting line—depending on how big the race is). Once you cross that line, your “chip” will start your personal timer, and you can go!
The most important advice I can give you is to not start out too fast. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, and feel like everyone is passing you, but just stick with what you’re comfortable with. At my first race, I could have sworn that I saw thousands of people passing me, and I felt panicked. But chances are, you will not be last—and even if you are, so what? You’re doing a race, which is a fantastic accomplishment!
During the race, there will be water stations with volunteers handing out water or sports drinks. It’s up to you whether to walk through them, run through them, or not stop at all. I can’t drink from a tiny cup and run at the same time, so I walk for about five seconds and throw it back, then start running again. I always make sure to say “thank you” to the volunteers.
When you get to the finisher’s “chute” (the last part of the race before the finish line), make sure you look up and smile, because there will usually be a photographer taking photos as you cross. Once you cross the finish line, there will probably be water and snacks for you to grab, and possibly a spot to get your photo taken.
And that’s it—congratulations! I can almost guarantee that you’ll be looking up your second race as soon as you get home.
What a few of our Fitteratis have been up to…
- Katie is involved in a cool project in which 12 formerly overweight strangers will attempt to run a 200 mile relay… — kickstarter.com
- Ali biked 100+ miles, aka a “Crohn’s disease miracle!” —Ali on the Run
- How to wear white after Labor Day? Courtney answers the question on many fashionistas’ minds —Sweet Tooth Sweet Life
- Jennifer figures out how to eat Chick-fil-A three time a day without going over her Weight Watchers points —It Sux to Be Fat
- Meanwhile, Callie asks a great question: If you’ve been pregnant more than once, how did your pregnancies differ? —The Wannabe Athlete
- Speaking of babies…Caitlin shared her insights and “review” of natural childbirth —Healthy Tipping Point
Isn’t it crazy how by mid-July, we’re already getting bombarded with “back to school” everywhere we go? I mean, didn’t school just get out? Oh wait, no…time flies and it’s already August. Craaaazy!
Anyways…it seems to me like people often take the “back to school” vibe as a brand new initiative to get started on a goal. Dare I say it’s almost as popular as the “New Year’s Resolution?” But the truth is, you don’t need a special day, week, or month to get started on a goal…you can get started RIGHT NOW!
And if your health and fitness is a personal goal that you’re working towards, then I’d love to help you get that head start with my online personal training. (Click to keep reading…) Read more
The Olympics sparked an interesting debate between myself and my husband this past week. Someone asked us, “If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would you choose?”
My immediate response?
My husband’s response?
Absolutely no hesitation by either of us. And so the debate began. My husband said he would want to be the fastest runner in the world – and apparently winning the 100m at the Olympics makes this so. I would want to be the fastest too – but in a sport that involves endurance, fortitude and mental toughness. Although he would probably argue that winning the 100m requires those things too.
He mentioned that there is no room for error in the 100 meters. A glitch at the starting line could mean you lose the race. But in a marathon, you have time to correct mistakes. On the other side, there is a lot more time for mistakes to be made.
It’s interesting that this debate is a tiny glimpse into who we are as runners. I’m all about distance. For me, it’s not always about how fast I run (although I do love a PR like anyone else!) but it’s more about how far I run.
My husband is all about speed. Just this morning he took off on his run and I said to him, “Run fast!” He responded, “Is there any other way?” He has no interest in running long distances – a 5k is plenty long for him. But you better believe he’s aiming to cross that finish line first.
So now I’m curious…what would your answer to the question be?
If you could win a gold medal in any sport, which one would it be? And what does your answer say about you?
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?
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:
- 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.
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
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:
- How to Select Your First Race
- The Bib Transfer Debate: Is It OK to Transfer Bibs? Or Bandit a Race?
- So You Want to Run a Half Marathon
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.