Total Fitness in a Kit: FitKit Giveaway

This instagram from Runner’s World Magazine is helping me keep things in perspective during the final week before the TD Beach to Beacon.

MONDAY MOTIVATION: “Running is meant to be enjoyed, not endured.” – Catherine McKiernan #runspiration

A photo posted by Runner’s World (@runnersworldmag) on

Disclosure: FitKit is sponsoring the CabotFit  team by giving  us each a FitKit to try and  one to giveaway.  Cabot is sponsoring my participation in the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race, along with travel and accomodations. I did not receive financial compensation to write this post. Opinions are my own. 

Yesterday was my last training run before the road race. I ran three miles and felt good at this pace which is faster than when I started training for this race only one month ago (more on that later)..work-outdetails

Today I am taking a rest day from running, but I’m trying out a innovative fitness kit called  FitKit. It’s an exercise solution that combines a few simple tools pictured here

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with some online fitness resources. FitKit  allows you to work on upper body, lower body, core, agility, flexiblity and cardio. I am a HUGE believer in a varied exercise routine that includes not only cardio, but also resistance training and functional fitness. (This kit includes ways to work it ALL!)

A growing body of clinical evidence shows that the healthiest bodies are those that reflect the hard work of a varied exercise rountine, including resistance training. Current fitness recommendations from The American College of  Sports Medicine are for adults to  strength train twice a week (three times is optimal).

I use functional fitness to focus on individual goals and demands of running, while keeping training applicable to the everyday stresses of life and running. Functional exercise mimics movement patterns in day-to-day activities and movement patterns in sports. Think of it as, train as you play or work.

If you aren’t sure how to vary your exercise routine, fitkit give you the tools and online resources  to get started by yourself.  As an incentive to give it a try,  I ‘m gving one away. Please enter to win! Contest ends 8/6 2015 at 12:00 am . Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Crispy Kale Chips with Cheddar

Crispy kale chips  made even better with a dusting  of cheddar.

Kale_Chips_

Disclosure: I received a free delivery from the Produce Box,  that is mentioned in this post. I  am also member of the Cabot Cheese Board, and receive periodic free shipments of the World’s best cheddar, that is mentioned in this post. I was not expected to write a review  for either The Produce Box or Cabot Creamery. I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

Call me a laggard. Kale peaked in popularity  back in 2014. Americans have now fallen out of love with kale… before I even once posted on the vegetable. Geez!

This is why getting a produce box is helpful. In case you too need some help getting out of your comfort zone and getting a  chance to taste produce that you might not ordinarily try.  This week, Robyn, the area manager for the Produce Box, brought me a gorgeous Sprout Box…

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and a few extras…

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Do you see that kale in there? When I first spotted it, I saw kale chips in my families future.

I quickly remembered my husband’s motto,

Make anything, just make sure it tastes good!

 No pressure here! So I decided on a chip ( you cannot go wrong). And of course, everything is better with cheddar!

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And that’s how these happened…IMG_2166

I’m in love; and I predict you’ll fall back in love with kale when you add some cheddar!

Kale Chips with Cheddar

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and stems removed
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • fresh lemon juice
  • Himalayan salt
  • Cabot’s Cheddar Shake! Powdered Premium Cheddar Cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Use paper towels to pat dry kale leaves.

3. In a bowl add 6 kale leaves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, the juice of half a fresh lemon. Use your hands to massage into kale.

3. Repeat above procedure until you have used all kale.

4. Place kale on baking sheets (do no not over crowd.) Sprinkle kale with Himalayan salt.

5. Place in oven and bake for about 12 minutes.

6. Remove from oven when crispy. Serve chips on a platter after dusting with cheddar shake.

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Feeling Faster: Newton Running Shoes

Putting on my Newton Kismet running shoes makes me want to move!

sinai_1_Disclosure: Newton Running is supporting our 2015 Cabot Fit Team and providing a new pair of running shoes for the race. I was not expected to write this post. I was not financially compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

Is it better to be faster than slower? This question reminds me of the AT&T commercials, and  who doesn’t want faster service? But what about running? Should you try to run faster? I’ve already mentioned in previous posts  (here and here) that  I’m jumping on the faster (running)  bandwagon in hopes to set a  PR at the Beach 2 Beacon Road Race in Cape Elizabeth, Maine running with the Cabot Fit Team.

I’m about 4 weeks into my new training and so far I have managed to avoid one of the biggest risks of running faster: injury (knock wood). But I  haven’t avoided ALL the cons of running faster: the work, the sweat, the pain. It’s not fun.

Here’s what’s  helping me push through my slowness ..

1. Faster tempo music. Please stay tuned for an updated playlist!

2. These:photo-299

Newton Kismet running shoes are making me feel faster. It’s a feeling I can’t explain, but it’s there. Why did I starting running in this shoe after 20+ years in another brand? It was shear serendipity. That’s right,  I never shopped  around for a different shoe. A better shoe. A faster shoe. But when Newton running asked members of the Cabot Fit team,

What’s important to you in a running shoe?

here’s what I told them:

I need a stability shoe, a wide toe box, and I run 25 miles weekly, but I’m trying to cut it back and improve my speed.

I have to say, they nailed it!  I love the support for my significantly pronated gait! These shoes are moderately soft, comfortable, much lighter than my previous trainers, and make me feel energetic. The fit  is perfection;  not too tight but not too loose, and plenty of wiggle room for my piggies.    I logged 14 miles in these my first week and  I have had NO break-in blisters or discomfort of any kind. A terrific transition to a terrific shoe .  Don’t take my word for it, discover for yourself  what they  mean when they say #feelNewton!

What attributes do you look for in a running shoe?

Have you ever worn Newton running shoe?

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My Potager + Recipe for Tomato Cheddar Pie

FRESH_FROM_THE_GARDEN-TOMATO_PIE_IN_QUINOA_CRUST-3I wish I could prep meals fresh from the garden everyday. The summer is about as close to this as I get, and not everything very little  is from my garden. For the month of July, the Recipe Redux challenges us to show how we’re using July  FRESH fruits and vegetables. This includes produce from the Farmers Market, CSA shares or a plot of dirt out back (let’s see if we have any green thumbs in the group!)

Did you ever notice that the  folks with gardens always seem to be the  most generous? That’s how I scored the tomatoes for today’s recipe (because I haven’t had my own bumper crop just yet, haha).  This year is actually the first year I’ve had  my own garden. In my opinion,  it’s been successful, but not for reaping an abundance of vegetables.   Rather, for helping me to learn about growing your own food. Before I share my recipe, I want to share  a little bit about how my kitchen garden evolved: I scoped out a sunny spot in my yard (front side) and planted some seeds in cowpots…

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My husband agreed to making a raised bed and I filled it with gold  a mixture of vermiculite, peat moss, mushroom compost, and black cow.  (My first lesson  learned: gardening is $.)  With a late start, the planting was complete in the beginning of June…photo-294But the  plants looked so lonely.. and  I wanted more than a utilitarian plot (especially since the bed is in my front side yard and partially noticeable from the street).  Does it surprise you, I  found inspiration from the French, who are known for their style in all things?   So  I added some flowers …

photo-298And my potager grew, and grew…IMG_garden3

While it may  look like it’s rockin… it honestly hasn’t produced very much (the handful of cherry tomatoes I used in my Salad Nicoise were delicious, btw). There is this one robust zucchini plant (do you see it in the  front?) that looks like it’s trying to usurp the entire garden!  Perhaps that’s why,  there are an abundance of these..IMG_2161 Yes, zucchini blossoms! How pretty. How poetic. How edible? Yes they are, with delicate notes of, well.. zucchini! (Another lesson prompted by my garden.) Why let them go to waste? So you know where this is going, right?  Ah, the twist to my tomato pie;  I integrated them into my recipe, along with some of my own fresh herbs (planted in a separate window box).

Make no mistake, I was pushing the envelop with this one, and wondered,

How receptive will my family be to zucchini petals on top of their tomato pie?

No problem… they goobled the pie up so fast, they never realized they were eating flowers! That should assure you this pie is delicious. What about healthy? I’ve got that covered too! The nutrition facts are posted below the recipe and here’s  how I got here: The regular pie shell was scraped and instead I made a  crust with quinoa (this adds protein and fiber to the pie). Of course I wanted a light  pie filling, so I substituting half of the mayonnaise with nonfat Greek yogurt and also used my favorite light cheese,  Cabot’s award winning Sharp Light reduced fat cheddar. This summer, if you find yourself with tomatoes  (and zucchini blossoms) to spare, bake my tomato cheddar pie! Bon appétit! Please be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post to see how my colleagues are getting fresh.

Have you ever eaten zucchini blossoms?

What have you made from what’s growing in your garden?

IMG_2109_edited-1Tomato Cheddar  Pie

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (6-8 servings)

    for the crust

    • 2 cups cooked quinoa
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
    • cooking spray

    for the filling

    • 2 3/4 pounds assorted large tomatoes, divided
    • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
    • 6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) shredded Cabot’s reduced fat cheddar
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan  cheese
    • 1/4 cup Canola oil mayonnaise
    • 1/4 cup low fat Greek yogurt
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
    • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sugar,
    • 6 -12 zucchini blossoms, stamens removed

    Instructions

    for the crust

    Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

    2. Combine quinoa, pepper and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool.

    for the filling

    3. Cut tomaotes into 1/4-inch thick slices and remove seeds. Place tomatoes in a single layer on paper towels and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let stand 30 minutes.

    4. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Stir together cheddar cheese and next seven ingredients, and remaining 1 teaspoon sea salt in large bowl until combined. Shred zucchini blossoms and add to mixture.

    5. Pat tomato slices with a dry paper towel. Lightly spread 1/2 cup cheese mixture onto crust. Layer with half of tomato slices in slightly overlapping rows. Spread with 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers using remaining tomato slices and cheese mixture. Cut 3/4 pound tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on top of pie.

    6. Bake  for 35 – 40  minutes shielding edges with foil during last 20 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 1 to 2 hour before serving.

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    Tomato Cheddar Pie Label


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    Training Update: A Plan to Improve My Running Speed

    My version of running between the hedges. 

    runningbetweenthehedges.2Disclosure:  Cabot is sponsoring my participation in the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race, along with travel and accomodations. I was not expected to write this post. I did not receive financial compensation for my time. Opinions are my own. I have a working relationship with Dan Duffy. I was not asked to mention his name and I am not receiving compensation for this post.

    I am the poster child for running the same distance 100x ‘s and never getting faster. Almost everyday, for well over a year, I ‘ve been running the same 5 mile run  with my chocolate lab, Brody. It helps to   keep him out of mischief, and  I hoping I ‘m getting some benefits from an active lifestyle. As a member of the Cabot Fit Team, I analyze my current abilities for the upcoming Beach to Beacon 10K. Speed is NOT  my forte.

    So I first asked myself, How can I  run faster?

    And I came to this conclusion: To run faster, you have to run faster!

    Ha!  I know there’s more to it than this.

    So I asked Dan Duffy, LAT, ATC, CSCS, an expert in the field of traing athletes to enhance their sports performance. He came up with a simple program for me. It started with cutting back on my overall distance each week (I was running 25 miles weekly; now only half of that)  and adding  shorter and faster runs. I started doing some sprint work: 110s, 220s, 440s. My longer runs are now no longer than 3 miles. I’m running  the loop at Wrightsville Beach (2.56 miles)  or an alternative route in my neighborhood (3 miles).

    Now for those of you who still  might be wondering,  Is she still running with her dog?

    Actaully, I’m not. But mostly because the weather in Coastal North Carolina is much too hot to safely run any dog. Even early in the morning and late in the evening, temperatures are above 8o degress and the humity is high. Because dogs don’t have a means to sweat,  they can quickly overheat. Last year, Brody had a doggy version of a sabatical from June-August. Looks like the same for this year. I ‘m looking forward to cooler weather, so I can once again run with my cooler partner! In the mean time, I hope to improve my overall speed!

     

    Fitful Focus

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