Seriously Sharp: The Cabot Fit Team

The Cabot Team looking extra sharp in this  picture that commemorates the event that brought them together in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.Photo Jul 31_edited-1Disclosure: Cabot sponsored my participation in the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, along with travel and accomodations. I was not financially compensated for my time. Opinions are my own. 

Just to eat well does not  guarantee one’s health. Exercise and physical activity are compliments to a good diet and considered necessary regular habits.  Taking it a step further,  research  demonstrates it’s far better to contribute to the common welfare of the community, than to think only of yourself. Food , fitness and living in harmony are all factors in the longevity equation.    This lifestyle philosphy is embraced by the  1200 Cabot dairy farm families throughout New York & New England and it’s the reason the Cabot Fit team was born. This group of individuals is chosen by Cabot to join the dairy farmers in an effort to increase awareness about the importance of wellness through  exercise, nutrition and giving back. You can imagine, I was head over heels when Cabot invited me to be part of their elite wellness team and participate in the TD Beach to Beacon 10 K Road Race .

If you’re a competitive runner, perhaps you’ve heard of the Beach to Beacon, founded by Olympic Marathon Gold Medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson.  It’s Maine’s largest race with over 6000 participants, including many elite runners like Maine native, Ben True.   The event takes place in Cabot’s neighborhood (the Norteast U.S.); it starts at Cresent Beach, in Maine and ends at Portland Head Light, the nation’ s first commissioned lighthouse.  The runners aren’t the only winners in this race. Charity is at the core. This year’s beneficiary is the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger relief organization.

My Cabot Fit trip began last Thursday,  when I meet up in the Portland airport with several members along with  Cabot Dietitian,  Regan Jones (Cabot RD) pictured here.

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Btw, Regan is the reason for these amazing photos today. Aside from being a social media rock star, Regan was also our set of wheels during the trip. I ‘m grateful for her ability to  keep things light and fun and for helping us to hydrate  and fuel correctly proir to the race with delicious foods like this

flatbread

Got to know this gal, Kita (aka Pass The Sushi), over our first meal in Portland, Maine perfect for pre-race : flatbread pizzas. #1 Free Range Chicken with Pineapple salsa, mozzarella , parmesan cheese and herbs, finished with wasabi creme fresh #2 Vegetarian Flatbread Pizza with organic zucchini, garlic, tomatoes, mozzarella , parmesan cheese and herbs

and this

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Farmer’s Market Salad with fresh arugula, cucumbers, feta cheese ,wild blueberries and a ginger vinaigrette.

and  of course you can’t go to Maine without having this

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Lobster Roll was a popular item with our team!

We stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast just steps from the beach, the Higgins Beach Inn. The front porch of the inn became the perfect place to come together (much like our kitchens at home) to share  some  downtime,Photo-Jul-30-5

meet before our outings, and  take more photos like this team photo Regan snapped just  prior to departing for the race.CabotFit-2015-4

Our first full day began bright and early on Friday with a morning walk on the beach.BeachWALK4

Then after a  delicious breakfast of yogurt parfaits,  we  visited Pinelands Farm, where  we were reminded of   the dairy farmers’ commitment to their cows,CabotFit 2015 - 9

the land Pinelands-farm

and their product. Strict quality control ensures freshness, purity and that great taste we all enjoy…

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Anne Mauney, MPH, RD, (of the blog Annetastic food) samples Cabot cheese at the Cabot Shop in Portland, Maine.

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Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD (aka teaspoon of basil) knows how to make food look good! She enjoys an ice-cream cone at a Portland, Maine ice cream parlor.

Saturday was race day and meant rising early, yet another day; we left  the inn about 6:15 a.m. I am not  a competitive runner. So when trying to recap a race, I don’t have much to compare it to. My last race was a virtual race!   Hmm… how will I know what you need to know? I  pondered this on Saturday,  while standing in a crowd of runners  from  Maine and across the world.

photo-310There was one thing that was obvious, these folks were passionate about running and about this race  in particular.

I usually  listen to music when I run (I wore headphones and an iPod trying to keep everything similar to the way I had trained for this event). That is, until the  young woman standing next to me suggested, “listen to the race”.  I unplugged.

That’s when  the real music filled my ears; it was the crowd. They played music. They cheered.  Suddendly I began to connect to this race in a special way. As we crossed the start line  the cheering and music grew louder.  I heard people shouting my name,  or perhaps the other  Diane who was running along side of me? Three times during the race DIANE was cheered on! I felt special, even if it wasn’t for me. (We did have first names on the front of our bibs.) Despite the enormous fan support, I felt I wasn’t  running to my potential.  My legs felt heavy at the start and continued to feel heavy throughout.  The course did have some hills (which is very different from the flat terrain where I train).  I wondered if I would make the goal I had set : run a sub 8 minute mile pace. I continued to move forward, kids splashed water on me as I passed by.   I ran underneath a shower head with the spicket on, hoping to feel the power of a shower!   The crowd was relentless with their support and encouragement. Once I entered Williams State Park, I knew the finish line was near.  I sprinted in, and  managed to  meet my goal, with a time of 49:29 and 7 minute 58 second  pace per mile.

The Cabot team all finished seriously sharp. We had a first time runner, an injured runner, and some setting PRs. It was a proud day. I think these smiles will tell you that they would all do it again. I know I would, in a heart beat.

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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.photo-6-2

 

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. 

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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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