Thursday, December 1, 2011

ACE surveys fitness trends for 2012

Every year The American Council on Exercise announces the top Fitness Trends to Watch as identified by its extensive network of personal trainers, exercise scientists, group fitness experts, allied health providers, and lifestyle and weight management coaches. 

The following is an overview of ACE’s 2012 Fitness Trends to Watch.  
  • Obesity awareness: Losing weight will continue to be the primary reason consumers seek personal training support as the public responds to the expanded messaging concerning the dangers of physical inactivity and obesity. Three out of five Americans are still overweight or obese requiring more work to be done.  ACE remains commitment to its 25-year vision to reverse the obesity trend plaguing the nation through involvement of communities, businesses, and government.
  • Whole-life training: Lifestyle coaching will become a bigger trend with more personal trainers looking to holistically improve client lifestyle and expanding their education      and training to include this skill set. Additionally, fitness facilities will hire nutritionists and other allied healthcare professionals such as physical therapists and psychologists to serve the expanding needs of their health-conscious members including wellness, nutrition and stress management programs.
  • Behavior modification: While great strides have been made in health education, the average consumer still believes the best way to lose weight is by following a restrictive or fad diet.
  • Community collaboration: Access to fitness services and education will continue to expand in local communities including activities in gyms, parks and recreation centers.
  • Influence of technology: The 2011 ACE trend report showed technology is starting to play a role in complementing in-person fitness services by providing additional motivational support. In the coming year, social media and mobile-based apps will      continue to revolutionize the industry with fitness organizations creating more interactive and online-based programs and classes. Additionally, personal trainers will have more flexibility than ever before to provide one-on-one or small group fitness instruction to consumers anytime and anywhere in the world.
  • Senior and youth specialties: Aquatic fitness and group fitness classes will be the most popular forms of exercise for older adults. ACE’s Trainer program for AARP includes a number of benefits to address the specific needs of the 50+ community which makes up 41 percent of the population. With First Lady Michelle Obama advocating for active children, expect to see more physical fitness in schools, youth-based classes at fitness centers and families who work out or participate in outdoor activities together.
  • Advanced professional education: Fitness professionals will place increased      emphasis on continuing education as an integral action item in further developing their fitness training knowledge, skills and abilities. Because of the valuable education tools and resources offered by certifying organizations like ACE throughout a professional’s career, fitness and health clubs will continue to recognize the importance of hiring skilled employees who hold NCAA-accredited credentials.
  • Workplace support: Due in part to several years of declining economic conditions for business owners, employers will look to outsource wellness programs to local fitness facilities and health clubs that can provide total health management while seeking out employee discounts and reduced membership fees to increase access for workers.
  •  Popular Workouts: Zumba, boot camp-style workouts, TRX Suspension training and interval training will continue to be popular workout trends along with balance and core training becoming more prevalent in 2012.
“While there is still much more work to be done, we are encouraged by the positive attitude change among consumers, which will hopefully foster important fitness-related behavioral and lifestyle modifications,” said ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, PhD. “In the year ahead, personal trainers and other fitness professionals will be called upon to provide more coaching focused on overall health and well-being to spur this momentum and ACE will support this effort by continuing to offer the industry’s most innovative, research-based professional fitness certifications, education and information.”

Friday, November 25, 2011

Biggest Loser Turkey Breast with roasted pear gravy

Herb-Orange Turkey Breast with Roasted Pear Gravy
Makes 24 to 26 servings (24 to 26 (4 oz) servings of turkey)
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins to 1 hr 45 mins

For the turkey:
4 tsp kosher salt, divided
2 (3 to 4 pound) bone-in skin-on* turkey breast halves (see note)
8 medium garlic cloves, quartered
Zest from 2 oranges
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves, divided
20 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced, divided
4 tsp olive oil, divided
1 cup fat free low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth or water
5 medium ripe pears, halved and pitted
2 medium yellow onions, quartered
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp orange juice

Roasted Pear Gravy, for serving (recipe follows)

For the turkey:
Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Remove skin from turkey if it has not yet been removed (see note below for tips) then pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle half (2 teaspoons) of kosher salt all over two turkey breast halves.

Place garlic, orange zest, half of the thyme, half of the sage, and a few cranks of freshly ground black pepper on a cutting board and sprinkle remaining kosher 2 teaspoons of the salt on top. Chop until mixture is a rough paste (it should resemble cornmeal). Drizzle turkeys all over with half (2 teaspoons) of the oil, rub with the paste, and let sit at room temperature while the oven heats up, about 30 minutes.

Arrange turkey breast side up in a roasting pan fitted with a rack and pour broth in the bottom of the roasting pan. Toss onions and pears with remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, season with a pinch kosher salt and pepper, and arrange in bottom of the roasting pan. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil and roast until internal temperature of turkey reaches 140°F, about 1 hour 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place honey and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat as soon as it boils and set aside.

Remove foil, raise oven to 400°F and brush turkey liberally with the honey glaze. Roast until glaze is golden and turkey is 160°F to 165°F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, sprinkle with remaining fresh thyme and sage, a pinch of kosher salt, and let turkey rest at least 10 minutes before carving. Reserve pears and onions for the gravy (recipe follows).

*Note: Bone-in turkey breasts are less common (you may have to special order them) than boneless but they are worth seeking out because they have a nicer presentation and the bone lends more flavor to the final dish and helps protect against overcooking the meat. They are usually sold with the skin on, so use a paper towel to pull of the skin and discard before roasting. If you can’t find bone-in turkey breasts, you can use boneless, skinless but look for one that doesn’t have added brine or water solution as they’ll be loaded with salt.

Nutritional information for the  (per serving):   
Calories   200
Fat calories   25
Total fat   grams;  3
Sat fat   grams,  0
Cholesterol mg    60
Sodium mg  300
Total carbohydrates g   10
Fiber g   1
Sugars g   7
Protein g   38
Vitamin A IUs   %;    0
Vitamin C  %   6
Calcium   %  0
Iron   %  10
Roasted Pear Gravy
Makes 3 cups (24 (1/8 cup) servings)
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins

2 ripe medium pears, roasted or steamed until fork tender
1 medium yellow onion, roasted or steamed until fork tender
2 medium celery stalks, diced 4oz, about 1 cup small dice
8 medium fresh sage leaves
Leaves of 5 sprigs fresh thyme
1 medium dried bay leaf
2 cups low-sodium fat free chicken broth
2 tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 tsp cider vinegar (optional)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Reserve two pears (four pear halves) and all the onion from the turkey roasting pan and place in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until smooth, about 2 minutes then set aside.

Remove the turkey from roasting pan and set aside to rest. Place the roasting pan over two burners over high heat. (Alternatively, pour all the roasting pan juices in a large frying pan.) Add celery and herbs and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. When the pan juices begin to sizzle, slowly pour in half  of the broth and cook, scraping up any browned bits with a flat spatula.

Pour juices into a medium saucepan, whisk in pear puree, remaining broth and flour, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer, whisking constantly, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Taste the gravy; if it is exceptionally sweet, add the vinegar. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then strain through a fine mesh strainer. Push on the back of the strainer to remove all the liquid, discard the solids, and serve with the turkey.

Nutritional information(per serving):   
Calories   15
Fat calories   0
Total fat   grams;  0
Sat fat   grams,  0
Cholesterol mg    0
Sodium mg  90
Total carbohydrates g   3
Fiber g   1
Sugars g   2
Protein g   0
Vitamin A IUs   %;    0
Vitamin C  %   2
Calcium   %  0
Iron   %  0

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving with The Biggest Loser season 12- Spinach Salad with Pears and Pomegranate

This recipe from The Biggest Loser:Where Are They Now Special, November 23, 2011 is one of the featured recipes for Thanksgiving.  And it looks terrific to me, especially because I've got some beautiful, organic locally grown (actually, from neighbors trees)  pomegranates and pears. (Read the article about the show on San Jose Fitness Examiner)

UPDATE - I made this for Thanksgiving, 2011 and it was terrific!  I offered people the option of this dressing or two others, and everyone chose this one (I gave little tastes).  
Spinach Salad with Pear and Pomegranate from The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving Special, 2011   Photo: Christopher Kalima/ Food Styling:  Aida Mollenkamp.
See more Thanksgiving recipes from The Biggest Loser:

Spinach Salad with Pears and Pomegranate
Makes 10 servings (about 1/2 cup vinaigrette (about1 1/2 tsp/serving))
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: N/A

For the vinaigrette:
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil

For the salad:
1/2 medium red onion
1 medium ripe pear
1/2 tsp cider vinegar or freshly-squeezed lemon juice
8 cups baby spinach leaves (about 8 oz)
2/3 cup pomegranate arils

For the vinaigrette:
Combine vinegar, honey, and mustard in a nonreactive bowl or jar and set aside for about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil or, if using a jar,  add to jar, close lid tightly and shake until well combined. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and a dash of pepper and set aside. (Can be made up to 5 days ahead and stored refrigerated until ready to use. Shake or re-whisk before serving until evenly incorporated.)

For the salad:
Slice onion into paper thin slices and place in a small nonreactive bowl. Halve pear, remove core and stem, and cut into paper thin slices. Combine in bowl with vinegar or lemon juice and toss to coat. Set aside for at least 5 minutes before using.

To serve, divide spinach among serving plates then top with a scattering of pears and onions. Top each serving with about 1 tbsp of pomegranate arils, drizzle with dressing, and serve.

Nutritional information (per serving):   
Calories   60
Fat calories   15
Total fat   grams;  1.5
Sat fat   grams,  0
Cholesterol mg    0
Sodium mg  70
Total carbohydrates g   11
Fiber g   2
Sugars g   7
Protein g   1
Vitamin A IUs   %;    15
Vitamin C  %   8
Calcium   %  2
Iron   %  4

Biggest Loser Thanksgiving recipe - Orange-Cranberry Relish

Be sure to check out the article on San Jose Fitness Examiner and see the other recipes being featured from the November 23, 2011 The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now Special.
The Biggest Loser Thanksgiving meal: Orange-Cranberry Relish. Photo:  Christopher Kalima /Food Styling:  Aida Mollenkamp.

Orange-Cranberry Relish
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (10 (1/8 cup) portions)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins

12 ounces fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup orange juice
Zest of 1 orange
4 tbsp honey or agave nectar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 medium oranges, peeled and segmented

Combine all ingredients except the orange segments in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Stir in oranges, season with kosher salt and pepper, let cool, and serve at room temperature or cold. (Can be made up to 5 days in advance and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.)

Nutritional information (per serving):   
Calories   80
Fat calories   0
Total fat   grams;  0
Sat fat   grams,  0
Cholesterol mg    0
Sodium mg  120
Total carbohydrates g   20
Fiber g   2
Sugars g   16
Protein g   1
Vitamin A IUs   %;    2
Vitamin C  %   70
Calcium   %  2
Iron   %  0

Roasted 'Candied' sweet potato casserole from The Biggest Loser

Roasted "Candied" Sweet Potato Casserole from Biggest Loser Thanksgiving.  Photo: Christopher Kalima; food styling:  Aida Mollenkamp.

As promised in the article on San Jose Fitness Examiner, here is one of the Thanksgiving recipes featured on The Biggest Loser: Where Are They Now special, November 23, 2011. More recipes from the episode: Spinach Salad w/Pear and Pomegranate; 
Orange-Cranberry Relish 

Roasted "Candied" Sweet Potatoes Casserole
Makes 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 20 to 25 mins

3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange (or 2 tbsp fresh orange juice)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover by 1-inch with cold water and add kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When it boils, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook until potatoes are knife tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool briefly. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.)

When cool enough to handle, mix sweet potatoes with broth, olive oil, zest, juice, and spices, and turn into a 2-quart baking dish.

Heat oven to broil or 500°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Spread yogurt in an evenly layer over potatoes then sprinkle goat cheese all over the top.

Broil until lightly toasted, about 1 to 3 minutes. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Serve warm.

Nutritional information (per serving):   
Calories   140
Fat calories   30
Total fat   grams;  3.5
Sat fat   grams,  1.5
Cholesterol mg    5
Sodium mg  220
Total carbohydrates g   22
Fiber g   3
Sugars g   6
Protein g   5
Vitamin A IUs   %;    280
Vitamin C  %   15
Calcium   %  6
Iron   %  4

3 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup fat-free low-sodium vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 medium orange (or 2 tbsp fresh orange juice)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 cup plain lowfat Greek yogurt
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Place sweet potatoes in a large pot, cover by 1-inch with cold water and add kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. When it boils, cover pot, reduce heat to low, and cook until potatoes are knife tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool briefly. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead and stored refrigerated in an airtight container.)

When cool enough to handle, mix sweet potatoes with broth, olive oil, zest, juice, and spices, and turn into a 2-quart baking dish.

Heat oven to broil or 500°F and arrange a rack in the upper third. Spread yogurt in an evenly layer over potatoes then sprinkle goat cheese all over the top.

Broil until lightly toasted, about 1 to 3 minutes. (Watch carefully so they don’t burn.) Serve warm.

Nutritional information (per serving):   
Calories   140
Fat calories   30
Total fat   grams;  3.5
Sat fat   grams,  1.5
Cholesterol mg    5
Sodium mg  220
Total carbohydrates g   22
Fiber g   3
Sugars g   6
Protein g   5
Vitamin A IUs   %;    280
Vitamin C  %   15
Calcium   %  6
Iron   %  4

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook - includes faux 'fried' Mushroom Parmesan Bake

Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook

“Fried ” Mushroom Parmesan Bake
This is a great vegetarian entree or a fun side dish to accompany an Italian entree. It’s super quick and easy to throw together, too.
When cleaning mushrooms, don’t run them under water. Instead, peel them or rub them with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt. Mushrooms are like sponges, so if you run them under water, they’ll absorb a ton of moisture. The end result could be mushy or tough.

Formore recipes from Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook -

2 (8-ounce) packages button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed*
1⁄2 cup all-natural marinara sauce (preferably low-fat, low-salt, no sugar added;
I used Monte Bene Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 ounce (about 1⁄4 cup) finely shredded almond mozzarella cheese (I used
2 tablespoons all-natural whole wheat panko-style bread crumbs
2 teaspoons all-natural grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Add the mushroom caps to an 8" 3 8" glass or ceramic baking dish.
Spoon the sauce evenly over the mushrooms. Sprinkle them evenly with the oregano followed by the garlic powder. Toss them gently to combine, flipping the mushrooms so they lay stem side down in the dish.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender and mostly cooked through. Sprinkle the mozzarella, bread crumbs, and Parmesan evenly over the mushrooms. Bake for 4 to 6 minutes longer, or until the cheese is melted and the mushrooms are tender but not mushy. Let them rest for 5 minutes and serve.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 62 calories, 6 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates (3 g sugar), 1 g fat, < 1 g saturated fat, trace cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 110 mg sodium
*You can save the mushroom stems to eat in a salad, or saute them and serve over a grilled buffalo steak or other extra-lean steak.
**If you can’t find almond mozzarella, substitute the lightest, most natural mozzarella cheese you can find.

Easy-Breezy BBQ Pot Roast Dinner from Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook

The Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook

Easy-Breezy BBQ  Pot Roast Dinner
The most important rule when it comes to cooking lean cuts of meat is to not overcook it. Meats continue cooking when they emerge from the oven, especially large roasts. So, if you want this roast to be medium rare (130o to 135oF), remove it from the oven when a meat thermometer reads 125oF. Another important strategy is to tent the meat with aluminum foil after it’s done cooking and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before you cut into it. By “tent,” I mean place a piece of foil loosely over the roast (not sealed to the edges of the pan). When you slice it, slice it against the grain and make sure you slice it thinly.

2 pounds sweet potatoes cut into 1" cubes
2 pounds poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1" cubes (21 ounces
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons salt-free mesquite seasoning ( I used The Spice Hunter Salt Free Mesquite Seasoning Blend)
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
2 pounds eye round roast, trimmed
3⁄4 cup all-natural barbecue sauce, preferably sweetened with agave nectar or honey
(I used OrganicVille Original BBQ Sauce)
3 small sweet white onions, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
8 cloves garlic

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line the bottom and sides of a large roasting pan with nonstick foil.
In the prepared pan, toss the potatoes and peppers with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon mesquite seasoning until they’re evenly coated.
Rub the roast with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, then the salt, and the 2 teaspoons seasoning. Place the roast in the center of the roasting pan, and arrange the potatoes and peppers around it, not under it.
Drizzle the barbecue sauce evenly over the roast and vegetables, using a pastry brush to make sure the roast is completely covered.
Separate the onions into layers. Scatter them over the top of the roast and veggies. Distribute the garlic cloves throughout the pan, placing 3 cloves directly on top of the meat. Bake for 20 minutes. Using a wooden spoon (so the foil doesn’t rip), stir the veggies. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes longer, or until a meat thermometer reads 125°F when inserted in the center of the roast.
Take the pan out of the oven and transfer the roast to a cutting board. Tent it with foil for 10 minutes. Slice the meat into very thin slices against the grain at a 45-degree angle. Serve immediately with the veggies.

Makes 6 servings (4 ounces meat, 11⁄2 cups veggies each)
Per serving: 474 calories, 39 g protein, 62 g carbohydrates (28 g sugar), 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 8 g fiber, 454 mg sodium

recipe from Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook - Sweet Potato No-Skins

Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook
I saw a note that one of the local Y's (I think Page Mill) is having a Nutrition Night, with a bring-your-own healthy appetizer which got me thinking about holiday foods.  Then presto!  The PR person from Rodale Books emailed that on November 8, 2011 there's a new Biggest Loser Quick and Easy Cookbook

With their permission, I'm sharing some of the recipes(see multiple posts on the blog) from this new Cookbook. The Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook. (Rodale Books, $21.99) ($14.50 at or $9.99 as a Nook Book at

Sweet Potato No-Skins

These “No-Skins” incorporate a very strategic use of salt. You season the top of the potato rounds so that when they’re flipped, the seasoning will be on the bottom—ensuring that your tongue hits the salt on the potato first! That way, you need less salt overall, and your tastebuds will still be satisfied.
You’ll likely fool your children and spouse into thinking these are regular white potatoes if you purchase light-skinned sweet potatoes. Both versions taste delicious, but if you use the darker sweet potatoes, you might need to increase the cooking time a minute or two.

16 ounces 1⁄2"-thick rounds light-skinned sweet potatoes*
1 teaspoon olive oil
1⁄8 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
2 ounces finely shredded all-natural, low-fat Cheddar cheese (I used Cabot’s 75% Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese)
4 teaspoons all-natural bacon bits (I used Wellshire All-Natural Fully Cooked Salt-Cured Bacon Bits)
4 teaspoons finely chopped scallions
2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil.
In a large glass or plastic mixing bowl, toss the potatoes and oil together until the potatoes are well coated.
Place the potato rounds in a single layer on the prepared pan so they do not touch. Sprinkle the salt, garlic powder, and cayenne evenly over the top of the potatoes. Bake them for 10 minutes. Flip them and bake for 7 to 9 minutes longer, or until they are tender inside and starting to brown lightly on the outside.
Push the potato rounds together so that they touch and you can easily top them in a single, even layer. First place the Cheddar, then the bacon bits, and then the scallions over the rounds. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the yogurt on top of each, if desired.

Makes 4 servings
Per serving: 141 calories, 7 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 283 mg sodium

* You’ll need to start with about 11⁄2 pounds of potatoes in order to get 16 ounces of rounds. Try to choose potatoes that are roughly uniform in size. To create the rounds, peel your potatoes and cut both ends off. Then cut them into 1⁄2" thick rounds and measure out 16 ounces.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Meb Keflezighi and his Skechers GOrun shoes (pictures from San Jose)

The team at Skechers sent a picture of Meb Keflezighi winning the Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon in his SKECHERS GOrun shoes.  I had intended to try on a pair at the RnRSJ Expo last week but didn't, so today I did a little checking around and saw that Skechers has stores locally and they are sold in a number of other local retailers in the Silicon Valley area.  So if you've been wanting to try the lightweight shoes, check out the store locator on the site. 

According to the information, the new SKECHERS GOrun minimalistic lightweight footwear have helped Meb elevate his racing and training with the benefits of SKECHERS’ SmartShoe™ technology for a mid-foot strike and GOimpulse sensors for enhanced sensory feedback.

For an inside look at Meb’s journey to New York as he trains in SKECHERS GOrun and SRRProSpeed, visit the SKECHERS USA Facebook page ( orTwitter (!/SKECHERSUSA).

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon 2011 on San Jose Fitness

I got on a roll  while writing about this year's Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon primarily inspired by my opportunity to interview  Meb Keflezlezighi, who is very personable.

It was tough for me going in - so far as media he is everywhere, and has been for some time. After about 20 hours of research I realized there was very little that was new to say, so I focused on the things that interested me.

I found out he met his wife here in San Jose - they were both attending a soccer festival.  He has a brother who works here.  Plus I was able to find out more about his workout aside from running (of course everyone publishes info about his running training).  I haven't written everything yet - I'm trying to do bite-sized articles since the Examiner format is kind of clunky. 

Below are links to what I have so far about the Marathon - I hope you'll take a look at all of it - share the stories, help me promote it, etc 

As always:  If you like it, comment on the stories. If you don't like it, or find fault, email me. :-)



    Dodge Rock n Roll San Jose 2011 - favorites are Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi

    The 2011 Dodge Rock 'n' Roll San Jose Half Marathon takes place tomorrow, October 2 and this year there are two favorites fans are watching: Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi

    American record-holder and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, 38,  headlines the elite field,  running her first half-marathon since giving birth to her daughter, Piper, earlier this year.
    “The Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon has really been my focus since coming back from maternity leave,” said Kastor, who trains with the Mammoth Track Club in California. “I am looking for my fitness to peak in January for the Olympic Trials, but this is a big stepping stone to get into longer marathon training. The Half marathon distance is my favorite distance to race and I am particularly excited race in San Jose.  My Mammoth Track Club teammates Meb and Jen Rhines have both run well in San Jose, so I look forward to following in their footsteps.”
    “Right after the birth of Piper, people told me how fit I looked and the reality was that I had lost a lot of muscle and fitness, so I was merely skinny,” Kastor said of her maternity leave. “It has been fun to slowly climb back and feel my body adapt to the training. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m a much better athlete than I was 6 months ago.”
    Leading the men’s field is 36-year-old Meb Keflezighi has won an impressive 20 USA road, track and cross country titles so far. Keflezighi, who became a naturalized U.S. citizen upon shortly after graduating from UCLA in 1998.   Meb plans to run the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6 and the U.S. Olympic marathon trials Jan. 14 in Houston.

    Also running will be American Sergio Reyes, who won the 2010 USATF National Marathon Championship at the Twin Cities Marathon in Minnesota. A two-time NAIA and NCCAA All-American in cross country and the 2002 NAIA champion at Cedarville University in Ohio, Reyes ran personal best marks in the 5,000m (13:52.39), 10,000m (28:29.70), 10 miles (48:32) and marathon (2:14:02) in 2010. In September he represented the Team USA at the IAAF World Championships Marathon in Daegu, Korea, finishing 45th overall.
    A sub-four minute miler, UC Berkley graduate Bolota Asmerom returns to race in San Jose where he set his half marathon personal best in 2006. Asmerom, a three-year letter winner in track for Cal, owns a track PR over 5,000m of 13:15. While still in college, his duel citizenship allowed him to represent Eritrea in the 5,000m at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.
    Potential challengers include Hansons-Brooks Distance Project teammates Drew Polley and Robert Scribner. Polley finished second to Keflezighi at the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon in June. Scribner recently won the Bayshore 1/2 Marathon in a personal best 1:04:52, which qualified him for the 2012 Olympic Trials.
    The weekend has already kicked off with the Health & Fitness Expo at the San Jose Convention Center. Race registration is available at the Expo on Friday, Sept. 30, from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm and Saturday, October 1, from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The free Expo is open to the public.
    California’s fastest half marathon starts at 8:00 am on Sunday, October 2. The race route begins at W Santa Clara St and Almaden Blvd and will come to an exciting and scenic finish at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose. Live bands will play along every mile of the 13.1-mile course, along with local cheerleaders, to motivate and keep runners rocking the entire way.
    Participants, their friends and family will celebrate their accomplishment at the finish line festival with a performance by Big Head Todd and the Monsters, who will rock the stage at the Plaza de Cesar Chavez immediately following the race.


    Monday, August 15, 2011

    When the power goes out - what food to throw out,  is running a blogger awareness campaign, which strikes me as a pretty smart way to get the word out about the site, which is a collaboration between American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods.    I hadn't paid much attention to the contest or the site, but today I noticed the front page article had a story on what food to throw out when the power goes out.
    Personally, I'm very guilty when it comes to ignoring the issue of what to do with refrigerator food after a power outage.  Or, sometimes I'll take the opposite approach which means that I'll throw out everything that I think could spoil.  So I thought these guidelines were pretty smart, and since there is an awareness campaign ongoing, why not do my part?
    So here are some tips from the site, and hopefully they'll be useful to you also:

    Be Prepared
    • Make sure - before an outage - that the refrigerator is set below 40 degrees.
    • Stock up on non-perishable foods that don't require refrigeration, and choose single-serve sizes if available to avoid the need for refrigeration of unused portions. Consider these easy, healthy, shelf-stable foods: 
      • Breads/Grains: single-serving boxes of cereal, trail mix, energy bars, granola bars, cereal bars, bagels, muffins, crackers, popcorn and chips. 
      • Fruits and Vegetables: carrot and celery sticks and other cut-up raw vegetables, grapes, single-serve applesauce, whole fruit (apples, peaches, bananas), dried fruit mix and juice boxes. 
      • Dairy Alternatives: single-serve milk or soy beverage boxes and non-refrigerated pudding cups. 
      • Meat and Other Protein Sources: cans of tuna, peanut butter (for sandwiches or with celery and apples), nuts and single-serve packages of peanut butter and crackers. 
    When the Power Goes Out:
    • During a power outage, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed and open them only when necessary.
    • If power is restored within four hours, items in the refrigerator should be safe to eat. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for two days if the door remains closed. A half-full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for one day if the door remains closed. 
    Once the Power is Restored:
    • When power is restored, check the temperature inside of your refrigerator and freezer. If it has risen to 45 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, discard any potentially spoiled foods. Such foods include meat, poultry, fish, dairy and egg products, soft cheese, cooked beans, cooked rice, cooked potatoes, cooked pasta, potato salad, custard and pudding. 
    • Allow time for the refrigerator to reach below 40 degrees Fahrenheit before restocking. 
    • And of course, when in doubt, throw it out. 
    For additional food safety tips,  visit the Home Food Safety website. 

    Disclaimer/Disclosure: For helping spread the word about the importance of home food safety, I was entered into a drawing for a $15 Starbucks gift card and an iPad through Summertime Food Smarts, a contest run by the American Dietetic Association and ConAgra Foods' Home Food Safety program. Home FoodSafety is dedicated to raising consumer awareness about the seriousness of foodborne illness and providing solutions for easily and safely handling foods. Learn more at

    Thursday, August 4, 2011

    Team Walk On asks you to "Like" them and help promote a community for people with spinal cord injuries

    LA-based  “Team Walk On” has set its sights on building a community to help those who have suffered paralysis and spinal cord injury through public awareness initiatives, merchandising and fund raising campaigns.  To do this, it's asking people to start out by "Liking" them on Facebook.

    At the age of 16, a sprinter and prodigy in the pole vault, Team Walk ON founder John Thomas Hall suffered a nearly fatal accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Doctors told John he would never walk again, let alone fulfill his life's dream of running track for the University of Louisville. Over the next months and years, John worked with doctors, therapists, and family, ultimately walking out of the hospital and onto a spot on Louisville's Track and Field team. He went on to compete and build an impressive record as one of the team's top pole vaulters.

    John's experience after the accident and his struggles and triumphs throughout his recovery and college career galvanized his spirit and drive to give back. The generosity and encouragement he received while recovering led John to make a commitment to become a leader for the cause of the spinal cord injury community by starting Team Walk On.

    The principal element of Team Walk On’s focus is to benefit those in the paralysis community through its Patient Care Initiative. With many organizations focusing primarily on research and governmental advocacy, Team Walk On will focus chiefly on serving those living each day with various types of spinal cord injuries. Through partnering with rehabilitation centers, providing service animals, job placement programs, financial assistance and more…Team Walk On will directly benefit individuals living with spinal cord injury.
    The organization is asking the fitness community to show  support by "liking" the Team Walk On Facebook page: