Monday, December 12, 2011

Healthy Honey Oatmeal Cookies

Looking for a healthy cookie for the holiday's? Try this recipe! They've been a big hit! I've made seven batches so far! Wow...this from a girl who DOES NOT like to bake :)

Healthy Honey Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients:

Serves: 10
Yield: 30 cookies

Units: US | Metric
Here is the BASE recipe. Add additional ingredients without worry. There is plenty of batter, so add away! 
  • 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (all-purpouse is good too) 
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon  
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (aka oatmeal)

    Add these optional ingrediants to the base batter for YOUR perfect cookie! Chopped Craisins (aka dried cranberries) dates, figs, raisins or currants! Chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts!
    Protein powder would also be a great addition to the batter...I have not tried this YET but I think it would turn out great!
    **I made mine with Craisins and walnuts** 

Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray (just for convenience :]).
  2. Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the butter, brown sugar, honey, egg and water thoroughly.
  3. Sift together the dry ingredients then stir in the oats. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix. Add any additional ingredients you've chosen.
  4. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fitness Friday. Get Strong, Walk Fit.

The latest Fitness Friday is SIMPLE!
Walking intervals with strength training! Get your athletic shoes on, get outside and get to walking!
I know it's December! SO WHAT...Get out there...NO Excuses!!!

  • Walk, jog or run around YOUR block one time at a speed you could do for a long period of time...a warm-up walk if you will. OR walk, jog or run for 3-5 minutes if you don't have a traditional block to go around. 
  • Once you get back to your house perform 10-15 push-ups. Full "military" style push-ups, modified push-ups (on your knees) or if that is too difficult find a sturdy wall, railing or bench and do standing push-ups. You can even do these at your car.

  • Add 15 side lunges (each leg so 30 total).

     
  • Walk, jog or run around the block again. Pick up your pace a bit! Get those arms moving! 

  • When you get back home go to your front porch, deck or garage step and perform 30 step ups with high knee raises.

  • Add 20 triceps dips done on the step.
  • Walk, jog or run around the block again. Pick up your pace a bit more! Get those arms pumping! You should be breathing fairly heavy now!
  •  Back at your house perform 20-30 walking lunges up and down your driveway or anywhere you can safely perform walking lunges.
  • Add 20 arm circles forward, 20 reverse and 30 fast jumping jacks!

  • Walk around the block again. Pick up your pace a bit more! Get those arms pumping! You should be breathing fairly heavy! Up your pace...challenge yourself for the last 30-60 seconds seconds!

    REPEAT this circuit 2-3 times and you've got a GREAT full body workout complete with cardio!!!
There's your Fitness Friday workout! No equipment needed!
It's going to be as easy or as hard or as long as you make it! And I don't want to hear that it's too cold or wet outside...Know your surroundings (Snow, ice, rain, fallen leaves or branches, unleashed pets coyotes and wild skunks ;-)  and just plain be careful please! Enjoy the crisp fall/winter weather...don't worry...you'll warm up quickly I promise! Enjoy this workout and drop me a line to let me know how YOUR Fitness Friday went!
**As always...a consultation from your physician is recommended when contemplating or attempting ANY fitness regimen or workout! Ask your physician if this or any workout is right for YOU!!! 

MAKE TODAY COUNT!!!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Simple Salad

Simple Salad Ingredients:
2 Cups Spring Greens
1/2 Medium Apple, Sliced
2 T Sliced Almonds
1/2 Cup Raw Broccoli
1/2 Cup Raw Cauliflower
4 T Bolthouse Raspberry Merlot Dressing
 Bolthouse Tropical Mango dressing would have been great too!

Side (not pictured):
1/2 Whole Wheat Pita filled with...
2 T Hummus
YOUR salad options are endless! 
Enjoy and MAKE TODAY COUNT!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Food Prep=Quick Meals

Quick Veggie and Chicken Sausage Stir Fry

Preparing food ahead of time really pays off during the week when you may be hungry, in a hurry and often times BOTH! This is often the case with me but by having a bunch of food prepped and waiting in the fridge I was able to quickly pull together a delicious, healthy lunch in less than 15 from start to finish, including clean-up!
Check it:
Chicken Sausage cooked ahead and sliced 


Pre-sliced Mushrooms, Bell Peppers, Onion & Baby Spinach

Brown Rice! I make a batch of brown rice cooked in my broth of choice. It keeps well in the refrigerator so I can just scoop out a serving, heat and serve!
1. Drizzle 1-2 tsp of your fave olive oil (I love garlic flavor from the Olive Gallery) in a pan.
Heat over medium high heat.
2. When pan is hot add the *bell peppers and onions. Sautee' for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add the sliced chicken sausage.
4. Add a serving of brown rice. Stir for 1-2 minutes.
5. Add the mushrooms and sautee' for another minute.
6. Add the *spinach last. It just needs to be stirred til it begins to wilt!
*Add as much or as little vegetables as you want...You can never have too many veggies!
Serve! So Easy and delicious! Make this vegan by omitting the meat and adding other veggies and/or beans!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Banana Bread

Banana bread! Who doesn't love this delicious, warm comfort food that feels so homey? I know I do and it's been a very long time since I made a loaf. So, yesterday my daughter and I were on a mission to use as many of the over ripe, frozen bananas we had waiting in the freezer for just this occasion. I  found three recipes that were different enough from each other and sounded good. I then went and modified each a bit here and there. I will post my modifications at the end of each recipe.

 Upper Left: Protein Banana Bread. Upper Right: Traditional Banana Bread from Better Homes and Garden Cookbook (modified). Front Center: Oatmeal Banana Bread.

The first recipe, protein banana bread, was found on the Eat Clean Diet website! 

#1 Protein Banana Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup Stevia or sweetener of your choice
  • 3 scoops vanilla whey protein powder *
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites*
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2-3 small bananas)
  • 1/4 cup water*
  • 3.9 oz applesauce (unsweetened, natural)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

    *My modifications: I used chocolate protein powder, that's what I had on hand & I used one whole egg instead of two egg whites, I used Almond milk instead of water.

Instructions

Step 1: Preheat Oven to 350
Step 2: Mix all ingredients together.
Step 3: Pour into a greased 8"x4" pan.
Step 4: Bake for 40 minutes or until a tooth pick can be stabbed into the middle of the loaf and pulls out clean with no dough sticking to it.

Nutrition Facts
(I got 14 pieces): Cals: 65, Fat: 1.6 g, Carbs: 6.2 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 2.5 g, Protein: 8 g I used a Whey Isolate Protein - zero fat & sugar, 1 carb & 30 grams of protein per scoop.

*My modifications: I used chocolate protein powder, that's what I had on hand & I use one whole egg instead of two egg whites!

#2 Traditional Banana Bread

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cup sugar*
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts*My modifications: I used whole wheat flour & brown sugar.

Directions:


  1. Oil the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of an 8x4x2-inch loaf pan; set aside. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and set aside.
  2. In another bowl combine egg, bananas, sugar, cooking oil. Add egg mixture all at once to dry mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in nuts if desired.
  3. Spoon batter into the prepared pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven 50-55 minutes or till a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool on rack.

    Servings Per Recipe: 16
    Amount Per Serving:
    Calories 157.4
    Calories from Fat 56
    Total Fat 6.2 g
    Saturated Fat 0.8 g
    Cholesterol 11.6 mg
    Sodium 76.9 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 24.0 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
    Sugars 12.2 g
    Protein 2.4 g 
     
    #3 Banana Oatmeal Bread
  • 1 1/2 cups flour*
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil*
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla 
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • cooking spray *My modifications: I used 3/4 cup whole wheat flour & 3/4 unbleached all purpose flour. I did not have buttermilk so I found a buttermilk alternative at Joy The Baker which called for a 3 to 1 ratio of yogurt (I used plain Greek yogurt) to milk (I used skim). Last, I used extra virgin olive oil.  

Directions:


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and eggs in a small bowl or measuring cup.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir gently just until the dry ingredients are moistened.
  5. Spoon batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Cool on a wire rack, in the pan, for about 15 minutes (I left mine in longer and it was fine).

    Servings Per Recipe: 12
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 210.6
    Calories from Fat 56
    Total Fat 6.2 g
    Saturated Fat 1.0 g
    Cholesterol 31.2 mg
    Sodium 139.8 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 34.3 g
    Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
    Sugars 13.8 g
    Protein 4.7 g
Bread Ratings:
#1 Protein Banana Bread. This one was our least favorite in terms of taste and texture. It was very dense and not as flavorful. I use stevia for a lot of things but I don't really like to bake with sugar alternatives (even though it's considered "clean") because it really alters the taste, in my opinion. However, the nutritional values are great!
#2 Traditional. This one had the most banana flavor. Although I used whole wheat flour here it was still moist, fluffy and definitely sweeter.
#3 Oatmeal Banana Bread. This one was really good too. I liked the addition of oatmeal and the yogurt I used instead of buttermilk. Overall, very good. 
Please take note of the nutritional values. They are for the original recipes, not my modifications. ALSO, each recipe yields different servings per recipe. While #3 has higher values it also states the least amount of servings per recipe!!!
My family liked #3 then #2. #1 was their least favorite! I personally don't mind the #1 simply because of the nutritional values. I'll be bringing this one to work with me this week since I doubt anyone else in the house will be eating it anyway and that's fine with me!

***As with anything...too much of a good thing is still too much! So, ENJOY your banana bread but be mindful of what a serving is and how it fits into your daily nutritional needs!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Stair Climber HIIT Workout


If you're looking for a new HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout other than the usual walk/jog, jog/run, elliptical or treadmill workout try doing HIIT on the stair climber next time you're at the gym.

Here was MY 20 minute program. Everyone is different and will be at different levels. Also, machines vary so take a look at the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) chart below for you to refer to when doing YOUR workout!

  • Warm-up for 3 minutes at an RPE of 2-3
  • Climb stairs quickly for 30 seconds at an RPE of 5-8 or even 9
  • Rest/Active Recovery for 90 seconds at an RPE of 4-6
  • Repeat this 30 seconds on with 90 second recovery
    **8 times**
  • You should be a beautiful sweaty mess at the end so thoroughly enjoy your next step which is cool down... 
  • Cool Down...Allow at least 3-5 min for a good cool down, take more time if you need it at an RPE of 4 or 5 & tapering to 1-2 on the RPE scale.
    **If at ANY time you begin to feel shaky, weak, lightheaded, dizzy or you feel as if you can't continue...STOP immediately! Exercise smart...not injured!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Veggie Packed Sandwich

Veggies are a very important part of your daily diet and should be eaten with virtually every meal.
Here is a quick sandwich I made that is better than any fast food drive-thru meal that packs a powerful nutritional veggie punch!

Notice the bite I HAD to take before snapping a pic! Mmmmm :)

Remember...I don't measure so these are approximates.
Ingredients
1 slice of Ezekiel bread (or whole wheat bread. Use a whole wheat pita or tortilla...it's up to YOU)
1/4 cup sliced red pepper (Use whatever veggies you have on hand at the time.)
1/4 cup sliced sweet onion
1/2-1 cup spinach
2 baby portabella mushrooms
1-2 tsp olive oil
1 slice reduced fat swiss cheese
1-2 slice lean meat of your choice (chicken, tuna, deli turkey, roast beef, ham etc...there are many good deli meats available that are nitrate and nitrite free...Go for those!)
Go vegetarian by skipping the meat!
Go vegan by skipping the meat and cheese!

Lightly toase Ezekiel bread in toaster
In a pan over medium high heat, sautee' the red pepper and onion in the olive oil for 2 minutes.
Add the mushroom and spinach. Sautee' til spinach wilts.

Remove veggies from the pan to a plate.
Add meat of choice to pan and warm for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side.
Add slice of cheese on top of meat, let cheese melt slightly.
Remove meat and cheese from pan. Place the meat and cheese on top of veggies you put aside.
Place lightly toasted bread in pan and place all veggies, meat and cheese on top of bread.
Reduce pan heat to medium low and cover for 1-2 min to give the bread a chance to toast more, the cheese to melt and for everything to come together.

Plate it and enjoy!




Friday, August 26, 2011

Gazpacho Soup

Thanks to my dad I have a love of cooking. From the time I was little my mom and dad would be in the kitchen making entree's as close to scratch as they could. I learned a lot from that example and enjoy making some of those same delicious foods that I grew up with. Gazpacho soup is one of those all time cold summer soups that is fresh from the garden saucy, tangy with a touch of spice. This is his recipe (shared with permission).

Ingredients
2 large tomatoes or 2lbs (I leave the skin on), cut in chunks
1 large cucumber (again, I leave the skin on), cut in chunks
1 medium sweet onion, cut in chunks
1 medium green pepper, cut in chunks
1 jar pimento (I generally don't add this, it's good without it)
24oz tomato juice or low sodium V8 juice (I like it with V8 myself)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 red wine vinegar
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp sea salt
1/8 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2-3 cloves peeled garlic cloves

Combine tomatoes, cucumber, onion, green pepper, pimento and tomato juice or V8 in a blender (you may have to do two rounds of blending if all ingredients do not fit in blender). Blend these ingredients together. If you need to do another round, pour mixture in a pitcher, blend remaining ingredients thoroughly, add to pitcher.
Next pour as much of the mixture as you can back into the blender. Now add the vinegar, oil, salt, pepper, garlic and Tabasco and blend again. Pour back into the pitcher and let it chill in the refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving.
Serve in a bowl, croutons (ours are homemade) and fresh cilantro! Fresh and Dalish!!!
I usually make a double batch for my family who consumes it in just a few days! They love it and I hope you do too!


Thursday, July 7, 2011

How I View Food-Visualization!

When thinking about food it has become second nature for me to visualize what my body will do with the specific food I'm ingesting. As a society we've become SO accustomed to how the food makes us feel and how good it tastes that we use the feeling and the taste to justify eating more when more is not what our bodies need (for more on that check out previous blogs Why Do I Eat This Food and The Purpose of Food)! We also think that because that food makes us FEEL good or that it TASTES good then it must be nutritionally good for us! Furthermore, just because it's sitting on a shelf in a grocery store where we buy food does not make it healthy or useful nutritionally. It may be "safe for human consumption" but it is by no means GOOD for you!
Come with me and try visualization as you make your next food choices....

When eating whole, natural fruits, veggies, meats and calcium rich foods I imagine all the cells in my body jumping for joy as it comes in. It's like a party in my body as every recruiter and soldier cell is employed to put to good use what I've consumed. I envision antioxidants flowing and sucking up free radicals and dispensing them as garbage to get rid of! All of those wonderful vitamins and minerals are repairing and bolstering cells, tissues and fibers all over my body! The food I'm eating is being put to GOOD use as it fights off invaders that want to make me sick...they're fighting the enemies that wish to do me harm like the common cold, cancers and other pathogens. It protects me from diabetes, high blood pressure and keeps my arteries clean to protect from heart disease. Good whole food keeps your skin and eyes clear and helps you sleep better at night (sleep is SO important as this is the time your body also uses to refresh and REPAIR)!
Isn't all of that a great thought?! I love it and it works!
Check out this chart...see the list of benefits for certain foods? Use that as a visualization foundation as you eat today!

When there is "food" that has little nutritional value (DEAD food) I think about my body literally "LOOKING" at it and spitting at it...like "Pfffft....Great! What are we suppose to do with this crap?" Then I envision a foreman type cell calling in recruits and barking out orders to just "Get rid of this....Store it!" Then the workers are grumbling and moaning as they trudge away this "food" and store it in all the wrong places! Then I visualize all the bad bacteria and cells having a hay day as they use that nasty "food" to fuel their planned assault on my body! Cancer uses sugar to thrive, type two diabetes is a result of a nutritionally poor, refined and processed sugar diet! In one way or another your body will use the food you are giving it...the question is HOW is it getting used?!
Do you get where I'm going with this?!

If I do decide to eat food that has little to no nutritional value I'm doing it consciously (think a small slice of birthday cake, crackers, a doughnut, cookies or chips) and I consume them in small amounts. I follow up that "food" with whole, healthy choices so my body has something to work with!



Be AWARE of what you are consuming! Don't just shove food in your mouth because you are hungry, sad, mad, depressed, happy, angry, stressed or simply bored...Be MINDFUL and think about how every bite you take either has a negative impact or POSITIVE impact on your overall health! Food Matters!!!

Make a change TODAY! Go back and read some of my recipes...scour the internet for your own! Purchase WHOLE, NATURAL, MINIMALLY PROCESSED, REAL food! 
Your body will thank you as it does what it was meant to DO...keep you strong and healthy just as you were meant to BE!

Steak w/ Marinated Veggie Salad

Marinated Veggies:
1 each Red & Yellow Pepper
1 cup Roma or Cherry Tomatoes
1 jar Artichoke Hearts
1 Small Vidalia Onion or 1/4-1/2 sliced Red Onion
1-2 Fresh Pressed Garlic Cloves or sprinkle Garlic Powder (to taste, start off w/ a little...you can always add more but you can't take away).
Basil if you'd like
1 Tbs EVOO
4 Tbs red wine vinegar (I actually used Pineapple infused Balsamic Vinegar from the Olive Gallery)

Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate for at least a few hours to let those flavors meld together. Then serve over a bed of lettuce. I topped my salad with some leftover steak we had. Add whatever protein suits you and ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spinach Blueberry Protein Smoothie

Spinach Blueberry Protein Smoothie
It sounds odd but this spinach, blueberry smoothie is truly delicious and chock full of great nutrients!
1 scoop whey protein powder (I used chocolate but vanilla would be perfect! There are MANY flavors so experiment with what works for YOU. The Vitamin Shoppe has many different brands and sample sizes as well)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen(Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, mixed berries...any fruit is great. Experiment with what YOU like)
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup fresh baby spinach (Kale is also a great green to add...really just about any green leafy veggie)
1/2 cup or more crushed ice
1/2 cup of water
1-2 T of ground flax seed is great too

Combine ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth! DONE!
Try it....I DARE you! I think you'll be surprised! Enjoy!!!

***Save time in the morning by making this the night before in the blender's pitcher. Put all ingredients in a pitcher (except the ice) and refrigerate. The next morning, when you're ready, add ice and blend. D.O.N.E! 

Update November, 2011.
I recently ran out of protein powder so I've been using my Chobani yogurt and 1tsp of Stevia in place of the protein powder. Not as much protein but a good substitute.
I'm trying to stay away from dairy as much as I can, but I do enjoy Greek yogurt. If you're staying away from dairy opt for a soy based yogurt instead. Tofu works great in smoothies too!
I've also been adding cinnamon to this mix and I am LOVING IT! Cinnamon is good for you! Check out this and many other great blogs at Mark's Daily Apple.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

5k Testimonial From Kim

Kim was a participant in our Spring Trail Club which ended with our annual local 5k Sweetnes run! Below is an email she wrote to the studio about another 5k she ran two weeks later!
Rhonda & Kristi,
 
Well, I ran the 5K at Prairiefest!  I didn’t pre-register and did everything possible to talk myself out of it.  I decided it was going to rain and get cancelled so I didn’t need to keep trying to find a valid reasons not to go.  It didn’t rain and the starting line is <1mile from my house so my excuses ran out.  When I got there, I gave myself a pep talk and replayed the words of encouragement each of you have given.  Before long, I was off.  I finished 3 minutes under the Sweetness Run time!  I’ve been running a couple times per week since that race.  While I’m still 2 minutes over my last Prairiefest 5K time, I felt good about the whole experience.  I know that before I would have never registered & run in a 5K by myself; no one running with me & no one waiting at the finish line.  I’ve built the confidence thanks to both of you to accomplish something I wouldn’t have done before.  So, many thanks to you both.  Your encouragement has made a difference to me!  Looking forward to the fall!
 
Many thanks,
Kim
 
How awesome is that? Thanks, Kim, for participating and proving to yourself that YOU CAN DO IT! With baby steps, encouragement and PROPER Training...ANYTHING is possible!!! Looking forward to Fall Trail Club too! 

 

Monday, June 20, 2011

MmmmMmmm Eggs

I like to use what I have when I'm making a meal and sometimes my additions are unconventional but they turn out great.
Over the weekend I wanted to make an egg scramble. All I had for meat was grilled chicken from a previous meal, onions and some feta cheese...whala...delicious egg scramble! This is what I did...

In one pan I cooked:
One small vidalia onion, diced
1-2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
1Tbsp EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Sautee' together over medium heat until warm and onion softens or browns (your preference)

Next you will need:
6 eggs or 3 whole eggs and 6 egg whites
1/4cup of fat free milk
1/8 cup feta cheese (fat free varieties are available and delicious)
1Tbsp of EVOO

In a bowl mix together the eggs with the milk, whisk til blended well.
Pour egg mixture into a hot pan with EVOO. Stir often til eggs are set and almost done. When the eggs are still "wet" and nearly done add the chicken and onion mixture along with desired feta cheese. Stir an additional minute or two! DONE!
I didn't have fresh spinach but you know how I love this super food. This would be an EXCELLENT addition tossed in at the end with the chicken and cheese! Mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes....just about any veggie you choose would be a great addition to this dish! Yum, Yum, Yum!
Sorry...I didn't think to take a snapshot of it! I'll be making it again (next time with veggies) and I'll be sure to post a picture then :)
Until then...try this one out and ENJOY!!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

One On One Fitness Trail Club & 5k

The first 5k! Have you experienced that yet? A 3.1 mile run that you never thought you could REALLY ever do?! It's an amazing experience! Through our annual spring and fall Trail Club at One on One Fitness, I trained these first timer's (with the exception of veteran runner, Michelle) and waited with anticipation at the start and finish line for three first time 5k'ers!  It's just as amazing being the observer as it is being the runner! As you'll see from the pictures...these first timers did great and had a blast as they not only ran for themselves but also for the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation!

The crew pre-race! All smiles, nice and DRY! (L to R) Michelle, Kim, Hilary, Jason!
Michelle with Walter Payton's daughter, Brittney and wife, Connie.
Gettin' Ready!
They don't look nervous at all!
At the start line...Jared, Walter Payton's son!
The whole family was so engaging & fun with the participants!
And....they're off!
The first to round the corner to the finish line...Jason! WooHoo...Bring it in!!!
Post race smiles and sweat! Even at 8:00 a.m. it was a HOT and HUMID morning!
Here comes Hilary...still smiling cuz it feels GOOOOOOD!!!!
Kim rounding the corner now! She did AWESOME!!! Way to go KIM!!!
And here comes Michelle ready to sprint it in to the finish line! She kicked it in to high gear as she rounded that corner!
All done...all smiles and all sweaty! They trained well and finished well! I'm so proud!
I had the privilege of running with Jason, Hilary and Kim to the finish line! What an honor it was, as their trainer, to do that! I got all teary eyed with each of them as they rounded that corner!
Here are some other friends that were there but not part of our Trail Club. (L, M, R) Mariana's first 5k, Joanne did the 8k and Mariana's mom, Vicky who did her very first 8k! Great job ladies!!! Mariana and Vicky running in together!
Kim was the first to take advantage of some post race stretching! Stretching feels great and keeps all those muscles, ligaments, tendons and fascia working well and maintaining....flexibility of course! Stretch...it's a good thing ;-)
After some stretching ya gotta rest and refuel in some shade!

I know a 5k can be intimidating...I remember those 1 mile runs in High School! But with the right training and motivation YOU TOO can run in your first 5k and feel GREAT doing it!!!

Remember...Baby Steps! And.....
"To get something you've never had you must do something you've never done!"
"Dead last finish is greater than did not finish which greatly trumps did not start!"

Be happy my friends and MAKE TODAY COUNT!!!