How You Can Use Food Network to Spice Up the Treadmill Workout…And Dinner!

Stuffed Chicken Divan courtesy of Food Network

The treadmill is one word: booooooorrrrrrrrring. Be honest. How much do you actually like the treadmill? I despise it, yet due to my inability to resist food, must spend hours using it. Might as well combine something I love (food) with the dreaded treadmill hamster wheel. If you’re looking for a time when you can fully focus your attention on learning new cooking techniques, when better than during a treadmill run? This is especially helpful for those adjusting to a new lifestyle of eating, and for those looking to add new flavors, kitchen tricks and spices.

It might sounds like a contradiction to watch chefs design the very delectable treats that cause me to need the extra hour on the treadmill, but by watching Food Network at the gym, I am able to completely focus on the show. My attention isn’t pulled in several directions like it is at home.

As a captivated runner, I watch the chefs prepare their recipes from scratch – from Grilled Salmonto broiling kale (best recipe I’ve made in a long time!) or making an amazing meatloaf. The Food Network chefs actively teach viewers. I’m tuning in to spice up my low-fat cooking without dumping pounds of butter into each dish. (Paula Deen’s food looks amazing, but it is for cheat days!)

As we know, cooking, weight-loss and exercise all blend together into one intertwined plan. We know that what we eat affects our energy, our potential to binge-eat, and our ability to lose weight in a healthy way. For me, watching the pros season food is teaching me how to cook low-fat without cooking blandly.

Long over are the days of browned omelets! Thanks Chef Robert!

Nutmeg on greens? My new flavor secret. Thanks Rachel Ray!

Chopping vegetables the same size allows them to cook evenly? Thanks Chef Anne!

These are three tips that can help me – and you – shed pounds. When our home cooked food tastes good, we are less likely to eat something quick (aka fattening) on the go, and more likely to prepare all of our own meals, embracing leftovers. (Our bank account smiles at this as well) When we learn how to cook flavor-fully, we can fill up on veggies yet still appreciate bold tastes, textures and sauces.

My journey of learning how to cook delicious yet healthy food is an ongoing learning process but by doubling my workout time as cooking lesson hour, I am able to focus and really absorb what the chefs on TV are demonstrating.

Focusing on healthy food preparation while shedding calories is part of the route to lasting weight loss. In addition to my TV-while-running habit, I DVR cooking shows, which I play while cooking, research the recipes on the shows to fully understand the ingredients, and read countless cooking magazines. Learn how to cook in an interesting yet healthy way today, and spend less time on the treadmill tomorrow!

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RunKeeper – Tracks time, distance, elevation and more

I’ve been using RunKeeper to track of my training the past few months and I absolutely love it. It tracks time, elevation and pace all while graphing it out and providing mile splits.

If you’ve ever wondered why you speed up during one mile and slow down during the next, this app provides the picture answer as to why.

Because I have an iPhone, I downloaded the RunKeeper app, but if your phone isn’t compatable with any of the RunKeeper apps, you can manually enter your running route at:

If you can download the app, it is incredibly easy to use. I simply press the “Start Activity” button on the RunKeeper App, and it uses GPS to track exactly where I run. During a race, during training, or just to track distance, this gadget is a useful way to track, record and compare performances.

This data, over time, can help those training for marathons track their weak spots, and target which areas of the run to concentrate on during practice. From my race, I see that I start and end strong, but lag in the middle. This isn’t news to me, as I normally try to conserve energy during the middle of the race, but to see the numbers, provides a goal to improve those times.

Below are my splits and the map from my half-marathon in Philadelphia in November:

RunKeeper displays route, elevation, pace and milage

As a final note, RunKeeper is offering free downloading of RunKeeper PRO during the month of January. More information here.

*For the record, I have no relationship with RunKeeper at all – it’s just an awesome running app that I love using, so I thought I would share it with you!

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The13thMile is on Facebook

I decided that by creating a Facebook account, I could track more blogs efficiently, connect with more runners and create an overall more integrated experience. I will start updating Facebook with posts, and look forward to connecting with many of you via this social network.

Please let me know what your websites are, if I do not already follow you! If you post your blog URL in my Facebook comments, I will be sure to follow you!

Click here, if you’d like to friend me on Facebook

Click here, if you’d like to “Like” The13thMile’s Facebook Fan Page

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The Sun is Setting on 2010 – Happy New Year!

As the sun sets on 2010, wishes for a Happy 2011!

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What Are Your New Years Resolutions? The Obligatory New Year’s Eve Resolution Post

As 2011 approaches, it is time for a fresh start. A do-over. Another chance. Call it what you will, for some reason at this time of year, many of us turn introspective and try to plan new ways of improving ourselves over the next year.

Weight-loss commercials will inundate the media over the next month as holiday sale specials did over the past month. Everyone is trying to sell a version of how to lose weight this year. As fellow runners, I’m sure something as simple as ‘lose-weight’ is not on your New Year’s Resolution list.

I’d imagine some of you would have the resolution to finish your first marathon, to beat your last half-marathon time or something similar.

To me, new years resolutions are not something to take lightly. Most years, I make a commitment to improve a certain area, and stick with it through December of that year, until it becomes a daily or weekly habit. Most years, I try to build off the previous year’s goal. Last year, I did achieve my new years resolution, which was to “Be more mature”. I looked at myself one day and realized I was acting like a silly kid, not like the responsible
adult that I was under my veil of ridiculousness. Throughout the past year, with some slip ups along the way, I have strived to focus more on family, writing, serious obligations and in general – being more adult-like. I’ve shifted the importance of many of my goals and the activities I was previously spending time on have changed.

Most importantly, somehow, half-way through the year, I decided to start running competitively – this has helped me grow, stick to my goals and mature even more the second half of 2010.

For 2011, I am challenging myself with two resolutions. One will be easy to
achieve. The other will be next to impossible.

2011 Goal 1: To volunteer at least twelve times this year. (I’ve already signed up
for my January event.)

2011 Goal 2: To sleep seven to eight hours per night. No more, no less. As a night owl, and someone who feels there isn’t enough time in the day, trying to sleep more than my usual four to six hours during the week, and less than my usual twelve hours on weekends will be a challenge. But, by getting a more consistent amount of rest, I will be helping my body’s
sleeping hormones to burn more fat (something I read about this summer in Jillian Michaels’ book: Master Your Metabolism). I will also hopefully allow myself to begin waking up early enough to enjoy a morning routine, prepare for the day and not fear sleeping through half of my obligations.

I wish the best of luck to you and your families over the next year. What are your goals? Your resolutions? Your ways of improvement?

I’d love to hear them.

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Your Running Playlist

A few weeks ago I asked readers: What is on your iPod’s running playlist?

Below is a medley of responses from extreme techno to extreme rock. If your playlist is in need of a refresh – there is a good chance you will find some updated tunes here!

At the bottom of the post is a list of all those who contributed – thank you so much for widening my circle of songs, and allowing me to share them with others!

Songs Playlist

  • Boston Asphalt – Dropkick Murphys
  • Captain Anarchy – Anti Flag
  • Hey Suburbia – Screeching Weasel
  • Savin Hill– Street Dogs
  • Robot Monster – Don Ross
  • Indestructible – Disturbed
  • Runaway – Bon Jovi
  • Gotta Get Away – Offspring
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys
  • Insideout – Eve 6
  • Lose Yourself – Eminem
  • Sex Type Thing – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Bullet With Butterfly Wings – Smashing Pumpkins
  • Raise Your Glass – Pink
  • Fighter – Christine Aguilara
  • Hot Mess – Cobra Starship
  • Basket Case – Green Day
  • Uprising – Muse
  • Only Girl – Rihanna
  • In fates hands – Red jumpsuit apparatus
  • Power – Kanye West remix with Jay– Z
  • The Reeling – Passion Pit
  • To the top – B Double E
  • Feel It N My Bones – Tiesto
  • Sweet Disposition – Temper Trap
  • Interstate Love Song – Stone Temple Pilots
  • Faint – Linkin Park
  • Firework – Katy Perry
  • Waiting for the End – Linkin Park
  • Mr. Brightside – The Killers
  • Raise Your Glass – Pink
  • Ghost – – Fefe Dobson
  • The Hand That Feeds – Nine Inch Nails
  • Clockwork (Jonas Steur Ultra Violence Remix) – Deadmau5
  • Brazil (2nd Edit)
  • Blue skies with Linda – Glenn Morrison
  • Extreme ways – Moby
  • I love to move in here
  • Natural Blues
  • We are all made of stars (Timo Maas vocal remix)
  • Loalwa Braz – Chorando se foi
  • Banda beijo – Bate lata
  • Samba de raiz – Estrela de Madureira
  • Sergio Mendes & The Black Eyed Peas – Mas que nada
  • SambaDa – SambaDa Batucada
  • Marisa Monte – Balanca a Perna
  • Safri Duo – Played– A_Live (The Bongo song)
  • Gabriel & Dresden – Dangerous Power (Cicada full vocal mix)
  • Tunnel Alliance – Sandstorm (original rework)
  • Voodoo & Serano – Blood is pumpin’ (club mix)
  • Stronger – Kanye West
  • The Crystal Method – Name of the Game
  • Keep hope alive
  • Busy child
  • Schiller – I feel you
  • Dream of you
  • Schiller
  • A beautiful day
  • Fernweh
  • Ruhe
  • Beach music
  • Body movements
  • Armin van Buuren & Gabriel & Dresden – Zocalo
  • Deadmau5 & Kaskade
  • Iron Man II soundtrack by AC/DC –


  • Guns ‘n Roses
  • AC/DC
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Aerosmith
  • Kings of Leon
  • Arcade Fire
  • Infected Mushroom to
  • Michael Franti
  • Bright Lights, Big City/No One’s Gonna Love You – Cee Lo Green
  • Blondie Bruce (Old Dan Tucker)
  • Green day
  • Eminen
  • Beyonce
  • Black Eyed Peas
  • Jay– Z
  • Neon Trees
  • Cyndi Lauper
  • Paramore
  • Weezer
  • Metallica
  • SoaD
  • Linkin Park
  • Lady Gaga
  • Pink
  • Rihanna’s album – Loud
  • Britney Spears
  • Breaking Ben
  • Usher
  • Bruno Mars
  • The Sound of Music
  • Zumba tunes

Thank you to the following to your contributions to this readers’ list!

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How to Run in Snow After a Blizzard

I can’t even believe I’m writing this – but it’s not as bad as you’d think. Yesterday, with one too many Christmas cookies weighing on my conscience, I laced up my running shoes after the East Coast media-dubbed “Christmas Blizzard of 2010”, and went out for a near five-mile run. What I learned? With the right gear to keep you warm, running in snow is actually quite fun.

With caution to avoid ice patches, running on shoveled sidewalks or packed snow were the safest terrain options. I would compare the packed snow of the sidewalk to the feeling of running on wet sand in the summer.

With a few pointers, I think you might be up for a snow run today, if your area is knee-deep in the fluffy stuff.

1. Dress warm and in layers – This is a no-brainer, but you want to make sure your fabric is light-weight while still wicking away wind. I used a base layer of thin, wind-resistant material, with a heavy sweatshirt and sweatpants over it to seal in warmth.

2. To prevent breathing in cold air (something that always makes me sick), breathe through a scarf – I tied a scarf around my neck and used this to warm the air before breathing it in. It saved me the next-day sore throat I’ve endured after past winter runs.

3. Hats, gloves, etc. – One of my Christmas gifts this year, was a pair of gloves that can still touch the iPhone (someone knows me too well!). It was my first time trying them out, and they worked wonderfully. Not only was I able to snap some snowy pictures, but I could change up the music on my iPod. A winter hat tucked over my earphones and no wind was blowing them off my face!

Now this getup is certainly not the sexiest of outfits, but who cares when no one – I mean no one – else is out on the road? I ran around the river close to my family’s house, through town and around a nearby park, and mostly encountered a few wind gusts and some slow driving cars, but no other runners. By bundling up, I stayed warm, especially once I started moving.

Have fun on your snowy run if you choose to brave the elements!

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