Author Archives: Tanya

Shed Unwanted Pounds

No gimmicks, no pills, no starving… just WILLPOWER! Eat all you want and lose weight. Scroll down to find out more and get started.

food-label

In my Facebook post yesterday I told you I was going to help you shed a few pounds this month and I meant it.  I myself have seen results and so I wanted to share my experience with you as we head into our second month of 2013.

How have I been able to lose weight? More importantly, how can what I’ve learned help you? One simple answer: Sugar. Sugar addiction has been a real problem in last few decades but in the past couple of years we can read news headlines discussing the issue with High fructose Corn Syrup in almost all boxed items at the grocery store as well as sodas and juice drinks. Dr. Oz and Oprah  have weighed in their concerns with the amount of sugar we are consuming. In addition to weight gain and diabetes, did you know that consuming too much sugar can also negatively impact your brain as well? What Eating too Much Sugar Does to Your Brain.

I said there were no gimmicks, no pills and that all it will take is WILLPOWER! This month, if you are with me, we are taking a NO SUGAR stance. I wanted to get this post out to you today so that you can get your fridge and pantry ready for Monday. Here are the staples that I have in my house that have gotten me to be sugar free:

Fridge: white bean hummus, spinach, peppers, arugula, beets, olives, tomatoes, cilantro, romaine lettuce, celery, eggs, unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, lemons, grapefruit, organic meats and poultry (I’m a pescatarian, so you won’t find these in my fridge, but they are acceptable as long as you choose nice cuts of meat that you saute or bake, not fried please).

Pantry: beans (any kind), brown rice, millet, avocado, sweet potato, tomato pasta sauce (sugar free), sunflower butter, almond butter, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds

Why is sugar bad? It’s not that sugar is BAD, it’s just that we’ve been bad at how we consume it. If you think about it, how many Starbucks coffees have you had this week? Eat a scone with it too? I know I used to all the time. Foods that contain sugar and foods that turn into sugar once metabolized can affect your body in many different ways. Read  What You Need to Know About Complex Carbohydrates. 

A word about bread. Yes, you guessed it. I don’t eat bread. I’m hoping you read the article above to find out why. The good news is that I’ve found a great bread alternative recipe online. We make this at home as our bread substitute. It goes with everything and is so yummy when it’s fresh out of the oven. We’ve even put slices of fruit on it with sprinkles of cinnamon, before baking, for a yummy breakfast or an after meal treat). Click here for the recipe.

Fruits and especially veggies should be eaten often. Here’s a are link from the FDA to see the sugar content of your fruits and veggies.  You can review the list and see what fits best in your life. If you want more rapid weight loss I would stay away from the fruits and veggies that have a  higher sugar content. If I feel like a fruit I’ll opt for either a grapefruit, a small handful of berries or a granny smith apple. With the veggies I typically stay away from potatoes, but I do allow myself to eat some sweet potatoes at least once a week (see recipe below).

If you have the WILLPOWER to cut out sugar I’m sure you will see results. The first few days may be tough as your body is getting used to not having sugar anymore so headaches may be common. Make sure you drink plenty of water during the course of this month but especially the first few days. Stay away from juices and sodas and just drink water! We will be using the blog post as a forum for questions, so please keep us updated and we will encourage you along the way.

Recipes

One of the best things to ensure success is to plan ahead of time. Here are a couple of recipes to give you some ideas.

1. Roasted winter veggies

– Preheat oven to 450F

– Dice 2 beets, 1 red onion, 1 sweet potato, 2 to 3 green zucchinis, 2 celery sticks

– Toss in olive oil, sea salt, parsley

– Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 – 55 minutes. Mix occasionally.

2. Salad (you can add any types of nuts or seeds here)

– One handful of arugula and a handful of romain hearts

– One Fresh or roasted pepper

– One big tbsp of Hummus

– Sunflower seeds

–  Dressing: 1 tablespoon olive oil, half a squeezed lemon, sea salt and any other seasoning you prefer that doesn’t have sugar

If you’re interested in taking part in our Sugar free February then please post below. Official start time is Monday February 4th, 2013. Make sure you weigh yourself that morning upon waking up, in the buff, and every morning until the end of February. The challenge this month is to stop combing through the grocery store aisles looking for sugar free processed foods, instead, try the alternative, no labels. Buy foods that have no labels on them and you’ll find yourself spending more time in the fresh produce section. Looking forward to reading your questions/comments and supporting you all this month!

2012 Sponsored Athlete, Ashley Answers Training Questions

Catching up with our sponsored athlete, Ashley Clifford, after a busy 2012 race season. In 2013 she will tackle 5 Ironman races. We asked her, What does it take to train for an ironman?

Ashley Clifford finish

What’s your motivation for training for a triathlon?

“I have a life-long love of sports, and I’ve participated on many teams. I was a
competitive swimmer at age five. My junior year of high school, I transferred
to a high school that limited my swim time, so I compensated by running
cross country and track. After graduation, I made the decision to run in
college. I spent the balance of my college years competing in Half Ironman
distance races, developing my swimming strength, and improving my running
times. I also made the decision to become a professional triathlete. Thus my
immediate career goal is to become a successful, professional triathlete.

I am very blessed and lucky because I actually love training. I almost enjoy it as much as the actual races!”

What part of the race are you the strongest in?

“My strongest part of the race is the swim and run. The swim is somewhat helpful because it allows me to get out front and not have to fight the group. It only gives me a few minutes advantage, and in a 9+ hour race this is not much.”

“When I am feeling good and in shape, I am a very strong runner. And this
does make a difference in my overall standings. I was the fastest female
runner at Louisville Ironman 2011 and placed ‘third female’ as an age
grouper. At Florida Ironman I ran a 2:57 marathon, which was the fastest run
of the day. It also earned me a third place finish and my first podium finish as
a professional.”

Do you have a coach? If so, who?

“My coach is Adam Zucco with Training Bible Coaching.”

What is involved in training? (give us an example of your training day)•

“A typical day of training is usually 2 of the triathlon disciplines. I will swim and bike. I may bike and run. The workout is really dependent on what race I am training for and when it is scheduled. At a peak, my days can be 4+ hours of working out.”

Is training for a triathlon doable for anyone? Why or why not?

“Yes, with one exception. I believe that you need to know how to swim
comfortably in open water. You do not have to be a great swimmer; you just
have to be comfortable in the open water with other people around you. I see people not finishing the swim because they freak – not because they were not in shape, but because of the crowd around them. Training for the bike and run is very do-able for anyone; the only piece they might adjust is the distance.  I recommend you start with a distance you are comfortable with, whether it is a Sprint, Olympic distance or a 70.3 Ironman distance.”

What gear/equipment does one need to train?

“There is a lot of gear and equipment needed to train, depending if you train year round. But, the basics for the run are running shoes and run clothes. For the bike you need a bike, bike shoes, cycle clothes, and helmet. For the swim you need a swimsuit, cap, & goggles. For someone wanting to finish a Triathlon, they do not need to spend a lot of money on the gear. The most expensive equipment is your bike, and a lot of people already have one they can use.”

Thank you Ashley for running with Bluefin in 2012. You can check out Ashley’s 2013 races on her blog and connect with her on Twitter to cheer her on!

RunHelper Free, a full featured GPS run tracker app

After graduating from our training plans many of you continue running to maintain your newly acquired fitness level. We set out to build a perfect app for logging your runs. RunHelper Free is a GPS tracker that lets you choose your distance, alerts you when you’ve reached it, keeps track of all your running stats, and much more.

Super simple to use

Open the app and press the “Start Run” button and you are on your way. Want to run a different distance? No problem. Select a new distance on the same screen with just a few flicks of your finger.

Familiar

If you’ve trained with one of our apps, you will feel right at home with RunHelper Free. All the features you’ve come to love in Bluefin apps are here:
• Simple and beautiful design
• Half Way Point audio alert
• Easy to read Workout Screen
• Workout Journal
• Integrated Music
• GPS Tracking

Earns you points

Sign up for RunHelper Connect and earn points for each workout you do. Need a little extra motivation? You’ve got it! Unlock Achievements to earn bonus points and receive trophies for your virtual trophy case.

Download it Now

RunHelper Free

Free on the App Store

Chase the Sun

Join us this Holiday Season as we strive to stay healthy and motivated. Commit to working out 30 minutes a day from Thanksgiving to New Year 2013!

UPDATES PLEASE! Who’s still with me..

I know, the New Year still seems far away. With 22 days left till the ball drops, or maybe you’ve already dropped the ball on your commitment to CHASE THE SUN.  Either way, I wanted to say HANG in there! You can always recommit today.

Need extra motivation? Recruit someone to run with you. Check out our archived post on Some buddies are made, not born. 

Comment below if you are still hanging in there! Let’s continue to encourage each other. Continue reading

4 Tips to Stay Disaster Free this Holiday Season!

Yes, there are all kinds of disasters that can happen over the holidays. Such as, under baking the Turkey, running out of cranberry sauce and stuffing, and having your garbage disposal decide not to work (this has happened to my mom, what a mess). Putting all that aside, what I wanted to share is the disaster of overeating over the holidays and how you can avoid that so you don’t skip out on training.

Here are a 4 tips to help you tackle the holiday food fare, disaster free. Continue reading

Real Food: Hot, Healthy, and Homemade

As runners, we’ve all made a commitment to good health.  But to be as healthy as we can be (not to mention perform our best as athletes), we need to eat the right stuff, even for Thanksgiving. Real runners need real food.  

As we’re gearing up for the Holidays we should remember that our love for food should not supersede our love for running. Ever go out for a run after a big meal? Not the best feeling, huh. Thanksgiving is a great time to spend with family and friends, but it shouldn’t drain your running routine.

The recipe for this week, Butternut Squash Tomato Posole, comes from Eating Well, a great site for truly delicious meals that are healthy and tasty. This hearty stew will not only fill you up, but help boost your energy. Packed with 9 grams of protein,  335 calories per serving, and 100% guilt free yumminess. Continue reading

Success Stories: Mark Rucker

At Bluefin, nothing makes us happier than hearing from folks who have had success with our programs.  Our users have accomplished some amazing stuff and we’re always honored and humbled any time we hear that one of our apps had played a part in helping someone get healthy or take their running to the next level. Continue reading

Meet Bluefin’s 2012 Sponsored Athletes

One of the best parts of being in the fitness business is that you’re constantly getting to work with some of the most impressive, inspirational people you’ll ever meet. Through Bluefin, we’ve had the opportunity to see folks start out running only a few minutes at a time and build up to triathlons, marathons, and beyond. Continue Reading

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?

We’re going to keep this post short and sweet, not because the subject isn’t important, but because the subject is really important.

Do you know the signs of a heart attack?  Recognizing the danger and acting quickly to get help is the biggest factor in saving someone’s life in a heart-attack situation.

Here are the signs, courtesy of the American Heart Association.

Chest Discomfort

Think pressure, squeezing, a sensation of swelling, or just intense pain.  This might be constant or it might come and go over a period of time.

Discomfort Elsewhere

In addition to chest pain, a heart attack can trigger pain in the arms, jaw, neck, back, or stomach.

Shortness of Breath

This is a big one.  As chest pain worsens, the victim may have difficulty breathing, ranging from mild to more extreme.

Other (less obvious) Symptoms

Along with the signs above, a person having a heart attack might become nauseous, lightheaded, or break out in a cold sweat.

The bottom line is that recognizing these symptoms as serious and getting medical help on the way as soon as possible can literally be the difference between life and death.  For more on heart attacks, check out the AMA’s Heart Attack Website, which has tons of great information about prevention, treatment, recovery, and more.

Breathe in, breathe out. (Repeat.)

Okay, so right now you’re breathing, yes?

Two seconds ago you probably weren’t really thinking about it, but if you focus your attention, you can become more aware as you inhale and exhale while you’re reading this.

The same thing can happen while you’re running.   Maybe you go a good long stretch with your breathing on complete autopilot, but at some point you might become suddenly (and sometimes uncomfortably) aware of your own huffing and puffing.

It can be a little frustrating, because what is ideally a mindless function turns into the only thing you can think about.  And like a lot of things, breathing is one of those activities that we tend to do best when we aren’t actively thinking it through.

So what’s the best way to breathe when you’re in the middle of a run?  Here are a few quick tips that can help you refocus, stay efficient, and get your mind back on other things (like the finish line). Continue Reading