Monthly Archives: June 2015

Tin Foil Chicken and Vegetables

Tin foil chicken and vegetables is a fantastic week night meal.  This recipe is quick, simple, good for you and delicious.  It’s easy to mix up the dish’s flavors by simply switching out one or two ingredients.  Using the ingredients below, each serving is home to less than 300 calories, packed with muscle building protein and very filling.

Tin Foil Chicken and Vegetables
Servings – 2-4
Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 30 minutes
Difficulty – 1

Ingredients
2-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (to lower cook time, divide into sections)
1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
2/3 cup black beans drained and rinsed
2/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced green pepper
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-4 Tablespoons taco seasoning
2-4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2-4 large squares of tin foil

Instructions
Pre-heat oven to 375.
Add olive oil, peppers and onion to sautee pan and cook until onions start to become clear.
Place each chicken breast in center of one tin foil sheet.
Season chicken with taco and cayenne powders.
Top each chicken breast with tomatoes, corn, black beans, green pepper and onion.
Fold tin foil into packet around chicken with small opening to vent.
Place in oven for 25-20 minutes or until juice runs clear.
Serve by carefully opening foil packets and pouring chicken, vegetables and juice onto a plate.chicken and vegetablesThis simple chicken and vegetables recipe can be switched up for winter by adding squash and carrots or swapping out taco flavors for basil and thyme.  You can see how the calorie count would change when plug in your choice of ingredients in here.  Use fresh vegetables for a colorful and delicious meal that’s great all year long, very easy to cleanup and won’t take away from family time.  Give this tin foil chicken and vegetables recipe a try.
I love it and know you will too!

Coach Meredith

Recovery 101: Compression Socks

Compression socks are a key element of every successful runner’s wardrobe.  A pair of graduated compression socks, which are tightest at the ankle and gradually lessens to have less pressure at the top of the calf, is an inexpensive way to keep your muscles filled with nutrients, prevent fatigue and speed recovery.  You can also try compression pants, shorts, back braces and arm sleeves for all of your muscle groups but it’s easiest to start small which means socks are the best route.  Here are the reasons you’ll want to head out and grab a pair today.

1.  Compression socks and sleeves provide additional support to muscles and limit movement which will lessen fatigue and improve performance.  Compression will also help clear the lactic acid that results from a hard session clear out of working muscles.  This increase in lactate threshold can ultimately lead to improved performance.

2.  Compression socks will alleviate swelling and inflammation without changing the body’s response.  Unlike ice, compression doesn’t mute the body’s response to muscle damage but encourages it to work.compression socks

3.  The pressure of compression socks will help deoxygenated blood travel back to your heart faster.  Muscles are then filled with blood rich in the oxygen and nutrients needed to help them repair at a faster rate.

4.  Ever fly?  Compression socks or sleeves are a must, especially after a race.  They’ll help keep blood circulating to damaged muscles, legs fresh and your whole body hydrated.

Now that you know slipping on a pair of compression socks can help your body get better faster, head to your local running store or buy some online.  There are a number of brands in a variety of price ranges that offer every color or pattern you could want to match each pair of your workout shorts so finding what you like best can be something fun.  My favorites include BioSKin Calf Skins for workouts and CEP Compression Socks for travel.  Start wearing them after every workout and any time you flight to see just how much your recovery rate can improve.

Coach Meredith

Summer Training: Stay Motivated

It might be hot and humid out but motivation can still evaporate in an instant.  Summer training can be a daunting task full of challenges you don’t face in cooler weather, even if you’re inside.  In addition to the weather conditions, kids that are home from school, the beach or pool calling, vacations and family events all make summer training tough.  Stay motivated and on track the next few months with these tips for pushing through the barbeques and heat waves.

Register for a race.  A light at the end of your summer training tunnel is a great way to keep moving forward when it’s sticky outside.  Make it a fun race, a goal race or a race distance you’ve never run before and you’ll look forward to training.  For even more help with your summer training, work with a coach or join a running group.  Having a buddy or three makes every workout safer and a little more fun.

Set a goal.  While registering for a race automatically sets up a goal for your summer training, it’s not the only option.  Set a goal to walk two miles every night after dinner with your family or complete a certain number of miles by Labor day.  Having your spouse, children, parents or summer trainingroommates on board with your plan will help each workout fly by as you build memories that can last a lifetime.

Change location.  Try taking your summer training to the beach or the trails.  Exploring a new spot will make you excited to get out there and run, hike or bike your miles each day.  You might find a route you want to stick with all year!

Prepare and prevent.  More important then any summer training goal you have is staying safe.  Heat stroke and dehydration are serious health concerns when temperatures are high and humidity limits your body’s ability to cool itself.  Run on shaded paths, avoid outdoor sessions in direct sunlight, stick to early morning or evening hours when it’s cooler out.  Wear light colored clothing along with a hat or visor to reflect sunlight and protect your eyes.  Pack plenty of sunblock and water.  Freezing wet towels or packing a cooler with ice is another great way to make sure you’ll stay cool and hydrated on hot days.

Respect the weather.  The hotter and more humid it is, the less able your body is to keep you cool.  Gradually build up to your normal workout length giving your body time to adjust to the tougher conditions of summer training.  Add extra water breaks, slow your pace down and pay close attention to what your body is telling you when it’s hot out.  You can even consider keeping your hard workouts indoors.

Stay safe and on track to rock your fall event with these tips for summer training.

Coach Meredith

Strength Training As A Runner

Strength training as a runner is a hotly debated topic.  How much to do, when to do it, what kind to do?  No matter what your answer is, at the most basic level, strength training as a runner makes sense.  The more powerful your legs are, the more force they can put into the ground with each step.  This means you’ll be able to propel further forward at a faster rate without any increased effort.  The stronger your core is the better your running form will be.  If you’re not including muscle building activities in your training plan, you’ll miss out on all the bone density increasing, injury preventing, faster running and better form benefits it provides.

If strength training as a runner has so many benefits, what’s the problem?  Most runners aren’t sure how to add these types of workouts to already packed training schedules and end up leaving it out altogether.  This can lead to unwanted muscle imbalances, injuries and plateaus in race times.  Luckily, there are lots of ways to add strength training to your routine that won’t cramp your program and the best news is there aren’t any hard and fast rules for strength training as a runner (other than you have to do it!).  strength training as a runner

Want to try running in deep sand?  Requiring 60% more effort than running on pavement, that slippery sand works your calves, feet and ankles overtime as they try to stay stable on a moving surface.

How about Crossfit?  High intensity strength building workouts can replace easy ‘junk’ miles with lots benefits.  Increased bone density, mobility and balance will all make your more durable and prevent common overuse injuries.

Plyometrics and other body weight exercises are fantastic ways to build a better runner.  Burpees, box jumps, push-ups, pull-ups and jump rope require little space and a small strength training as a runnerinvestment in equipment.  Running hills counts, too, especially if you don’t have the beach to run on.

Mobility work and yoga is must for any runner, even if it’s just a foam roller followed by a few sequences at home.  Aiding in recovery, stretching and massaging will help muscles recover from workouts as well as eliminate imbalances that can lead to injury or poor form.

Get stronger and lower race times by using these tips for strength training as a runner to start today!

Coach Meredith

June Push-Up Challenge – 30 Days

Welcome to June and the 30 Day Push-Up Challenge!

This month Team FitNice is taking on a Challenge.  We’ll complete a designated number of push-ups each day in the month of June to get stronger this summer.

Join in on the fun by taking these simple steps:

1.  Like FitNicePT on Facebook

2.  Visit each day for your daily dose of push-ups

3.  Share pictures, comments and brags about your progress.

The challenge will introduce you to not only standard push-ups but two other varieties.  Plank push-ups and T push-ups are included to help build a strong foundation for your fitness goals.  Including push-ups in your workout routine will help build midline, core, shoulder, chest and triceps strength and stability.  This can help improve your golf swing, your running posture, your strength training power and make every day activities easier to accomplish.

A stronger, more stable upper body is an asset to any athlete and June’s 30 Day Push-Up Challenge is a great way to start building one.

If you want to get a sneak peak, check out these push-up videos on our YouTube Channel!

Push-Ups

T Push-Ups

Plank Push-Ups

push-up challenge

I can’t wait to see how far you get over the course of our 30 Day Push-Up Challenge!

Coach Meredith