Increasing your Mileage; NOT your Waistline

Back in 2010 I was a newlywed and looking for something fun to do.  I always wanted to run an endurance race and found the organization Team in Training.  I signed up to do a half marathon and just like that I was hooked.

Image may contain: one or more people

Baby Jessica @ the Long Branch Half May 2010, it was hot (like 90F) but great!

Fast forward 7 years & two kids I wanted to find a way to keep coaching and give more back to the community so I turned to TNT yet again, but this time as a coach with 3 more half marathons under my belt!


Since I am a new coach, my county doesn’t have many participants yet.  We had our first training run this past weekend on the trails in the snow and we had such great conversations I was reminded how much I love this organization and how much it gives back.  During our chat, so many running related questions came up I wanted to remember them so I could dedicate some time to answer them properly.  Not just for my team but for everyone!

The first thing we spoke about was how to  maintain a weight loss (or lose weight) when training for an endurance event.

I can’t tell you how many people think that once they start training for a run they will “lose so much weight.”  Here are a few common mistakes people make and end up with a gain at the starting line:

Overestimating the amount of calories burned during a workout and underestimating the calorie count of food

This in turn leads to a lot of “well I just ran 10 miles today, I can finish my kids plates and eat a few brownies too…”  The average mile run burns 100 calories.    When you begin training, and start by running 3-4 miles.  You are burning 300-400 calories.  The other day I looked at the bag of Cheetos I let my daughter have as a treat (no judgement please!  It’s an occasional treat) and I nearly fell over when I saw the bag was a whopping 300 calories and 20 grams of fat.    My go to mid-morning snack is Oatmeal with 1 tbsp almond butter and half a banana.  It has the same calories, more protein, less sodium and keeps me fuller longer!

Calories Carbs Protein Fat Sodium Sugar
Cheetos 310 26 3 21 500 2
Oatmeal, Almond Butter, & banana 308 44 12 10 1 9


Starving Yourself

This is a tricky one.  We need a calorie deficit to lose weight, but we need food to fuel our bodies (and our brains!)  According to Runners World, Kyra Williams, a weight loss coach certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine says this is a faux pas almost all of her female clients are guilty of. If you are working out and burning 2,500 calories a day—but only consuming 1,200—you’ll force your body to store fat,” she says. Not only that, the calorie shortage will slow down your metabolism, making it tougher to build muscle.   Your new weight loss mantra: Don’t be afraid to eat! Fill your plate with plenty of healthy carbohydrates (think fruit, starchy veggies, and whole grains), lean proteins (fish, turkey, chicken, and tofu), healthy fats (avocado, oils, nuts, and seeds), and an unlimited amount of greens and other non-starchy veggies. Bonus: Eating 1,800 to 2,000 calories of these healthy eats will keep you so full and satisfied you’ll be less likely to binge on junky foods, says Williams.

Rewarding with Food

This kind of goes back to point # 1.   I have been trying to tell all my clients (and family members) this for a while.   When you work out every day, or in the case of my toddlers eat all their veggies try a reward that isn’t food!   Reward yourself with some new running gear, or get your nails done.  For my kids I try to reward them with a trip to the movies or a game night.  Make it fun and enjoyable.  For example, if they eat (or at least try) all of their veggies for an entire week then on Sat. we can go to the movies/get a toy/go to the jungle gym etc.



This one hits so close to home.  I never liked (and still don’t) like drinking water.  So many people mistake hunger for thirst.  In my case after a long run I would start eating, then get a headache, and just eat and eat and eat and then pop some Tylenol.   That whole time I felt STARVING I was actually dehydrated!   Once I figured that out, I started trying to drink a ton of water, but I was still getting headaches!   Now, as I said I dislike drinking water, and I found that even water didn’t do the trick for me.  Here comes Coconut water.  My sister in law recommended I drink it.  I sweat A LOT during tough workouts and with sweat you are eliminating all the salts (think sodium and potassium) from your body.  I was not only deprived of water, but I was deprived of electrolytes that kept my cells functioning properly.  Sodium and Potassium are essential to the functioning of our bodies.   Sodium maintains fluid balance in your cells, helps to transmit nerve impulses throughout your body, and helps muscles contract and relax.  Potassium keeps the blood from clotting, maintains the body’s pH balance, carries nutrients to the cells, protects the stomach lining from the damage that could be caused by stomach acids, maintains healthy blood pressure, promotes heart health and preserves bone health.  WOW!   Athletes should be especially concerned with their potassium intake; potassium plays a role in the storage of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles.  Once I started drinking coconut water I miraculously was not starving and the headaches went away!  It has 4x the potassium of banana, so having a serving of coconut water, with regular water and the adequate recovery snack made all the difference.   I also like the NUUN tablets added to my water.  This leads me to my next point, not recovering properly…

Image result for coconut water potassium

Not Recovering Properly

When you don’t replace what you sweat out, you will feel hungry for hours afterwards. To avoid this, make sure to drink as soon as your run is over and more throughout the day as well as eat a well-balanced recovery meal or snack.  For optimal recovery, eat 15 to 25 grams of protein within 30 minutes after a workout. The protein will help stop muscle breakdown and begin to repair them.  Add some carbohydrates—about 2 to 4 times as much carb as protein—to this small meal or snack in order to restock your glycogen stores and prime your muscles for performance.

This is a good start for post-workout meals.   I have been reading the cookbook Run Fast, Eat Slow by elite runner Shalane Flanagan and her college bud Elyse Kopecky and I LOVE the descriptions on all the foods, like antioxidant, recovery food, etc.    I’ll see if I can pull any good recipes from there too.

What are some of your favorite recovery foods?

Any fun races you are training for?

Do you have any sports drinks you can’t live without?

If you want to learn more about Team in Training, please send me a message and I can connect you with your local chapter.

Run as if someone's life depends on it.  Team in Training benefits The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.:

Run Fast, Eat Slow plus a bug in my eye!

I am 1.5 weeks post the Philadelphia Rock N Roll Half Marathon, back at running and training for the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon and feeling good.  I owe you guys a race recap!  So psyched because I got a PR!  Special thanks to my best running friend Lauren.

I’m trying to tackle harder runs and incorporate more hills, which is pretty easy to do where I live.  Sunday I ran a pretty fast 8 miler with miles 2-3 being an uphill climb.  It felt amazing and it was definitely a runners high kind of day.

Today felt like this though…

Today I went out to tackle 6 hilly miles with a loooong and steep downhill at miles 4-5 and a bug flew in my eye at mile 1!  Ugh!  That bothered me for some time. I feel proud, I only had to walk for less than 1 minute.  

I also am beyond psyched because this gem of a cookbook was delivered today!  I heard about it on both the runners world podcast and the run like a mother podcast.  I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes.   I am going to try another recipe from Thug Kitchen tonight, a Beer Lime Cauliflower taco.  I’ll blog about that later.

Can’t wait to dive into this and share some family favorites.

Run Happy y’all!

Weekly recap: 11 weeks till Brooklyn

I ran with a friend this week!!! What a difference a running buddy makes!  I also joined the #100happydays project to find beauty in every day.  I’m enjoying the mornings immensely.

Monday: 3 mile treadmill run, 11:33 pace followed by a 20 minute bike.

Tuesday: 2 mile indoor track run, 9:30 pace followed by weight/resistance class @ the gym 

Wednesday: met a friend!  5.3 mile outdoor run 9:20 pace.   I also started the #100happydays project!

#day1- enjoyed my first tomato of the season from my garden

Thursday: Rest, couldn’t make the 6am gym class.

#day2- worked so late, but daddy took the kids to the pool, met them for pizza.

Friday: 2 mile interval runs, 9:00 pace followed but lifting full body.  #day3- summer Friday off from work.  We swam for almost 6 hours!

Saturday: rest/walked in town, swam all day.  #day4, breakfast with Oma and Opa. 

Sunday: met up with my running buddy.  7.1 miles at 9:30 pace followed by biking in town with the kids.   Had to pick up dad at the canal after my run. 


Happy running! See you next week!

Weekly recap: 12 weeks till Brooklyn

Weekly Training update.  The half marathon is 12 weeks away.  My training plan is starting to up my mid-week miles which I don’t like.  I feel safe and comfortable in the 3 mile zone!   This week called for 4,4,2 and 6 as the long run.  

Monday:  This week my husband got an improved mounting system for his bike trailer.  We had a great family bike ride after work.  The kids kept peeking their little eyes at me from behind.

We ended the bike ride at the local baseball field and the kids were so excited for ice cream.  They looked so silly I had to take a picture, then I couldn’t stop laughing!  

This is what summer looks like.  Dirty, tired kids with ice cream faces.  Workout was a 3 mile bike.  Super easy.

Tuesday, 5:30 am 4 mile run at 9:56 average pace.  I was happy with negative splits though.

Wednesday morning’s for had me like this…

I literally felt asleep the whole time. So I went for 2 and planned on knocking the last 2 out on the  treadmill later.  Needless to say. I got it done.  

Thursday took it to the gym for body pump.  It was amazing!   I even ran into a coworker.  I love making fitness friends.  

Friday Jimmy came down w a fever and had a super rough morning.  Needless to say I didn’t shower until my husband came home from work.  

Luckily, James came home and I got in a fast 3 miles in 26:17, then picked up Sam and went to our Friday yoga class.   

Saturday:  we took a bike ride into town, town pool, and I hope to meet up with a friend for my long run. 

Sunday: 6 miles along the Delaware while dad and the kids biked 7.  Finished with a dip in the river.  

On the way home we stopped at a farmers market and ran into some neighbors!  So excited for this produce!  Jimmy grabbed the peach and it was so juicy he was covered in peachy goodness.

Finished the day at the town pool, I couldn’t get the kids out of the water! Sam is doing amazing and Jimmy is a little fish too! 

Nothing like a summer day.

Next week mileage is 5,5, 3, & 7 miles! 

Guest Bloggers coming soon!

I am really getting some traction with this blog and I have to say it is so FUN to reach like minded people, and feel like I am contributing something to this crazy (sometimes sad) world.

As we all know, I am a chemist and I will be the first one to tell you I am not the best chef.  Don’t get me wrong, when I have a recipe I am a great cook… that is probably why I love baking so much.  It is a science you know.   I have been getting better with practice BUT my cousins, wow, they can cook!

So, I am super excited to announce my cousins will be joining the blog and contributing some amazing recipes for all of us!    The 3 of us are 5 years and 2 months apart to the date.  How crazy is that?



annaleighAnnaleigh is my cousin 5 years my junior.  She lives up in NH and grew up in the south of Maine.  She is an aesthetician and owns her own spa Banana Peels Studio.  If you are in the NH area, check it out.  She is fabulous.  She is also a health coach, pet lover, and engaged to a wonderful man Tom.  She specializes in vegetarian and vegan recipes that taste scrumptious!   I am always in awe of all the foods she posts on facebook.  Smoothie bowls, chia pudding desserts, vegan donuts, kale salads, protein energy balls… to name a few.   I am so excited to see what she contributes to our blog!  



jenJennifer is my cousin 5 years my senior.  I have looked up to Jenn since before I can remember.  She is a literary genius.  I remember she was reading Russian literature for fun when she was in 8th grade just because she had already read all the classics and needed something new.   Jenn is the hit of every party because she makes the most fabulous recipes.  At Thanksgiving it is Jenn that makes the “turducken” and 3 kinds of stuffing because she couldn’t just settle on one.   She is going to contribute some serious deliciousness.

Please join me in welcoming these 2 ladies to our blogging family, and as always if you have any requests for a fact friday to debunk any questions you may have or if you are looking for any new recipes comment below or click the “contact me” link!    I will also be sharing some of my family friendly recipes that are quick and easy 🙂


Fact Friday: What are GMOs? Are they good or bad?

This week I had the pleasure to go to NYC’s Summer Fancy Food Show.  It was booth after booth of food.

While it was absolutely amazing, I was struck by the sheer # of people whose top claims on their products were non-GMO, organic, & gluten free.  Don’t get me started on gluten free.  If you don’t have Siliac’s disease or a gluten intolerance, your body can digest and process gluten.  Of course you feel better when you don’t eat lot gluten… Because who feels great after eating an entire box of pasta and bread followed by cake?  No one.  Downing an entire box of gluten free pasta won’t be any better for you.  Eat your gluten.  Rant over.

GMOs on the other hand were interesting to me and since I didn’t know all the facts, I couldn’t make an opinion, so I started asking a lot of the farmers & business owners “what are GMOs, and why are they bad?”

Here is what I came out with (plus some additional research) on the Cons AND Pros of GMOs.

GMOs are genetically modified organisms.  What I had originally thought was that they were genetically modified mainly for size.  For example, if you had a big tomato and a teeny tiny one, extract the genes from the big one and continue to grow that strain so you always have big tomatoes.  It would be similar to if you wanted a blue eyed baby to make sure both parents had blue eyes only… (Hopefully we NEVER do that! But you get the idea).  The reason we need to do that is our population is growing so we need more food.

Ok here comes the “bad.”

1.  Pesticide Resilience:  A lot of companies started making food that was resilient to pesticides, that way they could plant a field, spray pesticides all over the plants and the food would survive but all the weeds and bugs would die.  This is bad for 2 reasons, 1- harsher pesticides that we could possibly ingest, and 2- using stronger pesticides leads to super bugs and weeds that you need even stronger pesticides to kill and so it perpetuates the vicious cycle.

2.  Single Strains of crops.  In Mexico, there used to be hundreds of different strains of corn.  If there was a blight, it may only affect a few select strains of corn and the rest would survive.  With the GMOs, because they are more resilient (like super plants)  they are starting to take over the heirloom crops and effectively make other strains extinct.   Think of the potato famine in Ireland.  Because there was only 1 kind of potato planted,  all the potatoes in the blight were affected- therefore no potatoes survived.  Same idea.  If we wipe out other strains of foods and there comes a bug or something that kills it…. There goes your entire crop.

3.  Monarch Butterflies:  ever wonder why the symbol on the Non-GMO icon is a butterfly?  
Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed to survive.  The monarch butterfly lays it’s eggs only on milkweed because that is all that the caterpillars eat.  The pesticide glycophosphate has basically eradicated milkweed so the butterfly can no longer migrate up to Canada and there are about 50% less butterflies in Mexico.    What’s interesting though is, milkweed is still a weed, and farmers don’t want it near their crops, so where is the fine line of farmers making a profit on their crops and the future of butterflies?  I found this to be a great article.    What some people are thinking is to strategically plant milkweed for butterfly survival, that way it isn’t naturally occurring in farmers fields but still there for butterfly food.

4.  Honey Bees- what would we do without bees to pollinate our crops?

This is another theory, that the pesticides are contributing to the loss of bee colonies which would be devastating to agriculture.  Again, this is where the science comes in.  Is this actually true?  There are many factors leading to the decline of the bee, pesticides may or may not be one of them.  I found this article interesting.
OK so that was what people are saying as to why we should not use GMOs but I actually did not see much sound science in these claims.  We also have to realize that organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency have pretty bright people working for them and they don’t want to harm any of us, they are people just like you and me.  They are governing pesticide use and GMOs…

Now you may be asking the question, why do we need pesticides?

Pesticides are used to control various pests and disease carriers, such as mosquitoes, ticks, rats and mice. Pesticides are used in agriculture to control weeds, insect infestation and diseases.  There are many different types of pesticides; each is meant to be effective against specific pests.  This article by the Environmental Protection Agency goes into the different types.   They help control West Nile virus, Lyme disease, bird flu and rabies.   Microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and protozoans, can cause microbial contamination in hospitals, public health clinics, and food processing facilities.


LASTLY, Why do we need GMOs?

With the world population increasing, we have been able to produce more food per acre than before.  More food on less land.   Also, most GMOs have been modified to actually be BUG resistant (NOT pesticide resistant)  so for particular crops it has reduced insecticide spraying (which is good).  They have also increased crop production.  With increased yields of crops, there is less hunger, more profit for the farmers and it has lifted economies out of poverty.    Some crops are also modified to have better photosynthesis or to be self fertilizing.

This quote was pulled from a large amount of research and I really couldn’t agree more.

Most of the perceived ills of genetically modified foods are either illusory or far smaller than believed. And what the data suggests is that the benefits, while modest in the rich world today, might be quite substantial in the future, and are already much larger in the parts of the world where the battle over GMO approval is most actively raging.

GMOs are neither poison nor panacea. What they are is a toolkit, a varied one, with real benefits to the environment and millions of people today; with the real potential to have a larger positive impact immediately if they’re allowed to; and with the possibility of a dramatically larger benefit down the road as the science behind them improves.

Read the full article here   I think it would be beneficial to have GMO labeling for people that this is a concern for so you can be well informed but I don’t think this science is bad in it’s totality.


So what does this mean for you and me?  For me, I thought it was interesting information and things I hadn’t really thought about.  Will I only buy non-GMO food now?  Probably not.  Do what the information what you will, but this is something the farmers and governments will be battling out I’m sure.  For now, I have a family to feed and whether my kids eat non-GMO organic strawberries or regular it doesn’t matter much to me as long as they are eating fruit.  With how quickly they devour said fruit, I can’t afford the non-GMO organic option, and honestly I don’t think it matters.


Random facts for today 

  • I love all things hot pink when it comes to workout gear.  
  • I saw a turtle, rabbit, fish jumping, a robin, and squirrels on my run this morning.
  • Jimmy woke up (day 3 of potty training) and did a BIG peepee on the potty
  • I listened to Maroon 5, Ke$ha, and John Mellencamp on my run this morning
  • I have a newfound love for coconut water post run.  Headaches be gone. 
  • It’s 8:30 and my daughter is still sleeping.  That is unheard of.  

  • Sam pretended she was geko girl yesterday and climbed my walls

  • Sam made me a “fancy restaurant drink” yesterday and she topped it off with a bitten apple.  Her drink was actually delicious.  Iced tea with seltzer and apple

  • Jimmy is potty training and loves superman.  He is doing so good!

  • Sam is learning how to swim and will keep her head in the water for at least 4 seconds!!!

What are some random facts about you? 

Running to relieve Stress

To anyone I have interacted with the past 2 days, I’m sorry (especially to my kids and husband).  I don’t know what it was but I felt this enormous stress, like I could literally feel my blood pressure and any little thing made me want to explode. 

I think a big part of that was the past week I made the choice to sleep in instead of getting up early to workout.   I didn’t notice how much those hours exercising before the house was awake helped my sanity and set the tone for the rest of the day.  

First off, you get to admire the morning sky.  

Then, you get to enjoy your coffee, you can think, and you can envision how you want your day to go.

I’m training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon in October so I took myself at 6am to the Delaware & Raritan Canal for my run.  A nice easy 7 miles along the Delaware.  

Whenever I got tired I tried to remember all the things I’ve read on running

  • Don’t swing your arms
  • Lead with your heart
  • Pick up your feet
  • Don’t kick your feet out

Writing these it must sound like I have horrendous running form, not really but I tend to get sloppy as I get tired.  

Now it’s off to celebrate the two men I love most in this world (aside from my son).  My husband and my dad.

And family, if I start to lose it today, remind me of my run.  Everything is going to be ok.

Won’t Stop till Brooklyn

I can’t believe it, it is now official!  I registered for the Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon! 

I have been doing at home workouts exclusively for 1 year now.   While I got phenomenal results, it was time to get outside and switch things up.

A few weeks ago, my awesome sister in law invited me into her “summer running streak” group, in 3 weeks I logged 44 miles so I figured if I could do that I could sign up for a race.  Nothing keeps me motivated like a race date.    Super excited for this puppy, and yes I get excited to add a medal to my wall.

Brooklyn - Half Marathon

Now comes the hard part.  For me, it is scheduling in those long runs.   My husband works Saturdays, and my kids are 2 and 4 so I will either be headed to the gym for a date with the treadmill and Netflix, or an early morning Sunday before our family day.

Anyone else running this race?  Anyone interested in training with me?  I’d love to interact with fellow runners during the training.  It is always more fun to train with a friend, even a virtual one.

All before 8 am

Some days fly by.

Last year I attended a TED talk given my by company.  The CEO, Alex Gorsky, really is a phenomenal man.  He practices what he preaches and I felt (and still feel) so proud to be a part of his company.  He is super active, runs marathons and always participates in the yearly company sponsored triathlon.  He also needs to travel the world for business on a regular basis.

Something he said really rang true to me.  He said “I have no control over what the day throws at me, but I can control how early I wake up.”

Although I’m not a CEO, I feel the same way about being a working mom & wife.   Since I’ve started waking up earlier, I feel like I’ve added so much “free” time to my day.

Although it’s not glamorous.  Proof below.

Today we needed to get the kids up, dressed, and fed so I could be out the door by 7:30.

My run started around 5:45am, it was so beautiful out this morning!
I ran a nice 3.5ish mile loop around my neighborhood.  It was bright, it was the perfect themperature, the sun was shining through the trees, hardly any cars out… I ran into several deer though.  Those pesky buggers weren’t even scared!

I rocked out to some Britney Spears Pandora…

When I got home there was someone who had just woken up and was waiting for me by the door

Look at those sleepy eyes!

Before I could even stop sweating, we had work to do.  It was breakfast time!

Luckily, we made it out on time.  Kids fed and dressed, lunch packed for mom, shake in hand.    These kids don’t know how good they have it!  Breakfast was all set when Jimmy came downstairs.

Coffee and in my meeting by 8.  It’s lunch now… Is the day over yet?

It wasn’t fast, but it felt good.

Snapchat:  jessicaheidifit