character counts

February 5, 2009

Great post by Michael Josephson “I Just have to Outrun You.” 

‘Nuff said.


10.19.08 – Nike Marathon, phew that’s done!

October 21, 2008

Congratulations to everyone who ran the race of a lifetime yesterday at Nike’s Half and Full Marathons. We all did a fantastic job! A million thank you’s, kisses, and hugs all around go to our own precious Ann who really showed what a PowerGal is made of by running the few last miles with anyone who needed encouragement and help. In the end she probably ran a full marathon herself. Who loves Ann? We do!!!

From the point of view of someone who generally despises endurance training, here are my thoughts:

1. It is disheartening to me that the gals running the full marathon ended up running by themselves at the moment when they could have used the company of their friends the most. For future events where we sign up as a group, we stick together through “thick and thin,” and finish together. There is no point in running by yourself unless you are vying for the Olympics. You can do that on your own time. We don’t go to a restaurant together and then get separate tables. We don’t come to boot camp together and then disperse around to train on our own. Adrian/Josh say “No soldier left behind” and they are right. Nuff said. 

2. On that note, I’m not keeping track of race times anymore. We are not competing against each other. 🙂

3. On another note, official race times are always screwed up. For example, Ann, Maria, and I crossed the finish line together (i.e. holding hands) yet our overall and gender placement is off by the thousands. It also shows that our times are off by hours and minutes. It also shows that Celinda ran a half instead of a full. So don’t put a lot of stock on numbers and go by your own, or better yet: just be glad you completed a grueling race. If you still want to look because you are a masochist, click here to get the “official” time for the Nike race.   

4. Maria and I had a grand time. We almost feel guilty about that. Ha ha…Not once did we complain. Heck we didn’t even hurt! We chose to believe Smokey’s spirit was carrying us through and somehow that made the task easy to endure. The moral of the story is to have a cause, person, thought, etc. that you recur to when times are tough. Future group events should have a cause attached to them.

5. It has now been proven that we don’t need to train excessively to do this or any other race (big part of the blame goes to me for putting together the marathon training schedule- bad bad coach). Of the three girls who ran the half marathon, exactly none trained at all, yet they were able to complete it fine and more importantly without injuries. In fact, we all felt like we could have easily finished the full marathon. Granted, we were not running for time but we would have finished it nonetheless…which is THE ONLY POINT.

6. Building on the above, we need to start training smarter. Training for volume is only an invitation for a lifetime of injuries. I’ll say this until I’m blue in the face “you only have one body for life.” Please, please, please, take care of it. Sometimes you get second chances but what if you don’t? One of the most important components of training is rest. Heed your body’s warnings, it knows what it can and cannot do. Follow your gut feeling and you’ll be fine. Also, we are not 15 anymore. Ha ha.

7. We need to diversify. Running races is not the only thing we can and should be doing. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. That is the true measure of fitness, when you can translate your current training into sports you haven’t done before. Future group events will include things like white water rafting, swimming, snowboarding, underwater basket weaving, or a night at the arcade…you get my gist. 

These are my thoughts anyway. From the bottom of my heart. I’m sorry if I offend anyone but I don’t want the group to lose its focus and fabulousity!

live longer

October 16, 2008

This article caught my eye: Surprising Signs You’ll Live Longer Than You Think.

1. Your mom had you young – If mom was under age 25, you’re twice as likely to live to 100 as someone born to an older mom, according to University of Chicago scientists. They suspect that younger moms’ best eggs go first to fertilization, thus producing healthier offspring.

2. You are a tea lover – Both green and black teas contain a concentrated dose of catechins, substances that help blood vessels relax and protect your heart. 

3. You keep fit – “Fit” peopledefined as those who walk for about 30 minutes a dayare more likely to live longer than those who walk less, regardless of how much body fat they have.

4. You skip soda (even diet) – Drinking one or more regular or diet colas every day doubles your risk of metabolic syndromea cluster of conditions, including high blood pressure, elevated insulin levels, and excess fat around the waist, that increase your chance of heart disease and diabetes.

5. You have strong legs – Lower-body strength translates into good balance, flexibility, and endurance. As you get older, those attributes are key to reducing your risk of falls and injuriesparticularly hip fractures, which often quickly lead to declining health.

6. You eat purple food – Concord grapes, blueberries, red wine: They all get that deep, rich color from polyphenols, compounds that reduce heart disease risk and may also protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Polyphenols help keep blood vessels and arteries flexible and healthy.

7. You were a healthy weight teen – Being overweight at age 14 increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in adulthood. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease than those without the condition.

8. You don’t like burgers – A few palm-size servings (about 2 1/2 ounces) of beef, pork, or lamb now and then is no big deal, but eating more than 18 ounces of red meat per week ups your risk of colorectal cancer. One of the reasons is carcinogens that can form when meat is grilled, smoked, or cured or when preservatives, such as nitrates, are added.

9. You’ve been a college freshman – People with more than 12 years of formal education (even if it’s only one year of college) live 18 months longer than those with fewer years of schooling. Why? The more education you have, the less likely you are to smoke.

10. You really like your friends – Knowing you have people who support you keeps you healthy, mentally and physically. Chronic stress weakens the immune system and ages cells faster, ultimately shortening life span by 4 to 8 years.

11. Your friends are healthy – If your closest friends gain weight, your chance of doing the same could increase by 57 percent. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to associate with people who have similar goals.

12. You don’t have a housekeeper – Just by vacuuming, mopping floors, or washing windows for a little more than an hour, the average person can burn about 285 calories, lowering risk of death by 30 percent.

13. You are a flourisher – About 17 percent of Americans are flourishers. They have a positive outlook on life, a sense of purpose and community, and are healthier than “languishers”about 10 percent of adults who don’t feel good about themselves. Most of us fall somewhere in between. In Sardinia and Okinawa, where people live the longest, hard work is important, but not more so than spending time with family, nurturing spirituality, and doing for others.


parmesan encrusted tilapia with lemony green beans

October 13, 2008

Another tilapia recipe from Shape magazine.

Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia with Lemony Green Beans
2 servings – Per serving: 376 cal, 17g fat, 9g carbs, 47g protein
4 skinless tilapia fillets (1 pound total)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ pound green beans, ends trimmed
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the broiler. Cut the tilapia fillets lengthwise into two pieces, then pat dry with a paper towel and season to taste with pepper. In a small bowl, combine basil and Parmesan cheese; set aside. In a large saucepan, bring water for beans to a boil. 

Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy ovenproof skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sauté the fish for 3 minutes or until brown. Flip the fillets over and remove the skillet from heat. Dust the tilapia with the cheese mixture. Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the fish and slightly brown the cheese, about 3 to 4 minutes. 

As the fish cooks, add beans to boiling water. Lower heat and cook for 5 minutes or until bright green (beans should still be crisp). Drain beans and run under cold water. Shake off excess water and set aside. 

Mix lemon juice, lemon zest, pepper, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Add green beans and toss to coat; warm for 30 seconds in the microwave. Divide fish fillets and green beans on two plates and serve.


October 10, 2008

The official PowerFit Camp t-shirts are here! Visit the artoffitness store at Zazzle by clicking here (

Zazzle is really fun because it lets you customize your clothing to be exactly what you want. You can change the t-shirt type, size, color, and even the design (i.e. font, color, text, logo).

So feel free to play around and customize your shirt. I promise I won’t get mad. 😉

what the hill shirt
Just a sample

wild mushroom and tomato ragout with polenta

October 9, 2008

Wild Mushroom and Tomato Ragout with Polenta
4 servings – Per serving: 164 cal, 5g fat, 26g carbs, 4g protein

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon tomato paste
2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster)
3 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth, divided
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
2/3 cup quick-cooking polenta
2 tablespoons shaved Parmesan

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and mushrooms; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in ½ cup broth, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes. Add grape tomatoes and cook 5 more minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Bring 3 cups of broth, rosemary, and sage to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly pour in polenta. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes until mixture thickens.

Spoon polenta into four bowls and top each with a portion of ragout and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

grilled tilapia with couscous and avocado

October 8, 2008

Another yummy recipe from Women’s Health magazine…

Grilled Tilapia with Couscous and Avocado
4 servings – Per serving: 446 calories, 20 g fat (3.4 g saturated), 388 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 38 g protein

2 tsp mild chili powder
1 Tbsp + 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
4 tilapia fillets (6 oz each)
3/4 c Israeli couscous 
3 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 c chopped scallions
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 c diced avocado
2 sliced grilled lemons (optional)

1. Preheat grill or grill pan and prepare couscous according to package instructions. 

2. Combine chili powder and 1 tablespoon olive oil; brush over tilapia. Grill fish for about 2 minutes on each side.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce, scallions, parsley, and avocado. Fold into couscous and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Place each fillet on a bed of couscous; garnish plate with grilled lemon (optional).