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Sunday, December 18, 2011

WDW Marathon Waiver Link

Race day waivers are now available for printing at Run Disney.

2012 WDW Marathon Waiver Link (Click Here)

I can't seem to find the "track your runner link" if anyone knows were to find that let me know and I will add it here.

 Spectator Resources does have a nice tool for following a runner around on property. It also acts as a nice pace tracker for yourself. For that tool (Click Here)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Made your list? Checked it twice?

Greetings fellow Disney runners! Well the time is fast approaching and as the jolly one himself prepares to turn his attention from this year’s naughty and nice list to his Disney packing list, (Yes I have it on good authority that Santa comes down every year to check in with the elves running Winter Summerland)

I must ask, have you started your marathon weekend packing list?



C’mon go ahead and admit it, you’ve had your Mickey carryon packed since July. Am I right? Yeah I knew it.

But seriously here’s a list of things to be sure and include or to get organized pre-trip. If I miss something please be sure to leave a comment.

Before you pack:

A brief word about getting the most “Disney” out of the whirlwind that is marathon weekend.

Park hours are available on line. Be sure to look up each park and to also note any special extra magic hours. With the expo and various planned meets getting in some worthwhile escapism comes at a premium. If you are planning on visiting the parks over the weekend consider making a list of not to miss attractions. Many of us have not yet seen the updated queue at the Haunted Mansion. That one is certainly on my list.

A word about Disney buses. If you are foregoing the use of a car and will be using Disney transportation for the first time know this, Disney buses do not travel between resorts. To get from one resort to another you will have to bus to a Disney park or to Downtown Disney and then take another bus to reach another resort. This may affect those of you planning to attend our late lunch at Whispering Canyon Saturday afternoon. If using the buses, be sure to allow enough time to get around.

Confirm your flight schedule. If using Magical Express confirm any changes with Disney.

Visit the RunDisney Website and print out your race day waiver(s)

If you provided proof of time to RunDisney earlier in the year it’s not a bad idea to also print off a copy of that confirmation should you need it at packet pickup.

Check the 10 day forecast for Orlando. (purchase winter running gear if needed, but please let’s just collectively agree now to fasting and prayer before hand so that this is not necessary.)

Aside from your everyday clothing and personal care products…

Running shirt(s), short(s), and shoe(s) for each event.

Disposable clothing to stay warm during cool pre-race hours. These should be items that can easily be shed just before the race or during if you can do so without causing a problem to other nearby runners. Be certain that if you take off a layer of clothing on the course that it gets tossed completely onto the shoulder of the road. Keep a look out on the road ahead of you because some people will just drop clothes right on the road. Check your local Dollar Store or Walmart for inexpensive choices.

Another option for staying warm is using a 30 gallon garbage bag in which you can cut a hole out of for your head. This actually works very well in containing body heat. Something like this should be shed before entering the corrals. I say this because once shed, the bags tend to blow around the course.

Body Glide (don't run without it!!!)



Charging cords for any electronics you plan to use either on or off the course. (IE: Ipod, Cell Phone, GPS)

K-tape or any other wrap material you might use.

Clif Shot Bloks, Sharkies, GU, Sports Beans. (don't experiment with flavors. bring what you know you like. Does anyone who ran W&D back in 2010 remember the Strawberry Bloks that were handed out at mile nine only to be spit out by runners over the next quarter mile? not pretty.)

Splenda: Hard to believe but during my last trip Splenda was nowhere to be found. Word across the Disney community is that it has been on back order since Richard cleaned out the stock at Whispering Canyon.


Cash for a post marathon margarita celebration at La Cava del Tequila. (ok you may want to shower first, I’ll save you a spot)

Have I missed anything? Please leave a comment.

Update 12/4/11

Don't forget any costume or accessories that go with said costume.

Runners belt to carry an ID, post run cash, or your own GU or Bloks that were mentioned above.

Entertainment for during your flight or drive. May I suggest picking up a copy of "101 Things Your Grandpa Didn't Teach You About Oranges" by Mississipi Matt

Friday, October 14, 2011

100-year-old runner hopes to set record in Toronto

Fauja Singh hopes to become the first 100-year-old to finish a marathon. Lucy Lopez reports.The turbaned tornado0:00
Beginning of Story Content

Like many of the runners in Sunday’s Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon, 100-year-old Fauja Singh has his sights set on breaking a record.

But unlike the 5,000 other entrants in Sunday’s big run, Singh won’t be running with a finish time in mind. Instead, the man whose authorized biography is entitled The Turbaned Tornado, is out to become the first person on the planet to finish a full-distance marathon past the age of 100. If he manages to accomplish the feat, Singh will set a Guinness World Record.

Sunday’s run will be Singh’s eighth marathon. In 2003, in the same Toronto marathon, he set a record in the 90-plus category, finishing the 42.1 kilometres in five hours, 40 minutes and one second.

His coach and interpreter admits the run will be a challenge: He hasn’t completed the full marathon distance since he was 92, a full eight years ago.
Weighing only 115 pounds, marathon runner Fauja Singh sticks to a light diet, according to his coach.Weighing only 115 pounds, marathon runner Fauja Singh sticks to a light diet, according to his coach. CBC

"He's really happy, and looking forward to it,” said his coach and translator Harmander Singh, whose "student" only speaks Punjabi.

"In the past he used to look forward to the challenge because he had to set times and everything. Now he hasn't been running a marathon distance for a number of years, so there is a concern. But he's determined to finish with the blessing of God. He's going to rely on God to help him out."

Fauja Singh, a British citizen, was born on a farm in India in April 1911. He stands five foot eight inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds.

Part of his secret, according to his coach, is that he eats a light diet of mainly tea, toast and curry.

Harmander Singh said Fauja turned to running after losing his wife and child to “tragic circumstances” about 20 years ago. His coach said Fauja Singh didn’t want to discuss those tragic circumstances. Part of his outlook is maintaining a constant focus on the positive.

“Running has given him a new focus in life,” said Harmander.

On Thursday, during a series of runs in Scarborough, Fuja Singh broke world records for runners older than 100 in eight different distances ranging from 100 metres to 5,000 metres.

"He just enjoyed the run. The records are a bonus," said Harmander Singh.

Alan Brookes, race director for Sunday's marathon, said Fauja Singh is an inspiration to all athletes, young and old.
'Remarkable physical talent'

"He’s a remarkable human being,” said Brookes. “He's having a great impact around the world on our sport but also much broader than that ... to show what you can do with dedication, determination and a good dose of courage."

Through his running, Fauja Singh aims to raise money for local charities including, the Gur Gobind Singh Children's Foundation, which has a mandate to help children meet basic needs.

His coach said it’s no accident Singh has chosen to make his latest mark in the Toronto marathon.

“He loves the people here," said Harmander Singh. “This is a special place to him."

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wanted: Marathon runners to save Disney Princesses from diabolical plot.

The following is intended to offer motivation to anyone planning to participate during Walt Disney’s Marathon Weekend.

On the morning following the Disneyland Half Marathon, Walt Disney World cast members arriving at Cinderella’s Royal table found the doors to the popular dining hall had been bolted from the inside. However, Guest services did manage to gain access to the hall about an hour later only to discover a meeting of the Disney villains led by Maleficent.

Not one to be deterred by the presence of mere mortals, Maleficent continued to spell out her diabolical plan to turn our beloved Disney Princesses into the semblances of their evil counterparts.

Maleficent threatened that the Princesses would be kidnapped prior to Disney Marathon weekend in January and that before mid-day of that Sunday’s event the transformation would be completed high atop Spaceship Earth. Thus destroying the dreams of would be princesses around the world.

To ensure that no one interferes with her diabolical plan, Maleficent has assigned a number of Disney villains to guard the miles of road leading into Epcot.

    Guard Mile 01: Pete
    Guard Mile 02: Big Bad Wolf
    Guard Mile 03: Doctor Facilier
    Guard Mile 04: Captain Hook
Guard Mile 05: Horace and Jasper

Guard Mile 06: Stromboli

Guard Mile 07: Shere Khan

Guard Mile 08: Professor Ratigan

Guard Mile 09: Sheriff of Nottingham

Guard Mile 10: Gaston

Guard Mile 11: Queen of Hearts

Guard Mile 12: Mad Madam Mim

Guard Mile 13: Jafar

Guards Mile 14: Madame Medusa's pet crocodiles. Brutus and Nero

Guards Mile 15: Shenzi, Banzai and Ed

Guard Mile 16: Scar

Guard Mile 17: Hopper

Guard Mile 18: Sid Phillips

Guard Mile 19: Syndrome

Guard Mile 20: Randall Boggs

Guard Mile 21: Zurg

Guard Mile 22: Ursula

Guards Mile 23: Pain and Panic

Guard Mile 24: Hades

Guard Mile 25: Evil Queen

Guard Mile 26: Maleficent

After handing out assignments to her gathered minions, Maleficent along with all the other villains vanished into a puff of green smoke.

As the smoke began to clear bright lights of pink, blue, and green descended from the rafters and Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather stepped from the clearing smoke.

Merryweather reassured the Cast Members and the hungry, yet patient guests behind them that not one but four heroes shall arise to foil Maleficent’s plan.  And those heros are:
Donald, Goofy, Mickey and let us not forget the "d'Artagnan" of this fearless group...
Your mission (as I'm sure you have already guessed) is to fulfill your role as the Disney Character whose race you have selected for this upcoming January. With each completed mile you will have defeated one of Maleficents minions as you charge forth toward the next.
Defeating these villains is not an easy task and will require many weeks of preparation. (good thing that a super villain such as Malficent has granted us 17 weeks notice before unleashing her plan)  
In the weeks ahead visualize the villains you will face at each mile. Train hard, the Princesses are counting on you!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Strategies for Training and Competing in the Heat and Humidity

Strategies for Training and Competing in the Heat and Humidity
By: Christopher D. Jensen, PhD, MPH, RD
Nutrition & Epidemiology Researcher
Training and competing are usually plenty tough. But add sweltering heat or the drenching humidity of summer to the equation, and the degree of difficulty rises to a whole new level. Heat and humidity are probably the most common performance-impairing environmental challenges you'll encounter as a high school athlete. So it definitely pays to know how to safely and effectively train — and compete — in the heat.

Working your muscles makes you faster, stronger — and hotter
You'd like to think that all the energy your muscles are churning out during exercise is going towards making you faster or stronger. In truth, about 75% of that muscle energy is turned into heat. If that heat were to remain in your body, your core temperature would quickly rise, and your performance would rapidly plummet. You'd also be at risk for heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke, caused by hyperthermia.

Fortunately, your body has powerful physiological mechanisms for eliminating muscle-generated heat. In addition, there are important strategies you can employ to maximize your athletic performance and reduce the dangers of exercising in the heat and humidity.

Temperature regulation in action
The physiological term for managing your core body temperature is thermoregulation, and there are two important mechanisms for keeping your cool:

As your muscles crank out the heat, blood flowing through muscle tissue absorbs the heat and carries it away and toward the skin. Triggered by an uptick in core body temperature, your brain sends a signal to the blood vessels in your skin to dilate or expand. This allows the skin to hold a larger volume of warmed blood. If the ambient air is cooler than the temperature of your skin, a heat exchange occurs, and heat from the blood circulating in the skin is released to the cooler surroundings. You cool off in the process.

Heat loss is further accelerated by sweating. As you exercise, your core temperature rises and your sweat glands receive a signal from the brain to begin secreting sweat onto your skin. If the ambient air is sufficiently dry, sweat evaporates from your skin and a cooling effect takes place.

Double whammy: heat and humidity
When the air temperature exceeds 96.8°F (36°C), instead of heat flowing from your skin to the outside environment, heat exchange is reversed, and your body begins to absorb heat from the environment. So when it's scorching outside, one of your two key thermoregulatory mechanisms has essentially been knocked out of commission.

When this occurs, sweating becomes the primary means for eliminating the heat generated by muscle contraction. When you're training or competing hard outdoors in the heat, a sweat rate of 34–85 fl oz per hour (1.0–2.5 liters per hour) is typical. In sweltering conditions, sweat rates of greater than 85 fl oz per hour (2.5 liters per hour) can occur.

What about when you face both heat and humidity? This formidable duo poses a serious challenge to thermoregulation during exercise because when you add humidity to the mix, the air is heavy with moisture. If the air were dry, sweat would evaporate readily from the skin, and a cooling effect would result. But when the surrounding air is saturated with moisture, sweat doesn't effectively evaporate from your skin during exercise. Instead, it builds up and then drips off your body. As a result, you lose the cooling effect of sweat evaporation.

Thus, the combination of high heat and humidity puts a serious damper on your ability to thermoregulate. In these extreme conditions, you risk having the heat load build up to a critical level at which your body can't function optimally. At that point, you experience very strong signals from your body, asking you to stop exercising in order to lower your core temperature. However, some athletes have been known to labor on and fight through these strong biological cues, only to end up suffering serious heat illnesses from the very high core body temperatures that result.

Dehydration: another insult
Dehydration is another critical factor that influences your ability to cool yourself during exercise. When it's hot out, sweating is the primary means for eliminating heat generated by contracting muscles, and sweat rates of 34–85 fl oz per hour (1.0–2.5 liters per hour) or more are common. However, for this cooling mechanism to function optimally, the fluids you're losing as sweat need to be replaced. The problem is that during exercise, you typically don't feel a sensation of thirst until after you've lost 1–2% of your body weight as fluid. That equates to 1.5–3.0 lbs. of fluid for a 150-lb athlete (0.68–1.36 kg for a 68-kg athlete). With that amount of fluid loss, you're already in the throes of dehydration; your body's ability to cool itself is undermined because dehydration results in decreased blood flow to the skin and a lower sweat rate. Thus, both mechanisms for thermoregulation are compromised when you're running low on fluids.

Navigate heat and humidity: acclimate first
Fortunately, there are strategies you can employ to help you stay cool when training or competing in hot, humid weather. Acclimating to the heat is an important one.

You can acclimate to the heat by regular exposure to hot environments. A key adaptation that occurs with heat acclimation is an increase in the volume of fluid that circulates in your body. With more fluid available, the heart pumps more fluid with each beat, and this leads to a lower heart rate during exercise. In addition, less sodium is excreted in sweat and urine. The extra sodium retained in your body is useful in maintaining an appropriate sodium concentration in the blood when the fluid volume expands. Interestingly, a low-sodium diet seems to impair the body's ability to expand fluid volume. So if you're trying to acclimate to the heat, make sure you're consuming adequate sodium. Two other critical adaptations include the onset of sweating at a lower core temperature and a higher sweat rate.

The increase in fluid volume and lower heart rate occur within about 3–6 days of daily heat exposure. The decrease in sweat and urine sodium takes about 5–10 days, and the increase in sweat rate and the lower temperature threshold for the onset of sweating and dilation of blood vessels in the skin occur in 1–2 weeks.

Training sessions of about 100 minutes in hot conditions are most effective for inducing heat acclimation, and there is no advantage to spending additional time in the heat. Also, exercising in the heat every third day for 30 days is the acclimatization equivalent of exercising every day for 10 days.

Keep in mind that heat acclimation is not permanent. Effects gradually disappear if they are not maintained by repeated exposure to heat. Adaptations start to disappear in about a week and are mostly gone within 30 days. Also, adaptations to dry heat seem to endure longer than adaptations to the combination of heat and humidity. Finally, the better trained you are endurance-wise, the faster acclimation occurs and the longer the effects are sustained. So if you have a big competition coming up in extreme weather conditions, plan your training accordingly.

Other Important Heat/Humidity Strategies

Timing of competitions and workouts
If there is a lower-temperature or lower-humidity time of day to train or compete, take advantage of it. If a competition is scheduled for smack-dab in the heat of the day, talk to event organizers or coaches and see if the time can be changed to early morning or evening when conditions are more bearable. Encourage your fellow athletes to support you.

Clothing worn while exercising becomes a layer of insulation that interferes with heat transfer from your skin to the environment. It can also hinder the evaporation of sweat, which is the most important route for eliminating heat when it's really hot outside. So as a practical matter, minimize the amount of clothing you wear in hot weather conditions, and make sure it poses the least amount of interference to evaporation.

You might guess that adapting to the heat would decrease your need for fluids, but in reality, the opposite is true. Because you sweat sooner and at a faster rate when you're acclimated to the heat, your fluid needs are higher. Researchers have found that after dehydration takes hold, core body temperatures are the same, whether or not you've acclimated to the heat beforehand. So all those hard-earned advantages of heat acclimation are wiped out if you become dehydrated.

To stay hydrated during exercise, consume fluids at a rate that closely matches sweat rate. This typically requires in the range of 13–26 fl oz (400–800 ml) for every hour of exercise, preferably taken in smaller amounts every 15 minutes or so. However, fluid needs can vary considerably, so determining your sweat rate is the best approach. It's really quite simple, and it's important to calculate your sweat rate for the various environmental conditions you will encounter, including hot and humid conditions. To calculate your sweat rate and to obtain a personalized plan to meet your unique hydration needs, click on the Sweat Rate Calculator at PowerBar.com.

Opt for a sports drink
A sports drink such as Ironman PERFORM™ sports drink offers critical advantages over plain water when it comes to keeping hydrated in the heat and humidity, because a well-designed sports drink contains sodium, carbohydrates, and flavor. Research shows that athletes voluntarily consume more fluids when their beverages are flavored. Sodium and carbohydrates are important because both are actively transported into cells after ingestion, which helps speed fluid absorption. The sodium in a sports drink also encourages you to keep drinking fluids when you're exercising, which is vital to staying hydrated, and it helps you retain the fluid that you've consumed. Pure water, on the other hand, tends to turn off your sensation of thirst, even before your fluid needs have been met. And instead of helping you retain consumed fluids, plain water tends to promote fluid elimination, even when you’re still dehydrated.

Beating the heat
In summary, if heat and humidity are in your training or competition forecast, plan to acclimate to the conditions. Do that by training in a hot environment for about 100 minutes daily for 10 days. Full adaptation usually takes place within about a week or two. Wear minimal clothing in the heat and make sure the clothes you do wear don't interfere with the evaporation of sweat. Avoid dehydration by consuming fluids at a rate that closely matches your sweat rate. And finally, stay hydrated with a well-designed, good-tasting sports drink that features sodium and carbohydrates. Following these strategies gives you the best shot at beating the heat.

Wendt D, van Loon LJC, van Marken Lichtenbelt WD. Thermoregulation for Maintaining Health and Performance. Sports Med 2007; 37: 669–682.

American College of Sports Medicine, Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner ER, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld NS. American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007; 39: 377–390.

Febbraio M, Martin D. Nutritional Issues for Special Environments: Training and Competing at Altitude and in Hot Climates. In: Burke L, Deakin V. Clinical Sports Nutrition. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, 2006; 765–784.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Walt Disney World Race Updates /DL too

WDW Marathon weekend Jan. 5-8,2012

WALT DISNEY WORLD® Marathon - 59% Full
WALT DISNEY WORLD® Half Marathon - 55% Full
Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge - 82% Full
Disney Family Fun Run 5K
Disney Kids' Races
Pasta in the Park Party
Disney's Health & Fitness Expo

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend Sept. 2-4,2011

Disneyland® Half Marathon - SOLD OUT
Disneyland® Family Fun Run 5K - SOLD OUT (Stroller Division - Sold Out)
Disneyland® Kids' Races - SOLD OUT
Disneyland® Health & Fitness Expo
Pasta in the Park Party
Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Sept. 30- Oct.1 ,2011

Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon – Sold Out
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Relay – Sold Out
Disney Halloween 5K - 52% Full
Disney Kids' Races - 92% Full
Disney's Health & Fitness Expo
Finish Line Party

Princess Half Marathon Weekend Feb.24-26, 2012

Disney’s Princess Half Marathon
Disney Royal Family 5K
Disney Royal Family Kids’ Races
Disney’s Fit for a Princess Expo

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Jan. 27-29,2012

Tinker Bell Half Marathon - 73% Full
Never Land Family Fun Run 5K
Disney Kids' Races
Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend Expo

They haven't posted the new dates for Rhoto Ironman 70.3 which is a qualifier for Ford Ironman championship Clearwater , or Ironkids.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Shake It Off and Step Up

Shake It Off and Step Up
July 30, 2011 by Joni I got this off of Facebook posted by the Rock

If you feel sometimes that the adversities of life are getting the best of you, this short story will change all of that.

Shake It Off and Step Up If you choose to think negatively by panicking – becoming bitter or letting your self pity swallow you whole, well chances are, the decisions you make in life and business become that much more difficult for a successful outcome.

Now on the other hand, if you choose to “Shake It Off and Step Up” your results will be very different…

One thing I know for certain is that all entrepreneurs face many challenges on a daily basis. Doesn’t matter if you’re just starting too get your feet wet or you’ve been around the block many times.

Sadly, many entrepreneurs call it quits after an uncomfortable challenge strikes. Lots of excuses are made – the blame game starts or they just don’t think life’s fair for them…

Now what if they would of decided to “Shake It Off and Step Up” instead???

If you find yourself in a similar situation…don’t quit. Reflect back to this parable and move it forward.

Read this short old farmer’s parable that will give you a little – innocent insight on how to change your circumstances when life’s adversities rear their ugly head…

Shake It Off And Step Up

A parable is told of a farmer who owned an old mule. The mule fell into the farmer’s well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying’ – or – whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After carefully assessing the situation, the farmer sympathized with the mule, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of saving. Instead, he called his neighbors together and told them what had happened…and enlisted them to help haul dirt to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.

Initially, the old mule was hysterical! But as the farmer and his neighbors continued shoveling and the dirt hit his back…a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back…HE SHOULD SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP! This he did, blow after blow.

“Shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up…shake it off and step up!” he repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows, or distressing the situation seemed the old mule fought “panic” and just kept right on SHAKING IT OFF AND STEPPING UP!

You’re right! It wasn’t long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, STEPPED TRIUMPHANTLY OVER THE WALL OF THAT WELL! What seemed like it would bury him, actually blessed him…all because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.

THAT’S LIFE! If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity…THE ADVERSITIES THAT COME ALONG TO BURY US USUALLY HAVE WITHIN THEM THE POTENTIAL TO BENEFIT AND BLESS US! Remember that FORGIVENESS–FAITH–PRAYER– PRAISE and HOPE…all are excellent ways to “SHAKE IT OFF AND STEP UP” out of the wells in which we find ourselves!

- Author Unknown

Friday, July 29, 2011

Disney News And Updates

Submit "A Splash of Disney Memories" and You Could Be Featured!

During August, we're making a splash with water-related Disney memories!http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

From water parks like Disney's Blizzard Beach to the nighttime spectacular World of Color to fun times at our Resort pools, water makes everything more fun and brings out the kid in all of us.

Share "A Splash of Disney Memories" at Disney Parks' Let the Memories Begin and you may be featured. Remember to check back every day during September to see if your memory was selected as the Memory of the Day!

Submit your memory today!

Chiquita and Disney Announce Multi-year Alliance

Chiquita Brands International and Walt Disney World Resort announced an agreement this week that will bring premium, healthy Chiquita and Fresh Express products to a number of retail points at Walt Disney World and Disney Cruise Line. This new strategic alliance represents the commitment of both companies to provide consumers with healthy food options. “We are pleased to work with Disney to offer healthy, nutritious Chiquita and Fresh Express products to the millions of Guests who visit Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line,” said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and chief executive officer. “This alliance joins two companies with the shared commitment of providing quality experiences to consumers.”

Construction Crews at Disney's Art of Animation Resort Celebrate "Topping Out"
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., July 21, 2011 – The hundreds of people who are building Disney’s Art of Animation Resort from the ground up gathered to mark the project’s “topping out.”

The “topping out” is a special moment that typically occurs in the construction and engineering industry when the highest piece of structure, either steel or concrete, is placed on the building’s frame. The tradition dates back to the Vikings, who would place an evergreen tree on the top of a building to celebrate and bring good luck.

At the construction site for Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, a crane helped lift the traditional evergreen to the roof of a building that will soon be part of the Lion King wing of the resort hotel.

“The hundreds of people we have working on Disney’s Art of Animation Resort are doing an amazing job helping us build a resort hotel that will really delight our guests,” said Gary Hoffmann, senior project manager for Walt Disney Imagineering. “The traditional topping out is an important milestone on a project that continues to run on schedule for an opening just ten months from now.”

In size and scope the construction of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is a major project at Walt Disney World Resort, creating upwards of 800 construction jobs. Once open in 2012, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will also create 750 permanent resort hotel jobs.

Walt Disney World Resort features 25 uniquely themed, Disney owned-and-operated resort hotels with more than 26,000 guest rooms – something for every taste and budget. Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will likewise be unique, with themed building exteriors and room interiors that bring to life The Lion King, Cars, Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid.

Finding Nemo, Cars and The Lion King buildings will be entirely family suites, with 1,120 suites between them. The Little Mermaid buildings will feature 864 rooms in the “value” room category.

The construction of family suites at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort is an innovative approach to a changing marketplace. Today more and more multi-generational families are traveling together for various celebrations, including family reunions. These families not only want to play together, they want to stay together, which has created tremendous demand for family suites.

The first wing of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Finding Nemo, is scheduled to open in May 2012.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just a Hello...

Hi everyone it's Rae. I wanted to let everyone know that we had raised another $50.00 from our Mid Summer 5k. Thank you everyone who donated.

Tomorrow one of our Members is headed out to do their first triathlon. Please go over and visit and send Pixie Dust!! Blog'n Right Along

Have a great weekend!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sports Nutrition Tips for Marathon Training

Sports Nutrition Tips for Marathon Training
By: Christopher D. Jensen, PhD, MPH, RD
Nutrition & Epidemiology Researcher
You are training to compete in a marathon. Regular workouts will get you in shape for the challenge ahead. This article provides cutting-edge sports nutrition tips that will help you maximize the benefits of your workouts and be at your very best on the day of the race.

Practice makes perfect
The sports nutrition tips that follow are based on the latest information from authorities such as the American College of Sports Medicine. But your job during training is to use these recommendations as a starting point and to refine them to determine what works best for you. That means regularly tuning into how your body feels and keeping notes in a training log. Use the information that you gather in order to make adjustments on how you hydrate, fuel, and recover during training, so that weeks from now, on the day of your event, everything you do is dialed in and well practiced. No surprises on the big day. Instead, you want a proven sports nutrition regimen that is tailored specifically for you.

Start each workout fully hydrated
Dehydration will make your workouts demonstrably harder and put your health at risk, so don’t carry fluid deficits from one workout to the next. You can make up for any previously incurred fluid deficits by consuming 14–20 fl oz (400–600 mL) of water or sports drink about 2–4 hours before your workout. If you are well hydrated, this should lead to urine production that is light in color (like the color of lemonade). If it doesn’t, or if the urine that is produced is dark in color (like the color of apple juice), drink another 8 fl oz about 2 hours before you start pounding the pavement. Keep hydrating as needed prior to your training session, especially when conditions are hot or humid.

Start your training sessions with a full gas tank
The harder and more intense your training sessions, the more you rely on carbohydrate reserves (glucose in your bloodstream and glycogen in your muscles and liver) as muscle fuel. But these reserves are in short supply and can be significantly depleted during long and intense workouts. If you don’t replenish these carb reserves on a daily basis, deficits grow from one workout to the next, and you’ll end up running out of carbohydrate muscle fuel. When this happens, you become fatigued and you’re forced to curtail your training.

To prevent this early onset of muscle fatigue, top off your muscle glycogen fuel stores before working out. You can do this by consuming a meal 2–4 hours before exercise. The goal is to start exercise fully fueled but also feeling comfortable. Choose familiar high-carbohydrate foods and beverages and avoid slow-to-digest fatty and high-fiber foods prior to running. Carbohydrate-rich foods include pasta, rice, bread, cereal, vegetables, fruit, and sweetened dairy products such as flavored yogurts and milks. And if you get hungry again as the workout approaches, or if your training session is early in the morning and time is running short, have an easy-to-digest, high-carbohydrate snack. Good snack examples include a fruit smoothie, a meal replacement drink, a PowerBar® Performance Energy bar, a PowerBar® Fruit Smoothie Energy bar, PowerBar® Energy Bites, a PowerBar® Gel, or PowerBar® Gel Blasts™ energy chews.

The best time for a snack is generally about an hour before exercise. If you don’t have much of an appetite or you tend to experience gastrointestinal distress when training, try liquid carb sources, such as a fruit smoothie or a meal replacement drink, in place of solid foods.

Finding the right pre-exercise meal and snacks — and the timing for each that works best for you — may take some experimenting. So try different approaches during training to identify which ones leave you feeling your best.

Now is not the time to skip meals
A word to the wise if you are carrying a few more pounds than you’d like: Skipping meals before a workout won't necessarily help you burn significantly more fat. In fact, it may cause you to burn fewer total calories because you get tired sooner and may not be able to train at your usual intensity. Keep in mind that after a night of sleeping, you’ve been fasting for hours. You need breakfast, or at least a high-carb snack to help fuel the exercise you plan to do. Skipping breakfast can make it harder to maintain your blood sugar level and can deplete your limited stores of carb muscle fuel (glycogen) even faster. This can hamper your ability to get in a full workout and may reduce the effectiveness of your training. So don’t be in such a rush to lose that extra weight that you compromise your ability to train. As you continue to train, the pounds will gradually drop off.

Match your hydration and fueling plan to the workout challenge
For training runs up to the half-marathon distance, your existing fuel stores should tide you over, and your focus can be on staying hydrated. Try to consume fluids at a rate that keeps pace with your sweat rate. This generally requires 13–26 fl oz (400–800 mL) every hour of exercise, preferably in smaller amounts taken every 15 minutes or so. However, your fluid needs can vary based on factors such as the intensity of your workouts and weather conditions. Therefore, calculate your sweat rate for the various conditions in which you train, using the PowerBar® Sweat Rate Calculator at PowerBar.com.

Over-hydration is the flip side of dehydration. Both can impair your ability to exercise and can have serious health consequences. To monitor how effectively you are hydrating when training, weigh yourself before and after workouts. If you find that you tend to gain weight when training, it’s a sign that you’re consuming too much fluid during exercise, so cut back a bit on your fluid intake during exercise. Conversely, if you find that you pretty consistently lose more than 2% of your pre-exercise body weight — about 3 lbs (1.4 kg) for someone weighing 150 lbs (68 kg) — that’s a sign to take in a bit more fluid when training.

Water is usually fine for workouts of less than an hour in cooler weather. For longer training sessions and anytime you’re exercising in the heat and humidity, a sports drink that provides carbohydrates, fluids, and sodium, such as PowerBar® Endurance sports drink, is a much better option than plain water. The advantages are many. A sports drink provides carbohydrates to help sustain your blood glucose level during exercise. And athletes typically consume more fluids when their hydration beverage is flavored, as is the case with a sports drink. Also, the sodium and carbs in a sports drink cause the fluid in the beverage to be absorbed more quickly. And the sodium also helps maintain your drive to continue drinking fluids during exercise, which is crucial to meeting your fluid needs. Finally, the sodium also helps you retain the fluid that you’ve consumed.

Another option for rehydrating and refueling, especially during longer training runs, is to consume an energy gel and chase it with water. Make sure to select an energy gel that provides sodium along with carbohydrates, such as PowerBar Gel. These gels are designed to be consumed every 20–45 minutes during exercise, and they provide the carbohydrates and sodium of a sports drink. Energy bars, bites, and chews, such as the Performance Energy bar, PowerBar Fruit Smoothie Energy bar, Energy Bites, and Gel Blasts Energy chews can also be used to increase the hourly intake of carbs during longer training sessions.

Promote rapid recovery
Recovery after exercise will begin in earnest as soon as you provide the nutritional components, including carbs, protein, fluids, and the key electrolyte sodium.

To speed recovery, consume some easy-to-digest carbs as soon as possible after exercise (within about 30 minutes). This will jump-start rebuilding your depleted glycogen stores. Eating high-carb meals and snacks over the next 24 hours will generally fully replenish your fuel stores.

In addition to carbs, taking in protein after a workout provides the amino acid building blocks needed for repairing muscle fibers that get damaged during exercise and to promote the development of new muscle tissue. Although protein requirements vary between individuals, in general look to consume a minimum of 15–25 grams of protein within an hour after exercise to maximize the muscle rebuilding and repair process.

Weigh yourself before and after exercise to gauge the extent of your fluid loss. Replace this fluid by gradually drinking 16–24 fl oz (475–700 mL) of a recovery beverage, sports drink, or water for every 1 lb (0.45 kg) of weight lost. Consume sodium sources such as crackers and pretzels along with your fluids, as rehydration will be more effective when sodium is included. Remember, if your loss of fluids consistently exceeds 2% of your body weight, try to increase your fluid intake a bit during exercise. If you find that you tend to gain weight during exercise, cut back a bit on fluid intake.

PowerBar® Recovery beverage is a fast and convenient option for jump-starting the recovery process. Just pour the Recovery beverage powder into your sports bottle, add water, and shake. In seconds you’ll have the carbs, protein, sodium, and fluids to start reloading, repairing, and rehydrating. Go to PowerBar.com to learn more about other recovery product options.

Know the buzz on caffeine
Coffee is a beverage of choice worldwide, but will that caffeine kick be a help or hindrance to you as a budding endurance athlete? So far, the scientific consensus seems to be lining up on the side of helpful. Caffeine may help you work out at a higher intensity without actually feeling like you’re working harder. Also, concerns about caffeine’s causing dehydration haven’t panned out. So if you want to see what impact caffeine has on your ability to perform athletically, use it during training first. Stick to a moderate intake of 0.45–1.36 mg caffeine per lb body weight (1–3 mg per kg). For a 150-lb (68-kg) athlete, that equates to a dose of approximately 70–210 mg of caffeine per event or workout, taken in the hour before exercise or in a single or divided dose during exercise. Too much caffeine may detract from your athletic performance by leaving you feeling uncomfortable, jittery, and anxious. Also keep in mind that the caffeine level that’s beneficial for your training partner may be too much for you, or vice versa. Individuals vary in their ability to metabolize caffeine. If the caffeine dose you’ve been trying leaves you feeling too buzzed, cut back or skip it altogether. For more information about caffeine in foods and beverages, see the article “Using Caffeine to Improve Athletic Performance” at PowerBar.com

Consider carbohydrate loading
All else being equal, the more carbohydrate muscle fuel (glycogen) you start with, the better you will be able to perform in a marathon. Carbo-loading is the term used for maximizing your stores of glycogen muscle fuel before a big endurance event or a particularly difficult stretch of training. If you’re planning on walking the marathon at a comfortable pace, carbohydrate loading is unnecessary. But if you plan to go all out over the 26.2 miles, you might want to consider it.

Typically, athletes interested in carbohydrate loading gradually taper their training a week to a few days before the event. In the 2–3 days before the marathon, plan to increase your carbohydrate intake. For optimal glycogen reloading over this period of time, you need to consume about 8–12 grams of carbohydrates daily for every 2.2 lbs of body weight. For someone weighing 150 lbs (68 kg), that equates to 545–818 grams of carbs each day. Men can usually achieve the higher carb range simply by substituting carbohydrate-rich foods for other foods that tend to be higher in fat. For women, it’s not so simple because they generally consume fewer calories than their male counterparts. Effective carbo-loading for women may require adding foods to the diet for those few days. In fact, they may need to increase their total caloric intake by 30–35% in the 2–3 days before the event in order to boost their muscle glycogen stores. The bottom line is that the plate of pasta the night before your marathon should be the finishing touch on your carbo-load, not the entire plan. Late in your training, you may want to experiment with carbohydrate loading prior to one of your long distance runs.

Plan ahead for race day
As the big day approaches, start finalizing your race-day plan. Think through your sports nutrition and hydration strategy for before, during, and after the marathon. Utilize your long training runs as an opportunity to put your race-day plan into practice. That means doing during training exactly what you hope to do on race day. Assess how you feel at each stage of a long training run as if it were the actual marathon. Fine-tune your approach by making adjustments one step at a time, and then testing those tweaks during training. Allow yourself adequate time to dial-in a regimen that works for you.

When the marathon is a week away, make final preparations for the big day. Remember to stick to the routine you’ve worked so hard to fine-tune — nothing new. Find out the marathon start time, and review your pre-race meal or snack and hydration strategy. Also make sure that it works relative to your transportation arrangements. Confirm the number of aid stations on course, and plan your consumption of sports drinks and/or energy gels with plain water accordingly. If you are using gels, set aside the number you will need, and devise a plan for carrying them comfortably or resupplying on course.

Good luck with your training and on race day!

American College of Sports Medicine; American Dietetic Association; Dietitians of Canada. Joint Position Statement: Nutrition and Athletic Performance. American College of Sports Medicine, American Dietetic Association, and Dietitians of Canada. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2009; 41: 709–731.

American College of Sports Medicine, Sawka MN, Burke LM, Eichner ER, Maughan RJ, Montain SJ, Stachenfeld NS. American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. Exercise and Fluid Replacement. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007; 39: 377–390.

Burke L. Preparation for Competition. In: Burke L, Dean V, eds. Clinical Sports Nutrition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Australia, 2006; 355–384.

Burke L. Fluid and CHO Intake During Exercise. In: Burke L, Dean V, eds. Clinical Sports Nutrition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Australia, 2006; 385–414.

Burke L. Nutrition for Recovery After Training and Competition. In: Burke L, Dean V, eds. Clinical Sports Nutrition. McGraw-Hill Companies, Australia, 2006; 415–453.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ironman Mental Strength: the Fifth Discipline

Ironman Mental Strength: the Fifth Discipline
By: Alex M. McDonald, MD
Medical Doctor and Professional Triathlete

Making the commitment to train for and race a triathlon is commendable, regardless of whether it is the local sprint or an Ironman. Many of the driving factors (commitment, mental strength, desire, time management, goal setting, etc.) that motivate you to sign up, train, and get to the starting line of the race are valuable tools not only for triathlon, but also for life in general. However, many people who see these qualities as important underestimate their importance on race day, particularly the mental strength required to complete an Ironman triathlon.

Many people say that an Ironman is really four events: swimming, biking, running and nutrition. Well, I would argue that there is a critical fifth discipline — mental strength. Some feel that an Ironman triathlon is a test of strength, speed, and endurance like no other on Earth; these skills are certainly put to the test on race day. However, it is possible that an athlete’s mental fortitude or strength is tested to an even greater extent. Some people get to the starting line in peak physical condition, while others may not have trained as much as they would have liked or needed to. The difference between finishing an Ironman or not, whether you set a PR or not, is often all in your head — literally.

Having the mental fortitude and strength to make it through one of the world’s greatest endurance events is not simply a matter of chance. Some athletes are naturally better at these mental skills, while others are not as well versed. Mental strength and conditioning are indeed skills, and while some individuals are naturally more gifted at utilizing them, you can train your mind, much like the rest of your body. Everyone can benefit from working on and exercising their mental skills, regardless of whether you are an Ironman World Champion or training for your first Ironman.

The mind-body connection is fascinating, and it has been the subject of numerous research projects over the years. For example, there has been a lot of research examining the effect of laughter and joy on sick patients and how the resultant endorphins and neurotransmitters released by the brain can alter the course of disease. There has been specific research into how world-class athletes ready their minds and their bodies for competition — how mind and body must be in sync for an athlete to be best prepared for peak performance. Yet, despite all this research, very little is truly understood about the mind-body — or psychosomatic — connection. All we do know is that the mind can have a powerful influence over the body: As the mind goes, so goes the body.

The following are some mental exercises that will help get you through training — as well as race day.

Most athletes are very good at self-talk; the problem is that most athletes are very good at the destructive, negative self-talk and not the beneficial, positive self-talk. Every athlete has been in the middle of training or competition and had thoughts that begin with “I can’t” or “I’m not.” These negative thoughts are often self-defeating, and the body tends to fulfill whatever the mind may be feeling or thinking. As a result, the body feels worse, causing more negative self-talk, and a downward spiral can quickly ensue.

Getting rid of these negative thoughts can be very difficult. The key is to become aware of when you are having a negative thought, and then replacing it. Often, replacing these thoughts with “I can” or “I will” or “I am” will make the body feel better, and positive thoughts, energy, and motivation will follow. Doing this will become easier with practice.

Some athletes find it challenging to do away with negative self-talk and almost impossible to replace it with positive self-talk. If this is the case, simply focusing on something else can help. Some athletes like to count arm, pedal, or foot rates while racing; others like to look at the scenery. Find your own focal point.

Regardless of what strategy you use to combat negative self-talk, the most important aspect is to recognize it and simply be aware of its presence. Many athletes are surprised when they begin to keep track of the number of negative thoughts they have while training and racing. Recognition is the first step to changing your behavior.

Checking in:
Whether you finish an Ironman in 8 or 17 hours, it is a long time for anyone to be in motion. Over extended time periods, your body becomes fatigued. Your form may suffer or you may expend energy inefficiently. For example, after several hours of riding, you may be tensing your shoulders and wasting energy. Or after several miles of running, as you fatigue, your form may deteriorate and become less efficient. Also, small or chronic injuries or a strain may become irritated over the course of a long day.

Take care of things before they become problems — nip them in the bud. Again, awareness is often all that is required. Performing a self-check or physical assessment every once in awhile can help you become aware of these potential problems. Just take a moment to try to sense any unnecessary tension in the shoulders or faltering form while you still have the energy to correct it. Or briefly stretch and relax a muscle to avoid having to stop later in the race.

A self-check can be mental and/or physical. I recommend performing one at least once an hour over the course of an Ironman to keep you moving efficiently and effectively towards the finish line.

This too shall pass:
At some point, perhaps several points, over the course of an Ironman, you are going to feel bad — very bad. It is not a matter of if but of when this will happen. It is important to know that it will happen, and to have a plan to handle it when it does. The key is to keep moving forward, even if this means walking, spinning the pedals, or swimming breast stroke. Be aware that this sense of misery will pass and that you will feel better. Often, the physical and mental anguish will subside within 5–10 minutes, and you will be able to resume your effort and pace and to continue towards your goal.

Stand down:
Although it’s less of a mental strategy, standing down can help you avoid mental struggles and mind-body conflicts later in the race. If pain or a mental low point does not seem to pass after a few minutes, an old or chronic injury starts to act up, or cramps begin to take hold, it is all right to stop — momentarily. One of the benefits of having all day to complete a race is that taking a minute or two early in the day will not make much of a difference in your overall finishing time. In fact, taking a minute to stop and take care of yourself may allow you to finish faster and more comfortably than if you had not taken that moment to nip the problem in the bud.

Manage the pain:
Pain is part of the Ironman experience, and no matter how long an athlete takes to complete the race, suffering will happen. Working through and conquering the pain is part of what makes Ironman finishing-line emotions so special. So don't ignore or fear the pain; embrace it and manage it as part of the Ironman journey, knowing that ultimately it will make you stronger and your sacrifices and victories all that much sweeter. Your mental approach to pain can be the difference between a finish, a PR, and a DNF. Have a plan of what to do or think when the pain seems to be too much, and practice this in training and on race day.

Misery loves company:
Talk to people when you are out there racing. Although you may be competing in an individual event, you are far from alone. I like to think of racing as hard training with 2,000 new friends. Some people have made race-day connections and friendships that last a lifetime. This can also be a welcome distraction from any negative self-talk or pain that you are experiencing.

Have a reason:
Chances are if you have signed up, trained, and made it to the starting line of an Ironman triathlon, you have not just a goal but a reason for your endeavor. Ultimately, the last several miles of an Ironman event are no longer about your fitness; they are about your mental strength, your desire, and your goals. And about that all-important reason. When the going gets tough, everyone needs a reason — not just a goal — to focus on and keep us driving forward. If deep down in the very fabric of your being, you are not 100% committed or do not have a reason to finish these last several miles, it may not happen. Some make the commitment for a charitable cause, a friend or family member, or some other deeply personal reason. What motivates a person is highly individual; I encourage you to find your incentive. The key is to find this reason before the race starts, not at mile 18 on the marathon course. Spend some time in the week leading up to the race thinking about and focusing on this reason, bury it deep, and then bring it out when the race becomes difficult.

Have fun:
Enjoy the process! Be proud of all your hard work on race day. This day is what you have been working toward — and for what you have sacrificed so much for. The psychosomatic connection is very important, but you can also trick your mind into feeling better through physical actions. For example, studies have shown that the physical act of smiling, even without the mental state of happiness, can result in positive thoughts, emotions, and energy. So, remember to smile because even if you don’t think you‘re having much fun, you will be surprised at how much better it can make you feel.

As mentioned before, during an Ironman you are going to feel bad — very bad. Your mind will start to wander, your legs will feel flat, and your body will beg you to stop. But the way that you mentally handle these challenges can make a huge difference in your Ironman experience and in your result. The fifth discipline of Ironman racing — mental strength — is what will get you through these tough times and help you have a breakthrough performance. Regardless of what motivates you, practice these mental strategies in training and racing, and the joy of crossing the finish line will be unlike any other in your life. And that memory will stay with you forever.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hungry Girl Upside Down Pineapple Cake

PER SERVING (1/8th of cake, 1 slice): 190 calories, 3.5g fat, 298mg sodium, 39g carbs, 0.5g fiber, 26.5g sugars, 1.5g protein
A slice of the original recipe has 380 calories and 16g fat! I cut the calories in half by using no-sugar-added applesauce & pineapple rings packed in juice instead of syrup!

1 tbsp. light whipped butter or light buttery spread
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
7 pineapple rings packed in juice, drained
7 maraschino cherries
Half of an 18.25-oz. box (about 1 1/2 cups) moist-style yellow cake mix
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup club soda
1/4 cup no-sugar-added applesauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a round cake pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
Place butter in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds, just until melted. Add brown sugar and mix well. Spread mixture evenly along the bottom of the cake pan. Set aside.
Blot pineapple rings and cherries with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Lay pineapple rings in an even layer in the cake pan, and place one cherry in the center of each pineapple ring. Set aside.
To make the batter, combine cake mix with baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well. Add club soda and applesauce, and stir until smooth.
Evenly pour batter into the cake pan over the fruit layer. Bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 - 35 minutes.
Allow cake to cool completely. Firmly and securely place a plate over the pan, and carefully flip so the plate is on the bottom. Gently lift pan to release the cake.
Cut into 8 slices and dig in!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mid Summer Virtual 5K

In light of it's been a while since a virtual event has been set. Let's do one this Sunday. 5k Keep it simple. Just a 5k ,nothing else if you are doing a long miler on Sunday just give the time for your 5k.

That way we all are doing one together and stuff. Keep it simple and fun!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hitting the road? Keep your nosh healthy and light with our tips.

Summer means road trips to the cottage, the lake, and other vacation destinations. Don't let road-trip weight-loss anxiety get in the way of your summer fun. Instead, read our tips for the best road trip snacks suited for any kind of travel.

Whether you're traveling alone, with your significant other, or the kids, these snack ideas are designed for easy access, and most importantly, to steer you away from fast food stops along the way.

We suggest you bring along a small cooler to keep your healthy snacks fresher for longer.

If you're driving alone
Driving alone can be a cathartic experience, especially with the windows down, the wind blowing through your hair, and your favorite music blaring. To make the trip even better, come prepared with these easily accessible snacks that don't require help from someone in the passenger seat.

Grape tomatoes: Actually a fruit, these miniature tomatoes, when ripe, make a delicious snack. This is a no-mess, grab-and-go snack, and one you can reach your hand in the bag for over and over.

Quaker® Quakes: These delicious snacks come in a variety of flavours and can satisfy even the most stubborn sweet or salty craving.

Summer berries are in abundance: Throw together blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or any mix of berries in a plastic container. This snack can get messy, so unless you've got a bunch of napkins tucked away in your glove compartment, leave this one for the rest stop.

If you're with that special someone
Sometimes it can be hard when you're traveling with your significant other, and they are looking forward to all the high PointsPlus™ values foods they are going to indulge in on the road. Fear not! As your loved one dives into a bag of fries, you are armed with a bag of popcorn sprinkled with Parmesan cheese or chili pepper flakes. And when you inevitably end up at the drive-thru window, you can either sink your teeth into a delicious sandwich you made or make a smart choice from the menu. Whatever you do, remember to spin the situation positively, and when it's time for you to eat your healthy snacks, the extra pair of hands will help you open your yogurt or pull the plastic wrapper off your string cheese. Here are some ideas.

Popcorn sprinkled with low-fat Parmesan cheese or hot chili peppers.

Open the lid of your yogurt and toss in some crushed cereal or granola for a little extra crunch. This will give you a solid dose of calcium, and although a little more challenging to eat in the car, you can make it work by placing the yogurt in your cup holder.

Cheese and crackers: Decorate some whole wheat crackers with your favorite low-fat cheese, and portion them out in plastic bags for easy access. You can use string cheese and snack on it by itself too!

If you're with the family
You can prepare these snacks in bulk to pass around the car and share with the whole family. These foods are sure to keep the kids happy so they don't start asking to visit the nearest fast food drive-thru window.

Core an apple and cut it into pieces. Throw it in a plastic container. Bring along a jar of peanut butter, and a plastic knife. If you're not driving, spread peanut butter onto the apple pieces and enjoy! This is one for the whole family.

Mini pita snackwiches. Hummus is full of protein and can help keep your hunger at bay until you reach your destination. Put some between mini pitas. These mini hummus sandwiches make the perfect portable snack that the kids will love too!

If you're with someone you don't know well
If you're grabbing a ride with a friend of a friend, or giving someone you don't know very well a lift to your destination, you might consider bringing along snacks that won't create crumbs (if it's the other person's car) and that you can easily share with them as a nice gesture (don't forget to pack a little extra). If you're worried the other person is going to stop at fast food restaurants along the way, you can pack yourself some portable main meals too. Also, packing foods with more neutral ingredients will minimize the possibility of strong smells filling up the car.

Try our Hot Pepper Pretzels – a perfect snack to tote along with you wherever you go! You can bring several plastic baggies, each containing one portion size.

Meringue cookies: These light cookies made from egg whites and sugar make a delicious low PointsPlus value sweet craving satisfier. You can get the store bought ones, or follow any recipe. Try our Chocolate Meringue Cookies recipe.

Happy snacking, and bon voyage!
from WW.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hydration & Sodium

Hi gang, yes I'm still around. Had a couple of months where motivation was hard to find but that seems to be coming back. I've managaged to get in a walk or jog everyday since this past Sunday. I plan to post more on that over on Snowy Tundra later (yes I'm leaving the vault) as time allows. For now I wanted to share two articles I came across on the NPR website. Watching sodium levels or rather not depleting them was a topic that Justin and I discussed many months ago. During long runs I have a tendancy to get cramps in my calves, usually after mile eight. This past January I took in more Gatoraid out on the course beginning at mile six. I also had a couple of shot block 30 and 60 minutes in. This seemed to work well for me and I didn't feel a cramp coming on until mile twelve. Of course we are all different and you will need to learn what works best for you. Just remember to experiment prior to an event and not during one.


Athletes Run Risk of Over Hydrating
by Allison Aubrey August 10, 2006

There is such a thing as too much water; excessive intake can dilute levels of sodium in the blood. University of Connecticut researcher Douglas Casa says people get into trouble when they try to follow set requirements for hydration.

If you're training for a marathon or an Ironman, a hydration plan is important. Of course, there's the risk of dehydration. But athletes now know they can also get into trouble by drinking too much. Excessive water intake can dilute levels of sodium in the blood. The death of a 28-year-old woman following the Boston Marathon caught the attention of many runners and led to new research.
Experts advise long distance runners to replace the liquids they sweat out.
"Our goal is to try to keep someone from not getting dehydrated by more than 2 percent of their body weight," says Douglas Casa, a researcher at the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory.
One technique for calculating how much fluid you need is to get an accurate scale. Runners can weigh themselves before and after a run to determine how much water weight they've lost. If their weight drops by more than 2 percent, they have not consumed enough fluid.
Hyponatremia occurs when runners drink so much liquid that concentrations of sodium in the blood drop off. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last year tracked 488 runners who completed the Boston Marathon and found 13 percent of them had dangerously low blood salt levels.
The first symptoms that runners may notice is minor swelling in the hands. "They can't get their rings off, then they might get nausea and dizziness. They may not remember where they are" says Dr. Lewis Maharam, who directs the International Marathon Medical Directors Association.
Most runners get enough salt to restore normal levels by eating just one meal after a run, and most never need medical attention. But with a spate of reported cases of hyponatremia, Maharam's group has a new guideline for hydrating.
The recommendation is contrary to the old advice that runners should drink as much as they can stomach to prevent dehydration.
"The new research has shown that the body is a remarkable machine that actually tells you via thirst when you need fluid," says Maharam.
Performance-oriented runners may prefer the more exacting scale-weighing technique. Casa recommends that runners use that method until they start to get a good estimate of how much water they sweat out during a typical training run.

Everyday Hydration Tips
by Roseanne Pereira

Dr. Douglas Casa, Director of Athletic Training Education in the University of Connecticut's Neag School of Education says people get into trouble when they try to follow set requirements for hydration. A magazine article that endorses eight glasses of water a day may not be right for you. Quench your thirst for information with Dr. Casa's tips on how to regulate your daily drinking.
Peek at Your Pee: Monitor its color. If it's light, like lemonade, you're doing pretty good. If it's darker, like apple juice, start gulping down liquids.
Step on the Scale: And do it both before and after exercising, to get a better sense of your individualized hydration needs. If you weigh more after a workout, chances are you drank too much while exercising. If you weigh much less, you may need to drink more. Experts recommend losing no more than 2 percent of your body weight during activity. Weighing the same before and after exercise, or slightly less, suggests you are an efficient hydrator.
Consider Sports Drinks: Because they replace some of the salts you lose when sweating, they're ideal for activities that last longer than an hour (for instance, hiking or biking treks) or even during very intense activities. Or if you're the kind of fanatic who's jogging in 110-degree heat.
Remember Chug Capacity: Recent studies show that coffee doesn't dehydrate, but Casa still doesn't recommend it for a workout; it's not the kind of fluid you can chug when you need to replace a lot of fluid in a short period of time.
(But Not for Beer!:) Alcohol does not leave you in the best possible state to recognize your fluid needs, prepare for the next bout of activity, or maximize fluid retention. Only use if stranded on an island with a case of beer, not for the purpose of fluid replacement.
Shun Sugar: Sodas, fruit juices and even beer have a higher level of sugar (which means more calories per serving) than most sports drinks or water. These drinks can rehydrate your body because they contain water, but their sugars give the stomach and intestines more to deal with; as a result, the fluids aren't absorbed into the body as quickly. It's fine to drink these beverages with meals and during leisure activities, but they won't keep you optimally hydrated during exercise.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

5 Reasons You’re Always Starving

Article By: Karen Ansel, M.S., R.D.


A foolproof plan to keep hunger from gnawing away at your weight-loss goals.

You’re driving along on your way to work, to the gym, or to pick up the kids and—bam—it hits you—that overwhelming gnawing hunger. The next thing you know, you’re pulling into a drive through and ordering up a storm.


Eat on Time. Scientists say that failing to eat regularly scheduled meals can boost the body’s output of insulin, which can, in turn, increase appetite and slow calorie burn.
Plan Ahead. Don’t wait until you’re starving to think about food: Tuck portable snacks like granola bars or string cheese in your purse so you’ll be ready when hunger strikes.

Isn’t it fascinating (and frustrating) how the “I have to eat now!” feeling can hit even if you’ve been making good nutrition a top priority? Experts are discovering that when you eat, what your food tastes like, and even how much you drink can have a major impact on how often hunger pangs strike.

We asked leading nutritionists to share with us the five most common reasons you’re frequently famished, as well as their top tips for maximizing satisfaction and keeping hunger at bay.

1. You eat the right foods at the wrong times.
Eating at different times every day can make it difficult for you to tune in to your body’s hunger signals, says Cindy Moore, MS, RD, director of Nutrition Therapy at the Cleveland Clinic. Haphazard eating can hurt your metabolism as well. When British researchers asked women to eat meals at either the same time or at different times each day, those who followed a predictable pattern ate less and burned more calories than those who ate at a different time every day.

The Fix: Plan ahead.
Reviewing your Tracker helps you zero in on when you’re most likely to fall prey to eating at erratic times. (If you haven’t been tracking your food consistently, try doing so for a few days.) Then, says Moore, create a schedule that focuses on eating within 2 hours of waking up and every 3 to 5 hours after that for the rest of the day. If you tend to lose track of time, set your watch or digital organizer to beep when you should eat.

2. You eat breakfast, just not the right kind.
Although any breakfast is better than none, the foods you choose can have a major impact on how satisfied you feel for the rest of the day. Take that convenient cereal bar: It might appear to be a healthy choice when you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, but its mega-dose of simple sugars may have you rummaging through the fridge well before lunch.

The Fix: Build a better mix of nutrients.
The key to making your breakfast hold your appetite at bay until lunch is building a morning meal that contains both protein and carbs. “It’s important to combine some protein along with some complex carbohydrates to provide sustained energy throughout the morning,” says Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, a Long Island–based dietitian in private practice. Opt for no-fuss choices like a slice of cheese on whole-wheat bread, egg whites on toast, whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk, even half a turkey sandwich .

3. Your diet is flawless but flavorless.
If grilled chicken and steamed veggies are staples on your dinner plate, you could be headed for trouble. “If you don't switch up your menu, you’re going to get bored and eventually have difficulty sticking with your weight-loss plan,” says Lona Sandon, MEd, RD, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

The Fix: Spice it up.
Getting creative in the kitchen will give your stand-by recipes new life—and keep you more satisfied in the long run. “Experiment with fresh, flavorful herbs, like basil, gingerroot, oregano, and mint,” suggests Moore. Also, adding acidity (a dash of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar) and sweetness (a teaspoon of honey or brown sugar) can make your staple dishes more complex in taste—and more satisfying. Texture is also key: Aim for combinations of creamy, crunchy, and chewy. Try tossing chopped nuts on your greens or mixing granola into your yogurt.

4. You stockpile your calories.
Do you often eat so sparingly during the day that by the time dinner rolls around you’re famished? That strategy can backfire, leading to uncontrollable overeating in the evening. “When you skip meals it’s harder to think straight, so you’re less concerned with the implications of what you eat,” says Taub-Dix.

The Fix: Frontload those calories.
Eating earlier in the day is a must to head off disaster later on. Limit the size of your evening meal so that you wake up eager for breakfast. Even if you’re not hungry, be sure to eat something—even a small bite. “Treat yourself the way you’d treat your kids—you wouldn’t let them skip meals,” says Taub-Dix.

5. You drink your meals.
With the ever-increasing popularity of lattes for breakfast and smoothies for lunch, many of us are drinking our calories away. But drinking too many caloric beverages can ultimately leave you feeling unsatisfied. When researchers at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, gave study participants 450 extra calories daily in the form of either fluid or solid food, those who ate the extra solids ate less later in the day whereas those who drank the extra fluids did not. The reasoning: Chewing causes the release of hormones that signal fullness, and solid food is digested more slowly than liquids.

The Fix: Rethink convenience.
Slurping down a meal might seem fast and easy, but in the time it takes to drive to the coffee shop, stand on line, and pay for that latte, you could have had something just as quick—and far more satisfying. “Try a slice of toast with peanut butter or a cup of yogurt with some fruit,” says Lona Sandon. If it’s the comfort of a hot drink you crave, go ahead and have that latte—just order it with fat-free milk. And instead of sipping it solo, enjoy it with a few whole-grain crackers or a banana. In other words, focus on food combinations that will get you through to your next meal—no starving required.

This article first appeared in the March/April 2006 issue of Weight Watchers Magazine.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Disney Helps "Give Kids The World" Celebrate

Disney Helps "Give Kids The World" Celebrate

Earlier this month, Disney executives were on hand to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Give Kids the World (GKTW), a local nonprofit that provides cost-free vacations to children with life-threatening illnesses. A highlight of the festivities: the unveiling of a new Disney-supported Star Tower and Gallery of Hope, which will shine a spotlight on the organization’s special guests. “I’m proud that Walt Disney World was one of the first supporters of Give Kids the World,” said Walt Disney Parks & Resorts President of Worldwide Operations and GKTW Advisory Board Member Al Weiss. “There’s no doubt that the memories created at the Give Kids The World Village are treasured by the families who visit but they are also cherished by the thousands of Disney VoluntEARS whose lives have been changed by their own visits with the remarkable children they meet.” Learn more.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jeff Galloway's News Letter

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"Must read for every endurance athlete"
Dave Scott
6-Time World Champion
Performance Nutrition Handbook
Research You Can Use

Like everyone else, endurance athletes worry about their weight. And, like everyone else, endurance athletes diet periodically. We know that a pound contains about 3,500 calories, so if we eat 1,000 calories less each day, more than two pounds will magically disappear each week. And, since we are generally impatient, we push the daily caloric deficit to help us get to our goal weight faster. For athletes, however, the consequences of reducing caloric intake by 750-1,000 calories per day can be significant.

An often-ignored observation was made almost 30 years ago by researchers at Rockefeller University. They looked at the effect of calorie deficit on weight loss. As might be expected, the highest caloric deficit produced the greatest weight loss. What wasn't expected, however, was where the weight loss was coming from.

Everyone who goes on a diet is expecting to lose body fat. The researchers found that people who practiced moderate caloric restriction tended to lose the weight as fat. Ninety-one percent of the loss was fat and 9% was lean body mass, or muscle. When the subjects engaged in a diet involving severe calorie restriction, fat represented 48% of the loss and muscle represented 42%. Expressed another way, the greater the daily calorie restriction, the greater the loss of muscle mass.

This research also explains why the longer one is on a severe calorie restriction diet, the harder it is to keep losing weight. As the body loses more muscle mass there is a dramatic effect on overall energy metabolism, since a resting muscle cell burns almost eight times more energy per day than a fat cell. As you lose muscle mass, you have to eat even less to keep the weight loss going.

The final consequence of a crash diet begins the moment you stop the diet. Your body, having just gone through a period of food deprivation, goes into a hyper-storage mode when you resume normal eating. As we all know, hyper-storage is simply a nutritionist's way of saying fat accumulation. In anticipation that there might be another food deprivation cycle in the future, your body stores a higher percentage of food calories as fat.

Ironically, moderate to severe calorie restriction, which results in counter-adaptations by your body, is unnecessary. In fact, a recent study shows that a group who had a 200-calorie-a-day deficit had the same weight loss at six months as a group who had a 750-calorie-a-day deficit. More importantly, diets that have small daily caloric deficits (200-300 calories) don't activate the countermeasure that ultimately will make you less fit.

Performance Nutrition

You probably know that the muscles produce lots of free radicals during exercise. You may also know that free radicals produced during and after exercise damage muscle cells and contribute to post-exercise soreness. What you might not know is that free radicals also contribute to muscle fatigue during exercise. That’s right: free radicals can make you bonk. How they do it is not fully understood yet, but recent science makes it clear they do.

Free radicals are not all bad, though. The same compounds that make you bonk during exercise also stimulate physiological adaptations to exercise that make you fitter. Because of this, you don’t necessarily want to load up on a bunch of antioxidant supplements to squash the production of free radicals in your workouts. In other words, you don’t want to overdo your consumption of supplemental antioxidants to the point where they become a crutch that prevents your muscles from fully responding to your training.

Until we know more, your best bet is to focus on maintaining a healthy diet that helps strengthen your body’s own natural antioxidant defenses. For example, glutamine is a natural amino acid that increases the concentration of glutathione, the body’s “master antioxidant”, in muscle cells. Good sources of glutamine include meats, fish, eggs, dairy products, beans, beets, spinach and some recovery products.

General Nutrition

One of the latest trends in endurance sports nutrition is the Paleo Diet. It was developed by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., whose book, The Paleo Diet, was published in 2002. It became popular with endurance athletes after a sequel, The Paleo Diet for Athletes, was published three years later.

So what is the Paleo Diet? The authors believe that we humans are healthiest and function best when we eat exclusively those foods that our ancient ancestors ate during the Paleolithic Age, which covers the entire span of our evolution from roughly 2.5 million years ago to about 12,000 years ago. The rationale behind this way of eating is that our species evolved in adaptation to the foods we ate. Thus, our genes are specifically designed to use these nutrition sources. Any food types that entered our diet after the main work of our evolution was done—including grains and dairy products, which the Paleo Diet forbids—cannot be used as efficiently and effectively by our bodies.

There is plenty of anecdotal evidence in support of the Paleo Diet. Athletes who switch to it report fat loss and increased energy levels. However, there is no scientific evidence that the Paleo Diet is healthier or better for endurance performance than less restrictive healthy diets, such as vegetarian, Mediterranean, and DASH. Remember, the best diet is not just wholesome but also sustainable.