Monthly Archives: June 2014

Running on Coffee – Fasted Cardio

When I say “running on coffee” I mean it in the most LITERAL sense.

Within 30 minutes of waking, I drink half a cup of coffee and hop on the treadmill for an early morning run.

Because there is a name for everything in the fitness world, this is called “Fasted Cardio.” A few times a week, I run 5 miles (with the incline set to .5%) before driving home, taking a shower, and eating my first snack of the day.

Fasted Cardio - Do pre-breakfast cardio sessions burn more fat? On the blog! Stronglikemycoffee.com
“Fasted cardio” is exactly what it’s name implies…completing a workout before eating anything after waking up in the morning. Many fitness freaks report that this strategy increases fat burn because there are no immediate glycogen stores to pull energy from.

*Note: calorie burn remains the same; where the calories are sourced from is the idea in question.
Personally, “fat burn” isn’t my mission when I tackle a treadmill sesh before breakfast. I’m just not ready to ingest anything at dark:thirty in the morning. I mean I like my oatmeal, but not at 4:30am.

Fasted Cardio - Do pre-breakfast cardio sessions burn more fat? Blog Post --> Stronglikemycoffee.com
The truth behind the myth of increased fat burn with fasted cardio is still highly debatable. Many sources support the ability to tap into fat stores quicker. Others say it makes no difference in the big picture. Web search “Fasted Cardio” and the first result argues for the miraculous effect while the second result claims it has no positive enhancements.

Pro & Con list time….

Pros:

  • No waiting additional time for food to digest
  • No stomach sensitivities that could affect your workout
  • Avoid feeling heavy

Cons:

  • Sessions longer than an hour could have compromised performace due to lack of quick energy
  • Rumbly stomach = annoying
  • Ravenous appetite after workout could cancel out any extra fat burn

I can’t say which is better, to eat or not to eat before morning cardio sessions. Fasting for 45 minute runs works for me! I wouldn’t dare attempt a long run with a small snack though. Which works for you?

The Skinny on Cocktails + Recipe

Yes, a healthy socialite can have her cosmo and drink it too.

Okay there is NOTHING “healthy” about alcohol other than the fact that (in the right amount) it can make you happy. But having a cocktail can be made “health-ier” with some easy modifications that reduce sugar/calorie/carbohydrate/sodium content of the drink. (OBVIOUS start: remove the ring of salt around the glass! Avoid salt-induced bloat.)

The results will still taste delicious, I promise!!

Heeyyyy Bartender! (<—- title of new Lady A song. Check it out!!)

Modifications if you are mixing your own drinks:

  • Simple syrup is water & sugar and completely unnecessary if you are concocting your own cocktail. Substitute a flavored water packet or some stevia. I’ve even had a margarita with agave nectar!
  • Go for simple! Cut calories by cutting ingredients.
  • Dilute. The bulk of the calories come from the hard liquor itself (1 shot of vodka = 97 calories!) So try diluting the drink with sparkling water or seltzer water.
  • Throw real fruit in the blender! Why pour in the carton of orange juice when you got real oranges?!
  • Be PICKY. Don’t drink something you don’t really like just because it’s there! Alcohol tastes like nasty medicine to me so I’m only going to drink something that has a good flavor. Typical girl, I know. So if a can of beer tastes like carbonated sink water to you too, don’t drink it!

G.N.O.

Girl’s Night Out drinks – the good and the garbage

Happy hour, vacation, BBQs, picnics, date nights, girl’s nights….summer has so many opportunities to socialize with a little tipsy treat. But if you’re looking to stay on track with a healthy diet…

What to order?

  • COSMO (150 cals)
  • WINE (antioxidant benefits!)
  • Rum & Diet Coke (I’m not a supporter of soda’s but in this case, it’s better than its alternatives!)

Yikes! Save for a special occasion:

  • White Russian (2 words: heavy cream.)
  • Whiskey Sour (dark liquor + sugar overload)
  • Strawberry Daiquiri
  • Brandy Eggnog (not that you would order this anyways.)

Skinny Rum Cocktail - 75 calorie slushie! (stronglikemycoffee.com)

As promised: Recipe for 75 calorie SKINNAY MAI TAI

You will need a blender, ice, spiced rum, a Crystal Light packet of choice, and a tiny paper umbrella if you’re feelin fancy.

Fill the blender with 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of water, a Crystal Light flavor packet (we first used Pomegranate!), a shot of spiced rum, and a handful of ice. Blend that baby until you have slush.

HOW EASY IS THAT.

Making skinny cocktails // on the blog! (Stronglikemycoffee.com)

**Cute little glass = calorie control over a bottomless pitcher**

Pomegranate was good but Pineapple was BEYOND.

Pineapple was the clear favorite of the night. We made a triple batch of the spiked slushy and it was gone in minutes. You don’t need simple syrups, sugary juices or sodas. Some flavored water will do the trick!Skinny Cocktails (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Missy thoroughly enjoyed herself too. :)

So it is very possible to enjoy a party without feeling obligated to be the Sober Sally/Designated Driver every time for your diet’s sake. As always, it just means making smart choices and finding alternatives!

(I personally wish that alcohol containers were required to post a nutrition label. Yes it would ruin the look of an elegant wine bottle, but I think if consumers could see a label on the bottle with its nutritional information they would make different choices when it comes to what/how much they drink.)


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Cheers!

The Science of Sweating

“Did you have a nice swim?”

Actually I just ran.

“Oh, so you just got out of the shower?”

Nope, this is pure perspiration right here.

“How long were you running???”

Oh you know, 30 minutes.

The amount I sweat looks completely disproportional to the intensity and effort I exert during a run. It seems logical that, after nearly 8 years of running, my body should be well-adapted to cardio activity and sweat less right?

Does sweat reflect fitness level

I will be forever envious of fellow female runners who can shake out a pony-tail after a solid treadmill session with nothing more than a slight mist on their hairline. Meanwhile I’m towelling off my soaked face, my hair dripping as I sprint to the shower and avoid chit chat in my sweaty state.

What gives?

I took to the world wide web to answer my eternal question of why the heck do I sweat so much if I am “in shape”?

***I can rule out “hyperhidrosis” or an actual diagnosis of excessive sweating because this only happens during exercise, thank goodness.***

SOME SWEET SWEAT FACTS:

Basic Anatomy:

  • The autonomic nervous system controls the sweat function, a natural response to the rise in body temperature.
  • Sweat is 99% water, 1% sodium and other compounds (on average). Some people have “saltier” sweat than others.
  • The odor accompanying the release of sweat is not the actual sweat itself; it is the bacteria that lives on our skin around the sweat glands that becomes “activated” with the sudden moisture.

Sweat Factors:the amount a person sweats is related to the number of sweat glands, their gender, some genetic factors, source or reason for sweating (stress, spicy food, exercise, etc.) and overall body mass.

Other Interesting findings:

  • Several sources report that more cardiovascularly-fit people sweat earlier into their exercise session because their bodies have learned to expect the rise in body temperature and attempt to cool off sooner into the workout.
  • Because fat and body mass act as insulators, heavier people require more sweat to bring down their body temperature. This is why larger bodies sweat more.
  • A red light for me: “CAFFEINE CAN INCREASE PERSPIRATION.” :(

Science of Sweating (stronglikemycoffee.com)

What it boils down to:

The body contains between 2 and 5 million sweat glands. More glands = more sweat. I.e. Sweat volume is not a sign of fitness.

If you are a light sweater, I’m a jealous jellyfish. If you are a faucet, include extra hydration into your pre and post-workout routine. Drink up, buttercup!

Sweaty Sources:

http://cathe.com/sweating-profusely-during-exercise-does-it-mean-youre-out-of-shape

http://www.fitsugar.com/Why-Some-People-Sweat-More-Than-Others-145870

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/30/sweat-too-much-normal-sweating-facts_n_4659752.html

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