Monthly Archives: February 2013

In the off season: How to stay in shape


As a former athlete, I know first hand the struggles of staying in shape during the off season. After training so hard for months, giving your life to the sport, it is tempting to rest and relax for a few weeks, even months. However, college sports usually do not allow for this. With the constant need to stay conditioned, in shape and on top of your game, I turned to Division III Fredonia State Swimming senior, Charley Arrigo for advice.

Courtney: How do you deal with eating in the offseason? Do you totally let go, or still watch what you eat?

Charley ArrigoIt’s always in the back of my mind that when I’m going to a fast food joint or anywhere, that I have the guilt in my head that I shouldn’t be doing it. I do my best to ‘grab the yogurt’ instead.

Courtney: What do your eating habits tend to look like during the season?

CA: During the heavy training times I eat as much as I want because I know that I’m doing so much yardage and I’m burning so many calories that the last thing I want to do is make sure my body isn’t loosing energy because of the fact that I’m not eating enough. When we start the end of season championship competition, my eating habits change. A lot of milk and eggs, because eggs will help your body recover because of the glutamine. I drink chocolate milk because it’s supposed to be one of the best recovery drinks in sports.

Courtney: How does this differ from the off season?

CA: When I’m in the off season I worry about not putting on weight. I’m conscious of my eating.

Courtney: What is your practice like during the season? Does it affect your appetite?

CA: On average I burn about 2,000 calories a day in swim practice. After the 2,000 calories of practice, your appetite is never satisfied and there’ll be times when you could probably eat 3-4 plates and still the desire to eat even more. Once the off season comes, its difficult to eat the same amount of food.

Courtney: What do you do during the off season, activity wise, to keep in shape? What do you focus on the most?

CA: During the off season, I take about a month off to let my body recover. After that, I slowly work myself back in to doing about three times a week [of swimming] and then by summer I’m in full off-season training mode, probably 4-5 times a week. I’ll be in the weight room 3-5 times a week working on all the muscle groups that will help me in the pool. A lot of pushups and sit ups for my core, and attacking my legs as much as possible.

Courtney: Do you have any advice for athletes coming off their season?

CA: I feel awful when I’m not working out during the off season, because I know it’s so much time spent of me not getting better. It’s time that I will never get back. I would encourage people to never go under three times a week not doing some type of workout. It comes down to what that persons goals are, what they want to accomplish and their own drive.

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Safe stretching: legs

There have been so many times when I see people in the gym doing exercises or stretches wrong. Often times, they are even coaching other people on how to do it! It makes me nervous that they are going to hurt themselves, or someone else. Though it may seem simple, I decided to post some simple but very informative videos on proper ways to do stretches. Remember, stretch before and after your workout! It is such an essential part of exercising that many people disregard.

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Safe running in the winter

Truth is, I hate the gym. I hate working out inside, I get bored. When I run on the treadmill, my attention lasts for about five minutes before I already want to be done. This is why I usually resort to running outside, a place where I could go forever. In the summer it’s awesome because I can run and do my whole workout right in my front yard (I’ll do another post about that as the weather warms up). But for now, I am stuck with either the gym or the cold, frigid Fredonia winter snow. 

A few things to keep in mind when running outside in the cold:
1. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated. Even though it may seem cold out and appear that you’re not sweating as much, you are still exerting a ton of energy and losing water, which you need to replace. Don’t let the cold temperatures fool you.

2. Stretch properly. Arctic-like elements could do some serious damage to your muscles and joints if you don’t stretch properly-before and after your workout. Stay tuned for a future post on specific stretching techniques. 

4. Dress appropriately. Even if your body heats up, you still need to protect yourself against the elements so you don’t cause any harm to your body. An additional layer of under-aromour type clothing is highly suggested in the cold. One of my favorite websites, Eastern Mountain Sports is having a huge sale right now where you should be able to find some great deals on gear for running outside. (Link below)

Personally, my ears are the first thing to get cold, they even sometimes start ringing. I hate hats, so this is an awesome alternative (which happens to be on sale right now!) This headband is made for running outside, and is only $6.98! You can’t beat that.


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Healthy foods for broke college kids

This is one of the best things I have come across. Here is a HUGE list of foods under $1.00. This is awesome for poor college kids like me, but also anyone else who wants to save money!


1. Oats$0.13 per serving, about $1 per pound (in bulk)
Take a tip from Mr. Ed. Oats are high in fiber, low in fat, and may even help lower cholesterol[1]. What’s not to love? Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, substitute for flour in cookies, or even use asbreadcrumbs.

2. Eggs$0.19 per egg, about $2 per dozen
When in need for some protein, eggs are quick, delicious, fix[2]Scramble with veggies for a filling breakfast, add to homemade fried brown rice, or make a frittata!

3. Almonds$0.60 for a 1oz serving (20-25 nuts), about $5 per 8oz bag
Rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, these super-nuts could reduce the risk of diabetes and decrease body weight[3]. (Sorry, Almond Joys don’t count.) Munch on em during the day, or add to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal for extra healthy fats and protein.

4. Peanuts$0.50 for a 1oz serving (25-30 nuts), about $4 per 8oz bag
Take me out to the ball game on the cheap. Sure, peanut butter might be a dangerfood, but in their natural form, these legumes are a healthy treat. When eating in moderation, peanuts supply a dose of healthy fats and can reduce the risk of heart disease[4]. When add to any chicken and veggie dish, they add a great Asian-inspired flare!

5. Garbanzo beans$0.30 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can
These little beans pack a serious amount of fiber. Add to a salad, roast them with curry powder, ormake your own hummus.

6. Lentils$0.12 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per pound (dry, in bulk)
With more protein per pound than beeflentils are a filling food rich with antioxidants (and quite tasty, too)[5]. Here are seven ways to make lentil soup, along with a killer recipe for vegetarian lentil tacos!

7. Black beans$0.30 cents per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can
These unassuming beans pack a ton of fiber and have a solid amount of calcium, fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Pro-tip: Buy the dry beans for an even better nutritious and money deal — boiling beans at home may preserve more of their cancer-fighting antioxidants[6]. Cook up some black bean soup, or make a healthy black-bean dip.

8. Pinto beans$0.30 cents per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can
The health factor of refried beans at a Mexican restaurant may be questionable, so mash them up at home. These beans are full of protein and fiber and are a delicious addition to any homemade burrito — breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

9. Tofu$0.50 cents per a 4 oz serving, about $2 per pound
High in protein and low in fat, tofu is a delicious source of protein for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Plus, soy in moderation may help reduce cholesterol and the risk of breast cancer[7]. Pan fry tofu with veggies in the next stir-fry, or even add the silken variety to a fruit smoothie.

10. Pumpkin Seeds$0.50 per 1oz serving, about $5 per pound.
Move over birds, these seeds are for us humans (and not just on Halloween)! Filled with essential vitamins and minerals, along with protein and iron, sprinkle these in a salad or roast with spices for a healthy, crunchy treat[8].

11. Chicken Breasts$0.75 per 4 oz serving, about $2.99 per pound
Forgo the McChicken on the dollar menu — fresh chicken breasts are about two quarters and arefilled with protein. Grill ‘em, bake ‘em, or enjoy sliced in a whole-wheat wrap with veggies.

12. Canned Salmon$0.75 per serving, about $1.50 per can
No need to splurge on a salmon filet to enjoy this omega-3 packed seafood. Grab the canned version for some protein power without dishing out the big bucks. Whip up some homemade salmon burgers or chowder with a twist.

13. Canned Tuna$0.75 cents, about $1.50 per can
Not only is tuna fish cheap, but it’s an easy way to get omega-3’s (which could make us brilliant). Mix with Greek yogurt and chopped veggies for a healthier tuna salad.

14. Whey Protein$0.75 cents per scoop, about $40 per 3 lb container
Need an extra dose of protein? Add whey protein to a smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, or sneak it into the next batch of brownies.


15. Low-fat Milk$0.25 cents per cup, about $4 per gallon
Got milk? One calcium-filled glass can help keep teeth strong and even help keep off those excess pounds[9][10]. Add a splash to a fruit smoothie, or enjoy in a bowl of oats or cereal.

16. Low-fat Yogurt, about $1 per 6 oz cup
Skip the bagel and pick up a quick treat that’s filled with protein and calcium! Enjoy for breakfast with some granola, or as a post-workout snack. Just beware of flavors loaded with extra sugar. Extra points for choosing superfood Greek yogurt — though it can be more expensive, so waiting for it to go on sale is a smart move!

17. Low-fat Cottage cheese, $0.88 per 1/2 cup serving, about $3.50 per 16 oz container
It’s time to put looks aside. This clumpy, mild cheese is surprisingly high in protein, and tastes great in both sweet and savory dishes. Top with sliced pineapple and berries for a sweet protein-packed treat, or make it savory in a low-fat creamy pasta sauce.

Whole Grains

18. Wholegrain Pasta, $0.37 cents per ½ cup serving, about $3 per box.
Move over white-stuff; the whole wheat version of pasta is full of fiber, antioxidants, and protein, and may help lower risk of heart disease[11]. Enjoy its nutty flavor with stir-fried veggies and hearty marinara sauce.

19. Brown Rice, $0.18 per ¼ cup serving, about $2 per pound
Listen to our manifesto: Choose brown rice over white (especially at Chipotle). The whole-grain version is full o’ fiber and may cut the risk of diabetes[12].

20. Popcorn, $0.30 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per pound for plain kernels
Snack attack? Pick a low calorie snack that’s also a good source of fiber.Pop kernels in the kitchen and add spices. Movie theater popcorn ain’t got nothin’ on this!

21. Quinoa, $0.60 per ¼ cup serving, about $4 per box
It may be hard to pronounce (that’s keen-wah), but it’s easy to prepare and packs a nutritious punch. Filled with protein and fiber, this superfood also contains nine essential amino acids our bodies can’t produce on their own[13].


22. Grapes, $0.75 per 1 cup serving, about $1.50 per pound
These sweet little treats are high in antioxidants, which may help reduce cholesterol. They’re a perfect snack when that sweet tooth rolls in; freeze them for a fresh alternative for popsicles!

23. Apples, about $0.50 to $0.75 per apple (depending on variety)
It’ll keep the doctor away, so grab this superfood for a serving of vitamin C and cancer-fightingantioxidants. Snack with almond butter or add to a sandwich.

24. Bananas$0.20 to $0.50 per banana, about $0.60 per pound or $2 per bunch
It’s time to go bananas for… bananas. Filled with fiber and potassium, these 100-calorie “snack-packs” may even help with that hangover. Enjoy sliced with peanut butter, or impress friends withbanana ice-cream! 

25. Kiwi, about $0.40 per kiwi
Fun fact: Kiwi’s are actually berries and are filled with vitamin C and fiber. Slice it up in that next fruit salad or enjoy straight up with a spoon.

26. Cantaloupe, $0.50 per ½ cup serving, about $3 per small melon
C is for cantaloupe and vitamin C. Filled with antioxidants, cantaloupe is cheap and makes a perfect spring or summer treat! Feeling creative? Freeze chunks of this sweet fruit for an extra-special warm weather snack.

27. Watermelon$0.30 per 1 cup serving, $5 per melon
This feisty superfood may have Viagra-like effects, but it’s also guaranteed to be filled with vitamin C — a cancer fighting antioxidant that helps strengthen immunity and promote bone health. Slice em up and enjoy (or make a watermelon daiquiri).

28. Pears$0.85 each, about $1.75 per pound (depending on variety)
It’s not just an apple a day that may keep the doc away; white fleshy pears may help prevent strokes[14]. They’re also full o’ fiber. Keep things mixed up and try the Barlett, Bosc, and Anjou varieties.

29. Oranges$0.50 each, about $1 per pound (in family-sized pack)
Oranges aren’t just about their vitamin C. This citrus fruit is also filled with fiber, folate, and potassium. Skip the glass and go with the whole fruit to surpass the excess sugar and get a healthy dose of antioxidants.


30. Canned Tomatoes (Diced)$0.50 per ½ cup serving, about $1.80 per 14.8 oz can
To really get a bang for that buck, go the canned route. Canned tomatoes are perfect forhomemade sauces and stews. Tomatoes also contain exceptional amounts of the antioxidant lycopene that remains in the flesh even after cooking and canning[15]. Just keep on the lookout for cans with no sodium added.

31. Canned Pumpkin$0.75 per ½ cup serving, about $2.50 per 15oz can
No need to go pickin’ to reap the benefits of the pumpkin patch. A pumpkin’s orange color is thanks to carotenoids, a plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties[16]. Head to the kitchen and whip up some pumpkin pasta sauce or even pumpkin hummus.

32. Garlic, about $0.30 per bulb
It doesn’t only put a stink to our breath. Garlic has some smarty-pants benefits, helping enhance memory[17]. It’s also full of antioxidants to promote heart health and reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s[18]. Add to a pan of veggies or tomato sauce to spice up the flavor, or roast it in the oven for a sweeter flavor.

33. Onions$0.18 each, about $0.59 per pound
Quit crying — onions pack a surprising nutritious punch, including a hefty dose of antioxidants[19]. Sautée and add to an omelet, or stack on a sandwich for extra flavor.

34. Sweet Potatoes$0.50 each, about $1 per pound
The white ones may be a dangerfood, but this time around, the sweet stuff is the way to go. It tips the scale with its high levels of vitamin A , contains beta-carotene (which may help prevent cancerand protect us from the sun) and also helps keep that skin silky smooth.

35. Winter Squash (Acorn, Butternut, etc.)$0.50 per ½ cup serving, about $1.50 a pound
Squash isn’t only an awesome racquet sport. It’s also a versatile veggie filled with vitamins, fiber, and potassium. Skip the bowl and roast a squash and fill with other hearty goodness!

36. Kale$0.50 per cup (raw, chopped), about $2 per bunch
Popeye was missing out. Kale is the antioxidant king among all fruits and veggies, and contains vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, calcium, iron, and potassium (phew!). Need another reason to eat them? Kale chips.

37. Broccoli$0.50 per ½ cup serving, $2 per bunch
Need another reason to go green? Broccoli has remarkably high levels of folate and vitamin C, which may help reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease[20][21].

38. Beets$0.35 each, about $1 per pound
These purple gems are filled with betalains, which may help prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases[22][23]. They are also packed with folate, fiber, and vitamins galore, making them one of the best health bargains around. Chop em, roast em, or add to a berry smoothie!

39. Spinach$0.50 per cup (raw), about $2 per bunch
These unassuming greens are unbeleafableThey’re nutrient dense with vitamin A, K, and calcium. Try sautéing them with mushrooms or subbing for iceberg in the next lunchtime salad. 

40. Carrots$0.50 each, about $2 per pound
Those rabbits are on to something. Carrots provide a nutritious crunch with their fill of vitamin A[24]. They’re perfect for dipping into hummus, or taste great roasted with other root veggies and a drizzle of olive oil. 

41. Edamame$0.50 per ½ cup serving, $3 per 10oz package (frozen)
This star legume is filled with fiber and protein and makes a great afternoon snack. Skip the chips and enjoy with a touch of salt for a quick, nutritious treat.


42. Coffee, $0.40 per 16 oz cup (brewed), about $10 per pound
Not only is it amazing for you, but brewing coffee at home can save some real dolla dolla bills. This morning pick-me-up also contains antioxidants to help protect the heart, and is a great pre-workout fuel to help increase endurance. Not thirsty? This kitchen staple doubles as the key ingredient for variety of other household chores, too!

43. Tea$0.10 per tea bag, about $5 a box (varies based on type)
The varying health benefits of tea are a-plenty, ranging from their antioxidant powers to helping maintain a healthy weight[25]. Skip the sugary stuff and try brewing iced-tea at home, and opt for green if looking to maximize antioxidant intake.

44. Water, free. (Well, kind of.)
Head to the nearest faucet — our bodies depend on it. Water keeps us hydrated (shocking), flushes out toxins in the body, and helps when trying to lose a few pesky pounds[26].


Credit to the wonderful site:

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Reasons Why You’re Not Loosing Weight

I came across this article again on Pinterest, and I love it. It has a lot of the same principals as I do. Even if you are guilty of only one of these things, it could still be keeping you from loosing weight. Flip through the slides and see if any apply to you!

Credits go to, as well as the author of this article Lizzie Fuhr

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Healthy Funfetti Cupcakes

I came across this recipe, and I can’t wait to try it! It looks and sounds amazing, and it has only 110 calories per cupcake-with frosting! I could never fully give up dessert, so I need things like this in my life to keep me sane. And who doesn’t love funfetti?

Credit goes to Six Sisters Stuff (From the link with the recipe above. Check out their blog for more great recipes!)


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Side Dishes on a Budget

A question I get asked a lot is what I eat as a side dish. Since I try and stay away from carbs, I usually stick to veggies. This can get old, fast, so here is an awesome link to some creative, easy and healthy side dishes to try.

Being a poor college kid, I need to find ways to make my food as cheap as I possibly can. The way I’ve gone about getting my veggies in is by buying them frozen or in a can. I used to cringe at this idea, but I’ve learned to doctor them up pretty well. Besides using them in recipes, I will sauté them. I being with heating the pan first, then putting in a little olive oil. (Heating the pan first is an important yet often forgotten step in cooking.) After that, I will caramelize some onions and garlic, then add the frozen or canned veggie. Salt and pepper are a must, as well. I’m excited to try some of these, let me know what you think!


Credits for the article and photo go to Fitness Magazine

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What to eat on the go: Airport food

Being an avid traveler, I often find myself hungry in an airport. Airports are some of the grossest, greasiest, uncomfortable places on the face of the planet, and their food tends to follow these characteristics. How do you keep control of the situation and not end up eating a whole $12 personal pan cheese pizza from UNO? (Just like I did this weekend…) I have several tricks for beating airport food.

1. Travel full. Avoid the situation entirely by planning and eating ahead of time. If your flight is not terribly long, a full meal before hand should hold you over till you get to your location.

2. Bring snacks. While you won’t be able to pack drinks, most food is okay. My go-to item is granola bars, pictured below. Protein bars such as these are made for making you feel full, so they are great to snack on when you get hungry, even if you’re on the plane. Fruit is good as well, but be careful when crossing international boards as it usually isn’t allowed.

3. Stick to what you know. When you find yourself traveling for long periods of time, it is sometimes necessary to dine in the airport. For snacks, there is usually a huge variety in stores, which often includes the same snacks you have been eating at home. Yogurt, granola bars, nuts, etc. are commonly seen items that are safe to stick to. When you need a full meal, go for a salad. Be careful of things like heavy, fattening toppings and creamy dressings, however. Lean chicken, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches, cheese sticks and fruit are all things that will probably be available as well (and safe to eat).

4. Skip the on-flight snacks. Usually the snack options are: cheesy crackers, cookies, chips and more cookies. Try to pack a snack for these situations.

5. Choose your on-flight meal. On most international flights (at least when I flew on British Airways), you can put in your flight information on their website and choose an option for the meals you receive. I picked vegetarian, but I know they also have vegan, gluten free and other options along those lines.

Comment with any other suggestions you may have!Image

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