Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Run for it!

"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now.  Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." ~ Priscilla Welch

Tomorrow is May 1, and for many people that means the start of marathon season.  We may still be getting tricked by mother nature, but soon the snow and ice will be gone and we'll see more people out enjoying the trails and filling the sidewalks.  There are many great events in Saskatchewan for competitive and recreational runners.  Whether you choose to aim for a personal best, enjoy the festivities, cheer on a friend or family member, or leisurely run/walk, the important thing is to stay active.  Healthy eating and activity are often too low on our priority lists.  Below are a variety of events (please let me know if I missed one and I'll gladly add it) with a variety of distances and themes to keep them competitive and fun.  I ran the 5km last year at the Bridge City Boogie and will run the 10km this year to keep things interesting!  I also plan to try out the Color Me Rad 5km event for something fun to do with a group of friends.
I haven't posed a question to you in awhile, but what are you training for or registering for this Spring/Summer/Fall? 

SK Marathon - May 26; stop by Prairieland May 25 for the Race Expo and come chat with me at the Craven Sport Services/Something Nutrishus booth!
Bridge City Boogie - June 9 

River Run Classic - July 14 (new date, previous years in August)

SRRA Trail Race #2 - July 20

Color Me Rad - September 14, 2013

SRRA Trail Race #3 - Sept. 21

Mogathon - Sept. 28

Sask 50km Ultra - Oct. 19

If you're interested in joining a running clinic or group, check out:

Let me know if you have an event or training group that you'd like me to share with the locals (and if I feel it's appropriate I'll post it).

Here's to a sunny and warm May!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ready to Grow

It feels like Spring is finally here! Perhaps you're an experienced gardener or maybe you're thinking about planting for the first time. If you're getting ready to spend time outside and aren't sure where to start planning your garden, Allison Babich, a dietetic intern who spent a few days with me, has some advice and tips to get you started... 
Summer is just around the corner and there is one strategy that can help you accomplish 3 things:  eat healthy, save money, and get outside more often...Gardening! Gardening doesn't have to be time consuming, can be very relaxing, and it’s hard to match the taste of a vegetable or fruit that you grew with your own hands! The first step is picking a space, and there are 3 things you should look for:

1. Sunshine, choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunshine per day. For first time gardeners, choosing a small space is best so that your garden doesn't become too large and overwhelming. If you don’t have a yard you can even use large plant pots or boxes for container gardening! Container gardens are a convenient alternative to a traditional garden if you don’t have a lot of space, and they can be kept close by on balconies or patios for easy care and harvesting. 2. Water, the closer you are to a source of water the better. Consider keeping a small rain barrel near your garden to help cut down on water waste and save on your water bill! 3. Healthy soil, you can purchase nutrient rich topsoil from your neighbourhood greenhouse to mix in with your soil at home, or have yours tested for quality to ensure your plants will grow their best!
Bucks Country Gardens

The next step is to choose vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that are easy to grow and that you enjoy! Growing these types of plants together creates a beautiful and interesting garden, and some flowers and herbs can help keep insects and pests away from your home and garden! You may find it easier to start off with seedlings for your first garden, just make sure the plants are healthy and insect free. Seeds are just as easy to grow. Check the back of the package of seeds for growing and harvesting information, and there you will find the best time to plant your seeds, how deep to  plant them, how long your plant will take to grow, and how and when to harvest your food.

Here are a few examples of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and flowers that are easy to grow in Saskatchewan and that taste and look amazing: Carrots (seeds) and tomatoes (seedlings) are low maintenance and easy to harvest and enjoy. Strawberries and raspberries grow with almost no tending, and are easy to pick and eat on the spot. Parsley will help keep bugs away from tomatoes and  coriander and chives make delicious additions to meals. Pansies and petunias are pretty and grow well in SK. Another nice flower to try is German Chamomile, it grows well and you can make tea from the dried petals!

Happy Gardening!

Allison Babich, dietetic intern (for Steph Langdon, RD)
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Monday, April 8, 2013

Get Ahead with Good Nutrition

Watch out world - university students are preparing for final exams yet again!  What this means will definitely depend on the individual characteristics of the student.  For some, it will mean free time because lectures are all done.  For others it will mean locking themselves in the library for the next 3 weeks.  Even though it may not seem like a priority, it is important for students (and student-athletes) to stay healthy during this time.  Many university athletes train hard during the off-season and need to ensure that exam stress doesn't affect physical performance, recovery, or healthy food choices.  That means taking time to grocery shop, prep a big batch or two, hydrate, move your body, get fresh air, and allow your brain to rest. 

If you're eating unhealthy snack foods and relying on caffeine at all hours of the day you will likely get run down and not be efficient when you do spend time with your books.  I still struggle with balance in my life, but I know that clearing my head and/or working out and providing my body with water and nutritious foods allows me to be more productive.  When exams end and you're ready to be free for the summer, you don't want to be sick in bed with no energy left.

Focus on a variety of colourful vegetables and fruit to provide important nutrients and fibre.  By including lean proteins and healthy fats you will stay full for longer and be able to make it to the next study break without crashing and wishing you had a bag of chips or candy.  Yes, you may be strapped for time, but buddy up and have a potluck for a mental/social break or take turns cooking to help whoever is cramming at the moment. 

The government of Alberta has a few tips about managing exam time, which includes scheduling snack breaks and eating breakfast the morning of your exam(s).  They also have links about dealing with exam stress and anxiety.

 I know you don't want to forget the class material, but don't forget to take care of your health and wellbeing!

Good luck!

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching