Tuesday, December 20, 2016

“The Tens” Running Workout + TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music Watch Review

Good morning!

I hope you’re ready for an awesome, high-intensity sweat session because I have just the workout for you! It’s a running workout that doesn’t require any equipment, so you can do it just about anywhere, which means it’s perfect for the holiday season, especially if you’re traveling to visit family. Just save this workout to do later! 🙂

I named this workout “The Tens” because you’ll complete 10 reps of each of the three movements, 10 different times. That’s right, by the end of the workout, you’ll have done a total of 100 reps of each movement. It’s definitely a tough one! If you’re just starting out or new to running, feel free to modify the workout to 8, 6, or even 4 rounds. Whatever makes sense for your fitness level. It’s still a great full-body workout!!


Ok, here’s how it works:

  • Start with a 200 meter run.
  • Then, stop and perform 10 Push-Ups and 10 Triceps Dips. (I used the guardrail on the side of the road, but any sort of bench, wall, platform, or big rock would work.)
  • After that, you’ll run another 200 meters, stop, and then complete 10 Split Squats (5 each leg).


It took me just over 27 minutes to finish, and all of my post-workout data was available thanks to the TomTom MySports app that I downloaded to sync with my new TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music watch that I recently received. I’ve been wearing the watch during my workouts (both running and at CrossFit), and it’s really cool to see my results.

I actually haven’t used any sort of fitness trackers since my Jawbone days back when Quinn was first born, and it’s amazing to see how far the technology has come. And with the holidays and New Year right around the corner, it is the perfect gift for someone to get back on track and make smart choices!


Ok, let’s start at the beginning with getting the watch set-up. I’m typically not a fan of reading directions or time-consuming tutorials (I just want to get going), so I was especially appreciative of how easy it was to get started with the TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music watch. I needed to charge the watch and wireless headphones ahead of time, but once they were ready, it was a piece of cake!

I immediately loved the TomTom® Spark 3 Cardio + Music watch, and, guys, running without a SPIbelt is life-changing! No bouncing around, no extra stuff, everything I need is included in the watch. I lovvveeee that I’m able to work out without my phone, but with music. And my love doesn’t end there!


More features that I love about the TomTom Spark 3:

Activity tracking + built-in heart rate monitor: You can record your heart rate, steps, active minutes, and calories burned throughout the day. It’s offers so much more than regular activity trackers. The heart rate monitor is especially awesome because you don’t need to use a chest strap. The watch and app also share your data over five different heart rate training zones, so you can see just how hard you were working during your workout (pictured below).


Multisport modes, including indoor tracking: You can track ALL of your workouts, including running, biking, swimming (yep, it’s water-resistant), indoor treadmill, gym (i.e. CrossFit), indoor cycling (i.e. SoulCycle), and more. I’ve never tracked a CrossFit workout before, so it’s been really cool to see the data, and I love that this watch works indoors.

GPS tracking: Includes time, distance, speed, pace, route, live stats, and a race mode, so you can select one of your past workouts and race against it. How cool is that? FYI: Finding the GPS signal is so much faster than any watch I’ve ever used because of the GPS Quickfix.


FYI: The thick green line on the bottom part (above) is my running route from “The Tens” workout. There’s a cul-de-sac close to my house, so that’s me just running back and forth 10 times. The numbers are mile markers.

3 GB of music and podcast storage: Hello, podcasts! Now I can listen without my phone, which is especially convenient, and I often use the Spark 3 on walks with Murphy or around the house when I’m doing chores. The Spark 3 allows you to upload 500+ songs directly onto the watch and listen to them using the Bluetooth headphones that come with the watch. The only downside is that you can’t stream music/podcasts to the watch, which is kind of a bummer since I love Pandora and Stitcher, but it just takes some pre-planning on my part. The watch is compatible with iTunes and all of my music is stored there, and it’s as simple as downloading and dragging a podcast over to the watch folder, so it’s really not a big deal, especially since I don’t need to carry around my big, bulky iPhone.

Training options: You can work on improving your speed and overall fitness with interval training/custom work-rest sessions. There’s also audio performance feedback, so you can push yourself during your workouts.

Route exploration: This features allows you to find your way back to the start of your route and explore new ones, which is especially awesome when traveling or running in new places.

Wireless headphones: I have to admit, they’re pretty amazing! I didn’t think I’d love the wireless headphones, but they’re so easy to use, sync quickly, and stay in my ears, no problem, during runs.

Customizable watch straps: You can select large or small watch straps to ensure the perfect fit for your wrist, and the straps come in a variety of colors.

Question of the Day

Do you use a fitness watch or heart rate monitor during your workouts? What is your favorite/most important feature?

If you’d like to follow TomTom® on social media, you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of TomTom®. The opinions and text are all mine. As always, thank you so much for supporting CNC!

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9 Primal Things to Appreciate about the Winter Season

Inline_9_Primal_Things_to_Appreciate_about_the_Winter_SeasonWinter has come. That means different things to people based on their climate, but I’m of the opinion that winter is relative. You’d be right that the “cold” I face isn’t as objectively dangerous or unpleasant as the cold people in New York, Ottawa, Chicago, Warsaw, or Stockholm face. What’s cold to me in Malibu is short-sleeve weather in my native Maine—but it’s still cold to me today! “Feeling cold” is the defining characteristic.

Today, I’m going to tell you why you should appreciate and enjoy the cold season.

Feeling uncomfortable

Discomfort is a good thing. Our ancestors were frequently uncomfortable. Discomfort weeded out the unfit and made us who we are today. Those with a beneficial response to physical discomfort were more likely to pass on their genes. We are the product of those people, and exposing ourselves to uncomfortable situations and sensations will probably improve our health and overall resilience, too.

Cold weather provides an easy opportunity for feeling uncomfortable. You just go outside in light clothing and wait for the chill.

The best part, besides making you tougher? Feeling uncomfortable makes comfort feel even better.

Having the wilderness all to yourself

People hate the cold. Use the fact that people hate the cold to your advantage. Every time I go for a hike in sub 50° weather, I’m mostly alone. People are by and large wimps. It’s great.

If you’re worried about being outside in the cold (and believe me, the wilderness takes away about 10°!), don’t be. Once you get moving, you quickly forget the temperature. Your body revs up, and you start sweating. You’ll probably start peeling off articles of clothing. Whatever you do, don’t dress to the ambient temperature. That quickly becomes irrelevant.

The abundance of cold plunge opportunities

Everyone should cold plunge on a regular basis. I’ve been doing it every night for several years now, and I don’t think I could manage without them. It’d be pretty hard to give up:

  • The enhanced recovery. After a day of particularly vigorous training or playing, I’m ready to go the next day—as long as I cold plunge.
  • Reduced DOMS, even after a heavy day.
  • Less joint pain. My arthritis is a thing of the past, but the lingering, nagging pains I’d still suffer from time to time have completely disappeared.
  • Better sleep. A cold plunge at night drops my body temperature and gets me ready for bed.

Any body of water you encounter will be cold. Outdoor swimming pools usually have the heaters off in winter—jump in! The cold water in your shower will be far colder during the winter than at any other time—time to try a contrast shower! Heck, you can turn on a garden hose, strip down to your skivvies, and douse yourself in a reliably cold stream of water if it’s winter.

Improvements to your waistline

Winter is famously bad for the waistline. You bounce from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, pounding various permutations of grain dust, sugar, and oil. Some evidence suggests that we gain more weight during the holidays than any other time of the year. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Cold exposure activates brown fat, the metabolically active adipose tissue that increases energy expenditure in order to keep you warm. Brown fat is like keeping a burner on low. It won’t heat you up enough to sweat, but it will provide a low level of adaptation to the cold and help you replace indoor heating, the use of which seems to parallel the increase in obesity.

According to one study, exposing yourself to cool weather (60°F) for just 2 hours a day for six weeks while wearing light clothing increases energy expenditure and reduces overall body fatness. That’s really easy to do. Leave the heat off. Skip the jacket when you go outside. Run shirtless through the woods. It’s not even that cold. 

My favorite way to expose myself to ambient cold is to go for shirtless walks or hikes. I don’t have any weight to lose, but it feels great—and I bet shirtless or tanktopped walks would do wonders for those of you who do have extra weight.

Hyggeing it up

The Nordic countries might get the most attention for their fantastic social outcomes, impressive education systems, and profound mythology, but I’m partial to the Danish concept of hygge.

Hygge doesn’t have a perfect corollary in English. It means wintry coziness, togetherness, group-based comfiness. Hygge is drinking hot cocoa around a fire. It’s snuggling in with a good book. It’s most similar to our idea of “holiday cheer,” only it lasts all year long.

I’m calling it now: Hygge can be huge.

Winter sports

I go snowboarding every year. But I have to travel to do it. It’s a pain, but I still make it happen. That’s how much I cherish skimming across the snow while standing on a board.

Winter sports are more than sheer fun. They’re exciting and a little dangerous (controlled danger is good for you).

People who live an Uber ride away from the slopes don’t know how good they have it. I’m really, truly jealous. Don’t squander your good fortune.

Snowball fights/angels/men/women

I don’t get snow much anymore. Living in Malibu, I’m lucky to see my breath. But growing up in New England, my buddies and I would get into the most epic snowball fights around. This was before helicopter parenting became a thing, back when you had the freedom to wage entire season-spanning campaigns against the kids across town.

Snowplay unlocks something deep within. Find it again.

Stews and soups

Man, there’s nothing like a big brothy bowl of falling-apart meat and hearty vegetables on a cold day. It’s a day-long endeavor that drip-drop rewards you with smells, anticipation, and, finally, sustenance.

That same meal might taste good enough in August, but it doesn’t hit you in the heart like it does in December. It satisfies your belly, not your soul.

Stokes purple sweet potatoes

You can get purple Okinawan sweet potatoes from the Asian markets—they’re okay, just not as good as eating them fresh from Hawaii—but my favorite purple potato as of late has been the Stokes purple sweet potato. It’s moister than the Okinawans and drier than your standard orange Garnet sweet potato. I like them two ways:

Bake at 400 until soft, mix with coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon.

Bake at 400 until soft, mix with 85% dark chocolate and sea salt.

Once November rolls around, I know they’ll be coming soon to Whole Foods.

That’s why I love cold weather. What about you? What are you appreciating about winter these days? Thanks for reading, everybody.


The post 9 Primal Things to Appreciate about the Winter Season appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Holiday Pear Salad

Looking for a stunning salad to serve this holiday season? This pear salad with quick candied walnuts and honey miso dressing is a must-try. The concept is easy, but the combination of flavors and textures gives the salad a complex feel. The base is a gorgeous mixture of delicate greens topped with tender and ripe pear, tart dried cranberries, sharp blue cheese crumbles and sweet walnuts. Then, it’s all tossed in a creamy miso dressing that’s packed with slightly sweet, salty flavor. It’s a must-serve for any holiday table.

I make these quick candied walnuts all the time to top salads and soups — or eat as a snack. With a fraction of the sugar in regular candied walnuts, they are just as nutty and sweet. The trick is melting the sugar over the butter-laced walnuts, then allowing them to cool in a single layer. Letting the walnuts sit allows the sugar to caramelize and harden into brittle-like pieces.

Holiday Pear Salad
Yield: 4 servings

Quick Candied Walnuts
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Creamy Miso Dressing
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons water
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

6 cups mixed greens
1 cup shaved fennel bulb
2 ripe pears, sliced thin
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
1/4 cup dried cranberries

Make the walnuts. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large skillet and add the walnuts, then toss to coat. Stir in the sugar and mix until the sugar has melted and combined with the walnuts. Add the walnuts to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Let cool for at least 15 to 20 minutes to harden.

Whisk together the miso, vinegar, honey, water and garlic until very smooth and the miso has dissolved. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil until thickened. Set aside.

Toss together the greens, fennel and pears in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and toss until well-combined. Sprinkle on the blue cheese and cranberries, then plate. Drizzle with the remaining miso dressing and serve immediately.

Per serving (296 g): Calories 435; Fat 32 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 14 mg; Sodium 478 mg; Carbohydrate 32.3 g; Fiber 7 g; Sugars 18.6 g; Protein 9.6 g

Alex Caspero MA, RD, RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Yoga Teacher. She is the founder of Delish Knowledge (delishknowledge.com), a resource for healthy, whole-food vegetarian recipes. In her private coaching practice, she helps individuals find their “Happy Weight.” 

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The Snowball Effect


Recently I spent a morning working at my desk and was ready for a break. I had planned a run outside that day, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I had a few options:

  1. Force myself to run
  2. Stay inside and keep working
  3. Walk instead

I love walking, and you can always convince me to take a walk. There is something so pleasant about walking, so I decided that a walk was better than nothing and a good compromise. Plus I really didn’t want to keep working ; ) So, I put on my workout clothes, queued up a podcast, and set out the door.

Guess what happened? About 10 minutes in, I decided I felt like running after all. I ran the rest of the way and ended my workout feeling great.

What happened that day was a typical snowball effect. You start out small with something and as you see or feel results, you gain the momentum and motivation to push harder. I had NO intention of running when I set out, but after 10 minutes of waking up my legs and feeling good about the choice to go outside, the craving to run buzzed in.

Had I just walked, that would have been OK too. Because something is always better than nothing. And you never know when a healthy snowball is going to hit you in the face!


The same thing happened to me when I graduated from college. I started cooking on my own and didn’t have the temptation of midnight quesadillas anymore, and a few pounds melted off of me. I was so excited to see the change that I continued to focus on healthy habits, cooking and exercising. I tell people all the time that when I lost the weight after college it really was fairly effortless because my snowball effect was so strong (and because I had a lot of weight to lose…).

The hard part is packing that first loose snow into something you can see and feel. How do you make those first few good choices that get the ball rolling?

First, you remind yourself that there are CHOICES. You get to decide how you spend your time. Think of the hours in your day like money you can spend, and you are buying yourself a good mood and a healthier body, and investing in a longer, more active life.

Second, the next time your brain says “I’d rather sit on the couch and drink this bottle of wine, thankyouverymuch” tell yourself you only have to do the minimum. A walk. A ten minute YouTube bootcamp. Only 30 minutes at the gym instead of your usual hour. Some days that might be all you can handle and THAT IS OK! But other days getting that first snow packed might push you in the right direction. Sometimes I just need to put on my sports bra and I suddenly get the urge to workout! Know thyself.


And finally, set yourself up for success by making the healthy choice the easy choice. I have always loved reading magazines at the gym and now I am totally hooked on a handful of podcasts. Lately I have been looking at my workouts as “podcast time” more than “exercise time” and I look forward to that podcast so much I forget that I am out of breath or have walked an extra lap around the block so I can finish it up before going inside. Find something that makes you enjoy exercise and start with a sport that supports that joy: trashy TV, reading novels, home magazines, audio books, music, podcasts, chatting with friends.

Pretty soon your snowball will turn into a boss lady snow woman ; )

The post The Snowball Effect appeared first on Kath Eats Real Food.

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Episode 348 – Allyson Chrystal – Kid’s Health, and Sensory Issues


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This week we have guest Allyson Chrystal. Allyson is an occupational therapist and clinical instructor specializing in pediatrics, and is currently completing a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition and Functional Medicine. Allyson has a focus on sensory integration and self-regulation in children with behavioral and developmental disorders.

Listen in as we talk all about kid’s health, movement and play, proprioception, sensory issues, and more. This is a good one if you have, or work with, kids.

Download Episode Here (MP3)

Guest: Allyson Chrystal

Website: http://ift.tt/2h6k5Gw (under construction at this time)


30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

Buy the book


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