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Welcome to the Official Site of The Y in Central Maryland Turkey Trot Charity 5K! We are excited to have you join us for this Thanksgiving morning tradition.

Adults, children and families from across the region come together to not only run (or walk, jog, stroll), but to raise funds so that children living in poverty in Central Maryland have access to Y programs that will forever shape their lives.

Thank you for being part of something good on Thanksgiving Morning!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Your Support on Thanksgiving Morning Speaks Volumes

At 8:30 am on Thanksgiving morning, thousands of families, friends and community members gathered at the starting line of our Turkey Trot Charity 5Ks in the name of healthy family fun and community support for those less fortunate. We thank you, congratulate you and celebrate with you on what was a very powerful day!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures!

Have a photo to share or want to see if we captured yours on Thursday morning? Check out our Facebook page for all the albums. We will be updating them over the next week, so keep checking back. Share with your friends, tag, download, frame, enjoy!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Looking For Race Results?

Thank you to everyone who came out this morning to participate in the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K! The cold did not keep friends and families from bundling up to run and walk together. We have had a lot of requests for race results. Here are the shortcuts to finding yours:

Baltimore City Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Bel Air Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Catonsville/Ellicott City Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Towson Turkey Trot Charity 5K

Westminster Turkey Trot Charity 5K

We wish you a happy, healthy and safe day! In your downtime post your Turkey Trot Charity 5K pictures to our Facebook page.

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Trotting!

We wish everyone a safe, healthy, and happy Thanksgiving and Hanukkah! To all those trotting with us this morning - we cannot wait to see you all out there!

We will be back next week to share our top fundraisers, our fastest runners and the amazing impact this event had on our community.

Thank you for your support, thank you for joining us, thank you for helping Maryland children living in poverty.

Missed the event, but still want to help the thousands of children needing assistance in Central Maryland? Please donate here.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bright and Sunny Thanksgiving Day

It may be a mess out there right now, but tomorrow morning all forecasts are calling for a sunny and brisk morning! Be sure to grab your gloves and hats as you head out to spend an hour or two with your friends and family as you participate in a Thanksgiving Day tradition.

After you walk or run the 5K route you will be ready to head off to enjoy other Thanksgiving traditions and we hope you do so with a full heart and full belly.

We hope you are excited, because we sure are! See you tomorrow and do not forget to check the FAQ pages above for race day details!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Elvis Oatmeal

We have put a spin on Elvis' favorite sandwich - peanut butter and banana, with this gluten free peanut butter and banana oatmeal. This makes a great weekend treat or an everyday breakfast option.

For one serving: prep time: 2 mins, cook time: 4 mins

Ingredients for one serving:
  • 1/2 cup certified gluten-free oats
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1/2 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup of your favorite milk (cow, soy, almond, etc)
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • sweetner of choice (sugar, stevia, etc) to taste (optional)
  • additional banana slices and chopped walnuts to garnish

  • Combine all ingredients except for toppings, in a small saucepan.
  • Heat on the stove over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce heat to low.
  • Continue stirring, adding in a little sweetener to taste if you wish
  • Pour the oatmeal into a bowl and top with additional banana slices and walnuts
  • Enjoy!
Image from: http://simple-nourished-living.com/

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Run - Faster, Longer, Stronger!

With three weeks to go you probably are up to running a full 5K once a week, maybe once a day. All this running can get boring for some, so we have some boredom busing ideas to keep you running.

  • Skip - yes, skip, like skip-to-my-lou. Skipping will engage muscle groups in a different way than your running stride does. This muscle confusion will help improve your stride.
  • Tempo Runs - Tempo runs improve your metabolic fitness by training your body to use oxygen more efficiently. This means you can run longer before feeling the pain of lactic acid build up.
    • Warmup with a 5 minute walk.
    • Jog 5 minutes and mentally prepare for your hard sets
    • Run 90 seconds out and 90 seconds back at a “comfortably uncomfortable” pace
    • Rest 60 seconds, but keep your body moving during the rest period
    • Repeat 4 more times.
    • Cool down with 5 minutes of jogging, then 5 minutes of walking
  • Ladders - Ladders have the same benefits as Tempo Runs, just in a different format. These work best on a track.
    • Warm up with an easy half-mile run
    • Run a 1600 (1 mile). Rest 90 seconds
    • Run a 1200. Rest 90 seconds
    • Run an 800. Rest 90 seconds
    • Run a 600. Rest 90 seconds
    • Run a 400. Rest 90 seconds
    • Run a 200. Rest 90 seconds
    • Cool down with a jog
  • Blocks - If you run in a neighborhood, you can measure your runs block-by-block. City blocks are best for these drills:
    • Warm up with a light jog
    • Continue to jog at a light pace
    • Sprint every third block
    • Run for 25 to 30 minutes
    • Cool down with a walk
  • New Jams - add some new music to your playlist. Do not underestimate the power of good tunes.
  • New Mantra - your "go-to" quote may have lost some of its power over the months, so find a new mantra, or powerful and meaningful phrase to motivate yourself.
Best of luck! Keep running. Stay safe. Hydrate. Stretch. Smile.

Resources: http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/drills-to-improve-running-form

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Maryland Football Special Offer!

Thank you to the University of Maryland for this opportunity. To purchase your tickets online please visit: http://bit.ly/TrotTerps

Monday, November 4, 2013

Refueling After a Work Out

Can you believe it is NOVEMBER! The Turkey Trot Charity 5K is quickly approaching!

I want to first update you all on my little experiment. There were a few ways this study was somewhat doomed to be irrelevant. Since my kiddies are still young, I prefer to trick or treat with them rather than sit at home to hand out candy, so the age group that would have more likely picked a tattoo over the candy had already passed my house by the time we got home. I actually thought more kids would choose the tattoos knowing that everywhere else they would get candy, but I was wrong. Another factor that affected the results was the fact we only handed out candy for about 30 min, because it was then bedtime- and it started raining. Needless to say, these results I don’t think show anything, but here they are anyway. 44% of my candy was chosen, and 36% of the tattoos were picked…oh and did I mention, that some kids took one of each.

This week we are going to get into some options for refueling after a race/run. There are many options when it comes to refueling out on the market between gels, bars and drinks, but these can get pricey and are not always necessary. The best place to turn to post race/run is your own pantry!

When determining what is needed to refuel, it depends on your activity level. If you are exercising at a modest intensity for 30-60 minutes 3-5 x per week, you can maintain adequate carbohydrates stores be eating a well balanced diet. If you train harder and longer, your muscles need to be refueled immediately after exercising and again at the next meal or snack. 

Studies show that the ideal way to fast recovery is consume food and beverages in a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio within 30 min of exercise. You are more likely to store up to 3x more glycogen than if you would wait 2 or more hours. This is because digestive enzymes are at their most active state and your blood is pumping everywhere in your body.

A few years back, two studies were conducted at colleges. One study determined that consuming a whole grain cereal with low-fat milk improved protein synthesis for rebuilding damaged tissues, over consuming just a sports drink. The second study compared sports drinks to low-fat chocolate milk in rate of recovery. The chocolate milk drinkers had less creatine kinase, an indicator of muscle damage when compared to those who consumed the sports drink.

Food not only provides the body nutrients for success in competition, it also helps rebuild lean muscle and replenish glycogen stores in the body. You can get these nutrients via a sports recovery product or you can turn to your pantry and obtain just as effective results. Choose a slightly salty snack or meal that includes whole grains, fruit and dairy. You will supply your body with the needed calcium and phosphorus for bone health, antioxidants for tissue health, potassium to prevent muscle cramping, and sodium to replace electrolytes.

Here are a few recovery choices to keep handy in your pantry:
  • Cinnamon raisin bagel with low-fat cream cheese
  • Medium banana with glass of low-fat milk
  • Fresh fruit smoothie (made with calcium fortified drink)
  • Whole-grain bagel with peanut butter
  • Low-fat cheese with crackers and juice
  • Low-fat cottage cheese with fresh fruit, sprinkled with flax seed.
Are you the type of person that the thought of food after a hard work out is way too nauseating? Try to start with something bland- chicken noodle soup, pretzels, or clear beverage. You can train your stomach to tolerate refueling over time.

Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Fundraising CONTEST!

We are only four weeks away from the Turkey Trot Charity 5K and we do not want to slow down now!

The first 200 people to raise $100 between now and midnight of next Friday will receive a Y of Central Maryland reusable shopping bag in lime green!

If you have not started fundraising, start your fundraising page now.

You do not have to be registered for the 5K to participate!

Begins now, Friday, November 1, 2013. Ends midnight, Friday, November 8, 2013.

Good luck!

Recipe: Cheesy Sausage Tortellini

Cold weather makes us all crave warm, rich foods and this recipe is sure to hit the spot. Since it is so rich, we suggest pairing it with a fresh green salad (light on the dressing).

Picture and recipe from kevinandamanda.com
Serves 4


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb smoked turkey sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 c chicken broth
  • 1 c tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c regular cream
  • 9 oz tortellini
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Slice the sausage into inch thick pieces
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just starting to smoke
  3. Add sausage and cook until well browned, about 3-4 minutes per side
  4. Add the minced garlic and stir until golden, about 30 seconds
  5. Add the tomato sauce, cream, tortellini and salt and pepper to the sausage pan
  6. Stir to combine until simmering and bubbly
  7. Cover and simmer over low heat for 12 minutes until tortellini are tender and heated through

Nutritional Information for this recipe can be found at CalorieCount.com.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

4-Week Countdown from BSX Athletics

With about four weeks to go, we hope you’ve been using the BSX Athletics’ 8-week training plan to prepare for race day. They strive to help athletes, like you, break personal records and do so by combining wearable technologies with real life coaching to help athletes train smarter, not harder.

Whether it’s a wearable lactate threshold sensor, that looks inside the exercising muscle, or cloud-based training software for the modern coached athlete, BSX aims to take the guesswork out of training and guide decision making in real time. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for product updates, training tips and more.

Keep on training! Almost there!

Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassadors

Have you spoken with a Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassador yet? If you signed up to run or walk with us Thanksgiving morning you will hear from our amazing Ambassadors.

Our Ambassadors are a special group of dedicated and caring Y volunteers who are reaching out to all registered runners and walkers to thank you for signing up! Since our Event Directors cannot personally thank you, our Ambassadors are! Ambassadors are also reaching out to see if you have any questions and to see if you need any help setting up your online fundraising page.

You will receive an email from your local Turkey Trot Charity 5K Ambassador tomorrow and then another one right before the event. These emails are full of training tips, fundraising ideas, a healthy recipe, and details about the day of the event, so be sure to keep an eye out for it. It is a must-read!

Happy Halloween! We will be back tomorrow with our Friday recipe!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Foam Rolling for Runners

Have you ever seen one of these things either at the gym or when out shopping?

Ever wonder what it is or what it does? Well, if you are a runner, or athlete in any form, you need to get to know the foam roller.

Foam rolling offers many of the same benefits of a massage, especially when you are targeting large muscle groups. Foam rolling may not be as relaxing as a massage, but it is cheaper and can be done everyday right at home.

Foam rolling stretches your muscles and tendons while also breaking down soft tissue adhesions. By using your own body weight and the foam roller, you are able to break down trigger points and soothe tight fascia, which leads to increased increased blood flow and circulation. It may be a little uncomfortable to roll out your muscles, but it is well worth it.

Now you may be wondering how exactly a foam roller is used. Here is a video to help get your started:

For more information on the benefits and guidelines for working with a foam roller check out this site: http://bit.ly/1clPTdF

Ready to get started? Head to your local sporting goods store, order one online, or you may even be able to pick one up at super market.

Happy rolling! We know it will ease your sore muscles and improve your running!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Healthy Treats

There has been a buzz in my house for last few days about Halloween costumes. While my children are deciding who they want to be for Halloween, I am figuring out how we are going to handle all the candy,
and sugar highs. While the dietitian in me wants to hand out watermelon, (nature's candy, if only it were in season), almonds, or coins; however, I realize how quickly we would become “that” family! And as we have discussed previously, anything can be incorporated into a healthy meal plan, as long as it is done so sporadically. It goes without saying this sweet holiday is not my favorite, but we still enjoy the day of dressing up and snacking on some candy.

I have some ideas on how we can make this candy driven holiday pleasant for everyone involved.  Chew on this:
  1.  Instead of Candy- you can choose to be “that” family and hand out non-candy items. I will say that my kids do get super excited about erasers, tattoos, and even pencils. So this year I am going to conduct my own study. I am going to have tattoos, erasers and other small toy-like items in my bucket with the candy. I will determine when faced with a choice how often kids choose the toy over candy. (I’ll keep you posted on my results!) I guess we won’t find out until next year, if we became “that” family. Another option to non-candy would be food with at least a little nutritional value. Dark chocolate has less sugar, pretzels, popcorn, Fig Newtons, while they still have sugar they also have other nutritional value.
  2. Allow your children to choose a set amount of candy (3-5) mini pieces to devour that night. Then have them pick another set amount, ask them to choose and see if they pick a reasonable number. Once agreed upon, have that be their stash. Allow them to eat 1 piece from per day until it is gone, but keep it out of sight. You’d be surprised how after the first week the novelty wears off and they forget about it.
  3. DONATE - The rest of the stash needs to be dealt with. Our local elementary school collects the candy for under-privileged children. Some dentists collect candy and in return offer from some other type of treat as a trade-off. There is also an organization that gives candy to our troops stationed overseas (www.operationgratitude.com). Get creative, but be sure to get that pillowcase full of candy out of sight and out of mind! This will benefit both you and your children.
Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread is a popular fall treat and there are more than 31,700,000 results when you search for "pumpkin bread recipe" on Google. If this one does not suit you whether it be the sugar, gluten, dairy, eggs, you name it, there is a recipe out there for you - and feel free to share your favorite in the comment section below.

Super Moist Pumpkin Bread from AllRecipes.com
Makes 2 - 8x4 inch loaves


  • 3 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 2 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 2/3 c white sugar
  • 2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 c apple sauce (or oil)
  • 2/3 c coconut milk
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 c toasted walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease and flour two 8x4 inch loaf pans.
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, pumpkin puree, applesauce, coconut milk, baking soda, salt, ground nutmeg and ground cinnamon.
  4. Mix until all of the flour is gone.
  5. Fold in the nuts.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
  8. Remove from oven and cover loaves with foil tightly. Allow to steam for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove foil and turn out onto a cooling rack.
  10. Tent lightly with the foil and allow to cool completely.

Recipe and photo source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Super-Moist-Pumpkin-Bread/Detail.aspx

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Teaching Children Charity

If you have children or have contact with children you have heard them ask "why?". If you have involved your children in your Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K training or fundraising you have probably been asked "why?" about it a couple times. "Why are we asking people for money?" "Why do you want to go for a run?". The Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K presents us all with a tremendous chance to lead by example and model social responsibility and caring for our children.

We all want to know that we can make a difference and children are no different. Let them use the paper form to go door-to-door, with you to collect donations. They will be helping the needy kids they may go to school with, or play with at the park. If they are old enough, let them write a note to grandma and grandpa or give them a call asking for support. This will improve your child's public speaking skills and manners. And grandma and grandpa will love hearing from them.

Helping others teaches children that we are all connected and that good deeds change lives. It will also improves their self esteem and leaves them feeling great.

We all want this world to be a better place for our children, so let's involve them in the process and have fun along the way.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween Playlist!

Halloween is next week and there is no reason to make it all about sugar, so let's put a fitness spin on it and make a Halloween playlist for your long runs. Here is a fun list of songs to mix and match to make for a spirited training session!

  • "Ghostbusters" Ray Parker Jr.
  • "Bad Moon Rising" Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • "Monster Mash" Bobby "Boris" Pickett
  • "Thriller" Michael Jackson
  • "I Want Candy" The Strangeloves
  • "Hungry Like The Wolf" Duran Duran
  • "Superstition" Stevie Wonder
  • "Time Warp" Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • "This is Halloween" Nightmare Before Christmas
  • "Purple People Eater" Sheb Wooley

We know there are others! List your ideas in the comment section!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Extra Protein Does Not Always Mean Bigger Muscles!

Protein gets a lot of hype in the exercise world. It is known for its role in building and maintaining muscles. While it does have a very important role in our bodies, it is not the primary fuel our bodies need for working muscles. Consuming more protein than the body can handle will not give us bigger or stronger muscles.

While research does prove that athletes do require more protein than non-athletes, generally speaking, we are already consuming more protein than the body can process. You don’t typically train for the Turkey Trot with a goal of building additional body mass, but protein supplements are popular in the exercise world. Be aware that many supplements claim to build muscle; however, caution should be used when considering such supplements. There is limited regulation in the dietary supplements industry, so products can become contaminated with undesirable substances. As a result, there is no guarantee that the product contents match those on the label. Here are a few healthy ideas if you are trying to build muscle:
  • Follow a strength-training program that challenges your muscles.
  • Consume adequate non-protein calories (carbohydrates and fat) to preserve desired protein calories for muscle growth.
  • Eat foods that are high in both carbohydrates and proteins together at the same meal.
  • Choose low fat sources of protein and carbohydrates.
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently.
After we exercise, we need to provide our bodies with fuel to aid our recovery. We know that we need to consume carbohydrates shortly after exercise to replete the muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrate energy), however, adding protein to our post exercise consumption can also help build and repair muscles.

The bottom line is food is fuel. It is necessary to prepare adequately for training and race day by providing your bodies with enough food to support the energy requirements for your run. To ensure your body is fueled and protein needs are met remember the EAT guidelines:
  • E: Eat breakfast. Be sure to include carbohydrates, protein and fats at this meal. Start the day off right…you’ll be well prepared and fueled! 
  • A: Add carbohydrates and protein to POST exercise meals. Replenish and refresh!
  • T: Toss the supplements.
Choose food first. Eat real! Balance and moderation are key elements to healthy body and race.

Reference source: http://www.usada.org/diet/?gclid=CPz4sLrQnLoCFZFxOgodwUoAAg#Protein%27s%20Role%20as%20a%20Team%20Player

Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Recipe: Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Skewers

This weekend's forecast for the mid-Atlantic is relatively mild, so why not cook another meal on the grill? This recipe is sweet with just a hint of kick. It pairs deliciously with plain couscous and a veggie side.

  • 2 1/2 tbsp light mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp scallions, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)
  • 40 large (12.8 oz) raw shrimp, shelled and deveined (weight after peeled)
  • fresh cracked pepper 
  • oil spray
  • metal skewers or wooden skewers that have soaked for at least 20 minutes
  1. Heat a clean, lightly oiled grill, to medium heat
  2. Combine the mayo, scallions, sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Season shrimp lightly with pepper.
  4. Place shrimp on skewers so they have a finger-width worth of space in between them
  5. Add skewers to heated grill
  6. Grill on both sides for about two/three minutes each side or until the shrimp is opaque and cooked through.
  7. Carefully remove shrimp from grill and quickly brush sauce onto the shrimp.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Picture and recipe from: Skinnytaste.com

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Turkey Trot Training - 6 Weeks Left!

We are six weeks away from the Turkey Trot Charity 5K! That means six weeks to do one or more of the following:

  1. shave seconds or minutes off your 5K time
  2. improve your stride
  3. create a new running playlist (more on this next week!)
  4. add miles to your runs (or walks)
  5. make your runs (or walks) more interesting!
The runners or walkers who get lost in their stride are an incredible group of people, but not all of us can log the miles without a little more incentive. Here are some ideas to keep yourself motivated:

  • recruit someone to run with you - for a lot of us, having someone to talk to makes all the difference, or someone to hold you accountable
  • reward yourself - come up with rewards and treat yourself to something as you hit your goals. That something may be "run two miles, four days this week and then I will get that lip balm I have been staring at" and then the next week, "I will run two miles, twice this week and three miles, twice this week. My reward: I will treat myself to a new water bottle (or pedicure, or night out, or whatever works for you)!" Be sure to write it down and fulfill your promise to yourself.
  • share your success - tell your friends and family, whether it is on Facebook, email, text, etc. that you ran x miles today or you improved your time. The support and feedback from them will keep you moving forward.
  • switch up your route - this is not only beneficial for your safety, but your body and mind. Try to join a friend at a different location when schedules allow.
  • games - 1. pick an item of clothing or a flower type or a car type (something numerous) and "count" every time you see one when on your run. 2. pick a landmark in the distance and pick up your pace until you get to it, then return to your normal speed
  • find a mantra - choose a phrase that is empowering to you and hold onto it. Repeat it as you run. Write it on your arm or hand to peek at as you run.

  • Other ideas on how to mix it up posted earlier this year.
Keep up the great work! You are almost there!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spice Up Your Fundraising!

We are six weeks away from the Turkey Trot Charity 5K! We hope that your training has been successful and you are motivated by the gains you have experienced. We also hope that your fundraising has been successful and you are motivated by the gains you are seeing there as well! To help you meet and exceed your fundraising goal, we have some ideas for you!

First, a reminder of who you are helping. You are helping children in your community (every donor gets to pick which county benefits from their donation) enjoy Y programs like preschool and camp. Some will also receive scholarships to attend our Before and After School Enrichment Program which provides children a safe, warm place to go before and/or after school. In this program they have time to complete their homework, participate in fun activities, and enjoy a nutritious meal, which may not have happened at home.

Recently, a little boy being served his evening meal in a Y After School program, stuffed a handful of ketchup packets into his pocket and told someone watching, “I hope it is okay that I take this. When we do not have food at home, my Grandmother and I make tomato soup with these.” These are the children and families you are helping throughout Central Maryland and here are some creative ways to do so:
  1. Add a signature line to your emails that reads something like "I am running in the Y of Central Maryland's Turkey Trot Charity 5K this Thanksgiving. Will you help motivate me with a donation that will help disadvantaged youth in my community? Link to your fundraising page"
  2. Take a picture of you, your child, or your pet in a turkey costume and post it on Facebook, email, or Twitter asking people for a donation!
  3. Make a video on your phone asking for a donation and post it on Facebook or send it in an email to your friends and family. It is more powerful than a picture or just an email. You can use the story of the child above to illustrate the need.
  4. Offer to do something silly for a donation. "Donate to me and I will change my Facebook profile picture to something embarrassing  or "I will run around the block in my Halloween costume (not on Halloween) if you support me.
If you have any other fun ideas - let us know in the comment section!

Dog photo: baxterboo.com, baby photo: spirithalloween.com.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Enjoying Fall Coffee Treats

This week brought the first true signs of crisp autumn air and with that I found myself craving a Pumpkin Spice Latte to help warm me up. It is crazy how a drink can instantly change your mood and the rest of your meals. While the occasional coffee-style sp
lurge is ok, it can be problematic when the occasional splurge turns in to the everyday norm. If this becomes the case you will find yourself forced to shuffle your remaining meals to make up for the extra grams of fat and sugar that you drank. I’m not saying that these types of drinks need to be completely off limits, but there are ways we can make them a healthier choice and remember, make them the sporadic treat as opposed to the everyday norm. 

Let’s take a look at some of these famous “cold weather” drinks we love…

Dunkin Donuts:
Caramel Mocha Latte with cream (10oz):
  • 207 calories
  • 6.5 g fat (4 g sat fat)
  • 26 g sugar
  • Substituting the cream with skim milk results in 163 calories; 5.5 g fats (4 g sat fat); 31 g sugar. 
Pumpkin Spice Latte with Whole Milk (8oz):
  • 170 calories
  • 5 g fat (3g sat fat)
  • 24 g sugar
  • Substituting the whole milk with skim milk results in 130 calories; 0 g fat; 24 g sugar. 
Peppermint Mocha with Whole Milk (8oz):
  • 180 calories
  • 5.5 g fats (3 sat fat)
  • 26 g sugar
  • Substituting the whole milk with skim milk results in 145 calories, 0 g fat, 26 g sugar. 
You’ll notice that the portions are small in these examples I provided. Portions make a swing of a couple hundred calories. Going from “short” (8oz) serving to a venti (20 oz.) changes the drink from being a snack to a meal. However you choose it, be sure to write it down!

While making the choice for skim milk will save you of the saturated fat, all of the options are loaded with sugar. There are options available that are lower in sugar, but use sugar substitutes instead.

In my first blog post, I mentioned as we are training for the turkey trot we should be aiming to eat “real”. This means eating foods as close to nature as we can. Considering a sugar substitute would not be classified as a “real” food, it would be worth while to ponder selecting the skim milk version but with sugar. It goes without saying that these yummy latte’s are not an everyday occurrence, so splurging on something so delicious every once in a while, fits right in with our goal of EVERYTHING IN MODERATION.

Choose real and choose small.

Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Image credit: Anthony Garza

Friday, October 11, 2013

Recipe: Baked Chicken Nuggets

Happy Friday! With Pinterest, Facebook, and plenty of blogs posting recipes sometimes we become overloaded with all the options out there. Don't you? We decided to take it back to basics today, with a classic, kid-friendly recipe with a "healthy" twist.

From SkinnyTaste.com & Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 4, Calories: 164.9, Fat: 4.6 g, Protein: 22.1 g, Carb: 7.7 g, Fiber: 0.9 g, Sugar: 0.1 g
  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even, bite sized pieces 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 2 tbsp panko 
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese 
  • olive oil spray

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil
  3. Place the olive oil in one bowl
  4. Place breadcrumbs, panko and Parmesan cheese in a bowl separate from the olive oil
  5. Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  6. Place seasoned chicken in the bowl with the olive oil and coat the chicken evenly with the olive oil
  7. Coat a few chunks of chicken at a time in the breadcrumb mixture
  8. Place coated chicken on the baking sheet
  9. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 - 10 minutes
  10. Turn over, then cook another 4 - 5 minutes or until cooked through
Enjoy with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables!
Source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/04/healthy-baked-chicken-nuggets.html

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Who You're Helping

The funds raised from 5K registrations and donations go directly to awarding at-risk youth, who live in poverty, scholarships to Y Preschool, Y Before-and-After School Enrichment, and Y Camps. To understand who exactly these children are, we have an experience to share.

The story was told to our CEO John Hoey, by Lauren Manekin-Beille, our Annual Campaign Director. The boys’ names in this story have been changed to protect their privacy.

During a recent visit with Sharon Johnson, the Director of Membership and Program Development at the Druid Hill Family Center Y, we stood at the gym doors and watched as 20 kids played freely.

Some kids were playing kickball and some reading on the sidelines; all acting like kids are supposed to act. Free, loud, and happy.

Sharon pointed to two brothers, Kyle and James, and commented, ‘What you see now, those two boys playing separately, is unique.’ Sharon started this story by sharing that James, 10 years old, ‘speaks very little and is not social; although he is very smart. There may have been some trauma in his young life that is behind his overt shyness and social ineptness. Dad’s gone, and mom’s parental skills appear to be lacking. Kyle, 12, the older brother, is the closest model of a parent to James as anyone else in the world.’

Sharon went on to explain an average day in the lives of these little boys:

Kyle wakes up earlier than his little brother. He gets himself ready and dressed before waking up James and helping him do the same. Kyle makes James his breakfast makes sure he gets his things for school and then he walks James to school before catching the bus and going on to school himself. At the end of the day, Kyle meets James at his classroom and they walk together to the Druid Hill Y for the Y After-School Enrichment Program they have attended together for the last few months.

‘As you can see,’ Sharon stated, ‘this young 12 year old boy (Kyle) has taken responsibility for his younger brother the way most people do as parents for their children. Kyle makes sure that James is taken care of and is secure. Any time we need information from the family, you have to go through 12 year old Kyle to get it as if he were the parent.’

Once the boys are within the walls of the Y though, something unique happens, according to Sharon. ‘Kyle drops his invincible guard, the parental facade he has needed to assume, and until he walks out of the doors again to go home again, Kyle acts like a 12 year old boy. Of all the places in Kyle's world, the Y is the only place he can truly be a kid. He’ll tell you that it’s because he knows that the staff and kids at the Y care about his brother as much as he does, and at the Y, he knows James is safe.’
Standing at the door of the gym that day, Lauren watched James interact quietly with kids of all ages. While he didn't speak with words, everyone he engaged with somehow listened. Across the gym, Kyle was playing and not once did he need to look up to see where his little brother was. He was just being a normal 12 year old kid. He could do this because knew he and his brother were safe at the Y.

If ever you ask yourself why it's important to support a strong Y, either as staff, fundraisers, donors or volunteers, all that you need to do is think about Kyle and James and you'll have your answer.

With your help, we can award scholarships to thousands of children in our community this coming year, so that children and adults alike, can enjoy the physical and psychological safety of being welcomed and well taken care of at the Y.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Breaking Records 2013!

While some people come out to walk Thanksgiving morning, others come to run and then you have some who come to RUN! We welcome and encourage all ages and levels of runner, walkers, strollers to come out for the Turkey Trot Charity 5K, but this post is for those who are out there racking up the miles, training with sprint work, and trying to break records across the region, in a little over eight weeks.

Which records are you setting our to break on November 28th? A personal record? Aiming to be a Top Finisher? Or top in your age group?

Instead of listing all the age categories and time here, we will send you straight to the source for your region!

*Baltimore City and Catonsville/Ellicott City are new races, so come set the first record!*

Bel Air Turkey Trot Charity 5K 2012 Records

Towson Turkey Trot Charity 5K 2012 Records

Westminster Turkey Trot Charity 5K 2012 Records

Good luck! We will see you as you line up at the very front of the pack, at the starting line!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Apples All Around

I cherish this time of year and one of my very favorite activities is to go apple picking. I LOVE apples. I am the girl who took an apple every single day to school growing up- I never got tired of them, still haven’t. Looking back, that wasn't the most “green/sustainable/environmentally” friendly decision given the fact that the apples I ate in March had either been sitting in a warehouse refrigerator since October or had recently been shipped from somewhere far away. Now I try to stick to getting apples just when they are in season. For those of us on the east coast, apple season is upon us! 

Not only are apples delicious- they are also low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. I’ll give you 4 good reasons why you should go apple picking and devour the apples that you pick.

  1. Apples are a fruit. Studies show that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables have a protective effect against a variety of cancers, coronary artery disease, and other illnesses like diabetes, Alzheimer’s and even asthma.
  2. Apples are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. These help protect against oxidation. It is thought that cardiovascular disease and cancers are results of oxidative stress.
  3. Quercetin is an antioxidant that can aid in endurance, by making oxygen more available to the lungs. One study showed that bikers could bike longer after taking a quercetin supplements. Apples have it naturally! It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which will help with post workout pains.
  4. They are loaded with fiber. Fiber helps you feel full longer, lowers blood cholesterol and keeps your bowel regular.
During Fit N Fun we instruct kids to “Get Moving” by choosing activities that are active! Not only will apple picking be an activity to get your family moving, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of the activity. You’ll have fresh apples to eat, and since we are training for the Turkey Trot- the apples that we pick might just be able to help us run for a little bit longer tomorrow!

This week try an apple with some yogurt or with peanut butter for a good snack with protein, fiber, and good fat.

Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Recipe: Hearty & Healthy "Salad"

This dish makes a great side dish or lunch and the longer it sits, the better the flavor, so you will really enjoy your leftovers. Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comment section.

From Life's Ambrosia:

Farro, Cranberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Serves 6; Prep time 10 min; Cook time: 15

  • 2 c pearled farro
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 c sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 8 oz goat cheese crumbles
  1. Cook farro according to package directions, drain and cool.
  2. While farro is cooking, using a whisk, mix dijon mustard, garlic powder and rosemary together in a bowl.
  3. Slowly add in olive oil until combined. Let sit.
  4. Toss cooled farro with cranberries, parsley and goat cheese.
  5. Serve with dressing.
We hope you enjoy!

Beautiful image from: http://www.lifesambrosia.com/2012/11/farro-cranberry-and-goat-cheese-salad-recipe.html

Turkey Sightings: October

Spot Trotter around Central Maryland at these locations this October. Keep in mind, you never know where he might be found shaking his tail feathers, so always keep an eye out.

Also, do not forget about our contest! Be sure to share your turkey encounters. Post your pics on Facebook, tweet us @YofCentralMD #yturkeytrot, and share your pics on instagram, #yturkeytrot!

Bel Air First Fridays: Friday, October 4 from 5-8pm

Baltimore's Inner Harbor, starting at PotBellies: Saturday, October 5 from 12:30-3:30pm

Baltimore Running Festival: Saturday, October 12

Baltimore Farmers' Market & Bazaar: Sunday, October 27 from 7am-12pm

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Guinness World Record Gobbler Challenge!

If you are joining us Thanksgiving morning for the Turkey Trot Charity 5K you are also joining an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for most runners (walkers and strollers count too) in a multi-venue event on the same day! Participants in Thanksgiving Day races all across the US will be participating. You may earn a spot in the record books while serving a great cause!
BSX Athletics, a performance monitoring system developer, is the driving force behind the Guinness Gobbler World Record Challenge and has a special offer for our Trotters! They have developed a FREE eight week training plan. You can download or view the "paper" copy or download the app for free on your iPhone (free download code = gobbler).

The plan is designed to maximize your running efficiency by using heart rate zones or perceived rate of exertion zones. We do not want you just going out and running at one pace, this will cause injury. You will warm up at your zone 1 pace, which is a 5-6 on the RPE scale of 1-10. and then you will run in your endurance training zone 2 or 7-8 on the RPE scale. This is the zone that teaches your body to burn fat as fuel. It will allow you to run longer distances over time. We do incorporate some speed work that will bring your RPE to a 9-10 for very short periods.

For directions about downloading the app visit here.

For a PDF file of the training program, visit here.

Happy training!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Share. It is one of the first virtues we are taught as children. "Share with your brother." "Thank you for
sharing." As adults in a world influenced by social media "share" is heard daily. Well today, we are asking that you combine the kind act of sharing with virtually sharing. It is time to share your fundraising page with your family and friends! 

We have covered who to ask, how to ask, and now the technical piece of using your fundraising page.

Once you have created your page, by clicking on the "Start Fundraising" button on the right side of this page and following the steps, you are ready to share and help more children in your region learn and grow with the Y in safe and caring environments.

  • Log into your fundraising page using the email and password you created.
    • If you cannot find your page, you can log in again by visiting the "Start Fundraising" button on the right and clicking "Log In" in the upper right-hand side of the page
  • Share your page on Facebook by clicking the "Like" button about half-way down your page.
    • This will ask you to log into Facebook and then you can write a message that will post on your wall.
  • Share your page through private or group Facebook message by clicking the Facebook message button about half-way down you page, right next to the "Share" Facebook message
    • This will ask you to log into Facebook and then you can write a message that will be sent to those of your friends you choose
  • Share your page on Twitter by clicking the "Tweet" button.
    • This will ask you to log into Twitter and then you can customize the text before it posts on your Twitter feed
  • Share your page by email
    • Option 1: Click on the "Email" button about half-way down your fundraising page, next to the "Tweet" button.
      • This will open a new page with an appeal message already filled in
      • Enter email addresses of your friends and family in the "Recipients" box
      • Click the green "Send" button at the bottom of the page
    • Option 2: In a separate internet browser tab, open your email account.
      • Write an email asking for donations from your friends and family, using the tips from this page.
      • Include the URL of your fundraising page, by copying and pasting the URL from the URL bar, when you have your fundraising page open
      • Enter the people you want to send the email to in the "To:" section of your email and send!

SHORTCUT! You can always copy and paste the URL of your fundraising page and share it on Twitter, Facebook, Email, online chat, and more!

Please let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Carbohydrates: The Back Bone to a Healthy Diet

Due to a variety of FAD diets and waves of nutrition do’s and don’ts – carbs have gotten a bad rap. When in reality, carbs have never changed and have always been the backbone to a healthy diet- if you pick the right ones!

That’s that catch - picking the healthy carb. Some carbs are just healthier than others. It is important to be sure to be including the healthiest carb option when selecting, and we will discuss that further here.

Carbohydrates provide dietary fiber, sugars and starches that help the body function well. The sugars and starches supply energy to the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is the preferred fuel for your brain and nervous system.

Carbohydrates are classified into 2 main types:

Complex Carbohydrates:
  • Starch: must be broken down before your body can use it as a glucose source. Examples of starch are certain vegetables (potatoes, corn, peas, dry beans), breads, cereals and grains.
  • Fiber: Dietary fiber is naturally in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cooked bean and peas.
Simple Carbohydrates
  • Sugar: it is the simplest form. It is natural in milk, milk products, fruits and vegetables.
    • You might be familiar with the 3 kinds of sugars: Fructose (fruit sugar), Sucrose (table sugar), and Lactose (milk sugar).
    • These also include sugars added during the processing and refining of foods.
How do we make sure we are making the healthy carbohydrate choice? Follow these guidelines:
  • Emphasize on fiber rich fruits and vegetables. Aim for whole fruits and vegetables without added sugars. Stay away from juices, fruit canned in syrup, and dried fruits. Whole fruits and veggies add fiber to your diet, which help you feel full longer and protect your heart.
  • Choose WHOLE grains. Whole grains provide us with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that are removed during the refining process. Make at least half your grains whole grains (if not more).
  • Don’t forget beans and legumes. They are low in fat and high in vitamins. They have good fats, fiber and protein- so they are a good and cost effective substitute for meats.
  • Limit added sugars. Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Added sugars provide calories but few nutrients.
Checking out the food labels is the best way to decide which carbohydrate is the best option. You’ll find all the information you need. Check out last week's post to get the nitty gritty on reading food labels.

Between now and November Annie Deremeik, our Fit N Fun Nutritionist, will be guest posting for us! Annie is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist.

Image source http://proshapefitness.com