Header Text

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!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Recipe: Hearty Sun-Dried Tomato Meatballs

Not everyone is in the mood for pumpkin, so while we wanted to post another fall-squash recipe, we decided to go with a savory dinner recipe - hearty meatballs.

These can be served with tomato sauce, but we enjoyed them with pesto over fettuccine, like Kath, from KathEatsRealFood.com.

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 10 oz frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
  • 1/3 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 c panko (try for one with Italian seasoning or sun-dried)
  • 1/2 c grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, beat
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
  3. Mix ingredients in a bowl (hands make great mixing tools)
  4. Form into golf-ball-sized balls
  5. Place meatballs on prepared tray
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until meatballs begin to brown
Recipe from: http://www.katheats.com/sun-dried-tomato-meatballs

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Deeper Here

Do you know the Y? How do you know us? Maybe just through the Turkey Trot Charity 5Ks, that have been a Thanksgiving Day tradition in many Maryland towns for over 15 years. Maybe through one of our Centers. Ever wonder why our tag line is "It's Deeper Here"? Well dive on in and find out:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fundraising: Employee Matching

Turkey Trotters across the region have been lacing up their tennis shoes, breathing in the cool Autumn air, pounding the pavement and fundraising with their online pages and paper donation forms. Every runner is aiming to raise at least $100. Here we have given you ideas on how to raise $500 and today we are going to tell you how to increase your donations by filling out a form.

Increase donations just by filling out a form? You are thinking - "No way!" "Scam!", "Impossible!". Well it is true and a great way to increase the donations you make to others or others make to you. How so? A lot of companies offer "Matching Gifts". If you donate to the Y of Central Maryland, your company may double the impact of your dollars by matching the donation.

How can you make this happen? Ask you HR Department, fill out the form, and smile.

If you have any general questions about employer matching programs, please leave us a question in the comment section.

Image source: http://www.xtri.com/

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Shopping for Real Foods

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.

I hope you all have been successful in making small changes to your diet over the last two weeks or so. To try and help ease you through a diet overhaul, I think we have to have one important task perfected to continue to make good healthy choices. Reading food labels. I know it can be a daunting task thinking about trying to read food labels while you rush to get in and out of the grocery store. However, taking the time to slow down and truly understand what you are going to feed your body is well worth it and like any other task in life, the more you practice the easier it becomes. Depending on the age of your children (if they can read, they should be looking at food labels too) have them help you out.  Pick out the two or three food items you are comparing and then decide together which is the best choice.

If you can’t make all the changes to your diet, eating REAL food is a good place to start. Eating REAL means to eat whole foods (in their natural state), lots of fruits and vegetables, dairy products, 100% whole grain breads and crackers, dried fruits, nuts and seeds, natural sweeteners (honey and maple syrup), wild caught seafood and humanely raised meats. Choose foods that are more a product of nature than of industry. A good way to help decide how REAL a food is, is by checking out the food label. It’s best if there are fewer ingredients, you know what all of them are, or if there is no label- like fresh fruits and vegetables.

A quick lesson in label reading should be able to help to guide you along the path to eating more REAL foods.

Work Top to Bottom.

The top of the Nutrition Facts Label is important. That is where you will find the serving size and the number of serving in a container. Be aware that the serving size on the label may be more or less than what you fix yourself or even what is recommended on USDA’s MyPlate website.
  • Calories- This will be listed per serving. Be sure to note the serving size and try measuring it out to see how it compares to what you would actually serve yourself.  A guide for determine calorie levels is below:
    • Low calorie: fewer that 40 calories per serving
    • Moderate calorie: 100 calories per serving
    • High calorie: more than 400 calories per serving
  • Fat - Both the good and not so good ones. As an athlete, fat is an important part of the diet (for everyone really), so there is no need to be afraid. You just want to make sure that your fat calories come from the good fats (mono and poly unsaturated fats) as opposed to the bad fats (trans and saturated). About 25% of your total calories should come from fats. Plants generally provide the heart healthy fats!
    • Saturated and Trans fats; Less is better.  These types of fats typically come from high fat animal products and processed foods.
    • Mono and Poly-unsaturated fats;  Known as Heart healthy fats, these are the best sources of fats.
  • Sodium - Generally speaking, a low sodium diet benefits everyone. While you are exercising, you do lose some sodium in sweat and bodily fluids, however, increasing your sodium intake is not recommended. Shoot for less than 200 mg per serving of a food item and avoid processed foods.
  • Sugar- This includes natural and added sugar. Check the ingredient list to see if sugar was added to the product. You can expect to see sugar naturally in fruits and milk products.
  • Fiber- Adults need to aim for 25-30 g fiber per day, kids can shoot for their age in years plus 5 grams.
  • Footnotes - The bottom of the nutrition facts labels is a box that contains the daily value percentages. This is based on a 2000-2500 kcal diet – which will not pertain to many people. It can be beneficial in providing you an idea if a food item is rich in a certain ingredient.
  • Ingredient ListCertainly not least, but at the very bottom is the ingredient list.  Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. So the first ingredients make up the largest amount of the food item. This is where you should look if you have allergies too. To keep eating REAL, this list should be short and you hopefully will be able to pronounce all the items on the list too!
 You want to run your best, so keep that in mind when you are feeding your body. The more REAL the food is, the better it is for you. You’ll get the most nutrients, vitamins and minerals from REAL foods.

Image source: mensfitness.com

Friday, September 20, 2013

Recipe: Gingerbread Pumpkin Smoothie

This weekend marks the true start of Autumn! Are you ready? To help get you in the mood for all things fall and provide your body nutrients (vitamin A & fiber) we are sharing a deliciously nutritious smoothie recipe from Oh She Glows. Behold the Gingerbread Pumpkin Smoothie . . .

Yield: 1 serving

1 cup almond milk (keep some extra on hand)
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filing)
1 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 small frozen banana
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
pinch nutmeg
crushed ice

1. Soak the oats, almond milk, and chia seeds for at least an hour or overnight. This helps them digest better and it also gives the smoothie a smoother texture.

2. Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add ice if desired.

3. Pour into your favorite glass, kick up your socked feet and enjoy. Or throw it in a cup and run out the door!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Running: Lacing Techniques

Who knew that lacing your shoes in different patterns was more than the cool thing to do in middle school? 

You bought the best running shoes for your arch, training type and more, thanks to this blog post, but something is just not right. Your toes may feel crammed as you run, your heel may be slipping, or maybe the top of your foot is feeling crunched. Do not give up! We have an answer - lacing!

Here are some great articles and how-tos for the most common running shoe fit issues:

  • Feet First provides lacing techniques with images for: heel slippage  toe problems, high arch, narrow heel with a wide forefoot, and pain on the top of your foot.
  • Runner's World has some great videos on lacing techniques for: "My shoes rub in one spot on the top of my foot", "My big toenail turned back", "My shoe is too tight on the top of my foot", "My toes feel cramped" and "My heel slides up and down".
  • American Orthopadedic Foot & Ankle Society gives lacing recommendations for narrow fit, wide feet, heel problems, and narrow heel with a wide forefront
Good luck and we hope these lacing techniques put a little extra pep in your step!

Image source: ThinkStock

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere

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.

This week we are going to tackle questions about hydration and training. When are sports drinks appropriate and when is it best to just stick to water?

It is best to begin exercise well hydrated. You can accomplish this by drinking fluids during the day and within 1 hour before your workout. While you are exercising it is also important to drink fluids to replace sweat losses. Then when you are finished your workout you’ll need to replace fluids lost during exercise. To determine how much fluid you lost during your workout weigh yourself prior to working out and then again afterward. Excessive fluid loss (>2% body weight loss) can lead to dehydration. Signs of dehydration are early fatigue, cardiovascular stress, increased risk of heat illness and decreased performance.

Here is a guideline to assist you in making sure you are hydrating well and with the appropriate choices.
  • For short duration (<60 min) at low to moderate intensity activity, water is the best choice for before, during and after exercise.
  • Longer duration (>60 min) at moderate to high intensity activities, sports drinks are ideal to replace carbohydrates and electrolytes. 
Now, I am sure you are wondering what low, moderate and high intensity activities are. No worries, I’ll explain. 
  • Low Intensity Exercise: feels easy.
    Clues your exercise is low intensity:
    You have no noticeable changes in your breathing pattern.
    You don’t break a sweat (unless it is hot or humid)
    You can easily carry on a full conversation or even sing.
  • Moderate Intensity Exercise: feels somewhat hardClues your exercise is moderate intensity:
    Your breathing quickens, but you’re not out of breath.
    You develop a light sweat after about 10 min of activity.
    You can carry on a conversation but cannot sing.
  • High Intensity Exercise: feels challenging.Clues your exercise is high intensity:
    Your breathing is deep and rapid.
    You develop a sweat after a few minutes of activity.
    You can’t say more than a few words without pausing for breath. 
Most likely, if we are all training for the Turkey Trot Charity 5K, we will probably only need to focus on water to stay hydrated before, during and after our workouts. But if you are tackling a bigger conquest than the turkey trot, or if you like to throw in some longer exercising sessions, you all are prepared to make the best decision as to repletion fluids lost during exercise.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Recipe: Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Now that the heat wave has broken, why not make something fall like, while incorporating a summer crop. This recipe is from Iowa Girl Eats, which if you are on Pinterest, you know her food. We hope you enjoy this sensible treat!

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2.5 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a 21 muffin cups with liners and then, lightly spray with nonstick spray.
  3. Beat the butter, applesauce, and sugar in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the eggs to the large mixing bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Add the vanilla and the buttermilk, mix to combine.
  6. In a separate bowl stir together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
  7. In three batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Do not over mix - mix just long enough to combine.
  8. Add the zucchini and the chocolate chips. mixing until just combined.
  9. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 of the way full.
  10. Bake for 15-17 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
  11. Let cool in the muffin tin for 3 minutes and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
Image and recipe from: http://iowagirleats.com/2013/09/11/healthier-double-chocolate-zucchini-muffins/

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How to Raise $500

Fundraising for the Y Turkey Trot Charity 5K is underway! Everyone who registers for the event is asked to help more children in their communities by raising $100. This $100 will help children remove income as a barrier to things like Y Preschool, Y Camps, and Y Before-and-After School Enrichment. These funds will give these children the opportunity to learn and play right beside their more privileged peers. $100 is a great starting amount and to show you how manageable we think it can be, we are going to show you how you can raise $500 in two weeks!

  1. Claim your online fundraising page here and donate $25 yourself, this will help motivate others!
  2. Ask ten of your friends for $10. These are the friends you see from time-to-time, not your closest friends. Ask them with an email, private message, text, in-person request, or a phone call (not a Facebook blast).
  3. Ask five of your friends for $20. These are your best friends, those you see most often. Send your request with an email, private message, text, in-person request, or a phone call (not a Facebook blast).
  4. Ask you employer for a $75 donation. Most companies set some funds aside for charity asks from their employees.
  5. Ask you Facebook friends to help you raise $50 just from them.
  6. Ask your doctor and dentist for $25 each. Like your employer they most likely set aside funds for these requests. A letter or hand written card are a nice way to place an appeal.
  7. Ask the businesses your frequent often for $25 each. These are places like your hair stylist, your bank, your coffee shop, your insurance agent. You support their businesses and endeavors they will be happy to support you and your community. Send them a hand written note or a typed letter.
If you do not hear back from these requests, follow up with a phone call a couple weeks later. You may get some "no's" but you are bound to get more "yes"s. Giving feels good and people will give! When they do shower them with thanks and praise!

Good luck. Let us know if you have any ideas!

Image from: http://www.etsy.com/listing/105841018/and-will-you-succeed-yes-indeed-kids

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Turkey Trot Training Nutrition

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.

Last week, when I walked my oldest daughter (her first day of Kindergarten) and the neighborhood kids to school I realized how quickly time passes. I feel like it was just yesterday that we were gearing up for having a great summer of pool days, trips to the beach and watermelon parties.   With the new school year kicking off and summer now in the rear view mirror, I realized the holiday season is just around the corner. If this fall semester passes as quickly as the summer did, we better get planning to be our best for the Turkey Trot!

Training for a run, whether it be a marathon, a 5K or a 1-miler, takes more than just making sure you can put one foot in front of the other. Nutrition and healthy eating have a place in any successful training plan.

We’ll start out with a few guidelines to ensure that you can run your best, and maybe lose a little weight while you're at it.
    Eat Real Food- The bulk of your diet should come from real, whole foods such as vegetables, fish, poultry, whole grains, nuts, low fat dairy and fruits. You get more nutrients eating whole real foods compared to convenience/highly-processed foods.  Remember, the less processing a plant/food receives the more nutritious it will be.  Do your best to focus on eating at home where you can control what is added to the food and how it is prepared, enabling you to provide your body with the most nutritional value from meals.
    Choose Superb Carbs- If you want to run super, be sure to make superb choices when choosing the right carbohydrates for your body.   Carbohydrates fuel workouts and nourish tired muscles, so they should be an important part of your diet. Be sure to make most of your carbs come from whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
    Have a Drink- OFTEN!  Drink fluids that hydrate your body.  Fluids are an essential part of any runners training plan. Staying hydrated will boost your performance.  Leap over options like fruit juice, soft drinks, and alcohol.  Remember, sports drinks are good for when you have exercised at moderate/heavy level (heart beating fast and sweating) for over 1 hour.  If you just went for a hard run but only for 30 min- water is the best option.
  Write it down!  Keep a log of everything you eat for a few days.  This will help you to identify areas for improvement in your diet. You’ll be surprised at what you notice once you start writing things down.

    Everything in Moderation!  Allow yourself a treat, whatever that might be for you…desserts, cocktails or a salty craving.  Just keep it in check.  Watch your portions and how often you allow yourself a treat. 

These tips might seem overwhelming at first, especially if you have room to improve on your eating habits so take it slowly.  Make small changes every week.  If you completely revamp your diet in 1 day, it will be harder to maintain than if you make gradual changes.  We want to make eating habits that will stand the test of time.   

From now until the Turkey Trot you’ll be hearing from me about how you can make sure you are eating for optimal training and for the race day.  Many of the topics we will cover will also be provide a good foundation for an overall healthy diet. 

If you’re a parent, make sure to include your kids when making dietary changes. Studies show that healthy eating habits established during the younger years lead to more healthy adults.   I know that for me personally, instilling healthy eating habits and the knowledge to be able to make healthy choices is something I take seriously. Role modeling is the easiest way to teach and reinforce a healthy lifestyle. 

Real food picture source: http://kymperfetto.com/2011/12/20/eat-real-food-to-drop-real-weight/
Food journal picture source: http://www.askthetrainer.com/accountability-when-it-comes-to-eating-healthy/

Friday, September 6, 2013

Recipe: Baked Honey Mustard Chicken

This week we have another simple recipe that should please many around your dinner table. Hopefully this is the type of recipe that you can make one a weeknight, but if not, give it a try this weekend!

Coming directly to you from AllRecipes.com.


  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salty and pepper. Place in lightly greased 9x13 baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the honey, mustard, basil, paprika and parsley. Mix well and pour half over chicken. Brush to cover chicken.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and brush with the remaining half of the honey mixture. Bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
  5. Let cool for ten minutes.
  6. Serve with your favorite seasonal sides! For fruits and vegetables in season in Central Maryland you can find a list here.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

You will most likely be logging quite a few miles the next few months and you want to make sure you have the right equipment. Beside a water bottle, the most important piece of running equipment is your shoes! Running or walking in an ill fitting pair of shoes can cause a plethora of musculoskeletal issues, which can easily be avoided. Here are some simple tips on how to choose a great pair of running shoes, which will hopefully improve your training!

First, where will you do the most of your training? On the road/treadmill or trails? Road running shoes are designed for the repetitive strides of road running, where your feet will be hitting hard and, for the most part, even surfaces. Trail running shoes are designed for varying and unstable terrain. They are heavier than road running shoes, due to their thicker sole, which protects your feet from underfoot dangers like sticks and rocks, while also providing stability.

What kind of feet do you have? First start with the length of your foot. Do not be afraid to ask someone at the shoe shop to measure your feet. Then, check the width of your foot. If you are a male with a more narrow foot and cannot find a shoe in the "Men's" aisle, try a pair of "Women's" shoes, the same goes for women with wider feet, try the "Men's" aisle. Most shoe manufacturers design their women's lines with a B width and men's lines with a D-width and not all feet are created equal. Next is your arch! Think about what type of footprint you leave in the sand. Is your footprint narrow and curved? You have a high arch. Does your foot leave an almost straight print? If so, you are flat footed. A great way to check is with wet footprints on concrete. Here are examples of what you are looking for:

Supporting your arch correctly will stabilize your feet which keeps your ankles, knees and hips in alignment. Not only will this improve your stride helps prevent pain in your joints. Most running stores have arch types of each shoe displayed, but if not, do not be shy to ask.

Shop at night. Trying on shoes at night, especially running shoes, is necessary. Your feet swell during the day, as they do during a run, so shopping with larger feet will prevent you from purchasing shoes that are too small.

Bring your accessories. We are not talking your sweatband here, but your orthotics or insoles. These can greatly change the fit of your shoes.

Wiggle those toes! Can you move your toes from side to side and up and down? You should be able to.

Bring your old shoes. An expert shoe fitter will be able to learn things about your stride based on the wear pattern of your current pair.

As you can see, there is a lot more to buying a running shoe than the color and logo. We suggest you take your time, visit a running store, and keep these tips in mind.

Good luck and we hope to see you out on the trail, on the treadmill or pounding pavement in a great fitting pair of shoes.

We will be sharing lace tying techniques in a couple weeks, so be sure to check back!

If you would like to learn more about the materials used to make running shoes and how they can impact your performance you can find more information here.

Arch photo from: http://www.calvinshub.com/2010/02/finding-the-right-running-shoes-for-your-feet/

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Today's post comes to us from Lauren Manekin Beille, Annual Campaign Director of Development, here at the Y of Central Maryland. This is a true story, which Lauren recently shared with the organization.


You are 52 years old.

You are a single parent.

You have two teenage kids.

From New York, you have moved to Maryland thinking there would be more jobs available here after graduating with a MBA.

There aren’t…

You are a cashier today making $9.40/hour…living in your car … in your car … with two teenagers.

You wake up…need to find a shower…drop the kids off at school…go to work…pick them up from school…you need help…you need to find food…you need a bathroom…and now you need to find a place to park to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow will be the same.

The Brookings Institution, a Washinton think tank, is reporting that today suburban poor now outnumber urban poor. More people living in poverty in Baltimore’s suburbs than in the city itself. Between 2000-2011 the city poverty level grew by 4% while in the suburbs it grew by 58%.

Poverty in this state has spread because people are moving, losing jobs, and/or taking low-income positions which are forcing them to make heart wrenching decisions about their lives and that of their families.

What’s the solution? Places like the Y! The Brookings researchers have suggests “groups rethink how – and where—they fund and provide services…What we need to look for are organizations that can do more than one thing in more than one place and once.”

The story of this family is one of tens of thousands of examples of families that the Y is raising funds to serve every day of the year. The Y IS the organization that DOES more than one thing, across the ENTIRE state for all Marylanders, all at once!

Thank you for helping us, it’s REALLY important.

Picture from http://llenrock.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Baltimore-City-aerial-view.jpg

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turkey Sightings: September

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

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!

Druid Hill Farmers' Market: Wednesday, September 4 from 4:30-5:30pm

Bel Air First Fridays: Friday, September 6 from 6-7pm

Catonsville Arts Festival: Sunday, September 8 from 11am-2pm

Weinberg Family Center Y: Monday, September 9 from 10-11am

Druid Hill Farmers' Market: Wednesday, September 11 from 4:30-5:30pm

Bel Air Festival for the Arts: Sunday, September 15 from 12-3pm

Ward Family Center Y: Tuesday, September 17 from 10:30-11:30am

Metric Running Festival: Saturday, September 21 from 7-8:15am

Family Movie Night at Catonsville Family Center Y: Saturday, September 21 from 5-6:30pm

Druid Hill Farmers' Market: Wednesday, September 25 from 4:30-5:30pm

Family Movie Night at Dancel Family Center Y: Friday, September 27 from 6-7pm

Westminster Fall Fest: Saturday, September 28 from 2-4pm