Monday, December 28, 2009

End of Year

HELLO ALL!!! WOW, 2009 is coming to a close. What a GREAT year it was! I would like to THANK all of my OTEF clients for their hard effort and consistency with our workouts this year! We all experienced ups and downs with our training, diets, and cardio regiments. The best part is that you all displayed desire, determination, and dedication! That is what OTEF is all about. I'm proud of you all. Let's keep the hard work in 2010. ENJOY the rest of the Holidays and GET READY to step it up a notch next year. FIRE IT UP! Trainer Todd

Recipe of the Week

Orange Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry
3/4 lbs trimmed sirloin steak
1 TBS grated orange peel
2 TBS canola oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small white onion sliced
1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
2 cups broccoli florets
8 oz uncooked whole wheat fettuccine
2 TBS orange juice
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
1 TBS hoisin sauce

Slice steak into 1.5" pieces. Toss with orange peel; set aside. Heat 1 TBS of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add pepper flakes, onion, and bell pepper. Stir fry until vegetables wilt. Add broccoli and 3 TBS water; cover and steam 1-2 minutes until broccoli is cooked tender-crisp. Remove from skillet.
Cook fettuccine according to package directions. Stir together orange juice and soy and hoisin sauces. Add remaining oil to skillet and return to medium high heat. Add steak and cashews; stir fry 2-3 minutes. Return vegetables to skillet with sauce mixture and heat through. Drain noodles and top with stir fry. Yields 4 servings.
We tried this recipe last night. We decided to substitute the whole wheat fettuccine for whole wheat brown rice. This is a makes for a great dinner and the left overs reheat well. It is a fairly dry sauce mixture that is light and tasty. This recipe does take some prep time, so give it a shot on the weekend. Stir it up, Trainer Todd

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


A HUUUUUUUGE Congratulations goes out to OTEF client Deanna Ortiz for successfully completing her first ever half marathon on December 13th, 2009. She ran the Dallas White Rock Half Marathon in a time of 2:42:52. NICE JOB!! She has put a lot of miles in this year getting ready. She has also been consistently training in the gym with yours truely. All of the hard work has payed off! She has also locked down her diet to finish the 13.1 miles lean and mean. I heard that she even passed up on shopping in Dallas to rest for the event. IMPRESSIVE!! I would like to take this opportunity to give Deanna's training partner, "One Arm" a BIG SHOUT OUT!! One Arm has kept Deanna focused on fancy handbags, that I can't pronounce, and the best Sunday brunch places in ATX!! Great job ladies. Keep it up!! TRAINER TODD

Monday, December 14, 2009

The time is NOW!

ALL RIGHT, There is only one more month to get your donations in to Blue Dog Rescue before the Austin Half Marathon on Valentine’s Day February 14, 2010. Blue Dog is the only animal rescue selected for the 26 miles for 26 charities program. This is something that I really believe in and I’m asking for your help.
Blue Dog Rescue is a volunteer organization whose purpose is to end the needless killing of homeless dogs. Founded in 2000, Blue Dog is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation funded only by donations, fundraisers, and adoption fees. To date, Blue Dog has rescued 1500 dogs, all of which were fostered in private homes until their new homes were found. When a dog is rescued by Blue Dog, it receives a full health exam by a veterinarian, vaccinations, a heartworm test and preventative, and is spayed or neutered. Many dogs arrive with horrible and heartbreaking problems (heartworm positive, mange, burned, hit by cars), so Blue Dog also covers the cost of any needed medication, treatment, and surgery. While in foster, all dogs learn basic obedience, house training, and socialization.
Here is what I need from you! Please visit and click on one of the donate buttons at the bottom of the page under the half marathon next to Over The Edge Fitness to either pledge an amount per mile or make a flat donation through Paypal (a secure website). You can also send a check, made out to Blue Dog Rescue and reference me on the check. You can mail your check to 2541 S. IH-35 #200-328, Round Rock, TX 78664-7357. This is a tax deductible donation. And once you’ve made your donation don’t forget to check out the dogs we will be helping by clicking on the available dogs link
Thank you so much for your time, consideration, and continued support! ARE YOU READY?
A few things to note…
A $26 donation will provide a basic vet exam and vaccinations for 1 Blue Dog. ($2 a mile for the half marathon)
A $52 donation will provide a basic vet exam, vaccinations, a fecal exam, and heartworm testing for 1 Blue Dog. ($4 a mile for the half marathon)
A $78 donation will provide a basic vet exam, vaccinations, a fecal exam, heartworm testing, and heartworm and flea preventative for 1 Blue Dog. ($6 a mile for the half marathon)
A $104 donation will provide a basic vet exam, vaccinations, a fecal exam, heartworm testing, and spay or neuter 1 Blue Dog. ($8 a mile for the half marathon.)
And of course ANY donation would be greatly appreciated by me and the Blue Dog Rescue organization! -Todd McCann, Owner OVER the EDGE FITNESS

Monday, December 7, 2009


Check it before you wreck it- EASE BACK- Follow hard, intense workouts with at least one easy, low intense day. Don't worry about how fast you're going, how much weight you're pushing/pulling, or how much volume you're doing. Let your energy level be your guide!

Quote of the week

"Consistency in training is the key to long-term success."
-Ed Eyestone- Runner's World Jan 2010

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cure for a SWEET TOOTH

HELLO ALL!! Do you have those wicked cravings for something sweet? Well, Instead of making a late night trip to Amy's ice cream try a handful of dried plums! Yes, You read this right, DRIED PLUMS! About 12 dried plums yields about 238 calories of sweet goodness. These gems also provide a high dose of fiber and sorbitol that helps keep blood sugar and insulin in check and hunger away. The plums sweetness should crush that sweet tooth craving. Give it a try, you might be surprised! TRAINER TODD

Recipe of the Week

Trainer T's Chicken
3/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
2 TBS cornstarch
2 TBS Splenda
2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 TBS white wine vinegar
2 medium scallions, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 pound uncooked, boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 cups cooked brown rice

In a medium bowl whisk together broth, cornstarch, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger set aside.
Heat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add scallions, garlic and pepper, and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.
Add reserve sauce and simmer until sauce thickens and chicken is cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Serve chicken and sauce over rice. Yields about 1 cup of chicken and 1/2 cup of rice per serving.
Serves 4

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Did you know?

Did you know that a one cup serving of most canned beans supplies over 25% of your daily value for protein, almost 60% for fiber, and 20% of fiber. Beans also contain a good dose of carbs. Try your favorite beans in salads, soups, and as sides!!


A strong core helps you maintain good posture, which leads to consistant stride length and frequency. This may reduce fatigue. - Kimi Sato, Ph. D. & Author

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Hello all!! I just wanted to take this opportunity to share an experience from my last running race. It was a challenging 10 mile course through downtown Austin into the neighboring hills! I decided to treat this as a training run. I was relaxed and feeling good at the start of the event. I ran the first three miles at a comfortable pace even with a slight down hill. I found myself in a GREAT groove heading into the up hill section. I flew up the hills and was in control of my body and pace on the down hill sections that required sharp corners to navigate through. I passed runners that might have started to fast with ease. I kept my form and more important my mental focus to the finish line. I finished strong pushing the tempo at mile 9 to the finish.
I ran this race 1 minute slower than last year. However, I was just using this as a training run. Last year I started fast and was in purgatory the entire race. I can't tell you how bad I felt after last year's run.
What was the difference to my form this year? First, I have put more emphasis on CROSS TRAINING my body. I have added more flexibility and core training, and decreased my resistance training. I have also been more consistant with massage therapy and regular chiropractic visits. Second, I have a bigger running mileage base with more hill work and speed work throughout the hot summer. Yes, I was the idiot training at 3 o'clock in the afternoon during summer. Third, I added cycling miles to my training program this year. Fourth, I have cleaned up my diet. I have limited my eating out, and beer consumption. That is true DEDICATION!! I also put more emphasis on recovery nutrition this year. It was a huge help over the summer months.
I just wanted to share this with you all. So, Try to compliment your training regiment with these factors listed above! GET OUT THERE! Trainer Todd

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Recipe of the Week

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons water
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1- 1/2 teaspoons ground sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 (16oz) can cannellini beans
optional sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, and saute' until lightly browned. Pour in the white wine, and simmer for a minute. Pour in the tomatoes with juice and water, and season with pepper, sage, thyme, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
Pour in the beans, and simmer for another 20 minutes, until the stew is thickened and flavors have blended. Remove the bay leaf, add salt and pepper to taste.
We tried this last weekend. Mom sent this recipe, and I was skeptical. I'm not a big stew or soup guy. Usually I feel bloated and not satisfied after eating them. This recipe is a different case all together. It is very satisfying. This is a GREAT fall or winter recipe. Put it together before kick off on Sunday. It yields 4-6 servings and reheats like a champ. GET TO IT!! Trainer Todd

Monday, October 26, 2009

Diet Tip

HELLO ALL! Fall has arrived! Pumpkin seeds are in season, and they can provide a healthy snack option. a half cup of pumpkin seeds contains about 160 calories packing in 8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of the heart healthy fats. They also provide a significant amount of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese. The tasty seeds are also linked to help reducing blood cholesterol levels. Yes, The shells are edible! You can buy these shelled or unshelled in bulk at certain markets. If you are carving pumpkins this Halloween, save those seeds for toasting. Don't forget to store them in an air tight container. DELISH!!! Trainer Todd

Recipe of the Week

White Bean Salad
2 cups cooked white beans or 2 cans Great Northern Beans
2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary

In a large bowl, combine beans and Roma tomatoes. Drizzle with vinegars and oil. Sprinkle with salt and rosemary. Mix thoroughly and serve!! This is a quick and healthy side dish. This should yield about 4-6 servings. ENJOY!!! Trainer Todd

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Diet Tip

Hello all!! Here is a quick and easy diet tip to get your day started. Try replacing your morning glass of juice with fat free milk. Current research suggests that drinking fat free milk at breakfast significantly reduces the number of calories eaten at lunch and also leads to feeling more satisfied. Milk also packs more of a protein punch and contains less sugar. This is an easy way to switch your morning routine. Give it a try for a week!! Trainer Todd

Saturday, October 10, 2009


HELLO ALL! I would like take this opportunity to CONGRATULATE OTEF client Cheri Simpson for recently running the San Jose Rock N' Roll Half Marathon in a time of 2:45:42. This is a GREAT effort. I heard she was even smiling as she crossed the finish line! I guess all of that summer training through the Texas heat was worth it. Cherie has also lost 15 pounds and drastically lowered her LDL cholesterol level. Yes, the bad stuff! She has been consistant with her diet as well as bringing her "A" game to the gym for our training sessions. I would also like to give a BIGGGG shout out to her workout partner in crime Nan Finch, who got the ball rolling. Nan, Has lost 18 pounds herself over the past 2 months. She arrives with a GREAT attitude, even at 6 in the morning. She also puts up with my entertaining exercise regiments! CONGRATS and keep up the good work ladies. TRAINER TODD

Recipe of the Week

Raspberry Hoisin Barbecue Sauce
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
3/4 cup hoisin sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 strip (2 by 1/2 inch) orange zest
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
pinch or crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend or process until smooth about 1 minute. This is a GREAT dipping sauce or marinade for chicken. I used this on my couscous and pasta as well. The best part is this sauce is made with fresh ingredients, low calorie, non fat, and no high fructose corn syrup. GOOD STUFF!! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Salt Stains

Have you ever had salt stains on your skin or clothing after or during a tough workout? I have experienced this in the past myself. I always wondered if this was the norm or was I doing something wrong with my diet or fluid, supplement intake. Here is a response from Dr. Bill Misner, Ph.D. who frequently writes for Hammer Nutrition. Generally, salt stains are an indication of profuse fluid loss response to hyperthermia, excessive dietary sodium intake above needs or a combination of both conditions. The average American diet packs in around 6000-8000 mg of sodium when the body only requires 500 mg each day, with a high upper recommendation of 2400 mg. The more profuse one perspires, the higher the rate of sodium excreted, hence the salt stains relative to diet or rate of fluid loss. Of course, we are keeping it simple and not weighting this down with too much research data. This is something to think about next time you notice those salt stains on your favorite dry fit shirt after an intense workout. Trainer Todd

Quote of the Week

"The week before a big race you should feel restless, like an animal locked up in a cage. Then, on the day of the race, let this stored energy out for the race!"
-Dr. Bill Misner, Ph. D.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Workout Depression

HELLO ALL!! I was reminded of our old friend post race or post goal training DEPRESSION the other week after attending a local triathlon. This experience occurs after we train and prepare for a extended period of time building up for an event or attainment of workout goals.
I experienced this myself a few years ago after I ran my first marathon. I spent several months preparing for the event. I was very strict with my training regiment. I experienced many ups and downs through the process. Then in a few hours it was over. I felt good and was happy with my accomplishments. A few days later I had a feeling of depression and major let down. I had no motivation to even put on my running shoes, plus the fact that I had let my diet go. I remember spending a lot of time on the couch watching television with no ambition to work up a sweat. Finally, I decided to quit sulking and got back at it. I started with cycling some easy recovery miles and complimenting that with some challenging personal training sessions to shock the mind and body. Yes, It worked and I came out of the post race haze. I was able to set new short and long term fitness goals as well.
So, Next time you have completed those fitness goals or finished that race take time to relax and let your body recover. Try a new mode of exercise or activity. Group training events are a great way to get motivated back into it as well. Whether it is a round of golf, tennis or a yoga class stay active and keep that diet clean. Take your time to research and set some new short and long term fitness goals. You will feel better menatally and physically for it! GOOD LUCK, Trainer Todd

Monday, September 14, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Mediterranean Pasta with Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 LBS medium plum or cherry tomatoes(10-12), halved lengthwise
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz whole wheat pasta, fettuccine

Place tomato halves, cut sides up, in foil-lined 15"x10"x1" pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Mix 1/4 cup oil, garlic, and seasonings in small bowl. Spoon over tomatoes. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of the remaining oil.
Roast in preheated 400 degree oven 45 to 60 min until tomatoes are soft and browned on top.
Prepare pasta as directed on package. Drain well. Place 1/2 of the roasted tomatoes and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Coarsely mash tomatoes. Add pasta and remaining tomatoes; toss to mix well. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese and additional crush red pepper. ENJOY, Trainer Todd

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Southern Peach Glazed Chicken
4 - 4 oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 tbl bourbon
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup all fruit peach preserves
4 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1 tbl fresh lemon juice
1 tbl cider vinegar
1 tbl sugar

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken, cook covered for 3-5 minutes. Turn the chicken, cook, covered, for 2 m in longer. Add onion, cook, covered for 2 min longer. Remove the chicken and onion to a plate, cover, and keep warm. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and add bourbon. CAREFULLY flambe', tilting the pan away from you. When the flames subside add the stock, peach preserves, mint, lemon juice, vinegar, and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon, being careful to incorporate all the brown bits. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has reduced to a sauce like consistency. Add reserve chicken and any accumulated juices. Plate chicken and top with sauce.
I tried this the other night. I substituted rum for bourbon and basil leaves for mint. It turned out GREAT. You can tell your friends that you flambe' and made a peach reduction sauce. I know, It sounds fancy like Top Chef. Be careful of the flames when you flambe'. DELISH, Trainer Todd

Monday, August 24, 2009

OTEF Update

HELLO ALL!! Yes, It has been a long summer! We have experienced a lot of changes over the year. We have all been through life changing events. We have all worked through ups and downs at the gym. I want to take this opportunity to THANK all of you for your hard work ethic and commitment with our training regiments. You all are my motivation to keep pushing forward in our workouts as well as my own training. I would like to welcome the new clients to the OTEF family and wish former clients continued success and happiness in their lives.
I'm now exclusively training at Gym One off of Anderson Lane and Mopac. We have more OTEF T shirts and water bottles available, so if you have not received one please ask.
Remember, 24 hour session cancellation is appreciated! I know life is unpredictable. We have all done a GREAT job with getting the workouts rescheduled.
REFERRALS are a huge part of growing OTEF. I still offer a complimentary training session to anyone who passes on a referral.
I'm happy to announce that OTEF will be a sponsor at this year's Run for the Water put on by Gilbert's Gazelle Foundation. This event will be held on Sunday November 8th 2009. There will be a kids run, 5k and 10 miler. I plan to run the 10 miler for OTEF!! Please join me in sponsoring this great cause. If you are not a runner, this is your chance to come see Trainer Todd in suffer mode.
Let's keep pushing hard in the gym and finish the year strong! Trainer Todd

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bok Choy it!

HELLO ALL!! Are you tired of eating the same old veggies week after week? Well, May I introduce you to Bok Choy! I'm sure you have picked up this leafy asian vegetable in a grocery store asking yourself what could I prepare with this. Calorie for calorie few vegetables pack more of a nutritional PUNCH than Chinese white cabbage(Bok Choy). Even low in calories, it provides a potent vitamin content, including cancer fighting nitrogen compounds called indoles.
After you rinse the Bok Choy thoroughly chop the leaves into 1 inch pieces and combine with 1 pound of sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2 tablespoons of black bean sauce in a pan or wok. Simply cook until the chicken is white and firm and the Bok Choy is wilted. This is a quick and healthy recipe with little clean up. So, Pick up some Bok Choy next time you are in the produce section of your favorite grocery store! ENJOY, Trainer Todd

Monday, August 3, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Grilled Lamb Gyros
2 LBS butterflied leg of lamb
6 whole wheat pitas
16 oz plain nonfat yogurt
2 tomatoes sliced
hummus to taste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked fresh pepper
1 red onion sliced

Combine the lamb, yogurt, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in a container. Cover and marinate the meat for at least 2 hours or up to a full day. Preheat a grill on medium. Remove the lamb from the marinade and wipe away most of the yogurt. Then place the meat on the grill. Cook 10-15 minutes a side, until the lamb is well charred on the outside and feels firm but stringy to the touch. Remove the lamb from the grill and let it rest for 10 minutes. In the meantime, warm the pitas on the grill for 30 seconds a side. Once the lamb has cooled slightly, slice it very thinly with a sharp knife and serve with the warm pitas, tomato, hummus, and red onion.
Makes 6 servings
466 calories per serving
49 grams protein
40g carbohydrate
12g fat (3g saturated)
6g fiber
833 milligrams sodium

This is a GREAT summer recipe for the grill. It is a light meal served with a side of fresh fruit. This is quick and easy to make, so it is a GREAT midweek meal. I was a little nervous cooking lamb for the first time, but my chef at home prepared it PERFECT!! Trainer Todd

Monday, July 27, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Reddaway's Pizza

1 large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 whole wheat pita rounds
1 large tomato, quartered & sliced or 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
3 mushrooms sliced
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese or try almond cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Romano cheese
1/4 cup small fresh basil leaves or shredded fresh basil

In a medium sauce pan cook onion slices and garlic in hot olive oil over medium heat, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes or until onion is very tender, stirring occasionally. Add mushrooms and cook until they are tender. Set aside. Toast pita bread lightly on each side under the broiler. Top toasted side of each bread round with onion mixture, sliced tomato and cheeses.
Return the bread rounds to the broiler until cheese is melted and toppings are heated through. Remove from broiler and top with basil before serving.
I haven't tried this recipe yet, but it was sent to me from a very reliable chef, MOM!! She hasn't lost her touch in the 37 years that I have been feasting on her cooking. She prepares this recipe with almond cheese to keep the cholesterol out. I hope to give this a go soon!! TRAINER TODD

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke

HELLO ALL!! I don't mean to scare you with the blog post title. I thought this would be good information to have for all of you exercising or playing in the heat this summer. We have had a HOT summer so far in Austin. I sure have been enjoying my afternoon runs and rides! So I have found these symptoms and prevention facts for heat exhaustion & stroke interesting.
Heat exhaustion often occurs when people exercise, work or play in a hot and humid environment causing the loss of fluids through sweating that lead to the body overheating. The person's temperature may be elevated, but not above 104 degrees F. This typically occurs when people are not well adjusted to heat exercise.
At high temperatures, the body cools itself largely through evaporation of sweat. When it is humid, this mechanism does not work properly. The body loses a combination of fluids and salts/electrolytes. When this is accompanied by an inadequate replacement of fluids, disturbances in the circulation may result that are similar to a mild form of shock.
Try to avoid heat exhaustion by not engaging in strenuous activity in hot, humid environments especially if you are not used to the conditions. Increased recovery time may be needed. If you can incorporate periods of rest in a cool or shaded environment with fluids is a plus. Try to avoid strenuous activity at the hottest part of the day as well.
Mild cases of heat exhaustion may be corrected by resting in a cool, shaded place while consuming cold fluids such as water and sports drinks that contain electrolytes. Also loosen or remove clothing and apply cool water to skin.
Heat stroke is a life threatening medical condition. The person's cooling system, which is controlled by the brain, stops working and the internal body temperature rises to the point where brain damage or damage to other internal organs may result. The body temperature may reach 105 degrees F. This condition may develop quickly. People taking medications or with prior medical conditions that impair the body's ability to sweat may contribute to this. People who are taking antihistamines and certain types of medications for high blood pressure or depression may be more prone to develop this condition. The classic form of heat stroke occurs in people whose cooling mechanisms are impaired. Don't overlook the fact that healthy people who are undergoing STRENUOUS activity in a hot environment are prone to this as well.
If you suspect a case of heat stroke call 911 immediately. Move the person to a cooler environment or in a cool bath of water if conscious and can be attended to. Alternatively, moisten the skin with lukewarm water and use a fan to blow cool air across the skin. Give cool beverages by mouth only if the person has a normal mental state and can tolerate it. Be careful out in the heat this summer and ENJOY! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quote of the week

"Life is full of challenging obstacles. Hurdle them and keep moving forward!"

Trainer Todd

Recipe of the Week

Chicken, black bean & rice skillet

1 cup brown rice uncooked
14 oz low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion
1 medium chopped red bell pepper
1 (15oz/0 can black beans rinsed
1 bay leaf
3 TBS red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
3 cup chopped cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast

Combine rice, broth, 3/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Cook according to package directions.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook 5 minutes or until softened stirring occasionally. Stir in black beans, bay leaf, vinegar, liquid smoke, and remaining pepper. Cook on low, uncovered for about 5 minutes. When rice is done, stir the cooked chicken into the rice. Gently add black bean mixture, cover, turn off heat and let stand on burner for about 5 minutes, SERVE!!!

Makes 6 servings.

This is a GREAT summer skillet. It is a fast meal that provides good carbohydrate, protein, and low fat components. I like this dish cold, right out of the fridge for left overs. DELISH!!! Trainer Todd

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Leave the I POD at home

HELLO ALL!! I see more and more people using mobile technology while exercising. I'm guilty of this as well. Long gone are the days of bulky Walk Man's and huge ear phones. Replaced by the compact I shuffle and I pod now with video capability. This makes it easier to plug in where ever we go, even in the gym. Nike even has clothing that has built in compartment storage for your I Pod. It is GREAT to have our motivating exercise mixes helping us through a grueling workout.
I actually went out on my run today without my trusty I Pod and running play lists. I finished the run more relaxed and decompressed than I have in a while. Yes, There are many factors that could have affected my run. However, I was more in tune with breathing, how my body felt, and running form than when I'm rocking out to Godsmack. Another important element that I enjoy was that I was able to clear my mind of stresses in life. I was able to work through a few things and came up with some GREAT ideas and solutions. So, whatever your mode of exercise is, try to leave the I Pod at home once in a while and focus on you!! HIT IT, Trainer Todd

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Product Review

I recently tried Tissue Rejuvenator capsules by Hammer Nutrition. This product provides effective pain/inflammation relief, while supplying nutrients that the body needs to rebuild damaged joint cartilage and maintain its strength and integrity. This capsule is a two in one. It can replace your regular anti -inflammatory, such as ibuprofen and naproxen as well as you MSM/ Glucosamine/Chondroitin tablets.
Tissue Rejuvenator contains Glucosamin sulfate, which helps promote elasticity of joint movement and also functions as a mild anti-inflammatory. Chondroiton sulfate is also present in this capsule. It is a building block for the repair of damaged tissue and it helps to block the break down of cartilage reducing inflammation. MSM, or Methylsulfonylmethane acts as an anti-inflammatory as well as promoting proper synthesis and maintenance of tissues. Other active ingredients in Tissue Rejuvenator that help with anti-inflammatory are Boswellia serrata, Devil's claw, Yucca root, Turmeric, Quercetin, and Undenatured Type II Collogen. Hammer has also added a blend of enzymes of peptidase, bromelain, papain, amylase, lipase, cellulase, and phytase. These other ingredients listed above act as antioxidants, and help to relieve stomach upset and irritable bowls that endurance exercise sometimes causes.
Well, With that being stated. Does this product work, and is it worth the $25 price tag for 120 capsules? I have noticed the biggest difference in stomach irritability with this product. I have been a runner and cyclist for a while. I have taken my fair share of Advil and Aleve. I knew that I had been popping these too long when my stomach was chronically upset. I have not noticed that with the Tissue Rejuvenator. I think if you exercise on a regular basis that this product is worth a try and you can decide for yourself. GOOD LUCK, Trainer Todd

Monday, June 29, 2009

Recipe of the Week

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 Tbsp vegetable oil or substitute grape seed oil
1 garlic clove, minced or crushed
4 green onions chopped
3 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp orange juice
1 orange peeled and segmented
2 Tbsp soy sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place chicken in baking dish, set aside
Heat oil in a small skillet and fry garlic and onions until soft, but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add honey, orange juice, orange segments, and soy sauce, stirring well until honey is completely dissolved.
Pour sauce over chicken. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes basting once or twice until chicken is cooked through.
This is a GREAT weekend dinner dish, since it takes longer to cook. Serve it with a side of brown rice, couscous, or quinoa, and green salad! Trainer Todd

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


HELLO ALL! I thought this was a valid blog topic after my AM easy jog and my hard PM run yesterday. I haven't done this sort of workout in a while. I was reminded that this sort of split workout tends to burn more calories throughout the day. It also increases the metabolism into the evening, when it usually slows down.
Of course, We do not want to use two a days everyday throughout the year. There are a few guidelines that I like to follow when implementing these workouts.
Recovery is crucial. Try to train smart. For example, Try cardio in the morning and weights/ stretching in the evening or vice versus. If you are choosing the same mode of exercise, such as running in the same day have one workout easy and the other more intense. Be reasonable in pushing your body. If you push hard for every workout, it may lead to injury, fatigue, and burnout.
You will need to monitor your water intake throughout the day, and make sure you are replenishing your glycogen stores within 30 minutes after a workout. I like power bars, bananas, and fast acting electrolyte drinks or gels especially in the summer heat.
Stretching and massage therapy become more important as your level of workouts increases. I like to use a dynamic warm up to prep my body for activity in the morning and shake the cobwebs off. I tend to use static stretching and active isolated with a band or rope after a cardio workout. I finish my day with self myofascial release on the foam roll. Add in therapeutic massage once every few weeks and your body will perform better.
Always have a plan or training program to follow when implementing these changes in your workout regiment.
GOOD LUCK! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Grilled Flank Steak with Chimichurri
12 oz flank, skirt, or sirloin steak
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 bunch scallions
3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp water

To make the chimichurri sauce mix the vinegar, water, garlic, salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper. Whisk in the oil. When every things blended whisk in the parsley.
Preheat the grill or pan on high. Season the steak with salt and pepper and place it on the hot grill. For medium rare, cook it 3-4 minutes on each side or until it reaches 140 degrees. Trim the roots from the scallions and add the entire bunch to the grill just after you have flipped the steak. Cook the scallions until they are lightly charred, about 4-5 minutes.
Drizzle the steak with the chimichurri sauce, and serve it with the grilled scallions.
Eat this with pinto or black beans and hot corn or flour tortillas. Makes 2 servings
430 calories, 38g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 28g fat, 2g fiber, 400 milligrams sodium per serving. This is a GREAT summer time dinner. I made tacos with mine. I also had fresh watermelon and the black bean tomato quinoa salad as a side. Grill it up!! Trainer Todd

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Black Bean and Quinoa Salad
1.5 cups quinoa
1.5 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper
4 scallions, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced fine
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped fine
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 cup olive oil

Rinse quinoa in a colander under cold running water until water runs clear. Put quinoa in a pot with 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender. Fluff quinoa with a fork and transfer to a large bowl to cool.
Toss beans with vinegar, salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl.
Add beans, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, cayenne, and coriander to the quinoa. Toss well!
In a small bowl, whisk together lime juice, salt, cumin, and add oil. Drizzle over over salt and toss. Serve at room temperature or refrigerated.

Makes 8 servings:
Fat 13.2g
Carbohydrate 55.1g
Calories 370.7
Protein 10.6g

I tried this last night as a side dish. GOOD STUFF!! This is a great summer side dish. It has a refreshing lime zing to it. I prefer it at room temperature to refrigerated. Get your quinoa on! Trainer Todd

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Good Advice

Hello All! We all could use good training advice, especially when it is given by top pro athletes. I guess they have an idea about what works and what doesn't.
This comes from Josh Rohatinsky. He is a top American marathoner and a fellow Oregonian. Josh finished seventh in the 2008 New York City Marathon. He ran a solid 2:14:23.
Hills, hills, hills. I know we all enjoy running and cycling up long hills, especially at the end of a workout. Josh finished some of his 23 mile training runs with a long hill at the end to get him ready for miles 20-26 in the marathon. This is a great training technique. This will help you focus on form and reach in yourself to find that toughness while fatigued.
Keep a training journal. This helps you to look back at your training and your races to see how you felt. This can help you to analyze what you did right or wrong. I have been keeping a training journal for years. It is an invaluable tool. It helps maintain focus and allows you to make adjustments to your training regiment.
One of the best pieces of advice Josh offers is leaving the ipod at home on race day. Instead of plugging into Metallica during your prerace regiment trying to get amped up, take the time to get the mind and body ready and relaxed. Focus on the race and what your goals are. I guaranteed you will run or ride a smarter, more efficient race. TRAINER TODD

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I want to give OTEF client Rusty Burnett a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS for his finishing time of 1:35:27 in the Capital of Texas Triathlon on Monday. He beat his time of last year by 57 seconds with less prep time. He was strong in the swim and rocked the bike course averaging 19.1 mph. He was more efficient in his transitions where valuable time can be gained or lost. He made it through the run on a hot Austin morning to the finish. Keep up the good work and stay motivated! TRAINER TODD

Friday, May 15, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Turmeric Quinoa
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion
2 gloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 cup Quinoa- prewashed

Heat oil in pan, add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil. Add turmeric and quinoa, bring back to a boil then put heat on low and simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy. Yes, More of the super grain that I like. I tried this last night with salmon, It was a GREAT compliment. Don't forget a side salad! Turmeric is a spice that is used in curry and it gives table mustard that bright yellow color! It is from the Curcuma longa plant and has a mild orange and ginger fragrance. It has a warm, peppery, bitter flavor. It is commonly used as a powerful anti inflammatory in Chinese and Indian medicine. Pick some up at Whole Foods!! Trainer Todd

Thursday, May 14, 2009


What steps do we take to regenerate from the demands we place on ourselves physically and mentally? This sounds like a common sense practice, but do we actually take the proper steps to recover?
I will be the first to admit that I fall short in facilitating proper recovery for my sore muscles, cells, and brain. I have made the two biggest mistakes in this process. First, Attempting to give myself an equally brutal workout at the same intensity and load level. Second, Doing nothing! I know it is hard to believe that sitting in bed after a hard workout or event isn't all that beneficial. Have you ever ran a hard 10k, then laid on the couch for an extended period of time afterwards to be stiff and sore when you get up?
Instead try active rest. This is when you are out playing golf, softball, light yoga or walking the dog. This gets us out of the gym away from our "HARD CORE" workouts to refresh mentally and have fun. At the same time, we are increasing circulation pumping blood and nutrients to working muscles that will aid in the recovery process. Active rest should provide enough movement to activate the nervous system and elongate muscle without placing stress on the body.
Passive recovery is also important to help aid in the recovery process. I like to implement Epsom's salt baths and massage in my training. Another GREAT treatment is the "TOUGH GUY" ice bath or cold plunge. Next time you are in the shower post workout try changing the water temperatures from hot to cold every couple of minutes. GOOD TIMES!
Don't forget the importance of stretching pre and post workout. Everyone has their preference on techniques and when to use them. You can find research to back any argument.
I prefer dynamic stretches for pre workout. This preps the body for activity with movement while stretching. I like to use old school static stretches and band (active isolated stretching) or rope stretches for post workouts. I get the best results to foam roll at the end of the day before bed. By then, I can really target problem areas and I tend to feel better in the morning.
GOOD LUCK and remember this is a process. Try a variety of techniques to find out what works for you! Trainer Todd

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Shrimp Pesto Penne
2 oz Whole wheat penne pasta uncooked
12 medium precooked, peeled shrimp
2 Tbsp Gorgonzola crumbled cheese
3 cups chopped baby spinach
1 tomato chopped
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or pecans
3 Tbsp ready made pesto

Cook pasta according to package directions. If you are using frozen shrimp shrimp, defrost them by running warm water over them. Transfer cooked pasta and shrimp into large bowl and mix in all other ingredients. Stir until ingredients are saturated with pesto. Makes 2 servings.
the breakdown per serving: 360 calories, 22g protein, 26g carbohydrates, 19g fat(5g saturated), 5 g fiber, and 390mg sodium. I tried this last weekend. It is a GREAT lunch recovery meal. It is fast and tasty. Give it a try!! TRAINER TODD

Monday, April 27, 2009


A little variety goes a long way!! I was recently reminded of this the past few months.
I fell into the same workout routine black hole after my half marathons at the beginning of the year. I was focused on my running, building a small business, and my honey-do list around the house. I began to have minor aches and pains. I couldn't believe this was happening to me!! Of course, I couldn't take my own advice and decrease my running miles and increase my flexibility work. I was receiving regular massage therapy and chiropractic treatments. What the heck!!! Then I picked up one of my old trainer books to refresh. I actually put myself through some of the stretches and movements. WOW!! I felt good after that. The following day I got on my bike and jammed 20 miles. WOW, That felt good to activate muscles that I haven't in a long time! The next day, I put myself through a workout with exercises that I usually have my clients do. WOW!! That felt good. Hmmmm.... I'm feeling GREAT mentally and physically. Is this variety and balance in training actually beneficial. YES!!! You have heard this before "Variety is the spice of life!" Well, It applies in with your training regiment and diet also. Cross training can be very effective to work out those imbalances in the body and mind, while decreasing the risk of over use injuries. So, next time you are filling run down in your workout regiment, try a new form of exercise that will enhance your mind and body! TRAINER TODD

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Quinoa and Tomato Salad
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp chives, fresh, minced

Put quinoa in a fine strainer and place under cold running water until water runs clean. This will eliminate the bitter taste contained in quinoa's coating.

Place rinsed quinoa in a medium sauce pan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil with high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until the grains are translucent and the germ has come out of the grain, about 15 min. Cover and remove from the heat, let sit for 5 min.

Spoon quinoa into a large bowl and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, finely chop tomatoes, reserving 2 Tbsp of tomato juice.

In a cup, combine tomato juice, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and chives. stir well.

When quinoa is at room temperature, stir in chopped tomatoes; add tomato vinaigrette and toss again. Yields about 1 and half cups per serving. This recipe makes 4 servings.

Friday, April 17, 2009


Yes, This is the SUPER grain that makes other ones seem like feather weights! Pronounced "keenwa", It has more protein (8 grams per cup), carbohydrate, folate, iron, magnesium, and fiber than your standard brown rice. The best part is that Quinoa cooks in half the time as brown rice. Look for this versatile grain in the bulk bins, organic, or speciality item section at your favorite grocery store.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


HELLO ALL!!! The title says it all "CALM". This is a powder product distributed by Peter Gillham's Natural Vitality. It is a GREAT magnesium supplement. It is an anti stress drink. The only ingredients are magnesium citrate, stevia, and natural flavors. I like the lemon-raspberry the best. I usually take this before bed with hot water. It is great if you have tense, tight muscles like I do from all the wear and tear. Be careful!! You will sleep like a bear in hybernation. It also acts as a natural diuretic. Give it a try, IT WORKS!! Go online to find where it is sold locally at

Recipe of the Week

Slow Cookin' Thai Chicken
Makes 4 servings
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup of your favorite salsa
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro

This recipe is GREAT!! No prep needed. Throw everything in the crock pot and slow cook for 6 hours. This is great served over brown jasmine rice! I squeezed fresh lime juice before served. EXCELLENT and EASY with leftovers. My king of meal!! Dust off that crock pot and fire it up!! Trainer Todd

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Spicy Honey Chicken
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Preheat broiler
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat. Place chicken on a coated broiler pan. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl; stir well. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture and broil another minute.

Makes 4 servings: (serving size 2 thighs)
calories 321
fat 11g (sat 3g, mono 4.1g, poly 2.5g)
protein 28g
iron 2.1mg
cholesterol 99mg
calcium 21mg
sodium 676mg
carbohydrate 27.9g
fiber .6g

This is a simple, delicious zip to plain skinless chicken. Serve it with brown rice and steamed broccoli or a mixed green salad! Bone Appetit'
Trainer Todd

Monday, April 6, 2009

Finishing Strong

I'm always amazed at the last 200 meters of a running race how some have that finishing kick and others, well not so much. I experienced this a few weeks ago at the Austin Cap 10k. I was in a pack at the last turn with a long 200 meter drag strip to the finish. I'm fairly good at timing my finishing kick based on distance and gauging the runners around me. It is a GREAT feeling to blow the doors off the competition and finishing strong. It is a humbling experience to kick to soon, and blow up before you cross the line.
Well, I had a young kid on my left start the sprint out, and everyone else followed. Needless to say the youngster was gassed with another 100 meters to go. I finished second in this group. I was out kicked by a gentleman with a higher leg turnover, OUCH!!
If you have ever watched a finishing stage at the Tour De France you get the idea, but on a smaller scale. This is a trained technique like most other skills in competition. You have to train for this to get better physically and mentally.
I found a simple workout to enhance your finishing kick. This is used by University of Oregon track star Galen Rupp. I have seen this kid run, he is the real deal.
He has improved his kick by doing 6 x 200 meter sprints at 90% effort one-two times a week at the end of his long interval and tempo runs. These workouts teach his body how to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers late in a race while running fast with good form when fatigued. This also means that he never goes more than a few days without running fast.
This is a beneficial technique if you run local races. You will have a faster kick that will last a few more meters. You will also be more mentally focused and recover better physically at the finish. Give it a shot!! Trainer Todd

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Kay's Black Bean Goodness
2 cups black beans cooked or 1 can drained not rinsed
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 large, chopped celery stalk
2-4 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/3 cup hummus
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup bread crumbs
Mash or puree half the beans. Add reserved beans and all other ingredients except hummus and bread crumbs. Use a wooden spoon and mix in a large bowl. Add enough hummus to moisten mixture. It usually takes more than 1/3 cup of hummus. With your sticky mixture form patties and coat with bread crumbs on each side. Broil until brown, about 10-15 minutes per side.
Yes, This sounds a little weird. We tried my mom's recipe the other night for the first time. I have to say that it was TASTY!! I ate this black bean creation over a bed of brown rice. GOOD STUFF!! Plenty of fiber and protein. Add a green mixed salad. Give it a shot. My mom usually hit a home run with her recipes. Trainer Todd

Recipe of the Week

Poppy Seed Dressing
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp white vinegar
1/2 tbsp dry mustard
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tbsp onion, chopped
3 tsp poppy seeds
Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. This is a light dressing great for summer. I like it over fresh spinach with fresh fruit such as strawberries or dried cranberries.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

To Stretch or Not to Stretch

This is an email that I received from Dr. Laurie Buob. She is a Chiropractor at Performance Wellness where I'm a patient. Enjoy!!
To stretch or not to stretch? That is the BIG question. It's hard to find the right answer since research has opened up a whole new can of worms. Certain types of stretching (dynamic, static) seem to be appropriate at certain times (pre/post training), for certain reasons (injury prevention/recovery).
What we know:
Types of stretching: Dynamic, Ballistic, Static, PNF, AIS.
Reasons behind stretching:
Injury prevention
Injury recovery
Increase flexibility
Increase performance
Reduce pain
So, how do you know what to do when? Based on research and clinical experience, here's a very brief synopsis. I have only chosen 2 forms of stretching.
Dynamic: Use dynamic stretching before you workout. Dynamic stretching gets your muscles ready for activity and is usually sport specific. It's also another way to warm up. Dynamic stretching involves repetitive movements to the end ranges of motion. For example: leg swings forward and backwards to work the hip flexors and extensors to gear up for running.
Static: Use static stretching after you workout and at any time during the day ONLY when you are warm(after showers, brief walk). Static stretching is recommended to increase flexibility and aid in injury rehabilitation. if doing static stretching to increase flexibility, It is advised to only stretch those areas that are tight and joints that are hypermobile (decreased range of motion). Also, to have permanent results, one must stretch a particular muscle for more than 30 seconds 4-5 times a day. Results will plateau around 6-7 weeks of constant stretching. Static stretching involves lengthening a muscle for an extended period on time.
Static stretching before a workout has been shown to decrease explosive performance. A prolonged stretch on a tendon can initiate a reflex mechanism to inhibit the muscle you are stretching. However, dynamic stretching has been shown to increase performance as it is hypothesized that dynamic stretching helps to coordinate sport specific movements.
More research is needed to determine if stretching prevents injuries and stretching for pain as well. The current research is contradictory.
Well, I hope this is insightful. So enjoy those walking forward reach downs and single leg knee hugs. Remember to stretch with variety!! Trainer Todd
You can find Dr Laurie Buob, D.C., M.S., ART & Graston at Performance Wellness (491-7772) off of Farwest and Mopac. Here is the link to their website

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Change those old eating habits!!

HELLO ALL!!! It looks like summer, I mean spring is here!! Now that we have sprung those clocks forward, we have more daylight to enjoy. This is a good time of year to toss out some of those old eating habits and retool your diet. Variety is the spice of life, so mix up those foods and enhance your diet.
Eating the same old breakfast every morning? It is time to try some new foods. Try some scramble egg whites with a sprouted wheat bread, that contains a higher protein value. How about cottage cheese with fresh berries instead of the same old cereal!
Spring brings new produce to our markets with lower prices when in season. How about some fresh berries, melons, and maybe let your hair done, get crazy with some fresh pomegranate or mango. Lets not forget about those veggies!! You can zest up your plain salad with summer squash, asparagus or artichoke.
Hydration, hydration, hydration. Do you get tired of hearing that? A GREAT way to stay hydrated throughout the summer is to try new beverages. There are many hydration brands and flavors on the market today. Don't forget those fresh juices to kick start your mornings.
Finally, If you are like me you dread that weekly grocery shopping experience. I'm the KING of grocery store rut shopping. I buy the same products every week. Do your homework. Plan a menu out and take inventory of what ingredients you will need for your menu. This way you only need to make one trip. Also, I have found that if I have a weekly menu on the fridge I won't eat out as much.
Get in that kitchen and get cooking!!! Trainer Todd

Recipe of the Week

Spring POWER Smoothie
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1 banana sliced
1/2 cup cantaloupe diced
1/3 cup low fat vanilla yogurt or 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/4 cup nonfat vanilla soy milk

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until thick and smooth. Sprinkle some organic granola on top for extra texture. This is a GREAT spring/summer breakfast. Especially if you have just completed your morning workout and need a little extra help cooling off and refueling. DRINK UP, Trainer Todd

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Spicy Spaghetti Marinara
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
1 can plum tomatoes, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried basil
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook spaghetti according to package directions and strain. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in wine and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, basil, and red pepper flakes. Cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.
Makes 4 servings
Roughly per serving:
583 calories, 18g protein, 97g carbohydrates, 9g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 467mg sodium, 6g fiber
This is a GREAT sauce without a lot of prep or kitchen time. I've noticed that the sauce will taste better when you use a nicer red wine!! Give it a try, Trainer Todd

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Choosing the right protein powder

Choosing the right protein powder can be a challenge. There are numerous products on the market that usually claim you will get big consuming there products. Most of these products contain a laundry list of ingredients. You might notice ingredients like casein(milk)proteins, whey protein concentrates, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and some may contain preservatives. What happen to just plain "protein"?
Protein powders can be a handy tool to fill the gap between daily protein intake needs to our actual diets. I have tried most of the popular brands on the market today. I have noticed a trend, that the better the taste, the more ingredients they have. Hmmmmm....
I don't usually get up on my soap box, but I have found a great protein powder. HAMMER WHEY, is 100% whey protein isolate. The only other ingredients are Glutamine and natural flavors(vanilla or chai). WOW!!
What is the difference between whey protein concentrate versus whey protein isolate?
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Whey protein concentrate runs only 70-80% protein. Whey protein isolate runs 90-97% protein. Simply put, whey protein isolate is a purer protein, more bang for the buck! Whey protein isolate is also virtually lactose and fat free. Hammer Whey provides you with a cleaner, higher quality protein without breaking the bank. I know, I sound like an infomercial.
So, give it a shot!! You can visit there website at
Trainer Todd


Congratulations to OTEF client Kari Hernandez for finishing her first half marathon. She ran the AT & T Half Marathon in 2:48:47. Not bad for her first running event with only 10 weeks of training preparation! She picked a tough course to start with. I'm proud of her desire, dedication, and determination through training for this run with a newborn at home!! So what are you waiting for? There are no excuses to set a fitness goal and attain it!! Get to it!!! Trainer Todd

Quote of the week


"If you want to avoid disappointing others, don't disappoint yourself."

"I always try to make sure that my expectations are higher than those of the people around me."

- President Barack Obama-
Taken from the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Women's Health

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Recipe of the Week

Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 pound uncooked 95% lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, minced
28oz canned crushed tomatoes
15 oz canned tomato sauce
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 items dry lasagna noodles, no cook
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add beef, onion, and garlic; cook , stirring frequently, breaking meat up as it cooks, 5-7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and red pepper, simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.
Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into 5 quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture, top with half of ricotta mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese mixture over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms, about 10 minutes.
This recipe yields 6 servings. This is a great tasting and easy lasagna recipe. It is also a low fat recipe. ENJOY, Trainer Todd

Quote of the Week

"I don't expect success, I train for it!"
- Ryan Reynolds- Actor

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Well it is February already!!! Now that the new year has begun it is time to settle in to your fitness plan and begin to work on those New Year Fitness Resolutions!! I'm in the same situation as everyone else this year. I plan to have a strong year for running, so I will be focused on my fitness and diet along with you all. I will post my race results and my weight on this blog. I will also post my bad eating habits!! Please let me know what I can help you with as the year progresses. I would like this year to be a GREAT one for everybody.
We have a new shipment of OTEF T-shirts available. Let me know if you did not receive one or if you have a friend or family member who would like one. OTEF green friendly water bottles are on the way!! I will be distributing these 24 oz. reusable bottles when they arrive.
I will be kicking off Morning Core Class at Auditorium Shores in March!!! Please contact me if you are interested. This will be a 60 min class twice a week for 6 weeks. It doesn't get much better than waking up with Trainer Todd.
Look for Trainer Todd's Saturday Morning Fit Camp to start back up in March once the weather gets more stable. This is a 60 min outdoor class once a week for a 6 week period. More details to follow!!
OTEF will be a sponsor for the Austin Runners Club Daisy 5k on Saturday Feb. 28th. Come out and run with Trainer Todd!!
Do you know someone who is interested in personal training???? Have them give me a call and earn yourself a free training session for the referral!!

Recipe of the Week

Pineapple Thai Rice
4 green onions
1 large red chili or poblano pepper, seeds removed
2 TBS cilantro
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 can (20 oz) pineapple tidbits, drained
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1.5 TBS soy sauce, low sodium
1 package frozen cooked shrimp, thawed and rinsed with cold water

Place green onions, chili pepper, and cilantro in a food processor and finely chop ingredients. Mix pineapple with chopped ingredients in a small bowl. Heat in a large skillet on medium and add garlic. Saute garlic for 30 seconds. Add soy sauce and pineapple mixture to skillet, heat to boil. Remove from heat and add shrimp and rice. This will yield 6 servings!
This is a fast, tasty, low fat meal!! The shrimp don't reheat very well, so leftovers are tough!!!
GET in that kitchen!! Trainer Todd

Friday, January 30, 2009

Quote of the Week

"When life throws you a curve ball, you have to take a swing!"
Ernie Yorkman, former anchorman in Denver, CO
He was referring to losing his job due to budget cuts in the current economy at age 57.
I thought this quote is a simple, yet positive twist on life!! Keep swinging, Trainer Todd

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Get your MASSAGE on!

Massage therapy has become an important part in the complete workout cycle. More and more people who regularly participate in some form of fitness regiment realize that the workout cycle includes not only the exercise itself, but caring for the wear and tear and minor injuries that occur with strenuous activity.
Anyone who routinely pushes past their body's limits can benefit physically and psychologically from massage therapy. In fact, anyone who stresses their body on a regular basis may benefit. This includes mothers with new borns, physical laborers, and all of you who spend 10 hours a day in front of your computer!!
The benefits of massage therapy are:
-Reduction in the chance of injury
- Improvement in muscle flexibility and range of motion. This leads to improved power and performance.
-Shorten recovery time between workouts.
-Maximizes the supply of nutrients and oxygen through increased blood flow.
-Enhances elimination of metabolic by products from exercise.
Therapeutic massage helps the body recover from the stresses of strenuous exercise, and facilitates the rebuilding phase of conditioning. The physiological benefits of massage include improved blood and lymph circulation, muscle relaxation, and general relief from stress. These, in turn, lead to removal of waste products and better cell nutrition, normalization and greater elasticity of tissues, deactivation of trigger points, and faster healing of injuries. What does all of this mean? It adds up to RELIEF from stiffness and soreness, better flexibility, and reduced potential of future injury.
Does massage therapy really help? Is it worth the money? YES, YES, YES!!! I'm a true believer in the addition of regular massage work. I have had my share of injuries, imbalances, and flexibility issues. I personally function better physically and psychologically with massage as part of my training regiment. I perform better in my workouts and race events. I have noticed that my body recovers faster from training, and my mood is better! Especially as I get older.
We place a lot of demands on ourselves. Everyone has some form of stress in their life. Try the healthy approach and add a massage into your monthly budget!! You will THANK yourself for it!

I would like to THANK Geri Jones, my massage therapist, for all of her blood, sweat, and tears with keeping me in my ZEN place and my body functioning to it's potential. It makes it easier to get out of bed in the morning! Set your oppointment today with Geri Jones, L.M.T. at 657-0787

Monday, January 12, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but it will eventually subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever!"
- Lance Armstrong- 7 time Tour de France winner & Austin resident

Submit your motivating quote of the week to Trainer Todd today!!!


Garlic Shrimp
1 TBSP olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1.5 LBS large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 TBSP minced fresh parsley
1/4 tsp dried thyme

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add pepper, garlic, and bay leaf; saute 30 seconds, add shrimp and salt; saute 3 minutes. Remove shrimp from skillet. Add wine, parsley, and thyme; bring to boil, and cook until reduced for about 1 minute. Return shrimp to skillet; toss to coat; discard bay leaf.

This makes about 4 servings. Serve over a whole grain pasta or rice. Add a side salad loaded with your favorite legume and veggies!! This is a DELICIOUS low fat meal. A great alternative to the same old chicken breast or red meat! ENJOY, Trainer Todd

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Preparation!! We here this term used often in post game interviews with the winning team or individual of a sporting event. It is also applied in our daily schedules from carpool duties to work meeting presentations to personal activities to the food we consume.
I like to throw this word around with my clients. It is all about the preparation! Whether it be your early morning run, spin class, after work bike ride, yoga class, or the foods you are eating. If you are not prepared, then you are not setting yourself up for success in your chosen activity.
Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong are the best at their sports because they are meticulous about their preparation. They cross every "T" and dot every "I". That is where it begins. I usually run my best races when I have driven the course, planned my diet pre and post race, stretched, and warmed up prior to the event. It is like a routine or regiment that I go through.
This can apply to your own success in the gym, diet, or daily life events. You need to have a game planned out. That is the hard part. The easy part is execution! So get that gym bag packed the night before, write out a menu for the week, make sure your exercise equipment is running properly, and don't forget the pre and post workout meals!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Trainer T's Recipe of the Week

Vegetarian Chili
1- 16oz can of spicy chili beans
1- 15oz can of black beans drained
1- 14.5oz can of rotel tomatoes/green chili's
1/2 cup chunky salsa, use a medium to spicy salsa for extra kick
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 green pepper or red pepper chopped

Mix all ingredients together into a big pan and cook for two hours on the stove at a low temperature!! This is a GREAT winter meal!! Low in fat and high in protein. It also warms up nicely for a filling, healthy lunch!! GET COOKIN' Trainer Todd

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