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August 28, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Is diet or exercise more important to weight loss?

Is diet or exercise better to achieve weight loss results?Have you ever pushed yourself an extra 30 minutes at the gym in order to make up for eating ice cream the night before? Or so you could indulge in a few drinks at happy hour later on?

I know I have. Not lately, but I have even ran a few extra miles because of something I decided to eat.

Most would think this would make sense, but the truth is that weight loss doesn’t necessarily work that way. Well, not in the long run.

New research suggests agrees. In a recent Loyola University Health System study, physical activity has many health benefits, ranging from reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer to improving mental health and mood. But contrary to common belief, exercise alone does not help you lose weight.

“This crucial part of the public health message is not appreciated in recommendations to be more active, walk up stairs and eat more fruits and vegetables,” Richard S. Cooper, M.D. and Amy Luke, PhD of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine said. “The prescription needs to be precise: There is only one effective way to lose weight — eat fewer calories.”


run at work tooI have had to really accept that in my fitness journey. When I was running lots of miles in preparation for half marathons, it was easy to eat pasta on pasta thinking it was serving as fuel or that the fresh warm bread from Bonefish Grill with drinks wouldn’t hurt my weight loss.

I will admit that I continued to lose some weight, I quickly hit a plateau. It’s easy to think that you can eat whatever you want especially if you are running miles and miles every week.

Experts suggest that runners burn about 100 calories per mile. If it’s a moderate run weekend and a runner logs 5-6 miles or burning about 600 miles, it’s quickly gone when rewarded by eating 2 slices of pizza at 275 calories each without a drink or drinking a delicious Chick-Fil-A milkshake of 500 calories without a chicken sandwich or those delicious waffle fries.

If you opt for a more conscious meal like a chicken burrito bowl from Chipolte with brown rice, salsa, and cheese, you’re still looking at nearly 600 calories.

Simply put, you can’t out exercise a bad diet. It’s not possible.

Our diets are what fuel our bodies for exercise, so successfully achieving our goals in the gym is much more likely if we’re nourishing our bodies with nutrients that will help aid muscle repair and replenish energy stores.

I have learned that it takes a well-balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and whole grains. In the past year, I have lost about 30 pounds. I have maintained the loss even without being on a strict diet. It’s been a combination of diet and exercise to get this far. I still have more work to do to reach some of my goals, but I have a better idea of where I need to do.

What activities are you doing to achieve your goals?

August 26, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Are you running this 5K?

Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh adds 5K Remix challengeHave you heard? The Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh Marathon & 1/2 Marathon has added a new Saturday 5K.

It now means that Raleigh will have a Remix Challenge. You run the 5K on Saturday and either the marathon or half marathon on Sunday to earn your individual finisher medals, plus the new Remix Challenge medal. That’s, one weekend, two days of running, and three times the bling!

I’m super excited that we are adding the 5K on Saturday like several other cities on the tour. As an ambassador for this race, people have been asking if we were going to be able to do this like in Savannah. Well, here it is! Woo hoo!

In addition to the 5K, the race also will be one way to earn the Southern Charm medal. Last year, you earned the medal by running three out of the following four Rock ‘n’ Roll races (marathon or half marathon):

  • Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh in April
  • St. Jude Country Music in April
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah in November

More information will be coming soon about earning the medal in 2016. Keep it in mid as you are thinking about your 2016 calendar. I’ve registered for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans in 2016. Super excited to run it as a make up for my horrible first marathon. Of course, I am running with my crazy running/fitness friend, Eboni.

Rock 'n' Blogger KingrunsfarI am looking forward to the 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh race weekend. I always have a lot of fun. I get to meet new runners and catch up with others I haven’t seen since another race somewhere in the country. This year, I had to meet up with Nic, Rock’n’Blogger (@kingrunsfar). We didn’t get to hang out much because I was working at the expo. Hopefully we will have a chance in 2016.

If you are already registered to run Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh marathon or half marathon, register by Friday, Sept. 4, to run the 5K for just $25. If you’ve been on the fence, there’s no reason to hesitate. You could also use it as a fun shake out and run it with whomever is coming to support you for the marathon or half marathon.

I look forward to seeing you in Raleigh!


What upcoming races are you excited about running?

August 24, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

Healthy eating doesn’t have to kill your wallet

grocery store tourAre you a busy parent trying to balance bills or living pay check to paycheck while saving money is always a top priority?

It can sometimes seem hard to save when you are trying to eat more healthy. But using the excuse the healthy eating is expensive can be tossed aside when you try these ideas.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to kill your wallet.

Meal plan. Set aside time to plan weekly meals and grocery shop according to what’s on sale. You can also incorporate coupons and store cards to help keep more money in your wallet.

Limit your junk food. By choosing foods that are nutritionally beneficial, you will feel satisfied and full longer, which could lead to a decrease in snacking and overeating. Instead of going for a bag of chips, choose things like apples, bananas or almonds.

Opt for generic or store brands. Many times these items are similar to name brands, but are less expensive to purchase.

Make your coffee or tea at home. For what you spend at places like Starbucks, you can buy coffee filters, coffee beans and make yourself coffee for about a month.

Load up on high-fiber foods to stay fuller longer. High fiber foods include beans and leafy greens.

Limit dining out. It costs less to cook the same meals at home and you also get to monitor how many calories you actually eat.

Alcohol. Alcohol is an expensive habit that has no nutritional value. You can save yourself the calories and money by going without.

Eating healthier doesn’t have to cost you a lot. It may take some planning, but can be doable. You can also include or increase some alternatives like store brands or more fiber rich foods that will help.

What are some tips that you have for eating healthy?

August 22, 2015
by Shalama Jackson

How do you run in the heat?

tips for running in the heatDuring the summer have you ever wanted to give up running or turn to running indoors?

I know I have.

Well, let me be honest, I typically run in the early morning or give up running completely in the summer because the temperatures in South Carolina can be no joke.

Running doesn’t have to completely suffer as the temperature rises.

I have come to learn that running in the summer and heat means altering when and how I run. You should too.

Here are some tips to train safely in the heat:

  • Try to complete your run before the sun rises before above the horizon.
  • When you start to heat up more than normal, take a longer walk in a mall or indoor AC building
  • Pick shady courses on hot days.
  • Jeff Galloway suggests, through his monthly Galloway blogger tips, more frequent walk breaks during hot weather can lower body temperature increase. If you used to run 3 minutes between walk breaks, run only 90 seconds (walk 30 seconds) at 70F (21C) and at 80F (26C) drop to 60 sec run/30 sec walk or 30/30.
  • Don’t wear a hat! Pour water over your head
  • Have an indoor alternative like the treadmill, elliptical machine or my not-so-favorite stepmill.

I am a huge fan of early morning running. I prefer it before the sun comes up especially because I live in South Carolina.

In a couple of months when I kick off my marathon training, it will be early in the morning. It’s the only way to get it in regardless of the time of year. If the sun is not blazing down from the sky, there is always the South Carolina heat. Running early is the only way to truly get training in.


Do you have any other tips for when it heats up? How do you stay cool outside?

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