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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Do What You Love- 5 Tips to Keep your Workout Fresh

Life is too short to "work out," doing the same thing day in and day out, without enjoying it. Take inventory of what you are doing daily to get yourself in shape and healthy and if you truly aren't enjoying it, chances are you are just getting bored. If you can take your workout to a different place, or do it with a different workout buddy, at a different time of day, you might enjoy it more and remember why you love to work out so much in the first place.

Some Ideas to Keep Your Workout Fun:

1. Try an evening workout rather than your typical morning workout.
2. Instead of your daily run on the treadmill, head outside to the great outdoors for a cooler jog.
3. Try flipping your resistance training routine- that is, do your lifts in reverse order (trying to still keep your bigger muscle groups first).
4. USE YOUR IPOD! You might workout better with music, as it is a great motivator. Plus, it lets you keep your mind focused and ignore the outside distractions.
5. Play a sport or Set a Goal: Get out and play a pick-up basketball or volleyball game with your friends. What about training for a triathlon? A 5K? Set a goal and train for it. You will be less reluctant to skip out on your workouts because you have this event planned.

Monday, July 30, 2007

2nd Big "Brick"

Yesterday (Sunday, July 29th), I had my 2nd big brick workout. I had a great idea to go to Santa Barbara for the day to do it- to not only change it up scenery-wise, but to enjoy some weather 20 degrees cooler than I was used to here in Santa Clarita. The workout consisted of the following- in the same order:

Run: 10 miles
Bike: 75 miles
Run: 7 miles

I set off at 9am and thought that by 4pm, I would be done and enjoying some Chipotle down on State Street.

1st Run: East Beach Bath House was my transition area. I set off from there and ran the SB Triathlon run course- which I knew was exactly 10 miles. My goal was to have a faster run both times today, as they were split up into two (17 miles after a 75 mile ride would for sure be slower). So, I ran 10 in about 1:25 and felt great! Got in my bike after that and took off toward Carpinteria...

Ride: I started my ride, wanting to keep it fairly flat, but as I got to Carp, I decided to take a left at Hwy 150. The sign said Ojai-20 miles. So, I proceeded. It was not flat, but I got there and turned around- and it was exactly 4.5 hours. It was a great ride...

2nd Run: I ran the run course again, but this time- turned around a bit sooner. I actually got to the turnaround point at the same time that I did the first run, and I finished strong. Felt great!

So, today...run/lift/swim. Race this weekend in Windsor- Barb's Race. Half Ironman.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mental Motivation

Today, I told you that you were going to go out and run 5 miles without worrying about the time- we would just run and I would let you know (by distance markers) how long we had to go as we progressed through the course. We set off and as we get to the final mile mark, I let you know that we only have 1 more to go. We are now 1/2 mile away from the finish and you tell yourself, "just hang in there..just about 4 more minutes." We hit the finish and I break the news to you, "congrats, you just ran 7 miles." You can't believe it. We were just going to run 5. You mentally prepared yourself for 5- how did we just run 7?

Most times, we place mental barriers on ourselves when we focus on pure numbers- in this case, mileage. You mentally prepared yourself for 5 miles, yet your body could go the extra 2. Had you just run 5, you would have been (at mile 4) telling yourself- 1 more to go. But, you truly had enough in you to go the extra 3. I am not suggesting that you do this every workout- or that you even have the energy to do this every run. But, it is amazing what your mind tells your body to do if you place set limits or barriers on yourself. No limits=no barriers to reaching your goals.

I use this example for the scale, too. Some people have specific expectations for their weight- and most people have a "goal" weight. If you took the focus off of this number and placed your mental efforts in the methods you need to take to get there (eating right, exercising) your weight will come off- trust me.

So, today- practice positive mental motivation, without barriers. Truly believing that the sky is the limit is a great way to believe in your capabilities. If you tell yourself to only workout "this" hard, that is what you can expect- but, if you go in with the thought that you will work out as hard as you possibly can- you will surpass the "this" and you just might hit an all-time height in your physical image and strength.

Monday, July 23, 2007

First Big Brick

Yesterday was my first big brick workout in preparation for Ironman Wisconsin. I had a 60 mile ride/14 mile run on the schedule, so I had to get myself "ready" for it- both physically and mentally. Saturday was a planned DAY OFF on the schedule and trust me, I took it. I knew that my nutrition was going to be key, and I am going to be strictly following a nutrition plan during my training rides and runs that will mimic race day.

Saturday: I went to Sports Chalet and bought some Power Bar Gels- 6 of them. I also bought a couple of Clif Bars in case I needed it- along with some Gatorade for hydration. I wouldn't have bought so many Gels had the weather not been fore casted to be in the 90's. But, I thought I would use the Gels as my sodium replenishment as well- since there is some sodium in those things. Saturday night, I went out with a friend and had some salad and pasta. I also had some ice cream for dessert- a big cheat, but thought if I was going to do it, that tonight was the night. I went to bed by 10:30 and set the alarm for 6am.

Sunday: Alarm went off and I re-set it for 7am. I thought I could buy one more hour of sleep and still get out of the front door by 8am. I got up at 7, made my oatmeal, pumped my tires up, filled my water bottles, got dressed, and was on my way.

Workout: My plan was to ride out to Santa Paula on the 126 and back. It was really pleasant weather-wise, so that was nice. Had to stop once to use the potty, but then got right back on. Rode to the turnaround in 1 hour/40 mins. I headed back to Santa Clarita and got back to the house 10 minutes off of pace-but there was more climbing on the way back. I transitioned and the time was 3 hours, 28 minutes. I through on my running stuff- including my hat and fuel belt. I also grabbed a water bottle to carry with me the entire time. It was 11:20am, but getting close to 90 degrees outside. I set off at a pretty easy pace and had a goal of a 2 hour run- I would drive it later to see how far I went. I had felt really good on my ride, and the first 30 minutes of the run, I felt ok- but, knew I was just warming up. I had to keep my heart rate down- as I wanted to keep it around 150. It never got up above 160, and didn't go down below 150. I finished the run in a total run time of 2:12 (2 hours, 12 minutes). I drove the course later and I had ran a total of 14 miles.

After I was done, I went upstairs and took a cold bath- jumped right in with my running clothes on. I soaked my legs and it felt really good. My legs definitely needed it, as they were still sore from the big run I had on Friday. Overall, it was a great first brick workout!

Great job to Rachel, by the way, who is now officially an IRONMAN! She finished Ironman Lake Placid in 12 hours, 43 minutes. Great Job to her!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Stop The Bad Talk

Have you ever said any of these 'lead-in' statements...

1. I can't...
2. I don't...
3. I will try...
4. I've never...
5. I don't think...

I have. I am sure you have. I'm O.K. with it, but only once in a while. If you are saying these things on a constant basis, take note. Your thinking controls your feelings. That is, if you are always approaching tasks within the realm of life (i.e. workouts, family, work. friends) with the attitude of "I will let things happen to me" rather than, "I will make things happen," you will- in fact- get what you expect.

It is not easy to think positively. It takes a bit of effort to believe in yourself and sometimes, it is just not fun because not everyone can do it- only about 10% of my clients enter the gym with a bounce in their step and a glow on their face. I try to find a way to motivate them- getting them thinking about a goal for their workout, reminding them that they have 1 hour to give as much effort and energy as they can, or threatening them (in case they don't snap out of their bad attitude) to come run outside with me for a mile, at my pace. They usually chose the former 2 rather than the latter- however, I have been close to dragging a few of my clients outside with me because their negative self talk was just too loud.

So, instead of the lead-ins that you are used to- try these instead:

INSTEAD OF:
1. I can't...I WILL
2. I don't...I CAN
3. I will try...I WANT TO
4. I've never...I CAN LEARN
5. I don't think...I'VE GOT MY MIND SET ON


Trust me. You will soon be thinking more positively and it should make a huge difference in how you feel and- best of all- how you look.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

6 Ways To Shake Your Workout Blues

If you love to workout, an hour a day, each day of the week- you are a rare breed- or you are lying to yourself. Not to say you don't like to workout, but there are days where even the toughest workout warriors struggle. How to get past this feeling? Here are my Top 5 Ways to Shake Your Workout Blues:

1. Do Your Routine Backwards: If you have a set routine in the gym that you have been doing now for a few weeks, and you are almost about to jump to a new one- before you do, you can flip your routine up and do it backwards as long as you are still focusing on some big muscle groups first. It will give you the same benefits as your original program, but mentally, it will challenge you a bit more.

2. State Your Goal: If you don't have something to work toward (goal-wise), your means of getting there will be unfocused and unclear. You need to have a REASON for working out- whether it be to stay healthy, to do 5 pull ups, or to get into your size 6 jeans. If you don't have a goal, you will not have a plan- and, you are setting yourself up for failure.

3. Set An Appointment with a Friend: If you have a workout buddy, you are less likely to cancel.

4. On Your "Days Off", do something that is active, yet fun: Since it is summertime, you can take advantage of going out in the sunshine to do some activities that are still beneficial health-wise, and will work you out without going to the gym EVERYDAY. Some examples of this would be: rollerblading, swimming with your kids in the ocean, hiking in the local mountains, take a walk at sunrise before it gets too hot, or set up a "race" at the park and get your kids (or the local kids on your block) to take part in neighborhood relays- that way, your kids can brag that their mom/dad is still in-shape and just the "coolest."

5. Buy a New Outfit: What better way to look forward to a workout than to buy some new sexy workout clothes? If you are not feeling sexy on the outside, good chance you are not going to portray this through your workout- and, end result: your body will not be that sexy thing you desire it to be. Go out and dress yourself up in some new digs. You will soon become the envy of all of your workout buddies!

Last but not least...

6. Update your IPOD with some new Tunes: This is one of the best ways to get motivated for a workout- some new music. Every two months, I will buy some new tunes, and trust me- I not only look forward to my workouts, but I am energized and have lots of fun.

Get out there now and train- NO EXCUSES!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Adjust For the Heat

If you are anything like me, you want to give 110% to every workout, every day- no matter the situation. Maybe you are on your recovery week, as you have just raced on Sunday, and Monday you want to hit it hard again and pick up where you left off. Or, perhaps you know you are fighting a bug, but you can't miss this "brick" workout because you have an important race coming up in 2 weeks and it might set you back- so, you do it anyway. Or, you only have time to workout in the heat of the day and you want to put in the same 10K time as you did, 3 days ago, when you ran at 8am and it was 20 degrees cooler. Trust me, I have been there- in each of these situations, and if you continue pushing yourself in this matter without ADJUSTING FOR THE SITUATION, you will find yourself overtrained, tired, injured, or unmotivated.

This specific rant is focused on ADJUSTING FOR HOT WEATHER. If you are focused on training smart and with purpose, you must drop it down a notch when the summer heat beats down on you. Here are 5 BEST hot weather training tips that you can abide to when training this summer.

1. HYDRATE WITH ELECTROLYTE DRINKS AS WELL AS WATER. Don't forget a fluid mix that contains not only calories from carbohydrates, but also sodium. This will replenish the salt that you are losing because of sweat to keep you going longer and harder.

2. FOR EVERY 5 DEGREES IT IS OVER 80 DEGREES, GO 30 SECS LESS ON YOUR 10k PACE. This might seem confusing, but if you normally run 7:00 mile pace on an 80 degree day, but it is 85 today, try running at 7:30 min/mile pace. This is simply a guideline, but when training, you must adjust your pace to the weather. Be smart.

3. GO INSIDE FOR YOUR CROSS TRAINING SESSIONS. I am not a huge proponent of working out indoors while training for a triathlon- after all, specificity takes precedence. However, if it gets too hot outdoors, take a spin class inside at you local gym, or run on the treadmill for a change. This is better than skipping a workout all together.

4. PLAN AHEAD. Weather.com is a great resource for checking the weather 5 days in advance. If you see a cooling front coming on, adjust your training schedule so that your bigger workouts are during those cooler days. If that is not possible, see #3.

5. RECOVER. After a tough summer workout, you may not feel very hungry after. But, you need to refuel. One of my favorite recovery drinks (make sure your drink is rich in carbohydrates and protein- at least 300 calories if you are 150 lbs) is Surge. Check it out here: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459244. Make sure that you drink your recovery drink within 5-10 minutes of finishing your workout for maximum recovery. Surge is also "light" and refreshing- not heavy. So, you actually look forward to your workouts because you get to drink it after.

Enjoy your summer workouts and remember, adjust for the heat!

Monday, July 16, 2007

8 Cool Summer Treats- without the Guilt!

Now with summer in full swing, and your appetite on full-blast for some sweet, cool treats (not a Dairy Queen Blizzard!), you might be wondering what some good choices are as far as being low in calories and fat. I was reading Men's Fitness and they had a great article on icy treats for stifling the summer heat. I thought I would restate them in my blog- you should be able to locate them in your nearest grocer's freezer (see Men's Fitness, August 2007). I have listed them in lowest to highest calorie ranking.

1. Sugar Free Popsicle (Popsicle Brand): 15 cals/piece.

2. Edy's Fruit Bars (Edy's/Dreyer's Brand): 30 cals/piece.

3. Fudgsicle (Popsicle Brand): 40 cals/piece.

4. Yoplait Double Fruit Smoothies Nonfat Frozen Yogurt: 45 cals/piece.

5. Weight Watchers Sherbet & Ice Cream bars: 60 cals/piece.

6. Absolutely Free Gourmet Ice Cream: 80 cals/piece.

7. Eskimo Pie Original: 120 cals/piece.

8. Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino Low Fat Ice Cream Bars: 120 cals/piece.

*There was some discussion about whether or not they tasted as good as they were "low in calories." That will be up to you to decide. If you do get a chance to try a variety, please feel free to comment on them and let me know!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

10 Ways to Flavor Up Your Protein!

Are you getting tired of the USUAL Chocolate or Vanilla variety of protein powder? I mean, there are only so many ways to mix both of them to make your swirl variety as well. So, how can you make your protein drink more exciting? Here are some additions for you to try, most with their own nutritious value:

1. Berries or Banana: An old standby, but you can add any kind of berries or banana (only add 1/2 of a banana if you are watching your weight) to your vanilla or chocolate.

2. Peanut Butter: What is not to love about peanut butter? Use the natural kind, the kind with the oil on top. You will benefit not only from the "good" fat, but also from the yummy flavor.

3. Coffee/Instant Coffee: If you are like me and love a bit of a perk in the morning, this is a great way to make your coffee more nutritious. You can add 1/2 cup of regular coffee, or a teaspoon of instant for some great flavor.

4. Peppermint Extract: If you are a chocolate-mint fan, this works great. Best to add 1 part chocolate, 1 part vanilla, and then 2 drops of extract for a delicious post workout or late afternoon snack.

5. Cinnamon: It will give your vanilla powder a rich, cozy flavor- perfect for a morning shake or Fall/Winter flavor. Cinnamon has also been known to lower the GI (glycemic index) of certain foods.

6. Diet Root Beer: Want a creamy root beer float with some nutritious value? Add some diet root beer for a yummy flavor- but make sure to watch out for your shake to get a bit excited because of the carbonation.

7. Peaches or Mango: Add to your vanilla powder for an extra carb boost for a post-workout energizer.

8. Honey: This is a great way to add some additional carbs without using white sugar. Add honey to your cinnamon shake as well to keep your GI index down.

9. Flax Seed: Its high content of alpha linolenic acids has made the flax seed our modern miracle food. Alpha linolenic acid is a type of plant-derived Omega 3, similar to those found in fish. Benefits include lowering cholesterol, lower blood pressure, or preventing the risk of a heart attack. (Cited from http://www.healthcastle.com/flax.shtml).

10. Orange Juice: Add to a vanilla shake for an Orange-Julius-type shake, giving you a refreshing summer smoothie, full of Vitamin C and necessary protein!

Let me know WHAT YOUR FAVORITE flavor is: erikalilley@sbcglobal.net.

Monday, July 9, 2007

It's Tour Time!

With the start of the Tour (sans Lance this year), everyone is in full cycling mode. I am thinking that many people have decided this week to bring the bike out of storage, put on their coolest, most colorful cycling jersey, and get on the roads for some summer riding. I am doing my fair share of riding, yet tapering again this week, as I have a race this coming weekend in Minneapolis, Minnesota (the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon). I have written down what I think are 6 Key Rules for Efficient Riding and Improvments to your overall cycling repertoir. Hopefully the Tour, in addition to my 6 rules, will get you out the door and on your bike-Have fun!

6 Rules for Cycling (for Triathlon...or simply cycling):

#1: Keep the Turnover Fast: The turnover you have, or revolutions per minute, on the bike is called cadence. You want a high cadence, as it helps keep your steady state of lactic acid balanced, which also helping you to have fresher legs on the run. Lance Armstrong was one of the first cyclist to have a high cadence and still win races- as most thought you needed to “mash” in the biggest gear and blow your legs out in order to get to the finish line first. Some people still believe this, but when you have to run several miles after your time on the bike, you want to conserve your legs as much as possible. Spinning at a high cadence (>90 RPMs) will help you to achieve this.

#2: You Feel What You Eat: Nutrition on the bike is ultra important for how you will feel on the run. Obviously, the longer the race, the more time you will have to consume calories on the bike. Most people forget about that, and don’t eat/drink enough on the bike, which can lead to bonking on the run. Make sure to figure out how many calories you need per hour on the bike (see our Nutrition chapter for a guide, but a good estimate is 200 calories an hour) and practice your nutrition in training so that it is not new to you come race day. Remember that calories are calories and if you think that liquid and or gel calories are better than solids (snacks or power bars), then you can go with that- as long as the nutrition is higher in carbohydrates than any other nutrient. Also, be aware that you might want to stop drinking at least 20 minutes prior to the run to keep you from getting stomach cramps or discomfort.

#3: Don’t Mash on the Hills: The most irritating thing I can see at a race is an athlete grinding the crap out of a hill as I sit back in my “granny” gear, cadence high and legs fresh, thinking how nice it will be to have some legs on the run ahead of me. I am all for getting up out of your saddle, getting the heart rate up and pounding up the hills if you are in a road race. But, you are not. You still have to run after your bike, and you can very well blow 6 miles of your run in a short, steep climb if you mash it and burn out at the top.

#4: Free Speed, Get After It: This rule couples well with the one above it, in that after your spin your way to the top of the hill, you can get in your aero position and shoot straight ahead as fast as you can for the downhills. You want to coast as much as you can and give your legs a rest- no need to pedal as you are cruising down hill. Coast, simply coast. You can also keep in mind that the best strategy for drinking your Gatorade or other drink is during the climbs, not during the downhill. You are already going slow up the hill, so you want to grab your drink at this point and get down as tight as you can for the downhill to make up for any speed you may have lost.

#5: To Race Fast, Train Fast: One of the best ways to increase your Lactate Threshold on the bike, in addition to your VO2 Max, is to practice some time trialing. In the off-season, it is a good chance to get into some road races and practice in a group that pushes you out of your comfort zone and into pedaling as fast as you can for set amount of time. You can practice picking your pace up in the rides that you already to do simulate a TT. Try riding hard for 1 mile at a time (90% of max HR) and then dropping to 75% of max for the next 5 minutes. Then repeat. You can also do shorter bursts and give yourself triple to five-times the length of time it takes you to do the work in rest (1:3 or 1:5, work to rest ratio). This will help you become faster during a race if you are comfortable racing at this speed and effort. It will eventually become very natural to you and your cadence will mutually benefit as well.

#6: Do Hill Repeats: When you can, go out and practice riding up hills. Some people are just naturally gifted climbers and some are not. If you are not, there is good news. It may take some time, but you must practice riding up hills and getting up to at least Zone 4 or Zone 5 in order to get faster. You can actually improve your time on the flats by climbing more frequently and efficiently. To top it off: try doing hill repeats with a head wind, while also keeping your cadence high.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's Hot! Don't Lose Your Cool, or Your Salt

As the weather grows continually hotter with the summer now in full swing, your activity levels outdoors might have diminished- or at least, in the greater part of the day. You might find yourself switching your schedule around to fit in your workouts earlier in the morning, or later at night when the temperature is at least 10-20 degrees cooler. As I can attest, working out in the middle of the day can be a challenging, if not dangerous, feat. When you sweat, you not only lose water from your body, but important nutrients, such as salt and potassium (electrolytes), which keep your body functioning properly. If you are an endurance athlete, such as myself, losing these electrolyes, in addition to water, can keep you from finishing a workout or race, simply because this loss shuts your body down. When you workout during this heat, you must monitor what percentage of body weight you lose and then gauge what symptoms you might feel if you get to that point. I illustrate an estimate of % body weight loss and symptoms below:

WEIGHT LOSS CONSEQUENCES (shown as percentage of body weight lost during workout):
0 to 2 %: beginning thirst, performance loss at 1.8%
2 to 3 %: thirst, 7% performance loss
3 to 6 %: cramps, strong thirst, 20% performance loss
> 6 %: severe cramps, heat exhaustion, coma, death

(I grabbed this info from an ultracycling article I read yesterday: you can find more on this article at: http://www.ultracycling.com/nutrition/electrolytes.html)


As you see, not paying attention to the replenishment your body needs during your workouts, especially in the heat, can lead to some severe consequences. Please train smart and think ahead of time about how you are going to prepare for your workout and hydration.

5 Quick "Stay Cool" things you can do when working out in the heat:

1. Workout in cooler times of the day (early morning/late night).
2. If you must workout in the day, take along some Gatorade or other electrolyte drink with you rather than just water. Water is good, but you need some carbohydrates and sodium replenishment to keep from getting stomachache or muscle cramps.
3. Take longer breaks than you would normally.
4. Drink more before and after your workout- not only during. If you start your workout thirsty, you will already be in trouble.
5. Salt pills and/or electrolyte pills will help you maintain your electrolyte balance if taken regularly through workouts lasting longer than 2 hours. I have had great success with them and always use them in my longer races and training rides/runs.

If you have any ways in which you stay hydrated or cool, email me! I would love to hear about them: erikalilley@sbcglobal.net.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Don't Miss a Step

I met with a client last week that was back in the gym again after a month and a half. She had been training with me hard core for the 3 months leading up to this break. She had to go in for some minor surgery which set her back for that time off. She had lost 12 lbs and was down 4% in body fat. She was feeling and looking great, but was worried because of this ensuing "off her feet" time.

She was back in Monday morning and we did our body composition measurements (I like to say, "muscle testing") so that we were back on track. We are pretty religious with keeping "up-to-date" measurements so that we are holding each other accountable for our results. I am excited to say that her weight remained the same, but we had increased our fat mass by 2%, while decreasing our lean body mass. She was visually crushed and at the end of the workout, she had broken down to me.

I had a talk with her and said that I admire her tenacity and patience through this time. I reminded her that this was not a setback, but just a minor challenge and that she would get back on track again really quickly, as she didn't gain any weight- but, simply, lost some valuable fat burning muscle. It was hard for me to see how upset she was, but I told her that if she didn't care and if she wasn't going to do something about it, that she wouldn't be so visibly hurt.

The key takeaway is this. Remember that life is life. We can't always eat perfectly 'clean' because we are enjoying a family vacation, or out to dinner with coworkers, or simply because we don't feel like it. We don't always have the ability to work out because we might be sick, injured, recovering, or flat out tired. We may not be able to make it to our regularly scheduled gym appointment because of our kids, or our spouse wanted to do something else, or if we got caught in traffic on the way home. Such is LIFE. If, by chance, this unpredictable LIFE catches up to you, you have two choices- ONE-react to it in a way that is destructive or pity yourself because of things you "should" have done better, or TWO- be positive and look to the future, for you know what it feels like to feel great and look good, and you truly know what you need to do to get there. Don't let LIFE throw you off track. Be flexible and remember above all that if you can handle adversity in your life, that you are doing better than 90% of the people out there. Get back on your bike and ride- hard!

Monday, July 2, 2007

STARBUCKS: MY “SAVORY 7” LOW CAL DRINKS

If you are anything like me, you enjoy your Starbucks. I am a daily visitor and I have no qualms about it. I admit that I love my caffeine, as well as a variety of other flavors that SB has to offer. I do, however, watch what I drink, as there are several selections on the menu that are not for you if you are trying to manage your waistline. If you are smart about ordering from your favorite barista, you can, in fact, still enjoy your Joe without adding any non-nutritious calories to your diet. Want to know my 7 favorite drinks that are under 100 calories? Here they are (order any size):

Americano, with little room: For the coffee purist, who likes their blend a bit stronger than a straight up mild or bold brew, you can order an Americano, which is ‘2 shot’ espresso with hot water. Add half and half and two Splenda and you have low calorie treat that will wake you up.

Bold blend with a shot of Sugar Free Vanilla: If you like to add a bit of flavor to your coffee without the extra calories, try a regular coffee with a shot of sugar free vanilla, hazelnut, or caramel. I believe that most SBs have all 3 as an offering.

Iced Green Tea: This is a summer favorite for me. Green tea is rich in antioxidants and naturally good for your immune system. Make sure to order it ‘unsweetened’ and then you can add the calorie-free sweetener of your choice.

Refresh Tea: If you are in the mood for something hot but don’t want coffee, try a Refresh Tea. It is a peppermint flavored blend that is perfect for a dessert, and is naturally great for your digestive system. Order it with 2 teabags, as it will give it more flavor.

“Red Eye”:Want a bit more kick in the morning? Order a red eye- which is a bold blend with an extra shot of espresso. As I mentioned above, you might need to tame it down like I do with some half and half and some calorie-free sweetener, but it is worth it. If you add half and half and skip the milk, you will save on carbs: one serving of half and half may have a bit more fat, but only 2 grams of sugar. Milk, on the other hand, has more sugar in it and close to 16 grams of carbs per serving.

Sugar-Free Hazelnut Americano: Add some flavor to #1 with some sugar free hazelnut. I usually order this around the Holidays, as hazelnut always sounds so good. You can’t go wrong, as this is still under 50 calories, no matter if you get a Tall or Venti.

Iced Coffee: This one is probably my absolute favorite. Order it unsweetened, then doctor it up with some half and half and some Equal and you are good to go! Enjoy.

Clancy, Mike and I

Clancy, Mike and I
SB Tri Finishers- Nice Tiles!