8 Reasons to Register for a Fitness Event8 Reasons to Register for a Fitness Event

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Register for a Fitness Event

Whether it’s a run, hike, triathlon, or adventure race, now is the time to make the commitment and start your training plan. If you are unsure if this type fitness is right for you, here are a few of the many benefits of participating in an organized event.

Positive peer pressure

Training groups provide a motivating support system that will keep you on track. Some fitness events have existing groups that you can join, or consider creating your own. Meeting up at least once per week for a long run or ride will motivate you to keep improving your fitness level so you can accomplish the planned distance with the group.

Exercise with purpose

Heading to the gym day in and day out with a general goal of getting fit or losing weight can quickly become boring. Choosing an event with a timeline and following a training plan makes exercise more interesting. Training for a fitness event gives you a preset goal to focus on for each workout, and throughout the weeks of your training program.

Challenge your fitness

Training isn’t easy, but the challenges will help you reach a fitness level that you may have once thought was impossible. With the right training plan, you will quickly see changes in your endurance and strength, which will serve as an effective source of motivation.

Improve self-esteem

Competing in an event helps you realize that achieving this goal is up to no one else but you. As you draw on inner strength to get through, your toughness will surprise you. Nothing beats that invigorating feeling of accomplishment when you cross the finish line. It’s a feeling of perseverance and success that you can apply to all aspects of your life.

Step towards a long-term goal

Fitness events can serve as valuable stepping stones to get you to more challenging long-term goals. For example, if you’d like to run or walk a half marathon someday, it’s wise to start with shorter races -- both to gradually increase your endurance and to become familiar with how you handle a race environment.

Support a cause

Many fitness events use registration fees to support charities, or they provide opportunities for you to raise money through your training and completion. Knowing that your hard work will benefit someone in need gives you even more motivation to accomplish your goal.

Meet new fitness friends

Surprising things can happen as you wait at the start line or along the course of a race. Friendly conversations can lead to meeting new friends with similar interests in fitness. You may discover a training group to join for your next event, or find the perfect workout partner.

Motivate others

Your healthy choices influence the people around you. You never know how you may affect a friend or loved one who watches as you commit to your plan and finally cross the finish line. You have the opportunity to motivate others to develop healthier habits.

Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Fennel RecipeRoasted Rainbow Carrots and Fennel

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Roasted Rainbow Carrots and Fennel Recipe

Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that benefits eye health. In this recipe, a variety of colored carrots are roasted with fiber-rich fennel for a comforting side dish that is perfect for spring holidays.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6.4g
4%Saturated Fat 0.7g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 263mg
Total Carbohydrate 19.9g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 7.3g
Protein 2.2g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Baking time: 30 minutes


  • 8 medium carrots, any color, peeled and sliced
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the carrots, fennel, onion, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the oil salt, and pepper and toss to coat all of the vegetables.
  3. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are browned and the carrots are tender. Serve warm.

How to Choose Healthy FishHow to Choose Healthy Fish

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Choose Healthy Fish

While health experts recommend eating more fish and less red meat, concerns about mercury, sustainability, and cooking methods may be keeping you from making the change.

Concerns about mercury

Fish is full of nutrients, but some fish are also high in mercury. Mercury is not a major health concern for most people, but high levels of mercury can damage developing nervous systems. According to the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency, women who may become pregnant, who are currently pregnant, nursing mothers, and young children should avoid high mercury fish.

Larger fish tend to have higher mercury levels because they feed on smaller fish. Health agencies recommend that high-risk groups avoid shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Up to 12 ounces of low mercury fish and shellfish can be enjoyed each week such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, and catfish.

Making sustainable choices

Fishing and farming methods influence the population of fish and the ecosystems that are important for healthy marine life. The popularity of fish as a health food has put some species at risk for overfishing, which has decreased the population to dangerously low levels. To solve issues with overfishing, many fish are now farm-raised. While farm-raised fish can be a healthy choice, some are raised in unhealthy environments, spreading disease and parasites.

All of these factors make choosing a truly healthy fish a difficult task, but there are resources to help. The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program provides a guide for selecting fish based on human and environmental health as well as the health of the fish species. Types of fish are divided into “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “Avoid.” This guide is updated every six months and serves as a reliable resource for making healthy, sustainable fish choices. (See the Seafood Watch® Seafood Recommendations.)

Best cooking methods

Fish and seafood are full of lean protein, but when battered and deep fried, the added saturated fat and sodium quickly turn a healthy choice into an unhealthy meal. There are plenty of flavorful ways to prepare fish without canceling out all of the nutritional benefits. Bake or broil fish fillets with fresh herbs and finish it off with a squeeze of lemon or lime before serving. Steam whole fish or fish fillets with fresh greens and add spices like curry or chili powder. Marinate large fish fillets for a few minutes in olive oil, herbs, and citrus zest and grill over high heat. You also don’t have to give up breaded, crispy fish. Use cornmeal, whole wheat bread crumbs, or almond meal to coat fish fillets and then bake or skillet fry in a small amount of olive, avocado, or virgin coconut oil.


6 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Spring6 Healthy Ways to Celebrate Spring

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Healthy Ways to Celebrate Spring

Get to work in the yard

Landscaping, gardening, and lawn mowing are big calorie burners. A day of sprucing up the exterior of your home can easily blast the same calories you’d burn during your workout at the gym. Yard work also meets the criteria to count towards the 30 minutes of daily exercise recommended for health. (See The Best Home and Garden Chores for Burning Calories for exercise ideas.)

Sign up for a fitness event

Training to compete in a fitness event encourages you to create an exercise plan that has purpose and a specific goal. A 5K race or triathlon are good choices, but consider thinking beyond a road race. Golf scrambles, sand volleyball leagues, disc golf, hikes, and dog walks all provide opportunities for fitness and they can challenge your training in new ways.

Try a new recipe

Incorporating new recipes into your daily menus is necessary to avoid falling into a rut with healthy eating. The more exciting and flavorful your meals, the less likely you will be to stray from your healthy habits.

Buy new athletic shoes

Quality athletic shoes are important for exercise safety and trying a new pair can motivate you to hit the gym. Old, worn out shoes stress the joints, which can lead to injury. A new pair with a good fit designed for your choice of activity can help keep you safe and healthy. (See Athletic Shoes: A Buyers Guide.)

Join a weekend clean-up committee

Help keep your community clean by volunteering with a local committee to remove trash near the creek or refurbish an empty urban lot into a park or garden. These events get you moving, and research also shows that there is a significant relationship between volunteering and good health. It can lead to greater overall satisfaction with life and reduced rates of depression.

Clean out the kitchen

An organized kitchen that is filled with nutritious foods makes healthy eating easy. Toss out any unhealthy snacks that have been tempting you. Organize whole grains and dry beans in clear containers so that you can find them quickly. Keep storage containers in one place to fill with single servings of leftovers for a grab-and-go lunch. If you need some help with organizing and stocking your healthy kitchen, see The Healthy Kitchen Test and How to Select and Store Fruits and Vegetables.

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette RecipeSpinach Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette

Source: MyFoodDiary.com

Spinach Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette Recipe
Spinach Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette

This salad is full of spinach that provides vitamins A, C, and K. The dressing is made with heart-healthy olive oil and the juice of fresh mandarin oranges, which adds even more vitamin C. Serve it as a starter or as a side with grilled salmon or roasted tofu.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/4 recipe
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18.7g
15%Saturated Fat 3g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 186mg
Total Carbohydrate 15.6g
Dietary Fiber 2.9g
Sugars 9.1g
Protein 3.5g
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Yield: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes



  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ tbsp fresh mandarin orange juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp fine ground sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger


  • 6 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 3 fresh pearl white or red onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and segments chopped


  1. Add the garlic to a small dish and stir in the orange juice. Whisk in the olive oil. Add the salt, pepper, and ginger, and whisk for about 30 seconds, until all ingredients are combined.
  2. Place the spinach in a large serving bowl. Top the spinach with cucumber, onion slices, cashews, and mandarin orange segments. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat before serving.
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