Healthy cooking: Baked sweet potato chips

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The new gig at work is certainly helping me in my strive to live a more fit life.

I’ve been logging my workouts and still eating what I want, but watching my portions and trying to make healthier substitutions when I can. There are a few things that tempt me more than anything else: candy and carbs.

When it comes to candy, it isn’t even the good stuff, it’s that crappy, cheap fruity-flavored stuff. Give me a package of Starbursts or those round, chewy Sweet Tarts that look like colored moth balls and I will eat the entire thing in one sitting.

It’s not good.

So, I opted for buying fruit-flavored sugar free gum and it really does help satisfy that sweet craving I have after dinner without forcing my blood sugar to sky rocket.

Second, what do I do about my salty snack cravings?

Here comes my little friend, the sweet potato. I actually really like sweet potatoes, whether mashed, baked or in my favorite crunchy snack form.

And it’s really easy to make. Continue reading “Healthy cooking: Baked sweet potato chips” »

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What should you wear to run in the cold?

What to Wear screen grab

A screen grab shows part of the What to Wear web page at

This will be the first winter since I’ve started running regularly. I’ve avoided it in the recent days with morning temperatures in the teens and added wind chills, but soon I need to man up and get back out there.

Luckily, I not only have Kate Penn’s excellent posts about how to dress for cold-weather running to look back on, but there’s also a neat tool from Runner’s World to help.

The running magazine’s What to Wear page lets you enter information such as your gender, the weather conditions and how hot or cool you want to feel during your run, and then suggests what you should wear.

I’d imagine veteran runners might not feel the need to use this. But as a newer runner, it helps to have some guidance of what to expect. It definitely helped me decide what to wear when it started getting cooler, with temperatures dipping into the 40s and 50s. At times, I continued to wear shorts when I might have thought to go for pants, for example.

Now, I just need to shake off that resistance when I get out of bed and want to do anything I can to avoid heading out into the cold.

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Oh, hey there winter

What happened? I was minding my own business enjoying pumpkin spice lattes, foliage, and not being drenched in sweat every time I left the house, and WHAM! Out of nowhere winter came in like a freight train, ran over my pumpkin muffins and punched me in the face. Not cool, winter.

Pretty? No. Warm? All but my butt!

This is my “Holy crap it’s 10 degrees with the wind chill” running ensemble. Pretty? No. Warm? All but my butt!

Seriously, this cold front seemed to come out of nowhere. I always take a little time to adjust to changing seasons, but this time no one stood a chance to acclimate. It could be worse. Rochester, NY, a snowy tundra I called home for four years, got dumped with about seven feet of snow. This helps put things in perspective but still…brrrrrrr!

One result of this sudden change is a barrage of snot rockets. My nose has not figured out how to handle these frigid temps yet.

Sunday was my first frigid long run of the season. This was followed with a time honored tradition of winter running, standing in the shower waiting for my butt to regain feeling. Why is the butt always the first to freeze? I need some wool underwear or something. Continue reading “Oh, hey there winter” »

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Fit in 15 – Core

Personal trainer Robert Williams Jr. finishes his “Fit in 15″ series with core work.

Williams says some of the benefits to this core workout come from rotating your body past the normal axis. When you do the lean back crunches, at the point of “crunch”, you’re extending your core past that 180 degrees. Keeping the chin tucked activates your core as you perform the exercises.

Williams says he is trying to “break the mundane nature of what tradition ab routines are.”

You can find Rob Williams Jr. on instagram @RobWilliamsKingofFitness
Or get in touch with him via email or phone at (443)797-2123

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Race Spectating: Cheer like every runner is your best friend

This weekend I switched gears from runner to spectator. My friend’s sister was running her first 15K, which is kind of a big deal. That jump from 5 or 10K to 15K is not only a physical leap but a sizable mental undertaking.

Funny hats are always encouraged at races.

Fun hats are always encouraged at races.

I genuinely enjoy cheering on my fellow runner. I know what a boost it can be when someone yells for me during a race. I also know how annoying it is to run past a line of spectators who are waiting, arms crossed, lips tight, to cheer only for their specific runner.

I kind of think this is a small race phenomenon. Every big race I’ve been to people are cheering their faces off for all the strangers for hours on end. But races where spectators are few and far between, I find myself frequently met with inexplicably angry-looking spectators.

This, in my opinion, is total crap. I don’t care that you don’t know me. Yell my number, gender, hair color, or the ever generic but totally acceptable, “Go runners!” Yell something funny, sing, make funny noises. Ring a bell, clap your hands, bang a pot. Lie to me. Tell me I look great, that I’m doing awesome, I’ll even take the ironic, “You’re almost there!”, when really the race has just started. Do ANYTHING besides standing there staring at me silently. Continue reading “Race Spectating: Cheer like every runner is your best friend” »

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Healthy cooking: Maple bacon mashed sweet potatoes

You don’t have to fill up on plain mashed sweet potatoes to really get their full benefits. These healthy little potatoes are filled with nutrients and fiber to keep you full through most of the day.

With the holidays approaching, you can avoid the marshmallow covered version and try this still tasty, but not as calorie heavy version of the classic dish.

Try some maple syrup and bacon to dress of plain mashed sweet potatoes. KATE PENN - DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

Try some maple syrup and bacon to dress of plain mashed sweet potatoes. KATE PENN – DAILY RECORD/SUNDAY NEWS

Recipe for maple bacon mashed sweet potatoes

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3 to 5 strips of bacon, depending on taste

Washing and dry the sweet potatoes. Prick them all over with a fork and wrap each one in a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for eight minutes, checking to make sure they are soft. If they’re still hard to the touch, microwave three additional minutes until soft.

While the potatoes cook, you can heat a skill and cook the bacon. Set the cooked strips on a paper towel to drain.

When the potatoes are finished, let them cool until you can handle them. Scoop the soft insides into a bowl. Once you’re finished, add the butter, milk and maple syrup. Use a hand masher to mix everything together.

Crumble the bacon on top and stir it together. Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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How early is too early to run?

Answer: 2:30am. That is just too early.

I’m a morning runner. Even though I work second shift, I am usually up by 7:30 to run. Days when I have earlier commitments, I just shift my run up. 5am, 4:30am, these are times that I’m willing to get up if it means the difference of running or not. I’m a miserable hag when I don’t run, so this is really for everyone’s benefit. But I have my limits.

If I'm up before 4, it's for a race. This was just a different kind of race.

If I’m up before 4, it’s for a race. This was just a different kind of race.

Election day is known to journalists across America as a day filled with long hours and cold pizza. This election day those long hours took on a new meaning for me. My day was to start in Philadelphia to cover PA democratic candidate Tom Wolf, and so my alarm was set for 3:45am Tuesday morning. I knew it would be a long day and that I really wanted to get a run in to get my head right for the day. But as I did the math Monday night, I realized in order run I’d have had to get up at 2:30am. That, friends, is where I draw the line. Continue reading “How early is too early to run?” »

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Meatout Mondays: Good morning egg bake

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

I love breakfast foods. I could eat them any time of day. Most Sundays I go to brunch with my husband after church. If we go to a restaurant any other time and it is 24-hour breakfast, you know what I am getting.

Recently I grabbed a package of Lightlife Gimme Lean fake sausage (there was a coupon attached!) When I was looking over recipes on the brand’s website, I was immediately drawn to the breakfast dishes. This one caught my eye, as it is simple, minimal ingredients, not too high in calories and easy to convert to dairy-free. You can use the milk products like the recipe calls for, but my household usually has the dairy substitutes.

Make it the night before, pop it in the oven in the morning and enjoy a breakfast that is sure to bring the family together!

Good morning egg bake
based off this recipe
serves 8


  • 1 package (14 oz) Lightlife Gimme Lean sausage
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups Silk light original soy milk
  • 1 cup shredded Daiya fake mozzarella cheese
  • 5 slices whole wheat bread


  1. In a skillet, sauté Gimme Lean sausage in oil for about 5-10 minutes, until lightly browned. Layer sausage in the bottom of a 7-inch-by-13-inch pan.
  2. Cut bread slices into 1-inch strips and layer them across the sausage.
  3. In a small bowl, beat the eggs and milk. Pour egg mixture evenly over the bread slices. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
  4. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Take the cover off and bake in a 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden on top. Let it sit for a few minutes to settle before serving.
Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

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Fit in 15 – Explosive Exercises

Personal trainer Rob Williams Jr., uses the medicine ball in explosive exercises to get that fast twitch muscle going. “Sprinters have these real classic physiques,” says Williams. “They don’t do a lot of weight room training but they have really exposed muscles.” He says you get those fast twitch muscles from doing explosive exercises like sprints, and ball slams like the ones he demonstrates in his video, anything where you’re really making your body explode.

You can find Rob Williams Jr. on instagram @RobWilliamsKingofFitness
Or get in touch with him via email or phone at (443)797-2123

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American Red Cross honors local heroes

According to Merriam-Webster, a hero is person who is admired for great or brave acts.  We are blessed to have many such individuals within our county, acting bravely to save the lives of others.  The American Red Cross of York and Adams Counties will celebrate local heroes during the 12th Annual Heroes Breakfast event on Thursday, November 20.  Please consider attending this wonderful event!

ARC Heroes Breakfast


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