A Summer of Ups (and One Down)

It’s hard to believe that August is over and summer is winding down.
Team Do It For David welcomed outrageous success in August and raised more than $1,000 between two fundraisers!

My blueberry jam sales surpassed the $500 mark, so thanks to everyone who bought a jar (or two). I still have some left, so if you’re interested, drop me a line. All proceeds go to LLS.

Blueberry Jam at Sip + Shop

Blueberry Jam at Sip + Shop

For Fall, I’ll be making and selling 4 oz. jars of apple butter. Keep an eye out for price and ordering information.

The Team’s August 26 Sip + Shop event was a great success. Our final dollar count was $684!! That’s $143 MORE than last year! Thanks to all of our friends and family who swung by to support our mission. This event wouldn’t have been possible without our talented vendors, so a here’s HUGE THANKS to CB’s Creations, Jersey Shore Seaglass Carvings, JnJ Gift Baskets, and Sip + Stitch Crochet for donating a portion of their sales to LLS. You helped push us over the edge this year!

Here are some photos from the event:

CB's Creations

CB’s Creations

Sip + Stitch Crochet

Sip + Stitch Crochet

JnJ Gift Baskets

JnJ Gift Baskets

Jersey Shore Seaglass Carvings

Jersey Shore Seaglass Carvings

Unfortunately, I will not be running in the Chicago Marathon in October. Last year’s hip injury–a torn labrum–has flared up again. My doctors have advised me that running in pain will get me nowhere fast, and that I must take at least 3 months off from running entirely. At this point, I’m 3 weeks into my 3 month recovery period and am feeling a lot better. No more hobbling around or cussing as I go up and down the stairs. Rest is the best course of action right now, and it gives me the opportunity to get stronger before I lace up again. BUT…for those who know me, “rest” really isn’t a word in my vocabulary, so I’ve been keeping in shape through spin, barre, and yoga classes. A body in motion stays in motion, right?

With that being said, my goal for 2017 is to run the New Jersey Half or Full Marathon (it will depend on what my body can handle). I won’t be doing it alone either. Michael has committed to running his FIRST EVER half-marathon with Team in Training! I’m excited to run with my brother and continue representing Team in Training, especially in my home state of New Jersey.

All but $700 of my current fundraising will be transferred to the New Jersey race. The money not transferring over will go to the TNT Flex Team goal, which is the team I trained with for Chicago.

There are additional fundraising events in the works, including a yoga fundraiser (in DC) and a holiday shopping fundraiser (in NJ). Stay tuned for details.

Makin’ It Rain Money in August

We’re only 10 days into August, and I can already tell it’s going to be a profitable month for Team Do It For David. We have two fundraisers this month, and the 30-day one has already brought in $250!

ALL of the proceeds from both events go directly to LLS. Blood cancer patients profit from our hard work; we are not reimbursing ourselves. Why? We look at what we spend as an investment to better the lives of people living with blood cancer. Our “payment” to ourselves is knowing that we’re helping people live longer lives and have access to better treatments. I also like that we’re helping people smile more (especially the kiddos).

Here’s how you can get involved:

30-Day Fundraiser: Selling Homemade NJ Blueberry Preserves
I hale from the great state of New Jersey and my roots will always be there. To pay homage to The Homeland, I decided to can our state’s delicious blueberries to share with you. I make each jar of preserves in small batches and the blueberries come from NJ farms. There are only five ingredients: blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and a pinch of salt. This is a pectin-free recipe so you get more fruit than junk!

New Jersey Blueberry Preserves

New Jersey Blueberry Preserves

I’m selling them in half-pint (8 oz.) jars for $10 each. I’ve shipped two orders outside of the Tri-State and Washington, D.C., metro areas, so if you’re not a local, you can still enjoy these preserves. Just donate a little extra to cover the shipping and we’ll call it even.

The First Batch

The First Batch

If you’re interested in purchasing, email me at cskudera@yahoo.com. Payment is accepted via my fundraising page.

August 26 Fundraiser: Sip + Shop Local (NEW JERSEY)
We had so much success at last year’s Jewelry & Martini Party that we’re hosting a similar event this year. We’ve invited three local NJ small businesses to participate in this event, and each will donate a portion of their proceeds to LLS. Our vendors are CB’s Creations (handmade crafts), Jersey Shore Sea Glass Carvings (handmade jewelry), and Sip + Stitch Crochet (handmade clothing and accessories). As you may recall, Ellie Nicholas of Jersey Shore Sea Glass Carvings joined us at last year’s event and we’re delighted to have her again.

Are you wondering where the “sip” comes in? Well, we’ve got drinks covered. Enjoy a few martinis on us. We’ll have a bartender. He’ll mix tasty libations. You’ll enjoy.  Ahh…the simplicity of it all.

If you’d like to join us on August 26, all we ask is that you pay a $10 donation as an entrance fee. This donation will go directly to LLS. Our event will take place from 5-9 p.m. For more info and to RSVP, email me at cskudera@yahoo.com.

Here’s to a prosperous month ahead!

Cool Down and Heat Up: Watermelon Cooler and Curry Shrimp Recipes

I’ve been fairly inconsistent with the blog lately. Although not a good one, my only excuse is laziness. I know laziness cannot become a part of my lifestyle–not in work, not in fitness, not in health. So here I am, trying to right (write!) my wrongs while I have a few minutes.

During training, I am very conscious of what I’m putting into my body — probably more so than when I’m not — because food is fuel.  I can’t waste Calories on junk. It’s about quality. (And it’s about taste too.)

I always tell people that eating healthy doesn’t have to suck. It doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to be tasteless. I bring this up because I’ve added two new recipes into my training portfolio to add a little excitement into my weekly meals. They’re easy, require minimal time and ingredients, and are good for you.

The first one is great pre-run. I found the recipe in the July 2016 issue of Runner’s World and have tweaked it to perfection. I’ve dubbed this concoction a Watermelon Cooler. It’s not a protein shake, and with little protein or fat, it’s a lot lighter and easier to digest before hitting the pavement.

Watermelon Cooler
Serving: 1

6 fresh or frozen strawberries
4 to 6 cubes of fresh watermelon
Lemon slices from half of a lemon (remove pits and rind)
2 to 3 cubes of ice
Honey, agave, or bee-free honey to taste

Layer ingredients so that any frozen fruit or ice cubes are closest to the blade. I use a Nutribullet, so anything frozen is always at the top of the cup. Blend until slushy.

Watermelon Cooler

Watermelon Cooler

The next recipe is great for a weeknight dinner. Shrimp cooks super fast, so this dish comes together in less than 30 minutes. TIP: Start the rice beforehand so it can cook while you’re prepping.

Coconut Curry Pineapple and Shrimp
Servings: 4
Calories: Approximately 370 per serving (includes 1/2 cup coconut brown rice)

1 lb. deveined, shelled raw shrimp
1 cup light coconut milk, well stirred
1 cup diced pineapple
2 TB red curry paste
1 TB fish or oyster sauce
1 TB coconut nectar (you can also use brown sugar as a substitute)
1 to 1.5 TB lime juice (1 whole lime)
1 TB coconut oil
1 cup brown rice, measured dry

1. Cook rice according to directions. If you want coconut rice, halve the amount of water and replace with coconut milk. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of water, you would use 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup coconut milk.
2. Add coconut oil to a wok or deep dish, nonstick pan. Heat on medium until shimmering. Add curry paste and sauté for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add coconut milk and stir well to combine.
3. Add pineapple and shrimp. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are pink and opaque.
4. While shrimp cooks, whisk coconut nectar, fish sauce, and lime juice together in a bowl. When shrimp are fully cooked, remove pan from heat and stir in this mixture.
5. Portion out into 4 servings. If eating with rice, add 1/2 cup to your meal.

Get in my belly immediately.

Get in my belly immediately.

There’s a First Time for Everything, Right?

On Saturday, I dropped out of my first race. Ever. At mile 8.

In retrospect, running the St. Michael’s Half Marathon was probably a bad idea. I sort of knew that on the Tuesday leading up to it.

I’d been dealing with what I thought was calf pain for two weeks, and learned today that the pain isn’t even in my calf: it’s originating from my inner knee! More specifically,  my MCL and/or my meniscus is inflamed. The prescription: Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatories. Nothing serious. WHEW!

My chiropractor reconfirmed that I am, indeed, a smarter runner now. Two years ago, I would’ve kept going. Stopping midway was the right thing to do. Had I continued, I could have sprained or torn my MCL. EEEEEK!

Today I’m feeling much better about the situation and I look forward to rebounding. The prize is Chicago in October, so I’ve got to stay focused on that while working on self love. I am extremely hard on myself and it’s unkind. My yoga teacher shared a quote with me a few years ago, and it’s during these times I return to it:

“For every time you judge yourself, you break your own heart.”

Why punish myself repeatedly? There are no benefits.

The alternative? Realign the chakras and drop into radiance. (I’m working on it.)


Tasty Breakfast Recipes to Keep You Full

As some of you may know, I’m mildly obsessed with the Fit Men Cook food blog. I’ve incorporated about a half dozen of creator Kevin’s recipes into my weekly routine, the majority of them breakfasts. I want to share two of my favorites with you. They’re easy to prepare, cook quickly, and keep you full. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Hi-Energy Vegan Breakfast Quinoa
Servings: Up to 5
Nutrition Facts per Servings: 228 Calories, 6 grams protein, 32 grams carbs

Nom. Nom.

Nom. Nom.

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 cup dried cranberries (without added sugar)
1/3 cup dried cherries (without added sugar)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 TB cinnamon
Chilled unsweetened almond milk

1. Mix all ingredients together except for the almond milk.
2. Each morning, scoop 3/4 cup of quinoa mixture into a bowl and heat in a microwave or convection oven for no more than 1 minute.
3. Pour about 1/2 cup of almond milk over the heated mixture and enjoy.

NOTE: I like to eat this with a side of fresh berries.

Protein & Superfood Breakfast Casserole
Servings: 3 to 4
Nutrition Facts per Serving: 397 Calories, 46 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs

Get in my belly immediately.

Get in my belly immediately.

4 tsp Maca powder (I use Navitas Naturals brand.)
1 lb. lean ground turkey meat
2 cups cooked quinoa
2/3 cups black beans
2 eggs, 3 egg whites
1 small zucchini
1 bell pepper
1/3 red onion (I omit.)
1 TB garlic or roughly 3 cloves, minced
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella
Optional: tomato slices and green onions (I omit both.)

1. Preheat your oven to 405 degrees.
2. Dice up your veggies.
3. Add eggs and egg whites to a bowl and lightly beat.
4. Cook turkey meat until no longer pink.
5. In a separate pan, add garlic and veggies and cook until tender but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper.
6. In a large bowl, add the turkey meat, cooked veggies, and cooked quinoa. Mix well.
7. Add the eggs to the mixture and incorporate well.
8. Add the Maca powder 1 teaspoon at a time and stir well. (I have found that doing it this way allows me to mix it in more thoroughly and completely.)
9. Spray an 8×8 deep casserole dish (not a brownie tin) with coconut oil and pour in the quinoa, veggie, and turkey mixture.
10. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake for 25 minutes.

NOTE: Great leftovers and easy to portion out! This dish grows more flavorful each day.

$210 Raised at Barre3 Charity Class

On Saturday, May 14, a small group of friends and family joined me at barre3 14th Street for a challenging 60-minute workout to get fit and raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In the end, we raised $210 in an hour! Not bad, right?

Thanks to everyone who showed up to support me!

Thanks to everyone who showed up to support me!

More exciting news:

It’s going to be a great training season!