Small Changes Can Have Big Results: Push for a Better You
When we think about new year resolutions, “health and fitness” often bubble to the top of the list. As a member of Team USA at the World Triathlon, Jen (Farrer) Schweigert has that part down. And yet she says her goals for 2023 are bigger (and scarier) than ever. For example:
- Run the Boston Marathon in under three hours.
- Win a “70.3” — which is a half Ironman-distance triathlon before national and world races begin.
- Place in the Top 5 in both the sprint and standard (Olympic distance) at the US National Championship races.
- Place in the Top 10 (preferably Top 5) for the 70.3 at the World Championship races.
To be fair, Jen is not a newcomer to the world of competitive sports; she has mastered health and fitness across the globe. She travels frequently with her husband Jim, who — like the owners of Latham Hi-Tech Seeds — is a third-generation seedsman. Jim is president of Gro Alliance, which produces seed in the U.S. and abroad. The couple owns and manages a SNAP Fitness franchise in Platteville, Wisconsin.
“It’s important to me to get in my workouts, so I treat a day of traveling like I do a day at home,” says Jen, who shares her experiences online (#runtheworld), using the handle @jendoestri.
Her road to becoming an elite global athlete wasn’t exactly textbook. Jen recalls being unhappy with her weight in college and deciding to make very small, deliberate changes in her diet. “Instead of 50 Cheese-Its, I would count out 25,” she says. “Instead of drinking three gigantic Cokes each day, I cut down to one.”
Eventually, Jen started running with a roommate. At first, she could only run one block before having to stop and walk. She worked up to running two blocks, then three . . . and, well, the next thing she knew “my roommate and I were running a 5K on Thanksgiving Day.”
Last year, Jen was a World Triathlon podium finisher in Dubai, where she placed 2nd in the Super Sprint — a finish she admits she didn’t expect. “My goal in the super sprint was to race hard, have fun, learn the course and shake off the cobwebs,” Jen says. “I had no idea I would do so well.”
While in Dubai, Jen was able to spend a few days absorbing the “beauty and opulence” of the city. She especially enjoyed the diversity (more than 200 nationalities), touring Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and eating “amazing meals” of hummus, pita, tabouli and kebabs.
Jen’s advice for anyone wanting to have a healthier new year is pretty simple: Remember the work is worth it.
“As long as you continue to put in the work and stay consistent, it will pay off,” she says. “You will see results. I may be getting older, but I’m also getting better. I can’t wait to see what I accomplish in 2023.”
To help you prepare a healthy meal, today Jen is sharing with us one of her favorite salads. Once you begin eating more vegetables, she says your body will crave them. Here’s to craving salad with cheese and fresh berries!
- 2 salmon fillets
- 1 bag of arugula (5 - 8oz) or other leafy greens like kale or spinach
- fresh (or frozen) peas, mushrooms, grilled asparagus or other seasonal veggies to your liking
- shaved Parmesan cheese
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- **grain of choice or bread and olive oil to make a heartier meal.
- In a large bowl, toss arugula, peas (warmed if frozen), other veggies as you choose.
- Squeeze juice from lemon juice
- Add shaved Parmesan to your liking; drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Cook salmon to your taste preferences. Season both sides with salt and pepper as desired. We fry ours in a pan with olive oil to cook medium rare.
- Once tossed, divide on two plates. Place salmon on salad.
COOK’S NOTE: This is an awesome dish because it can be customized to your liking, using whatever you have on hand. If I have cooked quinoa, faro or wild rice on hand, I will add a cup to make it a heartier dish. If you want some crunch, toss in pine nuts or shaved almonds. Want a fresh taste of summer? Add blueberries or strawberries and goat cheese! This recipe serves 2.
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