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Get Up and Go
Saturday April 12, 2014

Trivia Night is April 26

Post-it NoteOn Saturday, April 26, Get Up & Go!, along with our partner the St. Clair County Youth Board, will host our second annual Trivia Night and Silent Auction. We hope that you’ll join us for a fun evening at this important fundraiser for BOTH organizations.

About the Trivia Night:

The event will be held at St. Luke's Parish Center in Belleville at 7:00 p.m. You may bring your own snacks and drinks (soda, water, and ice provided). Like last year, there will also be a silent auction, 50/50 drawing, and cash prizes. The registration form is on our website. Priority will be given to participants who register before April 16.

How to make a donation:

Would you like to sponsor a round of trivia for $100 to advertise your business or cause? What about making a donation to the silent auction? Get Up & Go! depends on the generosity of community members like you to make this event a success! The donation form is also on our website.
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Grants Offered for Community Gardens

Vegetable GardenGet Up & Go! is offering Healthy Community grants to fund new (up to $1000) and existing (up to $500) community gardens in St. Clair County. Schools, neighborhoods, municipalities, churches, or other organizations are encouraged to apply for the grants in April and May.

Interested applicants may attend a free informational session, presented by local master gardeners and other experts, to learn more about community gardening and the grant program. The sessions are:

  • April 9, Belleville Parks and Recreation Office, 510 W. Main St., Belleville, 6:00 p.m.
  • April 14, O’Fallon Public Safety Building, 285 N. Seven Hills Rd., O’Fallon, 6:30 p.m.
  • April 16, Smithton Senior Center, 711 S. Main St., Smithton, 6:00 p.m.

Get Up & Go! is dedicated to promoting the health of all St. Clair County residents by encouraging healthy eating and active living. Community gardens are essential in healthy communities – they provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables and encourage gardeners to stay active.

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Community Spotlight: Cycle of Giving

Cycle of Giving logoCycle of Giving is a local organization that promotes bicycle safety to children, among many other activities. Get Up & Go! and We Choose Health are pleased to partner with Cycle of Giving in their effort to help children become more active. Founder Allan Hogg discusses his passion for making sure every child has the chance to ride a bike:

“The concept of Cycle of Giving originated while I was walking through a farmer's market in Eugene, Oregon. There was a local college student offering free bicycle repair from a homemade trailer pulled behind his bicycle.

I brought that concept back to Illinois and added a literacy component: children who read a book and wrote an essay could receive a bicycle. Personally, I’ve always been an advocate of bicycling and believe in giving every child an opportunity to create his or her own memories on a bicycle. My wife Rose, an English teacher at a local high school, assisted in developing this concept. 

Cycle of Giving started approximately 5 years ago. We started spending Saturday mornings at the Old Town Market repairing bicycles. Being able to set up at the market allowed us to make connections with the community and gave people a place to make bicycle donations. We have two or three people that we see every Saturday who support us with donated bicycles and bicycle parts. Cycle of Giving has three or four regular volunteers who help every Saturday at the market and at other events. We’re involved in other activities, too: 

  • For the past two summers we’ve helped sponsor and run, with the help of a local insurance company, a bicycle safety rodeo and plan on continuing this project.
  • Along with giving and repairing thousands of bicycles over the years, we also donated a number of bicycles to a community of farm workers outside of Germantown, Illinois. 
  • We had the luck of meeting a librarian in Fairmont City, Illinois, where the library is so much more than and library. It is a resource that provides many services to the local Hispanic population. With its large Hispanic population, we spent two separate days last year giving away 20-25 bicycles in addition to repairing so many more during the day. 
  • The YMCA in Belleville has also supported us by allowing us to hold a book drive in its facility. We were able to give away four bicycles to a few deserving members who were recognized by YMCA staff.

Cycle of Giving was able to get its initial start purchasing parts and tools through a grant offered by the St. Clair County Health Department. I’m giving bicycle safety presentations in local schools with a grant given to us by Get Up & Go! and the St. Clair County Health Department.

In the Spring of 2013 a social worker at a Belleville grade school contacted us and explained that she had a student with many positive attributes but who needed some direction. The student started working with Cycle of Giving on the first day at the market and remained with us to the last day. We were able to work with him, encouraging him to be a better person at home and at school. At the end of the market we presented him with a bicycle that he had worked on during the summer. We also presented him with a Volunteer of the Year certificate at a school event. The school shared with us that they saw a different person at the beginning of the next school year. This year we plan of becoming a 501c3/non-for-profit in hopes of offering our volunteers scholarships to local colleges. 

Cycle of Giving's mission is to provide low and middle-income families access to new and used bicycles, encourage exercise and healthy life styles, provide alternatives to automobile transportation and promote literacy. I believe we are standing by our present mission and hope to expand our mission in the future.” 

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Meet Our New Event Coordinator: Christy Belsom

Get Up & Go! is excited to introduce Christy Belsom, our new Event Coordinator for the Get Up & Go! Cup. Although GUG has been the recipient of funds raised by the Biathlon for 2 years, this is the first time that we’ve taken charge of coordinating the event. Christy was the founder and previous race director for the Biathlon and we know she’s the right person for the job. This is what Christy wants to share with our supporters: 
Christy Belsom

My name is Christina Belsom and I am the founder and former race director for the Get Up & Go Biathlon, owner of Fit STL Personal Training and Brand Ambassador for Hammer Nutrition. I was born and raised in Florence, Kentucky but the Air Force brought me here upon my marriage to my wonderful husband (George), who retired from the Air Force in 2010. I have 2 kids (both grown), 1 grandbaby and another on the way. 

Question: How did you become involved with the  "running world?"

Answer: I always ran on my own but didn’t start racing until I turned 30. I entered my first 5K at Scott AFB and immediately became hooked. Within a month after that race, I began training for my first ½ marathon.

Question: Is there anything different about the Get Up & Go Biathlon this year? 

Answer: We are adding the option to only run the 5 miles, to get folks involved who don’t bike. I think people might be intimidated by cycling or running and then cycling. Some people don’t have the opportunity to make a team and so they are left out. We want this event to be for everyone, of all levels.

Question: What are you most excited about? 

Answer: Watching the Get Up & Go Biathlon growing and seeing the excitement of the participants leading up to and on race day.

Question: Do you have any training tips to share?

Answer: Train smarter, not necessarily harder. If you are doing the full biathlon, get your brick workouts in. Brick training is training 2 disciplines one after the other. This allows you to practice your transition. For instance, you may do a 3-mile run then immediately hop on your bike for a 15-mile cycle. That would be considered your “brick” workout.

Question: What are your favorite pre- and post-race meals? 

Answer: I am not one for eating solid foods before a race. Hammer Nutrition suggests that endurance athletes eat a meal 3 hours before a race….well, I love sleep so I am up about an hour before a race and barely making it on time. Therefore, I usually eat a banana and take some Hammer Nutrition gel (some people prefer GU) before I race. 

It’s so very important to include protein and carbs for your post-race meal to ensure adequate recovery. Some research suggests a 4:1 carb to protein ratio. Depending on how I feel, I may drink a Recoverite drink or eat something simple like a turkey sandwich.

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When Spring Weather Leads to Sore Muscles

Sore MusclesAs the days of snow and ice turn slowly turn into days filled with sunshine, the urge to go outside and do something active becomes irresistible. With warmer weather, though, comes the risk of “over-doing it.” Whether you spend a day doing yard work, playing golf, biking, or even spring cleaning, your muscles may be quite sore the next day!

Here are 10 tips to prevent muscle soreness, and what to do if it happens anyway.

  1. Spread it out – If you can, try to be active every day rather than squeezing your activity into 1 or 2 days. Several small sessions are better than one marathon session.
  2. Start slow – Warm up your muscles with some stretching or by taking a short walk. Yes, even if you’re just going to pull weeds or wash the cars.
  3. Mix it up – Do different activities each time you’re active, or do different things throughout the day. In other words, don’t pull weeds all day or start off the season with a four-hour run. Vary your activities and the muscle groups you use.
  4. Wear the right shoes – Wearing shoes with good foot and arch support can keep some of the strain from reaching your back. Save the flip-flops for the pool or running errands.
  5. Hydrate – Muscles need water to work at their best. Drink water before, during, and after your activity. Drinking enough water will prevent muscle cramps and dehydration.
  6. Lift the right way – Whether you’re lifting a bike or bags of mulch, pay attention to how you do it. Keep your back straight and bend with your knees and hips. The power for your lift should come from your legs, not your back.
  7. Avoid bending over a lot – Kneeling is always better than bending over. Although you may be tempted to bend over to pick up a tennis ball or pull a weed, doing this over and over will lead to a sore back.
  8. Take breaks – Don’t push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Not only does this lead to sore muscles, it makes injuries more likely. Sit down for a few minutes and relax. Do some stretching exercises while you’re at it!
  9. Cool down – When you’re done with your activity, take an extra 5 minutes to stretch your muscles. Go for a short walk. Your body will thank you the next day.
  10. Wear sunscreen – Ok, this prevents a different kind of soreness! If you’re going to be outside all day, don’t forget to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen. The last thing you want is a sunburn on top of muscle soreness.

What to do for sore muscles

For muscle pain from overuse or injury, rest that body part and take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Apply ice for the first 24 - 72 hours of an injury to reduce pain and inflammation. After that, heat often feels more soothing.

Muscle aches from overuse often respond well to massage. Gentle stretching exercises after a long rest period are also helpful.

Regular exercise can help to strengthen your muscles. Walking, cycling, and swimming are good aerobic activities to try. Begin slowly and increase workouts gradually. Avoid high-impact aerobic activities and weight lifting when injured or while in pain.

If home measures aren't working, your doctor may prescribe medication or physical therapy.

Call your doctor if:

  • Your muscle pain lasts longer than 3 days
  • You have severe, unexplained pain
  • You have any sign of infection, like swelling or redness around the tender muscle
  • You have poor circulation in the area where you have muscles aches (for example, in your legs)
  • You have a tick bite or a rash
  • Your muscle pain has been associated with starting or changing doses of a medicine, such as a statin

Call 911 if:

  • You have sudden weight gain, water retention, or you are urinating less than usual
  • You are short of breath or have difficulty swallowing
  • You have muscle weakness or cannot move any part of your body
  • You have vomiting, a very stiff neck, or high fever

 Adapted from Medline Plus (

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Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

Despite our late start, Spring really is right around the corner, which means asparagus will be coming soon too. Risotto isn’t hard to make, although you really have to stir it a lot as you’re cooking to get the creamy texture.

IngredientsAsparagus Risotto
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped onion
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Arborio rice
5 ounces mushrooms, cooked and coarsely chopped, approximately ¾ cup
7 ounces asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 1½ cups
2 ounces grated Parmesan, approximately ½ cup
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)


  1. In a saucepan with a lid, combine chicken broth and white wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm.
  2. In a large 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the grains are translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains or the onions to brown.
  4. Reduce the heat to low. Add enough of the wine and chicken stock just to cover the top of the rice. Stir often, until the liquid is completely absorbed into rice. Once absorbed, add another amount of liquid just to cover the rice and continue stirring or moving as before. There should be just enough liquid left to repeat 1 more time. It should take approximately 35 to 40 minutes for all of the liquid to be absorbed.
  5. After the last addition of liquid has been mostly absorbed, add the mushrooms and asparagus and stir until risotto is creamy and asparagus is heated through.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, lemon zest, and nutmeg. Taste and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Adapted from Alton Brown’s Wild Mushroom and Asparagus risotto
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Arugula & Tomato Pasta

Arugula and Tomato Pasta

Fresh arugula will be hitting farmer’s market stands any day now (it’s already growing in our garden since it loves the cool weather!). This recipe is super fast and easy to make. Cooking the arugula will take away some of that unique peppery flavor, but it’s still very unique!

IngredientsArugula Pasta
1 lb. pasta
Salt and pepper, for flavor
1 onion
2 cloves fresh garlic
2 cups fresh vegetables of your choice
1 cup fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
2-3 cups washed, chopped arugula
¼ - ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese


  1. Boil 1 lb. pasta (any kind) and cook until al dente in salted water. Drain, saving ½ cup cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté one onion, diced, in a frying pan in a little olive oil. Add 2 cloves fresh garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add any additional vegetables you like (peppers, mushrooms, etc.) and sauté until softened. Add 1 cup fresh or canned chopped tomatoes. 
  3. Now add ½ cup chicken or vegetable broth and 2-3 cups washed and chopped arugula (if it’s more mature, remove the stems). Cook for a few more minutes until arugula is barely wilted. You can also add ¼ - ½ tsp. red pepper flakes at this point. 
  4. Toss the cooked pasta with a little olive oil and add the vegetable/arugula mixture and mix well. You can add a little cooking water at this point. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
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