Cold Weather Facts (Recipe: Tomato Basil Chicken Stew)

Seeing as it has been absolutely frigid here in Madison, I thought it would be an appropriate time for this post.

At some point before the Christmas holidays, my running group had a brief clinic on running in the cold by Integrated Sport & Spine of Madison.  A very useful seminar, I might add, seeing as December and January have both been FREEZING here in the Midwest.  Here are some of the facts told to us by Dr. Dave:

– Non-shivering thermogenesis:  increase of metabolism to increase heat production.

– Shivering causes a 4-5 fold increase in body heat production.

– Exercising normally releases the mobilization of fatty acids; however, in cold weather with vasoconstriction, this release is slow and restricted.  Therefore, you use less fat reserves and more sugar energy (which is important to keep in mind when deciding how much nutrition to bring with you on a run).

– Nose breathing poses no damage to the throat until -13*F.  Mouth breathing at any temperature below 10*F can cause damage to the throat.

– Cold air affects your respiratory rate and volume which impacts the amount of oxygen getting to your muscles.

– Increased wind speed increases the rate of evaporation and produces more heat loss.

– With a windchill of -20*F you are at a much greater risk of thermal injury.  If it is 10* outside with a windchill of 14mph you are in a danger zone.  If it is 0* outside with a windchill of 7mph you are in a danger zone.

And we have definitely hit those negative temperatures the last few days.  It was -27*F (with windchill) on my way to the gym this morning.  On repeat: Florida on Friday.  Florida on Friday.  Florida on Friday.

Fun Fact:  America’s hospitals are the most expensive part of the world’s most expensive health system.  They accounted for $851 billion, or 31% of American health spending in 2011.  If they were a country, they would be the world’s 16th-largest economy.

Quote of the Day:

“Long runs are a mental test.  When you’re on a long run and hit a wall, what are you going to do?  Are you going to fight through it or quit?”

And when you have horrendously cold weather, don’t you just want a cup of hot soup and some Honey Beer Bread for dinner?  And to spend your days curled up on the sofa with your pups in front of the fire place reading a book?  Maybe that’s just me…

Tomato Basil Chicken Stew

Tomato Basil Chicken Stew


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 (28 oz.) cans whole tomatoes (with their juices)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can cannelinni beans
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used rotisserie)
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper


– Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrots. Saute for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add garlic and sauté for an additional minute or two until fragrant.

– Add in remaining ingredients, and stir to combine. Use a long spoon to crush the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially-covered for 10 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

– Serve with freshly-grated Parmesan cheese.

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

This entry was posted in Individual Workouts, Overall Health and News, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Cold Weather Facts (Recipe: Tomato Basil Chicken Stew)

  1. Becca says:

    Mmm. Soup sounds so wonderful right now.

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