As soon as I started getting serious about running, I came across many different books, movies, and blogs that promoted better running via a plant-based diet. I read, watched, considered, even added one meatless day to my meal plan every week as I was convinced that giving up meat and dairy would be completely impossible! Plus, “I don’t want to.” was reason enough for me to keep up my guilt-free bacon-cheeseburger eating tendencies… until 2 weeks ago.
I watched the documentary Vegucated in absolute interest, shock and horror. Then I watched Forks over Knives and was more than compelled to start living a vegan way of life. I’ve always known that veganism is healthier, better for the planet, and more humane yet these 2 films put my blissful ignorance to shame- if I truly consider myself a foodie and an athlete, how can I possibly continue to damage my body as well as the environment by taking my meat and dairy intake for granted? The more I read on the topic, the more I was convinced to finally change my eating habits.
And so far so good- just over 2 weeks into this new lifestyle and while it’s been a lot easier than I thought, it’s also been harder in ways I didn’t anticipate. Continue reading →
I LOVE LOVE LOVE coffee- hot or iced, tall or grande, black or with a decadent splash of half & half, I love the taste, smell, comfort, and routine found in my daily cup, and of course that good ol’ caffeine boost. When the good people of New Grounds Food asked if I wanted to eat my coffee and try their new Mocha Latte CoffeeBar as well as give away a box to my awesome readers, I immediately said yes!*
New Grounds Food was launched in 2013 by two college freshmen who wanted to find a simple and portable way to stay energized without sacrificing nutrition. With that vision in mind, they created CoffeeBar: an all-natural, vegan, gluten free, 100% organic, very tasty energy bar infused with a full cup of fair trade coffee.
As runners are very well aware, carbohydrates are our main source of fuel; however, there are “bad carbs” (white flour and sugar) that digest quickly, make energy levels spike then crash, leaving one hungry more often, and “good carbs” (fruits, veggies, whole grains) that work to build muscle, increase endurance, and boost physical activity. As runners, we love to carb load and always reach for those whole grain carbs in order to propel our efforts, especially prior to our long runs. Consuming those “good” carbohydrates before, during and after exercise will also provide that glycogen boost/replacement when needed most, enabling one to work out longer and recover quicker.
When the good people at California Lavash contacted me and offered up a variety of their delicious, whole grain, vegan, non-GMO flatbreads to try, I happily accepted, tried a bunch of different pre- and post-run recipes, and gobbled them right on up! Lavash flatbreads are a terrific source of very balanced, low fat, “good” carbohydrates with added nutrients like fiber and protein that the body absorbs slowly, filling you up faster, and keeping you fuller longer.
Yes, I am addicted to racing (here are 13 reasons why); however, races are extremely hard on my body. In training I don’t push myself like I do on a race course- I can run 13 training miles and feel completely fine after, but run a half marathon race and afterwards, I’m never fine. My typical post-race disposition is beyond sore, stiff, fatigued and ravenously hungry with many chafe spots and blisters to contend with. After my last race, this was certainly the case. And I have another half marathon this Saturday.
If you’re counting, that’s just 2 weeks off in between races. Since I still really want to continue my back-to-back-races obsession while still recovering smartly from my injury, I’m making it a point to be a lot more thoughtful about my recovery process, making sure I do all the things I need to in order to heal as quickly as possible, inside and out. Continue reading →
When it comes to eating meat, I live by the “it’s an instinct, not a choice!” school of thought. I love meat, poultry, fish, dairy- as far as I’m concerned, PETA stands for People Eat Tasty Animals. I seriously drool at the thought of a good steak or tasty hamburger- I love hamburgers so much, I started another blog just to document my goal of trying every single burger here in Oakland! On long car rides, when we see cows grazing, I taught my kids to say “Hamburgers!” and to baby cows, “Sliders!” (I highly doubt my vegetarian friends appreciate that joke- sorry!)
You can’t really get away from all the press surrounding meat in the past few years and I’ve read my fair share of articles warning of the ill effect of eating too much red meat- high fat content leading to heart and cholesterol problems; cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s risks; and of course Mad Cow Disease, just to name a few. Yeah, I get it. Everything in moderation, the leaner the cut the better. I even joined a meat/poultry and fish CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) just to ensure that I’m only buying local meat and fish that has been farm-raised ethically, sustainably, and humanely.
I also read a lot of articles about runners powered by nothing other than vegan food– they claim it fuels their bodies better than any meat ever could and have basically turned super human as a result, running hundreds of miles without injury, with minimal recovery time. So in my attempt to stick with my New Year resolutions this year, I’m dabbling in a bit of flexi-vegetarian-veganism not just to lose weight but to also become a better runner (the “flexi” part promising a burger every now and then!). Continue reading →
I just returned from three wonderful weeks at our cabin in Pinecrest. We go every summer and every summer, I plan out my health and fitness goals in advance and make sure to pack lots of work out clothes, hand weights, a resistance band, medicine ball, and multiple exercise DVDs.
And just like every other summer, despite my best intentions, it took exactly a week for me to neglect those goals and embrace doing absolutely nothing other than relaxing on the beach and eating lots of hamburgers. Here’s a list of all that I didn’t accomplish in 21 days… Continue reading →
I should probably write the recap for my last race (and I will, I promise!) but today I prefer to discuss something that has been on my mind a great deal lately with PRs seemingly out of reach and swimsuit season all of a sudden upon us: weight.
I am certainly not the skinniest crayon in the box, and I guess if I were I wouldn’t be as consumed with counting calories or as worried about the level of butt jiggle that occurs when I run on down the road. In my life, I have ranged from a size 4 to a size 14; now, I’ve settled into an average size 8. And that is just fine, I realize that, but also understand that if I lost just 10 more pounds, I would have a lot more ease when I run as well as when I put on a bathing suit.