The Food Experiment

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As you can see, my posts come in spurts.  Life happens, work happens and now I have started dabbling in recipe experimentation.  Nothing over the top as I have little time for details.  Here is one that I really liked – it works best if prepared in advance.

Tuna with A Kick

  • 2 – 5 ounce cans of Albacore tuna
  • 1 diced jalapeno
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp of Avocado Mayo
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pepper to taste

I really don’t like to measure so adjust the ingredients to your liking.  I served on romaine lettuce leaves with sliced Campari tomatoes.  The Avocado Mayo is my new find – I HATE MAYO by the way.  But this one covers all the bases – no gluten, no sugar, paleo, etc.  Still has some fat. – You won’t die from a small dose.  ENJOY!

 

Know Your Resting Heart Rate

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pulse

During a fitness evaluation, the trainer may ask if you know your resting heart rate.  This is your pulse at the moment you wake up in the morning before getting out of bed.

The pulse can be found on the radial artery on the vertical side of the wrist near the thumb or it can be found on the carotid artery near the trachea while the neck is slightly extended (this is the easier of the two).

  1. Simply place your index finger and middle fingers (not thumb) over the artery
  2. Gently press to feel the beating
  3. Start with “1”.  Count for 15 seconds, then multiply by 4.

Fluctuations are common for those individuals who are on medications, have external stress factors, have inflammation in the body, overtraining in sports, and even digestive issues.

The average heart rate for a male is 60 to 70, a female is 72-80.  Females are higher because of smaller heart chambers, lower blood volume circulating less oxygen and lower hemoglobin levels.  Note:  Athletes may register in the range of 40-50 due to their high training volumes that push the cardiac output.

Having this baseline number will allow you  and a qualified professional determine your exercise guidelines when training or competing.

TRAIN WITH A PURPOSE

 

 

 

Do You Detox?

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Recently my client approached me with information on a 10 day detoxification plan.  She felt it would clear energy paths and cleanse her body of harmful toxins.  Ayurvedic medicine dating back prior to 400 BC promotes eliminating food groups thus placing a focus on a plant based diet.  There are also various “cleansing” beverages that one can consume daily.

Is giving the body a break from meat, dairy,  nuts, seeds, and of course, processed foods a bad thing?  Certainly not, however, using this as a form of weight loss is not a healthy, healing choice.  My concern with detox plans is that people are not changing behavior patterns or their relationship with food.  Once the fast is complete, most will return to their old ways of nutrition.  Statistics show that more than 60% of people gain their weight back, plus more.  Not to mention the expense of such programs when it comes to buying supplements and detoxification beverages.  So who is the winner in this situation?

Self-efficacy, the ability to succeed at a goal or challenge, can be easily defeated with trendy plans like detoxification.  A SMART plan can help by setting short-term goals that lead into long term success.  The acronym is defined as:

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

This plan will incorporate behavior assessment, changes to daily tasks, dietary likes/dislikes, understanding the role of food in life, exercise, stress reduction, organization, time management and more.  It also will require accountability and commitment.  The goals may change constantly  and you can count on setbacks.   But one can certainly call this a DETOX of a different brand.

Seek guidance from a Certified Health Coach.  They will have the resources to guide you on your journey.

Be well-Be SMART

 

 

 

 

The Next Big Race

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For the past 18 months, the United States has been consumed with politics via social media, news shows, telephone polls, snail mail and thankfully Saturday Night Live.  I took on training for the NYC marathon, my final hurrah (so I think), in my long distance running life.  Both were torture.

Living in Florida, my love of endurance training changed dramatically.  Negative cruel thoughts and words were my daily mantra.  Yes, move to the sunshine state, humidity, high temps, red tide, and flat terrain in 80 percent of the state -a perfect training mecca for mentally and physically preparing for 26.2 miles in NYC during November.

As for the political side, I saw Trump pop up shops, rallies for both parties, signage on every pick up truck, protestors on the corners (having to share space with the homeless), not to mention the daily banter of people discussing “tweets” across all borders.  No walls included.

So what parallels am I trying to draw between the election and a marathon?   Both have long hours of commitment to a goal, both require sweat on and off the road, both need family and friends for support and in the end, there is a Finish Line.

This year the NYC marathon fell two days before the presidential election.  Tensions were high with the pollsters and the people speculating from every angle who was going to be the next president elect .  However, for a brief snapshot of time, I was transcended to a different place.

It’s 6AM as I board the bus to the start line on Staten Island.  Police escorts flashing  lights of red and blue as if we were all celebrities being carried to the big event.  Each runner on a different mission. Running 26.2 for the first time, running for a charity, running with a friend, running for a Boston qualifying spot, running for 9/11 victims, running to lose weight or just running to prove it can be done at any age.

The weather was glorious!  Sunny, royal blue skies, light wind and crisp air.  Flags from all the represented countries were waving in the breeze. The loud speaker gave instructions for each wave.  Spanish, French, Italian, German -more than 11 countries were represented?  I only wish I had not skipped so many French classes.  All the hours and miles of training were being contained in one area.  The energy was contagious.  Not a   thought or word of the election was on the minds of the 51,000 plus people on Staten Island.

It’s 10:20, Wave 3A was corralled for release.  The double decker buses surrounded us with NYPD on guard.  The only visual in front and behind me were the endless number of runners ready to explode into a frenzy across  the Verrazano bridge.  As God Bless America filled the air with patriotic reward, tears flowed down the faces.  Not just from Americans, but from everyone in wait.  We were united by love of people, love of country and love of running.

The saying, “it’s all about the journey”, ran through my mind as I ran the streets.  After months of turmoil with police killings, mass shootings, election sensationalism and religious wars, I finally saw humanity on this day.  We were equals, we were happy, the crowd embraced our energy and injected us with theirs.  No barriers, no prejudice.

Run next to a blind person to truly get perspective on what they see. Run with a cancer survivor to embrace healing not just the disease.  Run with Black Lives Matter to understand the movement’s motivation.  Play witness to thousands of spectators from a melting pot of neighborhoods in NY.  We were all one nation under God!

I prayed past every church, I celebrated each mile with a smile and I pushed myself through pain.  Resilience helped everyone find their way to the finish line.  The very last unofficial finisher was a 96 year old man who fought in WWII (Runner’s World featured his story – worth the read).  The moments are immeasurable.

Two days post-race, our country elected a new president.   The finish line is not in sight as the road to answers is quite long and bumpy.  I’d like to think of this as our country’s marathon.  Weeks, maybe months of conditioning a new leading team.  Learning acceptance of what we can control and what we must accept.  Trying to build each other up without continuing to thrust negativity onto the course.  This calls for all Americans to release their convictions to find peace.  I witnessed it for one day, I’d like to see more of that in days to come.  What will you do to for America’s new marathon?

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spirit of Sports

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Today I got up, threw on my sweatshirt and walked down to the Montauk Mighty Man triathlon.  Three distances, sprint, Olympic and half ironman started at 7am. Air temp 56, water temp upper 60s.  I have not competed in any triathlons this year due to my commitment of running the NYC Marathon.  It’s been a tough path giving up my passion for triathlons.

Today I was the cheerleader to many athletes racing on a course that doesn’t have huge crowds.  There is “the hill” which challenges runners and bikers to dig deep.  It’s long, it can be windy and for some folks today, they had to ride it twice.  I watched the struggle in their eyes, the grimaces.  I verbally coached a few newbies to stop mashing the pedals and spin.  I was, for some, that extra jolt of energy to get to the top

I am either coaching or racing, today I just liked being there in the moment  I saw families cheering at transition, a German guy break his toe running his bike in (to which he said, “last race of the season, who cares?) OUCH! , and the giggles and thrills of those completing a first time triathlon.  The best costume award goes to Banana Man.  He biked and ran in his yellow banana costume  Sorry folks, no pics

Simplicity, small town appeal and racing for the purpose of enjoyment.  That is slowly dying in life and in sport  I feel lucky to have had a taste of it today.