Sunday, December 27, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
At present I have three jobs. Two of which I love and one that is made tolerable by listening to books by way of MP3s. I have joked and said that this job has made me well read to. My recent books of choice have mostly revolved around food. I have listened to two Michael Pollan books, one Berry Sears book and most recently a book written by Barbra Kingsolver.
There is a thread that weaves through all of these books, eat food. Michael Pollan states that we, as Americans, have ventured away from this notion. We now eat food like substances. We have come to believe that better living through chemicals is gospel. A perfect example of this is Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. The ingredients in traditional macaroni and cheese are: eggs, salt, flour, water and cheese (curdled milk of sheep, goats, or cow). The ingredients in Kraft Macaroni and cheese are: wheat flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid, salt, whey, milk fat, milk protein concentrate, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium phosphate, milk, yellow 5, yellow 6, enzymes, and cheese culture.
The absurdity of our western eating habits hit Florida at the end of the 2003-2004 tomato growing season. For those of you not familiar with the Ugly Tomato, let me clue you in. The Ugly tomato is an heirloom variety that is, well… less than photogenic. At the end of the 2003-2004 growing season the Florida Tomato Committee refused to allow these amazingly delicious tomatoes to be sold outside of Florida. The Florida Tomato Committee felt that the Ugly does not meet its rigorous standards, which are based on size and shape, but not taste. They claimed that the Ugly was too misshapen and would damage the reputation of the Florida marketplace, resulting in millions of pounds of tasty tomatoes wasted.
The beauty of Durham NC is the ease of ability to buy local. You could eat at a different restaurant every meal Monday through Friday and never hit a chain restaurant. Even if you venture into large grocery Chain store you can buy bread from the locally owned and operated 9th Street Bakery. Or buy milk and ice cream from a farm on the outskirts of town. You can buy coffee from the local roaster Counter Culture. These may seem like small things but by buying these products you are helping people in your neighborhood make a living, and more than likely eating healthier. The fast food nation that we have become know as is not who we really are. When people from other nations are asked wheat is American food, the answer will inevitably begin with a Mc. Is that our heritage? I hope not. I have family that live in several corners of this country and when I think of eating with them it does not include a Styrofoam container. When I am with my grandmother that resides in Connecticut, I envision lobster, clam chowder and streamed muscles. When I am with Nanny in Gainesville Florida it is fried chicken, gravy, and casseroles. There are amazing foods from all corners of this country: Navajo fry bread, seafood gumbo, and apple pie. We have a wide variety of food in this country that is a beautiful amalgamation of the people who live here.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
The first bra I bought is called the Frog bra. I do not know why. This is what their right up says:
The Frog Bra
It was recommended by 2 of my fellow Crossfitters.
The second bra is a bra by CW-X. I have a pair of their exoskeleton tights. I love the tights so I figured I should give this a shot too.
This is what they had to say about this bra:
Three Blessings Bra
I should get the bras in a week or so and I will report back then.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Here are my requirements:
1) Supportive - I do not want to move
2) Flexible - This is a big one. I want my rib cage to be able to expand fully.
3) No Chaffing - this become a huge issue when you are running for multiple hours.
The one I have been using works for requirement 1, but fails on 2 and 3. Friday nights WOD consisted of running and front squats. I could not breath. I finished the WOD and then had to unhook the damn thing so I could breath again. I could be wrong but I think breathing is important. It becomes even more important when you are trying to run and lift heavy things. (Side note: I PRed on my front squat.) I used this same bra in the Disney Marathon. The worst pain I had after the run was from the strawberry it gave me on my back where the seam is.
I can not use the low impact sports bras that you buy at Target or stores like that. Well, I can use them but I have to wear 2 at the same time which makes requirement 2 out of the question. This is because of my chest size. It isn't huge but it needs a bit more support than that.
So here is my plan: I am going to try several sports bras and report back. If you have any suggestions, please tell me. I have already been told to try the Frog Bra from Title 9.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
I digress... I find that when I do get competitive, it is aimed at boys. I think we all at Crossfit have someone we focus on. Someone that we look at and think, I am going to be faster than him/her. My person is Andrew. This is no surprise to Nagle. He started it. I think it is a good thing. It pushes you to try harder than you thought you could. One might think, I am going to die, but look if I just try a little harder or push a little longer I might just beat Nagle or hell look I am close to Jack, crap PUSH THROUGH!
Even with the competitive aspects to Crossfit there is still this overwhelming supportive nature too. It reminds me of one of my earliest memories of my friend Tamara. When I was 5 I was scared of the high dive at Riddle (the University that both of our parents worked at). Tamara climbed up to the top with me, held my hand, and jumped off the 5m spring board with me. Side note, Tamara was 4. She truly is badass.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Pumpkin Paleo Pancakes - (2)5 block meals
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon Agave
2 tablespoons chopped pecans - topping
2 tablespoon real maple syrup - topping
Coconut oil - for the pan
12 extra egg whites to bring the protein up 35 gms/person
oz of berries to bring the carbs up to ~45 gms/person
Mix everything - sometimes that nut butter is clumpy
The recipe above makes 2 good size pancakes.
~from paleo zone blog
So people keep talking about muscle failure. It is very sick, but I was jealous that I was not achieving muscle failure. I think maybe I thought I wasn't working hard enough. I like to work hard it makes me feel strong. So anyway, muscle failure is when your muscles say WTF I don't think so in the middle of some activity you are doing repeatedly. I hit muscle failure the other day. We were doing "dyanmic" push ups - seriously I think there is a better name, maybe you are effing crazy push ups - and I couldn't push myself up anymore. I mean like really, my head said come on Melinda - woman up and do it - and my body said I don't think so. It was pretty cool. I think this has happened lots of times during my cfit time, but I just didn't know it had a name. So is this a good thing or bad thing? Does it mean you are reaching the target you are supposed to reach? I don't know, but it did make me feel slightly bad ass.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
These are the 10 general skills:
1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance - The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
2. Stamina - The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
3. Strength - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units,
to apply force.
4. Flexibility - the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
5. Power - The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum.
6. Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
7. Coordination - The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
8. Agility - The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
9. Balance - The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
10. Accuracy - The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Lets see where I fall shall we...
1. Endurance - Hmmm, I ran a marathon in January, so I will give myself a check on this one but I still need to work on it.
2. Stamina- I really do not understand the difference between this and Endurance. On Friday we did 325 squats, I did not get out of breath but around squat 270, I fell on my ass because I hit muscle failure. I got up and was able to go again but my left quad did ask me what the hell I thought I was doing. I told it to shut up and got up and continued squatting.
3. Strength- No (note to self: hang out with Mandy more, maybe her awesomeness will rub off)
4. Flexibility- Check, I can touch my toes and do a back-bend among other flexible stuff.
5. Power - Again, not sure I understand the difference between this and strength. Solution must be to hang out with Mandy more.
6. Speed- Sort of but needs work, Half check
7. Coordination- Massive fail. Should watch Daniel to hone this skill
8. Agility- Fail. Again, study Daniel.
9. Balance- I am okay at this, half check
10. Accuracy- Fail
4 out of 10.... This badass thing is going to take a lot of work.
Dori: "Are you competing in December to be the strongest person in North Carolina?"
Bea: "I have no chance of winning."
(Dunsmore walks by)
Bea: "She is the fittest person in North Carolina" (I point at Sarah)
Dori: (looking somewhat disappointed by me) "So, you should try anyway!"
Sarah: "You totally should."
Dori: "We can train together"
Needless to say, I am training for the fitness challenge. This is partly because I do not want to disappoint Dori and partly because Dunsmore told me to. Jack is suppose to be telling me what to do,which in itself is intimidating. Anyone that does not know Dori's husband, Jack does not understand the crazy shit he come up with. So, Monday begins Dori's and my quest to be a badass.
I even made bracelets for us.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
2 pork chops (3oz chop for 3 blocks and 4oz. chop for 4 blocks). Chops should be about 1.25 inches thick.
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar or beer
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 clove garlic, minced
Trim fat from meat. Place chops in a plastic bag set in a shallow dish. For marinade, combine beer or apple cider, brown sugar, worcestershire, chili powder and garlic. Pour marinade over chops and close bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 6-24 hours, turning occasionally. (You don't have to marinate it that long, I didn't and it was still good, but it would probably be better if it had time to marinate).
Place chops in saute pan with marinade. Brown on each side. Then cover and cook 4-5 minutes until cooked all the way through.
Lightly steam asparagus so still crisp.
Place steamed asparagus in saute pan and pour some marinade from above over the asparagus.
Slice a peach and add to the asparagus.
Saute for a few minutes to allow flavors to meld.
12 asparagus spears equals one block of carbs. 1/2 the peach equals one block.
You will need to add fat to this meal.
6 whole eggs
4 oz. parmesan cheese
2 heads cauliflower
1 cup corn
4 tsp. dill
2 tsp. parsley
salt and pepper
4 slices turkey bacon (each slice is 6 grams protein..you can find this at Whole Foods. Most turkey bacon only has 2 grams protein, but most of the ones at Whole Foods seem to have more).
Preheat oven to 350.
Cook bacon and set aside.
Cut cauliflower into small florets and steam until tender. Pour cauliflower into glass casserole dish.
Beat the eggs in a small bowl and mix in all remaining ingredients.
Crumble turkey bacon and add to egg mixture.
Pour egg mixture over cauliflower and bake for about 30 minutes.
Makes 10 servings. Each serving is 2 blocks protein, 2 blocks fat and 1 block carb.
Try this delicious breakfast recipe for a change from the usual eggs and bacon. Serves 4. Each serving is 3 blocks protein, 1 block fat and 1/2 block carb.
2 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/3 cup chopped chives
8 slices deli ham (8oz)
1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, scramble eggs, egg whites, and milk. Add chives and stir to combine.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Line each one with a piece of ham and then divide egg mixture evenly among the cups (you should have 8 muffin cups total). Place in oven 15-20 minutes
Top with cheese and cook for 5 more minutes.
Makes four servings, each serving is equal to two "muffins."
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
One of the things I love about Crossfit Durham, is the atmosphere. The emphasis is on the work out, not what you look like. This is suppose to be the over all focus of Crossfit. Hell, there are even t-shirts devoted to it. My favorite is "Dude! Are you watching yourself curl?"
I am not alone in this feeling. A friend of mine said today: "One of the main reasons I picked Crossfit was because it seemed like a gym were males and females could just "work out" without the superficialness of some larger gyms, where people are just there to "pose" if you will...and the fact that if you go to other gyms and lift heavy weights as a female you get very strange looks."
I do understand the pride that goes along with making your body look and feel better. If you have made yourself a brick house and want to flaunt it, by all means, flaunt it. My issue is not with the appreciation for the amazing bodies that some women and men have worked amazingly hard to get. My problem lies in the lack of appreciation for people who work just as hard but do not have the magazine cover image. There is a great NY Times article that demonstrates that amazing things come in all sorts of packages.
As for the Crossfit games next year.... I plan on rectifying the lack of Dunsey coverage by going out there and taking a ton of photos of her myself.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I fall prey to this in Crossfit too. It is ridiculously apparent when I am doing the affiliate training. I think to myself, I suck. I was so much slower than everyone else. Of course everyone else includes Mitchell, Sarah, and Ollie. Greg pointed this out tonight. He reminded Jack and me that if you were to pull the average Joe off of the street, you would kick his ass (I am paraphrasing).
One of the most kick-ass people that I know at Crossfit is Melinda. She has stuck with it through pain and all. She has just figured out other ways to complete the WODs. Mostly she rows instead of running (which I think is much worse). The point is she has not given up. I know this about her but just like I think I suck compared to Mitchell, she thinks it too. The funny thing is that I can see it in her and completely miss it in me.
So, good people of Crossfit, try to remember you are awesome.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
The green line is 1032 meters, or just a bit over 1 k (32 meters).
The red line (my sub for 800 meters today) is 973 meters.
The blue line is 1.04 miles.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
First of all, the "warm-up" is a WOD in itself. We did: 20, 15, 10 super wall balls (the have to go up higher than the top mark) and double unders. I am HORRIBLE at jumping rope, so I did 3 regular hops for every double under. I would like to believe that if I bought a Buddy Lee jump rope that his wonderful jump roping skills would some how pass through the jump rope into me; but I know that is not going to happen.... sadly.
I digress, the first WOD was: 3 rounds for time of 10 back squats, 10 jumping squat things, and 10 pull-ups. I went with only 85lbs on the back squats because my butt still hurts from the 150 lunges we did the other day. The jumping squat things consisted of performing a squat and then a leap into the air from said squat. These jumping things are the worst things on the planet. No one should leap into the air from a squat. Whoever thought of those should be shot. If I had a world of my own I would outlaw those. You sir, that is a lovely air squat you are performing, now come out of it appropriately and do not even think of performing any frog like motion. I used the blue band on my pull-ups and attempted to kip. Thank you Landy for your help the other day. I truly believe I will have it some time soon.... I did this WOD in 5 something.
The second (or third if you count the "warm-up") WOD was: 5 rounds for time of Row 250, dead lift your body weight plus half (this is absurd and I think only Mitchell is capable of such silliness... and Mandy, but Mandy has been bitten by a radioactive spider or something so she does not count). Finally, you finish it up with burpee box jumps. I had to modify a few things but I finished in 15:49.
I know I sound negative in this blog, but I love it. I have never been athletic. I was on the swim team and track team in high school but I was always last and really sucked at it. The other night I did several WODs with some of the best people at Crossfit Durham and did not absolutely suck. In fact I was downright okay. You might be rolling your eyes and saying, "Bea you need to stop beating yourself up." But the truth is, I'm not. I am really proud of myself. Sure, I was wiped out afterward, but so was everyone. I am in better shape now than I have ever been. I am stronger and healthier. I use to be thinner but I was kind of weak.
I am well aware that Crossfit is not for everyone. It is hard, you will hurt afterward, and you may even think very bad thoughts about whoever came up with those squat leaping things. I on the other hand love it and the people I do it with. It has made me stronger, happier, and honestly, a little proud of myself.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Are any of you other ladies not sure what to make of this flap about oral contraceptives reducing gains in lean muscle? While the initial study came out sometime in mid-April, links to articles about it continue to crop up (I’ve seen it a lot recently, in places other than just crossfitdurham.com) and I’ve always struggled a bit to figure out the take home message. There is something about the whole business and the implications that some article authors are trying to make that really bugs me, so here comes a mini-rant complete with some dorking out. You’ve been warned.
The general gist of the study is as follows: Researchers took a small sample of “relatively healthy” 18-31 year old women and looked at how oral contraceptive users (OC) and non oral contraceptive users (non-OC) compared when exposed to a “whole body resistance program” (I’m thinking Nautilus machines here). After 10 weeks, OC users saw statistically significant smaller gains in lean muscle mass in comparison to non-OC users but overall strength gains weren’t significantly different.
There is something about the massive proliferation of these findings that is bugging me, though, and it is partly that I can’t find the full study online and there are some general research issues that aren’t addressed (I’ll list the 2 main ones for the sake of brevity):
- Sample selection (my impression is that the sample was NOT random assignment, e.g., “you go on OC, you do not go on OC” and that instead they found current users and non-users to test) – oral contraceptives are not for everyone. Many women try OC and find that, no matter the formulation, the hormones in OC and their bodies are just not friendly, so they switch to a different method of birth control. If there are underlying physiological differences that influence the decision to use a certain form of birth control, these might also influence how the body responds to exercise.
Where I really start to get irked, however, is the generally implicit, but at times explicit*, message that women who are interested in improving their fitness performance might consider switching birth control methods…because nothing helps you meet your fitness goals like an unintended pregnancy. While this might ultimately be something to think about for women who are pursuing sport as a career, it's extreme for those of us who just want to improve our levels of fitness in general. When I think of “fitness” it is more than just “how big are my muscles?” – it is a general quality of life issue, and I know a lot of women who would take a little less muscle mass for the overall improvement in quality of life that they get from oral contraceptives (hormonal control that reduces mood swings, acne, pain, etc.).
From a Crossfit perspective in which strength is more important than body composition—we aren’t trying to win physique contests (or at least I’m not) but we ARE trying to lift heavy things—this suggests that maybe oral contraception doesn’t have a huge influence on overall performance, or at least not the type of performance we are measuring. And even if it does hinder performance slightly, those of us on OCs can at least take solace in research that finds that oral contraceptives significantly reduce exercise-induced delayed onset muscle soreness (aka DOMS).
* The best part of the summary that noted “…young women who are trying to build muscle mass may want to choose another form of contraception” was the accompanying photo:
Friday, August 28, 2009
The Overhead Squat Test
When your body is in perfect balance, it stays aligned when you squat. But your workout, job, and poor posture can all cause you to develop weak or tight spots that restrict movement. To identify those areas and fix them quickly, take this test every 4 weeks.
How to Do It
Stand facing a full-length mirror with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointed straight ahead, and your arms raised overhead. Squat three times. Don't overthink this: Simply bend at the hips and knees to lower your body straight down. Hold the pose at the lowest point in your third squat and take note of your body position at the checkpoints highlighted on the next page. Repeat the test with your profile to the mirror.
If your arms move forward...then your chest and latissimus dorsi muscles are tight, which often leads to ailments of the neck and shoulders.
Fix yourself: Lie on the floor with a foam roll under your lats. Glide your body up and down, pausing at tender points for 30 seconds. Repeat for your chest. Stretch your lats and chest, and add the squat to row to your workout.
Cable Squat to Row
Stand at a low-row cable station, holding the handles with your palms facing each other. Take a few steps back. With your arms straight, squat down. Stand up as you pull the handles to the bottom of your rib cage. Do 10 repetitions.
If your knees move out...then your hips and lower back must compensate for that imbalance, which means they'll fatigue faster and may even strain during explosive sports movements.
Fix yourself: Use a foam roll behind your hips, pausing at tender points, and stretch your hips and hamstrings. Add the cable soccer kick to your workout.
Cable Soccer Kick
Attach a foot strap to the low-pulley cable of a cable station and stand with your right hip to the weight stack and the strap wrapped around your right ankle. Keeping your leg straight, sweep it across the front of your body as far as you can while rotating your foot inward, and then return to the starting position. Do 12 reps with each leg.
If your knees cave in...then your outer thighs are weak and your risk of injury to an ACL (knee ligament) may triple, say researchers at the Cincinnati Sports Medicine Research and Education Foundation.
Fix yourself: Roll your inner and outer thighs over a foam roll. Stretch your inner thighs and add the lateral tube walk to your workout.
Lateral Tube Walk
Loop resistance tubing around your ankles and slide it up your legs until it's above your knees. Stand with your knees slightly bent and your hands on your hips. Keeping your abs tight, sidestep 12 to 15 times to your right and then 12 to 15 times back to your left.
If your upper body leans far forward...then your calves are tight. This may seem odd, but consider: Tight calves impede your ankles from bending, so your torso shifts forward in an attempt to maintain your base of support as you squat. But this throws off your center of gravity, making it harder for you to produce power during any activity.
Fix yourself: Glide your calves over a foam roll. Stretch your calves and hip flexors, and perform the Swiss-ball cobra.
Lie facedown on a Swiss ball with your abs drawn in and your arms hanging down, holding light dumbbells. Raise your arms up and back until they're in line with your body, and pull your shoulder blades down and together. Return to the starting position and repeat for a set of 10 repetitions.
If your lower back arches excessively...then the fronts of your hips (your hip flexors) are tight and your abs are weak. Tight hip flexors shorten your stride, making you a slower, less efficient runner.
Fix yourself: Use a foam roll on your hip flexors and outer thighs. Stretch your hip flexors and shore up your core with the plank.
Assume a modified pushup position, with your forearms resting on the floor. Your elbows should be under your shoulders and bent 90 degrees. Keep your body straight and rigid for 10 seconds, rest for 20 to 30 seconds, and then repeat for a set of 10.
If your feet turn out...then your outer calves are tight. This reduces your ability to produce force when you're running and jumping.
Lie with the outside of your calf on a foam roll and glide up and down, pausing at any tender points for 30 seconds. Stretch your calves twice a day, and add this twist on the standard calf raise to your workout.
Calf Raise with InversionHold a dumbbell in your right hand and stand on your right foot with your toes angled slightly inward. Rest the instep of your left foot across the back of your right ankle. Rise on your toes as high as you can, then descend. Do 12 reps and repeat with the other leg.
Monday, August 24, 2009
It is mixed greens with poppy seed dressing, rotisserie chicken, sliced peaches, and feta. When you are not being paleo, you should give it a shot.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
As new evidence points to the elevated role of calcium in preventing disease, it makes sense to get enough of this vital nutrient each day, especially as mid-life approaches. Experts say there is literally no body system that doesn't benefit from a healthy dose. Here's how it stacks up:
Calcium and Weight Loss:
When Dr. Robert Heaney, a calcium expert at Creighton University in Omaha, recently examined the health records of 575 women, he was astonished at the results. "We were looking at mid-life weight gain and found that women with the highest calcium intakes didn't gain weight and those with the lowest did," Dr. Heaney said.
Similarly, at the University of Tennessee, Michael Zemel, Ph.D., reported that because calcium plays a key role in metabolic disorders linked to obesity and insulin resistance, a diet low in calcium literally stockpiles fat cells while higher calcium diets depletes them. Dr. Zemel discovered that a high calcium diet released a hormone which sends signals that are read by the body's fat cells to lose weight.
A two-year Purdue University study in West Lafayette, Ind. that involved 54 women ages 18 to 31, found that women with a daily intake of at least 780 milligrams of calcium showed no increase in body fat or lost body fat mass during a two-year period. Women who averaged less than 780 milligrams of calcium gained weight during the same period.
Both exercisers and couch potatoes seemed to benefit unless they consumed more than 1,900 calories daily. All researchers said that dining on calcium-rich dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurt achieved greater weight loss than leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans and supplements.
Calcium and Premenstrual Syndrome:
Susan Thys-Jacobs, an endocrinologist at St. Luke-Roosevelt Hospital's, has found that calcium supplementation can relieve the physical and emotional toll of PMS by almost 50%. At least half of the 497 women she studied who took 1,200 mg. of calcium supplements experienced fewer mood swings, depression/sadness, anxiety/nervousness; breast tenderness, bloating and other aches and pains. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Human Nutrition Research Center in Grand Forks, N.D. reported similar results after studying 10 women with PMS who spent half the study period on a daily diet containing 600 mg. of calcium, the other half upped to1300 mg. Women on the high calcium diet were less irritable, weepy, and depressed and averted backaches, cramping, and bloating.
Calcium and Blood Pressure:
In some people, an increase in calcium consumption can help control blood pressure without anti-hypertensive medication. A 13-year study by James Dwyer at the University of Southern California School of Medicine found that consuming 1300 milligrams of calcium a day reduced hypertension risk by 12 percent compared to only 300 mg. a day, while subjects under age 40 reduced their risk by up to 25 percent. Dr. Lawrence Resnick, a professor of medicine at Cornell University Medical Center Hypertension Center, emphasizes that the benefits are most pronounced in hypertensives who are salt-sensitive, such as African Americans.
Calcium and Cholesterol:
Dr. Margo Denke, associate professor of internal medicine at the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found that a high-calcium regimen reduced levels of total cholesterol by six percent and slashed "bad" LDL cholesterol by 11 percent. So-called "good" HDL cholesterol levels remained unchanged.
Calcium and Stroke Prevention:
A 1999 Harvard study reported that calcium supplementation protects against stroke in middle-aged women. In the ongoing Nurses' Health Study, 85,764 women, ages 35 to 59, reported that the mineral was tied to a 32% lower risk of stroke among those with the highest intake of the mineral. Women taking at least 400 mg of calcium supplements had a 12% lower risk of ischemic stroke (the type caused by plaque buildup in blood vessel walls). Dietary calcium, especially in dairy foods, reportedly reduced stroke risk, as did potassium.
Calcium and Osteoporosis:
Osteoporosis strikes more than seven million Americans, mostly women, with another 17 million at serious risk of developing fragile bones that easily collapse, a crippling curving of the spine, and hip fractures. Research shows that boosting calcium intake can halt bone loss, especially when combined with vitamin D, which enhances its absorption.
Calcium and Colon Cancer:
Calcium may protect against growths that become malignant in those prone to colorectal cancer. Dr. Martin Lipkin, a professor of medicine at Cornell University, who first discovered the link between calcium and colorectal cancer, stresses that both calcium-rich foods and calcium supplements will produce the same beneficial effects.
Calcium and Pregnancy:
According to Barbara Levine, director of the human nutrition program at the Rockefeller University, calcium supplements can help ensure the health of the fetus and improve bone mass of the mother. In a study of hypertensive women, Levine found that adequate calcium levels and Vitamin D improved pregnancy outcomes.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
After my marathon, it took me all of 24 hours to decide I was going to do it again. I was and still am determined to get a better time. You are suppose to take a month off of running after, I didn't. The result of my hard headed nature... stress fractures.
So, what are the signs of overtraining? They are:
- Achiness or pain in the muscles and/or joints
- Elevated morning pulse
- Sudden inability to complete workouts
- Feeling unmotivated and lacking energy
- Increased susceptibility to colds, sore throats and other illnesses
- Loss in appetite
- Decrease in performance
The solution is simple... rest. You can check to see if you are overtraining by monatoring your heartrate. Take your pulse upon wakening before getting out of bed for several days to establish a baseline. Have a easy or short workout if your morning heart rate is greater than 5% of your baseline. Take the day off of training if your morning heart rate is greater than 10% above baseline.
Friday, August 14, 2009
1 c. cooked okra (seasoned to taste)
1/2 c. grapes
1/2 c. mashed butternut squash
3 oz. roasted chicken
awesome dinner! i've never made okra before...and i was surprised by how tasty it was. I just seasoned it with a tiny bit of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, garlic, and some random other spices and tossed it in the oven at 425 for 12 minutes (i shook the pan a couple times just to move it around). its awesome! and easy! and cheap!
yaaaaa day 5 of paleo/zone!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
First of all though, I will tell you the way I eat (most of the time). I do not eat Zone or Paleo. The approach I started to follow for the last few months is that laid out in the book "In Defense of Food". It is a simple set of rules to follow. Those rules are: Eat food, mostly green, not too much. What Pollan (the author) means by "eat food" is that we eat a lot of "food like substances," not real food. We as Americans consume things that are no longer the products of nature but the products of food science.
This philosophy is not too far from the Zone diet. It just isn't measured out. Paleo also follows the rule of eating natural, which is good. I credit this way of eating with my increased energy and my lack of tummy issues. If I had not greatly reduced my grain intake I would have never figured out that I have an intolerance to barley. I definitely needed to up my protein intake. I would go days with out eating any meat at all. I could eat nothing but side items and be happy. Hell, I could live off of mashed potatoes and soft rolls and be content. I would be sickly and would eventually die of scurvy but it would be a happy death.
So, why don't I buy the Paleo diet? First of all, I ave issues with anything that claims to solve all of our ailments in a single bound. Thepaleodiet.com web site claims that it can help:
Arthritis and Joint Pain
Cholesterol and Blood Chemistry
Fitness and Athletic Performance
Headaches and Migraines
Inflammation, Arthritis, and Joints
Intestinal Disease and IBS
Then there is the contradiction with its claim that we need to eat more meat and to stay away from grain (like rice) entirely to be healthy and all of Asia. The Asian approach is to use meat more as a garnish then the main event. In fact the Japanese have often been sited as having the healthiest diets on earth. Japan’s population has the lowest level of obesity in the developed world and people tend to live longer than any other country.
Then there is the latest study to come out in the Archives of Internal Medicine. They found that "the consumption of red and processed meat is associated with a modest increase in overall mortality, as well as cancer and cardiovascular mortality in both men and women," says study researcher Rashmi Sinha, PhD, a senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute. These were not people who ate all red meat. These were average American ages 50 to 70. The study advises an average daily limit of about 19 grams (0.7 ounces) of red meat for women, or 25 grams (almost an ounce) for men. Why do I bring this up you ask, because they tend to dismiss vegetarians and vegans.
Most vegetarians, as Dori said, do it for moral reasons. I know that I do not eat cows, sheep, pigs, octopus, etc. for that reason. It is just an added perk that it appears to help my health.
So, what do I take away from my research? Just eat smart. You know what you should and should not eat and a box of Kraft macaroni and (pretend) cheese with a Big Mac isn't it.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Barry Sears IS Paleo!!
So...paleo/zone is pretty tasty in the morning.
2 eggs (fried up in 1 tsp olive oil)
1 slice turkey bacon
1 1/2 c. strawberries
3/4 c. blueberries
That is one bangin' 3 block breakfast.
ps- this applegate farm turkey bacon that I bought talks about using bacon as aromatherapy...now THAT is my kind of relaxation... :)
AND for lunch:
3 oz. baked chicken thigh
1 c. carrots
1 1/4 c. snow peas (or whatever they are called)
3 block lunch-- easy.
With meals like this, I might just stick to this whole paleo-zone thing for the next 5 weeks. Happy eating!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Good news for Sarah; British researchers found that milk does a better job than water or sports drinks at rehydrating the body after exercise. This is because milk has more electrolytes and potassium. If you add chocolate, it gives the milk a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat for speedy muscle recovery.
If you are having muscle soreness after a work out (and who isn't) you might want to drink some coffee. University of Georgia scientists revealed that consuming caffeine (equal to two cups of coffee) after exercise reduces muscle soreness more than pain relievers can. Caffeine blocks a chemical that activates pain receptors.
For all of you in the endurance class (myself included) might be interested to know that drinking cold water before and during exercise can help improve your endurance. The consumption of cold water may be the most direct way to reduce core body temperature, so it takes you longer to heat up and slow down. In a British study, cyclists who drank about 30 ounces of a chilled drink in the half hour before riding in a hot, humid environment, and smaller amounts as they rode, were able to bike 23 percent longer than riders who downed lukewarm liquids.
Although they might not be viewed as favorable carbs by the Zone people, these are two fruits that you will want to eat. Papaya and pineapple are loaded with bromelain and papain. These enzymes not only help break down proteins for digestion but also have anti-inflammatory properties to speed up your post-workout recovery.
Then finallly a study from Mandy's favorite place; Australian researchers found that cyclists who took fish oil for 8 weeks had lower heart rates and consumed less oxygen during intense bicycling than a control group did. The fatty acids in fish oil need to become incorporated into muscle and heart cells to have an effect, and that takes weeks of consumption. So, either take fish oil pills each day, or try to eat fish rich in fatty acids multiple times a week to see similar results.