Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's Not Hard To Be A Vegetarian And Eat Enough Protein!

When people find out I am a vegetarian the first question I get is,  "how do you get enough protein?" Honestly I don't obsess about my protein intake, I try to eat healthy and balanced. The reality is that most people get way too much protein.   Excess protein can be hard on your body just like too much carbohydrates and fat.  It's not hard to meet your protein goals if you're vegetarian and eat balanced and healthy food.  I used to be one of those people that thought you had to have meat to survive and be healthy and have muscle.  I quit eating red meat and pork in my teens and most of my adult life I only ate chicken.  Many years ago I decided to be completely cruelty free and stopped eating chicken and I have never really liked fish so I don't eat that either.  I have also eliminated most dairy from my diet.  So how do I get protein?  I eat a lot of beans, avocados, nuts and the obvious vegetables.  Some of the protein values for the foods that I eat are:

  • Garbanzo and Lima Beans have about 15-18grams per cup
  • 1/4 cup of nuts can contain between 4-10 grams of protein 
  • 1 cup of broccoli or brussel sprouts cooked has 4 grams
  • 5 asparagus spears has 2 grams 
  • 1 medium avocado has 4 grams
  • If I buy bread I usually buy bread fortified with nuts so it contains about 4 grams per slice
  •  1 cup of cooked brown rice has 4 grams, wild rice is 7 grams, quinoa is about 6 grams
The required daily allowance for protein is .8 grams per kg of bodyweight.  For me that would be 49 grams a day if I didn't exercise.  I weight 135 and if you then divide that by 2.2 to get kg and multiply by .8.  They do suggest if you workout it could be beneficial to get more protein then the RDA.  The American College Of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2-2.0 per kg for the athletic person.  That is a pretty big range and I think each person is unique.  The average person working out on a regular basis probably doesn't need a lot over the RDA amount of .8 per kg of bodyweight.  It is super easy to get that without meat products if you consume healthy non-processed foods!  

If you are thinking about becoming vegetarian I would start by reducing the amount of meat you are eating.  A few people I know only eat meat on the weekends.  Some people don't buy it at the store anymore and only eat it when they go out.  Whatever works best for you is important.  If you really like meat it might be tough at first but you need to keep a lot of healthy foods in the house so you don't reach for something unhealthy to fill the gap.  Rather than obsessing on the amount of protein you're eating focus on the health value of your food.  

I don't eat animal products because I want to live a cruelty free life.  I am happy that a benefit of that is that I get to eat healthier foods and feel better.  Red meat is so unhealthy to the human body for so many reasons.  Each week I read a new article about the dangers of red meat. It causes inflammation in the body and if prepared on the grill can be cancerous.  I recently read an article that red meat can increase your risk for Alzheimer's disease.  

If you don't think you can be a vegetarian then maybe try to be a reduceatarian and just reduce the amount of meat you are consuming.  And another thing.....did you know if everyone consumed less meat it would help the environment?  Yes it can!  

Have a Great Day and be Cruelty Free!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Don't Let Those Pounds Creep Up On You!

It happens to so many people, those few pounds they gain every year.  While a few pounds doesn't seem like much over the course of 10+ years it can add up and suddenly you are 20-40 pounds overweight, out of shape and seriously unhealthy!  It is so much harder to lose weight than to gain it so start now to prevent this from happening.  If you have gained the extra weight are are trying to lose it, don't lose hope because you can take steps to get your health back.   While its true if you exercise like I do you can eat a lot more and not gain weight.  Most people however don't want to do that so it is important to eat a healthy diet and eat in moderation.   I like to first talk about what you CAN have and you can have lots of  vegetables because they are SO good for you and low in calories and most people don't eat enough.  They are loaded with nutrition, fiber, and they taste great!  Make sure not to ruin them by overcooking them and adding too many things that aren't healthy.  I was recently at Brio and the one item on the menu that had the MOST calories was brussel sprouts!  Brio is an Italian restaurant with lots of high calorie foods and the brussel sprouts had almost 1,800 calories!  They were loaded with oil and bacon and I'm sure they tasted good but they were clearly not the healthiest option.  So you can have plenty of vegetables just make sure you prepare them properly by not overcooking them and loading them up with unhealthy stuff!  You can have fruit in moderation and I prefer to choose fruits low on the glycemic index such as apples.  Berries are another good option that are loaded with lots of nutrients.  Just be careful not to overdo it by eating too much fruit.  You can have good complex carbohydrates in moderation too!  Make sure when eating these you measure them out and don't eat too much.  It's very easy to gobble down a few servings of brown rice or quinoa.  Some good carbohydrates are brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, and yams.  Remember when eating out ask how they are prepared and watch the quantity.  When eating out the serving size can be so large you can take it home for 1 or 2 more meals.  I recently went out to eat and my boyfriend ordered salmon, quinoa, and vegetables.  When we looked up the calorie content it was over 1,000 calories! Salads are delicious and healthy if prepared right.  Make sure when you eat salad you use a variety of types of lettuce.  I use spinach, arugula, and romaine combination.  It's healthy and tastes great and there are so many other other options to put in your salad.  I am vegetarian so I don't eat meat in my salad so I usually will put some nuts and beans in my salad.  Eating salads out can be really bad if you don't pay attention to what they are putting on the salad and how much dressing they put on it. Always ask for the dressing on the side and avoid salads with lots of fried stuff like chips and fried meat.  Cheese is another killer for a salad.  If you tell them to leave some of this stuff off tell them to put more good stuff on it by asking for extra tomatoes or cucumbers.  Most times they won't charge you for those simple extras.

Take these steps to lose or keep the weight off for good!

  • Weigh yourself on a regular basis at the same time of day.  I  prefer to do it in the morning and once a week.  
  • When eating out check the calories of the foods on the menu.  Most places will have this listed but if they don't then use a phone app like myfitnesspal to look it up.  Most major restaurants will be on the app. 
  • When eating out don't be afraid to ask how they are preparing it and if you can order it with less butter, sauce, or have them put it on the side. 
  • Focus on what you can have instead of what you can't have.
  • Don't eat out of boredom, if you are bored at home and want to snack try and get past the urge for 10 minutes by going for a walk or something.  Usually the urge will pass after a few minutes or better yet just go to bed! 
  • I can't say it enough but preparing your food for the week because it is essential for success.  If you have to grab some thing at the last minute chances are its not going to be as healthy as something you have prepared ahead of time.  
  • Keep track of your water intake!  If you are only drinking a few cups a day start by setting a goal of 1/2 gallon a day.  The ultimate goal should be at least a gallon a day. 
  • Try and stay on a regular workout schedule and be consistent.  
  • Keep stress to a minimum because stress is a killer when your trying to lose weight.  Increased stress will increase cortisol which leads to a number of problems if your trying to lose weight. 
Take simple steps to improve your health, live longer and feel better!

Coach Cyndee

Monday, July 10, 2017

Benefits Of Essential Oils

Essential oils are a large part of my life and my massage business.  If you haven't used them, you should start right away.  They can improve so many aspects of your life! Essential oils have been used for centuries to heal the sick.  They come from plants and are distilled down to create the oil.  Essential oils have some wonderful benefits that can improve so many aspects of your life.   Many of the oils can be mixed with other oils to help with a variety of ailments.  Here are some of the benefits you will find with popular essential oils.

Some of the benefits of popular essential oils:

Lavender – Good for relaxation, may alleviate headaches, good for skin and may help reduce age spots, may help with burns, it may help with sleep, it may also help with acne.

Peppermint - good for sore muscles, headaches, is energizing and may be good as an anti-itch treatment.
Wintergreen, and Spearmint – good for sore muscles, headaches, is energizing
Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Camphor – good for sinus problems and congestion
Lemongrass – good for ligaments and tendons
Lemon, Orange, Tangerine, Lime, and Grapefruit  – invigorating, energizing, good for skin tone and water retention.
Basil – good for ligaments and tendons, sore muscles, and headaches.
Tea Tree Oil – antifungal and antiseptic
Arnica – good for pain and bruising
Black Pepper – good for muscle cramps, sprains, strains, arthritis, improves
circulation, and good for detox.

Clove, Rosemary, and Ginger – good for inflammation

Patchouli - detox and improve sex drive
Clary Sage – good for calming, helping with rashes and skin inflammation,  and good as an antibacterial.
Cypress – antispasmodic, antiseptic and diuretic.
Frankincense – anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antiseptic and astringent properties.

This combination may be good for conditions such as tendonitis – lemongrasss, basil, ginger, peppermint, and clove.

This combination may be good for headaches – spearmint, lavender, peppermint, and basil.

This combination may be good for muscle aches and pains – peppermint, arnica, clove, black pepper, spearmint, and ginger.

This combination may be good for energizing before a workout, in the morning or used as a mid-afternoon pick me up – orange, grapefruit, lemon, and peppermint.

This combination is good for relaxation and improving sex drive - geranium, peppermint, spearmint, lavender, tangerine, bergamot, and ylang ylang.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Comrades Marathon Race Recap

The Comrades Marathon in South Africa is a bucket list race for anyone who does ultra marathons.  It’s one of the most iconic ultra marathons in the world.  It has been in existence for over 90 years and was started by a man who wanted to remember his comrades who perished in the war.  It is not only the oldest running ultra marathon in the world but it’s the largest with close to 20,000 runners.  Another unique thing about this race is the very challenging cutoff time of 12 hours to run 54.5 miles. 

Running the Comrades was going to be the toughest challenge of my life.  Training for this event was special to me not only because of the iconic race, I was also raising money for the dogs at the Nevada SPCA.  I called my cause Run For Fido and I was hoping to raise $3,000 for the Nevada SPCA.  I do a lot of my training for my events with the dogs at the Nevada SPCA and with my two dogs. 
We had a bit of a hiccup traveling to Johannesburg when our flight to Atlanta was delayed and we missed the direct flight to Johannesburg.  There wasn’t another flight for several days so we had to get rerouted through Amsterdam, Paris, to Johannesburg.  It was over 30 hours of traveling but at least we got to spend a few hours seeing the sights in Amsterdam.   We made it to Johannesburg and we spend a night there before traveling to Durban where the race would start.  Comrades is unique in that one year they run uphill from Durban to Pietermaritzburg and then the next year they run downhill from Pietermaritzburg to Durban.  We had a few days to relax in Durban before the race.   Several weeks leading up to the race I was having a lot of pain in my hip.  I had tried dry needling, massage, stretching and all did a very minimal amount of running.  I didn’t get much permanent relief so I was very concerned if I would be able to finish this race.  

The race started at 5:30am and the excitement at the race start was unbelievable.  I had to finish before the cutoff time and I had never had to worry about making a cutoff in my life.  In fact it’s not something I have never even looked at when entering or competing in a race.  At this race I had all the cutoff times written down and in my pocket.  It is very unsettling being so unsure of your ability to finish when competing in a race.  With my hip problem I had checked into what I would do if I had to bail on the race.  I mean I am in South Africa and I wasn’t too sure how I would get to the finish safe and sound if I couldn’t finish the race.

As we started the run I didn’t feel pain in my hip. Maybe it was all the excitement or the massage or the rest but it felt ok as we started to run.  There were so many people we were forced to start at a very slow pace, which was a good thing. I ran with my boyfriend for the first half of the race.  The weather was a little humid but very comfortable.  I knew going into this race we were going to have some really big hills but I had no idea just how big and how long until I got to each one.  The hills were like nothing I had ever seen let alone run before in my life.  The first major hill I was trying to run up until I realized I could actually go faster with a power walk.  In this race the people who have completed more than 10 Comrades have green numbered race bib.  Everyone has the number of Comrades races they have done on their race bib.  I realized all these runners who have ran more than 10 Comrades with green bibs were walking these monster hills.  I figured I should follow their lead, I mean lets face it they know what they’re doing if they ran this race more than 10 times!  Power walking the hills was going to be my strategy throughout the rest of the race. 

I was very lucky my hip didn’t give me any problems during this race but about the halfway point my knee started hurting pretty bad.  The awesome thing at this race is they have stations you can stop at for someone to rub your legs with arnica massage oil.  I figured my knee was hurting from my IT band or my calf so each time I saw a tent I had them rub my upper and lower leg quickly.  This helped tremendously each time and enabled me to continue to the next station.  Toward the end it was survival and just getting to the finish before the cutoff.  I knew it was going to be close and was well aware of the pace I needed to keep to get there in time.  On my race bib it had a zero since this was my first time racing.  People running by me must have seen me struggling and new I was going to be close to the cutoff.  As people passed me many of them encouraged me to get to the finish and that I could do it!  As I crossed the finish I broke down and cried my boyfriend was there waiting and the first thing I said to him was, “that was the hardest thing I’ve ever done”.  Competing in Ironman is hard but this was a whole different kind of hard!  The medal for this race is the smallest medal I have in my collection of medals but it certainly is the most memorable.  They have been giving out the same medal for the duration of this event.  Going into the race without confidence and then barely making the cutoff was emotional and a very rewarding experience.  The best part of the experience is all the money I raised for the dogs at the Nevada SPCA thanks to my amazing friends and family!  The dogs will have wonderful new courtyard with splash pads, agility equipment, and treadmills for exercise! The best news of all was that my favorite running buddy Sandra from the Nevada SPCA was adopted a few days before the run!  

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Revel Race Report and Run For Fido

On the bus before the race
I found out Sunday a week before the Revel Marathon that we could sign up for the race since it had sold out.   We were on the wait list for the Revel Full Marathon in Las Vegas and I honestly had forgotten about putting my name on the list.  My boyfriend and I are doing the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa in June and we had to submit a qualifying marathon time before May 2nd.  When we found out Revel was sold out we signed up for a small marathon in Long Beach.  We really didn’t want to go out of town to race but we didn’t have any other options.  Sunday before the Revel race we got an email that we could sign up so rather than go to Long Beach we decided to sign up for the local race and stay in town.  Revel is a downhill run from the top of Mount Charleston down to North Las Vegas.  This run has a massive elevation drop of over 5,000 feet.  While we had not been doing training specific to this race we had been doing lots of up and downhill runs.  Each weekend in preparation for Comrades Uphill run we have been running Red Rock loop, which has both up and downhill sections that are pretty steep.  I was a little excited when I realized the Revel race was a Boston qualifying race.  I am a pretty good downhill runner and my qualifying time was only 3:55 so I was hopeful I could qualify.  I have qualified in the past but it was never a good time for me to do the race since it always conflicted with one of my Ironman races.  I figured I would have to do better than a 3:55 since Boston now has the three-tiered entry process and the faster your time is the more likely you are to get in.  My boyfriend and I set our race goal at 3:40 and this would also give us a good placement at the Comrades race in June. 

Race morning the temperature on the mountain was predicted to be in the 30’s.  We bundled up and got on the bus with the herd of people trying for a PR and/or BQ.  We got to the top with plenty of time before the race, we had about 30 minutes before the race started.  We got some coffee and then stood in line for the bathroom.  I told my boyfriend to get his stuff together while we waited in line because he hadn’t pinned his number, started his music, put his hat and put his watch on all the stuff you should do well before the start time.  He kept saying we have plenty of time.  When we got to the front of the bathroom line we had 8 minutes before the start and he still had to do all that stuff and we still had to drop off our morning cloths bags.  He was still pinning on his number and putting hat and glasses on as the gun went off.  We were 2.5 minutes behind the start group and needless to say I was a bit annoyed.  Thankfully your time starts when you cross the line but we still had hundreds of slow people ahead of us.  The first half of this race is the steepest so my pace was faster than normal.  I find running downhill too slow hurts worse than running at a faster pace.  The problem is that between mile 6-8 my quads started feeling the downhill running and I still had a long way to go.  It worried me and I wondered if I would be able to sustain my pace.  I knew the last 6 miles could be brutal since there was not really a downhill and I would be tired and very sore by that point.  By the halfway point I was on target for a 3:30 marathon but I knew the last 5-6 miles would be slower so I was still thinking it would be a 3:40.  The last 3 miles was brutal physically and mentally.  A small portion was into a major headwind up a slight incline.  I was barely going to make 3:40 and as I was approaching the finish line I had to practically sprint to make the 3:40 time.  I qualified for Boston with 15 minutes to spare!  

I haven’t done a lot of marathons in my life in fact I have done more Ironman races than marathon races.  If I remember right this might be my 7th marathon that I have done and I have done 12 Ironman races.  Today the day after the race I am more sore than after any Ironman races I have done.  People think a downhill run would be great but the reality is that it really beats up your body.  My quads, back, and shoulders are so sore from this race.  I don’t recall ever being this sore after a race and I have done 50 mile runs, Ironman races, 8k swims and paddled the Molekai channel in Hawaii.  This soreness tops any of those!  I only hope it doesn’t last too long because we have a race to train for that is in June! 

My dog didn't care that I ran 26.2 miles she
still wanted her walk!
My event in June is going to be EPIC.  The Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa is the oldest and largest ultra marathon in the world.  I am also raising money for a great organization that helps animals in need.  The Nevada SPCA helps so many homeless animals and they are a non-profit.  I volunteer there running and walking dogs.  The shelter is currently undergoing a major and much needed remodel.  The money I raise will be used to purchase treadmills, splash pads, agility equipment and training for the dogs.  Splash pads in the new courtyard will be a great addition for the dogs to keep cool in the summer and have fun.  The treadmills will be great for the summer, when it gets too hot in Las Vegas to walk all the dogs.  Agility is a great way for some dogs to learn and work their brain and body getting much needed physical and mental stimulation.  So far I have raised just over $2,000 and am hoping to raise $3,000. 
You can support me by going to my Razzo Run For Fido Page.

Thanks for all your help and support!

Run For Fido!

Coach Cyndee

Monday, April 3, 2017

Training Through Injuries

I recently fell when I was running and I broke a bone in my hand.  I was one week from an ultra marathon that I had been training for.  I had fully intended to still run the marathon until I went to see the orthopedic doctor on Tuesday.  My race was Saturday and I told the doctor I didn’t want a cast so that I could run the race.  I mean I still had healthy legs and feet…..right?  He quickly brought me to reality when he said that the bone I broke in my hand was the worst bone in the body to break.  Apparently it gets very little blood flow and healing is very slow and running 12 hours was a very bad idea.  He said in fact you shouldn’t be running at all for a while.  He said if the bone
The culprit who tripped me Cash!
separated more I was looking at surgery, which for this injury is not very successful.
  If he was trying to scare me he certainly did because my career as a massage therapist was more important to me than running.  So for this runner, triathlete I was devastated.  I was put in a cast and told not to run and I clearly couldn’t swim in fact teaching my spin class was even hard at first.  When this happened I was in amazing running shape and felt like I would have had a great race.  I didn’t want to lose my fitness so I decided to do the elliptical everyday.  I kept my arm in a sling so I wasn’t moving it at all.  I had another race planned in several months so I figured 3-4 weeks off of running and doing the elliptical would have to do.  I hated the elliptical but I did it everyday up to 90 minutes some days.  I also did strength training for my lower body only.  I was back to running in 3 weeks and when I started running I felt as if I never stopped.  I was back up to running 50 miles a week in just about 3 weeks. 
Many times when people get injured they get depressed and don’t do anything.  You have to be creative but in many cases there is something you can do.  If you injure your foot then you can probably do deep-water running to maintain your fitness.  I was also able to do the recumbent bike when I injured my hand.  Most importantly don’t get frustrated and be creative. 

Train Hard.  Have Fun.  Recover Well.
Coach Cyndee