If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you…. Moving to California :)

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Howdy ho neighbors!

Wow it’s been a long long time since I posted last, over a month actually. A lot has happened in a month, good bad and indifferent. I really didn’t want to make another blog post until I had some good news to share. Let’s start first with the bad news.

So about 2 days before my triathlon I go SO SO sick with the stomach flu. I am talking projectile vomiting, nausea, fatigue, fever, the whole nine yards. I felt like I had been hit by a bus. It was horrible! And of course I was devastated because I had worked and trained so hard to do this triathlon.  The icing on the cake was that I rarely if ever get sick. It was horrible timing, wrecked my spirit for a few days, but I got back on the saddle again and I am already looking forward to racing in my next event before the year is over.

On to better news! So I was really holding on to share this news until everything was completely set in stone, I didn’t want to jump the gun, or worse yet jinx myself, but it’s confirmed, I am moving to Santa Monica California on August 3rd.

I am so fortunate to get both of the jobs that I had applied for in California which are at UCLA Medical Center, I will be working at an outpatient endocrinology office AND I also have the wonderful opportunity to work with Soul Cycle.  (company that I have blogged about in the past, but in case you forgot here is a link http://www.soul-cycle.com/soul-east/)

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Now before you go all Republican on me and tell me how liberal California is, the cost of living, the horrid traffic, etc etc. Trust me I already know all of this. I figure anywhere you live has its pros and cons, I will be so fortunate to have gorgeous weather, the beach to wake up to every day, fresh ocean breeze, endless and exciting new places to explore, it will be an adventure to say the least.

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To say that I am not terrified out of my mind would be a gross understatement. I will be moving somewhere that I know practically 0 people, being the new girl at work, small fish in the big sea so to speak. But what I have learned is that if it doesn’t scare you then you aren’t dreaming big enough. Sometimes you  just have to take a leap of faith and believe that everything is going to work out for the better. Who knows maybe Ryan Gosling will walk into my place of employment and decide that he is utterly and hopelessly in love with me.  A girl can dream can’t she?!

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 Give me about a month and I will be all settled in and will be gladly accepting visitors. COME VISIT!

The most exciting part of this adventure is getting to train and be physically active in a very physically active city, not to mention that one of my jobs is solely about fitness! Can’t wait to share my adventures and I will continue to blog about fitness nutrition etc. Looking forward to it! Wish me luck!

“Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.”
Gandhi

-ALL THE BEST

Crista

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Training Days 45-46 & “Why you should never consume energy drinks unless the world is ending and you are running from a zombie”

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It should be no surprise to anyone reading this that energy drinks are bad for you. But of course people consume things that are bad for them every day. Why do we do this to ourselves?! We overwork, stay up to late, don’t go to the gym and as a result we are very tired, so what do we reach for in the morning and once again mid afternoon?! Nasty nasty energy drinks!

Below I will talk about why energy drinks are bad for you but I also want to reiterate the fact that instead of masking your tired body and brain with more energy drinks, why don’t you look at what’s CAUSING you to be tired in the first place?!! Brilliant I know. I came up with that one all by myself.

Alright so let’s break energy drinks down so maybe you can start to understand why they are NO NO NO drinks! First let’s talk about what are in most energy drinks.

Well first they are usually carbonated and contain caffeine or other stimulants, such as ginseng and tea extracts. Oh and let’s not forget, they are loaded with sugar! While diet energy drinks contain less calories and sugar than regular varieties, they pose similar risks.

So just because it says LOWER IN SUGAR does not mean you that it’s a healthier choice or that you should consume it. Most of the time instead of sugar listed as an ingredient it will contain aspartame or something similar. Hello people! Where have you been for the last several years, artificial sweeteners are also BAD BAD BAD. Hence the word artificial! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything artificial, made in a lab, in my body.

 

 

Some of you might be thinking, well Crista, what about all the vitamins and minerals that energy drinks have?! Well my friend’s tannic acids such as those found in energy drinks block up to sixty percent of the absorption of vitamins and minerals, both from tablets and from food. 60%! That means the vitamins in them are probably not doing as much for you as taking the same amount with water. It also means that the tablets you swallow are going to flush right through your system and out the other end, unused.

The stimulants in energy drink may cause numerous digestive symptoms, including stomach ache, nausea and upset stomach. Since stimulants have a diuretic effect, the energy drinks may cause frequent need to urinate. Excessive caffeine consumption may lead to dehydration. In severe cases, dehydration leads to electrolyte imbalances—improper levels of vital bodily salts in the body that can cause heart, muscular and cognitive problems, which leads into why you should most definitely not mix energy drinks with alcohol.

Combining energy drinks with alcohol has become a growing trend in America. According to the Marin Institute, 40% percent of youth ages 12 to 17 and 55% of young adults ages 18 to 24 report routine energy drink consumption. For this reason, many alcoholic beverage companies are targeting this age group in promotion of energy drinks combined with alcohol. I won’t sit here and pretend that I have never drank a vodka red bull because believe I have had my share; however I would notice that I was getting these really funky odd heart beats after consuming such a drink. And then I woke up and realized, I WAS giving myself heart palpitations!

Regular and diet energy drinks combined with alcohol pose multiple dangers. Though people may believe that it’s harder to get drunk while drinking stimulants, what actually happens is their assessment of their intoxication is reduced.

As a result, you drink more then you should, you become dehydrate, you level of thinking is compromised, you do dumb stuff, you become irritable, oh ya and you give yourself heart problems! . Energy drinks are known to cause rapid heartbeat and blood pressure increases. Why are people voluntarily doing this to themselves?!!

Oh and check this out, you are going to love this one, in severe cases, excessive energy drink consumption has been linked with seizures, chest pain, heart attacks and sudden death. SUDDEN DEATH!!

Caffeine and other stimulants contained in energy drinks may negatively affect a person’s ability to think clearly or focus on important tasks. The effects of caffeine are temporary and do not restore restfulness attained from adequate sleep. In addition, people who consume energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages regularly are more likely to struggle with insomnia.

 

 

Hmm interesting. So you drink an energy drink because you are tired because you tossed and turned all night, and then you can’t sleep because of the energy drink that you had earlier that day. Interesting… I hope you see the never ending cycle. Oh but good news! There is something you can do other then consume energy drinks to give yourself a little extra energy.

SO what’s the big secret?! A balanced diet and exercise of course! Really its that simple, eat a little more veggies, cut out the sugars, taken an extra walk around the park with your dog or kid, the little things really add up. You will notice that just from simply changing your diet, regulating your weight, and exercising more, that you will sleep soundly like a little baby and not need those big bad nasty energy drinks.

If you don’t have the energy to do things without these beverages, talk to your doctor. Part of it may be addiction; your body has learned to depend on them. However, lack of energy is a symptom of many medical conditions, low thyroid, metabolic issues, etc etc. Listen to your body.

One last word of advice: If you have been consuming large amounts of these products, stopping abruptly will lead to one of the worst headaches you can imagine. It’s best to taper off slowly to avoid this problem. And last but certainly not least, please please do not consume energy drinks unless the world is ending and a zombie is chasing you and it is absolutely necessary to consume.

With Love

Crista

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Training Days 36-44 and SOUL CYCLE

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Happy Sunday Everyone!

It’s been a while since I last blogged, been traveling the past week so my apologizes if I left any of you hanging 🙂

As a new week approaches I reflect on this past week’s goals and accomplishments. Did I do enough? Was I strong enough? For me, I had some good days and some bad days.  I also had the opportunity to travel to California for a job interview.

I didn’t exercise near as much as I should have, however I did have the wonderful opportunity to take a spin class with the company that I was also interviewing for. The company is called Soul Cycle. Soul Cycle started in NY when two women decided that they wanted a different and better spin class experience. I had read a lot about Soul Cycle and thought I was prepared for what the spin class might entail.

This experience is completely different than any class I have ever done before, not only are you spinning to candle light, but the intensity and the energy in the room can’t be matched. The class starts with high intensity house/v dub style music.

You are spinning your legs just as fast as you can 100-110 mph. The spin instructor is highly energized and you can’t help but smile between the pain of your legs burning and your heart pounding. The instructor then asks you to ‘come out of the saddle’ AKA your seat; you are standing up and still trying to maintain the same speed. This goes on for several minutes, you are spinning, you are dancing, you are smiling, maybe even crying.

Then the crazy lady asks you to do pushups on your handle bars, lean from one side to the other, stand up, sit down, and stand up again. Phew I am getting exhausted just remembering the experience. Then the music changes, a slow steady beat and you know what’s coming, a climb. So the instructor asks you to turn your resistance up and you are slowly pedaling to your death. But all the while you are smiling for some unknown reason. Maybe it’s because the girl next to you is yelling and screaming showing how much she loves life, or maybe it’s the instructor that is doing these groovy dance moves, either way it’s exhilarating.

After the climb, and after you think you just barely survived, and you are thinking in your head ‘surely the class is close to being over’, the instructor tells you to get out your weights. “Wait a second, your weights?! What the h*%^”! I look around as everyone is grabbing weights from little baskets on the side of their bikes. So I look down and notice for the first time the little 1 pound dumbbells inside. So I grab them and follow along as we are not only spinning, (because that would be too easy) but suddenly we are incorporating hand weights into our workout for a full body experience. “Wow” , I think to myself “this class is awesome”.

The instructor then asks us who wants heavier weights and she is walking around with larger dumbbells. I am thinking to myself “1 pound dumbbells are very light I am use to working with much larger and I am no wuss”, so I ask the instructor to hand me some 5 pound dumbbells.

So there I am spinning away, smile on my face, rowing away, doing overhead presses, tricep extensions, bicep curls etc etc. Then the burn starts kicking in and the smile goes away. We are literally doing about 100 reps of each exercise, after about 30 reps, 5  pounds seems very heavy, and I have notice my very amateur mistake.

After about 10 minutes the weights go away and we finish with a very fast spin to the finish line. All in all the class was only 45 minutes long and I literally think I sweated out my body weight, even more then in bikhram yoga, if that’s possible. And even though I write about the class like it was this painful experience, I loved every minute of it.

I promise you that if you take a class like this, it will be completely different than any spin class you have ever experienced in your life. Currently the studios are only located in NY, Florida and California but it is a very fast growing company so who knows, maybe it will be in a city near you someday soon. In the mean time, fingers crossed that I get the job, I will know next week! 2 weeks left until my triathlon. Getting down to the grime now and I still haven’t successfully completed an open water swim. Bad Crista.

This week’s training will be as follows:

Monday: Body Pump (I am getting bored with my weight routine so I am going to take a class at defined and switch things up a bit) followed by a ¾ mile swim

Tuesday: Spin Class

Wednesday: Running and Yoga/Pilates Mat

Thursday: Road biking to gym, swim ½ mile at gym, ride home

Friday: Body Pump again

Saturday: Running

Sunday: Road Biking/Short run

I have posted a link to soul cycle website for anyone that wants to check it out, plus a video. soul cycle was on Live with Regis and Kelly!

http://www.soul-cycle.com/soul-west/Image

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=soul+cycle+you+tube&view=detail&mid=3DFDF6B7D99139FDF7DC3DFDF6B7D99139FDF7DC&first=21

If you don’t do what’s best for your body, you’re the one who comes up on the short end. – Julius Erving

Hope everyone has a fabulous week!

With Love

Crista

Training Days 32-35: 3 signs that its time to switch up your workout routine

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HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!

Hope you had a fantastic week! Staying really busy and active over in my neck of the woods. Really exciting things happening, will keep you update on that later. But for now let’s talk fitness!

Here is what this week’s workout look liked:

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: Bike ride to the gym, about 8 miles each way with a 1000 meter swim in between.

Wednesday: Sprints and Weight Training

Thursday: Bike Ride

Friday: Swim and Run

Tomorrow is another bike riding day, and then Sunday a long run.

Today I would like to give you some fitness tips on how to switch up your daily exercise routine. When you started a regular exercise program, whether to lose weight or improve your overall health, your enthusiasm and motivation were high. Even though exercise wasn’t the most exciting activity you had experienced, you began feeling better and seeing results from your hard work. You managed to get yourself out of bed early, to squeeze in a little gym time each day, and stick to your plan without much effort.

But then slowly, the novelty began to wear off. You started finding reasons to sleep in and found “better” things to do with your time. Then before you realized it, you had missed a whole week and your drive to continue was missing in action.

Is this common scenario just another motivation issue? Probably not. Could something else be getting in the way of the excitement and effectiveness of your previously-rewarding workouts?

The answer is yes! Luckily, you can learn to identify the signs that it’s time to shake-up your workout routine so you can remain consistent and enthusiastic about exercise. Here are three of the most common signs and what you can do to get back on track:

 

1.      Your workout bores you.
You used to like walking on the treadmill, so why do you dread your workout each day? It’s easy to get bored if you stick with the same routine for too long. Sometimes it helps to add variety to your walks. For example, try taking your workout outside, adding speed intervals, putting new music on your iPod or bringing a friend along. If all of that isn’t enough, then maybe it’s time to try a new activity. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to try biking or are interested in a new class at your local gym. Change can help keep your workouts fun and interesting, giving you something to look forward to. And that is exactly what will keep you coming back for more.

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2.      Your workout isn’t giving you results anymore.

 

Someone who does the same activity all the time is likely to plateau much sooner than someone who varies her workouts. Just as you can get bored by always doing the same exercises, your body can also adapt to these exercises so that they don’t offer the same benefits that they once did. A little variety might be just the thing you need to get the scale moving again or bust through that strength plateau. “Variety” means either changing something about your current routine (adding speed, distance, hills, resistance, etc.) or trying a totally different activity. This will keep your muscles challenged, your body guessing, and the results coming!

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  1. 3.      Your workout is no longer challenging.
    Running a 10-minute mile, for example, becomes easier as time goes on. If your workouts aren’t challenging you anymore, it can be helpful to wear a heart rate monitor. Your heart rate will change over time as you become more fit. By using a heart rate monitor, you’ll know to change up or intensify your routine, and ensure that you’re working in your target heart rate zone. Challenging your body improves your fitness level and can also provide a sense of accomplishment as you become stronger and work toward your goals.

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Changing your workout routine whenever these signs arise will help keep your motivation high as you work to improve your fitness level. The key is to pay close attention to how you’re feeling both physically and mentally. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore that you dread, but something that makes you feel good about yourself!

 

ADDED BONUS: Here is one of my favorite no bake protein bar recipes. They are perfect to eat right after a workout.

2 cups quick cooking oats

½ cup peanut butter (look for the ones without hydrogenated oil)

4 scoops vanilla protein powder

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

½ cup water

Knead all ingredients in a large bowl. Line square baking pan with wax paper. Spread dough into pan using a spatula. Spread thin later of addition peanut butter on top (optional)

Freeze for at least 30 minutes.

Remove and Enjoy!

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These little babies have 15 grams of protein per serving, packed full of dietary fiber and have very little sugar compared to store bought protein bars! Optional: Add raisins, nuts, dark chocolate chips or other dried fruits.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

With love

-Crista

 

 

 

Training Day 29,30 & 31 HIIT TRAINING

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High Intensity Interval Training

Happy Monday Everyone!

Hope everyone had a happy and productive weekend, hopefully you found some time to do something for yourself.

Friday was a sprint and swimming day, which meant that my boyfriend and I drove to the local high school and ran around the track. We started with a casual 400 meter run (which is one lap in case you forgot). Then we decided to do 6- 200 meter sprints with 200 meter jogs in between each sprint. Not an easy task, refer to my “why you should sprint” blog.  So to say the lease by the third sprint I literally thought I was going to die. Not to mention that it was high noon and I was sweating my ass off. But I made it, all six 200 meter sprints.

After the run it was swimming time. Six was the magic number today, so I did 6- 50 meter sprints with 10 second rest in between each 50 meters. By the end of the day I slept like a baby. Saturday was a bike ride and swim. I finally made the plunge and put clip-ins on my bike and for my birthday my mom bought me some pretty sweet road bike shoes. I have been putting off getting road biking shoes for a while because I am terrified of falling off of my bike while clipped in. So Saturday was my bike clipping in practice day. My boyfriend’s dad rode with me and coached me of the proper biking technique, it took a couple tries and a few close calls with a couple semis but I figured it out.

Towards the end of the bike ride I came up to a stop sign, practiced clipping my right foot out, according to protocol, and instigively leaned to the left. Keep in mind my left foot was still clipped in which resulted in me losing my balance and falling over. It was all kind of in slow motion, I think I was laughing all the way down realizing that I had made a typical biking rooky mistake. Other than a few scrapes on my hand and knees I was fine. A few crash and burns are to be expected while on a road bike, I am sure I have more battle wound stories ahead of me.

At the end of the bike ride:

Sunday was a beautiful hike in Vallecito Colorado, a nice hilly 10 miles round trip. Today was rest day, but this is what the rest of the week looks like.

Tuesday: Bike and Swim

Wednesday: Weights and Sprints HIIT

Thursday: Running

Friday: Swim and Weights

Saturday: Bike

Sunday: Running

Tonight I would like to talk about the benefits of High Intensity Interval Training, AKA HIIT training. Keep in mind that HIIT Training isn’t for the faint of heart or for rookies. A true HIIT training session is quick and very difficult. So don’t start this kind of workout if you are just now trying to get back into shape. With that disclaimer I will answer the question all of you might be wondering, what is HIIT training?!

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is cardio performed at such an intense level that your body will spend the rest of the day expending energy to recover from the ass-kicking you gave it. This is commonly referred to as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) and it means that you consume a great deal more oxygen recovering from the exercise bout than you would have if you’d just done a steady-state workout.

This means that you will be burning up to nine times fatter while sitting on the couch later that night than you would have if you’d spent an hour on the treadmill at a moderate pace.

Obviously, I am talking about intense training. You will need to push yourself out of that comfort zone you have gotten used to and really challenge yourself. If you are willing to do this, however, I can guarantee that you will spend less than half the time you usually do on those machines and get much leaner in the process.

What are the benefits of HIIT?!

HIIT training has a number of benefits in addition to the reduction in training time. First of all when you perform long-duration, moderate-intensity exercise, you can actually put yourself in a catabolic state in which you will start losing muscle mass. That’s right: Some of that hard-earned muscle will start degrading itself in your quest to get lean.

The reason is that there are two types of muscle fibers in your body: fast twitch and slow twitch.

Slow twitch fibers are more compatible with endurance training (such as a steady-state one-hour run), whereas fast twitch fibers are more compatible with short, intense bouts of exercise (such as weightlifting or sprinting).

When we train in one of these modes, our muscle tissue has a tendency to take on the appropriate properties. As an illustration, remember the illustration of the marathon runner and the sprinter I talked about last week? The sprinter is composed of fast twitch muscles and carries a great deal more muscle mass, whereas the marathoner has a lot of thin, slow twitch muscle fibers so that his body is as light as possible to transport across those great distances.

This is going to the extreme to prove a point; however, you can see where I am going with this. Bottom line try doing some HIIT training exercises next time in your gym. Mark my word, after just a few you will be crying like a little girl but so will your body fat.

There are a few different ways to do HIIT training.

You can either do all-out sprints or you can do sprints that are just below your VO2 max (approx 80% of your max heart rate) for a slightly longer period with an adequate recovery as well.

For the first option, warm up at a comfortable intensity for 5 minutes. Then, give your maximum effort for 15 to 30 seconds, followed by a 2-minute recovery. You can walk during the recovery or you can just take it down to a very light jog, depending on your current level of fitness. More than likely, though, you will be going so hard that you will need to walk during the recovery. Perform between 6 and 10 of these intervals, and finish with a cool down.

For the second option, do the same warm-up as in the first option, and then sprint at approximately 80% of your maximum intensity for 45 seconds to 1½ minutes. Follow this with a 1- to 2-minute recovery period. You may find that your recovery periods are shorter since you aren’t running quite as intensely as in the first option. Repeat this sequence for 5 to 8 intervals, and follow it with a cool down.

GOOD LUCK!

With Love

-Crista

Training Day 27 – 28 / Organic vs Conventional food

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HAPPY THURSDAY!

Nothing new to report over here, just training day in day out, reminding myself that today is the last day of May which means in 4 weeks from tomorrow I have to run an Olympic length triathlon. No big deal, I got this. Went to the gym this morning and got in a good full body strength training session. A bike ride was scheduled for this afternoon but I took my little puggle out for a 10 minute walk and I thought I was going to die in this heat. I don’t do well exercising in the heat. Which is pretty much a lousy excuse but I honestly think I would rather poke myself in the eye then run in the heat.

Living in phoenix for 2 years can do that to a person. Making it completely and utterly painful to run in warm weather. Bike ride rescheduled early tomorrow morning, oh and I still have to swim and sprint. Long day tomorrow, I better get to bed early.

Today I would like to talk about organic vs conventional foods. Once found only in health food stores, organic food is now a regular feature at most supermarkets. And that’s created a bit of a dilemma in the produce aisle. On one hand, you have a conventionally grown apple. On the other, you have one that’s organic. Both apples are firm, shiny and red. Both provide vitamins and fiber, and both are free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. Which should you choose?

Conventionally grown produce generally costs less, but is organic food safer or more nutritious? Get the facts before you shop.

Conventional vs. organic farming

The word “organic” refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products and meat. Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution. Farmers who grow organic produce and meat don’t use conventional methods to fertilize, control weeds or prevent livestock disease. For example, rather than using chemical weed-killers, organic farmers may conduct more sophisticated crop rotations and spread mulch or manure to keep weeds at bay.

Do ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ mean the same thing?

No, “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable terms. You may see “natural” and other terms such as “all natural,” “free-range” or “hormone-free” on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don’t confuse them with the term “organic.” Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.

Are there downsides to buying organic?

One common concern with organic food is cost. Organic foods typically cost more than do their conventional counterparts. Higher prices are due, in part, to more expensive farming practices.
Most Important Foods To Buy Organically
Strawberries
Rice
Oats
Milk
Bell Peppers
Bananas
Green Beans
Peaches
Apples

5 Foods You Don’t Need To Buy Organic:

Seasonal
 Spring favorites like asparagus, avocado, sweet peas, grapefruit, onions and cabbage
Year Round
The five cleanest fruits and veggies are onions, avocado, sweet corn, pineapple and mango.


How to find organic foods

Look for labels that say “Certified Organic.” Labels such as “All-Natural” or “Naturally grown” are fine and well, but they are NOT the same as certified organic—which demands the fulfillment of certain regulations. Producers and handlers must be certified by a USDA-accredited certifying agent to sell, label, or represent their products as “100 percent “organic,” “organic,” or “made with organic.”

Some things are more important to buy organic than others. Some fruits and vegetables require very few pesticides for growth or–due to tough skins or peels–absorb fewer residues, while others are sprayed with more, and act like sponges, absorbing residues that are difficult to wash off entirely.

Bottom line organic foods have been shown to have less pesticides then conventional foods, but not all foods that you eat need to be organic. Organic food are expensive and you shouldn’t waste you money on an organic product when you don’t have to. Do you research and find out what products your family eats the most.

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“Ask yourself: Can I give more? The answer is usually yes.” -Paul Tergat

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HAPPY WEDNESDAY, HAPPY HUMP DAY AND SALUTATIONS

It has been 6 days since my last post, a busy busy memorial weekend combined with a birthday makes for a delayed blog posting. I have however been keeping up with my exercise and I write this to you as I have just finished a HIIT exercise via body rock and via my living room.

Friday was my birthday and I started it with a morning workout, weights and swimming 800 meters, then off to camping for the weekend. Saturday was a 4 mile hike, and sunday a 10 mile run in Durango CO.

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Monday was a rest day and yesterday was a failed adventure.

It my boyfriends bright idea to run from my house to Farmington Lake, approx 2 miles each way, then once we get to Farmington Lake put our wet suits on and hop in for a swim. Keep in mind this would have been my first open water swim EVER! So I put on my wet suit scared silly but I am optimistic and trying to not think about the fish or other creepy crawlys that might be lurking below.

I get as far as the top of my waist in the freezing cold water when my nerves start to get the best of me. I freak out, I run back to shore all the while my boyfriend is laughing at what a sissy I am. Did I mention that the water was freezing?! I refuse to go back in. I say that I am not ready. How in the world am I going to be swimming a mile in this water in less then a month?!!! AHHH! I pack the wet suit back and head for home. Wanting to head to the gym and just swim in the clear clean water of an indoor pool.

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I shall return to the lake tomorrow hoping to recapture my dignity. Wish me luck.

The rest of the week looks as follows:

Thursday: Weights and 60 minute Bike Ride

Friday: Swim and Sprints

Saturday: 90 minute Bike Ride

Sunday: 6 mile run

Since running my 10 mile race in Durango Sunday I want to talk about the benefits of running. People sometimes think I am crazy for casually talking about a 10 mile run as if I went for a stroll around the park. To be honest with you if someone told me 3 years ago that I would be running half marathons and triathlons I would think they were crazy. Exercise isn’t something that you develop a love or need for overnight it takes time. Now I love running, running creates a freeing and exhilarating feeling that not many other things can match. Aside from the way it mentally makes me feel, running also has many other health benefits.

Did you know that on average you burn approx 100 calories for every mile that you run?! Running also helps lower blood pressure by maintaining the elasticity of the arteries. As a person runs, his or her arteries expand and contract more than usual, keeping the arteries elastic and the blood pressure low. In fact, most serious runners have unusually low blood pressure. Running also helps maximize the lungs’ potential, as it keeps them strong and powerful. While deep breaths force the lungs to use more tissue, the 50% of normally unused lung potential is utilized. Finally, running strengthens the heart and helps prevent heart attacks. The large muscle exercise it provides helps keep the cardio system efficient and strong. In fact, the heart of an inactive person beats 36,000 more times each day than that of a runner, as running keep the arteries open and the blood flowing smoothly.

Running is also one of the cheapest forms of exercise, all you need is a good pair of running shoes. I suggest going to a store that specializes in running shoes. Most stores will have an expert watch your gait (the way you walk or run) and give you feed back accordingly. They say to replace your shoes every 200 miles, or approximately 4 months depending how often you run.

On the flip side running can be very jolting and taxing on the body, its important that if you choose to use running as a form of exercise, that you also combine it with strength training and some other form of exercise that is lower impact on your joints, yoga, swimming etc. That constant pounding, wear and tear so to speak on your knees, hips, ankles, lower back etc can be very painful on your joints if they arent supported by the correct shoes, or if you aren’t correctly training or stretching. Remember to only stretch when your muscles are warm and give your body time to cool down after running by slowly walking and catching your breath.

So head to the store, invest in a good pair of shoes and get out running! If you are new to running then start with the couch to 5 K program. Its an easy to follow schedule that will show you how to start from walking to running 3 miles in just a few weeks. Keep up the training and send me warm fuzzy vibes, I only have 30 days left!

With Love

Crista

Training days 22 – 26 / Benefits of Running