Monday, June 30, 2014

Got protein?

Turn on any TV channel and you're sure to come across a news program with a segment on healthy eating that includes eating a large amount of protein. You may even come across a commercial for a product with added protein, such as the one I saw the other day from Cheerios. New! Cheerios with added protein! Really?

I'm not indicating that protein is bad and we shouldn't eat it. Far from it. Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients that round out our diet, along with fats and carbohydrates. But honestly, there's a bit too much emphasis on getting enough protein. Why? Because the average person actually gets TOO much protein, and not from the best sources. Without all the added protein to cereals, protein drinks, protein bars and protein shakes, we can actually get enough protein from good old fashioned real food. More on the real food thing in a bit.

How are we eating TOO much protein, you may ask? Let's back up to determine your actual protein needs. According to the Institute of Medicine, the average person needs about 0.8g of protein per kg of body weight per day. To convert your weight in pounds to kilograms, take your weight and divide by 2.2. Or, if you're not feeling the math, you can estimate your protein needs at 0.36g of protein per 1 lb of body weight. For a 150lb person, your protein needs are about 54g per day. Remember, this is for the average person. If you're reading this blog, chances are you're not sedentary and your protein requirements are a bit higher. Before you go eat that 30oz steak, your needs don't increase dramatically until you enter endurance athlete, triathlete or bodybuilder territory. But for the average runner, running a few hours in total a week, increasing your protein intake to 0.5-0.6g per lb of body weight is sufficient. This means for a 150lb person, you should be eating around 90g of protein per day. Of course, your needs will change based on the time on your feet, the intensity of your workouts, your weight, menstruation for women and more.

Now that you can determine your protein requirements, you can see where you may be getting more protein than necessary. So many people are adding protein bars and shakes to their daily foods. In theory, this is good. You need protein to build muscle and it's especially important to have protein after a workout. However, it's important not to have too much protein. A protein bar or shake can have over 20g of protein per serving. For the average person, this can equal 1/4 of their total protein requirements for a day. And that's just in one snack. Add eggs for breakfast, a chicken breast for dinner, peanut butter sandwich or other protein source for another snack, and you're well over the needed amount of protein. This doesn't mean you don't have those other protein sources in order to have your protein shake. It means you don't need that much protein in one single snack. Have half a serving right after your workout and the other half later in the day.

What happens if you eat too much protein? First and foremost, eating more protein that what your body requires is the one of the best ways to gain weight. Excess protein is not stored as protein in the body; it's stored as fat. So excess amounts of protein, in addition to normal dietary calories, will likely cause any weight gain to be in the form of fat (instead of muscle). What's more, if you continually eat more protein than what your body needs, it may affect your kidney function. Protein metabolism is dependent on water consumption to not only metabolize the protein but to rid the body of the by-products of metabolism, all of which involves the kidneys; excess protein intake increases your need to hydrate, which is not usually taken into consideration as one increases their protein consumption. The result is stress on the kidneys, dehydration (something runners already have a hard time dealing with, especially here in dry San Diego) and depletion of important minerals such as calcium, increasing your risk of stress fractures in the short-term and osteoporosis in the long-term. The potential kidney issues from excess protein isn't that much of a concern for healthy athletes, but the dehydration and mineral-loss issues are.

I always tell my clients they should get the nutrients they need from real, whole foods. Getting their nutrients from items with "added" anything, indicates it's not a natural form of that nutrient. This includes protein. Having a protein bar, drink, shake, supplement, etc., is not having protein in its natural state, whether animal- or plant-based. Getting your nutrients from natural sources also ensures you're getting all the vital vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly. If you rely too much on protein supplements and powders, commercially-made products with added protein and consume them in addition to your regular foods that naturally contain protein, you may run into some excess protein problems. Instead, rely on real, whole foods for your protein needs and use the supplements, bars and powders for when real food isn't an option (for times when you're stuck in a submarine, perhaps).

Here's a list of great real-food protein sources (according to the USDA):

Animal Products
3 oz white chicken (breast, wing) - 25g
3 oz lean beef - 21g
3 oz white fish (cod, mahi mahi, tilapia) - 20g
1 large egg - 6-7g

Soy Products
4 oz firm tofu - 20g
1/2 cup tempeh - 16g
1 cup soy milk - 10g

Beans and Legumes 
1 cup cooked lentils - 18g
1 cup cooked kidney beans - 17g
1 cup cooked black beans - 15g
1 cup cooked chickpeas - 14.5g
2 tbs peanut butter - 8g
1 cup cooked peas - 8g

Nuts and Seeds
1 oz almonds - 6g
1 oz cashews - 4.5g
1 oz pumpkin seeds - 8.5g
1 oz chia seeds - 4.7g
1 oz hemp seeds - 10g
1 oz ground flax seeds - 5g

1 cup, low-fat milk - 8g
1 container low-fat Greek yogurt - 17g
1 mozzarella string cheese - 7g

1 cup cooked spinach - 5g
1 cup cooked broccoli - 5-6g

1 cup cooked quinoa - 8g
1 cup cooked oatmeal - 6g
2 slices whole-wheat bread - 8g (check your label)
1 cup cooked bulgur - 6g
2 slices sprouted grain bread such as this one that you can get in Trader Joe's- 10g
1 cup asparagus - 3g
1 cup Brussels sprouts - 3g
1 medium potato - 5g
1 medium sweet potato - 4g

There are plenty of foods here that will ensure you get 100% of your protein requirements with out an ounce of protein supplement!

Happy eating!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Awesome Training Program + Massage = Happy, Successful Runners!

We are excited to announce that we're partnering with Perfect Balance Therapeutic Massage for our upcoming 10K and Half Marathon Program!

We've worked with Chris from Perfect Balance before and we really believe in the work she and her studio do. They believe in addressing not only your muscular issues from running (or whatever sport you may participate in), but also addressing the tension you may feel from other stresses in your life. In general, massage helps to increase circulation, boost your immune system, help you sleep better and so much more. For runners, massages are essential. I try to get a massage at least once a month. I don't consider it a luxury. It's an absolute part of my training because massage helps speed recovery, reduce muscles soreness and facilitate injury healing. That's why we're including a massage as part of our upcoming training program.

When you register for the program, your registration fee includes a 40-minute sports massage with Perfect Balance that you schedule at your convenience. You will also receive a discount on a second massage for after the race. It's all about keeping you healthy and injury free!

What:      12 Week 10K and Half Marathon Running Program
When:     August 24th through November 16th, 2014,
Kick off meeting August 17th at 9:00am at Perfect Balance Therapeutic Massage in San Marcos, CA
Where:    Moonlight Beach - Encinitas, CA 
Time:       Every Sunday at 8:00AM for both groups(some runs will meet on Saturdays instead, dates TBD)
Price:      $150 (race registration is not included) 

Program Logistics: We will meet Sundays starting 8/24 at 8:00am for both groups. The groups will be training for the Celebration Run 10K and Half Marathon on November 16, 2014. The cost of the program is $150 which includes a detailed 12-week training program, weekly coached runs, information seminars (including info on running form, nutrition, injury prevention and more), a 40-minute sports massage, discount on a second massage after the race, discounts on running gear, product samples, a technical t-shirt and much more! Race registration isn't included in the program fee but all program participants will receive a special discount off race registration. But you must register for the program to receive it! 

Come to the Kickoff Meeting at Perfect Balance Therapeutic Massage on August 17 at 9:00am to learn more about the program, meet your coach, receive all your program goodies and meet your fellow runners. Light refreshments will be served. 

For more info, check out our website. Please feel free to email me with any questions!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The best way to see a new town...

My family and I recently got back from a long weekend in Palm Springs. None of us had been and with school just getting out for my oldest and my parents visiting (who are also PS newbies), we figured a weekend there would be a great kick-off to summer.

We rented a house through Airbnb, which was a great experience. You create an account, search for what you're looking for, and viola, a list of great places to stay appear. The house we chose turned out to leave much to be desired and the owner wasn't exactly helpful when we encountered problems during our stay, but that's another blog post for another time. Regardless, I do recommend using Airbnb for your next vacation.

We arrived on a Thursday night, had dinner and settled into our place. I was planning on doing a long run Friday morning but when it was 85 degrees by the time I was ready to run in the morning, I bagged it. I am not heat acclimated by any stretch of the imagination and I didn't really want a crash course in it while running in a strange town. I figured I'd get out earlier on Saturday morning.

Though, I do love running in a town I've never been. It is a great way to explore. Most people find themselves ditching their fitness routine while on vacation because they're either not familiar enough with their surroundings to go or they feel that, because they're on vacation, they don't have time/are having too much fun/want to relax/insert excuse here. We've all done it. But, your running doesn't have to take a vacation just because you do. Just as with every single aspect of life, a little preparation goes a long way to staying on track. And stalking celebrities is great motivation for a hot desert run :)

Part of the reason why we chose Palm Springs is the celebrity factor. Ok, part of the reason I chose Palm Springs. I believe I've mentioned before how I am a closet celebrity stalker. No, I don't climb fences (yet) or follow celebs as they're walking down the street (wait...I have done that). But I like the aura of celebrities, their "real" stories and mystique combined, and being in the vicinity of celebrities fuels my obsession. Now, with that said, I've wanted to go to PS for ages because of the old Hollywood connection. Palm Springs gained popularity as a Hollywood Hideaway, with many stars heading there for a retreat from filming in LA. Production houses used to grant their stars time off but gave them a 2-hour rule: they could go away but only within a 2-hour radius of the studio in case they were needed for filming in a jiffy. With it being less than 2 hours from LA, and too hot for it to be a tourist haven, Palm Springs became a go-to place for celebs.

As we were lounging by the pool Friday afternoon, I did a little research into Palm Springs history and sites of interest. My BFF Google did not disappoint and I found a plethora of info, including lists and lists of addresses of homes of stars. This website gave me the most info. Is it all true? Who knows but I don't really care. These were homes they owned, rented, walked through, looked at, etc. So, obsession fully ignited, I mapped out a route to see many, many celebrity homes and decided, "to hell with the desert heat and my lack of heat acclimation! There are celebrity homes to see!" Therefore, as a service to my celebrity stalking brethren, here is my running tour of Palm Springs. Keep in mind many of these homes are hidden behind gates and bushes but it's still exciting :) And, as a side note, I may add running tours to my list of services :)

The order of homes is in the order I ran to them. The total mileage from where I began back to my house was 9 miles.

Liberace 226 Alejo Rd/501 Belardo
Kind of lackluster and obviously under construction.

Frank Sinatra 1148 E Alejo Rd
This was Sinatra's first place in Palm Springs. It was called "Twin Palms." It has a long and sordid history and Sinatra ultimately had to fork it over to Ava Gardner when they divorced. You can rent it out for a hefty price.

Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh 650 Tachevah Dr
When I was doing my research, this came up as their home and I included it along my route. However, I now believe their home was a different address entirely. Not sure who lived here but let's pretend it was Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh :)

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz 1194 N. Via Miraleste
Who doesn't love Lucy? Couldn't see much and I really considered peeking through the door and around the gate here but decided it was in my best interest not to.

Judy Garland 334 Hermosa Place

Ronald Reagan 369 Hermosa Place (right across from Judy)

Elizabeth Taylor 417 Hermosa Place
This was beautiful and definitely one of my favorites. I wish I could get more of the front of the house. Damn privacy hedges and gates and stones!

Barbara Streisand 555 Portencio Rd.
The photos don't do this house justice. It's built up on a mini-mountain and is very expansive. It's definitely a more modern-day celeb home. But you know what else is so f-ing cool? This house was used in filming one of the Palm Springs episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210. I am dying that I was able to see a piece of history from one of my all-time fave shows. This is all according to this website, but I am taking it as truth. Don't you judge me or my 90210 love.

Babs' own mini mountain hideaway

House used in Oceans 11, filmed in 2001
Honestly, this isn't the best picture. For all I know, it's of some random house that no one famous at all even looked at. But considering Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell were next door neighbors, I'm thinking it's pretty cool regardless.

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell 550 Via Lola

Liberace #2 1441 Kaweah Road

Everyone should have a piano for a mailbox!

And a Statue of Liberty in their backyard!

Barry Manilow 780 Via Las Palmas
I only was able to get to see one of his houses. This one was definitely lackluster.

Elvis and Pricilla's Honeymoon House 1350 Ladera Circle
This house is just so cool! In addition to my run, I also brought my mom to the house because she was a pretty huge Elvis fan (still is, though she won't admit it for some reason). We were greeted by Elvis himself. They do tours of the house each day and we showed up right as they were beginning one. We didn't take it but we could see into the house and out to the pool in the back. Super cool! For more info you can see the Elvis Honeymoon house online.

It's not everyday you walk up the front steps to a home and get greeted by Elvis.

 View of Elvis inside the house (with my reflection in the window as my mom took the photo)

Inside the house as Elvis was giving his tour. The pool is right outside that room. 

Marilyn Monroe 1326 Rose Ave.
You can't see him, but there was a large dog on the porch behind that gate. I didn't want to get too close and have him start barking. I didn't have time to get thrown in jail that day.

Nat King Cole 1258 Rose Ave.
He and Marilyn were just two houses apart.

Linda Carter and John Phillips from the Mamas and the Papas (though not at the same time)
695 Stevens Rd

Debbie Reynolds 670 Stevens Rd

Magda Gabor 590 West Chino Canyon Rd
The Gabor sisters all had houses together. West Chino Canyon and Panorama met in a T. Zsa Zsa and Magda's houses were across from one another and Eva's house was across from Zsa Zsa's where the vertical part of the T met the horizontal. Does that make sense? :) And Magda's house was super low key and kind of ugly compared to her sisters'.

Zsa Zsa Gabor 595 West Chino Canyon Rd.
This one was definitely one of my favorites. Really pretty.

Eva Gabor 700 Panorama Rd

Elvis 845 West Chino Canyon Rd
This was the home that Elvis owned in Palm Springs. I believe you could take a tour at some point but I don't think you can anymore. It was kind of disappointing. I expected more extravagant. It's very secluded so I imagine there were some crazy things that happened here.

Notice the image of Elvis's face on the house number

And this concludes the Celebrities of Palm Springs Running Tour. If you were to place all of these houses on a map together, you'd see just how close they all were to each other, many of them direct neighbors. I like to image many of them here at the same time, house hopping and having the absolute best parties.

There were tons of houses I could have photographed and placed here, but I can only add so many photos :) I'll just have to go back and do a sequel.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Smooth as a baby's bottom...

If you're a runner, you know the awful truth of chafing. In fact, there really isn't much worse than when you step into the shower after a run and your skin screams with pain as the water hits it. Often, it's the skin in some already sensitive spot. For me, I tend to chafe on my sternum right where the band of my sports bra hits it. I don't know why. But that spot has haunted most of my running career. I have tried every anti-chafe product on the market. I've tried super goop made for surfers' wet suits. I've tried chamois cream for cyclists. Nothing has ever worked for me. I ultimately resigned myself to a life of screaming in the shower after every sweaty run.

Recently I "met" Vito LaBella, with Foot Kinetics, an Encinitas-based company that makes barrier creams for runners, walkers and hikers. Vito is a fellow ultra runner and just finished his first 50-miler, the PCT 50 in May. We were "talking" over Twitter and he asked me to give their RunGoo product a try. My chafed skin and I were eager at the thought of something new to try that may help heal the hideousness.

Vito sent over full tubes of RunGoo for me to try. The first thing I noticed was the pretty awesome applicator. Most anti-chafe products require you to apply it directly with your hands. This is fine, in theory. But then you're covered in it and have a hard time getting it off since they're made to repel moisture. This applicator prevents that from happening because you can apply as thick of a layer as possible without ever having to touch it.

Speaking of a think layer, you don't need to apply one for RunGoo to be effective. I experimented over the course of a few longer runs to see how much I would need. I would say the best amount, for me, is about 1/4 of a teaspoon. I put it on using the applicator and I did not rub it in. I then placed my bra band directly on the cream and went on my merry way. It's a really creamy and silky texture that feels nice on the skin. There was no chafing at all after my run! I used it on a short 3-miler, a 6-miler and a 13-mile run. I didn't have any issues and I'm really looking forward to more chafe-free days :)

I also tried it on my feet. I have a callus on the ball of my right foot that sometimes gets a blister (don't judge my runners feet). I applied some RunGoo to the callus before my runs and noticed very little, if any, blistering (sometimes it's hard to tell right away).

I would definitely recommend RunGoo to any of my clients or friends. I would also recommend using it for non-running activities where you have chafing problems. Try it on your feet, your waist band and bra band, arm pits (sometimes when you run sleeveless, your arm rubs against your arm pit and chafes), your legs and your feet. Anywhere! You can get it right from Foot Kinetics' website or at select stores across the US.

I'm going to give away 2 full-sized tubes of the stuff to anyone that leaves a comment here, retweets this blog post or leaves a comment on our Facebook post about RunGoo. Get your entries in by Monday, 6/9 at 9:00pm PDT (only one method per person, please).