Wake up. Be brave. Repeat.®
This is my famous saying about life - everything in life as a matter of fact. It's simple, yet powerful when you learn how to live more like it. As a vegan runner for many years, I have learned a lot about life from lacing up my running shoes and hitting the dirt, pavement, or mountains. I run because it's a clear path to healing, clarity and peace. I run to explore. I run to breath the fresh, mountain air. I run because life becomes a little more vibrant and a little more carefree.
Today, there seems to be more stress and pressure in our everyday lives. We have "more stuff", we "need" to be someone we are not, emails never end, social media is everywhere, and the small things in life that were once care-free are now becoming more like tasks. When we really look at ourselves, we are our own worst critic. We allow these outside distractions to be in control and the simple things that were enjoyed so freely become lost. Take some time to really think about your life and what matters most. Learn what makes you feel free and unstressed. Let go of being perfect - it's refreshing. Here are some powerful takeaways I've learn from running that will give you positive energy and guidance to live life more simply.
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” ~Henry David Thoreau
Nutrition Tips to Kickstart a Healthier Life
Start paying more attention to what you are putting into your body. Take the time to plan ahead and build your meals around whole, plant-based foods that are minimally-processed and free of artificial ingredients, added sugars and common allergens. By taking these steps, your body can digest what you've eaten more efficiently and it can use the energy + nutrients it delivers faster and more successfully. This is called high, net-gain nutrition. Foods that are easy to digest and contain the greatest amount of each micronutrient per calorie. These foods now become functional tools to support your overall health and wellness.
Start with a new routine in the morning - eat breakfast. Eating a plant-based, whole food, nutrient-dense breakfast is important for numerous reasons because it influences pretty much every dimension of our well-being during the course of a day. This includes how we perform physically and mentally. Breakfast immediately raises our body’s energy level and restores the blood glucose level to normal after an overnight fast. It also raises the muscle and liver glycogen stores. Eat something that includes protein, complex carbs and healthy fat. So many people run for their coffee cup, but this is actually detrimental since caffeine raises cortisol. Here are two nutrient-dense, plant-based power breakfasts that are easy to make. Enjoy!
Coconut Hemp Toast
Hemp Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Hemp Chia Oatmeal
Hemp Seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
Ground Chia Seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
Coconut Oil (1-2 teaspoons)
Organic, gluten free oats
FYI NUTRITION STATS:
Hemp Seeds: complete protein
Chia Seeds: complete protein
Cinnamon: helps regulate blood sugar naturally
Coconut Oil: superfood with healthy, unique combination of fatty acids
High Net-gain Nutrition: minimized stress, more energy and better quality of sleep. Cravings diminish as you are nourishing your body with what it naturally craves - nutrients.
FYI RUNNING STAT:
In a study first published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise journal, researchers demonstrated running could create a 37 percent reduction in anxiety as measured by the Profile of Mood States (POMS) scale.
-"What If Everybody Ran? An Investigation into the Potential Impact of a National Running Movement"
The digestive system is truly the core of our well-being - involved in many processes, so it’s extremely important we keep it in order. When we do, we not only feel great, but we can perform at a level we want. If we allow our gut health to become poor, we can end up with impaired nervous and immune systems in addition to our overall hormonal function. A healthy gut health is very important as it prevents some of the more harmful microbes from passing through the small intestine.
As a vegan athlete, I make it a priority to provide my body what it needs for overall health, nourishment and athletic performance. I prefer to eat my vitamins and minerals from real food as much as possible, so I really enjoy making this “medicine/vitamin/restorative broth”, which also acts as a great detox. This approach is extremely easy on the stomach and quick to digest. I make this almost once a week throughout the year and I assure you it will quickly become a staple in your house.
Here what I do:
I gather every immune boosting, vitamin and mineral rich veggie I can find and throw them into either a soup pot or slow cooker and let them all simmer away. Before long I have the best kind of medicine; a flavorful vegan broth filled with soft, slow-cooked vegetables that soothes and nourishes.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: makes about 2 1/2 quarts of strained broth
· Hard root veggies (carrots, golden beets, radishes, turnips)
· 1 handful cilantro
· 1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley
· 3 stalks of celery
· 2 - 3 medium whole cloves of garlic, crushed
· 1 medium onion
· 1 yellow squash
· 1 bunch kale, chard or collard greens (leaves only)
· ½ cup fresh or ¼ cup dried shitake mushrooms (or a other wild mushrooms)
· 1 large piece of kombu (seaweed) - optional
· 1 - 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, skin removed and grated
· 1 - 2 inch piece of fresh turmeric, skin removed grated (or ½ tsp dried if fresh is not available)
· ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
· ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 3 quarts/12 cups filtered water
· 3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
· 1 Tablespoon of hemp oil (added after cooked)
Coarsely chop veggies into even sized pieces.
Place all the ingredients except the hemp oil and add the water to cover.
This is boundlessly adaptable and easy to make and store for when you need it.
Nourish your health and feel great, naturally! - Kristin Wuhrman
Have you ever thought about fitting OUT vs. fitting IN? If not, give it a try. You will be amazed with how you can become connected with who you really are.
Living in today's world is overwhelming with the abundance of pressure fueling us from many angles, like health, image, career and relationships - just to name a few. It's so easy to lose the "grassroots you" because of this heavy mix of "stuff" that we all think will make us better - will shape us with who we need to become - will make us happier and healthier. We've all heard the saying "it's the smaller things in life that matter most" many times, and this saying couldn't be more true. But how do we live this and let go of the expectations that weigh us down?
Here are some essential tips to help guide you:
Life should be about celebrating everyday with who you are - period. When a new "diet fad" comes out or a new "workout to change your body", etc... think about YOU first and decide if that's your path for overall health. Don't get lost in this world of information overload. Celebrate outdoors as much as possible and enjoy the beauty of what our earth offers. Stimulate your health with life - what I mean is, start making healthy choices based on living, while creating new memories with experiences. This is the REAL healthy!
MAILBOX PEAK (NEW TRAIL)
9.4 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 4000 ft.
Highest Point: 4822 ft.
Looking for a mountain hike that's longer, mixed with adventure and has a fun summit reward at the end? Gear up and hit the trailhead towards Mailbox Peak. Located near North Bend, WA, Mailbox Peak is nothing short of an adventure. The moment your foot hits the trail, switchbacks and incremental incline begin along the northwest face of Mailbox Peak as you set out for the summit.
"The old trail up Mailbox Peak was the stuff of legend. It inspired potential Rainier climbers, challenged adventurous day hikers, and occasionally Mother Nature used the trail to bite back.... While still relatively steep, this new route, built in part by WTA volunteers, offers a safer way for folks to attain the summit of this formidable peak." - WTA.org
At about 850 of elevation gain per mile, your thighs will definitely feel the burn right away, and it won't let up until you're standing next to the Mailbox. The switchbacks continue for about 4 miles, and then you will meet up and rejoin the old trail. (@ 3860 feet) This is by far the most technical part with lots of loose gravel. You might prepare to fuel up and hydrate for your final push up 960 feet of elevation (in a half mile) to reach the famous mailbox.
The views are breathtaking! Looking out to see Seattle, Bellevue and Rainier in your face...Mailbox Peak's climb so very worth it!
Don't forget to bring something to leave in the mailbox. You will find lots of interesting, unique "stuff" of all kinds.
Tips & motivators that will enhance your running in cooler temps
- Running outside is naturally free and convenient
- A true grassroots mood booster. One study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that people who exercised outdoors reported increased energy, decreased feelings of depression, and were more likely to repeat their workouts.
- Boots your immune system and keeps away the common cold. An Iowa University report showed that 45 minutes of running per day reduces the risk of contracting the flu during winter months; the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research found that winter workouts can cut your flu risk by 20 – 30%.
- Increases your speed. Staying active in colder conditions trains your body to use oxygen more efficiently. Research from Northern Arizona University found that after regular cold workouts runs, you add 29% to your running speed.
- Revs up your metabolism. Your body has to work harder when you run in the cold simply to keep you warm. This speeds metabolism and provides more energy, which help you stay sharp and focused throughout the day.
- Nurture yourself with plant-based, nutrient-dense whole foods. Within 20 minutes of completing your run, the body needs simple carbs to enter the bloodstream. This means your snack choice should contain minimal fat and protein and no fiber, since these slow the rate at which carbs enter the bloodstream. A 4:1 ratio of carbs to protein is most effective, as it will speed up glycogen replenishment (rate at which muscles absorb carb). Great choices include a recovery drink, or other near-liquid-consistency foods. These are much easier to digest, therefore requiring less energy. Ground flaxseed and hemp protein are excellent choices. You can equally use a small amount of hemp oil too as it will help repair soft-tissue damage. Read more from my article "Fueling the Runner's High".
- Stay hydrated. It seems as you wouldn't sweat as much during colder temps, but with warmer clothes and dry air, that's not the case. You may even sweat more than you would during warmer months. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after any exercise. Consider drinking something with electrolytes as well, such as coconut water.
- Dress with the right layers, but don't overdress. How many layers will depend on the degree of coldness, but in general, you want synthetic material close to your skin (wicking) and an outer layer that fights off cold wind and/or rain.
- Protect your extremities. You lose about 50% of your body heat from your head. Your head, ears, hands and feet are the first to get cold because your body pulls blood toward your core to keep you warm.
- Be safe.
- Be mindful when running in less light
- Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing a street
- Wear reflective gear or a headlamp
- Ensure that your running shoes are appropriate for wet/slippery surfaces
- Carry an I.D. or purchase a RoadID (http://www.roadid.com)
What does Miss Bellevue Vegan run with?
- Patagonia Capilene® 2 Lightweight Zip-Neck
- Patagonia Capilene® 4 Expedition Weight Zip-Neck
- Patagonia All Weather Zip-Neck Hoody
- Patagonia Alpine Houdini® Jacket
- Patagonia Velocity Running Tights
- Patagonia W's Wind Shield Hybrid Soft Shell Pants
- Brooks Ghost (for road)
- Brooks Cascadia (for trail)
- Outdoor Research Icecap Hat™ (windproof)
- Outdoor Research Prismatic Cap™ (Gore-tex)
- Outdoor Research Women's Versaliner™ (removable, waterproof outer shell)
Owner of BEVEGAN® Grassroots Health. Board Certified Holistic Health Coach. AKA Miss Bellevue Vegan. Plant-Based Health Consultant. Vegan Athlete. Outdoor Enthusiast. Outdoor Gear Reviewer. Author. Cotopaxi Local Ambassador. Animal Lover. Dreamer. Believer.