As a runner, it’s always a bitter sweet moment when you retire your old sneakers and bring in the new ones. All of the miles, trails, thoughts, scenery, conversations with yourself, and quiet time you and your sneakers enjoyed together are priceless, however parting ways is necessary as your running kicks aren’t built to last forever.
How do you know if yours are ready for retirement or if they still have some solid mileage left in them? Logging miles in worn-out sneakers not only slows you down, but it can also increase your risk of injury.
How about the Shock Absorption?
It can be difficult to tell with the midsole foam, which is the part of the shoe that gives your legs that “springy” feeling with each step. Pay attention to deterioration by placing your shoes on a flat table and examining them from behind.
Two Pairs Are Better Than One
Your sneakers need rest! Why? The midsole foam needs time to return to its original shape. The more compressed the foam, the more strain on your feet and lower legs with each step. If you mix up your running with trail running, having a pair of trail runners helps with this!
"New running shoes are exciting! Pumped after logging in new miles with my new Brooks Ghost 7!" - Kristin
Green superfood oats! Nutrient-rich: vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, enzymes. Enjoy for a power-packed vegan breakfast! I make this often the night before an early morning hike.
Looking for a rockin' nutrient-dense cereal that stores great, is cost effective, and a blast to make? Here comes the Superfood Hippie Cereal! A perfect DIY vegan, gluten free, grain free snack (or small meal) packed with plant protein, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, plus is very low in sugar, and even has some omegas thrown in.
How Plant-Based Nutrition Fuels Peak Performance
I’ve been a vegan for many years – back to when a vegan lifestyle was only for earth-loving hippies. Veganism has gained popularity over the past ten years or so. There is more awareness and education around the effects that factory farming has on our planet, as well as what’s going on with over-consumption and mass production. A lot has changed. Science is now supporting plant-based diets for optimal health, and Veganism has even been gaining popularity among athletes. As a vegan athlete myself, I often get asked common questions, such as: “How are you not anemic? How come you never get sick? Where do you get your protein? How do you have enough energy to run as much as you do?” I love this dialogue and being an example that contradicts the misconceptions that a plant-based diet can improve strength, performance and overall health.
The Fueling Phases: Before, During, and After
The most important factor is digestibility and food requires energy to digest. Since energy is vital, you want to have control with how you spend it. Many foods take large amounts of energy to digest, so choose foods that are high in net gain. Net gain refers to the useable nutrition the body is left with once the food is digested and assimilated. If food hasn’t been digested completely, you can cramp easily. Proper plant-based nutrition will provide you with a solid eating plan loaded with foods that are high in net gain.
Consume food providing a combination of complex carbs, fats, and proteins. A great choice includes DIY Superfood Cereal (recipe below). Be sure to also hydrate with 16-32 oz. of water.
3/4 cup buckwheat groats
3/4 cup chia seeds
3/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried or dehydrated apples, finely chopped
1/2 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Add everything together, stir, and store in airtight jar. When ready to enjoy, add 1/4 cup to bowl and pour about 1/3 cup plant-based milk of choice, and let sit for 3-5 minutes to soften. Top with pumpkin seeds and fresh fruit of choice if you’d like. Enjoy!
Never allow yourself to become hungry or thirsty. If you can tackle this, you will be a true, performing rock star. Nutrition during prolonged activity requires the proper mix and timing. For example, too little fluid or the wrong carbohydrates can result in cramping and other intestinal problems you would rather not experience.
Fuel your body with clean, plant-based foods that are easy to digest. Be sure to include fats, proteins, and carbohydrate-rich choices. Protein will complement the carbohydrate, allowing it to enter the bloodstream at a steady rate, thus delaying the onset of hunger and sustaining energy levels. Much of the real energy comes from carbs and fat. Fat is the longer-lasting energy source and is needed most during endurance activities. Fat also supports brain health, helps maintain body warmth, keeps the joints lubricated, aids in recovery and minimizes the inflammatory processes.
Some great choices include:
Also, opt for energy bars that are unprocessed, vegan and have naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, such as Amrita.
Tip for keeping superfoods stocked at home for cost-effective convenience include: Buy bulk and store in mason jars.
Also, hydrate often and keep electrolytes balanced. Sweat consists of water and electrolytes (salts). Simply replenishing water without also replenishing electrolytes can create imbalances and even lead to water intoxication. Milder symptoms include cramping and muscle twitches and even blacking out. Be mindful on what you drink though, as many sports drinks are unfortunately just flavored sugar water containing artificial ingredients and colors loaded with refined sugar. Coconut water is an excellent, natural choice and can even be used as a base to make your own homemade concoctions. Some additional easy-to-pack electrolytes include bananas, sea salt, and individually packed replenishers, such as Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator, Nuun tablets, and Ultima Replenisher.
Within 20 minutes of completing your long-duration adventure, 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 such as smoothies or puddings. These are much easier to digest, therefore requiring less energy. Hemp and chia seeds are excellent choices. You can equally use a small amount of hemp oil too as it will help repair soft-tissue damage.
About 1 hour past, a nutrient-rich meal is best. If possible, opt for choices that include plant-based, easily digestible protein and healthy Omega-3s, such as hemp and chia seeds. An example would be a high protein salad with lots of fibrous veggies, high protein seeds, pseudograins and legumes like quinoa, peas, lentils, spirulina and pumpkin seeds. A healthy dressing to use is hemp/flax oil, sea salt, ground pepper and garlic.
1. Preheat oven to roast at 400°F (205°C)
2. Clean and trim green beans.
3. Place green beans in a baking dish.
4. Drizzle with melted coconut oil.
5. Sprinkle with rosemary, mustard seeds, garlic salt, and pepper.
6. Toss and mix to ensure the green beans are evenly coated in oil and spices.
7. Roast at 400°F (205°C) for 30-35 minutes, or until all the green beans are crispy.
8. Stir green beans half way through cooking.
9. Remove from oven; add hemp seeds and walnuts. Toss well.
10. Sprinkle with lemon zest and serve.
Serve with wild rice or quinoa for a complete, plant-based meal.
#Hemp Provides Steady Nourishment for Activities
Key Point: You’ll be minimizing the energy wasted in the digestion process. (Fuel on unrefined, unprocessed foods)
If you fuel efficiently, you’ll be easing digestive strain, and you will have a consistent level of energy across the entire day of hiking peaks and valleys.
With this growing interest around adopting a vegan lifestyle, comes the missing links: Where do you get started? How does it work? And what challenges will you face while making the transition to a diet full of plants? This brings me to why I created my business; BEVEGAN® Plant-Based Health Coaching. Providing people with customized support and mentorship helps them transition into a plant-based lifestyle with ease.
I’m excited to announce my launch of The 30-Day Hemp Challenge. I have always loved hemp and encourage all of my clients to start eating hemp everyday. I strongly feel it’s by far the ultimate source of complete, powerful nutrition. My personal use of industrial hemp has allowed me to achieve a very healthy vegan lifestyle while improving my performance around my active lifestyle.
Join the Living Movement & Get Your Hemp On!
Take the pledge to practice healthy nutrition behavior changes by joining The 30-Day Hemp Challenge™. For one full month, you will be in a supportive environment that mentors you on how including hemp seeds and hemp oil in your daily diet can improve your health in many ways. You will have coaching support, leadership, motivation, tools and recipes to keep you on track! #30dayhempchallenge
Veganism is 2015’s hottest diet craze | Metro News
Move over Paleo, 5-2 and juice diets. You are SO 2014. There’s a new diet in town and it’s holding your turkey to ransom: Veganism. Ready to get your Hemp On? Join the movement that is sweeping across the nation! Learn more by visiting www.30dayhempseedchallenge.com
Handana was developed by a fellow athlete, so the product does what it claims. It’s very easy to see that a lot of the effort went into finding the right product. No matter what you are doing from long trail runs to practicing hot yoga, you will be amazed with how quickly it absorbs sweat and odor. The Handana is machine washable and is made of the softest Supplex ™ fabric so it can be used over and over.
I’ve used about everything from sweatbands to microfiber headbands to visors to keep sweat out of my eyes. Sweatbands have always been awkward to maneuver your wrist around your nose and neck. Plus they are not always sensitive to your face. The Hanada is a comfortable, practical sweat absorbent glove.
Where else do I use my Handana?
Besides using the Handana on my daily runs, I also use the Handana during my hot yoga practice. It solves all of my problems around dealing with sweating in the past that seemed to interrupt many yoga poses. It actually acts like a slip resistant glove that is extremely lightweight. I’m thinking about getting another one so I will have one for each hand during my yoga practice.
How to get your Handana:
You can purchase your Handana on Handana’s website for just $14.99 – it comes in a variety of sizes (xs-xl) and colors.
BEVEGAN® Nutrition Tips
Consider the following:
1. How you fuel yourself before & after your run
2. Timing of your nourishment
3. Eating the right types of essential nutrients
Pre-Run Essential Nutrients should include a quality complex carb and an essential fatty acid. I recommend quinoa and hemp seeds. Both are extremely easy to digest. This means they offer more energy and are more diverse in usability. Hemp seeds give a healthy dose of EFAs (essential fatty acids) too.
Post –Run Essential Nutrients (hydration and muscle replenishment) should include EFAs, essential minerals, vitamins and protein. Hemp seeds are the best option. They are a true nutritional powerhouse because they are a complete protein, including all of the essential amino acids. Ideally, you would consume hemp seeds within one hour after your run to ensure maximum muscle recovery. Personally, I consume these nutrients within 20 minutes of walking in the door.
Lastly, eat a larger meal about two hours after your run and be sure it is full of essential fatty acids, complex carbohydrates and complete proteins. This will gear up your body so it’s ready to give it everything you've got during your next run.
After a tough and/or long workout, you should begin hydrating within the first 10-15 minutes after stopping. Even if it was cold or freezing outside, you still sweat a significant amount and need to replace fluid loss. Plain water is sufficient for shorter workouts but endurance drinks become more important as workouts get longer. Opt for healthy electrolyte solutions and drink around 16-20oz. Here are two to try at home:
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 orange, juiced
- 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan rock salt
Wake up. Be brave. Repeat.®
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.
- Learn how to be comfortable being UNcomfortable
- To be great at anything, you have to risk failing terribly at it
- Fuel and nourish your health...everyday
- Eat to live
- Appreciate who your are
- You cannot give 100%, 100% of the time
- No matter how hard you work and how prepared you are, disappointments will happen
- You cannot reach the finish line unless you start
- Anything worth doing is NEVER easy, no matter how long you have been doing it
- Free yourself and allow yourself to be imperfect more often
- Wake up. Be brave. Repeat.®
“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 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
- Toast bread
- Spread with coconut oil
- Spread hemps seeds evenly
- Sprinkle with ground cinnamon
- Sprinkle a little stevia if desired
Hemp Chia Oatmeal
Ground Chia Seeds (1-2 tablespoons)
Coconut Oil (1-2 teaspoons)
Organic, gluten free oats
- Cook oatmeal
- Add coconut oil until melted, stir well
- Add ground cinnamon and stevia, stir
- Stir in hemp and chia seeds
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.
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"
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.