Failing at the “Easy Run”, A Post on Recovery

I came up with the idea for today’s blog post when trudging up a steep hill on yesterday’s run.

Yesterday it was about 90 degrees and muggy. Miserably muggy.  It was overcast and I was due for a run so I decided to attempt a LISS workout.

LISS stands for Low Intensity Steady State, and it is basically any exercise that it performed at a low[er] intensity for an extended period.  We often hear how endurance work is  disadvantageous to weightless, this is where cult fitness has been lying to you.   After performing high intensity work consistently, our body needs to recover. LISS helps flush out the metabolic by-products from your previous intense workout.  When you get your blood pumping for an extended period you are able to deliver oxygen to  fatigued muscles. Taking part in a LISS and working your aerobic system after a high intensity session will help prep you for your next session by replacing ATP.  The takeaway here is that LISS workouts aid in recovery. 

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Snap Shots of My 6 Mile Loop

Back to my LISS workout.  I was going to do my usual 6 mile loop SLOWLY. It was hot and I was sore, so I thought it would be no problem. I started off channeling my inner chi runner and taking smaller strides, breathing deeply and easing into my run.  I was doing well with the LISS principal for about 1.5 miles when a hot shot (and shirtless) sweaty runner ran past me.  I grunted and made myself hold back, keeping my slow pace.  Then I approached my stairs (above).  I have to run down them to continue on the path, so I usually spend 1-2 minutes running stairs then continue on with my run.  I stayed strong and ran right down the stairs to continue around the lake.  As I came around a corner I approached another runner. She was decked out in expensive running gear and a fancy watch–that is where I snapped.  I had to race her and win and I knew my LISS workout ended at mile 2.  I caught up with her, said hello, and zoomed around the rest of the lake, heading for my first long hill and 4 more hilly miles under 07:30.  In my defense, it is really hard to do a low intensity run with the amount of hills I encounter. My heart is in my throat the whole run.

You don’t have to dedicate a whole workout to LISS if you don’t have the time or patience.  After you finish your HIIT workout, boot camp, or heart pumping run–go for a 20 minute slow run, walk or cycle.  It will allow you to cool down, circulate blood through your capillaries,  begin to deliver nutrient rich oxygen to fatigued muscles and replenish your supply of ATP.  After I workout I take my dog on a 15-30 minute walk to cool down.  It kills two birds with one stone and allows my neighbors to witness me at my sweatiest, which is terrifying.

Recovery is one of my weak spots, although I am much better than I used to be in regards to “listening to my body”. It is a weekly struggle. Every time I opt for a yoga class over a long run there is an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. In this case the angel is yoga or another form of low intensity exercise.   I recover to avoid injury and prepare myself for my next workout.  I plead with my clients to do the same.  When your body is exhausted, chose recovery or rest.  If it is a choice between sleeping in and getting those 7-8 hours or getting 5-6 hours and squeezing in a workout, chose sleep.  Working past exhaustion and foregoing sleep are two counterproductive approaches to health and fitness.

If you have had a crazy week of heart pumping workouts, go for an hour long cycle or run.  Maybe even a fast pace walk with a friend at dusk. Depending on the degree of intensity you are working at, you may want to alternate HIIT with LISS workouts.  I will take another stab at a LISS run next week, probably on the day I return from Las Vegas…recovery will be a necessity.

For more about LISS, check out this article from my favorite blog!

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Yoga Review: Yogadownload.com

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If you fall into any of the below categories, you will LOVE YOGA DOWNLOAD

  • A yogi with a busy schedule
  • A yogi on a budget
  • A yogi who travels
  • A yogi without a worthwhile studio nearby
  • Love to sweat
  • Need a deep stretch
  • A runner
  • A beginner
  • Enjoy Pilates

I discovered Yoga Download through Groupon a little over one month ago and have been practicing through the site 2-4 days/week ever since.  The site is stocked with hundreds of yoga classes and even Pilates, cycling, kick boxing, dance and running classes.  They even have yoga with weights!  My Groupon gave me the “Yearly Elite” package which allows me to stream and download unlimited videos for one year.  The regular price for this pass is $90 annually.  While this sounds steep, it is going to cost you $7.50/month if you break it down.  That is the cost of one [cheap] brunch cocktail per week.  You can also chose to pay for 1, 3 or 6 months at a time, click here.

It’s easy to find the type of class that will serve you on any particular day.  You can search through classes via your objective (detox, sweat, weight loss, recover, etc); focus (yoga for athletes, morning yoga, yoga for seniors, etc); body part; pose type (arm balances, twists, sun salutations, back bends, etc); featured channels and through studios/brand.  You can also locate classes by scrolling through the various yoga styles as well.

Each video comes equip with a description, preview and reviews you can study before deciding to stream/download.  I love having the ability to read customer reviews.  There is nothing worse than getting half way through a class and realizing it is not challenging enough or too advanced for your practice.

The ability to download a class to your own device means you can practice yoga anywhere (with or without WiFi)  as you travel for work or leisure. 

I use the site to sweat, stretch, detox, meditate and wake up.  I have been able to find classes for all my yoga objectives and I have not had the need to repeat a class with so many options to chose from.  With a busy schedule, I am often squeezing classes in between clients and the ability to just open my lap top and step onto my mat allows me to flow much more often.

Yoga studios can be intimidating to beginners, I think this site is great for people who want to try yoga without committing to the prices of a studio they may not even like.  In addition, a site like Yoga Download allows you to hand pick your classes to fit your instructor and style preference.  I absolutely love the experience of visiting my local yoga studio, but I am usually with clients the during the time slots I enjoy.  In addition, studios are expensive. One year of yoga download would not cover the cost of a monthly membership at your average yoga studio.  So if you practice regularly, you cannot go wrong purchasing this service.

In addition to personally using the site, I have had clients and friends purchase the service in the past month after my recommendation.  The site is a value and worth every penny.

Toasty Coconut and Banana Oat Muffins

Toasty Coconut and Banana Oat Muffins

These muffins are a like a clean bowl of oatmeal you can take on the go, did I mention they are a healthy pre-workout carbohydrate and freeze  well?  Saturday morning I was out of greek yogurt and was in a … Continue reading

Delicious Gluten Free Quiche

quicheI love all things eggs, so when I came across this quiche recipe with a sweet potato crust I had to try it. Saturday night I summoned my partner in crime and the kitchen to help me test and taste.  It’s much more fun to cook when you are drinking wine with a pal while listening to “Buy U A Drank” radio. We have proven this over the past two years. This recipe was tested on a whim so we just used what we had.  Below is our spin on the quiche.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of shredded garlic & herb grass fed cheddar

How to

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray/grease a casserole or pie dish with olive oil
  2. Thinly slice the sweet potatoes then place them at the bottom of the dish and around the edges, fill the gaps the best you can
  3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. When finished reduce heat to 375 degrees
  4. While the crust is baking saute the garlic, spring onions, spinach and bell pepper for about 10 minutes. Set aside
  5. Whisk together eggs and mix in 3/4 of the cheese then set aside
  6. When the crust is out and the oven is reduced to 375 degrees, mix together the sauteed vegetables and egg mixture
  7. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake for another 40 minutes
  8. Sprinkle your remaining cheese (and maybe some extra) on top. Don’t burn your tongue!

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Our quiche came out perfectly when cooked for 40 minutes.  We served the quiche with an ear of corn and roasted crispy asparagus. The sweet potato crust was way more flavorful than your basic quiche crust. It really made the dish.  The sweetness of the potatoes really balanced out the herb-y and savory egg mixture.  If you have left overs, it is still yummy the next day! Amanda heated her left overs up in the microwave the next day and I ate it cold, it’s tasty either way.  It’s really good with red wine, just try not to drink at breakfast.

This is a great post workout meal, especially if you are not much of a meat eater.  Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids, and you will stay full thanks to their omega 3-fatty acid content.  Did I mention all the vitamins found in yolks?  Give it a whirl, it’s cheap and easy!

In this recipe the spinach, asparagus and spring onion all came from From the Farmer Dc which you can learn more about on last week’s blog post! My grass fed cheddar cheese was picked up at Reston’s Smart Market.  If you have not been yet this year, I recommend you go.  They have a few new vendors (two of which who offer gluten free goodies) and the produce is great!

If you have an questions, leave a comment!

Choco Whey: The World’s Premium Whey Chocolate

 

milk__18159.1390364143.328.245A candy bar that delivers 9-11 grams of whey protein with no added sugar, it sounded too good to be true.  So of course, I had to try it. Luckily Defense Nutrition was able to facilitate my taste test by sending a sample.  I should have specified my chocolate preference.  I am a dark chocoholic.  Not to worry, there are several different variations of Choco Whey.    I tried the Cacao Nib Milk Chocolate and Whey bar. See the nutrition facts below:

ChocoWhey-CacaoNibs-Milk-Bar-1.5ozBefore we even talk about the nutrition facts, lets take a look at the ingredients.  NO SUGAR ADDED, NO SUGAR ALCOHOL, NO FRUCTOSE, NOTHING ARTIFICIAL . Did I mention it is GMO FREE? You cannot really beat that in a candy bar.  I also think calling this bar candy is a stretch.  It is nutritious and a great serving of Whey protein (9 g per bar), but if you are looking for the taste and melt in your mouth texture of a Hershey’s bar you will not get it with Choco Whey.  It tastes, well, healthy.  I think this particular bar tastes just like their Chocolate Whey Protein Shake in solid form. It was pretty good with a smear of almond butter and a medjool date on top.  According to Defense Nutrition, it outperforms your everyday protein bar and is made without syrups (sugar, fructose, sugar alcohol, agave, rice, malt, etc.), which is always a plus!

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If you have read my blog before, you know I do not look at calories or fat when assessing a natural product’s nutritional label.  I go straight to the sugar, fiber and protein.  This product passes in all three categories! For a chocolate bar, this bar is super low in the sugar department.  Compared to a Nut Delight Kind Bar, this particular flavor packs three more grams of protein and and three more grams of fiber all while containing three grams less sugar.

The bar is full of antioxidants , great for muscle recovery and I am honestly dying to try some of the other flavors! When you purchase Choco Whey you can choose from Milk or Dark chocolate.  They also have a ChocoVegan bar. Milk and dark chocolate have the following varieties:

  • Plain
  • Cacao Nibs
  • Almond
  • Coffee
  • Macadamia
  • Super Crunch
  • The vegan chocolate is not available in Macadamia or Super Crunch

The nutrition facts change slightly for each variety of milk and dark chocolate bars.  Overall, the dark chocolate has less sugar and a little more fiber.  It looks like the Super Crunch variety packs the most protein coming in at 11 grams per bar.  The ChocoVegan bars have less than half the protein overall, ranging from 3-4 grams per bar.  I would recommend sticking to the ChocoWhey bars unless you are a vegan.  Go here to compare nutrition facts across flavor variates.

I would recommenced this product to active chocoholics looking for a way to get their fix and up their protein.  I love that all the artificial sweeteners and mystery syrups are left out and only quality products are put in.  The taste is much more natural and not super sweet like traditional candy bars. The Milk Chocolate Cacao Nibs bar had a bit of a nutty flavor. It was not sinfully delicious, but it tasted like all natural milk chocolate.  The cost definitely reflects the quality. A box of 12 chocolate bars costs you $47.90 with shipping included for those in the U.S ($3.99 per bar).  If you decide to purchase the bar individually, it is going to cost you $4.95 per bar.  Protein bars are typically $1-3.  I usually get kind Bars 4/$5 or Lara Bars 3/$5.  Perhaps with a little popularity and increased demand, the price will go down.  I DO want to try the dark chocolate.  If you have tasted it before let me know your thoughts!

Click here to purchase this product!

 

From the Farmer: DC’s Best Farmers’ Market Delivered

Doc1A couple of weeks ago one of my clients told me about a new service she had subscribed to which delivered fresh, local produce to her door step once a week.  As a rabbit with a busy schedule, I knew it was something I would have to try.  Not only is From The Farmer convenient and sustainable, but it reasonably priced!  I signed up to receive half a bushel per week, which cost me $35.   The delivery is dropped off on your front stoop between 12 am and 7 am.   This morning I was welcomed by a insulated bag full of delicious local produce as I stepped out for my morning run at 6:15 am.  Here is what I got in my delivery:

• Pink Lady and Fuji Apples
• Asparagus
• Bunched Beets with Tops
• Spinach
• Asian Mustard Mix
• Spring Scallions
• French Breakfast Radishes

The great news is, a half bushel is more than enough to get me through the week.  I will definitely have plenty of greens for salads, sautes and green smoothies.  I love that this service provides where each piece of produce comes from along with suggested recipes (in e-mail form).  This will definitely help me mix up my diet, pulling me from my kale and sweet potato rut.  Below is an example of the preview e-mail I received three days prior to the delivery.

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While you do not choose the produce you receive, you can go in and modify your order 48 hours prior to delivery. If there is an item you do not particularly like, swap it out for something else available.  I personally love the variety offered and the opportunity to mix up my diet.  The company delivers to the DC and Baltimore Metro areas.  I live in Reston and was excited to see they deliver to my neighborhood.  Below is a photo collage of my morning delivery:

image (3)I unzipped the bag to find it packed full of fragrant, colorful fruits and veggies.  Bright pink radishes, yellow and red apples, deep burgundy beets and vibrant greens!  If you don’t need a delivery, there is no charge to you to skip a week.  You are billed at the end of each month after all your deliveries are tallied.  There is no fee to join or to cut off the deliveries.  This is a commitment free way to try a new avenue for receiving your weekly produce. It doesn’t hurt that the produce you receive is local and much more nutrient dense than anything you will find at a supermarket.

If you are in the DC or Baltimore area, sign up to receive your produce basket.  If you have a family to feed, order a bushel or two! You can even throw in a loaf of bread.

http://fromthefarmerdc.com/

From the Farmer LLC is a weekly farm-to-consumer delivery company with an emphasis on fresh, high-quality, local produce and an added dedication to connecting farmers with their consumers.