Thursday, July 21, 2016

Top Summer Hydration Tips: Juice vs Pure Water

Zero Water = Pure, cold filtered water, the best summer hydrator.
I really can't stress how important pure cold water is in the summertime. Having cold filtered water on tap is a real luxury! That's why I have a Zero Water Filtration Pitcher with a serving spout in my kitchen refrigerator. I also have a water cooler and mini fridge in my walk in closet in which I keep chilled, pure water and healthy drinks available at all times. Here are some of my favorites for both hydration and to give you an extra work-out edge during the summer months.

Jump Start Your Metabolism With Ice Cold Water
I start my morning with at least 16 ozs or 2 cups of ice cold water from my water cooler. This not only cleanses the internal organs but the chilled water helps rev up your metabolism by about 18%.
If you need to be out the door, fill up a triple insulated thermal container like an EcoVessel for the road. I always take one, filled 1/3 of the way with ice cubes for summer days on the tennis court or golf course. Stays icy cold for up to 6 hours.

EcoVessel full of ice cold water for the golf course.

Organic Lemon Juice Cleanse
A close second to pure, filtered water. Simply add the juice of 1/4 fresh organic lemon to 2 cups or 16 ozs of icy cold water in the morning. This is perhaps one of the simplest yet effect daily cleanses you can do. Just quarter a lemon and wrap each section for use each morning. Squeeze into your container or glass of water and you're good to go.

Fresh, Sweet Meyer organic lemons from Limoneira are your new friends.

Juices That Can't Be BEET
Now we know to skip the HFCS's or high fructose corn sweetened drinks and the like but there are some new, natural juices that really give you an edge on performance and endurance. I'm talking about Beet Root Juice. Naturally sweet, beets are rich in antioxidants and help quell stress induced inflammation. I've found beets to help me during exercise and even after for a quicker, less painful recovery time. I make my own in my VitaMix but PurJus Bottled 100% Organic Beet Root Juice is very close to homemade. If I want beet root juice "to go" I take along a 8.4 oz can of Beet Performer which also comes as a blend with Passion Fruit or B12. Take a can of this along on the day of a race or timed competition!

Purjus and Beet Performer beet juices.

Hydrate with Probiotics
Another hydration product I found great to take along for race days is KARMA Wellness Water. Spring water based, it contains other essential nutrients PLUS a shot of probiotics contained in the cap which you shake in. Very easy to mix, each bottle of Wellness Water contains 2 billion live cultures and only 20 calories. Definitely something you'll want to take during summer workouts to keep hydrated and "flora" balanced. Check out the flavors at

Probiotics + Spring Water for the win.

So I would stay away from sweetened drinks yes, but there is no reason why you can't include some natural juices and flavored waters just to change things up a bit. The trick is to lean more towards pure water rather than juices. In fact I always cut my juices with water anyway so you're not hit with too much sweetness which often only makes you thirstier.

Meet your new workout buddies!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Feeling Your Oats: High Protein & Fiber Additions to Your Training Table

Grainful Steel Cut Oats based entrees.
I've been looking for ways to change things up on the summer menu without sacrificing both protein and fiber. Quinoa is a bit done with although I still enjoy adding it to certain dishes. Brown rice now is getting a bad wrap over claims of being almost impossible to digest. The controversy continues!

I've found these new meal-makers which include actual entrees and sides from Grainful which are based on Steel Cut Oats. These are amazingly good, chef based dishes that are hearty and satisfying. 

Grainful Meal Entrees

Grainful Meals - Unstuffed Pepper
A have quite a few stuffed pepper snobs in the family who thought the Grainful Unstuffed Pepper entree was spot on. Pretty much a complete meal or can be served as a side for multiple plates. It includes ground turkey, Romano cheese and spices, really everything but the pepper! You could easily use this meal inside peppers or cabbage as a serving suggestion. Either way, it's delicious.

Grainful Sides
Grainful Jambalaya Sides
These are really handy for a quick, one pan meal which can even be done out on the grill. What I did to make the Jambalaya Side is to prepare it in a separate pot to which I also added a little Basmati Rice. You could also add a little quinoa if you have it available. The sides take about  25 minutes or a little less if you prefer a crunchy texture. Warning: the heat level on the Jambalaya is HOT but as the spice packet is separate, you can scale this back according to your tastes. Once it was cooked, I added it to my pan of shrimp, blackened salmon and sauteed vegetables. Delicious! 30 minutes and dinner was ready.

Meatloaf made with the Jambalaya Sides

These sides also make a great addition to: stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage, meatballs, burgers, taco stuffing and meatloaf as shown above here. The result was scrumptious as my meatloaf contained ground pork, grated carrots, rolled oats, Italian bread crumbs and a bit of Grainful Jambalaya Sides. I mixed everything with my stand mixer and put it into a glass Pyrex loaf pan. Before serving I topped it with Italian cheeses. The result was a very hearty meatloaf with much more fiber and protein than the average recipe.

Grainful Sides can also be added to taco filling and burger patties for grilling

The benefits of eating oats are manifold with the main one being their ability to reduce blood cholesterol. This is because oats in and of themselves form a mucilage or type of natural fat-absorbing gelatin. Oats therefore help to intercept excessive dietary fat absorption. These Grainful Meals and Sides are absolutely phenomonal and versatile in helping to put extra protein and fiber on your training table this summer. Look for them at Wegman's and Shoprite in the Greater NYC Area or check online at

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cool New Multi-Sport Activewear from Pearl Izumi

NEW Women's Pursuit Shirt & Escape Skort by Pearl Izumi 

Summer 2016 has some new designs from Pearl Izumi that crossover into many sports activities beyond running and cycling. Now while those are two of my favorite fitness pursuits, I'm often invited to engage in other sports, such as tennis and volleyball during summertime. So here are some new uses and reviews of Pearl Izumi's latest summer separates:

Women's Pursuit 4.5 Short. Hoka One One Vanquish 2 athletic shoes.

Women's Pursuit 4.5 Short
These are a bit shorter than what I usually run in but they were so cool and liberating, I'm not sure I'll ever go back to longer lengths. What I really like about these is the dry 4-way stretch fabric. The Pursuit Short has a Transfer Dry built in liner that negates the need for underwear. Has reflective accents and a wide, flattering waistband. Not sure if I would use the envelope back pocket for more than stashing a $5 bill but it's there. Shown in black here but also comes Aqua/Mint as shown below. Perfect for: Running, walking, cycling, tennis and more.

Pursuit 4.5 Short paired with Pursuit SS Shirt.
Women's Pursuit Short Sleeved Shirt
I paired the Pursuit 4.5 Short with the Pursuit Short Sleeved Shirt. This top is SUPER thin and lightweight, made with transfer dry fabric with Ice-fil treatment. Basically it allows for increased moisture transfer, helping to keep you dryer on hot, humid days. It also is designed to increase cooling.
The Pursuit Shirt has added visibility due to the reflective accents so early morning and night runs (when it's cooler) are totally doable. Daytime activities benefit from the 50+ UPF fabric. What I really like about this fabric is it's stain releasing. I got a smudge on the shoulder and it was very easy to remove. It's also color fast as the pigment stayed but the stain left.
I'd recommend the Pursuit Shirt for: running, walking, cycling, tennis and more. NOTE: Many private golf courses require appropriate attire, specifically a polo or a collared golf shirt as part of their dress code. To see the type of golf attire generally required at private clubs, visit this LINK.

Pursuit SS Shirt in Aqua Mint

Escape Skort
I own a lot of cycling skorts as they are some of my favorites for both on and off the bicycle. Some have removable chamois liners but others are built in. The ones that have the built in chamois are not comfortable to run in, especially for my average trip of 3.1 miles. The Escape Skort has a built in short tight made of Transfer Dry fabric. The waistband is super wide and very flattering. Just like the shorts, the Escape Skort has an internal waistband key pocket but its up front and a bit easier to access. The Escape Skort would work for: Running, Walking, Cycling, Tennis, Golf and much more. Once again all of these pieces could work for multiple sports and therefore be a great investment. See the entire SS2016 Activewear Collection online at Pearl Izumi

Escape Skort on the court.

Escape Skort in Black

Tips for Athletic Wear Care & Odor Removal
High tech, synthetics are amazing at wicking away moisture thus keeping you cooler. These same polymers can also hold odors. You can certainly add some neutralizing baking soda to the wash. I usually do my sportswear pieces by hand so add a little Febreze Odor Eliminator to the sink. It works very well as an in-wash odor eliminator and has been safe to use on these synthetics.

Febreze In - Wash Odor Eliminator.

Sports Accessories
Athletic Shoes: I've paired these outfits with my Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes. These perform well on both gravel packed trails and roadways. In fact, they are what I run races in on the streets of NYC which are predominantly paved roadways. They also would work well on similarly paved running tracks and tennis courts. Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes are available online and at

Hoka One One Vanquish 2 Road Shoes

Sun Visor: I always wear a little baseball cap when I run just to keep the sun out of my eyes. Along with my sports sunglasses, I've added the new Scunci Sporty Visor Headwrap to my runs and outdoor activities. Has a soft, wide headband built into to visor. Unlike a full baseball cap. allows heat and sweat to escape from the top of your head. Also helps to keep hair up and off the back of your neck. Perfect for running, tennis, volleyball and more!

Sunscreen: This season I am really liking the following NEWLY RELEASED sun products for their light application and staying power: Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Weightless Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen, Sun Bum Coconut SPF 30 Lip Balm and Burt's Bee's BB Cream SPF 15 with Noni Extract. All are available at your local drugstore or online at Target.

Sportswear pieces c/o Pearl Izumi. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon for which I receive a small commission however the reviews and opinions are strictly my own.