Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Running Separates - DayLight Jacket and Motion Pants by Lole Women

Lole's NEW Daylight Jacket for warmer weather runs.
The colder than normal temperatures we've been experiencing have kept me in layers much longer than I've wanted. All the same, here on the North East, we have had some warm (er) days where the thermometer got above 50 degrees. Once you factor in the sunshine and the chance of showers through out the day, you may want to rethink your running/walking apparel.

Lole Women's NEW SS2015 Separates
What I like about the Lole Collection is the attention to detail. Accents like princess seaming, inner and invisible zippered pockets as well as reflective strips for night running all set this line apart from the rest. So based on what I've seen so far, my expectations for their SS2015 collection were high. I was not disappointed!

DayLight Jacket in Chillies (Red)
When this new running jacket arrived, I was so excited that I Tweeted a photo of it and the Motion Pants too:

This is how it looked right out of the box with no ironing or steaming telling me that this jacket travels/packs well. Here are the jacket specs:

This lightweight jacket defines stunning running with its breathability, wind-resistance and streamlined, unlined form. It's made for the way you move in our Pulse Softshell, a technical fabric with a polyester/elastane outer face, a 100% polyester inner face and a durable water-repellent finish. 

• Center-front zip 
• Stand-up collar with stowable hood in Caladan Wind fabric 
• Two zippered hand pockets 
• 2nd Skin inserts for comfort and breathability 
• Reflective tapes 
• Length: 27 in./68.5 cm

I really like the slim fit of the DayLight as well as the built in hood which neatly stows away in the collar. Spring is notorious for unpredictable rain showers so having this feature is going to be a big plus for me.

I paired the DayLight Jacket with Lole's Motion Pants in Black. With four way stretch and a slimmer fit, you will feel very confidant stopping in at the coffee shop during your run if you like.  These do not look like the standard issue exercise tights. Here are the specs on the Motion Pants:

Lole Motion Pants in Black

These slimming, straight-leg pants will be your go-to pair for the studio, keeping warm and looking hot. They're oh-so-comfy in our four-way stretch, moisture-wicking 2nd Skin Motion Heavy, a blend of superior Supplex® nylon and elastane with a soft cottony feel. 

• Regular fit 
• Low rise 
• Secret pocket on waistband 
• Lined gusset at crotch 
• Flat seams for comfort 
• Reflective logo

I'm really looking forward to the More Fitness Shape Women's Half Marathon in April! I think this will be the perfect outfit for the day.

Fitness Clothing c/o Lole Women

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Key Nutrients Women Athletes Need

Essential vitamins and minerals women athletes need.
March is National Nutrition Month I've focused quite a bit about how to add organic protein to your training table but how about other nutrients including vitamins and minerals? Don't worry. I've got you covered there too!  Your workouts take a lot of energy so if you feel as if you are lagging or are not seeing steady progress, maybe you should look at what key nutrients may be missing from your diet. As a Certified Nutritional Consultant and author of 4 books of natural health and nutrition, I can tell you a balanced diet is the cornerstone of vibrant health and fitness.

One of my books 

Vegan or Omnivore?
Criteria which will influence your nutritional needs will include if you are vegetarian, pescetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, or any combination of these dietary restrictions. If you are vegan and eat absolutely no animal products. you are at greater risk for calcium, B-12 and iron deficiencies. If you are post-menopausal, the need for calcium is going to skyrocket. B-12 is difficult to obtain on a vegan diet as it is primarily found in meats such as pork. Likewise, heme iron or the iron found in meat is the most easily absorbed. Even if you eat meat but very little "red" meat, you may be looking at an iron deficiency.

Rainbow Light's Calcium Citrate
As mentioned before, this nutrient is going to be very important for vegan athletes who consume little or no dairy products. Sesame seeds, raw almonds and Swiss chard all are rich in calcium and great if you are vegan. Still you will want to take a supplement as when your calcium stores are adequate, it allows your body to effectively burn fat. Calcium is also an important macro mineral for healthy teeth, bones, joints and muscle tendons. Calcium Citrate is perhaps the best absorbed form of calcium. I like Rainbow Light Chocolate Chewables as it is a food based formula and really delicious. No chalky aftertaste, 3 wafers give you the recommended amount of 1,000 mgs of Calcium Citrate plus other macro and trace minerals. One bottle has 15 days supplementation. Take your calcium at night for the best absorption into the bones as your muscles will not be so active to compete for it . Visit RainbowLight.com

Garden of Life Kind Organics B-12
Finding a vegan B-12 supplement is tricky but not impossible. It is important to supplement with this even if you eat some meat but not much red meat such as beef and pork. B-12 deficiency is called Pernicious Anemia with symptoms of weakness, headache and chest pain but is easily corrected with proper supplementation. B-12 promotes concentration and energy while supporting metabolism and heart health. Most B-12 drops require being held under the tongue for 30 seconds or more so it can be absorbed orally. Garden of Life Kind Organics B-12 is easy to spray, tastes delicious and does not require waiting to swallow. Naturally flavored with organic fruits and vegetables. Visit GardenOfLife.com

Certified Organic Women's Multi Vitamin
The easiest to assimilate form of iron is heme iron, found in the red meat of muscle tissue. If you eat meat but your diet consists mostly of white meat chicken and turkey breast, you are also at risk for iron deficiency anemia. I personally do not like iron supplements as many ferrous sulfate formulas can be harsh and constipating. I get some of my iron in my daily multivitamin which is food based. Additionally I do eat the dark meat of poultry, salmon and a small amount of grass fed beef in my Cluck 'n Moo Burgers. You should be getting about 27 mgs of iron per day if you are an active, menstruating female and it is better if you get it from foods like beans, dark leafy greens, raisins and prunes.

Cluck 'n Moo Burger w/ Kale is rich in iron, protein and lower in fat than pure beef.
I eat a lot of nuts, beans and protein shakes as part of my training table diet. A rule of thumb for weight lifting is to ingest one gram of protein per day per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 125 lbs, you're looking at about 100 + grams of protein per day. As an example the Cluck 'n Moo Burger above will give you 21 grams of protein and 10% of your iron requirement for the day. It's also not just the quantity but the quality of the protein that counts. I like to mix it up and combine the amino acids in beans, cheese and quinoa to make a complete protein. I began making my own Nut Milk & Nut Meal as well which gives me an organic source of high quality protein with NO saturated fat but lots of calcium, fiber and omega fatty acids. Learn how to make your own nut milks and nut meals HERE.

Immune System Boosters-Black Elderberry
Your Immune System
As you get more fit, you'll find that you no longer have that extra layer of body-fat keeping you warm. One of the problems of being uber fit as weight lifters strive to be means your immune system often suffers. Then there is increased exposure to germs: at the office, the gym, public transportation,etc.

I don't recommend being paranoid or living in a bubble, but these are issues that face athletic women especially. You may want to have a back up plan with Black Elderberry Syrup which comes in liquid and liqui-caps. Gaia's Black Elderberry Syrup is highly concentrated and perfect for extra protection or when you are feeling a bit run down. I went out running last month but was not properly dressed for the cold. I decided to finish up anyway. Big mistake! I got home and by the next day felt like I was coming down with a cold. I took the syrup along with my Mushroom Therapy caps from Rainbow Light and within just three days recovered completely. No coughing or chest congestion. I just got better and fast! I haven't had a cold in about 4 years and this one didn't stick around long enough to even count as one.

Mushroom Therapy by Rainbow Light

Another problem women athletes have to overcome is the issue of inflammation from repeated use of the same muscle groups. That's why I created the XTreme XTraining Blog. I wanted to show how different training techniques can complement each other while giving overworked muscles a rest so they can perform better next session.

All the same, I know from years of weight lifting using a machine which in effect is an "assisted lift", muscle inflammation can inhibit proper muscle sculpting and development. This shows up as sore muscles where the lactic acid build up has not been completely flushed out. I really like Turmeric for this and Gaia has several targeted formulas to help with joints, pain, etc. I use Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength curcumin supplement. It is very easily released and quickly absorbed due to the vegetarian liquid phyto-caps and synergistic formula which contains black pepper fruit. If you have any problems with your joints or muscle stiffness, you might want to add Turmeric to your diet.

Turmeric Supreme Joint by Gaia Herbs
Over All Multi-Vitamin Fitness Packs
To be honest, I really don't use multi-packs on a daily basis but save them for when I travel. It really makes it a LOT easier to take my supplements along without pill bottles and boxes. These from Vitamin World are women-specific and come in sealed pouches ready to go. I like these for traveling to events like the More Fitness Shape Women's Half Marathon coming up next month. My biggest meal is usually lunch so I like to take my fitness supplements then. The Ultra Woman Sport Daily Multi-Packs has: Ultra Woman Multi, Myoleptin CLA, Coenzyme Q-10 and a High Potency B-12

Ultra Woman Sport comes with Zumba DVD!
The Wrap
A lot of your specific needs are going to hinge on the frequency and intensity of your workouts. Runners engage in an aerobic exchange and will need to make sure to cope with oxidative stress. Body builders and weight lifters are more involved in anaerobic exercises and have to be more concerned with inflammation and lactic acid build up.

Likewise your dietary protocol will dictate when and where you may need to supplement with dietary aids or at the very least include foods rich in nutrients you may be missing. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Organic,Vegan Protein for Your Training Table - Easy Homemade Almond Milk and Almond Meal

Organic Almond and other nut milks are high in protein and delicious!
When we are cross training, we never want to miss an opportunity to add a little high quality protein to the table. What about getting an organic, raw and vegan source of protein that is loaded with antioxidants, omega fatty acids, calcium, vitamin E, B-12 and riboflavin as well? Look no further than Organic Almond Milk and Almond Meal which I will show you how to make at home. So easy!

Homemade Almond /Nut Milks
Actually, this method will work with other raw nuts such as cashews, Brazil nuts etc. however those nuts do not require pre-soaking. Raw, organic almonds do so here is the method from Raw/Living Food Chef and author, Brenda Hinton creator of RawsomeCreations.com:

1 cup Raw Organic Almonds (Timbuktu Ranches of CA are amazingly fresh)
3 cups of cool filtered water
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract (Optional)
Yield: about 3 cups of almond milk

Soak almonds in a covered container for about 6 hours. After that, pour off the water and you are ready to process them into almond milk.
1 cup of organic almonds soaking in 3 cups filtered water
Processing Your Nut Milk
You will need a blender or food processor to grind the soaked almonds into a pulp you can "milk". The trick is not to over-process the almonds. Add the soaked almonds to your blender and fill with just enough water to cover them. You don't want the almonds floating and spinning above the blades. I've blended them on high for about 30 seconds but I used my VitaMix which has a 2 hp motor.

Soaked almonds ready for processing
Once the almonds get going, you can add more filtered water if you like. It makes the pulp easier to pour if it's more on the liquid side. You can use a kitchen sieve or mesh strainer but if you really want to do the job right, get a Nut Milk Bag.

Book by Chef Hinton and Pack of Three Nut Milk Bags

I used Rawsome Creation's More Than a Nut Milk Bag which is a high quality, reusable 10" x 12" white nylon sieve. As the name implies, you can use it for much more than making nut milks. Use it for sprouting seeds, straining juices, making cheeses, teas and a lot more as shown in the Recipe Collection book above by Chef Hinton.

This nut milk bag is very well made and can even be boiled.
I chose my Pyrex mixing bowl with a lip which allows me to pour off the almond milk after straining.
The bag has a little drawstring and I simply loop it over the lip to keep it in place while I pour the almond pulp.

Almond milk draining from the nut milk bag
The next step is the knead or "milk" the bag so that you get out as much liquid as possible. Save the pulp because you can use it in other recipes like pancakes, muffins or added to Irish Oatmeal as a porridge. It is SO delicious!

Almond meal collected from the nut milk bag
My last step is to pour the collected almond milk into a container. Glass is preferable but I use my stainless steel thermal Klean Kanteen as it has an air-tight lid and is easy to pour. Refrigerate and use your almond milk and almond meal within 3 days of processing. You can also freeze these products for up to one month. I used Certified Raw Organic Almonds from Timbuktu Ranches in CA and the quality of their nuts is superior. They also sell them in bulk sizes of 5, 10, 20 and 30 lb bags. Check them out at TimbuktuRanches.com

Delicious, creamy organic raw almond milk!
At only about 60 calories per cup, your unsweetened, raw almond milk is a nutritional powerhouse winner. Unlike many commercially processed almond milk beverages your homemade version contains NO added sugars, emulsifiers, preservatives or artificial flavors.  I use it anywhere I would cow's milk and it is especially good in my Organic Plant Protein shakes from Garden of Life. Try their easy to mix Smooth Chocolate & Smooth Marley Coffee with a splash of almond milk for the ultimate morning protein bomb! 

These GOL Organic Plant Protein shakes mix well with almond milk
If you want to drink it straight, you can add a little vanilla extract for flavor. Use the almond meal in pancakes (just add it to the batter), muffins and quick breads as this almond product has the most protein ounce for ounce.