Sunday, December 18, 2016

five simple ways to make a difference (in your life, and in others')

Tis the season for giving and for looking to how we can better ourselves in the coming year.  Here are 5 simple things you can do throughout the year to have a positive impact on your life and on others'.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

apple cider vinegar in a nighttime tea - worth it

I can easily admit, I'm pretty quick to try a new health fad, and only slightly less quick to say how much I like it.  But then, I'll always admit a month later if I realize it's actually not producing the expected or desired results (which is 95% of the time); I guess I'm impressionable but ultimately honest.  That said, I try to wait to post on here about results until I've gotten past my initial optimistic excitement - I've reached that point with this latest trend of drinking an apple cider vinegar tea before bed, and can report that it falls into that rare 5%!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

green smoothie recipe - autumn bitters

My primary grocery store doesn't carry cranberries year-round, so when they start showing up, I know that Fall is finally here! Cranberries are one of my favorite smoothie ingredients - they're jam-packed with antioxidants, micro-nutrients, and they add great color and bitterness with only 4 grams of sugar in a full cup of them! Beets are another Fall favorite that I hold off on until the colder months. Rotating fruits and vegetables throughout the year allows me to focus on more locally-sourced foods, keeps variety in my smoothies, and adds excitement to the changing of the seasons!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

understanding omega-3s, omega-6s, and grass-fed goodness

One of the easiest changes you can make to your diet as a way of improving your health is to focus on consuming grass-fed / free-range dairy and meat products. These items tend to be nearly twice as expensive, but if we're talking about an extra $20-$50 per month per person, it's a small price to pay for better health, happier animals, and a more sustainable system.

Monday, July 25, 2016

green smoothie recipe - basil berry blast!

With spices growing on the back porch, and fresh local berries at the supermarket, it's a great time of year for green smoothies! I've been making the following smoothie (without the optional ingredients) almost every day - it's so refreshing, with just enough zing from the fresh basil and lime.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2016

learn to do a chin-up in a couple minutes a day!

I love chin-ups and pull-ups! They engage so many different muscles, and there are a hundred variations to keep things exciting. Think you're a pull-up pro and can't get much better? Check out the bar scene on Venice Beach for a humbling bit of perspective:

That stuff's incredible, but let's get back to a basic chin-up, which the majority of people can't do. Most of us spend our days behind a computer, at a desk, and barely mobile; we don't use our shoulders for anything anymore, and our arms are lucky if they get a five-minute workout doing dishes or cleaning up the house. But, I'm here to claim that most of you can learn to do a chin-up in a month!  Guys, girls, in-shape, out-of-shape, give it a try! I'm convinced almost anyone can do it with a simple month of effort. And why do it? It'll start to tone you up, increase your mobility on everyday tasks, and give you a sense of accomplish which can translate to other goals (here's a task I wanted to complete, that I didn't think I could complete, and I did it!). Let's get to it!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

health on the road

I’ve been spending a lot of time on the road recently for a mix of work and pleasure.  I love to sample local foods (and beers!) with the friends that I visit, but I try to eat most of my meals each day from food I’ve brought along with me, to save money, and to keep things healthy and consistent for myself.  It also makes the trip a lot easier when I don’t have to think about most of my meals.  Here’s a quick list of what I travel with, and why:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

recipe - nurse betsy's cabbarage

A personal favorite for the Summer months.  Incredibly delicious, super healthy, paleo (just ditch the cheese, right?), and gets better day after day.  Thanks to the dynamic duo of Al and Chip for the name (both brussel sprouts and kale are part of the broader cabbage family), and to my mom for the base recipe!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

don't be afraid of fat!

The name itself is terrifying to most people – Fat.  But it turns out that our supposed villain in this story of health has been framed!  The true culprits of our current health crisis are likely sugar and processed foods (along with the policies and poorly-performed studies that have built this worldwide fallacy), but I’ll focus here on the positive side of our tale, as we try to understand our maligned friend Fat.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

it's going to be a dry june...

Since college, roughly ten years ago, I probably haven't gone a full week without an alcoholic drink.  The combination of a varied social life, an appreciation for good alcohol of many sorts (including actually making beer, wine, and liquor), and high-pressure jobs, has led me to enjoy many drinks over the years.  And I don’t regret those years and those drinks (well, most of them…), but I do realize that it is costly, a glut of empty calories, rough on sleep, a detriment to muscle recovery, and in general, bad for overall health.  Particularly as I try to optimize my health and running in preparation for an intense race this August, I want to make a drastic change, and challenge myself.

So for the month of June I’m going sober…kind of.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

cutting caffeine - part 1: background and basic thoughts

I am a healthy guy.  I care about what goes into my body, though with an approach that takes mental health into consideration as well - meaning, if it's going to cause me considerable stress to not consume or do something, I probably won't worry about it.  That said, my two primary vices, as with most Americans, are booze and caffeine (I'll tackle booze in another article, some day).  My caffeine consumption is by no means serious, but my addiction is strong; a morning without caffeine finds me with a dull headache in the afternoon, and a pounding one the following morning - because of this I don't go many mornings without.  My thoughts on this are extremely conflicted, since I know there are few long-term physical downsides to moderate caffeine consumption, but I always wonder if I would be better without it.  Here are my thoughts:

Saturday, May 7, 2016

my go-to green

Some people have a hard time eating the same thing every day – I’m not one of those people.  5 out of 7 days each week my green smoothie is the exact same.  It’s simple, consistent, and delicious.  But, it’s Not sweet; after drinking these for years, my green tolerance is high.  For newbies, consider changing the initial 1C water to 1/2C water and 1/2C pomegranate or acai juice (high in antioxidants) to start, or just add more berries.  Ingredients below are in the order that I add them.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

7 ridiculous ways to slow down your runs

Yeah, the title is classic clickbait, I know.  But it’s also true, kind of – at least 3 of the 7 I’ll list below are a bit absurd and, I’d argue, fairly unknown.  The background here is, I’ve struggled to slow down my running for years.  I was a high school distance runner who raced the 400m and 800m races, which are essentially long sprints, and in the following years, my inconsistent training has encouraged a misguided philosophy of short and fast runs – I’m a fast runner who struggles to get the pace down and the miles up.  This may sound like veiled cockiness, but I’d guess most runners would benefit from slowing their pace on a majority of their runs – it helps reduce injuries, allows muscles to recover better, and staves off general burnout.  And if your aim is to race longer distances (half marathon or further), then your long runs become more and more critical, and it’s harder to do them if you don’t drop the pace a bit, at least to start.  Thankfully, I have many great friends who are also serious runners, and their advice, along with an injury, has guided me to better running habits.  Along the way, I tried out a few of my own, more ridiculous, ways to slow down my pace.  Maybe they’ll help you too.

Friday, April 8, 2016

for the love of the trail

I've always been a runner: I was that obnoxious sixth grader who was excited to run the mile during the Presidential Fitness Test (do they still do that?); I ran cross-country in middle school and was part of a record-breaking relay team in high school; and in college I ran to burn off the beer and the mental misery of bluebook exams.  But after college, it became harder to get a consistent schedule.  Like many, I was too busy - too wrapped up in work, social activities, and netflix.  I would run every other day for 2 weeks, feel great, and then a new project or a long weekend would blow a hole straight through my resolve.  It always felt good to lace up the shoes and get out the door, and the post-run endorphin rush was amazing, but the runs themselves were uneventful and monotonous - it's hard to motivate to do anything when you're not actively enjoying it.  And then I fell in love.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

i'm basically nuts - a chart

As someone who tries to consume a decent part of their calories by fat, I eat a lot of nuts.  I spent some time on and compiled a list of popular nuts, and their nutritional content.  While I expected to see more of a difference between varieties, most of them have a similar caloric ratio.  Not as enlightening as I had hoped, but maybe useful to a few of you.

green smoothies - a basic guide to daily goodness

Each morning, I use roughly the same process to make my green smoothie: water -> chunks -> bitter greens -> base greens -> extras.  It’s different every day depending on what is in-season, on sale (sometimes the same as in-season), or whatever sounds good that particular morning.  I make 32oz each morning (or the night before) to be drank at some point the same day, and it typically takes 3-10 minutes depending on how much prep the morning’s ingredients require.  Keep it simple and quick so you don’t give yourself an excuse for not making it any given morning.  Here's the basic process, explained a bit further.