There are countless health benefits to adding whole grains to your diet. According to the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, eating whole grains can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer, and can help maintain healthy blood glucose levels.
Foods that are whole grain contain all the natural vitamins and minerals available in the grains’ natural form. Foods that are not whole grain have experienced processing, which leads to a dramatic loss of nutrients.
Adding whole grains to your diet does not involved actually consuming more food, but replacing the foods you already eat with healthier versions. Most people automatically associate whole grains with whole wheat bread, but there are many other whole grain choices available.
Here are some examples of items people consume on a regular basis that can be consumed in whole grain rather than refined form:
Do not be fooled by products advertising that they are “made with whole grains”. In order to ensure that you are actually purchasing whole grain foods, look at the nutrition label. “Whole wheat” must be the first ingredient listed, or the food is not truly considered as a whole grain.
|—||Chris Brock (from Athlete Spotlight)|
We’ve all experienced them before and we all wish never to experience them again. They creep up and kill our times in a race or workout. Only strong athletes can push through cramps, but the strongest athletes know how to prevent them from occurring at all.
Cramps while running, often referred to as “a stitch in the side”, are extremely common in runners. The cause of these side cramps is still not quite certain, however. According to The Marathon Method, by Tom Holland and Jeff Galloway, the cramps may be associated with fitness level.
This is good news for beginning runners who frequently experience cramps. Those that have been running longer experience far less cramps.
Here are some tips to follow to make sure that you won’t cramp up on your race day:
1. Drink a lot of water the night before you run. The morning of your run is too late to be able to hydrate yourself.
2. Stay away from foods, such as dairy, that may upset your stomach before a run.
3. Make sure to have a sufficient warm up before your run.
4. Use a constant breathing pattern, breathing from both your nose and mouth.
5. Sometimes, even with an attempt at prevention, you will still cramp up during a race. It is important to make sure you do not push too hard as this is your body’s way of warning you that you are working too hard.
Most of the time it is fine to continue to run with a cramp. If you think you can keep going, then keep going. If you have to, slow your pace a bit and let the cramp pass before picking back up your speed.
Smoothies are a fun, healthy snack that can satisfy your sweet-tooth. If you aren’t careful, though, they can quickly turn into a sugary, caloric and unhealthy snack.
In order to make a simple and satisfying smoothie that won’t hurt your health, here are some ingredients you will want to have on hand: low-fat or fat-free plain or flavored yogurt, frozen berries, frozen bananas, milk, orange juice and V8 Juice.
If you like a shake-like smoothie, then add low-fat or fat-free milk. If you prefer a more juicy smoothie, use fruit juice. Beware that fruit juice can have a lot of sugar, so try to stick to healthier options when you pick one out at the grocery store. Also, you can use part juice and part water, but this may compromise your flavor.
You do not need to use all of the ingredients I have listed, but they can be a good start. Notice I do not list any sweeteners or sugar. If you add juice or milk to make your smoothie more of a creamy consistency, then you will have enough sweetening from that to flavor your smoothie without adding extra sugar.
Also, you can substitute adding in sherbet or ice cream with yogurt to cut down on fat content and to add calcium and digestive system support to your snack.
In the end, if you stick to the simple ingredients I have listed, you will end up eating the equivalent of fruit, juice and yogurt with no added sugar.
Name: Chris Brock
· 13 marathons in the past four years, 10-15 races a year, 25 races in 2007
· Many 2nd place wins in competitive races
· 2007 Outback Distance Classic half-marathon at a 6:20 pace
· Ran Cherry Blossom Ten-Miler in 62 minutes
· Boston Marathon
· Holds current title as the fastest Floridian to ever run the Delaware marathon since 2009: Delaware Marathon
Brock runs in Washington D.C.
Chris Brock, my uncle, has had a series of occupations that have influenced him to be fit. He was formerly a life guard, a firefighter and an active serviceman in Kuwait for the Coast Guard.
Brock is currently a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard and works in the Washington DC area. He decided to start running in order to stay in shape. He later became competitive and now competes in races regularly.
Brock uses the Pfitzinger Plan to train for his races. In the future, his goals are to break three hours in the marathon, break five minutes in the mile and break 18 minutes in the 5k again.
Brock says that running is not an easy commitment to make, “It’s like a lifestyle change. You could go out with your buddies or go out and run for a few hours.”
Devil Dog Run
Q & A with Chris Brock:
Q: How did you progress to the marathon level?
A: I would just run. I got up to 25 miles a week, then 50, and then I started reading on marathon running.
Q: How do you push through or prevent pain during a run?
A: I carefully time my eating. Muscle cramps can be prevented with proper hydration.
Q: What motivates you to go faster and push harder?
A: With marathons, it’s a time goal. With shorter races, I try to get a personal record.
As a college student, I don’t have the money to purchase all-organic foods. However, there are a lot of benefits associated with the consumption of organic food versus food grown with harmful pesticides.
Organic foods are grown with methods that are safer for the environment, but most importantly safer for human consumers. Organic foods marked with the USDA Organic Seal meet the strict qualifications set forth by the government that qualify them to be considered truly organic. For more information on the National Organic Program, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.
If you would like to go organic, but you still would like to be kind to your wallet, consider only buying organic foods when it comes to “The Dirty Dozen.”
Since 1995, the Environmental Working Group has released a list of the top most contaminated foods. The list for 2010 includes grapes, potatoes, cherries, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, blueberries, apples, strawberries, peaches, celery and kale.
Here is the visual of the striking amount of pesticides that were found in these foods:
For more information on “The Dirty Dozen” and possible substitutes for these items, you can visit http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/Dirty-Dozen-Foods.
The leading cause of leg pain in runners is an improper stride. Some runners are lucky enough to be able to run marathons without any injury, but for the majority of us, shin splints and stress fractures slow us down.
When putting in heavy mileage, small distortions in our patterns of running can lead to gradual and sustained injuries. Overponation and underpronation of the foot are the leading causes of an incorrect running gait.
- Overpronation: when a runners foot rolls too far inward, often seen in runners with flatter feet
- Underpronation: when a runner’s foot rolls to far outward, often seen in runners with high arches
The following videos will allow you to identify which category your fall under, or if you have a neutral stride.
- Overpronation: seek “stability” or “motion-control” running shoes
- Underpronation: seek “neutral shoes” to support the mid-section of your foot
Check out this link for more info on the right shoes for you:
Often a solution as simple as buying the right shoe does miracles for a runner. “It all starts in the feet,” my track coach once told me. And it’s true, when you get the right shoes you’ll find pain in your whole body to be reduced.
Most people assume that healthy eating requires cutting anything that tastes good out of their diet. However, it is very possible to feast upon your favorite meals while keeping an eye on how much calories and fat you are consuming. Here are some easy tips in making this possible:
1) Don’t eat out. Restaurants are all about profit, so the food served at them is made to maximize taste (and consequently, your waist-line). Try making your restaurant favorites at home so that you can control what is put into your meals.
2) Drink water. One serving of a soft-drink will quickly add unnecessary calories to your meal. For example, one can of Coca-Cola has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar. Be careful of soft-drink substitutes as well. A Minute-Maid Lemonade serving contains 140 calories and 27 grams of sugar.
For stats on more beverages, visit http://www.sugarstacks.com/beverages.htm
3) Modify your recipes. Substitute out unhealthy ingredients for healthier alternatives. Meals will still be delicious, but more nutritious.
Here’s an example… I love quiche, but it is certainly not the healthiest food. By making these simple substitutions, I am able to enjoy this dish with much less fat and calories.
You don’t have to replace everything I suggested, but each thing you do replace makes a difference.
Based on a recipe from Family Secrets cookbook.