30 Day Juice Challenge

Jesse…. aka “The Wizard” posted a terrific article over on his blog about juicing. I’ve been doing an elementary form of juicing with the magic bullet for over a year now….. I would actually call it smoothie making. My smoothies consist mostly of fruit and water and I tend to pop things in there that I wouldn’t normally eat on my own. Breathe, where I teach yoga makes organic juices that are absolutely to die for, so anytime I really need to get something in I just head over there.  But Jesse’s post got me thinking…. I wonder if I could do 30 juices in 30 days? (note: that did not say drink only juice for 30 days).

One of my wonderful friends hooked me up with her juicer, which is a hugely amazing gesture (thank you MANDY), and we got right down to learning how to juice.

First, let’s steal it right from Jesse’s blog…… the benefits of juicing:

For athletes, the benefits of juicing run pretty deep.  Juicing fruits and vegetables provides a huge dose of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) in a very concentrated, easily absorbed form. This quality, alone, makes juicing whole, fresh, ripe, and raw fruits and vegetables one of the most powerful vehicles for achieving optimal health; upon which speed is built. Here are some of the most commonly touted benefits of juicing:

  1. Many of the common juicing ingredients contain chlorophyll, a substance found exclusively in plants.  It has a structure similar to hemoglobin which is the substance in blood that is responsible for transporting oxygen. Some research has found that consuming chlorophyll enhances the body’s ability to produce hemoglobin, thus improving the efficiency of oxygen transport.
  2. Fresh juices have the ability to deliver a group of nutrients know as enzymes. Enzymes are your body’s work force.  In addition, fruit and vegetable juices are good sources of the traditional nutrients like vitamins and minerals.
  3. Since juicing removes the indigestible fiber of fruits and vegetables, nutrients are available to the body in much larger quantities than if the fruit or vegetable were eaten whole. Because the process of digestion that is necessary when you eat whole foods is bypassed, the body can quickly absorb larger amounts of nutrients from the juices than it can from solid foods.
  4. Finally, fruits and vegetables provide one more substance that is absolutely essential for good health in the athlete – water!

I don’t know about you…… but the benefits sounded good enough to me to give it a shot. Besides nutrition has become a passion of mine and I am constantly trying to learn as much as I can….. nutrition and health are one in the same to be honest…..you only need to  lose your health once to realize that. Check!

My first juice was  simple…. apples and ginger. It was quite good! The type of juicer that I have is the Breville (I ahve been told to get the Vitamix, I just wanted to be sure I would actually use a juicer before I bought anything extravagant!). The Breville eliminates all pulp (I hate pulp), is very easy to use and easy to clean.

Day two we got a little more daring. Curt is much more food adventurous than I am, so we made slightly different juices.

Day two: Apple, Kale, blueberries and ginger!

The preparation is easy!

Pop in the whole apple slice….

Apple, kale, blueberries and ginger juice!

Curty added celery and pomegranate to his juice!

So far I find juicing to be fun. It allows you to be creative and really design to fit your taste. Once we get a few more juices under our belt, we will be doing “juice night” here, making a particular juice for the week. Curt actually made much more than I did and has two jugs of his concoction. I hate celery…. so that’s one way to keep my hands off the goods!

There are lots of ways you can juice….. most economical would be the good old-fashioned blender or magic bullet (the bullet is my favorite and would make someone a great Christmas gift), although these two devices seem to be best for fruit based juices and smoothies. I have been doing the smoothie thing for a while now, here are some tips for that adventure:

1. Use either water, greek yogurt or even skim milk as your base

2. Frozen veggies such as dark cherries, blueberries, and mango give you a sweet drink plus loads of vitamins and antioxidants.

3. Toss in some baby spinach for a serving of vegetables, and you won’t even taste it (I promise!). You can freeze that baby spinach too!

4. Freeze your smoothie for a wonderful frozen treat!

These days there are so many ways to get in those fruits and vegetables. As Jesse outlines in his blog, the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables reach far beyond them being good for you. The vitamins and antioxidants and properties can help enhance recovery and performance. I know a lot of athletes who send $100+ month on supplements and various products that are delivered right to their door. Instead, save some money, eat food in its natural form…. and gain even more from it.

Stay tuned, we will share more of our recipies over the coming weeks!  Juice on!

Strassburg Sock Keuka Lake Triathlon: pre race extravaganza!

 

Memorial Day weekend kicks things off around here. For me it’s the last weekend of being at home. Our summer is filled to the brim with travel. Between race announcing, coaching and racing myself there is something every weekend. I love it. What I love is that we do this as a family. The races I announce, Curt races, Luc is part of the Score-This race crew and then he races.

It’s like a family picnic each weekend when I am with the Score-This Crew. Are we close? We’ve all known one another since before 1999. We’ve raced together, gone to one another’s weddings, gone to funerals together, watched one another’s children grow. You name it, we’ve done it. … we are a close bunch. That’s what makes these weekends so special.

Here is Rich and I at Lake Placid

Here is myself, Rich and Jeremy at Lake Placid

Here is what we have coming up for you this week, it’s going to be wicked busy and ultra fun!

Strassburg Sock Keuka Lake Triathlon pre race webinar, presented by Towpath Bike Shop:

  • Wednesday 8pm. Free. Click here to register.
  • Join me for an in depth review of the course, all distances, all races), the flow of race day and everything you will need to know for a successful race.

FREE CLINICS on Saturday at the Strassburg Sock Keuka Lake Triathlon 

We have a GREAT series of FREE clinics happening on Saturday before the race! Check them out!

  • 2:00-2:45pm  Clinic – RUN SMART running analysis-  TBD Hall/ Room TBD
  • 3:00-3:45pm  Clinic – Training with Technology presented by Endurance Factor – TBD Hall/ Room TBD
  • 4:00-4:45pm Clinic – How to maximize your transition presented by Mary Eggers from QT2 Systems
  • 5:00-5:45pm Clinic – First Timers Clinic – What you need to know for your race present by Curt Eggers and Brian Emelson from Towpath Bike
  • 4:30, 5:30, 6:30pm  Clinic – How to fix a flat – The WEED Physical Arts Building presented by Towpath Bike (packet pick up area)

What I love about this race is exactly what I stated above. It’s like coming to a family picnic. Not only with the Score-This crew… but with all of the people I get to see. I am of course your race announcer, and it’s such an honor to be able to announce for you in the morning and bring you through that finish line. It’s one of those things… I can’t believe I get to do!

mom announcing

Trust

On Sunday I rode with Les, from Tryon bikes. He turned out to be a terrific riding partner, one of the best in fact. A former mountain biker turned roadie… just a few months out of surgery, building his mileage.

When people ask me what pace I am riding, I never know. I stick to my HR zones as they need to be that day. Sunday it was a simple zone 1 long ride. It was beautiful out. Sun, some wind, and good company. We looped back to Mendon to join up with the final Tour de Cure ride and I got to ride with those folks for a few miles too.

It’s been awesome to watch these folks build up their mileage since December. I love watching people achieve new distances, things they didn’t think were possible. The excitement on their faces…. that’s what I am here for in the first place. As we rode I felt at peace. I wasn’t chasing any particular speed, just my own HR zone. Fueling like I know how, loving every minute of those five hours.

It’s taken me the better part of the last 6 months to build my health back. It’s been a long road. I haven’t talked about what happened…. I might never. It was a deliberately  small group of people who helped me through it, who carried me to be honest. Who let me have moments of frustration and anger. Who walked me through the small stepping-stones of coming back.

I didn’t plan for all of it to happen this way. It just kind of did. I have never been through anything like that before, and it caused me to get really…. really comfortable with being uncomfortable. It was beyond getting comfortable at a hard effort or with the fatigue of training. That… is actually now the easy part. When I am sore I relish in the feeling of being able. I never have the feeling of “UGH, I don’t want to do this session.” because I have been in the position where I wished for that kind of pain.

What it took to get from there to here was a tremendous amount of trust. I was in uncharted territory as far as training went. There was a lot of “Should we even be doing this.” and then a lot of “I am not sure, but let’s move forward anyway.” Training became the way for me to heal and get through more than it was about physiologically becoming stronger.

The stronger part has been happening in the process.

It’s funny because I don’t really look at paces or power. I keep a loose eye on all of that. I am present only in the process to be honest. I know the rest will come with time.  I was in a position where I could not dictate the timeline of when my body would respond. I knew it would be slower than usual. So I let go and I leaned into it. I leaned on the few people who were in the know. And we just kept moving forward.

Something really magical has happened in this process. I had never lost the joy of training through all of this…. I have always looked at my athleticism as a gift. But now there is more than joy in training. There is absolute happiness. Yet I had never lost the love.

It’s like I have been born again so to speak. The gift of being an athlete feels more like a gift. It’s absolutely beautiful to me.

When everything came down last year I went through a period of “why me.” And as I stand over on this side of it I think “Thank God it was me.” Because I can handle hard things. I can handle a rocking boat. I can not be shaken by a diagnosis and I can keep moving forward.

There was a substantial wind coming from all directions this past weekend. Actually that’s been the theme of late. I love the wind to be absolutely honest with you. It teaches you not to fight, but to relax. It teaches you that if you tense up and white knuckle the handlebars that you are one step away from getting knocked down.

The wind teaches you trust. Lean in….. relax…. trust that it will hold you up. Trust that you don’t know where the end of the wind lies but know that it will. And then another gust will come and you have to relax even more.

Wind is metaphorical. At least for my life. When that big gust comes you just have to take it. Smile. Keep moving forward through it. Trust that it won’t hurt you and if it does hurt you there will be people around you to help you get back up. Never fight that wind, because it will fight you back and it will win. Wind is bigger. Wind is stronger. You have to learn to roll with it and how to accept it while continuing to move forward.

As I rolled into the driveway I again had that feeling of 100% gratitude. It was a hard journey. Not one that I could have learned anywhere else, from anyone else. If there is one thing I am good at it’s paving my own way…. with a lot of help from a few people I can trust with my life. It’s been a long and strange road….. but it’s taught me so much. It’s taught me a lot about trust. Trust in the process, trust in myself and trust in the universe.

And it’s something I will never be able to teach.

my view