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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Buy These Shoes!

Choosing leather-free shoes is an ethical choice for both the environment and for animals.

Do-Ni footwear is not only beautiful and vegan, but they donate all of their profits to non-profit organizations.

I just bought a pair of their shoes online and can't wait to try them out.

Smoothies

In my quest to eat better, I've discovered smoothies.

Since moving to LA, I've loved Jamba Juice smoothies. My favorite is the Mega Mango. I always felt somehow guilty, that they taste so good, and even if there is fruit in them, it can't be good for me! Surprisingly, the 16-ounce all-fruit and juice smoothies at Jamba Juice are 220 calories. And, if you add a scoop of vegan soy protein powder, it brings the grand total to 250 calories! Not bad?

I've started making my own smoothies at home. My recipe is 4 oz soy milk, 3 oz siklen tofu, 1 cup of berries or mangoes or any other fruit, and 1 tablespoon of crushed flax seeds which are full of omega-3's. I use frozen fruit for the smoothies, and put it in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Then I pour all the ingredients into my blender and set to "Puree". The total calorie count on this creation is 200 calories, and provides me lots of energy for an early morning run.

In my three weeks of eating better, I've lost 6 pounds. This puts me at a healthy body mass index of 22.4. My running has also gotten faster. I would have never thought I could run 6 miles in under an hour, let alon the 56:14 time that I posted on the treadmill on Thursday.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

One Week of Eating Healthier

This is tonight's dinner: Two vegan chicken cutlets, brown rice, spinach sauteed with cannelini beans (and no oil... who needs oil when you have good spices?), and some sweet potato.

Working with a nutritionist has been an eye-opening experience. I've been on this meal plan for one week. I have eaten more veggies, more protein, less carbs, learned to not eat and eat and eat when sitting at home at night, and to just walk away from a tub of Laffy Taffy, one of my favorite candies in this whole world.

I've learned that I need to eat frequent meals, but not TOO frequent. My habit is to eat, and then nosh something an hour later, then something a half hour later... I need to limit my eating to about six times a day.

After one week, I have lost two pounds.

More meals to come....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Diet Overhaul

I'm in the best shape of my life and the slimmest I've been as an adult. I'd consider myself a healthy weight.

But, my diet hasn't been great. I've just about given up cooking, so I've relied a lot on processed foods to microwave, along with the occasional big bowl of cereal for dinner with a pound of frozen mango.

To achieve my big goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon, I not only need to fuel myself better, but need to slim down a bit to run faster. I don't need to lose a lot of weight, perhaps ten pounds. I would still be within a normal weight range for my height, just as I am now.

I have consulted with a nutritionist. She is the wife of a physician that I work with, is a PA and also has several fitness certifications, so she knows what she's talking about. Also, from talking to her previously, I knew that she would not be critical of a vegan diet.

I met with her, bringing along my food diary. She cringed at my "4 oz of coke", "6 french fries", "gyoza dumplings", "bag of mangoes", the high amount of carbs that I consume, and the lack of vegetables. She came up with a food plan that is higher in protein and lower in carbs.

Two days into the new eating plan, and things are going well. Here is tonight's dinner: 1 cup of whole-wheat pasta, 1/4 cup marinara sauce, and a tofu scramble with 4 oz tofu, 1 cup of carrots, and 1 cup of spinach, sauteed in olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and turmeric.


What surprises me is that I'm not ridiculously hungry! During the day, I feel more full than I used to before this eating plan.

So far, I feel great, and I hope this eating plan helps get me to my goals.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Racing for Something More Important

Most races have some sort of cause that it benefits, and often I don't think much about that when I race.

Today's Eco-Fest 5K Run had a more important meaning.

Lawrence Fong is the LA Tri Club's membership director. Not only that, but he's a great friend and athlete, and one of the first friendly faces I encountered as a newcomer to Los Angeles and to the LA Tri Club.

On Wednesday evening, he had a brain bleed, and was found on the ground. He was immediately taken to the hospital, where he underwent emergent surgery to his brain to relieve the pressure. Since then, he is starting to recover and respond to commands, but he has a long recovery ahead of him.

One of Lawrence's passions is racing. He was planning to work as staff for the Eco-Fest 5K. All proceeds raised from this race go to Lawrence and his family.

It was a terrific race. Many club members, including Wayne Fong, Lawrence's 76 year-old father, raced. It was a cross-country course, up and down and zigzagging across a hill, and was pretty challenging.

I had a great race too -- I placed second in my age group and won a cowbell, some socks, sunscreen, a water bottle, and Clif Shot Blox.

For more information about Lawrence Fong and how you can help, click here.