Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Website!

(Kissing frogs at Rev3 Portland)

Don't forget, I have a new website/blog, here: http://guru.mc3digital.com/

You should still come back to this one for recipes, etc until I get the best posts archived and transferred over.

Love you.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

American Zofingen Race Report

Is here, on my new blog/website.  Better URL coming soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Team Continuum Athletes - Paying Bills for People Fighting Cancer!

TC Athlete Profile: Jared Rose

As some of you may know, I was injured in 2009 while serving in Afghanistan when the vehicle my team and I were in took a direct hit from an improvised explosive device (IED).  As a result of the blast, I broke my back, took some shrapnel in the back of my legs and head, and suffered a second traumatic brain injury (a month earlier, I was hit by another IED but refused to be sent home). After I returned home, I was released to Wounded Warriors Battalion, as I was unable to continue my role as a machine gunner. While awaiting medical retirement, I began the long process of rehabilitiation. I was officially medically retired in July of last year. While in active duty, I received two Purple Hearts, a Combat Action Ribbon, an Afghan Campaign Medal, and an Iraq Campaign Medal, among others.

Through rehabilitation, I discovered cycling for the first time. Always an an avid runner, for the first time in my life I was unable to run for many months after the blasts. Before I began riding, I stumbled upon a televised triathlon and was instantly captivated. That day, I set a goal for myself: before I died, I would complete an Ironman.  

The opportunity to realize this dream came sooner than I thought. I am currently training for the innaugural Ironman U.S. Championship. When I decided to enter this race, I knew I wanted it to mean something. I decided to race for Team Continuum, a not for profit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients and their families minimize the disruptions, hardships and uncertainties of everyday life so that they can focus on crucial medical care. I chose to raise money for Team Continuum because I feel personally connected to their cause.  

When I returned from Iraq in 2008, I learned that my dad had been suffering from throat cancer while I was overseas. Team Continnum provides immediate and vital, non-medical assistance to cancer patients and their families. The organization provides funding to health care facilities and foundations, to enhance the delivery of care, communication and educational services for cancer patients. Thankfully, my dad had a large support network of friends and family, who banded together and raised money to cover his non-medical expenses while he was unable to work. I am happy to say that my father has been in remission since November of 2008.  

However, many cancer patients still need tremendous amounts of help to win their fight against the disease. Organizations like Team Continuum are essential to many patients' battle against cancer. I am grateful that I can race the Ironman U.S. Championship for Team Continuum. My goal is to raise $5000, with proceeds going to Team Continuum in support of their efforts.  

If you would like to support me in this endeavor, please click on the link below. No amount is too small. Please feel free to email me at jaredrose0331@gmail.com if you have any questions, or would like to learn more about my story.

Thank you in advance for your support. See you at the finish line! 

To learn more about Jared, or to donate to his fundraising, please visit his TC fundraising page.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New blog/website!

My blog and my website fell in love and had a baby!  Together, they make this.

My new website!  It's a lovely integration of the Live and Eat Better Holistic Health site and this blog (that you have come to love). It's still a work in progress and I'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curried Lentil Soup

I always make soups when I'm short on time because I'm WAY into the one pot thing.  It's faster, it's easier... you just throw all that stuff in there and mix it sometimes (while you do your core workout).

This is my latest obsession.  I found the recipe in Triathlete Magazine, so maybe this is old news to you.

Curried Lentil Soup

8 cups water
2T coconut oil, divided
3 cups red lentils (rinse repeatedly and drain)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used sea salt)
3 cans coconut milk (I used 2 + 1/2 can water to make it less decadent)
2 tsp roasted cumin seeds
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minsed (I used a million)
4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
3 tsp ground turmeric
3 tsp curry powder
1 large bunch of kale, washed and chopped

1.  Combine the water, a Tbsp of coconut oil, lentils and salt into a large pot.  Bring to a boil then simmer for 20-25 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and continue to simmer gently.

2.  Heat a dry frying pan over high heat.  Add cumin seeds and roast for 2-3 minutes until they start to smell fragrant.  Then add a Tbsp coconut oil to the pan and add onion.  Sweat the onions for 2-3 minutes on medium-high heat and add the garlic and the rest of the spices to the pan.

3.  Cook until the onions are brown and then add the entire contents of the pan to the soup.  Add the chopped kale and simmer for 5 more minutes.  Enjoy!

* This recipe makes a huge amount of soup that tastes even better the next day!

Peanut Ginger Baked Tofu

Served with Sesame Kale and baked yam

I make this dish a million times a week and always post photos.  I've also used this recipe in several cooking classes BUT I've never released the secret recipe publicly, UNTIL NOW.

You're welcome.

Peanut Ginger Baked Tofu

1 package of extra firm tofu, cut into 4 or 5 ‘steaks’
¼ cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 teaspoon maple syrup
2 Tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons hot pepper oil or paste
1/3 cup water (or more for consistency)

The secret ingredients

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place tofu ‘steaks’ flat down in pan, leaving ¼ to ½ inch between them.  Put aside.
  3. Put all of the other ingredients in a small pan on a low heat.
  4. Using a whisk, mix the ingredients until they are smooth.
  5. Pour evenly over the tofu and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through.
Make sure you flex your biceps when you serve this dish

Yes, it is that simple.

THE Holisticguru's Spring/Summer Tour

I finally have the race calendar complete.  I may jump in some other events but there's a lot here so I think I need to CALM IT DOWN!

Check me out: Upcoming Events

April 15th - Brooklyn Bun Duathlon
May 6th - Bassman 70.3
May 12th - Shad Bloom 10k
May 20th - Am Zof Duathlon (long course) *Note: On the wait list so TBD
June 2nd - Rev3 Quassy Olympic
June 3rd - Rev3 Quassy 70.3
June 10th - HITS Hunter Mountain Oly or 70.3
*July 29th through Aug 18th - final push for 140.6
August 4th - Block Island Tri
August 26th - Rev3 Maine 70.3
September 9th - Rev3 Cedar Point 140.6 (Full Rev)
October 5th - CREWing for Bobby's 100 miler
October 20th - Beach 2 Battleship 140.6

It's a lot of racing!  This season I'll either catapult myself to the next level or completely burn myself out.  I think if I keep myself focused on a supremely healthy diet and resting as hard as I train and race, it's going to be the former.

If anyone wants info on any of these races, feel free to email me: christine@liveandeatbetter.com.  I've done 90% of them and can answer questions regarding reviews, courses, logistics, training, nutrition, etc.

I hope to see you all out there!  Let me know to look for you if you'll be at any of these events!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Simple and Vegan: Asparagus Soup and Pumpkin Soup

From one soup lover to another, welcome, to all that is soup creativity. Don't be alarmed, the style and flavor of this entry may be different than the previous blog entries, but the recipe entry's elegance, nutrition and simplicity to make remains the same. Why then, the feel of change do you ask?  It is because you are reading the words of a guest blogger - and an unbiased review on the real "low down" of this or "these" soups. 

First off, check the simplicity of the ingredients then the directions. That's what we all look for in what we want to cook right off the bat. But simplicity in cooking, sometimes makes us think "meh" "blah" "it's ookay." But trust this quick review - the simplcity this time, is your friend. You, your family, your friends, will really dive into this bowl. 

Enjoy. Peace and love. Spread the fun of this blog.

Creamy Asparagus (or Pumpkin) Soup

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1" pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 red potato, diced
1 leek, cleaned and chopped
5-6 c. water or broth
1 tsp. Sea salt
2 tbsp scallions, diced

  1. Prepare asparagus. 
  2. Combine asparagus, garlic, potato, leek, water and sea salt in a large saucepan. 
  3. Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce flame to medium and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potato is soft. 
  4. Remove vegetables and puree in food processor or mash by hand. 
  5. Add puree back to broth and mix well.  Garnish each serving with scallions.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Why not try the NYC Tri AND the Brooklyn B'un???

Coraline and John cheering on TC athletes at the finish of NYC Tri 2011
I got to spend some time with the female champion, Laurel Wassner, of the 2011 NYC Tri this past weekend at TriStar Nevis and it got me thinking about the NYC Tri.  It is an event that attracts some of the best in triathlon.  That said, it's also an event that is perfect for anyone interested in trying their first olympic triathlon.

The swim is known for the current that assists swimmers through the Hudson quickly to T2.  After racing Beach 2 Battleship with a 52 minute ironman swim in 2011, I really learned to appreciate the power of an "assisted" swim.  The current is also perfect for triathletes who aren't strong swimmers or are nervous about swimming.  You can literally just lay there and float to a swim PR!  The bike is hilly enough to be challenging, though not overwhelming in the least.  And the run is in Central Park and full of spectators cheering wildly as you finish!  I spectated at this race last year and I hope to participate one day.

This year I'll be supporting Team Continuum athletes as they race, just like last year.  I've said it before but its worth saying again - Team Continuum holds a special place in my heart because of the work they do to raise money for people battling cancer, to help them pay their non-medical bills.  I don't know what my family would have done without this type of assistance when my dad had stage 4 throat cancer.

If YOU are interested in racing the NYC Tri, Team Continuum has spots available.  Even better, Team Continuum is offering FREE entry into the Brooklyn Bun Duathlon on 4/15 so that you can get started racing now!  That's two races with only one fundraising commitment.  Contact Letty: letty@teamcontinuum.net to discuss the *negotiable* terms for fundraising.

I'll see you out at the races!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nevis Day #6 - the last day!

This morning I woke up feeling surprisingly great and not sore. What the heck?!?! John says its because the run was shorter than most long course races and TriStar is known to be a race with a faster recovery because the bike leg is the star of the show. I wondered if it was because I should have pushed harder!

We started the day with a 90-min hike with Greg (our homestay) up a giant hill to see the beautiful view from high above the island. Then we went to a brunch held in honor of Kristina and Nic of www.worldbycycle.com. It was a send off party for them to start their year-long journey on bikes (heavy ones packed with gear) around the world. They are raising money to fund youth programs and they're getting married halfway through the trip! Kristina is hoping to take the Guiness record as first woman to ride around the world. Like I said, we've met some pretty amazing people here. It was sad to say goodbye to most of the TriStar people as well, but we'll stay in touch.

We've also been eating mainly locally grown foods! We had fruit for a pre-breakfast snack, fruits, veggies and eggs for brunch, then fresh coconut that we got on the beach as an afternoon snack! I LOVE this and my body feels wonderful. I never thought that this trip would end up as an unplanned "cleanse", even though my general diet is very healthy. This is the next level.

After brunch we went back to the house for some work and office hours. I have managed an excellent balance of working remotely and enjoying the island on this trip. It makes me feel good!

After office hours we were off to the beach for a swim. I managed a very legitimate swim workout and then sat on the beach while John helped the guys with some post-race "men's work". How many pros hang around and offer to help with that? He also gave one of the race directors a private swim clinic today. I got myself a good man.

So as I sit here and watch the sunset on the beach and write this blog post, FOUR COWS JUST WALKED PASSED ME on the edge of the water. Just going for a stroll. No, they were not accompanied by humans. They were just going for a walk. What. It was surreal. This is my life???

TriStar Nevis 111 - Race Report!

After a surprising 7-hour Race Eve sleep, I fueled up with a breakfast of fresh coconut meat, a yam and a banana (for later). Nothing new on race day, unless you're on a tropical island and have a pretty tough stomach and plenty of time to digest. I couldn't miss the opportunity to fuel straight from the island and felt as though the fresh coconut water in my bike bottles was liquid gold.

We rode our bikes to the start - a nice 25 minute warm up. Transition set up was BIG RACE style with bike and run bag drop offs. After we were all set up, we headed over to the beach to warm up with all of our new friends. I danced a bit more than I should before a race but this feels like a vacation and a party and a race. When it was time, we all lined up at the swim start. There were a couple of false starts that got us all giggling and then we were off! I tried to stay on some feet but it was difficult in the ocean and soon I was on my own. I'm not a great swimmer so I spent the whole swim thinking "this is how it feels for people who hate running and do tri". The swim was 1k of beautiful salt water. I climbed out of the water in 21 minutes and was happy with that.

*Sidenote: With the heat and difficulty of this course, this race was just as much a game of nutrition as it is swimming, biking and running. I nailed my fueling plan, drinking at least every 15 minutes and taking in plenty of calories and electrolytes.

Even with an okay swim I was one of the last people out on the bike. This race is mega tough and because it's on a remote island and offers a nice prize purse it attracted some serious talent. The heat wasn't bad at first but the 5k climb at the start of the bike loop is a monster. I only managed to catch one guy and he passed me again on the descent - for every hill and on every loop. We played leap frog for the entire bike. By loop 3 the climbs were all much bigger than they were at first, as climbs are wont to do. The bike ends with a mini loop and they don't even talk about the mini loop being a mini monster climb. It was HARD! My favorite parts of the bike portion were 1) obviously the landscape, ocean and mountains 2) the wild animals that I said "hi babies" to every time I saw one 3) riding through town and having everyone out cheering. The bike was 100k of beauty and pain. What more could an endurance athlete ask for?

Though, I have to admit, not catching up to anyone on the bike got to me a bit but I shook it off to tackle the run in my normal fashion. Here I was able to pass several people and even caught one of the male pros, finishing only a few seconds behind him. The run was insane. I averaged a 9-min pace with *almost* all I had. That said, it was one of the most fun run courses I've run! It started in the fun town, then up a tough climb, then through a dirt road with cows, cranes and goats, then running in shin deep water for about 10 feet to get onto the beach and run on the sand to start the next lap. It's 3 laps total to equal 10k. I threw in a kick to the finish and almost crashed into a cheerleader that jumped out to cheer for the pro who finished seconds before me. We have great video of that and of me dodging her and running straight to John who had his arms full of flowers (that he won - for me). Amy Kloner, female pro and BFF was there too, screaming and yelling for me. She had won the women's race about an hour earlier!

Me: honored to be receiving my award with these ladies
This whole trip has felt like a dream. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. Winston and Greg, the race directors and our homestay, have opened the island up to us as if we were already family. The TriStar staff were also a fun and warm crowd that I feel honored to have spent time with. We definitely hope to come back again. Next time with some of the people we love from home!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Nevis Day #4 - 1 more sleep until TriStar Nevis 111

The swim
This morning began with a swim course preview organized by the race directors and TriStar.  I swam with pros John Hirsch (he's dreamy), Amy Kloner and Laurel Wassner.  I was dropped for their "easy" course preview withing 10 seconds, but it was pretty awesome that they all joined in.  After the swim, we did our own run course preview.  It's hilly and going to be hot.  Macca did this race last year and after checking out his spilts, we knew there had to be some evil during the 10k run.  He ran it in 40-something minutes last year!  Good.  I like a hard race.

While we registered I performed my original choreography of the Caribbean Race Wheel Dance.

It was breathtaking and graceful.

Now we're on pre-race shut down for a bit.  We have our feet up until we head to the pre-race pump up dinner.  I'm really excited to go because everything has been tons of fun so far.

If you want to follow the race, check out www.tristarlive.com and follow TriStar Live on twitter!

Nevis Day #3 - Donkeys, coconuts, and a bike course preview

We woke up at 5:30am and dressed for a run. Our short run started on top of a cloud covered hill (the home of our new friend Greg) and ended at the home of his 8 donkeys! I LOVE THEM! First we met Rio, Michael and Star. They are very friendly and we got to play with them a lot. Then we got to meet some of the others who are still a bit tough to approach.

This is Michael. Look at that face!
Greg is training them for donkey tours. In exchange for their donkey tour work they get food and tons of love from one of the nicest guys I've met. I mean honestly, Greg loves these donkeys and can't even stand to miss a day of visiting them. He can explain their personalities and their likes and dislikes. I can totally see why he loves them so much. So we fed them all and walked around with them a bit. To get home, we hiked trails that are centuries old to get back to Greg's house in the clouds.

This nice lady was hanging out by the trail
When we got back to Greg's driveway, he walked into the backyard, pulled some green coconuts off of the coconut tree, then shared some fresh coconut water and coconut meat with us for breakfast. It was unbelievable and one of the best mornings of my life.

Fresh green coconut
Then we were off to the local radio station to be interviewed for their sports radio show! It was super cool to get to be inside of a radio station and to see how everything works. We even got to wear giant headphones and talk into a microphone. Just like in the movies! I mean... we're kind of a big deal.

It was a packed show because after us they interviewed Kristina and Nic of www.worldbycycle.info. They're leaving on Sunday to start a bike ride around the world. Kristina is going for the Guinness Book record as the first woman to complete the trip on the bike. Her story (she is a canadian referred to by the islanders as "our sister") is amazing. You should check these two out.

Then, we checked out the Agricultural Fair and Farmer's Market. I wanted to see everything all at once. There was so much to take in! There was live music and it had educational demonstrations about composting, water reclamation for irrigation, local animal rights, local animals in general, etc. We also got delicious guava smoothies and tasted other local treats. I wished I had a giant bag to buy one of every fruit and vegetable to bring home and eat!

Later, we got back down to business and did a loop of the 20 mile bike course. The race will be 3 loops of the course, plus a separate mini loop. We have *heard things* about the TriStar Nevis 111 race course. Scary things about an Anaconda. The Anaconda is a 5k climb at the start of the loop. Doing the loop 3 times means the Anaconda = 15k of climbing. The climb was definitely brutal, but I feel prepared for it after SLB and because I'm a strong climber. That said, after a fast descent, the course isn't exactly flat. It rolls steadily in a way that suits me well. I'm riding a road bike and VERY happy about that!

We made dinner at home after the ride. It was our stand by, simple, travel meal: a Veggie Rice Bowl. I cooked brown rice, topped that with 2 eggs over easy, black beans, lettuce, onions, and carrots. Also, hot sauce. Never forget the hot sauce. It was a perfect meal.

A perfect end to a day that I would never want to end... except that the days just keep getting better!

Nevis Day #2 - Falling in love with the island

So, the bike shop, Wheel World,  is on the beach - which also makes it the swim spot. Not only that, there is an outdoor food spot at the same location on the beach. We rode to the bike shop, changed into swim gear, swam over pretty (and enormous) starfish, and then grabbed an amazing carribean/vegetarian lunch on the beach. Sitting there I realized how easy it would be to blink and have 10 years go by.

During the swim, John worked on drafting with me. Swimming is my weakness, mainly because I only learned how to swim a few years ago and I've never really put in the time it takes to improve in the water. March has been a "get serious" swim focus for me and John has been coaching me through form drills, speed intervals, and some racing and open water drills (like drafting). I did well with the lesson on the beach until my bikini bottom fell off. I should have worn an actual training swimsuit! Whatever though, my tan looks great.

Our lovely swim spot
Later that evening was the TriStar Nevis Pink Lily Charity Run. While we waited to start we hung out with our new friends Amy Kloner (female pro) and her boyfriend, Tom.

Amy and I decided to keep it easy and do the "fun run" for fun and not ruin our legs for the race on Saturday. I ran the first half at a strong pace, chatting the whole time, but then I think Amy picked it up because it became much less conversational. I dropped back and kept it easy and threw in a few pick ups to get snappy and finished between 22 and 23 minutes. The finish was a HUGE party! Tri Star and the race directors are great at making a giant presence and making everything a party.

John with our homestay (he's also one of the race directors, Greg - we love him.

I danced, I played with a monkey, and just full on enjoyed the powerful positive and happy energy of the islanders. Honestly, coming from NYC it feels like an enormous exhale from the tense energy at home. Everyone is happy. All the time. It's amazing!

That night we were off to bed early so that we could wake up and go through our homestay Greg's morning routine with him! This is honestly my favorite way to travel. Hang with the locals and tag along while they do their thing. There's no better way to experience a new place. It would be even better with a visitor's guide written by TheyTri, the website designed by a dear friend of mine to support triathlon sherpas and families.  Throw a bike in the mix and you have yourself a heaping pile of traveling perfection.

Nevis Day #1 - Travel Day

John: "did that sign say 'monkeys crossing'?"

Homestay (Greg): "yes, we have monkeys on island"

Me: "really? What will they do???"

Greg: "they LOVE alcohol"

There are 7,000 monkeys in Nevis and 11,000 people. Woah.


Our trip to Nevis began with 30 degree weather at LaGuardia Airport. By 1pm we were swimming at a gorgeous beach in St Maarten. We actually waltzed out of the airport and into the ocean during our 5 hour layover.

This is how close our layover swim was to the airport!

Then, all sun soaked and sand covered, we got onto the tiniest plane I've ever been on for a 30-minute flight to Nevis.

Our teensy aeroplane
As soon as we landed, we were welcomed like long lost friends and they made a really big deal out of our arrival! We hardly had to lift a finger as they walked us through baggage claim and customs. From there, we were brought to our homestay to shower and get ready to go out to dinner with the TriStar Nevis family and some of the other pros and athletes. It was a great first impression of island food and we heard some pretty incredible stories of the people joining us for dinner, including Kathryn, a former elite triathlete who was challenged by ESPN to qualify for the olympics through any sport possible.  She tried everything and found cycling to be her best chance.  Check out her story, and book, here.

In bed that night, I remember thinking... "How can I possibly fall asleep? I'm already dreaming".

Saturday, March 24, 2012

NYC Half - Wicked Fast Report

(Me in my new Spanish cycling jersey)

In my last post, I explained WHY I chose to run the NYC Half with Team Continuum.  Now, you get to hear HOW I ran so danged fast!

I went into the race wondering if I could somehow pull off a 1:37.  I haven't tested my stand-alone long distance run legs in years.  My half-marathon PR was 1:44, though that was after a 1.2 mile swim and 56 mile bike.  All of my previous half-marathon times were about 2 hours with the races having been completed BEFORE I figured out how to run fast.  With a 1:44 HIM run and my 3:54 marathon in a 140.6, I thought *maybe* I can kill this thing.  Having a time goal made me really nervous about the race, especially because I hadn't trained for it and had only run about 10 times since 2011.  I was depending on my general fitness to punch this ticket for me.

On race morning I wrote my goal splits on my arm and asked John a bazillion questions about how to pace myself.  He said to run the first 10 miles at a fast but conversational pace and the last 3 I could push.  The gun went off and 8 minutes later I was through the start! (Gotta love big races in NYC).  I went with my usual crowded run tactic, which is to have fun bobbing and weaving through people and climb past the other runners as if they are rungs in a ladder.  There is always someone to set my gaze on, catch, and pass.  This had my mind preoccupied and when I got to the 1 mile marker I was a minute ahead of schedule even though I felt like I was running easy!  I continued at a faster pace than planned and kept reminding myself to hold back - even though I felt like I was going too easy.  I held onto that minute that I gained in the first mile and put it in my pocket, just in case I needed it later.  I never needed it.  I ran at an easy 7:15 pace through mile 10.  At mile 10 we were running into a head-wind and it felt a bit harder to hold pace but I pushed a bit more anyway.  With a mile to go I gunned it.  I finished in 1:35:04, about 2 minutes ahead of what I hoped for!

As I ran this race I got lost in my thoughts and asked myself, how the heck did I get to be such a fast runner???  I came up with 3 good reasons.

1)  I watched Pro-Triathlete, Cait Snow, in awe as she ran in the RI 70.3.  She is insanely fast and she makes it look so easy!  I noticed that she was taking tiny steps and her cadence incredibly high.  I started to mimic this in my own training by shortening my stride and increasing my cadence.  Whenever I'm running, if I check in with my cadence and make my turn over faster, 2 things happen - I go faster and my perceived effort is much easier.  In a race, if I want to speed up or catch someone I pick up my cadence.  If I feel tired and like I need to slow down, I pick up my cadence to help hold my pace.  An added benefit of learning this has been that I am not needing stability shoes anymore.  I'm not over-pronating.  If you want to try to increase your cadence you can use a metronome to get a sense of where you need to be. And beware of subconsciously matching your stride with the people you're running with!

2)  I learned a lot about form from Jessi Stensland and gained a lot of run knowledge from all of the coaches at ZenTri Camp.  There are a few things that Jessi taught me that I regularly focus on while running, such as lifting my knees, pushing the ground away with my feet, and strongly swinging my arms.  These things have made an enormous difference in my running.  You should check out her MovementU training programs!

3)  Lastly, I just got WICKED fit destroying myself on my bike in Spain at SLB training camp.  I didn't run at all while I was there but I definitely got super strong.  I wasn't sure if this would translate to general fitness and not just bike fitness (which I knew had improved) but it definitely built me up!  I didn't even train for this half-marathon and I felt like a 7:15 pace was effortless.  Strong Like Bull gave me super powers!

Next up, I'm racing the 111 at TriStar Nevis next weekend, Saturday March 31st!  Check out this race course!  The bike is 3 loops that start with a 5k climb called "The Anaconda".  I ain't even skeered!

(Random last thing: I happen to love this e-card)

Monday, March 19, 2012

NYC Half-Marathon with Team Continuum

Thank you to Team Continuum for inviting me to race with them!  They are a very important running/charity group and an enormous piece of my training and love of triathlon.  If you aren't familiar with Team Continuum's mission, you should check them out.  TC is a non-profit group that raises funds, through endurance sports, to help people with cancer (and their families) to fund household expenses.  They also donate money to fund health care facilities to enhance the delivery of care.  Why do I choose to race with Team Continuum?  Here is a little background story:

In 2005, I graduated from New School University.  My father made the trip to NYC to attend my graduation -- with a 1.5 inch "cyst" on his neck.  We weren't concerned- it was just a cyst.  After graduation I went back to MA for a visit with my family. One morning, I decided to keep my dad company to get the results from his biopsy.  We still weren't concerned.  Then... I was in the room when they told my dad he had stage 4 throat cancer, I watched the color drain from his face, I saw him faint, I called my mom and told her to come home from work.

It was over a year that felt like we were trapped in a bad dream.  With chemo, radiation, morphine, and a feeding tube (because he couldn't eat solid foods), my dad was a shell of his former self.  I drove from NYC to Boston every weekend to help take care of him.  It was the entire focus of my life at that moment.  Luckily, he had a lot of support, including the gift of his full salary from his boss, Steve Grossman, of Grossman Marketing Group.  Steve is also the MA State Treasurer. Here's the thing -- my family was lucky, most jobs are forced to lay off sick employees.  I don't know where we would have been without that help.  We would have been one of the many families applying for help from Team Continuum.

With so much love and care my dad made it through chemo and regained his strength.  With my nutritional guidance, he was able to eat solid foods again and he made them ALL healthy.  We transformed his diet, and during a walk one day I said, "Dad, I bet you could do a half-marathon.  I bet you could finish that distance even if you had to walk most of it - with me".  Within a week, my father, my grandfather, and I were registered for the Inaugural NYC Half.  My dad focused his energy on following a run/walk training plan.  He continued to build his strength through nutrition.  He finished a long run of 14 miles!  Then, because of issues with his knees, he wasn't able to race.  But I raced for us both that year and I proudly delivered his hard-earned finisher shirt to him after the race.  He WON his race the day he decided to fight cancer and not to give up.
My goal splits for the race

Back to present... I ran the NYC Half with Team Continuum yesterday.  I can officially call myself a NYC Elite runner with a qualifying finishing time of 1:35:04 and I'm thrilled.  I flew, feeling weightless and effortless, over that course and I thought of my dad and of Team Continuum.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to contribute to their mission.  Come race with us!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March is Swim Month

The Big Boy Pool (Riverbank State Park 50m)
"One great big festering neon distraction, I've a suggestion to keep us all occupied. Learn to swim." Tool

It has been decided that it's time for me to get serious about swimming. I've had very few training weeks with more than 2 swims. I have managed to scrape by with the bare minimum in the water and I'm ashamed to be such a slacker. It isn't even that I mind swimming, I actually like it. I'm not *that* afraid of open water swimming and I even have an awesome Xterra wetsuit. My problem is that I want to be perfect. I'm a trained yoga instructor and there is a reason that I chose Atmananda yoga for my training -- alignment. I love knowing what my body is supposed to do and I enjoy controlling my body. I appreciate the ability to develop strong body-awareness and focus. That said, I do not understand swimming. I don't know what a perfect swim stroke should look like, and therefore, don't know what my very specific goals are. I hear conflicting opinions and it confuses and frustrates me. Am I doing this all wrong? Am I training myself to swim improperly? And even worse, my body-awareness is WAY OFF in the water! In order to avoid crossing over with my left arm, I have to swim as if I am pulling my left arm way out at my side. I feel lost and IMPERFECT. The horror!

So now its time to figure this out. I got some excellent tips during swim sessions at SLB and I'm ready to dig way into this. Maybe I won't get it perfect in the end. That's fine, because I'm pretty sure that just being in the water and making an effort will help me improve at this point. And even if I don't get faster I won't have to feel like I'm not trying my darnedest to kick ass in this sport... to earn my results.

My solution: This month I will swim at least 3-4 times per week. I will include form drills and speed sets. I won't just get in the pool and do continuous swims (what I have always done). I will also bring my coach to the pool with me to give me tips and take videos. Then I will cook him dinner, as a way to say thank you ;)
My plan may not sound like much to most of you. Keep in mind, this is a start. We'll see how it goes and maybe I'll be swimming across Tahoe with Brett and Morgan someday!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Same difference...

Sean, John... whatever. I get them confused I guess.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vuelte de Andalucia

SLB rode one of the climbs of today's stage to Torcal today and now we're parked at the top of the climb to watch the tour! Here is everyone cheering for the lead rider!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strong Like Bull, Busy Like Beaver

Finally! A moment to myself to blog! SLB has been kicking ass this year. Everything has been completely perfect. We landed on Thursday and built the bikes right away for a 75 minute spin to shake the flight off. It's a much better move than taking a nap after the overnight flight. Friday morning I did my BIG SHOP while the SLB'ers arrived at the airport. They got settled and got on bikes while I cooked a yummy dinner.

Saturday was El Torcal and I was on sag wagon duty. It was a great day to drive and I had a lot of fun supporting the group (and giving them hell about hydrating). That route is just as beautiful, visually, as it is from the bike. It's definitely a favorite of mine.

Sunday started with me teaching yoga/core and then was Zaffaraya Day. The only day we can do this ride is on Sunday because the road is closed to traffic. It was another big and beautiful day. I'm so damn strong that I held on with the lead group for 3 hours to get to the climb. I was a bit toasted on the climb but dug deep and pushed through it. After the climb, Zaffaraya becomes the moon. I started to whine to myself about being tired and dropped back a bit. Soon, Dylan and Synjen pulled up next to me and Dylan says "come hang out". So I did. I clung to them all the way home. It was intense and I'm superhuman.

Monday was a rest day. We took the triathletes for a swim then all hung out for the morning in Archedona. After the touristy stuff, most of the group got back on the bike and I rocked out to some metal \m/ while I cooked another beautiful dinner. There were loads of compliments to the chef. I'm good at what I do, I'm not gonna lie.

Tuesday was Puerte de Leon, aka Fuente de la Reine. This is an 18k descent down to the ocean and then you turn around and go UP. I got beat by Andy the Dentist (my SLB arch-nemesis) by about a minute. I busted my ass to catch him but almost couldn't keep him in my sight. This climb has breathtaking views with a well earned cafe con leche stop at the top.

Today started with another swim. It was just John and I because everyone else is getting lazy. After that we headed out for Rute de Ruta, or Anna calls it the "Secret Magic Forest Ride". Its a fun ride to lunch through a pretty forest with a secret, sunny cafe con leche stop. After lunch its lots of climbing. It was a tough 5-hour day and I felt like a ROCK STAR. I was super strong and got to hang with the big boys again... well, once they caught up with me.

Now, we're off to a night out on the town. I get a break from cooking and can't wait to stuff my pie hole, mindfully, with paella.

I <3 Spain.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It's Season 2, Episode 1 of THE Holisticguru Show! Don't miss it!

Does this apron make my snack look sexy?

ITS FEBRUARY! Lets be honest, you BLEW your new years resolution to eat healthier and lose 30 pounds and be a better person.  Well you can either crawl into a hole and try it again for the 5th time next year or you can pull yourself together and listen to our latest show explaining why you screwed up and how you can get back on track!
Listen here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Group Nutrition Programs with THE Holisticguru!

This is Herman the Onion

Group Nutrition Programs
Starting on March 6th, 2012 at 6:30pm

Great news! I’m now offering group health counseling programs in order
to create a more affordable option for people who would like to work with
me but can't afford $195 per month for an individual program. A group dynamic can be even more effective in that it creates added motivation and accountability.

Here are the group specifics:

* Meet bi-weekly for a 3-month period, via conference line (or in-person if enough people are interested).

* Sessions will last 90 minutes and will be at the same scheduled time,
every other week.

* Topics will focus on creating lasting healthy eating and lifestyle habits and
will cater to the specific group (a group via a tri coach will include training/
racing nutrition).

* Each session will include notes and handouts for the discussion and will
end with setting group action steps to focus on until the next meeting.

The cost of the group program will be $75 per person per month (or $200 in full). Space is limited and on a first come, first serve basis. This group will meet on Tuesday evenings (bi-weekly), over-the-phone, from 6:30pm -8pm and begins on Tuesday, March 6th 2012.  Email me right away for more information, or to sign up! christine@liveandeatbetter.com

Friday, January 27, 2012

Nutrition Resolutions: FREE Event!

Guys! I'm giving an in-person talk next Monday! It's like a podcast, except that you go to a physical place and I stand there in front of you and tell you things that I would tell you on a podcast.  But this is better in some ways, like: 1) You get to look at me 2) You get to participate and ask questions 3) You get to check out my favorite tri store, Jackrabbit Sports! Here are the details:

Did you totally blow it with your nutritional New Year's resolution? Do you need some advice on setting EFFECTIVE and LASTING nutritional goals?  Do you want guidance on the most important dietary changes for YOU?

Come to Jackrabbit Sports for your FREE second chance to RESOLVE your diet and for tips on how to get it right!

It's not too late.  This powerful, goal-setting event could change your entire relationship with food.

When: Monday, January 30th from 6:30- 8pm
Where: Jackrabbit Sports 140 West 72nd Street, New York, NY
How much: *FREE*

*For more information on Jackrabbit Sport's Resolve Campaign, visit: www.jackrabbitsports.com

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Who Wants My Cannondale?

I'm selling my SuperSix! I bought it new at the end of 2010. I love this bike but I got a new one for Christmas!

This is the road bike I went 8th on at Beach 2 Battleship 140.6. It's all carbon and only $1000. I'm selling it so cheap because I have too many bikes in my apartment and I want to find it a good home before Spainuary (February 7th). Now accepting applicants! ;)

Here is a link to more specs.

ZenTri Camp 2012 Wrap Up

Once again, we had another kick ass group of campers. We had some repeat campers and lots of new friends. This year the group was made up of some pretty tough athletes so we beefed up the training a bit more with some tougher workouts and challenges. The weather in San Diego was outstanding (especially while hearing about snow on the East Coast). The only day with rain we went to La Jolla Cove to get in the water, and get wet anyway, with an open water swim practice.

Highlights of 2012 were:

- lots of MovementU with Jessi
- the bike hill climb challenge between John and Brett
- a serious, killer track workout with Coach Adam
- underwater swim video analysis at the pool
- miles of awesome trail running
- zen and training talks
- and obviously the food was WONDERFUL (I went with a Top 10 Foods for Triathletes theme and included each food in my recipes)

No Bread Sandwich!

Here are some links to some fun videos that were done:

Health Store Tour
ZenTri Camp Mosh Up
Training Like a Pro with John
How to Put on a Wetsuit

We have some exciting news about next year's ZenTri Camp! Stay tuned for the announcement and for early bird registration!