The Color Run

Santana and I celebrated Cinco De Mayo with a little fitness fun. The night before the run, we traveled down to Ft. Lauderdale, which is a little more than three hours from home. Our first stop in town was packet pick up. It was so exciting to drive up and see all of the signs and banners for The Color Run. They had music playing and people outside trying to pump up the participants.

We then drove to our hotel, The Hampton Inn. We wanted to find the closest hotel to the run. We were in walking distance, which was fantastic. Just another way to get out there and burn those extra calories! The hotel was more than accommodating and they were very eager to ensure our comfort.

Once we got situated, we could barely wait to break out our goodies for the next day's festivities!

Once we got situated, we could barely wait to break out our goodies for the next day’s festivities!

Dinner time was approaching so we decided to head toward where the run would take place and look for some eats. I love, love, love how everything was conveniently located. Before looking for food, we did decide to take a peak at the set up. They had volunteers preparing the stage and different booths. Sooo exciting!

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This is total side bar, but what is Ft. Lauderdale feeding their lizards? Holy smokes, they were stacked!

I felt like a complete tourist taking pictures of lizards, but I could not get over how big there were. I’m not kidding you, there were like three times the size of the ones I’m used to seeing.

Anyways, we didn’t want to be out too late since we did have a run in the early AM.

Morning came and we were pumped to have a little fitness fun! We showered and put our gear on. It was even more exciting to see how many people in the hotel that were also doing the run. There were color runners all over the building. We were off. As we were getting closer to the event, we were seeing color runners coming from all angles. It was evident that everyone was as equally excited as we were.

Ha!  One of the reasons why I love him so much.  He has quirk about him that shines bright!

Ha! One of the reasons why I love him so much. He has quirk about him that shines bright!

It wasn’t long before they called the first wave of color runners. While standing at the start line, beach balls were bouncing around and they had volunteers shooting out all kinds of color packets and goodies. Once they counted down to the start, everyone began running while cheering excitedly about what was to come. There were four color check points and one water station. Just before hitting the water station volunteers were shooting water at us rather than the cornstarch based paint. Since this was a run about making fitness fun, we didn’t overly push ourselves. We just ran and enjoyed two things we love most. Fitness and having fun while doing it!

20130509-001749.jpgBy the time we crossed the finish line, we were both covered from head to toe in color. Volunteers were handing out refreshments and recovery bars. I was excited and surprised to see how many vendors were there, giving out goodies.

It wasn’t long before more and more color runners were passing through the finish line. Everyone was even more excited and pumped than before. There were all kinds of exciting things going on. Anywhere from a Conga line and Harlem Shake to a pinata (being that it was Cinco De Mayo) filled with color for people to whack around.

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Every 20 minutes they had a wave of color. Packets were shot out into the crowd and once the count down was complete, we tossed it all into the air. So much fun!
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No caption needed. Just a little bit of awesomeness!

Loved seeing this since recycling is another topic I'm passionate about.

Loved seeing this since recycling is another topic I’m passionate about.

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We were both so excited to do this run and were not disappointed with any part of it. The Color Run is proof that fitness can be fun!

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a popular form of exercise that combines two of the most effective fat burning methods. HIIT is composed of alternating periods of intense effort with periods of moderate-to-low effort. By combining the two, you can maximize fat burning and muscle building potential through significantly shorter workouts.

HIIT training can include just about any exercise as long as it involves cardio. You can do an all cardio HIIT or you can do a partial cardio with strength training. Determining the length of your intervals really depends on your current conditioning level and your specific workout goals. Starting with a few repeats of shorter intervals of work and longer intervals of rest, over time your conditioning will improve. You can then increase the work interval duration, decrease the recovery interval, and increase the number of sets.

Some fun little facts:

  • The harder you work, the more oxygen your muscles require. It takes approximately five calories to consume one liter of oxygen.
  • Working your body to it’s VO2 Max (the highest amount of oxygen consumed by your body during exercise), triggers an afterburn affect. An afterburn affect is when your body continues to burn calories even after your workout. HIIT training can trigger that afterburn affect for up to 48 hours post workout.
  • Interval training boosts your metabolism significantly longer than a steady workout of an even longer length. For example, a 20 minute workout of alternating high/low intensity periods burns more calories than a 20 minutes work out of steady intensity.
  • Interval training also builds lean muscle tissue faster than a steady state training.

HIIT training is not for everyone. It is an incredibly effective method for improving fitness in a short time, but is extremely taxing on your body. It requires discipline, dedication and determination. Do you have what it takes?!

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Brominated Vegetable Oil (BVO)

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Bromine is a toxic chemical that is extracted from sea water. It is added to a vegetable oil that is created from pressing vegetables, hence the name “Brominated Vegetable Oil” or BVO for short. While it is more commonly known for being a food additive, it can also be found in many other products.

Where can bromine be found?

  • Bakery goods (used in flour as a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate)
  • Soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca, Powerade and other citrus-flavored sodas).
  • Medication (some inhalers, nasal sprays, and oral sedatives)
  • Toothpastes
  • Mouthwashes
  • Hair dyes
  • Fire retardants
  • Pesticides
  • Plastics (cables, connectors, and plastic covers)
  • Homes and Automobiles (carpets, upholstery, and paints)
  • Hot tub and swimming pool treatments (as a bleaching and sanitizing agent)

BVO is banned as a food additive in more than 100 countries with the exception of the U.S. and Canada. It competes with iodine receptors in your body. This is an issue because iodine is essential for your body. Having elevated levels of bromine can be linked to major organ system damage, birth defects, growth problems, schizophrenia, hearing loss, hypothyroidism, and cancer.

cdac709e9c25efb607f7fe4656ac8c24There are a lot of articles talking about how BVO is found in Gatorade, which is owned by PepsiCo. Yes, BVO, used to be an ingredient in Gatorade. But, early this year, PepsiCo announced that they would remove BVO from their Gatorade drinks in response to customer concerns. They replaced it with sucrose acetate isobutyrate. With that said, they are still putting it in other citrus flavored drinks of theirs, like Mountain Dew.

*Please note that sucrose acetate isobutyrate and glycerol ester of wood rosin are substitutes for BVO that are listed as generally safe to be used as a food additive.

Look here to view the importance of iodine. Please note that having low levels of iodine affects the thyroid, therefore it is especially crucial for people with hypothyroidism to be aware of this ingredient.

Look to here view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our food.

The dangers of fluoride

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I grew up believing that fluoride was extremely important and healthy to consume, as I’m sure most had the same thought. I was at a loss for words to find out how dangerous it really is and how much we consume without knowledge.

What is fluoride exactly? Well, it’s a pollutant by-product of aluminum manufacturing. It is so toxic that it has the ability to eat through metal and concrete. A fluoride spill results in the use of hazmat suits for clean up. Many years ago, it was used as an insecticide and rat poison. This was before it was deemed as a ‘cavity fighter’. While it is highly marketed for its dental benefits, It can actually cause more harm than good. If too much is consumed it can cause your teeth to become discolored and crumble.

Sadly, it being added to toothpaste is not where it ends. It can also be found in our bathing AND drinking water along with prescription medicine. More than 300 chemicals are being pumped into our water supply under the name of fluoride. Companies would have to pay a fee for the disposal of it due to its toxicity, but instead our cities are paying as much as millions of dollars a year to legally pump it in. While we cannot prevent too much of it being absorbed into our skin through showering, there are other ways to reduce the consumption.

Prescription medicine, such as Prozac, is a form of fluoride. Strong doses of fluoride can make a person more docile and easier to control. This is a practice that goes way back to the Nazis. The Nazis were pumping it into the drinking water of the concentration and slave labor camps, resulting in less hostility from their prisoners.

A number of different studies have linked fluoride to as many as 10,000 cancer deaths per year. It has also been shown to enhance the brains absorption of aluminum, the substance that’s found in Alzheimer’s patients. Consuming excess amounts of fluoride can be shown to damage the musculoskeletal and nervous system, leading to joint mobility, ligament calcification, muscular degeneration, and neurological deficits.

Many bottled water brands contain fluoride – Zephyrhills, Dasani, and Nestlé (containing the highest amount) … Just to name a few. Fiji has small trace amounts of it, but is considered to be negligible. Glacier water is reported to be the best for you. I was shocked to find out that Brita, Pur and most other filtering systems DO NOT remove fluoride.

There are three possible methods of fluoride removal.

• Distillation Filtration
Commercially available distillation filters that can remove fluoride from the water.

PLEASE NOTE: when looking on the labels of bottled water, keep in mind that ‘distilled water’ can still contain impurities that are not suitable for drinking.

• Reverse Osmosis Filtration
Can be installed into your home, but is fairly expensive to have for persoanl use.

• Activated Alumina Defluoridation Filter
I’ve read that the cheapest filter is around $30.00 and requires frequent replacement.

Publix has a glacier water machine. It has the reverse osmosis filtration method. The fee is anywhere from $0.30 – $0.35 a gallon and $1.50 – $1.55 per five gallon jug (at least in my area). This is where I get my personal supply of my water. I use it for just about everything – To make my own ice cubes, for drinking and even for cooking.

NOTE: Freezing fluoride infused water does not affect the concentration, but you will still be consuming it. Boiling it will make it MORE concentrated.

•Look here to view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our foods.

Spring Sprint 5K

This past Saturday, Santana and I completed the Spring Sprint 5K at Cranes Roost Park. The both of us have done races in the past, but this was the first we’ve done together. I’m looking forward to the many more that are to come!

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We also met up with some of my coupon lady friends. Crystal and Lori have also completed many races and are inspiring for their drive to do more. For Ashley, Tara and Susan, it was their first official 5K. I couldn’t be more proud of them for taking that step in making themselves the healthiest version possible. Way to go, ladies!

20130422-152439.jpgFrom left to right: Crystal, Ashley, myself, Susan, Tara and Lori

Awards were given to the top three in each age and gender division. Sadly, we didn’t make the cut, but Santana and I were pleased to find out that we each placed 6th our divisions. It’s a tough pill to swallow knowing that you were so close, yet so far away from getting that medal. We are kicking ourselves for not pushing just a little harder.

We track our runs so we have a general idea of our timing and mileage. I prefer to use RunKeeper while he likes to use the Nike + iPod.

20130423-120428.jpgThey are both pretty close to our official time, but I’d say RunKeeper is a bit more accurate. Maybe I can convince him into making the switch 😉

While being slightly disappointed for not completing it in the time I had set for myself (26:30), I’m still very proud of how far I’ve come since January.

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load. What are they and why are they important?

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a ranking system that tells you how carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar (glucose). The lower the number assigned to a food, generally the better. This is because a low GI food is slowly digested, causing less of a spike in insulin. Producing less insulin may prevent diabetes, halt heart disease and help curb hunger, contributing in weight management.

The scale goes from zero to 100 with pure glucose being ranked at 100. Foods that rank 70 and over are considered to have a GI index. In most indexes (there are some minor variation between lists) these include potatoes, refined white and wheat bread, raisins and other dried fruit. Foods ranked medium include most types of pasta, baked beans, yams, green peas, sweet potatoes, orange juice and blueberries. Low glycemic index foods include beans, cruciferous vegetables, yogurt, grapefruit, apples and tomatoes.

  • 55 or less is low
  • 56-69 is medium
  • 70 or more is high
Low glycemic eating is  most efficient and natural way to lose fat.  According to the Glycemic Research Institute, high glycemic carbohydrates store in the fat cells.

Low glycemic eating is most efficient and natural way to lose fat. According to the Glycemic Research Institute, high glycemic carbohydrates store in the fat cells.

The GI does not tell you how much carbohydrates are in a particular food, but the glycemic load (GL) does. The GL is a relatively new method that is often used in tandem with the GI. The GL considers the serving size of the food and calculates the number of carbohydrates in that particular serving of food. As a result, you have a more accurate means of predicting how the carbohydrates of a given food will affect your blood sugar.

  • 10 or less is low
  • 11-19 is medium
  • 20 or more is high

The GL is calculated by multiplying the GI value by the number of grams of carbohydrates, then dividing by 100. For example, if 1 cup of a food item provides about 10 grams of carbohydrates, and the GI of that food item is 49. That makes the GL of a cup of that item about 5, since 49 × 10 ÷ 100 = 4.9.

It is important to do the calculation because simply looking at the number of grams of carbohydrates on a label can give you a false reading of how they will affect your blood sugar. Look here for an example of what I’m talking about.

  • Look here to learn more about cruciferous vegetables.
  • Look here for a chart of 100+ foods with their GI and GL levels.
  • Look here to view the importance of reading and understanding the ingredients in our foods.