Odds & Ends

Random ideas gathered on the run:

1. New Chapters. You may not have seen this, as I posted it earlier at the end of an article. If you purchased Fitness Intuition before July 1, 2009, email me (use the link in the sidebar) and I’ll send you the seven new chapters in a PDF file.

I’ve felt for a long time that there was a “hole” in the book. Now I believe it’s complete. I’m happy with the results, and I’ve had positive feedback. Peter Konopka, a medical doctor, competitive cyclist, health author, and yoga teacher in Germany, said, “Ihre Gedanken über intuitives Training finde ich großartig.” (He thinks the intuitive training is swell.) The new chapters are about energy-based training, training with enjoyment, and the classic ideas of Arthur Lydiard.

2. Calming Nerves During the Taper. The day before Western States in 1997, I bought snacks at a mini-mart and spoke with another runner. He said he’d run every day for a year, and the taper was killing him – his nerves were frayed and his energy was all over.

I thought of telling him the best “cure” I’d found was chocolate. But I feared the sugar might destroy his race, so I remained mum. Since then, I’ve discovered a better way than scarfing Hershey bars to calm the heeby-jeebies. I mix pure organic cocoa powder with almond milk and sweeten with stevia, then throw in some dates. Chocolate contains a substance called anandamide (Ananda is a Sanskrit term that means bliss).

3. Eggs. In an earlier article, I told about my success eating eggs the night before a long run. When I’m healthy, fit, and rested, eggs make my legs feel stronger and more enduring. I’ve since refined the “system.” If I eat eggs the morning of the run, they have little effect – it seems to take at least 12 hours for the effect to kick in. That translates to an omelet the night before. Also, I no longer eat raw eggs – they don’t work as well as an omelet cooked over low heat.

4. Recovery. By the way, the best after-run recovery drink mix I’ve found remains Hammer Nutrition’s Recoverite. It’s phenomenal. I take a packet mixed in water or a smoothie immediately after a long run or hard gym workout, have a 20- to 30-minute nap, and then 30 minutes to an hour later I take a second Recoverite packet.

Another excellent recovery agent I’ve found is – once again – eggs. Eggs and milk are the only foods that can sustain life by themselves. To ensure that I’m covering the nutritional bases, I like to have one egg in the evening. It seems to make a big difference in my energy level during runs and throughout the day.

5. A Wonderful Salad Dressing. During a recent layoff with bronchitis, I was unable to eat citrus. I prayed about it and was inspired to concoct a new salad dressing that doesn’t need OJ: 1-2 tablespoons of Dole frozen pineapple juice concentrate (any supermarket), a dash of soy sauce, mashed avocado or almond butter, and a little water. Delicious!

My current salad is a quickie: grate a carrot, a zucchini, and a small beet, finely chop spinach and/or Romaine lettuce. Add peas, chopped green onions, green olives, pecans, etc. to taste and serve with pineapple avocado dressing. Fast, tastes wonderful, and it’s extremely healthy.

Salad is the best weight-loss aid there is, period. Fill up on high-nutrient-density, high-bulk foods like salad, fruit, beans, and nuts, and you won’t feel hungry. It will be much easier to cut back on the Big Three fat-makers: starchy carbs, saturated fats, and simple sugars.

The exercising body definitely needs saturated fat (eggs, milk, cheese, coconut, etc.), but in small quantities. Same for starchy carbs (potatoes, rice, chips, bread). Eggs are very nutrient-dense. One egg contains nutritional value equivalent to a glass of milk. So you can eat very little. Get protein from a daily egg, or a glass of milk, plus nuts, tofu, etc.

6. A Great One-Bowl Meal. Last night I had an awesome meal. I’m a big fan of the “one-bowl meal.” I started with a salad base of finely chopped organic Romaine with shredded carrot and zucchini. I like to keep “salad base” veggies in a big bowl or bag so I don’t have to prepare them, just grab a handful and throw on some dressing.

Same for stir-fry vegetables – I keep a container of chopped onion, red pepper, zucchini, and peas.

Last night I put some salad base in a bowl with mashed avocado, a tablespoon of pineapple juice concentrate, and some soy sauce, then stir-fried a several handfuls of veggies, turned the heat way down, splashed on soy sauce to help cool the pan, and dropped in a beaten organic egg and stirred everything together. I put the eggs and veggies on top of the salad mix and tossed it. Amazing.