Thursday, June 17, 2010


I have a new nutritional drink of choice.....Iskiate, basically chia seeds and limonade/lemonade. Remember chia pets? Same seeds but without growing grass hair on figurines. The idea came from reading Born To Run just like my new interest in barefoot running.

"For centuries this tiny little seed was used as a staple food by the Indians of the south west and Mexico. Known as the running food, its use as a high energy endurance food has been recorded as far back as the ancient Aztecs. It was said the Aztec warriors subsisted on the Chia seed during the conquests. The Indians of the south west would eat as little as a teaspoon full when going on a 24hr. forced march. Indians running form the Colorado River to the California coast to trade turquoise for seashells would only bring the Chia seed for their nourishment."

Turns out chia seeds are like super powered flax seeds. They have slightly less Omega-3 and Omega-6 than flax seeds but the fatty acids are much easier for your body to absorb in chia seeds, no chewing necessary (Click here for a nutritional break down). They also are a good source of calcium and protein and antioxidants... ooo la la.

FYI, Chia seeds will absorb 9 times it’s weight in water in less than 10 minutes creating a kind of jelly/slimey substance. All in all I give it * * * * * stars, I think I found my morning drink of choice.

Iskiate (serving size - 1 glass)
8 oz of water
2.0-2.5 teaspoons of Chia Seeds
1 lime to squeeze
2 teaspoons of sugar
Mix water, sugar, and juice from the lime until dissolved. Add Chia Seeds and shake or stir. Serve it chilled.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Vibram Five Fingers

I have known about the Vibram Five Fingers for almost a year now. One of my fellow Peace Corps friends runs barefoot all the time, including long distances like marathons. Plus there have been numerous articles about the benefits of barefoot running. However, it wasn't until I read "Born to Run" that I was convinced. I was inspired by the stories of people ditching the popular way of running and discovering their knee or other running based injuries ended. Even more so, I was motivated by the stories of tribes that have been running 100s of mile for years without any pain.

In the book they also discuss how The Human Body Is Built for Distance. The reason there are so many running related injuries is because of bad running form and overly cushioned shoes.

After doing further research, I decided if I want to reduce my knee pain and run a marathon one day, I need to go back to the basics. I need to stop running with my heels and utilize the balls of my feet. I am hoping Vibram Five Fingers helps to strength my feet and redirects more natural running gait. I've only worn them once, so no review yet. But I will be sure to write about it in a month or so.....

"Many experts believe the shoes we wear not only cast the foot in a protective form, but also weaken our foot and leg muscles, leaving them underdeveloped and more prone to injury. And while there are many occasions where traditional footwear is essential for protection, safety, and security, it is equally important to stimulate and exercise the foot in a more natural state on a regular basis........Motion studies demonstrate that when running barefoot, one naturally lands on the forefoot, directly below your center of gravity. This results in optimum balance, increased stability, less impact, and greater propulsion. According to Dr. Ivo Waerlop of the Vibram Biomechanics Advisory Board, “Running in FiveFingers improves agility, strength, and equilibrium, plus it delivers sensory feedback that allows runners to make immediate corrections in their form. This greatly improves running efficiency.”" Vibram Five Finger Website

"But for all the technological advances promoted by the industry — the roll bars, the computer chips and the memory foam — experts say the injury rate among runners is virtually unchanged since the 1970s, when the modern running shoe was introduced. Some ailments, like those involving the knee and Achilles’ tendon, have increased." Wiggling Their Toes at the Shoe Giants

July 2012 update - My knee pain is much better. I only use the shoes 1-2x a week and use my sneakers the other times. But I believe switching to running forefoot is the reason I was able to train and run my marathon in 2011 :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tofu Scramble

I made tofu scramble for the first time two weeks ago and have since made it 4 times. You can spice it anyway you want, I've tried cumin and curry style so far. Both made me happy and helped cure my tofu boredom. Just make sure you get some of the water out of the tofu first for the best taste.

I adapted Vegan with a Vengeance's recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients and I don't like nutritional yeast (which is sad because it's so nutritious ;)

1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped white onion (about a cup)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced

spice blend:
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Saute onions 3 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes more. Add spice blend and mix it up for 15 seconds or so.

Crumble in tofu and mix well. Let cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat a bit if you find that it is sticking.