Category Archives: Recovery

Vitamix-ing Never Gets Old

Never gets old. I think it just gets better every time I make one of these smoothies with the Vitamix. The usual suspects of ingredients.

  • Kale (1 cup)
  • Red chard (1 cup)
  • Broccoli (1/2 cup)
  • Apple (1/2 – 3/4)
  • Frozen blue berries (1/4 cup)
  • Avocado (half of a small one)
  • Raw almonds (6-8)
  • Ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt (a pinch)
  • Heavy whipping cream (1 tbl)
  • Coconut oil (1 tbl)
  • Plain full fat Greek yogurt (1 tbl)
  • Water (1 cup to start and add as needed)
  • Coffee (1/4 cup previously brewed and cooled)

In a plastic zip lock bag I froze the red chard, the kale, sliced apple, broccoli, and the blueberries. Freezing a bunch of the ingredients has 2 benefits:

  1. Stays fresh frozen until ready for use. Thus avoiding wilting or rotting your awesome vegetables.
  2. Reduce (or eliminate) the amount of ice needed to make the shake. Therefore packing in more nutrients per smoothie.

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Blew my migraines away?

Migraines? Have you considered revamping or adding to your nutrition? I pretty much blew my migraines away. I figure if I can share my experience and what I’ve found to help cure me, it might be helpful to you. Here’s a brief timeline:

1987: As a young teen, I started suffering from migraines. I had many bouts with it through high school and as an adult. Triggers included light, stress, muscular tension around my shoulders and neck due to exercise, chocolate covered coffee beans, and dark chocolate with red wine. As a teen, I saw an acupuncturist. The treatment helped dull some residual pain post migraine attack but it didn’t fix me. As an adult, tried a medication drug Imitrex but it didn’t help my headaches.

Fast forward 25 yrs (April 2012): Came across this article and podcast discussion and put it in the mental back-burner:
“How To Get Rid of Migraine Headaches Forever”. http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/04/how-to-get-rid-of-migraine-headaches/

June 2012: Ran 32 miles and during weeks of recovery I listened to this audiobook called “Finding Ultra” by Rich Roll and was inspired to eat cleaner as a way to improve my bodies ability to recover quicker from long runs. A big thing I added to my nutrition was making my own morning green smoothies:
http://www.nomeatathlete.com/finding-ultra-review/

Along the way I started learning about how the foods we eat impact our pH. Learning which foods are acid or alkaline forming.

With the goal of better personal athletic performance through a total revamp of my diet, the following side benefits happened.
– Have shed 18lbs.
– Skin cleared up
– High energy levels

I also realized what I was doing was essentially improving my pH and guess what? Yup…
– No more migraines

There was one time in the start of July and at the start of this whole thing where I swore a migraine was coming. I was at a store and the blurry/hazy migraine vision thing kicked-in and that was all to my surprise. The vision cleared up soon after. No nausea or headache followed. Since then no more.

I’m convinced if I were to eat the diet of my former self, the migraines would all come back. I think anyone with migraines should look into this.

Get better.

Update 11/24/12:
About 5 months since my last headache and the day after Thanksgiving, I had a migraine in the morning. I think Thanksgiving food and have come of a week long trip to Disneyland where I was without a blender and ingredients finally caught up to me. I picked my coconut oil and the rest of my fresh ingredients yesterday so this morning I had a big shake to help me recover from yesterday’s migraine. I’m working my way back to some balance.

Update 2/25/13:
Had a ‘mild’ migraine yesterday. Three months since my last one noted above. What happend before the attack? I was on an intermittent fast, except for a couple late night pickle spears, morning faux bulletproof coffee, and tall heavy whipping cream latte. Went on an planned hour Z2 run and noticed an easily elevated HR around Z3/Z4. Took lots of walk breaks to keep HR down. A couple hours post run migraine aura started. Drank my packed fat green smoothie and got through the aura a half hour later. I think I might be cutting back on espressos and be more cautious choosing to workout on a fast. Although it hasn’t been a problem before. I suspect parts or all of these had contributed to my elevated HR: cold air exposure on the run and caffeine from espresso. I see the elevated HR as a problem for my workout but also an indicator that I was out of balance or in a higher acidic blood pH state.

Update: 5/25/2013
Five months since last migraine. 12:30p migraine start. Had little sleep the night before. Worked all night. Snacked on pickle spears, olives, and a couple ounces of aged cheddar. Also a small taste (ounce) of vodka. Went to bed at 3 a.m. Up at 6:30am. Kona coffee blended bulletproof style (2 tbsp grassfed butter and 1 tbsp MCT oil) at 8am. Decided on another batch of same coffee at 11:30-12pm. This must have been toxic levels for me. Moved to counter with a shot of apple cider vinegar and glass of water. 15 minutes later, whipped up a pitcher of green smoothie and downed it. Took an hour nap. Woke up vision cleared, but still Felt the migraine hangover. 2:30 feeling less hung over and made a simple batch of black coffee in the press.

Recovery month

Week of 6/4/12 – 6/10/12
Monday – 50K run.
Tuesday – Recover.
Wednesday – Recover.
Thursday – Recover
Friday – Recover.
Saturday – Recover
Sunday – Recover.

Week of 6/11/12 – 6/17/12
Monday – Recover
Tuesday – Recover.
Wednesday – Recover.
Thursday – 6/14 00:53:15 min run, 4 miles, 13’18″/mi, 161BPM. First run to test out legs since 50k ten days ago. Right leg problems at mile 2-3.
Friday – Recover.
Saturday – Recover
Sunday – Recover.

Week of 6/18/12 – 6/24/12
Monday – Recover
Tue 6/19 Light Stretch, 5 – 3min rounds of skip rope, Wall Ball squats, 1 mile step climber, 20min spin bike, 1 mile treadmill.
Wed 6/20 Light Stretch, 45 min spin bike, 1 mile treadmill. Evening Tae-bo DVD.
Thursday – Recover
Friday – Recover.
Saturday – Recover
Sunday – Recover.

Week of 6/25/12 – 7/1/12
Monday – 6/25 Light Stretch, 3 – 5 min rounds skip rope w/ crunches in between, 30 min spin bike, 1 mile treadmill
Tuesday – 6/26 1:17:06 hr run, 6 miles, 12’50″/mi, 162BPM. Second run post 50k. Legs held up this time. Slight twinges, but the wheels stayed on the whole time.
Wednesday – Recover. Tae-bo DVD.
Thursday – Recover
Friday – 6/29 30 min spin bike, 20 treadmill.
Saturday – Recover.
Sunday – Recover.

Keeping things going.

About a month since the RnR San Jose Half marathon. I’ve been keeping my runs to an hour during lunch. I’ve cut weight and lost 10 pounds since mid-Sept. About 6 weeks to go from 162.8 to today’s weight of 152.4. A couple of weeks ago Kaleo was stuck at home sick from some virus. He couldn’t attend preschool, so I stayed home with him. Needless to say, I had no choice but to take a week off of running. Halloween day was the first day I got back out and I ran a hard hour. It was hard because I allowed myself to slip into speedwork sessions wearing Vibram FiveFingers. Later than night trick-or-treating with my son and already worn out from the midday run, I ended up carrying the little guy most of the outing. Little did I realize how exhausted my body had gotten until the following night, when I lazily hunched and reached out to pick-up my son for a bath and put my lower back out. I had to let my son go so I could get on the floor and get through the pain as I attempt a neutral position. As of this post, I’ve done a week of recovery and feeling much better. I stopped taking the prescription muscle relaxant and actually knocked out a few push ups last night and did a quick chest session at the office fitness room. I know two weeks of back rest is enough time to allow me to run 3 miles. I know three weeks of back rest can get me up to 6 miles. I know because I was in the same position 2 years ago. I look forward to getting into some regular run again.