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The race goes not to the swift, but to those who keep running !

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Which Body is Better for Health and Performance? Answer Join me at

Power 90 featured post

See why power 90 was so successful at changing the in home fitness market.

Meet Shaun T

Check out the creator of the most Intense exercise videos in the world Insanity and Asylum ! Shaun T !!

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P 90 X The Extreme In Home Fitness program-

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Get Ripped in 90 Days!

P90X® Extreme Training System
Trainer Tony Horton will transform your body in just 90 days. P90X® is a revolutionary system that constantly introduces new moves to challenge your muscles and give you extraordinary results.

Twelve routines that keep introducing new moves and challenging your muscles to get you absolutely ripped in 90 days. With trainer Tony Horton.

Get absolutely ripped in just 90 days with P90X!


01 Chest & Back

This superset chest-and-back-blasting workout emphasizes two classic upper-body exercises, push-ups and pull-ups, to build strength and develop shape. The combination of these two push and pull movements will help you burn loads of calories while simultaneously attacking, strengthening, and developing multiple muscle groups.

02 Plyometrics
Get ready to go airborne. With over 30 explosive jumping moves, you won't be spending much time on the ground during this highly intense cardio routine. Plyometrics, also known as jump training, has been proven to dramatically improve athletic performance. If your sport involves a ring, rink, field, court, or track, then this training will give you the edge. Just be prepared to "Bring It" for a full hour when you leap into this workout, because there is no letting up.

03 Shoulder & Arms
Nothing rounds out the perfect physique like a pair of well-defined arms and shoulders, and with its potent combination of pressing, curling, and fly movements, this routine will leave you feeling stronger and looking sexier. Whether you want to build muscle mass or just slim and tighten what you've already got, these targeted shoulder and arm exercises will get you the results you want.

04 Yoga X
Yoga is a vital part of any fitness regimen, and is an absolute must for an extreme program like P90X. This routine combines strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and breath work to enhance your physique and calm your mind. Yoga X will leave you feeling energized, invigorated, and maybe even a little enlightened.

05 Legs & Back
Get ready to squat, lunge, and pull for a total-body workout like no other. While the main focus of this workout lies in strengthening and developing the leg muscles (quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves), there's also a handful of great pull-up exercises to give your legs a quick breather while you work the upper body.

06 Kenpo X
Kenpo X was created to give P90X users a high-intensity cardiovascular workout packed with lots of punching and kicking combinations to improve balance, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. During this workout you'll learn some of the most effective ways to defend yourself, while at the same time getting your body in peak condition.
07 X Stretch
Stretching is the one thing that will help you achieve a higher level of athleticism over a longer period of time. The X Stretch routine is an integral part of the program that will help prevent injuries and avoid plateaus. The extensive full-body stretches that make up this routine use disciplines from Kenpo karate, hatha yoga, and various sports to ensure that your body is fully prepared to meet all P90X challenges head-on.
08 Core Synergistics
Each and every exercise in the Core Synergistics workout recruits multiple muscle groups to build and support the core (lumbar spine and trunk muscles), while at the same time conditioning your body from head to toe. Loaded with a variety of fun, unique, and challenging exercises, this routine will get you moving in all directions to maximize your P90X results.

09 Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
Packed with an array of moves that target both large and small muscles, this workout will do wonders for your upper body. In just one full sequence you'll get a healthy dose of presses, flys, and extensions to push you to the brink. The results will be a stronger, leaner, and highly defined upper torso that will leave you looking awesome, with or without a shirt.

10 Back & Biceps
With a host of curls and pull-ups, this routine will make it fun to flex those powerful biceps. But don't worry, ladies—by using lighter weight, you can focus on toning and tightening these showcase arm muscles without adding the size that most guys covet. Additionally, this workout will also provide some great back definition that everyone can appreciate. No matter what your goals, you will achieve them in dramatic fashion if you dig in and max out your reps.

11 Cardio X
This low-impact cardio routine can be used in a variety of ways to meet your P90X goals. Use it in addition to your standard P90X workload when you want to burn some extra calories, or as a substitute if your body needs a break from the program's high-impact workouts. Whatever your reason for using Cardio X, you'll find it to be a fun, full-throttle, fat burning workout that will leave you feeling lean and mean.

12 Ab Ripper X
The combination and sequence of movements in this unique workout taps into not only abdominal strength, but true core strength as well. Master these 11 highly effective exercises and you will achieve vital abdominal muscle strength to benefit your overall health and physical performance. You'll also develop that highly coveted 6-pack as you take Ab Ripper X to full throttle. It's extreme work that's better than any machine in any club.

13 How To Bring It ( Instructional dvd )

Plus, get these informative tools:

3-Phase Nutrition Plan. Designed to help you lose fat, build lean muscle, and maintain high energy levels through each part of the program.

P90X Fitness Guide. Packed with information and tools to help you set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay inspired.

How to Bring It Video. Get a quick overview of the complete P90X Extreme Home Fitness training system.
And get these tools to keep you motivated:

P90X Calendar. Lets you know exactly what to do each day, set your workout goals, track your progress, and stay motivated.

Online Support. You'll have access to Tony and other fitness experts, and peer support from your fellow P90Xers.

90-Day Money-Back Guarantee
We’re so sure you'll love this program, we're giving you our 90-day money-back guarantee. If you're not completely satisfied, simply call Customer Service to return P90X within 90 days for a refund of the purchase price, less shipping and handling. But keep the Ab Ripper X routine and the 3-Phase Nutrition Plan as our gift just for trying P90X.

Join the extreme fitness revolution today!
It takes just an hour a day to get in the best shape of your life. All you need is a set of dumbbells or resistance bands and a place to do pull-ups.

Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Insanity -Pure Cardio review !

Okay this is one of the first videos you will do in Phase 1 of Insanity!

In this Video: Shaun T, Rachel, Chris, Alysia, Tania and more!

It is 38 minutes and 17 seconds (total video) of unbelievable Cardio with no breaks other than the stretch period after the 11 minute warmup We use the warmups before kickboxing classes and even before P90X strength workouts. The warmup includes Jacks, Heisman, 123, Mummy kicks, Butt kicks, high knees , repeat three times

The stretch period is 11 minutes with the water break.

Workout starts with 20:47 remaining:

  • Suicide drills
  • Switch kicks
  • Wide Football kicks
  • Stance Squats
  • Pedal & Lunge
  • Hooks & Jump Rope
  • Power jacks
  • Level 2 drills 8 pushups &8 run outs in plank
  • Frog jumps
  • Power knees
  • Mountain climbers  (Shanied "wanted to leave" haha
  • Ski Down
  • Scizzor Runs
  • Suidice jumps( crazy)
  • Pushup jacks
  • Done - Break
 Shaun while laying on his back says "this sh*8 is bananas"
    Cool down & Stretch for 5:29 Drink your results and recovery and have a good meal afterwards , you will need it!
X Mike

Water Fluctuations and Your Weight

Water Fluctuations and Your Weight
By Bob Greene, BFA, MFA
Glee Contributor

Be forewarned that when you first become active or increase the amount and intensity of your exercise, you will retain extra water.

Gaining this extra water weight can be disheartening and has caused many people to give up their exercise programs. The truth is that gaining this extra water weight is a very good sign.

As you become more active and drink more water, your muscles will act like sponges and will immediately become more fully hydrated. In addition, you may also add a little new muscle, which in turn will store even more water.

The more active you are, the more glycogen (a stored carbohydrate) your muscles will retain. Each gram of glycogen stores an additional 2.5 to 3 grams of water.

Finally, the better shape you're in, the more water is stored within your bloodstream. This additional water weight can be significant and is most pronounced when you increase your level of fitness.

This explains why physically fit individuals store considerably more water within their bodies than unfit individuals. This also explains how a very fit person can weigh much more than their appearance would suggest.

When you exercise regularly, you're sending the message to your body that water needs to be stored in relatively large quantities. Your body responds by finding creative ways to store this additional water. The fitter you become, the higher your percentage of water weight will be, and the lower your percentage of body fat.

Don't let this additional water weight frustrate you. It's a good sign! It means that your metabolism is increasing as well as your potential to burn fat. That's why I especially like to see my new clients put on this initial water weight; it usually means that good things are about to happen -- that is, as long as they remain patient through the first four to six weeks.

The water cycles

In addition to the initial water weight gain that you'll experience when you become more active, your body has various water cycles that influence the retention and release of water weight.

These are daily, weekly, monthly and even seasonal water cycles. These cycles occur for a variety of complex reasons, and they are not all fully understood. There are also times when these cycles converge to reach their respective highs, at which time you'll experience a significant increase in your water weight and, consequently, your total weight.

It's at these times that you must reassure yourself that as long as you are consistently "on the program," there will be a gradual reduction in your body fat -- even if the scale doesn't confirm it! By the same token, there will be times the various water cycles converge at a low point, resulting in your body retaining less water. This will lead to a decrease in your total body weight. This is also somewhat of an illusion and should not cause you to become overconfident.

It all comes down to trust -- trust in yourself! As long as you are patient and believe you are doing the best thing for yourself and that you deserve the results your desire, those good results will happen!

Water weight gain is commonly responsible for the scale not budging -- or even moving higher. Remember that each time you improve your level of fitness your body holds more water. Don't worry about it. Water fluctuations happen to everyone and are nothing to be concerned about unless you let them affect your emotions.
If you suspect you're retaining water, just examine how your clothes fit. If, despite an increase in your weight, your clothes fit about the same or even more loosely, water is probably to blame.

When you lose weight the right way -- by being active -- the rules change a bit. It's very common to be losing fat but gaining weight. As frustrating as this can be, my advice is to simply focus on how good you feel, how your clothes fit, and the other positive changes that are happening to you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Salmon -Food of the week

What's New and Beneficial about Salmon
  • With so much focus on the amazing omega-3 benefits of salmon, other unique health benefits from salmon may have been inadvertently overlooked. One fascinating new area of health benefits involves the protein and amino acid content of salmon. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. One particular bioactive peptide called calcitonin (sCT) has been of special interest in these studies. The reason is because a human form of calcitonin is made by the thyroid gland, and we know that it is a key hormone for helping regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in the bone and surrounding tissue. As researchers learn more and more about salmon peptides - - including sCT - - we expect to see more and more potential health benefits discovered related to inflammation, including inflammation of the joints.
  • Even though contamination with mercury, pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPS) has become a widespread problem in salmon habitats and with the quality of salmon itself, there are still salmon runs that pose relatively low risk in terms of contaminants. Leading this low-risk category for wild-caught salmon are Alaskan salmon. Southeast Alaskan chum, sockeye, coho, pink, and chinook salmon, together with Kodiak coho, pink, and chum salmon have all been evaluated for contaminant consumption risk involving many POPs (including dioxins, dioxin-like compounds, or DLCs, and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) and have been found to be the lowest risk category of wild-caught salmon for regular consumption. This lower contamination risk amongst all wild-caught salmon is one of the reasons we recommend selection of wild-caught Alaskan salmon as a salmon of choice. (While some salmon runs from British Columbia and the U.S. West Coast also stand out as lower risk in terms of contaminants, we do not feel enthusiastic about recommending them for consumption due to the more precarious sustainability of these salmon runs.)
  • Along with lower risk of contamination from wild-caught Alaskan salmon, we like what experts are saying about the greater sustainability of Alaskan salmon runs. For example, the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California has recently determined Alaskan salmon to be the only low-risk salmon in terms of four sustainability criteria: the inherent vulnerability of the fish, the effects of fishing on the overall habitat, the status of wild stocks, and the nature of the by-catch (the other types of fish that are caught unintentionally during salmon fishing).
  • Changes may soon be coming to rules about organic certification of salmon. During the week of April 25-29, 2010, the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is taking public comment on various aspects of organic regulation, including proposed rules involving aquaculture and organic certification of salmon. The NOSB seems to be leaning toward a certification process that will only allow for organic labeling of farmed salmon. This limitation of organic certification to farmed salmon appears related to the NOSB's desire for certainty about compliance of salmon production with organic regulations as well as its belief that verification of compliance for wild-caught salmon would simply not be possible. Expected to be at issue in the NOSB public comment is the apparent intention of the NOSB to allow up to 25% of wild-caught fish feed to be used in the farming of organic salmon. Since organic regulations prohibit the use of animal by-products in the feeding of land animals (like cows or chickens), this area of certification for farmed fish is controversial and somewhat confusing since many types of fish are included in the natural diet of adult salmon when they migrate out to sea. Until these issues involving organic certification of farmed salmon have been resolved, and given the desirability of a life for salmon that takes place in their natural habitat, we recommend consumption of wild-caught salmon, and more specifically, wild-caught Alaskan salmon.
  • While salmon have long been identified as a uniquely concentrated source of omega-3 fats, recent studies have now determined the actual bioavailability of these omega-3 fats from relatively small changes in diet. In fascinating research from a team of scientists at the Lipid and Diabetes Research Center at Saint Luke's MidAmerica Heart Institute in Kansas City, MO, only two servings of salmon per week (Norwegian Atlantic-farmed salmon and approximately 6 ounces per serving) were determined to significantly increase the presence of omega-3 fats in the membranes of red blood cells (RBCs). Only 4 months were required to raise the RBC omega-3 levels from 4% to 6%. This finding made it clear that the omega-3 fats from salmon--including its heart-supportive combination of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)--effectively make their way into our body and directly support the function of our cells. Equally interesting in this study was a comparison of dietary salmon intake to fish oil capsules containing purified salmon oil. Salmon oil capsules were also able to raise the percentage of omega-3s in the RBC membranes form 4% to 6%. However, intake of the fish oil capsules over this 4-month period also produced a small increase in some of the blood fats (in particular, triglycerides) of the participants. Since increased blood triglyceride levels can be a risk factor for cardiovascular problems, and since dietary salmon did not produce a similar rise in blood triglycerides for participants in this study, dietary intake of salmon appears to be a best bet for supporting cell function and simultaneously avoiding some unwanted increases in other blood fats.

Food Chart
This chart graphically details the %DV that a serving of Salmon provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to our Food Rating System. Additional information about the amount of these nutrients provided by Salmon can be found in the Food Rating System Chart. A link that takes you to the In-Depth Nutritional Profile for Salmon, featuring information over 80 nutrients, can be found under the Food Rating System Chart.
Salmon has earned its research reputation as a health-supportive food based largely on its unusual omega-3 fatty acid content. It's very common for 4 ounces of baked or broiled salmon to contain at least 2 grams of omega-3 fats - more than the average U.S. adult gets from all food over the course of several days. (If we consider 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids to be a daily goal for a person consuming a 2,000 calorie diet - based upon recommendations from the 1999 Workshop on the Essentiality of and Recommended Dietary Intakes (RDI) for Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - then this would equal about 50% of this goal. For more on this, see our write-up on omega-3s.)
About half of this omega-3 fat is provided in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and a slightly lower amount is provided in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). The amounts of EPA and DHA contained in salmon are unusual among commonly-eaten foods. In addition to this high concentration of omega-3 fats is the relatively small amount of omega-6 fats in salmon and its outstanding ratio of omega-3 to omega-6. Four ounces of salmon will typically contain less than 1/2 gram of omega-6 fat, for an omega-3 to omega-6 ratio of approximately 5.5 to 1. In the average U.S. diet, this ratio has repeatedly been shown to be lop-sided in the opposite direction, with at least 4-5 times as much omega-6 fat as omega-3 fat, and in some studies, up to 12-20 times more. In our World's Healthiest Foods rating system for food, only two foods provide more omega-3s per standard serving than salmon. Those two foods are walnuts and flaxseeds. Both of these plant foods are outstanding sources of omega-3s! However, they cannot be compared on an equal basis to salmon because their omega-3 fats come in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) rather than EPA or DHA.
The widely-studied benefits of omega-3 fatty acids are documented in our Omega-3 Fatty Acids profile in the Essential Nutrients section of our website. In general, these benefits involve improved control of the body's inflammatory processes, better overall cell function, improved transfer of information between the body's cells, and better brain function. When researchers look specifically at intake of omega-3-containing fish like salmon, they find health support in all of the above areas. However, some areas of omega-3 support are what we would call "standout" areas. These areas include:
Cardiovascular Benefits
Intake of fish rich in omega-3 fat (including salmon) is associated with decreased risk of numerous cardiovascular problems, including: heart attack, stroke, heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure, and high triglycerides in the blood. Intake of omega-3-containing fish is also associated with improved metabolic markers for cardiovascular disease. Some cardiovascular benefits from omega-3 fat in fish like salmon start with only one omega-3 fish meal per week. Most of the benefits, however, start to show up in research studies with somewhat higher fish intake, along the lines of 2-3 times per week. In most studies, one serving of fish is approximately 6 ounces. Studies of fish intake and cardiovascular risk sometimes measure benefits against total grams of omega-3 fats obtained in the daily diet. In many of these studies, a daily minimum of 2 grams of omega-3s is required for measurable cardiovascular protection. (Remember that this 2-gram amount is the amount contained in approximately 4 ounces of cooked salmon.)
Improved Mood and Cognition
Many researchers consider DHA to be the most important fat found in the human brain, and the unusual concentration of this omega-3 fatty acid in salmon helps explain the research-documented benefits of salmon and omega-3 fish intake for thinking and the decreased risk of certain brain-related problems that accompanies omega-3 fish consumption. Intake of omega-3s and omega-3 containing fish is associated with decreased risk of depression, decreased risk of hostility in some studies of teenagers, and decreased risk of cognitive decline in older persons. Some studies have shown an association between IQ and omega-3 intake, and also between IQ and intake of omega-3 fish.
Especially interesting in this area of fish intake, DHA, and brain function is the relatively recent discovery of protectins. Protectins are special compounds made from DHA and preliminary research studies have shown them to have a potentially important role as anti-inflammatory regulatory molecules, especially when produced by nerve tissue. (When protectins are produced by nerve tissue, they are typically called "neuroprotectins.") Researchers have speculated that at least some of the brain-related benefits from omega-3 fish intake may be due to conversion of the DHA in these fish to protectins that can help prevent excessive inflammation.
Joint Protection
One fascinating area of omega-3 and omega-3 fish research has involved the joints. Research on fish intake and joint protection has shown that EPA from fish like salmon can be converted by the body into three types of closely-related compounds that work to prevent unwanted inflammation. One group of compounds are the series 3 prostaglandins. A second type are the series 3 thromboxanes. A third and more recently discovered type are the resolvins. All of these omega-3 fat derivatives are able to help prevent excessive and unwanted inflammation. What's especially interesting about salmon, however, is that it combines these anti-inflammatory benefits that are related to omega-3 content with anti-inflammatory benefits that are related not to fat but to protein. Recent studies demonstrate the presence of small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) in salmon that may provide special support for joint cartilage (as well as other types of tissue). One particular bioactive peptide called calcitonin has been of special interest in these studies, because a human form of calcitonin is made in the human body by the thyroid gland, and we know that it is a key hormone for helping regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in the bone and surrounding tissue. Salmon peptides - including calcitonin (sCT) - may join forces with salmon's omega-3 molecules to provide unique anti-inflammatory benefits for the joints
Eye Benefits
Omega-3 intake and consumption of omega-3 fish has been associated with decreased risk of two eye-related problems: macular degeneration and chronic dry eye. In the case of macular degeneration (a chronic eye problem in which material in the center of the retina on the back of the eyeball begins to deteriorate and cause loss of vision), two fish servings per week is the amount that has been shown to significantly decrease risk. For decreased risk of chronic dry eye, a somewhat higher amount of omega-3 fish intake (2-4 servings per week) was the minimum amount needed, with 5-6 weekly servings showing even greater reduction of risk.
Like brain studies on omega-3 fish intake, dry eye studies have started to look specifically at neuroprotectins made from DHA in salmon and other omega-3 fish. These omega-3 derived molecules may help prevent chronic dry eye by lowering background levels of inflammation in the eye.
Decreased Cancer Risk
Intake of fish rich in omega-3 fat is also associated with decreased risk for several types of cancer. These cancer types include colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. Some of the strongest findings for decreased cancer risk following regular intake of omega-3 fish involve the blood cell or lymph cell-related cancers including leukemia, multiple myeloma, and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Similar to cardiovascular studies, cancer risk studies typically begin to show measurable benefits when omega-3 fish are consumed at least once per week.
The outstanding omega-3 benefits of salmon are not this food's only claim to unique health support. One intriguing new area of health benefits for salmon involves the protein and amino acid content of this fish. Several recent studies have found that salmon contains small bioactive protein molecules (called bioactive peptides) that may provide special support for joint cartilage, insulin effectiveness, and control of inflammation in the digestive tract. We've seen recent studies, for example, on salmon peptides and treatment of ulcerative colitis. We also have to wonder whether intake of salmon peptides may be related to the reduced risk of colorectal cancer that is associated with consumption of this food. One particular bioactive peptide called calcitonin has been of special interest in these salmon and amino acid studies. The human body makes its own human form of calcitonin (through a process which takes place in the thyroid gland), and we know that calcitonin is a key hormone for helping regulate and stabilize the balance of collagen and minerals in the bone and surrounding tissue. As researchers learn more and more about salmon peptides - including calcitonin (sCT), and its relationship to human calcitonin - we expect to see more and more of salmon's potential.
It would be a mistake not to mention several other unique nutritional benefits of salmon and their potential role in the many health areas described above. One of these nutrients benefits involves vitamin D. Amongst all 130 World's Healthiest Foods, salmon receives our highest food ranking for vitamin D content. At more than 100 IU per ounce, salmon tops all other WHFoods for vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to be a critical factor in preventing unwanted inflammation, in supporting cognitive function, and in lowering risk of several types of cancer, including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Each of these areas is an area we have described earlier in this section as a "spotlight" area for salmon benefits.
Another nutrient concentrated in salmon worthy of special mention is selenium. In terms of absolute selenium amount, salmon ranks in our WHFoods top 10, and four ounces provide about 75% of the Daily Value (DV) for this mineral. Strong selenium intake is associated with decreased risk of joint inflammation, and also with prevention of certain types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. As an antioxidant nutrient, selenium has also been shown to be especially important in cardiovascular protection through maintenance of the molecule glutathione. Each of these selenium-related benefits overlaps with other spotlight areas for salmon as a health-supportive food.
With exceptional nutritional value due to their rich concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a favorite among fish lovers and enjoyed even by those who are not always fond of fish. Salmon are incredible fish sometimes traveling thousands of miles throughout their life cycle and within two to five years returning to the very location where they were born to spawn and die. The specific characteristics and life cycles of salmon vary with each species. (For example, king salmon has a life cycle of approximately 4-6 years, sockeye, 4-6 years, and silver 3-4 years.)
A good portion of salmon can be classified either as Pacific (Oncorhynchus genus) or Atlantic (Salmo genus) salmon, according to the ocean in which they are found. There is just one native species of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), while there are many species of Pacific salmon including chinook (or king), sockeye (or red), coho (or silver), pink, and chum. Norwegian salmon, a popular type of salmon often offered on restaurant menus, is actually Atlantic salmon that is farm-raised in Norway. The flesh of salmon ranges in color from pink to red to orange with some varieties richer in important omega-3 fatty acids than others. For example, chinook and sockeye are fattier fish than pink and chum and contain great amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
The native habitats of Atlantic and Pacific salmon as described above no longer characterize most of salmon consumed in the United States or in many other countries. Because farmed salmon now accounts for about 80% of all salmon consumed worldwide, it is becoming harder and harder to find wild-caught salmon that live in their native habitat.
People have been enjoying salmon as a food ever since this beautiful fish appeared in the Earth's waters. Like other fish, in addition to being consumed in fresh form, preservation techniques such as smoking or salting were used to preserve the salmon. Smoked salmon is still considered traditional fare in many cuisines throughout the world.
Since 1980, global salmon production has increased over 400% in volume, with over 2,400,000 metric tons of salmon being produced in 2004 compared with less than 600,000 metric tons in 1980. Most of this increase has come from production of farmed salmon. (The amount of farmed salmon in today's marketplace is more than 1,000,000 metric tons greater than it was in 1980.) Farmed salmon now accounts for more than 80% of the world's salmon supply. Within this changing salmon marketplace, North American wild salmon, which used to account for about half of the world's wild salmon supply, now only accounts for about 15%. The farming of salmon has increased dramatically in Europe, and Japan and Russia each currently farm about 500,000 tons of salmon.
The trend toward greatly increased salmon farming has been an ongoing concern to many researchers who study the ecological impact of farmed salmon, including the impact on wild salmon populations. Salmon farming has also concerned many researchers from a health standpoint. Farmed salmonâ€"when raised in a non-sustainable way and without regard for the organic standards that exist in some countries outside the U.S. â€"have repeatedly been found to have measurable and undesirable amounts of numerous contaminants. Some researchers have raised the question of whether sustainable salmon farming is even possible, given the natural habits of salmon and the unique habitats that have historically supported their vitality.
Salmon is sold in many different forms. Fresh salmon is available whole or in steak or fillet form. Salmon is also available frozen, canned, dried or smoked. Based on a combination of sustainability and potential contamination concerns, we recommend that you select wild-caught Alaskan salmon above all other forms of salmon currently available in the marketplace. If you cannot find wild-caught Alaskan salmon in your local grocery in fresh or frozen form, we recommend that you select wild-caught Alaskan salmon in canned form as a next best alternative.
With respect to potential contamination, we base our Alaskan salmon recommendation on recent research placing these salmon at the top of the low-risk list for potential contaminants, including pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants (POPS). Southeast Alaskan chum, sockeye, coho, pink, and chinook salmon, together with Kodiak coho, pink and chum salmon have all been evaluated for contaminant consumption risk involving many POPs (including dioxins, dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) and polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs) and have been found to be the lowest risk category of wild-caught salmon for regular consumption.
With respect to sustainability, we have been impressed with the work of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California and its establishment of Alaskan salmon as the only low-risk salmon in terms of four sustainability criteria: the inherent vulnerability of the fish, the effects of fishing on the overall habitat, the status of wild stocks, and the nature of the by-catch (fish other than salmon that are caught unintentionally during salmon fishing). There is one exception to this higher sustainability profile of Alaskan salmon, however, and that exception involves the by-catch related to wild-caught Alaskan chinook. With respect to by-catch, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has placed Alaskan chinook salmon in a moderate- versus low-risk category in terms of sustainability. For this reason, you may want to choose other species of Alaskan salmon (like chum or coho or sockeye or pink) for the lowest sustainability risk.
Sustainability issues related to the selection of non-Alaskan salmon have become more and more apparent, especially with respect to U.S. West Coast salmon. In 2008 and for the first time in its history, the National Marine Fisheries Service shut down the U.S. West Coast ocean salmon fishing season due to the large drop in numbers of chinook salmon that were returning to the Sacramento River in California. Whereas 775,000 salmon had returned to this river to spawn in 2002, by 2008 the number of salmon expected to return had dropped dramatically. The Fisheries Service had set a target spawning goal of 122,000-180,000 for the Sacramento River chinook. However, at the time when the fishing season was shut down in 2008, only 54,000 had actually returned. Scientists believe that the loss of natural habitat in the San Francisco Delta is playing a role in the jeopardized sustainability of the Sacramento River chinook salmon run and point to a need for habitat restoration in this context.
Just as with any seafood, it is best to purchase salmon from a store that has a good reputation for having a fresh supply of fish. Get to know a fishmonger (person who sells the fish) at your grocery store, so you can have a trusted resource from whom you can purchase your fish.
Fresh whole salmon should be displayed buried in ice, while fillets and steaks should be placed on top of the ice. If you are purchasing a whole fish and want to eat the skin, have the salmon scaled.
Smell is a good indicator of freshness. Since a slightly "off" smell cannot be detected through plastic, if you have the option, purchase displayed fish as opposed to pieces that are prepackaged. Once the fishmonger wraps and hands you the fish that you have selected, smell it through the paper wrapping and return it if it does not smell right.
While smoked salmon is popular, we don't believe it to be as healthful as fresh or canned salmon. That's because in addition to having less omega-3s than non-smoked fish, smoked fish may contain toxic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). For more on this subject, please see this Q+A.
When storing all types of seafood, including salmon, it is important to keep it cold since fish is very sensitive to temperature. Therefore, after purchasing salmon or other fish, make sure to return it to a refrigerator as soon as possible. If the fish is going to accompany you during a day full of errands, keep a cooler in the car where you can place the salmon to make sure it stays cold and does not spoil.
The temperature of most refrigerators is slightly warmer than ideal for storing fish. Therefore, to ensure maximum freshness and quality, it is important to use special storage methods to create the optimal temperature for holding the fish. One of the easiest ways to do this is to place salmon, which has been well wrapped, in a baking dish filled with ice. The baking dish and fish should then be placed on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, which is its coolest area. Replenish ice one or two times per day.
The length of time that salmon can stay fresh stored this way depends upon how fresh it is, i.e. when it was caught. Fish that was caught the day before you purchased it can be stored for about four days, while fish that was caught the week before can only be stored for about one or two days.
You can extend the shelf life of salmon by freezing it. To do so, wrap it well in plastic and place it in the coldest part of the freezer where it will keep for about two to three weeks.
Tips for Preparing Salmon
Try to buy a whole salmon side or filet that is from the thickest part of the fish. For taste and texture reasons, many people prefer to remove the skin of the salmon. We definitely recommend skin removal if you are preparing wild-caught salmon other than Alaskan salmon or if you are preparing farmed salmon that is not certified organic. Our reason for skin removal in these circumstances is reduction of contaminant risk. Research has shown the skin of the salmon to contain measurable amounts of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) when salmon swim in contaminated waters. If you are preparing certified organic farmed salmon or wild-caught Alaskan salmon, however, you may want to leave the skin intact since it contains health supportive nutrients, including peptides with anti-inflammatory potential.
The Healthiest Way of Cooking Salmon
The best ways to cook salmon is by using methods that will keep it moist and tender. Salmon can be easily overcooked and become dry, so be sure to watch your cooking times.
One of our favorite ways to prepare salmon is using our "Quick Broil" method. Preheat the broiler on high and place an all stainless steel skillet (be sure the handle is also stainless steel) or cast iron pan under the heat for about 10 minutes to get it very hot. Place salmon on hot pan and broil for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness. You do not need to turn the salmon. (See our Quick Broiled Salmon with Ginger Mint Salsa recipe for details on how to prepare "Quick Broiled" salmon.) While grilled salmon tastes great, make sure it does not burn. It is best to grill salmon on an area without a direct flame. Extra care should be taken when grilling, as burning can damage nutrients and create free radicals that can be harmful to your health. For more see Are there health risks with char-broiling and gas grilling foods?
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
  • Combine left-over cold salmon with greens and vegetables for a delicious salad.
  • Serve seared, or broiled salmon over whole wheat pasta. Top with a sauce made with olive oil, dill weed, lemon peel, scallions and black pepper. Look for our healthy methods of Stovetop Searing and Quick Broiling.
  • Quick Broil salmon and top with a honey mustard sauce.
WHFoods Recipes That Feature Salmon
Since 1946, the U.S. Department of Commerce, through its National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), operates the National Marine Fisheries Service and its Seafood Inspection Program (SIP). In addition, under the Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Regulation, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is charged with the responsible of inspecting fish processing facilities in the U.S. However, since participation in SIP is voluntary, many fish are brought into the U.S. from other countries, and the HACCP fish processing inspection service only has the funding and manpower to inspect approximately 1% of fish products imported into the U.S., many consumers have become concerned about the safety of their fish, including their salmon. Given widespread contamination of marine habitats worldwide, this concern makes sense to us. We encourage consumers of fish to take special care in choosing all fish, including salmon. "Special care" might mean asking more questions to a local fish purveyor or taking extra time to locate high-quality fish like wild-caught Alaskan salmon. Some fish are not considered safe for pregnant or nursing mothers or young children to eat. Updated information in this area can be found at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website ( For information on the topic of seafood and mercury contamination, please see our article Should I be concerned about mercury in fish and what fish are safe to eat?
For some individuals, a second area of concern related to salmon is genetic engineering. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held hearings on the proposed entry of genetically engineered Atlantic farmed salmon into the U.S. marketplace. Propriety, genetically-engineered salmon (proposed for sale under the commercial name AquAdvantage) have been developed using "antifreeze" genes from ocean eelpout (a type of fish) and growth hormone genes from chinook salmon to produce a type of salmon which can grow more quickly and will require less feed for its growth. In a period of several months, the FDA received nearly 400,000 public comments on the proposed allowance of GE salmon into the marketplace. In California, several state legislators have called for mandatory labeling of GE salmon sold in California if the sale of GE salmon is approved by the FDA and the FDA does not require labeling at a federal level. If the sale of GE salmon is allowed by the FDA, individuals wishing to avoid GE salmon intake will need to avoid any farmed salmon products not providing a GE-free label.
Salmon and Purines
Salmon contain naturally-occurring substances called purines. Purines are commonly found in plants, animals, and humans. In some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. The health condition called "gout" and the formation of kidney stones from uric acid are two examples of uric acid-related problems that can be related to excessive intake of purine-containing foods. For this reason, individuals with kidney problems or gout may want to limit or avoid intake of purine-containing foods such as salmon.
Allergic Reactions to Salmon
Although allergic reactions can occur to virtually any food, research studies on food allergy consistently report more problems with some foods than with others. It's important to realize that the frequency of problems varies from country to country and can change significantly along with changes in the food supply or with other manufacturing practices. For example, in several part of the world, including Canada, Japan, and Israel, sesame seed allergy has risen to a level of major concern over the past 10 years.
In the United States, beginning in 2004 with the passage of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), food labels have been required to identify the presence of any major food allergens. Since 90% of food allergies in the U.S. have been associated with 8 food types as reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, it is these 8 food types that are considered to be major food allergens in the U.S. and require identification on food labels. The 8 food types classified as major allergens are as follows: (1) wheat, (2) cow's milk, (3) hen's eggs, (4) fish, (5) crustacean shellfish (including shrimp, prawns, lobster and crab); (6) tree nuts (including cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts); (7) peanuts; and (8) soy foods.
These foods do not need to be eaten in their pure, isolated form in order to trigger an adverse reaction. For example, yogurt made from cow's milk is also a common allergenic food, even though the cow's milk has been processed and fermented in order to make the yogurt. Ice cream made from cow's milk would be an equally good example.
Food allergy symptoms may sometimes be immediate and specific, and can include skin rash, hives, itching, and eczema; swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat; tingling in the mouth; wheezing or nasal congestion; trouble breathing; and dizziness or lightheadedness. But food allergy symptoms may also be much more general and delayed, and can include fatigue, depression, chronic headache, chronic bowel problems (such as diarrhea or constipation), and insomnia. Because most food allergy symptoms can be caused by a variety of other health problems, it is good practice to seek the help of a healthcare provider when evaluating the role of food allergies in your health.
The unique protein and amino acid composition of salmon is often overlooked in its nutritional profile. Salmon contains short protein molecules called peptides that have been shown to be bioactive and may have important anti-inflammatory properties. Salmon also provides important amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine. Salmon is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D as well as immune-supportive selenium. It is also a very good source of muscle-building protein, and heart-healthy niacin and vitamin B12 and a good source of energy-producing phosphorus and heart-healthy magnesium and vitamin B6.
For an in-depth nutritional profile click here: Salmon.
In-Depth Nutritional Profile
In addition to the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an in-depth nutritional profile for Salmon is also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
Introduction to Food Rating System Chart
In order to better help you identify foods that feature a high concentration of nutrients for the calories they contain, we created a Food Rating System. This system allows us to highlight the foods that are especially rich in particular nutrients. The following chart shows the nutrients for which this food is either an excellent, very good, or good source (below the chart you will find a table that explains these qualifications). If a nutrient is not listed in the chart, it does not necessarily mean that the food doesn't contain it. It simply means that the nutrient is not provided in a sufficient amount or concentration to meet our rating criteria. (To view this food's in-depth nutritional profile that includes values for dozens of nutrients - not just the ones rated as excellent, very good, or good - please use the link below the chart.) To read this chart accurately, you'll need to glance up in the top left corner where you will find the name of the food and the serving size we used to calculate the food's nutrient composition. This serving size will tell you how much of the food you need to eat to obtain the amount of nutrients found in the chart. Now, returning to the chart itself, you can look next to the nutrient name in order to find the nutrient amount it offers, the percent Daily Value (DV%) that this amount represents, the nutrient density that we calculated for this food and nutrient, and the rating we established in our rating system. For most of our nutrient ratings, we adopted the government standards for food labeling that are found in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's "Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling." Read more background information and details of our rating system.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

"The Truth About Our Potential "

The truth about our Potential

by Kevin Eikenberry on April 20, 2011
in Developing Others,Leadership,Learning

On April 18, 2011, Geoffrey Mutai broke the Marathon record in Boston (though it doesn’t officially stand yet as the World record, a detail not important of this post – this isn’t a sports blog after all!), running the 26.2 miles in 2:03:02. This record time equates to about 4:43 for every mile for over 26 miles!

Looking at the results from this week’s Boston Marathon showed me something even more interesting than the incredible speed of the world class runners. Here it is:

23.41% of those who started the race were over 50 years old (and their % of finishers roughly matches the overall % of the field).

You have to run a qualifying time to even compete in the Boston Marathon, and over 23% of those people were over fifty years old.

Even as a non-runner these times are amazing to me.

Geoffrey Mutai said after winning the race, “When you trust yourself you can make it.”

Read Mutai’s words again:

“When you trust yourself you can make it.”

If you don’t get it yet, this post isn’t about running.

I wrote it to remind you of the truth about your potential.

It is greater than you think – and your trust in yourself plays a big part in you tapping into, finding and unleashing that potential."

The Cheat Meal Manifesto

The Cheat Meal Manifesto
by Shelby Starnes – 4/20/2011
If you told someone fifteen years ago that you were having a scheduled cheat meal, they would've given you an odd look and asked, "How in the world was that going to help you achieve your physique goals?"
Fast-forward to today and we've got whole diet plans dedicated to the concept. But when should you use a cheat meal or re-feed? What are those exactly? And who shouldn't be using them?
Let's discuss.

Junk Food and Fat Loss. WTF.
Pretty much anyone "in the know" now understands the reasons for the occasional cheat meal or re-feed. The cheating concept has grown over the last few years, and rightfully so. Proper cheats can:
• Stave off potential catabolism from prolonged dieting
• Refill glycogen stores to support hard training
• Recharge a stagnant metabolism
• Give the dieter something to look forward to, which helps him get through the tougher days of restriction
Only problem is, a lot of dieters miss the boat when it comes to proper implementation. They cheat at the wrong times, for the wrong reasons, and in the wrong way. But you don't have to be one of those people.

Cheating 101
The cheat meal is packed with calories coming from all the macros: carbs, fat, and protein. These calories will give your metabolism a temporary boost. If you've ever had a big cheat meal, you'll know about the accompanying sweating.
The additional carbs will replenish muscle glycogen, and the fat will fill out the muscle a bit too. Then the elevated sodium will help with glycogen storage and water retention (both of which improve strength).
Add all these together and you're in for an awesome diet and training boost, one that can take your progress to the next level... if properly implemented.

Follow the Signs
Cheat meals are great tools when used correctly, but used incorrectly they can derail progress in a major way. When is it really time for a cheat meal? Look for the following signs:
• Your workouts are shitty on a regular basis – no pump, poor strength, lack of focus.

• Your body temperature is starting to drop (you feel cold ALL the time).

• Your fat loss has plateaued and lowering calories isn't helping.

• You just dropped a lot of weight in a short amount of time – more than one percent of your total bodyweight in a week, not including the first week of dieting when you drop water and glycogen weight.
If one or more of these apply to you, a cheat meal is warranted. If none of these apply to you, you probably don't need a cheat meal, regardless of how much you may want one!

Cheat Meals vs. Re-feeds
The term "re-feed" usually refers to a carbohydrate feeding designed to elicit similar results as a cheat meal. Quantities are pretty high, and the goals, like with a cheat meal, are to refill glycogen stores, stave off catabolism, recharge metabolism, and also provide some mental relief.
The main difference between a cheat meal and a re-feed is mental. Most will do better on a diet that allows them to have a weekly break where they can eat whatever they want for a certain amount of time, as opposed to just eating a bunch of their usual "diet foods" in higher quantities.
Mental and social components are huge factors in dieting. If you don't stick with a diet, it obviously won't work for you. So if having a periodic cheat meal allows you to continue dieting longer, then obviously it's the method of choice. The person who goes 35 mph for ten years will always beat the person who goes 100 mph for two years, gets burnt out, and quits.
Here's something else to consider in the cheat meal vs. re-feed scenario: your individual psychology. For some, eating junk sets off a shark-like feeding frenzy and they end up bingeing for hours (or days), setting themselves way back in the dieting game. For them, a more controlled re-feed would be the wiser option.
Some will also use a carb re-feed day, similar to a "high day" when carb cycling. It serves the same purposes as the cheat meal or re-feed meal, but is spread across an entire day rather than just one meal.
The main downfall with a full day of carbing-up like this is that you lose a day's worth of fat burning, rather than having just one meal, contained in just an hour.
There are certainly times where full days are needed though, depending on how depleted an individual is and how lean they are. And that brings up another note: the leaner you are, the more often you will need to re-feed or cheat.
When you're really lean, you flirt with a fine line of potential catabolism, so more frequent re-feeds are usually necessary to maintain as much muscle as possible.

Master Your Cheat Meal
It's a little more sophisticated than just "eat a bunch of crap," but not by much. When implementing a full-on cheat meal (as opposed to a carbohydrate re-feed), I typically use the following guidelines with my clients:
Have the cheat meal replace the last meal of that day. This keeps you from extending the cheat and ruining a whole day of eating.
Keep it around 45 to 60 minutes. Again, this keeps you from making it an all-out binge that will set back your progress rather than accelerating it.
If possible, have your cheat meal the night before you train a large (or weak) body part, like legs or back. The additional glycogen and fullness will ensure that you have an awesome, powerful training session. Some people like to have the cheat meal after a big training session in the hopes of aiding recovery. That can work as well, but my preference is the night before.
Other than that, have whatever you want, as much as you want.
TRICK: Sometimes I'll instruct a client to have a cheat meal or re-feed, then, the next day, increase his cardio and/or decrease his calories a bit, usually via carbs or fat.
So have a re-feed, then starting the next day, reduce calories by 10% on all days
going forward. You can also add another ten minutes of cardio daily.
This is sort of a one-two punch of metabolic trickery. You increase the metabolism (and caloric expenditure) via the cheat meal, then you decrease caloric intake. This hits fat loss from both sides.

What to Expect
The cheat meal will fill you out – muscles swell from glycogen – which will help immensely with training. Your next day or two of training will probably be the best you've had in a while.
Your weight will rise, as much as 5 to 8 pounds in some instances, and it may take up to a week to return to your previous baseline weight.
Or, you might not gain much weight at all depending on how depleted you are and how big the cheat is. This is normal, and not something to be concerned about. The cheat meal is still "working" even if your weight doesn't skyrocket.
Because of the nature of the hormone aldosterone, sometimes it may take longer than a day for the increase in weight to show up. I'll often take a cheat meal and only be up half a pound or one pound the next day, but be much drier. Then, the following morning, my body rebounds, holds a lot more water, and I'm up another couple pounds. All normal occurrences.

Cheat Wisely
Cheat meals are frequently misunderstood and misapplied. But use the guidelines here and you'll be able to wisely harness the power of pizza in your next fat loss diet!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bill Rodgers -First marathon

Excerpted from First Marathons, by Gail Kislevitz

Rebel With A Cause

Bill Rodgers

Residence: Sherborn, Massachusetts

Occupation: Athlete

First Marathon: 1973 Boston Marathon

D.O.B.: 12-31-47

Age at first marathon: 25

It is easy to understand how Bill Rodgers captured America’s heart and was a major force in causing the running boom of the late seventies. He greets you with a big smile, is friendly and warm. The press and media loved him. He was the golden boy of American running. Pictures of elite runners and other celebrities now crowd the wall of his office, along with medals, trophies, and race numbers placed haphazardly. The pair of shoes he wore for his first Boston win is there. They hold a special place in Bill’s memory—not just for the win, but because they were owned by Steve Prefontaine, who sent them to him to wear for that race. Rodgers has been called a rebel, an angry young man, and an agitator for being a proponent of awarding prize money to runners without losing their amateur status. He is a four-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons. Rodgers is now retired from the marathon, though not from shorter races. His weekly training is not the two hundred miles it was back in the seventies, but it is still enough to keep him race-fit and able to keep up with his two young daughters.

I was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but by age seven we had moved to nearby Newington. My brother, Charlie, our friend, Jason, and I were inseparable. We were very active kids, always hiking, always getting into something, always together. In high school, the three of us ran cross country on a small team, consisting of us and three other kids. The coach was a great motivator. He didn’t overwork us or destroy our love for running, just enhanced it. I do think there are lots of kids out there who have the potential to be great runners if only they have the right coach, someone who shows an interest and cares. I loved cross country right from the start. I loved the open territory and going the distance. I wasn’t too good at track, couldn’t get that initial kick required for short distance. I received feedback about my so-called talent back in high school. I was in the local paper quite a bit and my name would be announced on the P.A. system at school, along with the football players, announcing my wins at the meets.

At Wesleyan University in Connecticut, I continued running cross country. The coach wasn’t a crack-the-whip type and I enjoyed the camaraderie of the other runners. Maybe if I had a hard-nosed coach I would have run faster, but I enjoyed what I was doing and that was more important to me. I only ran during the season and never in the summer. In my junior year I slipped a bit even during the season and my roommate, Amby Burfoot, would return to our room after a weekend to find beer cans and cigarette butts scattered around. He was a more serious runner than I was, more committed to the sport. One Sunday morning, he took me out for a twenty-five-mile run, to punish me, I think. I kept up until the last few miles when he decided to pick up the pace and left me behind. Amby had been coached by John J. Kelley at Fitch High School in Groton, Connecticut, and one weekend he came up to visit and we all went for a run. John was fortyish at the time and I thought to myself, “This guy can run pretty well for an old man.” Amby learned a lot from the older runners and he’d pass the information on to me. I was a firm believer in the L.S.D. method—long, slow distance, which was introduced by Emil Zapotek. I was never interested in the marathon back in college, but Amby was. He dreamed about it. He trained hard for it and won Boston in his senior year, 1968. I had never even seen the Boston Marathon so I wasn’t caught up in its mysticism. And I hate to train in the heat, which is all summer, and I hate to train in the cold, which is all winter. Road racing is a tough sport and I wasn’t committed to it, hadn’t been caught by its lure. Training for a ten-miler was the most I wanted to do. I thought I’d die if I had to train for a marathon.

After college I stopped running and the occasional cigarette grew into a habit. There was no postcollegiate outlet for runners so there was no reason to continue. The Vietnam War was looming over our heads; I was a college graduate with barely passing grades, no job, and no real future. I applied for a Conscientious Objector status with the draft board based on my Roman Catholic beliefs and was granted one along with my brother and Jason. We still did everything together. Having a c.o. kept us out of the draft but it also limited our job opportunities, as we could only apply at nonprofit organizations. Jason and I got job at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston. My skills were put to use taking deceased bodies to the morgue. It didn’t pay well and wasn’t that motivating, but at least I was employed. I borrowed money to buy a motorcycle, let my hair grow long, and, basically, let life go by.

I have to say, I probably became a marathoner because I had nothing else in my life. I got fired from my job for trying to organize the non-union employees; my motorcycle was stolen so I had no form of transportation other than running everywhere; I had no money and no immediate positive outlook on life in general. The one positive thing I did was quit smoking. I wheeled too many cancer victims to the morgue.

Jason and I shared an apartment by Symphony Hall in Boston and one day in April 1971, we watched the Boston Marathon for the first time. Huge crowds were everywhere. I was amazed at the spectacle of the event. And then to my amazement and shock, I saw my former cross-country teammates crossing the finish line. I saw Jeff Galloway, my teammate from Wesleyan, and John Vitale, whom I ran against at the University of Connecticut. I thought, “Wait a minute, if they can do it, so can I.”

I still had mixed feelings about running a marathon, but heck, it had to be better than doing nothing and I knew I was just as good a runner as the guys I saw. First, I needed to get back in shape, so I joined a YMCA by our apartment and started running this slanted, tiny track that was boring as hell, but I hadn’t run in two years and needed to start somewhere. I went back to running because it was all I knew, all I had left. I went back to running to bring a sense of order to my life. When I got my endurance back, I started hitting some of the local road races and did well at the 5Ks and 10Ks. In February of 1973 I entered a 30K and ran in blue jeans. I didn’t have any money to buy the proper shoes or clothing, and besides, it was cold. Ironically, Amby also ran that race and ultimately won it. The prize was a pair of car tires, which he had no use for so he offered them to me, but I didn’t even have a car.

I felt like I was on an upswing. It was time to start making big plans and I really thought I was ready for a marathon. Frank Shorter had won the gold in the ’72 Olympics and that was a huge influence on me. I started running twice a day, averaging about 130 miles a week and concentrating on endurance. I ate more because I was also hungry. I’m not a good breakfast eater, but I make up for it the rest of the day. I didn’t do fast intervals like Salazar; I mainly concentrated on distance. My maximum mileage was two hundred a week, split between sixteen miles in the morning and thirteen miles in the afternoon, around Jamaica Plains pond. I could never repeat that now, but at the time I was striving for distance endurance.

By now I had made it public that I was running Boston in 1973. Amby gave me some advice, but I don’t remember what it was. I do remember it was a very hot day and I never felt strong from the very start. Everyone started passing me and finally I dropped out at twenty-one miles at the top of Heartbreak Hill. I couldn’t even go another five miles. I had no interest in finishing. My only thought was how to get home. As I look back to that day, I can’t believe how I miscalculated the field, thinking I would place among the top five. I had no idea just how talented the runners were. I was demoralized. I had always been a winner and now I was humiliated.

The following week, as I analyzed my failed attempt, I decided that the weather had played a major factor in my poor performance because I never trained in the heat. Determined to make a strong comeback, my wife and I made the decision to move to California so I could train in a hot climate. She quit her job, and since I didn’t have one, we packed what small belongings we had and drove cross country to sunny, and hot, California. That trip turned out to be a total fiasco. We stayed five days, turned around, and drove back East. I was too overwhelmed by all the cars, the people, and, yes, the weather, plus we had no money, no place to stay, no contacts, and I guess you could say it was not a well-planned itinerary.

Back in Boston, we lived on food stamps for about six months until I finally landed a job teaching behavior modification to disabled adults, and also started a graduate degree at Boston College. The running boom was beginning to explode and 1974 was a very exciting time for us. I was training hard, but something was missing. Having always been part of a team, I missed the camaraderie and support of teammates. The Greater Boston Track Club had just formed and I became one of its first members. We were a formidable group, winning most of the titles in the area. I loved being part of a team again. We were like the Kenyans of today, practicing the concept and dynamics of team strength. Athletes motivate each other and it’s a wonderful environment to be a part of. Billy Squires came on board as our coach, which was a great asset. I decided to give the Boston Marathon another try in 1974 and placed a respectable fourteenth. I held fourth position for twenty miles and then just dropped back, finishing at 2:19:34. I wanted that win badly, but my training just wasn’t good enough. The top pack at Boston then usually included the same names, give or take a few newcomers: Galloway, Fleming, Vitale, Kelley, Drayton, and me. We were all very competitive, we all wanted to win. Fleming was the most serious. He never shared his training tips with us. Neither did Shorter. They kept to themselves when it came down to winning, but at the same time we were all the best of friends. Heck, we saw each other all the time at other races or training runs. We kidded each other about our wins and losses but it was never malicious. In the ’77 Boston Marathon I shared my water with Drayton, who didn’t have any and there were no water stations in sight. It was a very hot day and once again the heat did me in, but Drayton went on to win.

I did have a few rivals who weren’t so friendly and at one road race when I lost to one of them, he won a bouquet of flowers, which he then proceeded to give to my wife, saying, “Give these to Billy. He could use them.”

By 1975 I was determined to win Boston. After two failed attempts, I needed a win. Once again, the press dismissed my chances of winning. They never took me seriously, but then again, I didn’t take myself seriously. I wasn’t consistent, didn’t have a great marathon record. What they underestimated was my desire and my recent wins. In November of ’74 I won the Philadelphia Marathon and had just returned from the World Cross Country Championships in Morocco, performing exceptionally well, winning a bronze medal. My teammates knew I was poised to win Boston, but the press hadn’t covered the World Championships and quite frankly, they didn’t know much about the sport.

When you want to win Boston, it’s not just a matter of your own training, being in the best possible shape. You had to know your competition, how they ran, how they felt, how they breathed, and you had to pray to Mother Nature for the perfect day. A tailwind or headwind could make or break a winner. And if the field is particularly strong, the competition can be decimating. The weather on the morning of April 19, 1975, was perfect: not too hot, not too cold, the type of morning you pray for. I looked up into the heavens and said a soft, “Thank you, God.”

Wearing a white T-shirt with gbtc hand-painted on front in big, bold letters and a pair of white gardening gloves for the morning chill, I was ready. Tom Fleming gave me a headband to hold my hair out of my eyes. I really was a rogue runner. For the first part of the race, I listened to my competitors’ breathing, trying to determine if they started out too soon, if they were tiring or if they were saving it for a powerful surge at the end. I talked to them, reasoning if they still had enough breath to speak, they could still kick at the end. All of this was very important to me because I planned to go like a bat out of hell and never stop or look back. I did stop once to tie my shoe but only after I knew I was far out in front with no one on my heels. There were no water stations at Boston so I relied on my brother and Jason for my fluids. Everything worked in my favor that year and I set a Boston and an American record of 2:09:55. I went from running a 2:19 to a 2:09. I couldn’t believe it myself, it was such a phenomenal breakthrough.

Fame came my way, but not money. I was still broke. In 1976, Fred Lebow invited me to run his New York City Marathon. Fred was always the promoter and thought it would be a big story having me and Frank Shorter run the race, competing for a win, plus the fact it was the first year his marathon was moving out of the boundaries of Central Park and through New York City. He couldn’t promise me any money but I went anyway, traveling the back roads as I couldn’t pay tolls on the turnpike. Everyone thought Frank, the Olympian, would place first, but I beat him for my first New York win. I didn’t even know the route as it wound its way around the city. I do remember running on the East River Drive Promenade, passing guys fishing or just plain drunk, not even realizing we were running a marathon. It was insane, but I loved it. The crowds were great in New York, and I fed off their energy. I like running for the crowds, hearing them call my name, cheering for me. After that race, I went back to my car, which was parked on the street, and it had been towed. Fred had to take up a collection so I could get it back and drive home.

After my marathon successes, Nike and New Balance offered me five hundred dollars to endorse their athletic line. I thought it sounded low, so while I was thinking about it I flew to Japan for the Fukuoka Marathon and was offered three thousand dollars by Tiger/Asics for a one-year contract. I thought I was rich, had finally hit the jackpot. Things were beginning to look good.

In 1978 I was ready for another victory at Boston and trained harder than ever. I didn’t want to be a one-time winner and also had my sights set on the 1980 Olympics. It was a tough field that year and I knew I had to concentrate, run hard, and not look back. I held the lead for most of the race and just when I thought I was in the clear, a motorcycle cop came alongside me and alerted me that someone was fast on my heels. I panicked, it was like a bad dream. I had been running hard and didn’t have a lot of push left. I surged forward with all I could muster and won by two seconds. It was very nerve racking. The internal pressure to win was incredible. Once you taste a win, you want it again and again. If you don’t win, it is very disappointing.

I won Boston again in ’79 and ’80. I ran to be the best and back in the seventies we were the best. Representing the United States at the Olympics and World Cross Country Championships was a highlight in my life. It was a feeling of patriotism that is missing today, as sports have become diluted with commercialism and million-dollar contracts. We didn’t have that; we ran for the glory of our country. I was very proud to be a member of the U.S. team wherever I competed.

Nowadays I only run in one gear. I can’t shift into surges or kicks. I think of myself as a dependable car: one steady gear and accident free. And I don’t believe mile markers anymore; ten miles seems more like fifteen. In my past life as a marathoner I could never get to the start line injury-free. Now I know better. I take care of the little injuries before they turn into big ones. And once a week I get a deep muscle massage. I still love going to races and being a spokesman for the sport. It brings me in contact with lots of great people and some very interesting situations. I was invited to the state of Washington to officiate a race and was asked to hand out the prizes. Great! I love to do that. However, what the officials didn’t tell me was that the prizes were fresh-caught salmon and the winners received their weight in salmon. A huge scale was at the finish and as the winners weighed in, I had to load the other half of the scale with the salmon. All morning long I pulled huge salmon out of a box of chipped ice and threw the fish on the scale. That was quite an event.

These days, I usually win my age group in the half-marathon. Sometimes I do miss the marathon, especially when I attend the big expositions such as in New York or Boston. When people tell me they are thinking of running a marathon, I tell them to go for it. I give two pieces of advice: Go to a race and watch the crowd. You can learn a lot from just being an observer. Also, when you commit to a race, check out the last two miles of the course. You’ll want to know what it looks like, if there are hills, or curves, or if it’s a straightaway to the finish. Look for potholes, anything that could get in your way. The last two miles is not the time to be thinking about the course.

Anyone who runs a marathon is on a mission, whether it is to win or to finish. It’s a hard race and I respect anyone who runs it. It is a neat achievement, very satisfying. The medal, the T-shirt, the trophy will stay with you always. Every runner is an athlete. It’s a great thrill, a way to turn your life around. Use it to achieve something positive in your life, like quitting smoking. Whatever it takes, it is worth it. It will be with you the rest of your life.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Shakeology and the Glycemic Index

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